“AMERICA FIRST” — Huh?
I was one of the millions of marchers yesterday. I drafted the sign above on a bench in Union Station, New Haven, CT while we waited for the next train to New York.
A man on the bench across from me waited till I finished the red-and-blue flag, then gave a smile and thumbs up.
On the streets in NYC so many people, so many signs. Our signs invited us to talk to each other.
An Ecuadorean worker emerging from a construction site on 47th Street stopped to read my sign, then reached out his hand when I told him I had lived in the Andes.
When we went into the 53rd Street Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee and a pee break, the wrinkled woman cleaning the ladies’ room chatted. She held her mop, told me she was from Oaxaca, Mexico, then looked sad when I told her about the assassination this week of another indigenous environmental activist in her home province.
The athletic-looking man carrying a large sign, “I am gay and in the U.S.Military” paused on the corner of 55th Street to oblige people who wanted his image. He saw my sign, read it, and spontaneously gave me an all-embracing hug.
“This is democracy in action.” The streets reverberated with the roar.
Maybe we needed the events of these past months to blow the lid off. It’s not just now, not just us. The results of centuries of injustice, of measured and calculated insanity that established one group over another group are now blazingly clear.
Now is the time. Not just for “America First” or my own individual cause. This is bigger than any of us.
What can you do today — what can I do — to walk and act with compassion? with clarity? May we all walk humbly, but/and with determination in these days ahead.
For a short way to re-connect with “the big picture,” watch the 60-second 1-Stone Meditation that Thich Nhat Hanh taught me in 1988.
Another blog tomorrow. I’ll write about how Anne DiNoia, Boz Scaggs, and Justin Williams are connected with this.
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