Speak Up

I truly thought my days of writing were behind me. I still continue to write for myself however I haven’t been sharing it. When you have no one at home to discuss how your day went you either bottle it up or write it down. Bottling it turns it into a disease, I know I was there once. Bottling, or as some put it, eat your feelings just allows negativity and bitterness to fester both in yourself as well as your community. Writing is the better way to excise those demons that build up in your soul and let it fester until your loss in the darkness of despair. Having someone at home that you can share things with is the way to go. Just writing for myself is really loss of direction so you have become that person I empty my soul to at the end of the day. Thanks for that…

I have been an activist most of my life and with this newest COVID19 crisis now is not the time to go quiet. I have over forty years of fighting for change and I’m not going to sit back while a bunch of self-serving, ideology driven egos who call themselves “government” undo all of that by increasing panic on an already frightened community. I will not quietly let ideological driven individuals use this crisis to shred rights. That is not what true activism is about. Activism is for life, not for the moment.

A simple picture quoting Hubert Humphrey stating "It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of their life, the children; those who are in the twilight of their life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped" with my own caption "You can't solve a community health crisis that requires moral guidance when you have a government that is morally bankrupt"
You can’t solve a health crisis that requires moral guidance when those doing the guiding are morally bankrupt

I’m also an advocate. The biggest difference between an activist and an advocate is that an advocate is there for the moment. An advocate act as the voice for those unable to speak for themselves. Now that the the COVID19 has been labelled a pandemic people are scared, particularly the marginalized. These are the very individuals the Alberta ideologically driven government have been busy stripping supports from.

Now these individuals and the entire community are in full panic mode. Based on the phone calls I am receiving it’s a toss up if they are more frightened by the pandemic or the fear of losing the few supports they do have left. When you are dependent on a system that has been slowly stripped away under the Kenney government well fear, as Frank Herbert in his famous Dune series put it, is the “mind killer”. When your ability to control your life is dependent on a care giver arriving at your home in the morning to get you dressed, out of bed and into your wheelchair doesn’t arrive without notice panic takes over and rational thought, justifiably, goes out the window. This “social distancing” they speak of is already a life style for many of the highest risk target groups for COVID19.

As an advocate I response however minimally. Not having someone at the end of the day to unburden some of this plays into my own “social distancing”. What are the options? All of these high risk groups, the elderly, the disabled, children and marginalized individuals often suffering substance abuse, loneliness, homelessness wind up further stigmatized when you have a government that is busy dismantling healthcare, education and social programs. Now is not the time for me to stop communicating with others. How can I honestly tell people to speak out to these issues when I have silenced myself? I can NOT remain silent but I can change my approach. Enter the true power of social media.

Using social media as a tool of protest

I no longer physically participate in much protest marching but I do participate in my own way. It is time to exercise the power of social media as the constructive tool it was meant to be. Not as “click bait” in hopes of your cat being the next viral phenomenon, or as a source of meme’s distorting truth, spreading hate or building sickness. Social media is “social distancing” by design so let’s use it effectively. Thanks for listening, I’ll be back.

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