"Perhaps in our lifetime we will not succeed. Perhaps things will only get worse. But this does not invalidate our efforts. Rebellion - which is different from revolution because it is perpetual alienation from power rather than the replacement of one power system with another - should be our natural state."
There is something brave, honest and bracing about those words, and although I cannot call myself a rebel in any meaningful way, I envy and am attracted to the kind of intractable commitment that Chris Hedges has to fighting the shackles of corrupt economic, social and political systems that hold us all captive in one form or another. As the next part of this century unfolds, there will likely need to be much more of such spirit.
Although it may not exactly constitute rebellion, the students and faculty of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York seem prepared for the worst from the incoming Trump administration and are making a commitment that may have no legal force, but whose moral dimensions are clear:
At Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y., more than 2,000 students and professors signed a petition asking the university to join other institutions and declare itself a sanctuary, or safe haven, for undocumented students.Four years ago, Obama signed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which provided temporary amnesty for over three-quarters of a million children and teenagers whose parents had entered the U.S. illegally.
“I am frightened,” said one literature student, who asked not to be identified for fear she could be deported. “But I am also encouraged to see people mobilizing and organizing and preparing for Trump to carry out his threat to deport millions of illegals.”
Now these “DREAMers” — named after an earlier version of the act which was not passed — fear they, or their parents, will be targeted if they come out of the shadows.Their fears would seem justified:
“My parents brought me from Mexico to Los Angeles when I was 8. They worked hard and paid taxes and put me and my two siblings through college,” said the Cornell student, who attended a recent campus rally. “I registered in DACA, and gave authorities my fingerprints. The threat is serious now that I could be deported. It is stressful not knowing when this could happen.”
Trump, who takes office Jan. 20, has said that during his first 100 days he plans to “cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama.” The president-elect has not listed the specific actions he plans to cancel to back up his hyperbole, but his campaign website singled out the amnesty law, which was passed by executive action in 2012.So is Cornell's moral and ethical choice an isolated phenomenon, or is it a signal that none of us should yet abandon all hope?