We are at a crossroads. Who will speak up, and who will stand by and watch as the horrors loom? The recent violent events, and the horrifying comments made by the leader of the KKK about being glad that Heather Heyer was killed in Charlottesville, make it abundantly clear…The “alt-right” movement has no place in a moral discussion of our country’s future.
My son is an active duty Marine. He was deployed in Afghanistan during the last push, and he served another deployment to the Gulf area, doing his duty to protect the world from terrorist activity. He made major sacrifices in his family life, and continues to do so. Everyone in the family makes way for the mission. My son’s deep love of his country is a sustaining part of the entire spiritual life of our family, and a source of deep pride for all of us. He wears his uniform and his service with both pride and humility as a good Marine does. My heart is full as I think of what fine people he and his fellow Marines that I have met truly are. They care far more about others than they do about themselves.
Now, we are confronted with homegrown terrorists, and even worse, with a President who is utterly incapable of basic human decency in his behavior or his words. This lack of leadership in such a time is deeply tragic and dangerous for all of us.
Those who peddle racism and hate are not acceptable people, and it is truly said that “nice people, very fine people” do not associate with people who use the symbols, and chant the slogans, of those who have committed some of the most heinous crimes against humanity ever committed.
As a military mother, I have a sense of duty to my country, and a deep commitment to honoring the service of all veterans. It is tragic again when veterans turn against the very principles that made this country great and take up the uniforms of hatred, as former Marine, Dillon Hopper, has done.
I stand against all forms of tyranny. I will take every opportunity to speak out against those who dishonor our country with barbaric acts of violence, and I condemn those who excuse such behavior as being devoid of all decency and respect for humanity.
I urge everyone who loves our country to take a stand against fascism in no uncertain terms. Make sure everybody you know or meet knows that you support freedom for us all. Reach out to those who are different. Small actions during the day are what keeps a civil society strong and vibrant. Sometimes the very smallest thing you can do is actually the most important.
If you know a person who provides services or help for those who have been left out of the American Dream, thank them for it. Be a volunteer.
Thank the active duty people who are doing their duty to uphold our Constitution. Remember that they took the oath to uphold that contract, and not an individual or a party. Do the same. Defend your freedom. Every day, we must earn and take care of our freedom if we want to know that we deserve it. This is not an exaggeration. There are real Nazis on the streets today. Be brave. Be strong. Show love and compassion in every thing you do. Remember that this is a great country. Love it with all your might.
Betty Withrow is a 44-year resident of Big Sur, California, a rancher, artist, and local businessperson. She is the mother of three, and grandmother of five. She is the author of Prevail: Seven Keys to create a Personal Victory.
Betty is the owner and operator of The Writers Launchpad, providing support for authors at all stages of the creative process. www.thewriterslaunchpad.com. She is also the proud mother of an active duty Marine.