Dear Mr. President,
My name is Amber Wiseman and I want to be honest with you.
I’m terrified. I’m sitting here in tears because I’m overwhelmed with emotion thinking of all the people you’ve affected by the things you’ve signed the past two days.
The thousands of people who will die without health coverage and the millions who will suffer without it.
The Tribe who have lost so much to invading white people already only to have their sacred lands and safe drinking water stripped away for the greed of more white people.
And now the thousands (or more) refugees who will be turned away, those who have been living in this country who will be unable to return.
I’m from a very red part of the state. I’ve voted Republican in every primary since I turned 18. I’m white. I’m a Christian. All these things say that I should be behind you. But I can’t do it. I can’t watch as people suffer from health conditions and die, I can’t take the land away from the Native Americans who have already lost so much, I can’t force people to return to lands torn by war simply because they have a different belief than mine.
Please, Mr. President, I beg you, please reconsider. Think of the people you claim to represent. Picture each one. This isn’t about you or your business, this is about a nation – a nation of real people who live and bleed and love and exist and die.
When you sign your name on a piece of paper it isn’t about a great photo opportunity, it isn’t about looking good, it is changing the lives of actual people. Imagine if it were your wife, your son, your daughter, your father who were affected.
Again, I implore you to consider every person who will be affected by this.
I can’t answer for everyone, but I can answer for myself. I was actually unable to physically attend any marches, but I had planned to attend a smaller local one until I had surgery last week and couldn’t go.
Marching wasn’t about being against Trump or for Hilary, in fact, most of it has nothing to do with them at all. It is what our nation represents at this time. I think Trump just offered a launching point. The fact that we as a nation so readily elected a man who is so openly anti-black, anti-Muslim, anti-Mexican, etc. just reflects who many of us are as a nation.
In spite of being disabled and female, I have white privilege. I’m racist, not because I want to be, but because of the country I grew up in. But that is not how I want this to be. I want things to change. I want people of all races, religions, colors, sexual attractions, genders, etc. to feel welcome here because that is what America was made to be. We are a country that was built on freedom – freedom to be yourself and not be afraid to be you. That is the biggest reason I wanted to march. Because people deserve to have that right, whether they are a black gay queer Muslim woman or a white cisgender heterosexual Christian man. It doesn’t matter if I “agree” with them, they deserve to live their life as a free American in a safe place because THAT is what America is all about.
But the march isn’t the end. It is the beginning, more like a promise of what I will do in the days to come. The people I will stand up for, the things I will stand against, the values I will hold myself to. The Women’s March on Washington has a 10 actions in 100 days campaign that I plan to follow, but I plan to do some work on my own too.
Some people do a “30 things to do before I turn 30” list, well, I’m a little late for that since I’ll be 30 in a month. When I was 15, I did make a goal to visit all of the continents before I was 30. I made it to 5 out of the 7 before my chronic illnesses prevented me from international travel. While I still dream of visiting the final two (Antartica and Africa), it won’t be anytime soon. Instead, I decided to make a list of 30 things to do while I’m 30.
1. Make a website about cavy genetics. ✓
2. Hang portraits of my pets (past and present) in my hallway.
3. Read the rest of the Harry Potter series.
4. Learn basic conversational French.
5. Bake an apple pie and crust from scratch.
6. Take a picture every week and crop/edit it to learn new skills. ✓
7. “Pay it forward” to someone else. ✓
8. Earn a title on one of my dogs. ✓
9. Crochet a dinosaur.
10. Blow bubbles when it is below freezing outside.
11. Make a planner/organizer.
12. Visit a museum I’ve never been to before.
13. Find 30 geocaches.
14. Release a new travel bug for my birthday. ✓
15. Finish a jigsaw puzzle (500+ pieces) by myself.
16. Become a volunteer at the Humane Society. ✓
17. Make paw print impressions of my pets.
18. Rewatch all of the House episodes.
19. Wear pajamas for a whole day.
20. Try a new food each week. ✓
21. Put my books on shelves in Dewey Decimal order.
22. Visit an Antartica exhibit at the zoo.
23. Visit an Africa exhibit at the zoo.
24. Fly a kite.
25. Blog once a month. ✓
26. Try to grow Brussel sprouts.
27. Plant a tree.
28. Grow a vegetable that is a “funny color” (purple broccoli, white carrots, etc.).
29. Write a letter to my 40-year-old self.
30. Make a list of Things to do Before I Turn 40 (and do them before I turn 40, not after).