Voices of the Resistance
By Mark Niclas of Indivisible Eugene
On Saturday February 25, 2017 at Peter DeFazio’s town hall at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon I chatted with 53 people. I asked them to share one word to describe how you are feeling about how the Trump Administration. Many people said, literally one word; many had to think about it and then replied, "I have so many thoughts going on in my head."
Here is a sampling of what I heard that day.
"Dysfunctional" "appalling" "scary" "disturbing" "shutting down the American heart" "messed up"
An older woman looked at me with tears forming in her eyes and said,
“Trump is ruining and destroying the country we have lived in and loved all our lives.”
"Hate" "disaster and chaos" "don’t get me started" "tyranny" "a slow descent into fascism" "demolishing" "unifying the resistance"
My conversations with these fellow Americans deeply saddened me. No one I spoke with had encouraging thoughts about the new administration.
My connection with four people was eye opening.
Natalie and her 4 year old son were concerned that the country was going backwards.
“We were beginning to gain knowledge about the path to a united country. It is frightening to see what Trump is doing as he tries to pull our nation and its people backwards."
Her son looked up at me and said,
“I am scared.”
Pat from Veneta was sitting in the bleachers holding a copy of the book When Paris Went Dark by Donald Rosbottom. On June 14, 1940, German tanks entered a silent and nearly deserted Paris. Eight days later, France accepted a humiliating defeat and foreign occupation. She is in her late seventies and still remembers the times of Stalin and Hitler.
“Trump is beginning to reinvent the days of the thirties and forties and it is freaking me out,” she said.
Her son John jumped in and said,
“This is disturbing. It is reminding me of the men with distinctive mustaches.”
Debbie was standing outside dressed in bright pink yelling,
I asked her why she is doing this. She kindly said,
“My Granddaughter gives me a twinkle in my heart and I am concerned about her future. I am standing here for her.”
Tom was holding a sign that read IMMIGRANTS MAKE AMERICA GREAT. He said,
“My Dad’s family dated back before the Revolutionary War and on my Mother’s side in 1912, a great aunt came to America on one of the sister ships of the Titanic, the RMS Olympic. She and her husband escaped from Sweden to avoid the draft.”
He ended our conversation by reminding me that we are all from somewhere.
These conversations strike a familiar chord to the more that three thousand replies I have received when asking a similar question on various web sites like Joy Reid and Rev. Al Sharpton. These responses speak to collective sense of fear, disappointment and concern for the future.
One young lady said,
“This is only the beginning.”
We have lots to do. Stay engaged it’s going to be a long haul.