How freedom works

I finished revising my YA manuscript just as Donald Trump was elected president. It did not start out to be a book about today’s national crisis, but that is what it became. Now, over and over, I am reminded of passages, and I think, “It’s not fiction anymore.” It’s heartbreaking. It was supposed to be a warning, not a history lesson.

This hatred that’s erupting now is not something new.  People of color, LGBTQ people, Jews, Muslims, immigrants–these people and more–have felt the hatred and disdain. It’s been there all along. Equality is a goal we must always strive for. Our freedoms cannot be taken for granted, and we cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that not everyone shares them. We can be devastated by what’s happening in our country now, but we should not be surprised.

At the end of my novel, Miranda, a former freedom fighter,  reflects on what she’ll say to a group of children coming to her to learn about the war she fought in:

“Before they were done, she would tell them about freedom and how it was like the tide. She would tell them that each generation has its responsibility to the next, that one day it would be their turn. She would tell them that the fight is not over. It is never over. She would tell them to arm themselves with knowledge, to listen to the past and keep an eye on the future. She would tell them to fly. And some of them would hear her and remember, when the time came, to stand up for themselves, for their brothers and sisters. This is how freedom works.” 

It is indeed.

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