This started out as a quick post for Facebook and kind of took on a life of it’s own through stream of consciousness combined with a bit of autobiography. I don’t tend to ‘get political’ in my blog; but, if this isn’t the time for it, there never will be.
Since I was a child I have been a Democrat; I started truly following politics when Dukakis ran against the senior Bush in 1988. We went to rallies and fund raising events and I became heavily involved with young Democrats groups in our rural area. It was not an easy time for me due to living in a heavily Republican area, even though the local newspaper was, and is, The Daily Union Democrat (aka: The DUD). I was surrounded by narrow minded conservatives who cared for nothing but themselves and the green pieces of paper in their pockets. I knew things had to change, so I did what any twelve-year-old kid would do, I studied, and once I discovered the things we were doing to our planet, I had a nervous breakdown, as much of one as a pre-teen could have, more like a series of panic attacks. I was medicated and a hot mess but it didn’t stop me. I continued to fight where I could but was still met with opposition, even from those that were supposed to be seeing to my education.
The hole in the ozone layer was a big deal to me and I sought out to stop the use of CFC’s in my school. The ban had just gone into effect but was slow to be enforced. As it turned out, one of the chalkboard cleaning sprays use was an aerosol can with a simple industrial label on it identifying what it was to be used for. Being who I was, I asked to see the MSDS (Materials Safety Data Sheet, and yes, even at twelve I knew what that was) for it with the plans of ask the school to stop using the product if it contained CFC’s. Two days later the school principle brought said MSDS to the classroom and pulled me up in front of the class to “commend” me for being proactive, although it was unnecessary since the chalk board cleaner did not contain CFC’s. The man did not like me because of the way that my mother had taken strong positions against him in the past, going so far as to go before the county schools board on several occasions. He wasn’t about to like me anymore.
As he handed me the MSDS to look over, practically patting my head, I immediately glanced down the sheet to the ingredients section and felt a wave of victory come over me. You see, he was looking more for something to take my political activism down a notch and had just failed. With a great big grin, I asked if he know what CFC stood for and he didn’t respond for a few seconds when I blurted out chlorofluorocarbon, which was right there on the list. The Mexican made industrial chalkboard cleaner contained CFC’s a chemical known to deplete the ozone layer.
I had a renewed sense of vigor towards saving the planet after that. I would become a politician and make the world a better place; however, life had other plans. That summer both my mother and I got extremely sick with an immunological condition that still affects me. Today I am much better and can lead a normal life, but back then the doctors couldn’t even figure out what exactly was going on. I spent the next school year on home study, I had my good days and bad days. Most days the fatigue and other symptoms made it hard for me to even concentrate. For those reasons, my life went a different direction, I took to digital activism after years of struggling to find another way to get my voice heard and my opinions out there. I have watched the Internet grow from text based information repositories similar to old style BBS’s the graphical powerhouse that it is today
Social media, blogs and vlogs have become a great asset; allowing myself and countless others a platform on which we can stand, or sit as the case may be, and reach a multitude other people. We are not censored or oppressed and can say what we want. We can find all the information about any topic we want to discuss within seconds, say what we want about it and have an open discussion about the topics that affect our daily lives. To quote Loyd Blankenship: “This is our world now… the world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud.”.
There are those in the government today that would take these rights from us and destroy our freedoms to express ourselves with the written or the spoken word. No one should be silenced, not even the bigoted racist xenophobic isolationists that currently have a strangle hold on the U.S government, NO ONE.
Now, there are those of you out there that are tired of the political posts flooding your new feeds as of late and to you I say this: Take that anger and direct it towards something more useful than looking at pictures and videos of kittens and puppies or other cute furry animals. Don’t bury your head in the sand by unfollowing or unfriending those that are furious about the direction our society is heading. Crawl out of your little bubble and stand with us, because this fight is for the freedoms and rights of all people on the planet. We are not just fighting for ourselves but for you and for the future.