The Person Inside ... The Gulf Between Us

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We The People Need a We Too Movement

Getting pronouns right is important. But we seem to be missing out on the most important pronoun of all: WE.

In the past decade, we have spilled a lot of ink and vented a lot of anger fighting to declare and defend who we are – our race, our gender, our sexuality, our religion, our heritage, our disabilities, our class – our political party.
It has been unsettling for everyone. But I believe that we are stronger for these fights. For the first time, we are becoming aware of one another as who we really are. We are each learning what it is like to be empowered to speak on an equal footing.
We are also becoming aware of our nation’s most powerful treasure: the rich variety of perspectives and backgrounds that we can bring to bear on any situation. Nature isn’t kind to mono-cultures.

We The People

But what about the identity we share? We The People sets us apart from almost every other human being in history. Take a moment to think about that.
We The People are the first nation in history to be founded with a purpose and two simple principles:   1. All men are created equal. 2. Government exists only by the consent of the governed.  In all the history of the world, few people have been given such a privilege. In many countries, people are still dying for the right to vote.
To throw away your vote is to throw away a part of your identity.  It is to throw away your connection to one of the most profound stories in history.   It isn’t a pretty story. From the very start, we have never lived up to our stated principles.
Still, it a story that offers a rare promise: the right to self-determination.

The Consent Thing

Our government seems to have forgotten that it is constitutionally required to seek our consent. [Frankly,  the power elite seem to be strangers to the notion of consent in any context.] Washington and Raleigh have forgotten We The People. They hope that we forget, too.
We each defend our respective identities as a mother bear defends its cub. God help the person who comes between me and my religion; between me and my gender, my race, my family.
Why, then, do so many of us, throw away the one element of our identity that protects all the others?  Why would anyone who cares about their identity throw away their vote?  Activism that does not make itself heard at the ballot box is a voice shouting in wilderness.

The Forgotten Pronoun

We The People need a WE TOO movement.  This movement doesn’t require any tweets, marches, or money. All you have to do is visit the ballot box.
Please … on election day make your pronoun “We”. Join We The People. Vote like your life depended on it.
It does.

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Tina White

Tina White

Tina White is the Executive Director of the Blue Ridge Pride Center, in Asheville, North Carolina, and a member of the board of directors for the Human Rights Campaign.

Tina spent 35 years consulting to and working for global corporations. Her specialty was large-scale business transformation: redesigning companies to pursue new strategies and improve performance. She has since shifted her focus to activism, writing and speaking. She speaks and writes on issues of diversity & inclusion, organization transformation, social justice, and personal identity.

Tina is the author of Between Shadow and Sun. She describes her 50-year struggle with gender and her wife's efforts to embrace her revealed identity. She holds an MBA in Strategy, Marketing & Finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and an AB in Economics from Princeton University. She and Mary live in Asheville, North Carolina.

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