Reading and Writing and the Occasional Recipe: Around the table

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Reading and Writing and the Occasional Recipe

Around the table

Monday, June 25, 2018

So I’ve been thinking about Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s non-meal at The Red Hen, and I’m not completely sure what I think except that thinking about it feels important.

On the one hand, of course, I appreciate The Red Hen’s staff’s discomfort around serving—“serving !”—someone who enables the current administration’s actions and the owner’s decision to honor that. On the other hand, Red Hen and Robert DiNiro and Samantha Bee, et al., what happened to going high even when they go lower than we ever could have imagined?

I am always ready to agree with Maxine Waters and I hear her exhortation to confront the aiders and abetters of the administration’s policies. But what does it mean in the current reality to confront and be an upstander? Is it possible to resist and not tear our civic fabric any further than it’s already been?  Even the word “resist,” with its echoes of capital R Resistance in the face of mid-twentieth century fascism throws down the challenge to not stand silent or look away in the presence of injustice.

What seems ironic in this incident is that it happened around a meal.  Around food,  one of the basic human needs, our most primal sign of recognizing another person’s need and offering to fill it.  Of course, Sanders speaks on behalf of denying the needs of others. She may have missed a meal, but she and those she enables won’t go hungry. They won’t be without shelter or other basic needs or even less basic creature comforts. It feels like a duty to let them know this is not all right with us. And each of us has to find our own way to confront, to  resist, to “upstand.”  

But here is another thing—in the face of the dinner denied and the I don’t care jacket and the porn star and the lawyers and the indictments and the ankle bracelets and all the other distractions there is still governing going on that we and the media must not look away from.

So my take-away from the dinner story (my takeout?) is commitment to be an upstander at every opportunity. But also to focus not on each day’s ridiculous rabbit pulled from the hat  but on the real story of which road we’re being taken down.

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