Dear President Trump,
I’ve been leaving out a crucial part of Julius Goat’s justice frame, which is that in addition to each of us being unique, irreplaceable works of art of unsurpassable worth we also have intrinsic worth. I think I included it when I shared it in the original quote but after that I mostly left out the intrinsic worth part, which in many ways is most important. This aspect of justice maintains we are all worthy of care, respect, and love just because we exist, that we don’t have to be from certain families, have certain skills or talents or money-making prowess, we don’t have to be beautiful or clever, and we don’t have to conform. As I remind the women with substance use problems in the group I run at the VA, they deserve happiness just as much as the next person, they are intrinsically worthy.
This morning in that group the discussion turned to the very raw fear and anxiety that each woman is carrying as the climate in the country becomes increasingly intolerant of people who are not straight, white, able-bodied males. They noted how fearful they are that we are slipping back into the days when it wasn’t safe (as in physically safe) to be out and about as themselves. Although they didn’t use these terms, they talked about how hard it’s been to battle the internalized racism, sexism, and homophobia they learned growing up in the 60’s and 70’s. They also talked about how valuable it is to have safe places where they know they are loved and accepted without question and I’m happy they count the group at the VA as such a place for them. For some, it’s the only place like this they have and when I think about how we are only able to offer them an hour a week of safety, I feel both sad and in awe that they can persist in this world with such a small measure of security.
I so wish you and the other humans of unsurpassable and intrinsic worth who are so very weary of political correctness, could step back and see how for many of us, what you find to be so very burdensome and tedious, is a literal matter of life and death.
May we all be safe to be ourselves all the time.
May we all know we deserve happiness just because we do.
May we all have healthy views of ourselves and one another.
May our lives unfold and intersect in peace and love.