By Jack Gilroy
“It is what it is.” Is this recent statement from the POTUS stoical or contemptible? We need to decide come November 3, 2020.
Having disbanded the national infectious disease preparedness board before the pandemic occurred and having dismissed the current anti-racist protesters as thugs and anarchists, were these merely uninformed actions or were they a pattern of his sowing country- wide discord? We need to decide come November 3, 2020.
Voicing dissent may be in the DNA of members of Broome County Peace Action and Veterans for Peace. We work hard to end injustices. We urge people to vote, and we vote ourselves. In any case, our individual and organizational activism begs the question: What concrete societal benefits come from our efforts?
It’s a fair enough question, but often impossible to answer. Usually we really don’t know what specific good we create. Most often, like educators, there is a time lag between our actions and their effects, if there is an effect at all. We could just sit in comfort and complain, but something moves us not to accept the status quo. Meanwhile our Electoral College-anointed President seems reconciled to the situation: “It is what it is.”
Members of Peace Action and Veterans for Peace ask, why is it, what it is?
We believe that injustice occurs because many good people find it more comfortable to ignore injustice than to try to stop it. We understand that some have neither the time, health nor money to spend on activism. However, for those who can, if enough people would commit to doing more than just vote, real change will happen. It starts with you.
Our PA/VFP mandate is to inform the ill-informed while we energize ourselves to not abandon our mission. The community-at-large has opportunities to advocate for justice (at the dinner table, at work, in church, in the classroom, at sports events and in the streets). If all we do is vote, our personal and national condition will remain scary, at the very minimum.
We need to find the courage to teach peace and social justice. Mary Harris (Mother Jones) and Dorothy Day, two activist icons of the 20th century, stood by the dictum: “Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”
Come November 3rd, we need to comfort the good people of our nation crying out for justice by afflicting a resounding defeat of our callous, self-serving representatives in government, starting with the POTUS.