If any of you know me in real life you may or may not know that my entire family (as far as I am aware) is conservative – some even blindly so. As agonizingly progressive as I am this makes family events a very delicate thing. My mother and I cannot even broach a political topic lest we begin yelling at each other, so such things are better left alone. However, my father and I can have a civilized conversation (even though he is wrong. =) ) but even that is not allowed by my mother. =( And talking with my father is one of the very few people I actually have a chance to discuss politics with.
I usually try to leave my mother’s conservative memes on Facebook alone, but sometimes, as a progressive, a veteran, and a father they are just too much, and she does not even post that much.
I. The Offending Meme
Last week’s meme from my mother was about stomping on the flag as offending and disrespecting veterans. I have already covered a related idea in another blog post: If you don’t stand for the special song, the magical sky-cloth won’t freedom!, so a link to that post that was pretty much my response.
However this week’s offending meme was this gem:
Of course, the first thing I noticed was the complete lack of punctuation which drives me nuts, but such errors are par for the course for conservative memes. However, the spelling was spot on! Yea!
I can’t even. I was so livid after posting my response that I had to write this down in a blog post for my own good! Arrrggghhh!!!
Rage post much? Rarely.
Perhaps, I need to do it more?
I don’t know! Probably not.
The below is a modified and expanded version of my response, modified to be more appropriate for my blog and modified for a much broader audience. Yes, unlike most of my posts, my tone here is snarky and pissy, so please forgive me. I did try to tone it down a bit though for my blog.
II. Open Letter to Conservatives Who Think Progressives Should Just GTFO If They Don’t Like It!
The very thought that anyone would say to someone “If you don’t like it then you can move out of the United States!” fills me with rage. This reeks of blind loyalty, nationalism, and patriotism all of which are symptoms of Humanity’s Terminal Disease – The Disease of Separation. Such thoughts are incredibly short-sighted, ignorant, completely irrational, dismissive, dehumanizing, unAmerican, and are beyond harmful to a society and to Humanity at large.
A. The US was Founded on Protest and Revolution
Everyone who does not like what the reigning corporate regime (British, Republican, Democrat) is doing should just pack up and leave the country is about as unAmerican as it gets. The entire foundation of the United States was built on revolution which means, strangely: people not liking what is going in government on and telling the establishment to go fuck themselves, and then doing something about it.
Here are some examples of revolution and protests in case your US History is a little rusty:
- Revolutionary War – which was the very foundation of our country
- Civil War – against slavery
- Labor Movement – against the corporate abuses and exploitation of unbridled capitalism
- Women’s Suffrage Movement – for women being able to vote
- 60’s Anti-War protests – against the Vietnam War
- Civil Rights Movement – against segregation and racism
… and so very, very many more.
B. The Constitution Protects Our Right to Protest
Not only that, but even the First Amendment to the US Constitution,one of those sacred American documents, specifically not only protects our right to protest, but it also protects a Free Press too, both of which are vital to democracy, change, protest, and revolution, and for all Americans to have their voices heard. I thought that perhaps that document was sacred to you and that it should be revered and found sacred just like the American flag?
Here is the First Amendment in case you need a refresher with the pertinent parts bolded:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.First Amendment to the US Constitution
C. Protest and Revolution is the Language of Progress and of the Unheard
If Americans actually followed this ignorant meme that would mean that:
- the US would still be a colony of the Great Britain
- women would not have the right to vote
- women would still be considered chattel property of their husbands
- our children would have spent their entire childhood working in factories for 12 hours (or more) a day until they died
- slavery would still be legal
… and so, so much more.
I am assuming you like child labor laws, right? I am assuming you like the fact that women are not considered a man’s property and that women can finally vote, right? I am assuming you like that slavery has ended, right? I am assuming you like 8 hour work days, sick days, and vacation days, right? I am assuming you like clean water and air, right?
None of that would have been fixed if those people who disagreed with those corrupt and corporate assholes that controlled our country had just left. If people just rolled over and did nothing about the atrocities that happen when people just sit back and allow innocent people to be harmed and exploited then there would be no freedom in this country (or any in country for that matter).
Here is a great quote by Fredrick Douglass that really sums it up:
The struggle may be a moral one or it may be a physical one, or it may both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will. Find out just what a people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.Fredrick Douglass (This excerpt is from an address on West India Emancipation, delivered August 4, 1857) (Herb, Social History for Every Classroom)
Here is one of the very powerful quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. talking about this very thing:
But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear?Martin Luther King Jr. ( “The Other America”, Grosse Pointe High School in March 14, 1968)
D. Spitting in the Face of Those who Sacrificed Their Lives for our Freedom
Every person who shares this meme or who even thinks this very ignorant meme spits upon the graves of those who died to bring us those changes, those who were brave enough to stand up to oppression, tyranny, and exploitation, those who chose to NOT just leave the country and who chose to fight and to have their voices heard and to defend those who may not have a voice. These are the people whose sacrifice you spit upon:
- Every single person considered our founding fathers who fought for the Revolution:
- George Washington
- Thomas Jefferson
- Thomas Paine
- James Madison
- …and so many more
- The 231,000 colonist and citizen soldiers who died fighting for the colonies independence in the Revolutionary War.
- The 620,000 who died in the Civil War who died to end slavery
- all of the suffragettes who died so women could vote
- every member of the Labor Movement which brought us minimum wage, vacation time, sick time, the weekend, and workplace safety laws
You shame their legacy of protest and fighting for what is right. You shame their sacrifice and their willingness to suffer so you can have a better life.
E. The Christian Hypocrisy of This Meme
Not only is this meme completely unAmerican and unpatriotic, but it is also unChristian too. Jesus was a revolutionary who stood up to a government and church who were callous, corrupt, tyrannical, and completely lacking in compassion and Humanity. He consorted with the least of society such as tax collectors, prostitutes, refugees, the sick, and the impoverished. He also gathered with other revolutionaries who he trained to spread the revolutionary word, so that change and justice could be brought to the benefit of all. He, like so many revolutionaries and activists, paid the ultimate price for his compassion and conviction to protest for change and for a better world. He was killed for it.
He did not just shut his face and leave. He did not tell his followers to be silent and get the fuck out. He stood up and gave a voice to the exploited and the oppressed. He protested. He fomented a social and values based revolution. Imagine how different the world would be if Jesus would have just shut up, put his head down, and moved out from the Roman Empire to live to the end of his days as a carpenter.
F. Why Are You Still Here?
When Clinton and Obama were presidents you (as a conservative) disagreed with both and you were hating on both, right? I am assuming you were OK with being told that same basic phrase “If you do not like what the president is doing then you should leave?“, right? Perhaps you should have followed your own advice during their terms and moved out of the country? It’s only fair. Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself, right? Why are you still here in the US? I am sooo confused!!!!!!!!! Hypocrisy much?
It is an easy thing to say when your people are in charge, but it is harder to swallow when you are on the receiving end of such ignorance when the tables are turned.
G. You Support Immigration then?
I found this great meme which points out another amazing side to this phrase and ignorance:
Yes, if you think people should leave their home country where they do not agree with the government’s policies, then you should also be OK in accepting those immigrants who are doing just that too. That goes both ways. People who want to leave must go somewhere and it will be to another country.
The many refugees from South and Central American are fleeing from their countries which have been destroyed by US and Western imperialistic and colonial policies and coups. Guess where they are going? North to the USA where all of those stolen sovereign resources have been taken to.
H. On Being a Called Whiner
About a week later I was at my parent’s house and my mother insinuated I was whining by having responded to her post. I let it slide since it was passive aggressive and subtle, and I did not not want a fight that moment because it was not worth it, and I also had my daughter there at the time. There is a time and a place for everything. This was neither.
However, the irony and hypocrisy her calling us whiners is astounding when the post itself is whining about those who criticize the president. This meme is akin to the Leave Britney alone video from like a decade ago. When I see this meme this how I picture these Trump supporters:
I. The Worst Part of This Meme?
You know what the worst part is of this whole meme is since, within this context, it originated from my mother? My parents raised me to be better, much better, than that meme. She raised me to be compassionate, understanding, inclusive, open minded, and protective of others. This meme is an affront to everything my parents taught me as a child.
There is nothing more American than engaging in protests and revolution! Fighting for the rights of the poor and oppressed, and fighting against the corruption, the callousness, and the mercilessness of the rich and corporations is the only way progress is made not only here in the United States, but everywhere in the world. Leaving and running away isn’t the American way, it is not the Christian way, hell it is not even the Human way. Standing up and fighting the good fight – that is the American way, that is what it means to be Human. This very meme denies our very Humanity, our empathy, and our compassion, and strikes at the very heart of what it is to be an American.
I do NOT agree with that loofah-faced shit-gibbon Cheeto-thing (Trump) that is occupying the position of American President.
I do NOT agree with those corporate whores in the Democratic Party who, in 2016, sold out the American people for profit by engaging in electoral fraud, voter suppression, money laundering and collusion which resulted in that thing being allowed into the highest office.
Revolution and protest is the only truly American and Christian thing to do when we do not agree with government corruption and when the government passes policies that harms innocent and politically disempowered people.
We can do better.
We must do better.
My daughter deserves better, much better, and so does very single person in the world.
Humanity deserves better.
If you want to see policies which are the antithesis of this horrifically ignorant meme you can check out my overall policies here: Interstellar New Deal.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.Edmund Burke
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.Martin Luther King, Jr.