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WE ARE ALL WELCOME HERE

Cindy Maddera

Last night, Michael and I went to see U2's Joshua Tree Tour with Beck. I had scored some free tickets with seats way way way at the top of the stadium. I didn't care. I had never seen Beck perform live and I had already heard how amazing the Joshua Tree Tour was. It didn't matter that they all looked like ants. That's the thing about concerts, particularly those of this size and magnitude. They always manage to pull every soul in to praise. And it was beautiful. There was one moment when all the lights were turned off and the stadium became a sea of cell phone lights. From our vantage point, we could see it all and I started laughing and crying at the same time. Before Beck left the stage, he warned us that when U2 came out and started singing those first seven songs we would have feelings. He said chills will crawl up our arms and we would be filled with all of the feelings. 

Beck was not wrong. 

"We are all welcome here" Bono told us this last night. His words stick in my brain today, particularly after reading this morning's headlines. This country is starting to look more and more less welcoming. We have a President who condones white supremacy; in fact owes his presidency to white supremacists. He has issued a ban on Muslims, a ban on Transgendered in the military and an end to DACA, the program that protected immigrants brought here as children. Those immigrants are now at risk of being forcibly removed from the only home they have ever know. The Secretary of Education has rolled back Title IX which would withhold federal dollars to Universities who did not combat sexual harassment because Title IX was too harsh for the accuser. Trump has hired Eric Dreiband to lead the Justice's Civil Rights Division, a man notorious for fighting efforts to support Civil Rights. 

I have seen so many posts of outrage recently over the football players who take a knee during the National Anthem. Some of you get really really angry about this. I mean, my own mother made the comment about how "they should go back to where they came from" if they refuse to stand for the National Anthem. Except the 'they' whom she is referring to are Americans. They are young men who have taken to sitting down or taking a knee during the National Anthem as their peaceful protest against a government that does not support civil liberties for ALL Americans, a government that supports white supremacy and a country that does not value their lives.

But it causes you so much anger because they won't stand for a song. 

We are not all welcome here.