I wrote and delivered the following manifesto for the #WritersResist event at Avid Bookshop.  I also read it at the Athens, GA Women’s March.  We must speak out.

 

Manifesto 2017

We are gathered here because we dream. Like many of you, I grew up believing in this dream.  I grew up believing in the dream of an America founded 12 score and five years ago as a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all are created equal.

Like many of you, I grew up to realize that this dream of the America which I loved was flawed.  I grew up to recognize that my America was stolen from indigenous people, that my America’s wealth was built upon the backs of those brought here in chains.  I grew up to understand that in my America all men were not created equal, that in my America, women were viewed as property, that in my America those who practiced homosexuality were persecuted, that in my America, a country founded on the idea of religious freedom, the only religion respected is Judeo Christian.

I, like so many of you here, have dedicated my adulthood to creating my vision of America, an America of tolerance.  I, like so many of you, have striven just by being and living and working and doing, to create an America where all people are equal, one where black lives matter, to create an America where immigrants and refugees are welcome, an America where those with disabilities are respected, an America where women can take ownership over their bodies, an America where diversity and inclusiveness are celebrated, one where our people and our planet are valued over profit.

This view of America is being challenged.  And I am here to remind you, we are all here to remind each other, that we need to fight back in whatever way possible to protect the America that we love, even when others would chide us to imprison ourselves by not speaking out.

We need to speak out- we must speak out now against injustice and repression- for the sake of those of those not yet born, for the children here now, for my son.  We need to speak out- we the living must be dedicated to exercising our privilege, no matter what it may be, and speak out against fascism and tyranny, no matter the risk.  It is only by speaking out and committing ourselves to the fight that we may ensure that our nation will rise and thrive and have a new birth of freedom, that our government of the people, by the people and for  the people shall not perish.

We must speak out now to protect our vision of America. We must speak out to protect our way of life.  We must speak out to protect our water, our land, our air, and our planet.

I thank you all now for speaking up and joining me in this fight.