“I am someone’s daughter, too.” But first and foremost, I am a human being!
Last week I posted the above link to the short video of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s full response to Rep. Ted Yoho, which response I thought was a brilliantly crafted, measured response to some ugly invective hurled at her by him, a fellow Congressional representative. My comment as a title for my post stated simply, “AOC is dangerous; to all elected relics still clinging to a past that should have been long since gone; way long ago”. I was quite surprised at some of the comments that I received, typical of which were some from my white liberal contemporaries which went something like, ”Mike, I think AOC is dangerous…period. She is a petulant child who think she knows more than she does. Though much brighter than Trump, she displays many of his personality traits. She certainly should not be the face of the Democratic party … See More
My response was as follows: John (not his real name), I am not advocating that she be the face of the Democratic party, although they could do worse. She is young, somewhat new at politics, and perhaps she should be forgiven for some of the errors in judgment of youth. However, her speech on the topic at hand (let us say decency), was firmly on point, measured in tone, and quite frankly artfully constructed so as to be devoid of meanness or ugliness. Her words were, “This issue is not about one incident. It is cultural. It is a culture of lack of impunity, of accepting violence and violent language against women and an entire structure of power that supports that.” Mr. Yoho did, in fact, refer to her, a United States Congresswoman, publicly on the Capitol steps in earshot of reporters, in a typically entitled white male sort of way, as a f — -ing bitch.
Her response and her lesson were simple but powerful, and they both really need to be understood by the relics to whom I refer, and to these same relics for whom her message (I suspect) may also seem dangerous, although it should not be. “Having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man. And when a decent man messes up, as we all are bound to do, he tries his best and does apologize,” she said. “I am someone’s daughter, too.”
She is also, first and foremost, a human being. That is the lesson that must be understood.
In an age dominated by Trumpian ignorance, ineptitude, bullyism, gangsterism, selfishness, racism, sexism, lack of self-awareness and all the misery that ensues, her message was a breath of fresh air. It showed character and courage, qualities we need more of.
It is currently one minute to midnight on the “Doomsday” clock. We have had 400 years of white male control of the levers of power, and Western Civilization has indeed brought the world incredible achievements. However, their stewardship has also littered and polluted the environment with existential problems the likes of which could have been so easily avoided if only they had welcomed (rather than fought) a lot more color and a lot more female perspective into the decision-making process.
People of color and women are no longer asking to be given a greatest share of the power to control. They are not even demanding it.
They are simply taking it and doing it. And not a minute too soon. So…
“Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall” *
Get out of the way.
· Bob Dylan “The Times They Are a-Changin’”