That Which They Defend

Ok. So I’ve literally spent weeks trying to figure out how to put this into a coherent blog post because where my heart is concerned, coherency doesn’t always happen. But in light of recent threats against Muslim students at my university, my heart is aching again. So let’s start with this:

2016 was the year I learned to fight. Not just how, but that I must. Because sometimes you have to fight for who and what you love. So much shit happened – the Orlando gay nightclub shooting, the shootings of unarmed black men and women, the horrible comments coming from someone who should be a role model for an entire country – and it breaks my heart.

And in the aftermath all I could think was What can I do? I am only one person. God, show me how to love.

And I had my answer (well, part of it). I am a teacher. I don’t have a classroom yet but that’s beside the point. The point is that I know what I want my classroom to look like. I want it to be a place where anyone – regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, dis/ability, etc. – can walk in and know it’s a safe space. Know that when shit happens, this is a place we can talk about it, breathe, and try to work things through. I’m not saying I’m going to have all the answers. I won’t. And there are things I need to unlearn and things I need to learn. But to create that space where my students know they are cared about and respected. To create that space where we can all learn to use our voices to stand up for the marginalized. That is my vision.

These things that have happened, that are happening, touch people I love fiercely. And all I can say is: if “they” are coming after you, they have to go through me. And if all I can do is stand next to you and hold your hand while the stones fly, then that is what I am going to do. There is no second option.


And that which they defend, which I defend, is you.