I work hard to make the world a smaller place. I love doing my swaps and, months and years later, seeing people that were once paired up still being friends on facebook. I have had several wonderful opportunities to meet people in person from other states and countries all due to facebook and blogging. I also consider some people I have never met yet, important parts of my tribe. My mom has always said that I have never met a stranger. I am like my daddy in that regard. In fact, she has admonished me when we go into someplace new to basically *keep my mouth shut and don't cause attention*. She says that in love because she is a horrible introvert. I know that it is some times hard to be around me.
And so, when I received a message from Rachel on Tuesday morning around 7:50am asking me if I was up to going to a No Ban No Wall protest in Lubbock that night, how in the world could I refuse? I do not know if I have ever refused to do anything Rachel related. Something wonderful always comes out of it or, we at least get a really good story.
Plus, she knows THE best places to eat.
That day I had to really think and reflect on a whole lot of things. I did not take the protest lightly. I needed to sort out my feelings and the beliefs that have been running around in my head for months. I think people think (know) I talk a lot so they believe that they know all about me. I am an open book but I do not tell you what pages you really ought to be looking at. However, I will tell you anything you want to know if you just ask.
So, I spent the morning sorting out my feelings and my anxieties. By noon I was at Dollar Tree (WWWHHHAAATTT you say?!?!?! lol) and I bought my first EVER poster boards to make protest signs. I am 54 years old people. I already had the Sharpies so I figured that was a sign. Man, I do love me some Dollar Tree.
It was peaceful for the most part. The people who was hosting the protest asked that people keep it clean because there would be families there. Lots of signs. Police on the perimeter. Rachel and I protested about an hour and then we left to go eat. I mean, protesting is rough and we had to get our blood sugars back up. At supper, I got to meet another of Rachel's friends who I felt as though I had known forever. I got almost as much out of supper as I did the protest.
So.....these are some of my thoughts:
* The older I get, the less I believe that the government is for us. I do not really think that US citizens play a role in decisions that our government makes. If so, I believe it is rarely. I do believe that there are good politicians still out there. I did not vote for him. I did not vote for her. My candidate either 1) did not get that far or 2) did not run. I have held this view about the government for a long time.
* This ban, as it stand right now, is wrong on so many levels. I am not saying that I would have accepted it if all of the countries from that part of the world were on it but it would have made more sense if we are truly doing it to ensure our safety. More threats/potential threats have come out of Saudi Arabia. If there was a list to be had, they should have been on it. Our vetting process is really good.
*Our deportation process however, is pretty sucky. Did you know that you can make bond if you have been picked up by ICE? Yes you sure can.
* Someone ought to start selling cool protest sticks to put your signs on.
* I love a good conspiracy theory. LOL I do not believe most of them, but I am fascinated by them.
* I have no problems with people protesting anything as long as it is peaceful. When it crosses the line to threats, violence, destruction and looting....you are no longer a protestor. You are a thug. I absolutely loved the women's march and how it was conducted. I abhorred Madonna's speech and felt as though it sullied up the meaning of the march.
* Celebrities do not speak for me.
*I respect the office of the President. I will not bad mouth the President. That does not mean that I have to support him or any policies that I do not agree with. I have been shocked and appalled by a lot of things (most things) that he has said. I do not like the manner in which he speaks most of the time. However, if I stoop to that level and become condescending, rude or vile..... I am not any better than he or anyone else is that is like him. I want him to successfully make good decisions based on proven facts. If he fails, we ALL will fail. Also, yes, he IS our president. We don't have to like that at all but we look like we have lost our cotton picken minds when we says that he is not.
* I believe that the biggest plan out there right now is divide and conquer. It is working and we need to wake up and stop a lot of our behavior and become WE THE PEOPLE again. We can have total differing opinions and still be respectful and kind. We need to learn to sit and talk. While I was at the protest, there was a lot of families with younger children there. Several used the protest as a teaching experience. One of the chants was *Tell me what democracy looks like. THIS is what democracy looks like.* I head the young boy next to me ask his dad what democracy is. The father bent down so that he was eye to eye with his son and explained to him what it was and why he was choosing to be there. That is something Camille would have done.
*One chant was *No Justice....No Heat!* I told Rachel I did not understand that at all and that I must have missed what the meaning of heat was. She gently told me that it was *No justice...no PEACE!* Well alrighty! That makes so much more sense!
* And we wonder why I was never a cheerleader.
* We have become a nation of mean spirited people who believe that their way is the only way. There were young men in trucks that kept going around and around the block shouting obscenities at the crowd. They were very vile and condescending. I kept thinking *what if you looked up and your mom was right there in the crowd.* When did it become ok to be like that? To verbally castrate people that have opposing views?
* If Rachel says that you will like someone, you will.
* I love police officers and believe in them. lol I love one dearly. They were wonderful that night and keep everyone safe. One girl was eventually arrested because she kept getting into the street and obstructing traffic. They kept telling her to stop. She was a little over zealous and they had to take her in. They were very polite at all times. There were reportedly over 1,000 people there and that could have gone bad quickly so they were very on guard. The protest even put a positive spin on the young lady's arrest. They jokingly said it made the protest more legit. lol
* The media lies. The story about the police about was totally distorted by the time the media reported it. I listen to local news and then I get my real news from other sources. I believe in research.... research.... research and do not share or post everything you read on facebook.
* The wall will not work. If it is built, we will pay for it. All the wall will do is to keep out people who are desperate to leave their country for a better life. It will not stop the cartels and truly unwanted people from coming over into our Country. I cannot even begin to wrap my head around having to flee the USA to go to some place better. This has always been the better country. We were brave. We have kicked ass when needed. We have always welcomed others here because we were fully aware that this was the best place in the world to be. I hear people say *well I wish people were rioting for the homeless or vets.* I ask those people what THEY are doing about either of those situations. Normally they are doing nothing but pointing fingers. I wish this administration WOULD make better policies about veterans care and the homeless. No administration seems to really care. I am going to miss avocados.
* If you believe that we are a Christian nation founded on religious principles, you cannot say "but we have to take care of ourselves first".
* I believe that governments like people poor and on welfare because it is a way to control them. They would fix/enforce the system if they really wanted people to better themselves.
* I believe that if you are truly pro-life, you should be ashamed of the ban and the wall.
* I believe you and I can change this....even if we do not believe in the same things. I think we can sit down over tea and talk things out and figure out what in the hell is going on, why do they want to divide and conquer us and what is it that we are going to do about it.
* Holy ground can be anywhere. I got to see Muslims pray in the middle of the protest. They were surrounded by all races, religions and non-religions. I even found out where the book of Alma comes from.
* I am not sure why it took me this long to start protesting since Sharpies are a major part of the whole process.
* I also know that I look like a Joe Dirt extra in my protest pic.
And...I cannot wait to do it again.
Your can find Rachel's recollections of the protest HERE.