Sitting at my gate waiting for my late plane to arrive. I pop in earbuds and click on a song my mother introduced me to: The Joke, by Brandie Carlisle. The melody rolls over a river of sadness then rises and roars as Carlisle calls forth abused people: the bullied boy, the dominated sister, the exhausted but determined immigrant mother carrying a baby on her back in the desert. The joke is on the ones who laugh at you now. “Let them laugh,” Carlisle cries!
I remember how my mother was bullied as a little girl. So, was I. It strikes me that she understands me on a level I didn’t know. And she gets the bullied immigrant mother on a level I didn’t know.
Last night I watched Maddow as Breaking News took over the broadcast. A whistleblower in the Intelligence community alerted authorities that 45 recently made an alarming promise to a foreign leader (likely Putin). The formal complaint went through all channels until it reached the White House. There it was buried.
Something in me broke. I wept on my couch. We are a nation taking punch after punch by a bully. And the institutions established to protect us are failing us.
Why do people have to bully?
What is stopping us from standing up and reclaiming our dignity?
Carlisle says: “Let them laugh while they can! … The joke’s on them!”
Laugh while you can, Trump.
Laugh while you can, Barr.
Laugh while you can, McConnell.
November 2020. The joke will be on you.
I love my mother.