by Kathie England
“I am less afraid of losing my job than of losing our democracy!”
That was the perspective of Jaime Herrera Beutler, Republican representative from Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, when she voted to impeach the former president. Though I disagree with Representative Beutler on most issues, I want to acknowledge her courage! She along with nine other Republican members of the House of Representatives and seven Senators demonstrated the courage we need to preserve our democracy!
Jaime Herrera Beutler demonstrated Who We Can Be!
15-year-old Lily Gallentine, a 10th grader in Redmond, Oregon, was looking for toy cars for her father in the Farmers Co-op Antique Mall in Redmond. What she discovered were Nazi pins and a case full of swastikas. But that wasn’t all! There was a poster in the background, saying ‘coon’ and ‘monkey.’ There was a black doll in the background and a host of other racist items for display.
Last summer, Lily’s family displayed a Black Lives Matter sign in their yard. It was torn down. Lily’s mother who is white says she fears for her daughter who is a person of color. Lily spoke up and shared this story which was covered by Emily Cureton of Oregon Public Broadcasting last weekend. Oregon has a dismal history of white supremacy, but Lily spoke up! She became an activist last summer.
Lily Gallentine demonstrated Who We Can Be!
Another example of courage is recounted in Caste, the incredible book by Isabel Wilkerson. She shares the story of how Albert Einstein invited the opera singer Marian Anderson to stay in his home in Princeton because the Nassau Inn in Princeton refused to rent her a room for the night she performed to an overflow crowd at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton because she was black.
This incident occurred only a few years after Einstein had fled Germany as the Nazis took over his homeland. Einstein became an outspoken critic of the treatment of people of color in his new homeland. He said, “I can escape the feelings of complicity in it only by speaking out.”
Albert Einstein demonstrated Who We Can Be!
How can we each demonstrate courage?