December 4

Today, December 4, a crack in the impending dark tunnel. A (temporary) reprieve from doom. A much-need signal that hope and resistance can pay off.

News recently broke that the long-standing peaceful protests in North Dakota have made a difference. The permit for the pipeline in its intended route through sacred sites and water sources for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe has been denied.

I’m elated. But look at how much this took. Look at how much this has taken under a liberal president. How much it has cost. People have sacrificed their comfort, their health. They’ve abandoned jobs and taken leave of loved ones to make a stand. This success comes after months of dedicated physical resistance, emotional trauma, and the donation of dollars and supplies from around the world.

To think of how much harder this is going to get is daunting. Vigilance will be required. We have to protect each other and it is going to cost us. It’s going to cost us to win and it will cost us even more when we don’t.

This is the biggest take away I have had from our election. Starting in January, no one is going to show up and be the Good Guy at the eleventh hour. And the truth is, we should never have been counting on a last-minute savior. This is our responsibility. We will have to show our teeth and use our nails to get things to be what we want them to be.

There’s nothing more important. This is all the things we love rolled together. This is about people. The environment. Justice. Equality. Treating people right here at home and abroad.

Minorities have been fighting for decades for their rights. We know that equal rights are not guaranteed, even when a government document says that they are. A lot of us, myself included, have been coasting. Those days are done. We can’t just do our individual part by showing up to vote at each election anymore. We are going to have to create our own, tireless momentum. Not just for four years, either. Policies and appointments often outlast their implementers.

We need to do our research. Connect with those who are not like us. Read memoirs. Check facts. Seek experts. Reach out to those who have been on the frontlines or lived an experience. It is a lot of information to absorb. Lead with kindness. This work is required for us to make our own progress.

Written by Erin C.P.


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