In the wake of a senseless Friday in North America, a phrase repeats over and over in my head: The Personal is Political. A phrase used decades ago to describe the beliefs guiding the women’s movement that “…personal problems are political problems”, that “there are no personal solutions at this time; there is only collective action for a collective solution.” (The Personal is Political, Carol Hanisch)
This is a powerful sentiment. Freshly traumatized by the massacre of vulnerable children, still we try to tuck discussions of rights under a rug of “politicizing”. We prefer to dismiss the event as “the actions of one person”, to push to uphold rationality. Need I say this so-called rationality is the ultimate in irrationality.
This event wasn’t about one person; it didn’t happen to just one person and it wasn’t the cause of just one person. But it is deeply personal.
What happened on December 14, 2012 in the now permanently wounded Newtown, Connecticut, is emotional. It is appalling, horrific and painful, for families, for communities, for a nation, for many all over the world.
It is deeply personal.
And, yes, it is deeply political.
We humans, we bleed with humanity. And all that sadness and passion and love MUST now be poured into discussions about the ways we care for each individual and our collective of individuals, the terms under which our society is governed, the values that we determine reign supreme. Every day we must keep our horror and our passion alive. Every day we must remember. We must discuss. And we must act.