Tag Archives: mother

Politicizing the Moment

I made cookie dough tonight. It has to be refrigerated for 24 hours before baking, so it had to be tonight even though it’s the last thing I actually wanted to do. What I want to do is have a meaningful dialog about gun control. I’m sorry, but how many more 5 -year-olds need to be murdered by an assault rifle in their kindergarten classroom 11 days before Christmas before we do something. For fuck’s sake.

Over of Facebook, I’m being implored by my friends not to politicize the moment and simply hug my own child a little tighter tonight. Perhaps they are sincerely trying to focus on what matters. Or maybe, their own political agendas — the ones that favor easy access to human-killing machinery — are better served by letting this blow over a little. Either way, not this time time!

When 14-year-old  Emmet Till was brutally savagely murdered in Mississippi for flirting with a white woman, the moment was too big to ignore. Political action is difficult and our daily lives — things like baking cookie’s for your husband’s team at work — prevent us from doing what we know is right. But sometimes, tonight maybe, something happens that reminds you that the country you’re living in must change.

These jolts have happened throughout our nation’s history. They shake us awake and make political action not just necessary, but inescapable. Suddenly, putting your child to bed at exactly 8:30 PM isn’t so important because you have a blog post that has to be written. Or a meeting to organize. Or a PAC to fund.

As a mother of a soon-to-be-5-year-old, I could not empathize more with the parents who lost their precious little babies today. Their loss could have been my loss. I could be looking at presents under my Christmas tree for a child who would never open them and feeling like my world was crumbling.  I wouldn’t be thinking about gun control because it would be too late for it to matter for me. In a few months or more, I’d probably want to prevent my sorrow from ever being another mother’s sorrow.

But it didn’t happen to me. I don’t have to wait for grieving to end before I take action. I have my beautiful son and all the will in the world to keep him safe. And there are mothers and fathers all over the country who feel the same. In this moment, we have a duty to take action.

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