So what the hell is irony?
Perhaps irony is when you consider that the descendants of those who came from the previously enslaved may set the standard for the preservation of our freedom.
Last week I again listened to Amanda Gorman’s poem at President Biden’s inauguration and then to her TED Talk about how poetry is political. She points out that when totalitarian leaders take over, they burn books and imprison the creatives to silence alternative voices to their propaganda.
Today, I read a blog post by Heather Cox Richardson, the brilliant Boston College professor, about the courage of Frederick Douglass as he risked his life to secure his freedom. He was a tradesman in Baltimore with a relatively safe life compared to other slaves of his time, but he risked his life for freedom to become the leader he became.
He got on a train from Baltimore to New York with false documents saying that he was free to travel as a freeman. Once he left on that train, he was either going to get off in New York or he was going to be imprisoned and shipped to the Southern states and his likely death.
It must have taken incredible courage and determination to get on that train. He risked his life for his freedom.
As I read the news today, I am convinced that we are at a turning point for freedom in the United States.
The Republican party stands for nothing but itself, its authoritarianism, and Trump. It is unrecognizable and unreconcilable with its past.
There is a high likelihood that because of the propaganda, the falsehoods of “the big lie,” and the Republican southern legislatures that have curtailed the right to vote, the GOP will win dominance in the House and perhaps the Senate in 2022.
If we each do not act now to protect this democracy over the next year and a half, we will lose it as we know it.
I think of what it will take for all of us to get on the train.
But I fear we do not know what we are losing.