Celebrate your silo

Photo credit -Un-identified Google photo.

I sat on this piece for weeks. It felt true, and rang true with the few people I share it with. I usually share my sonnets here on Medium, and my prose on another site. The other site would not post it, saying it was “too inflammatory.” But this piece is not inflammatory. It is a simple statement of belief, nailed to an electronic door. Celebrate and respect your silo. That’s all. Here’s why.

I want your echo chamber to reverberate with joy.

I want you to celebrate your silo.

In 2021, we do not need to hear opposing viewpoints. We do not need to understand the other side. Maybe, in the 60s, it was helpful to understand that people could grow their hair long and still be productive members of society. Maybe it was helpful to try and understand why an entire generation of people were willing to cancel people solely on the basis of hair length. That era is gone. In 2021, we know the other side.

The lines of distinction are clearly drawn.

You want to know the opposing viewpoint?

The opposing viewpoint is hate and cruelty and fascism. It is a boot to the face and a knee to the neck. It is a movement back to the antebellum south. It is a celebration of white, faux-Christian supremacy.

The opposing viewpoint is a belief that a small, hand-chosen group of people are morally, physically, mentally, and spiritually superior to all others. It is a belief that this group is entitled to set moral standards for others.

The opposing viewpoint is a celebration of ignorance. Science is rejected at every turn. It is a belief that some sort of magic exists that will save our world.

The opposing viewpoint is the embrace of falsehoods that further a belief when confronted with demonstrable truth.

The opposing viewpoint is a reprehensible corruption of a 2,000 year old religious faith to further the aims of greed and evil and repression.

The opposing viewpoint is the welcome warmth of violence against people with whom they disagree.

The opposing viewpoint does not want to know the names of those behind the January 6 invasion of the Capitol Building by traitors.

The opposing viewpoint has pledged allegiance to a man who they claim has been anointed by god.

The opposing viewpoint thinks that same man is still the president of the United States.

The opposing viewpoint has embraced fascism and authoritarianism.

That’s the opposing viewpoint.

Do you want to know about the other side. They are:

The ones who despise the LGBTQIA+ community.

The ones who are racist and revel in it. Or hide it behind “I don’t see color…” or “I’m not racist but…”

The ones who say: “If Black people did what the cops say, they wouldn’t get beaten and killed by police.”

The ones who say, “they’re sending people with lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re rapists. They’re bad hombres. And some I assume, are good people.”

The ones who are misogynist; to the point they support rapists, as long as the rapists are of the right color.

The ones who are anti-Semites.

The ones who think “There are very fine people on both sides.”

The ones who believe that a secret Jewish billionaires’ cabal runs the world.

The ones who are Islamophobic.

The ones who think all Muslims are terrorists.

The ones who embrace forced birth and deny the needs of children.

The ones who believe poor people deserve to be poor.

The ones who believe Native Americans are barely human; that we were entitled to steal their lands from them, fair and square.

The ones who think that since ‘their people’ are now safely ensconced in this country, they can slam the doors on immigrants who arrive here for the same reason they did- to find better lives for their families.

The ones who view Latine/LatinX as alien foreigners in their own land.

The ones who believe that “Give me your tired, your poor…” are just words on a statue that those weird-ass French people gave us.

The ones who believe ‘chemtrails’ will be the death of us all.

The ones who believe that global climate change is a hoax.

The ones who believe that being told to wear a mask is like being in the Holocaust; that to wear a mask is an affront to their rights and freedoms, that masks are a symbol of weakness, and anyway, Covid is a hoax, and masks don’t work.

The ones who believe people like Dr. Fauci, who have spent dozens years of research at the highest academic levels, are wrong, and high school drop-outs on YouTube are right.

The ones who believe vaccines are the work of the devil and include a biometric tracking system within.

The ones who are convinced Covid was invented by the Chinese.

The ones who believe God will protect them from Covid_19, but they need guns to defend their homes.

The ones who believe voter fraud is real, rampant, and commonplace, and the election was stolen.

The ones who believe the object of democracy is to make it nearly impossible for the poor, the homeless, for all BIPOC regardless of economic status, to vote for the candidates of their choice.

The ones who act in favor of voter suppression so they can enforce white supremacy.

The ones who believe the government will institute door-to-door gun confiscations.

The ones who believe the solution to mass gun violence is more guns.

The ones who believe that forced and mandatory patriotism is truly patriotic.

The ones who believe 9/11 was a government plot.

The ones who maintain that January 6 was not an armed, seditious, traitorous invasion and uprising, but that it was a “Rosa Parks moment.”

That’s the other side.

I don’t seek to understand them. I gave that up in August, 2017, when neo-Nazis marched through Charlottesville chanting “Jews will not replace us” and several days later, the then-president said, “you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.” When that march occurred, and people I thought I knew and trusted sought to defend his remarks, I realized I did not want to understand these people. There are no good nazis. It is easier to understand someone who murders someone in the heat of anger than it is to understand someone who has chosen to defend these beliefs.

This is not about economic policy. Or foreign policy. This is about the most basic human rights and common decency to others. When your argument is rooted in the oppression of others, there is no middle ground.

I would not have befriended confederate slave holders in 1858. In 2021, I will not befriend those who claim those same racial beliefs, albeit dressed up in 21st century garb.

This is a tipping point for the American Experiment. Just as the years 1861–1865 shaped the US life over the last 155 years, so these next 4–6 years will do the same with America until 2170.

My silo is small. I do not desire it to be one of those Iowan structures that are 150 feet tall, hold 2 million bushels of corn, and are big enough to hold a Boeing 767 (although I am astonished at the engineering in those things). There is no room in my silo for those who view the world from “the other side.”

My silo:

*contains those who believe love is love, that all people are created equal, that all may worship, or not worship, as they wish.

*welcomes those who are different.

* makes no claims of superiority.

*believes that when a group gains equality of rights, other groups do not lose their rights.

*understands that science is rarely absolute; it is always subject to change. As our tools and understanding changes, so does the science.

*believes that there is always time to be compassionate.

It’s that simple. Choose wisely. Celebrate your silo.

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Dstan58

DStan58 is a teacher, a writer, a dad, a voice-over actor and poet. He's a melanoma survivor and a pulmonary embolism survivor. He's bringing sonnets back,