In a time like this, I imagine what it would be like to find a firsthand account written by my great-grandfathers or great-great-aunts about periods that transformed our country. What would I learn by reading their raw, day-to-day narrative of how they processed their culture?
What did my great-uncle think as President Franklin Roosevelt authorized the physical removal of all Japanese Americans into internment camps in 1942? What did my great-great-grandmother think in 1921 when she heard that white mobs in Tulsa killed scores of black people in a riot that left part of the city burned to the ground? Did she allow herself to have an opinion about Woodrow Wilson in the election of 1916, even though she, as a woman, couldn’t vote?
If you’re reading this decades after the disastrous presidential election of 2016, I want to show you the way it was, as I saw it, as we entered into a reality that transformed us.
I have the privilege of having lived in many different places in the first 33 years of my life. I was born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma. As an adult I’ve lived and worked in Missouri, Kentucky, Cambodia and now Seattle where I rent a small apartment with my boyfriend in the rapidly changing Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Because of where I’ve lived, my perspective allows me to see, and begin to understand, several sides of the great divides in our country. I could ruminate about the reasons someone may have voted for a Trump administration. I could show my attempts at empathy for them, even though they voted against me and the people I love. But, we’re out of time. Trump takes office in 17 days, divided as we are.
I’m in one of the best places in the country to learn how to resist—Seattle. Most of the popular resistance to Trump is located in cities. Seattle in particular has city government leaders who are vowing to block Trump orders that would hurt minorities or immigrants. Some who are monitoring this process are calling us a “Rebel City”. I’ve used that term in the title of this site not because I think Seattle is a social justice utopia, it’s far from it. I use the term because I hope we, as the people of this city, strive to be a beacon of resistance for the rest of the country.
I am deeply inspired as I witness the passion of my neighbors to organize and fight for what we love. This website will be an account of my journey as I learn to become an activist and resist this Republican administration. By sharing my journey, I hope you know I tried my best to create something better for you.
January 3, 2017