This article scares the bejeezus out of me. The fact that still-president Bush has first suspended the law that prevents him from stationing American military forces on American soil, and then the deployment of a brigade of 4,000 soldiers on American soil under the auspices of "crowd control"; makes my imagination run wild. It makes me wonder what they're preparing for... riots caused by the stealing of the election? riots caused by something so much more sinister that I dare not publish the thought on a public blog? Bread riots? What?
And then, I wonder what would happen to me... would I courageously participate and be imprisoned, rendered, tortured? Would I participate and fall victim to the lethal options that would be available to those performing crowd control? Or would I cower like those executing this bastardization of OUR country want me to? I don't know. I do know that I fear what would happen to me in either instance. If I participated, would I survive? Would I be held indefinitely? Would I be abused? Raped?
If I didn't participate would I run? Would I stay and try to resist whatever it is that happens next? Would I continue to cower until everything that I love no longer has meaning? Would I survive my own cowardice?
I fear these things. I fear impotence in the face of oppression. I wouldn't want to just go about my life in the event of a military coup. But the alternative seems equally frightening.
After oppressive regimes eventually topple, Nazi Germany, Pinochet's Chile, the Soviet Union, we learn about artists who resisted the regimes without getting into too much trouble because art can always have many meanings... slaves in this country developed what is one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard, gospel singing, as a means of communicating with each other without their overlords realizing they were planning their freedom, and keeping each other safe in the hope that they would one day taste that which all humans yearn for.
Art is resistance. I've been seeing a lot more graffitti lately. Resistance. If something happens and there is a military coup, resistance will crop up. Artists will take to the streets. You and I will become invisible, undetectable, but omnipresent, just as the overlords, but we are more powerful beacuse we have something they fear more: hope.
Tomorrow is Yom Kippur, the Day of Attonement. I, like millions of other Jews across the globe will be fasting, but tomorrow I will be praying, not for myself, but for my country. I will be praying that Barack Obama wins this election handily -- even though I know that will not be the end of our problems as a country -- because I have to hold onto the hope that so many of us have. With hope, with those three words that we pray will ring out from coast to coast, from sea to shining sea, "yes we can", we don't have to be afraid.
We have the power to resist fear. We have the power to save ourselves, our families, our country, and as long as there is hope in our hearts and a song from our voices those who would seek to oppress have no power over us. Ghandi said that the only power anyone has over you is the power you give them.
Let us keep our power. Let us keep our hope. Let us keep our country. Let us elect Barack Obama so that we can start on the path to rebuilding our country, our politics, and dispelling the fear that has been wrought over the past 8 years.