Image from funny2014
Voting is a good resolution. In 2010, a lot of people stayed home and we ended up with the least productive congress in American history. Men and women obsessed with a birth certificate and marriage equality and women's rights but not so much with bettering our country. Representatives who sold their constituents a bill of goods that hurt rather than helped, and convinced those same people that voting against their own best interests would somehow work out in the end.
There are grassroots organizations trying to create positive change in America, groups like Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America. Founded by Shannon Marmion Watts in the days following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, Moms Demand Action has helped bring the conversation about gun violence to Main Street, USA, often incurring the wrath of some very angry and violent people. Shannon and other leaders of Moms Demand Action receive death threats against both themselves and their families, rape threats and just the other night, a disturbed man from Idaho called Shannon at least thirteen times, leaving voice mails, including one that mentioned he "made love" to his firearms. He finally stopped when Shannon's sister-in-law answered the phone and yelled "WHAT DO YOU WANT?" 2014 promises to be a busy year for Moms Demand Action, and perhaps one of our resolutions could be to step up and support them in any way we can.
A Facebook page started by Michael Knote made national news this past week when none other than George Takei took Facebook to task on their behalf. Have A Gay Day posted an innocuous photo of two men kissing and that photo was targeted by right wing trolls. So many trolls reported it to Facebook that an automatic system kicked in and every administrator for the page was banned for at least 24 hours. A fan of the page shared that with George Takei and his staff contacted Facebook. Facebook not only apologized, but put Have A Gay Day on a list of "protected pages" so trolls will no longer be able to attack them. What a great way to close out 2013 for Have A Gay Day. I hope many people will consider helping this page as part of their list for 2014. Perhaps someday, everyone can be protected from hate. Which brings me to one of my own New Year's resolutions.
My first resolution is to be brave. Oh, I write brave, but I hide who I am and what I do from people in my town. At first I told myself it was to protect my son from backlash at school, then to protect my husband at work. What I finally realized is I'm hiding to protect myself. No more of that. If people ask me what I do, I will tell them I am a liberal blogger for Quiet Mike and Forward Progressives and right here at Poking at Snakes. That I'm proud to be a liberal because we fight for the little guy, we care about everyone and we understand who the true job creators are. Who knows, maybe I'll be able to have conversations with people and change their minds.
Bullycide is an incredibly complex issue, because most of us realize bullies learn their craft at home. They either are bullied themselves or they hear parents, siblings or other relatives bully someone else. But again, with other crimes, while past experiences are often taken into consideration, very rarely is a perpetrator given a complete pass based on their life at home.
I've given myself two weeks to put together a mission statement, come up with a name for my project and find people to help. Luckily, I have some extraordinary journalists to whom I am connected via social media, and it is my sincere hope that as the details become more clear, they will join this cause. 2014 will also be the year I finally interview Jerry Trimble, a world-renowned martial arts expert and stunt coordinator who works with bullied kids all over the country. Maybe I can get him on board as well. The BULLY Project has already offered their support and assistance, which is incredible. My next goal is to get Senator Al Franken to take my phone call. Sen. Franken is an advocate against bullying and he would be a powerful voice for this endeavor.
2014 will be a big year for so many reasons. We have the chance to undo the damage of 2010, we have the opportunity to bring representatives to congress who will work for the country not the corporations. We can support groups like Moms Demand Action and Have A Gay Day. And perhaps, there will be a "we" involved with my project as well.
Happy New Year from Poking at Snakes. Let's change some things, shall we?