Former president John F. Kennedy made the following statement in his inaugural address. He was far ahead of his time. “Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans …”
That new generation included me, as I mobilized in my college years to take a stand in the Civil Rights Movement. In an odd twist, when I was still teaching school in Tucson, Arizona, I told my students that I had marched in the streets of Chicago behind Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the Sixties–and they didn’t believe me. For children of the new century, it was like telling them that I had survived from ancient history. And it has been some fifty years now, to be sure, since that day.
Later I took part in the movement to put an end to the war in Viet Nam. And today I have been privileged to witness the courage and determination of a new generation of protestors who will not consent to naked discrimination and persecution in our country. The torch has been passed. I lived to see it. I lived through the years when the “hippies” went from idyllic frolicks with their drugs to activism in the streets for the sake of innocents on the other side of the world.
Over the weekend I was overcome with gratitude and respect for those who got into the streets and airports of this country to stand up for other innocents–those who actually live here legally but have been targeted by the illegitimate Trump administration. Trump wants Iraq’s oil, and he is gearing up for a war to get it. Soon it may be time for men and women to resist military service, and I am glad there is no draft today to compel them to serve.
On the factual side of this scenario, it is being pointed out that America does not need oil from the Middle East. But that is of no consequence to those who are still thinking in terms of Cold War. Good on the Jewish man who stood up at an airport to tell the protestors about his family members that died in the Holocaust. Thanks to the Middle Eastern man who stood up to tell the story of his tortuous journey across the world and through the refugee process to find a safe haven for himself and his family.
Who will be the one to step forward and start putting people of the Muslim faith in internment camps? Donald Trump and his administration, that’s who! It was reported over the weekend that the non-president has ordered the construction of camps. What a;nd whon are they for? Will they be equipped with execution facilities? Who is going to find out and let us know? We must see that George Takei does not live to see another generation and faith locked up the way he was.
It is not enough that a new generation of heroes is stepping up to the struggle. You never know the hour of doom has arrived until it has passed over and you are left to deal with the aftermath. So now is the time to realize that we are indeed here, at the very hour of doom, and it is up to us to resist. Now is not the time for kindly liberals to wring their hands and pray for their opposite fascists. It is time to stand up, to get into the streets, to care for your family and neighbors who are being devastated in this social collapse.
I wrote about this in previous articles. Now is the time. Now.