I’ll admit it, I was scared to go to the Free Speech Rally yesterday in Boston. I was, like scared, bordering on terrified (I know–what a wimp). I woke up with a pit of unsettled doom in my stomach–butterflies doing the death march.
My kids thought it was too dangerous for me to attend, so there was no support there. I kept making jokes about having my sister and daughter fight over my jewelry and clothes if I didn’t come back. My husband hopped on the “don’t go” bandwagon too, but I figured he was thinking about the potential of not having to get me a 30th anniversary gift next month.
I was scared to go stand in the middle of a large crowd that could possibly turn violent, but the truth is, I was more scared not to.
I am half Jewish. I am half Italian. I am a woman. I am a mom. I am a liberal Democrat. I am a human being. I believe in everybody until they give me a reason not to. I was raised to be fair, to take care of the underdog, to live by the golden rule. I would not mind having less, to give everybody some. I believe fervently in love, in equality, in marrying and/or committing to whoever the hell you want.
And I believe that you stand up and speak out when inequality and hate begins to permeate the air, no matter how scared you are. And make no mistake, it is polluting our country right now.
So, yeah, I was feeling a lot of fear, and would have preferred not to drag my privileged white old lady ass to the middle of a potentially deadly rally yesterday and instead sit myself down at the nail salon for a nice mani and pedi, and accompanying massage, but I persisted (not that I should get any kind of medal for this, but just sharing my little story). BECAUSE IF NOT ME, WHO? AND IF NOT NOW, WHEN? AND IF WE DON’T STAND UP AND BE COUNTED AT THIS MOMENT, WE WILL SHIFT INTO REVERSE LIKE FUCKING MARTY MCFLY IN BACK TO THE FUTURE.
Anywho, I had nothing to be afraid of. The rally was incredibly peaceful, the Boston Police were out in force and keeping it all orderly. Governor Charlie Baker, Mayor Marty Walsh and Police Commish William Evans, were in alignment and had on their leadership hats (and I thank them profusely). The people I met and interacted with were there to say no to Nazis and white supremacists, and not to make trouble. I witnessed no violence whatsoever, and even saw a bevy of BP quietly walk over to a man, check his pockets, find a knife and silently handcuff him and walk him out of the proceedings without incident.
The crowd was a mixture of race, gender, age and sexual orientation. I even saw a few dogs. The signage was epic.
I will keep attending these rallies, no matter how terrified they make me, keep yelling and writing and tweeting and posting and screaming until I don’t have a voice. Because I believe as flawed as we are, we are better than our president and our administration. I believe it’s our responsibility to help one another get through this time that’s unprecedented in modern history.
Gratitude for the peaceful assembly of my city. Gratitude to my friend Jocelyn. Gratitude for all those who will not sit quietly. Peace.