I’ve been watching the news and political posts over the last months and have been thinking hard about what more *I* can do to effectuate change. For those who know me, it is no secret that I disagree with many of the policies and ways of thinking that have become the trademarks of the current administration. From the time I was a young child I have been involved with service projects helping rebuild homes to those in need and serving food in soup kitchens. As an adult, I not only donate financially to institutions that I believe will do the most good to those who need it, but I also serve on a volunteer board reviewing cases of children within the foster care system. Lately I have begun to feel that it is not enough. Last week, I sent my resume to the NJ ACLU and my local legal aid offices offering my paralegal services pro bono to assist those who have no voice navigate the legal system. It is the least I can do. And I will continue to offer my services to those in need whenever I am able.
There are those that would label me “liberal”, or my personal favorite of late, a “snowflake” based on these statements alone. Still others would tell me that I am naïve, or perhaps just inexperienced in the way the world “actually” works. So let me tell you a little bit about what I DO know.
- I was a military spouse. My now ex-husband was serving on active duty on 9/11 just outside Washington DC. Our daughter was three weeks old when the planes hit the World Trade Center. I couldn’t communicate with her father for days, didn’t know where he was or whether more terror attacks were planned. While he (thankfully) never deployed to the Middle East, he was transferred to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay for about seven months. I not only understand what it means to serve our country, but understand better than some the effects of terrorism on the Unites States.
- I hold a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice. In addition to studying core classes, I took several classes relating to Homeland Security before finishing my degree specializing in forensic psychology. Despite focusing on underlying and abnormal behaviors associated with crime, I have a very strong background on how social, economic, religious, racial and political stressors affect crime within the United States.
- For the last fifteen years, I have worked as a paralegal outside Atlantic City and have witnessed, first hand, how the past actions of President have directly and negatively impacted the economy of the county in which I reside and the livelihood of those who live here.
- I *am* privileged. I will never be rich by some standards, but I don’t live paycheck to paycheck. I never have to worry about where my next meal is coming from, or whether I will be able to provide for my children. I have worked the same job for the past decade and a half and have been treated well at that job. My health insurance is covered by my employer and I receive free legal representation because of my job. I live in a nice home, in a nice neighborhood.
And this, my friends, is exactly the reason I feel so strongly about fighting back.
The people in my life whom I hold dear come from all walks of life: they are individuals who do not share the same color of skin, religion, sexual preferences, or country of origin as I do. And I love them all for who they are. No one should have to be afraid to be who they are in jobs, in their homes, in their neighborhoods.
Let me repeat that: NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO BE AFRAID.
Unfortunately, under the current administration, there is fear. And it is up to us to stand against it.