It’s been 4 years. I know my bucket list was meant to be a 1-year challenge, but all the same my list has always been a lifelong endeavor of sorts. I’ve made bucket lists since I was a child, really. My general curiosity of life has been a great source of entertainment for me (and my husband) and while 2014 is long gone, my desire to complete the list remains the same. Often when I finally get around to something on my list I stop to think… what was going on in that moment that motivated me to write the task down?
#18- Protest for something I believe in. And believe me, there has been an abundance of protesting going on in recent years. It started with the 99%. God bless you guys. Then there was the ‘Women in Black’ thing in Half Moon Bay that was held every week. The regular community board announcement invited all women to come to a heavily trafficked street corner dressed in black, to stand in silence “in solidarity.” at the time I found it humorous, this blanketed statement of mourning. Then there was the port of Oakland protests, the police brutality protests, Black Lives Matter, All Live Matters, Presidential Campaigns, the Women’s March, …… more than i can even think of.
I really admire and have a deep respect for Protests. Whether I agree or not with the protest itself, the event stirs up a great appreciation for the freedoms we all have and the right to exercise it. How amazing and wonderful to have a voice.
I don’t really have a good excuse for why I never joined any of these protests, other than the typical reasons given. Time, location, childcare, etc.
But, this last July a situation came up that hit me personally on several levels and I honestly could not think of an excuse to not show up and Protest.
Ted Hickman, a Vice Mayor, an asshole down to the DNA in his bones and likely the son of the devil himself, wrote an opinion piece in a publication that circulates my hometown that was inflammatory, derogatory and downright hateful towards the LGBT community. I have a lot of thoughts on this. For starters, I wasn’t in the slightest surprised. The man has been an awful excuse of a human for the two decades I’ve known him and when he was elected to office I gave up all hope that Dixon was a town with any sort of intelligence.
When I was ten years old, I was a witness to a disagreement he had with my mother at her workplace and watched as he raised his hand and struck her. It was the first time I saw a man assault a woman, and luckily, I was also wise enough to realize he didn’t deserve the existence God allowed him. Being it’s a small town, I regularly heard similar horror stories about him from others and my family just managed to keep their distance… somewhat.
His opinion pieces regularly were crass, tasteless, vengeful and evil. But despite all that, he was voted in to office and coincidently, I left town for good. I wasn’t much for local politics anyway, but sadly my younger brother has been, and was also elected to City Council alongside Hickman. And much to Hickman’s delight of course, as he has regularly harassed my brother, openly on Council and in his publication. Video even shows him striking my brother in the head during a council meeting, once again assaulting someone in my family.
But for whatever reason it was this most recent opinion piece that woke the sleeping giants of the LGBT community, and rightfully so. Amongst many of his accusations was that anyone who is LGBT doesn’t have a job, families, morals & ethic, etc. and not only is it all appalling but I have enough relatives and friends that make more money and pay more taxes and contribute a whole helluva lot more to society in one day than he has in his whole life. So, Fuck you Ted Hickman. I happily pranced my ass all the way down to Dixon so I could get myself a seat at his long-overdue and well-deserved Roast.
In reflection, the same action was taken against Ted as is typical within any and all politics: Nobody cared, nothing changed, people soon forgot. And it is with this, that I determined protests aren’t really for me. I continue to firmly believe that the only way to create positive change is to start with those you can directly affect around you.