2019 is a time to reflect on who we are and who we want to be

2018 was long. We should be prepared for 2019 to be as long and as arduous as the year before it. 

Unlike previous years, the year felt like it dragged on, a permanent fixture with all the malice, corruption and absolute worst of humankind coming out of the woodwork to capitalize and exploit, and then run off to the shadows when their feet were put to the fire. Stories of children being separated from their parents, gassed at the border, and dying from callous disregard by border patrol ended a year that presented our ability to ignore inhumanity and injustice for the sake of our own comfort. The government shutdown and the furloughing of federal employees into the unknown for a symbol of our racism and distrust of migrants seems to be the icing on a white supremacist cake. 

Women and girls coming out of the shadows to tell stories of the abuse and harassment that they faced at the hands of powerful men were met with ridicule and mistrust, even when they had nothing to gain from speaking up and speaking out. 

Then there’s the shadow of impending climate disasters, brought on by our own greed and desire to want more, hoard more, without a care to the destruction it will bring to other forms of life, to our children and our children’s children. They will inherit this world, and they will demand answers as to why we’ve given them a proverbial dumpster fire. We have caused the extinction of species of animals; as well as deforestation and despoliation of our waters and oceans. This has led to the displacement of large numbers of people whose lands and homeshave become uninhabitable. 

Today and every day this year there will be children who have no food to eat and will be blamed for their hunger. There will be parents who cannot afford to give their children proper medical care in this country. There will be Black boys and girls being talked to about the very real threat of having to interact with police officers that doesn’t end in their deaths. There will be girls as young as 9 being ogled at by grown men because their bodies have not been, and will never be, their own. 

This is not a condemnation nor a call for throwing in the towel or waving the white flag of surrender because things cannot change. It is a call to understand and reflect on what we can do in the upcoming year to change these consequences. To change the outcomes of our destinies as we slowly but surely head into the abyss. It means using our privilege to fight an unjust system that exploits marginalized communities. It means not just marching at permit approved protests but holding elected officials accountable as new elections come into play. It means putting bodies on the line in acts of civil disobedience, even it is hard to break the conditioning that being arrested falls in line with being bad. It means laughing and solidarity between groups where has been no companionship before. It means building power from grassroots, from bottom-up. Nothing will continue to be done when we hope for changes coming from top-down.  

These are our legacies as we head into 2019. They are not pretty, they are not happy; they are the truth of what the next year will bring to us. For we cannot look to our future if we do not understand the consequences of our actions in the past.

(Photo Credit: Bored Panda)