I’m not a very good Quaker.
I’m just not. Partly it’s because I became an atheist; and partly because I firmly believe that there is a time and place for everything under the sun. I have been a constant disappointment to those who tried to instill their pacifist beliefs in me.
Well, most of those beliefs. I still believe in fairness, in equality, and work to use peace over violence whenever possible. And I sure do believe in the Quaker tradition of Shunning those who have acted poorly. In that tradition folks who act far outside of the cultural norms are told by the members that they’ll be ignored until they changed their ways. It’s quiet, effective, and pretty much unstoppable when done right. No one alive wants to feel cut off and alone. It has a centuries-old success rate for getting ‘bad actors’ to rethink what they are doing and improve their position in communities. So to those who are calling out and publicly shaming the accomplices and apologists for the Fascist Trump regime, I say “right on”.
The devil is in the details. There’s no need to use violence, in fact it’s usually counter-productive. And shouting is a form of violence. So when you see one of these bootlickers, all you need do is stand up, speak your peace, and turn your back on them. If enough folks around you do this, they’ll be gone with all due haste. They will get the message, and have no ‘ammunition’ to use against you later. You can take the moral high ground AND get them to change their ways.
We who believe that this nation is meant to be a nation of immigrants are Liberty’s Children. And while have been largely silent until recently, we vastly outnumber those who use bigotry and hatred. It is now time to stand up, speak out, and turn away from these cretins.
“All cruelty springs from weakness” – Seneca
Force is the weapon of the weak. It should be avoided. Right now Trump and his henchmen are succumbing to protests and shaming – the border separation outcry proved that. Those tactics work. Yet the day may come when, (like in World War II), these neo-Nazis will prove that they only respond to force. In my darker moments I fear that day will come in months, not years. That day may also be when all you ‘2nd Amendment’ folks will finally do what you’ve promised: stand up and defend the Republic from tyranny. Why on earth the decades long suppression of votes, the locking children in cages, and the ongoing looting of our treasury haven’t inspired you to act yet is a mystery to me, but we’ll save that discussion for another day.
Get up, stand up, vote.