Erin's Journals

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Just a thought… When fascism come to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross. [Author unknown; often misattributed to Sinclair Lewis]

My friend, I apologize: I don’t know if I have inspiring words or comforting thoughts today. I’m just sick with anxiety as I write this.

Turning off the news – as some, including myself, have suggested at times – is not a realistic option: history is happening in real time. To our friends, our neighbours, our longtime allies and, for many of us, to our family members just a few kilometres away. In a country I can see from my window (at the risk of sounding like Tina Fey).

This is a horrible time of unrest and dissent, of protests both peaceful and violent. Of looting and lunacy. And it’s happening in a country being led by a cowardly, hateful, racist madman.

We can pray and we can hope that somehow saner heads prevail. But those people supposedly in charge had their chance during the impeachment proceedings just a few months ago. When the hearings ended, Republican Senator Susan Collins said she hoped the president had learned a lesson.

He learned it all right: he is without boundaries. Without morals. Without compassion. Without a knowledge of history or a moment of sober second thought.

Without even mentioning the criminal acts committed by some members of the policing community, he is treating his own countrymen and women as “the enemy.”

Daring to stand in the shadow of a beloved church and holding a Bible in his hand, he is cloaking his hatred for free speech and expression, peaceful demonstration and protest of the desperate state of his nation in an all-caps tweeted call for law and order.

With dog whistles as loud as the sirens in the streets, Trump is calling out his 2nd Amendment supporters: the oh-so-brave weapon-wielding protesters we witnessed outside city and state buildings, screaming about their rights to get chicken wings and haircuts, to go shopping, to be free from the safety guidelines put in place to protect them from a virus which has claimed over 100,000 American lives. They called that fascism.

I’ve said before and I’ll say again: Canada is not perfect. We can always get better. But I’ve never been so afraid as I am watching what is happening in the Divided States of America this week.

If you have words that can bring you comfort, I urge you to keep saying them. I am repeating that Serenity Prayer that I shared here yesterday. But I am also heartbroken and terrified for the good people of America. Because we share more than just a border. Today we share compassion. Love. We share our humanity and a plea to turn this into a time for change and rebirth.

Rob WhiteheadTuesday, June 2, 2020