Welcome. My name is Renee Linde. I’m a white, middle-age wife and mother, and until recently, I lived happily in my comfortable liberal bubble in beautiful Marin County, California. That all changed sometime in the early hours of November 9, 2016. Anyone who doesn’t know, or was happy with, what happened that morning, probably won’t be interested in reading any further; feel free to stop now.
Prior to November 9th, I didn’t have an activist bone in my body. I hadn’t protested, demonstrated or rallied against, or for, anything. As a student at UC Berkeley in the 1970’s, I carried a briefcase, not a backpack. I walked through campus with my thoughts focused straight ahead, rather than on the plight of others. I didn’t rail against Apartheid or demand divestment from South Africa; it just never entered my mind.
So why now? Why do I drop everything and race off when I hear that there is another protest or demonstration? Why do I redial my senators a dozen times a week? Why have I gotten on a plane at the last minute, hoping my presence at a rally in a red state might have more impact than one in San Francisco? Why am I suddenly so compelled to do something? This compulsion, this overwhelming need to resist surprises me. I’m not an immigrant or person of color. I’m past reproductive age, so no worries about choice for me. I have health insurance and regardless of how high the premiums go, I would just grimace and bear it. Finally, I’m part of the 1%. So as wrong as it is, I may actually receive a tax cut courtesy of the Republican Congress. Because goodness knows, we’ve seen how well trickle down economics works. NOT! So what do I have to protest against? EVERYTHING it turns out. The right to free speech, the promise of a quality public education, the protection of the water we drink and the air that we breath, reproductive rights, and equal rights for all of our citizens, regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation are under threat. All the things we hold dear, could be taken away or undone by 45 and his colluding Congress. All that we cherish, could be lost if we take our eye off the ball. It’s finally time for me to show up.