We won’t be unseen or unheard

Dear President Trump,

Your top dollar Mar-a-lago New Year’s Eve party is probably starting to hop about now. Are you donating the entrance fee to charity? How about donating to an anti-bullying campaign to support Melania’s chosen cause? If you were to make a strong gesture in the direction of stopping bullying, it would be a great way for you to start the New Year.

Laura and I spent a good part of the afternoon catching up on our charitable donations. We dutifully filed the email notifications in the “taxes” folder in our email program, though I have no idea whether we will be able to claim any of it as deductions. I don’t know whether it would have made a difference if we’d thought to question this before making the contributions. I’d like to think not, but if I’m being honest, it’s hard to be sure. This is just one of the crappy things about the new tax scheme that has me worried – if middle income people are not rewarded for making such donations AND you all shove through massive cuts (not “reforms,” not “adjustments,” not “tweaks”) to social welfare programs to pay for your wealth redistribution program you will be further enacting the genocide Julius Goat called out in his blog series earlier this year.

And who will suffer? Who will die before their time, like Erica Garner? Who will be kept on the margins fighting over scraps? This morning our pastor’s theme was “I see you.” She looked out at the congregation and called a few people by name, telling each she saw them. She made the case that our individual and collective survival depends on being seen. She called out our tendency to overlook and make invisible certain human beings because their existences are challenging or inconvenient (or both) for those in power. You all have been steadily attempting to erase many of us who don’t fit neatly in your little, stultifying box. You can pull us off the government sites and ban certain words and say we should be fired for standing up (and kneeling) for ourselves (and others), but we won’t be unseen or unheard.

We were using 2017 as a warm-up so you all had better brace yourselves. We see you and what you are trying to do. We are getting better at seeing one another. We will not be erased.

May we all be safe to be our true selves.
May we all be happy to see one another.
May we all be healthy and vigorously whole.
May we extend love and compassion to the entire human family.

Tracy Simpson

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