I'm with Her (Women's March). On January 21, 2017, immediately after the inauguration of the current occupant of the White House, women around the world united in protest. More than three million women (and friends) participated in marches across the U.S., as well as hundreds of thousands in thirty other countries. I embroidered this Benny to commemorate the day. (Of course, I also knitted pink hats for the march and gave them to anyone who wanted one.)
Initially I was going to create one row of Bennies with a prominent Benny in front. However, it looked barren without a crowd behind him. It grew and grew, and eventually filled the frame completely. I thought the sign, originally a rallying cry for Hillary, was appropriate. Benny IS with her. And her. And all the other hers.
A Mighty Woman with a Torch. In 2017, when the new administration immediately began changing and tightening immigration policy, it hit me hard. This country was built on the strength of immigrants. Three of my four grandparents were immigrants, and the fourth was the daughter of an immigrant. To change these policies, especially based on religion or nationality, is just plain wrong and not what we hold to be our values.
I immediately looked up the words to Emma Goldman's poem, The New Colossus. It can still make me cry. And then I began stitching a new Benny.
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Elizabeth Warren is one of my heroes. She is smart, strong, and passionate. When she was denied her right to read a letter written in 1986 by Coretta Scott King on the Senate floor in opposition to the confirmation of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, Mitch McConnell uttered the fateful words: "She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted." What a perfect rallying cry! It led to an explosion of memes, mugs, t-shirts, and all manner of persistent resistance. This was my expression of admiration for Senator Warren.
Benny's Blue State Vision. Benny and I dream of a day when all of the United States view the world like we do: when all people understand the value of equality and equity for all citizens. Until that time, here's our vision. (As I write this, it's one week before the 2020 election. We'll see how far we've come since 2016.)
Update on November 7. Sigh of relief. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be the next President and Vice President of the United States.