I’ll share these thoughts while drinking a Sunriver Rippin’ NW pale ale. It’s a pretty straightforward ale; not flawed but I’d have to ding it for having no nose. I can’t pick up any scent on this at all. However, the finish has a gummi orange flavor before the bitter flavor sweeps that away, so it doesn’t taste like soda pop.
A few months ago word came down that the city of Portland wanted to change Foster from a 4 lane street to 2. This move would severely impact the traffic flow, as Foster is one of the main arteries into the city from the southeast. I know this, because I am on that street nearly every day.
A local business put up signs protesting the move, exhorting passerby to call the mayor in order to change this plan and the signs were up for months. They’re still up, as a matter of fact: emergency red and white banners, along with signs in neon green and pink and goldenrod, all insisting that this move is a bad one.
I happened to agree with this point of view and after months of reading these signs I finally wrote the member of the city council in charge of the department of transportation, asking him to reconsider the plan.
It’s a little strange: despite agreeing that the city shouldn’t put Foster on a road diet, months still passed before I took action. But eventually the reminder from those signs got me to shift and I took action. While I don’t know if it will have an effect, I made my statement.
Why am I telling you this? Because I find myself living in interesting times. Something I never expected: a clearly shady if not outright crook of a person, running on a campaign to appease fear and hate has found his way to one of, if not the most, powerful positions on Earth.
People I love are scared. People who aren’t scared all seem to be operating under the notion that the result of the mass approval of hate and criminality will not have an effect on them. As though the society they live in is separate from the one I do.
Most of the people I know are scared in a way that I can feel coming off them, and nobody knows what to do. Many of us want to put symbols on ourselves so that others will know that we will protect them.
But symbols are only as useful as the actions that back them up. I am not different: I want to wear a safety pin and I want to do something and it scares me, because doing something almost certainly means sacrificing something. Sacrifice kinda blows, to put it gently and I don’t have much to leave on the table.
Nonetheless, I have an opportunity to do something, or perhaps start something and I do not want my friends to see me as someone who failed to act when I could. So I’m having a Second Pint.
The Second Pint is going to be the immediate action I am going to take. To get a beer in a pub in Portland is around $5 and when I come out to write my blog, I often have a second beer. Instead, for as long as Trump is in office, I will be donating that beer to a different non-profit, and I’ll make note of that at that at the end of every Monday post with a link to let readers donate, too. If the fiscal responsibility means I can’t go out for a beer and have to write from home, that is what I will do.
I’m telling you who I’m donating to for a few reasons: First, I want to to be active in my role as someone making a better world. I don’t have much money, but I do have $5 and every little bit helps. Money matters and we all know it so I’ll direct mine somewhere.
Second, I want to be seen donating to those causes. Visible support helps marginalized people feel less marginalized.
Finally, I want to provide a nudge to my readers. Donating once to a cause can be forgotten. Donating every week? That becomes a reminder. A suggestion that you, too, can contribute towards something better. Maybe you have causes of your own, maybe you have time to offer, or opportunities through your place of worship or community. Maybe you’d like to join me-that’s great too!
Do you have to? No, of course not. But I cannot ask others for a better world: I have to work for it and that’s going to require help. This is one way I can work for it and I’d be thrilled if others put their second pint to work for it as well.
This week, the second pint goes to the ACLU.