By Aryanna Hunter
Pittsburgh Current Columnist
This. Is. War.
Strapping on her bike helmet, goggles, a yellow t-shirt and tennis shoes, my sister Robin set out for downtown Portland, Oregon. Her uniform is much different than the one I wore to Iraq but as she prepares for another night of protests, she is certainly “boots on the ground” just like I was all those years ago.
My sister is a part of the “Wall of Moms” peacefully protesting systematic racism, declaring Black Lives Matter, and protecting the children who have been out there protesting for 62 days. These peaceful mothers who are protesting are facing a nightly war of terror – this time inflicted upon them and all American citizens by the Department of Homeland Security, Border Patrol agents, and President Trump.
But, why now? What happened after 34 days of protesting, on July 4 no less, that now had Federal agents have to tear gassing, flashbombing, and shooting rubber bullets at American citizens?
I have a hunch.
We are less than 100 days to a Presidential election and the majority of America is beginning to turn to November and make a final decision about who they will be voting for. And, Americans have never ousted a wartime president. We are in a new Civil War in this Country, an extension of what we fought for 150 years ago.
President Lincoln was re-elected through our first Civil War in 1864, Woodrow Wilson during the First World War in 1916, FDR in 1944 during the Second World War, Nixon in 1972 during the Vietnam War, and George W. Bush in 2004 during the War in Iraq.
Wartime Presidents get reelected.
Trump needs a war to win.
Trump’s war on the Coronavirus didn’t work because well, he didn’t even believe it was real. He just started wearing a mask in public.
So, it’s time to manufacture a war and what better way than to go into liberal American cities with federal agents and start one. This not only will have his base rise up, but it will cause such contention in our country that those in the middle may stay the course and re elect him.
My large family has been talking every Sunday on Zoom since the pandemic started. With the majority of my family living in the Portland Metro area and others in liberal cities across our nation. This week my family turned to me, and said “Aryanna, you’re our warrior, what do we do?”
I said, we have to fight.
Now is not the time to sit back and watch but to lace up our boots, throw on our gear, and fight. And we all can fight in our own way.
My sister Robin, is on the frontlines, facing tear gas and flash bombs. My brother Steven planted a Black Lives Matter sign in his yard in a very conservative part of Oregon. My sister Nikesha, organized a Black Lives Matter protest and march in her New Mexico city. We’re all doing what we can in the spaces and places we operate in. We share content on social media ensuring our neighbors and fellow Americans know the truth. We all fight in any and every way we know how.
We don’t let up.
I need you to do this too. Find your way and fight back.
The second thing I told them to do was vote. Voting this November is paramount to change the direction of our country. This is how we make progress.
America was founded on protest and war starting with the American Revolution. Now is our time to continue to fight for the ideals of our nation.
And you can count on veterans of all stripes to do just that, even here in Pittsburgh.
Join us this Sunday August 2nd at the Federal Building downtown at 1000 Liberty Ave where Veterans here in Pittsburgh will be protesting and declaring that Black Lives Matter. Where they stand in solidarity with the Wall of Vets in Oregon and against the fascism that is happening within our Country at the hands of the Trump Administration.
Portland is just the first, they won’t be the last.
If I lived in Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City, Los Angeles or even Albuquerque New Mexico, I would be preparing for war.