Dangerous Times

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Dubsie holds a sign we found at the site of yesterday’s rally.

I wish this blog post was another meditation my adorable three-year-old daughter and the things she says and does. But I have to turn my attention instead to Donald Trump, who represents a very real danger to Dubsie’s future.

Dubsie is big and boisterous and smart — she just wrote her name for the first time — and I want to spend every spare moment soaking in her instead of in politics. She’s growing so fast that when I carry her up the stairs now, she can rest her feet comfortably on my thighs, like we’re two gym rats doing Stairmasters in tandem. Growing so fast that, this morning when she slept between me and my wife, her foot poked out and I mistook it for her mother’s.

You see, the problem I’m dealing with is that Dubsie’s skin is brown, or caramel anyway. Her mother is of Indian descent. We are card-carrying, flag-flying members the multicultural brigade. We celebrate Christmas alongside Diwali, and I speak exclusively Spanish to Dubsie, even though it’s not my native language, because language is a window into another world, and I want her to experience a diversity of worlds.

Yesterday president-elect Trump made his very first senior-level appointments and it became clear that diversity is not among his values. He has appointed Steve Bannon as his chief strategist and senior counselor. Bannon was the executive chairman of Breitbart, a right-wing news site that during the election fanned the flames of Trump more than anybody. Breitbart tells Black Lives Matter protesters that they should sit down and shut up, and says that if women don’t like being harassed online, they should just log off.

Yesterday we attended Dubsie’s first protest rally.

We live near Cal Anderson Park, right in the middle of Capitol Hill in Seattle, and on a wet and cloudy Sunday afternoon a lot of people had gathered there. The park was crowded but a strangely silent. Some were carrying signs but there was no cheering, no one yelling into a microphone, no one chanting. The central pond has been drained for maintenance, and in and around it stood about a thousand people. They were black and white and brown, gay and straight, men and women, some holding signs and some talking in small groups. A thousand people had taken time out of their busy Sunday afternoons to stand in a park in the rain.

The rally was leaderless. Occasionally someone would try to lead a song. A few people mumbled along with ‘We Shall Overcome’ and  ‘This Land is Your Land’  but it was clear that this is a generation that isn’t used to raising its voice. One lead singer, an older guy in horn-rimmed glasses and a scarf, stumbled through a verse of ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’ before singing and I don’t know the words… which made everyone laugh.

After going home we caught Trump’s interview on 60 Minutes, which was his first real sit-down since the election. It teased some clarity from his usual muddle of contradictory statements. He really does intend to round up and deport 2 to 3 million illegal immigrants from Latin America, and he actually intends to build a wall with Mexico. Turns out he wasn’t kidding; he wasn’t saying some outrageous thing in order to curry votes. He has made it clear that his top priority is building a giant, multibillion-dollar wall to keep brown people out. Dubsie and her mother aren’t Mexican, but it’s nonetheless feeling like a dangerous time to be brown.

Dubsie and I will be attending  protest rallies in the coming weeks, and I hope you will be as well. I created this blog to document Dubie’s life so when she’s older she can look back at these posts and know her childhood. Right now it’s most important that we ensure that the United States of America remains a country where she feels welcome.

 

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2 comments to Dangerous Times

  • David, this is sad to read. I , too, worry that Trump’s election will embolden bigots of all kinds. I was glad to read that he condemned such behavior on 60 Minutes. I hope he continues to do so, as warranted. These are indeed dangerous times but I hope and pray that America will remain a country that welcomes all. This has been the source of our strength.

  • davidferris

    Thanks for the comment, Marc. As a journalist trained to be impartial and above the fray, it’s difficult to venture into the world of protests. But I can’t sit back on this issue.

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