And while I believe “RESIST" served well as a soundbite to rally people and motivate millions to turn post-election emotion into action, I can't help but wonder whether it now may undermine the effectiveness of those of us truly committed to protecting people, the planet, and American democracy.
That two syllable, single word, written in all caps (today’s digital equivalent of shouting) is too easily heard (or dismissed) as rejection of everything and/or everyone who voted for the current president, stands to the right of center, or simply is not standing under the banner themselves.
I think we’d be well served to get more specific about what we resist, AND about what we value, support, and believe.
I suspect regardless of your own positions and beliefs, some who you have labeled ‘them’ actually agree more than disagree with much of what you are for and against.
Maybe that's not the case, but getting explicit helps us find out.
So one night, I sat down and wrote out what I, Jill L Ross, resist.
Then I wrote out what I seek to protect, what I value, and what I believe apropos of our country.
It was a good and clarifying exercise.
I turned my words into the flag below. This flag, like a mission statement, helps me keep focus when it can feel as though I’m treading water in a raging sea. This flag marks the shore toward which I am committed to swimming.
I am not resisting everyone who doesn’t see the world, our country, democracy, or people as I see them; I am not resisting everything proposed or supported by any specific person or people, because of who proposed or supports them.
I don't know that this helps, but at least now, instead of the a soundbite, I have my flag. I can't insist anyone read it, but I can wave it and I can wear it and I can RESIST soundbites that stop the very conversations I deeply believe we need to have. We have to use our words!