I've been thinking about revolution quite a bit lately. I'm reading a fascinating book entitled Enemies of the People: My Family's Journey to America, by Hungarian author Kati Marton. Marton's parents were Hungarian citizens working for the Associated Press during the Stalinist and Communist revolutions; both were arrested and jailed when Marton was little girl. This book details the information she gathers about her parents after their dossiers and files were declassified by the Hungarian government.
Revolutions happen when enough people get sick of the status quo. They see a need and they figure out a way to fill it. Not all revolutions happen on national or governmental levels. Some of them are at state or local levels where laws are concerned. Some of them are very personal.
One of my personal revolutions came about because I was tired of watching my gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered friends having their rights taken away under the law because some group of kneejerk reactionaries found them personally distasteful (almost always for religious reasons). I decided I could sit back and do nothing, since I'm straight and "it's not my problem" ... or I could decide to take some action. So, since 2004 I have been working on behalf of marriage equality.
In my opinion, when rights are taken away from one small group of people because another group (usually a temporary and tyrannical majority) finds that small group distasteful, we all lose. That means any of our rights may be up for grabs or a vote by someone who finds us distasteful.
The founding fathers of our country, during the course of their revolution, wanted to stop people from putting minority rights up to the will of the majority. This was outlined in Federalist Paper No. 10. It was part of the reason for creating a democratic republic instead of a strict democracy. Our founding fathers realized that we were a pluralistic country, and that all peoples' rights should be protected from tyranny.
So, like those participants in the American Revolution, I find myself risking my personal safety (I have been stalked, physically threatened in my own front yard and more because of my stand in favor of marriage equality) so that the rights of all may be protected. The US Constitution promises equal protection for all citizens, not just "all citizens who look and think like me and share my religion." Revolutionary thinking means remembering that every day.
Causes Sharon Cathcart Supports
Shadow Forest Authors, Operation eBook Drop, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS