In this political climate, how do we navigate? How do we speak out and yet keep our careers? How do we communicate and keep our friends or family? How do we say what we feel without sounding desperate? Or do we just let some or all of it go?
I have certainly let some of it go. I do not care if I sound desperate or heartbroken or infuriated: I am all of those things. I also let friends and family go. I truly believe this country is at a crossroads and in some things there can no longer be a friendly agreement to disagree. To me this is a war, and lines must be drawn. Unfortunately, because I will not be silenced but I have a career which I love and in which I make a difference, I have picked up an anonymous identity. It galls me to no end, but I think it is the country in which we live.
I empathize with those jumping ship. If I were younger and lacked responsilities here, I would happily join the ranks of other expatriates this very day. The fact is that I have been on this planet and in this country long enough to be culpable for some of the things going on here. I am guilty of keeping silent and losing myself to frivolity in my youth. I am guilty of abandoning the ugly place I grew up, planting myself somewhere better for me, and pretending things everywhere were better and that I must have colored things too darkly in my childhood. I am responsible for future generations: it is immature and selfish for me to run away.
So here I am, taking up my pen again. I will not be silenced, even if it means choosing sides, tallying loses, and wrapping some anonymity around me. Please follow me. Do not go quietly. Those who stand by and say nothing in the face of inequality and environmental destruction are every bit as culpable as those who support it. We can save humanity or we can go extinct.