A movement in place: sign up by putting a sign up.
“I’ve seen it around,” says my neighbor Nick about the sign in his front yard, “and every time, I liked it, because it pretty much says what I believe. We’re all just human beings, and we all live in this world. I don’t think I’m above any human being; nothing is lower than me and nothing is greater than me, and we should all start with that. If we all live in this country, then everyone should have a fair share. I want everyone to know that they’re welcome here. Even if you’re a hater, I’ll sit and talk with you. We can find some common ground.”
He liked the sign so much that he bought a second one for his mother Janet, who lives across the street. “I’m so glad he did,” she says, “because I feel strongly about all those statements. Love is Love: we shouldn’t have hate in our life, but love is love. Science is real: we have to treat our environment scientifically. They were interviewing the Dalai Lama on NPR, and he said, ‘You have to live right now and think about your future and your children’s future. And part of that is believing what scientists tell us. It’s not fake, it’s real. The glaciers are melting. No Human is Illegal: it’s not illegal to want a better life. This country has been the land of opportunity for so many people, and all of a sudden, they’re illegal for trying to come across. They make it so difficult for Latinos crossing the border.”
Moving on to Black Lives Matter. “Up to four years ago, I thought, ‘We’re a pretty good country.’ No, we’re not. We have some awful problems in this country, and racism is a biggie. Black people have to live so much worse than we do. They’re arrested and put in jail quicker than any white people. All these gangs that have shown up? It’s because those kids had no opportunities. It was a way for them to have some power in their lives and some family behind them. We have not given them opportunities, and I’m hoping we’ll do better. We shouldn’t have any second-class citizens. Women’s Rights are Human Rights: every woman should have the same rights as every white male. You think of our history, and what have we had? White males in power. I’m so glad that Kamala is our Vice President-elect.” As for reproductive rights, “That should be a woman’s choice, not a white male’s choice. Nobody should tell a woman that she can or can’t have a baby.”
The response to this public credo? “Several people have come by and said, ‘Oh, I really like your sign,’ and that’s a good thing. They see it and they think about it.” Nobody has said they don’t like it. “We have a nice quiet street,” says Janet, “and I think probably everybody feels the same way. Obviously, not everybody all over agrees, but the people who are important agree with it.”