The Impossible Divide

                           Posted 11th July 2016 by Linda Belans

I'm trying. I really am. I'm trying to imagine a dialogue with Republicans, one that will help us find common ground and bridge the great divide. A conversation where we come together and speak to each other's highest selves so we can participate in healing our very wounded country.

It's in my practiced DNA to hear Stories. To work toward solutions. To have civil discourse. But this time? I just can't.

I can't when their party unanimously agreed that pornography is a "public health crisis" and made it part of their party platform at their convention. Without irony, they said. "Pornography with its harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions... and pledge our commitment to children’s safety and well being,” Yes, you read that right. Porn, not guns is "destroying the life of millions" (bad syntax not withstanding). And it pains me further that the amendment was proposed by my home state's North Carolina delegate Mary Frances Forrestor in a subcommittee. 

And I certainly can't when over 18,000 children are injured or murdered by guns each year and the Republicans won't allow the Centers for Disease Control to once again conduct research on gun violence. You cannot make this stuff up.

 

I can't when CNN 'law enforcement analyst' and former NYPD detective Harry Houck actually said on national television that Black people are prone to criminality. And that was with Lamont Hill sitting so close to him that you couldn't slip a plastic handcuff between them. Yes, Houck is a Republican -- one who has vilified Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Black Lives matter... 

 

I can't when the "draft platform also describes as “dangerous,” rules imposed by the Obama administration allowing transgender students to use bathrooms according to their gender identity. I can't when they support gay conversion therapy for children. And I surely can't when their draft platform "urges the US Supreme Court to reverse its 2015 ruling that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right."

And I can't imagine it when they repeatedly, consistently, vehemently want to take away a woman's right to choose.

 

And then there's this: they want the bible to be taught as part of American history. 

 

Yes, it's in my practiced DNA to find common ground. To work toward solutions. To have civil discourse. To bridge divides. But this time? I just don't know where to begin. I just can't. And it pains me deeply.