Hated the book, loved the title. I always felt there was something there that was important, but it took the last US election to bring it into cohesion for me. Pride and Prejudice, the first is the balance to the second, the first is the answer to the second, the cure to the disease of the second.
Today finds the US with Donald Trump as its President. I think most people are more concerned with the possibility that Trump will free the religious right and its allies in the racist white power wings to begin the open, unpunished persecution of anyone or anything that doesn’t fit their stereotype of a white Christian nuclear family. Those of mixed marriages, those of other races, those of minority religions, those of gay, lesbian, bisexual sexual identity or those who gender identify in the trans spectrum quite justly fear a Night of Broken Glass following an election so heavy in the echoes of remembered Fascism.
There is no way to tell at this juncture what a Trump Presidency will bring as far as economic, social, or legal change. What we you can see, what you can do, is control what it means to be an American in America, after the election.
I want each and every one of you to walk with pride. Man or woman, white, black, Hispanic, disabled, young, old, whatever, you walk, or roll the streets without fear, without hesitation. You walk pushing your baby, holding hands with your loved ones, you walk alone, with friends, it does not matter, but you walk with pride.
I lay this challenge before all of you. Again, white, black, Hispanic, gay, straight, man or woman; if you see anyone mocking, harassing, intimidating another of your fellow citizens for daring to walk as they are without fear, you step on them, and you do it with both metaphorical boots.
You don’t let a Trump supporter get harassed in front of you, no more do you allow a disabled person or gay couple to be harassed in front of you. NO ONE gets harassed in front of you. What kind of America do you want to live in, proud and free, or filled with hate and fear.
You want guns? Fine, have all the guns you want. No really, I have no issue with your gun stances, pro or anti. You want to have them, then how about you show me a little of that defending liberty. I don’t mean YOUR liberty; I mean everyone’s liberty. You don’t believe in guns? Fine, then you be ready to step in and show me how you are contributing to the safety and liberty of your fellow citizens through other means. You don’t think violence is the answer, I totally support any better solution you come up with, that does not involve sitting back and letting others be attacked because you prefer to avoid trouble for yourself. If you have a phone, I would suggest that classifies as a weapon as it summons rather more force than you can wield personally anyway; if you use it.
Our Canadian Prime Minister walked in the Gay Pride Parade in Vancouver, no big deal, he has marched in the parade for years with his wife. Is he gay? No. He is the son of the man who decriminalized Homosexuality in Canada, and has been putting his money where his mouth is by marching in support of gay rights since he was a student.
To be proud as a North American, Canadian or American, means to love Freedom. I don’t mean just our personal freedoms, but if we shared a common religion, I suggest the principle we revere above all others, the one we offer to when we salute our two flags is Freedom.
Freedom is founded on pride. Proud to live in a country where we can disagree on who to love, who to pray to, what political ideology best expresses our freedom and should shape our nations elected leader’s decisions and yet know that we share a love of Freedom that we will jointly defend with our lives. I may not share your beliefs, your church or your political party, but I will die before I permit them to be taken from you or used against you.
Commit to that. Commit to walking with pride as who you are, and being unwilling to permit that pride from being taken from any other, and you will have saved your nation. It is that simple.
Those who are my fellow Canadians who think this is about our poor Southern neighbors, wake up and smell the coffee. Our laws prevent the same forces from operating openly, but they are present. I am a relatively well off, well educated man strong enough to break most others like toothpicks, so I don’t have to put up with a lot of crap from anyone for those things that they disagree with me about. When I was disabled due to spinal injury I got a taste of how the other half lived, it was educational. There are lots of hate filled people here too. Give them even a suggestion that they will not be punished and see how quickly it comes back into the open.
The backlash against immigrants in Europe is not coming out of nowhere. I see some of it in our local communities here. You cannot allow women to be disrespected on our streets just because where someone comes from that is OK. They are here now, and while their attitudes were never OK, here they are also not allowed. Stop the root of the anti-immigrant backlash, you improve lives for both the immigrant community and our own.
Oddly, the heart of the anti-immigrant community are at least as prone to hate filled attacks, and often nearly as misogynistic. There is not difference between locally raised intolerance and imported intolerance. I don’t put on cultural blinders to accept one and denounce another. I permit no liberal sacred cows, prejudice is simply wrong, I don’t care how you came by it, leave it at the door or you are not welcome.
Be proud of who and what you are, but do not think this makes it OK to get angry when someone else is proud of who and what they are. Freedom and liberty are either universal or bullshit, decide which before you open your mouth.
Walk with pride, do not let anyone offer you disrespect, nor permit another to be mocked, harassed or attacked for being proud of who they are either. This is not up to a President, a Prime Minister, or any Legislature. No law grants or repeals this, either this is who you are, and what you think your country is, or you deserve only those freedoms other people choose to grant you.
Freedom is earned, and the greatness of your community comes from that freedom. Where many forms of greatnessare permitted to grow and flower, where pride has a hundred faces, freedom a thousand voices; there you will find the shared dream that is a nation.