In my boyhood, California’s San Joaquin Valley was infamous for its “tule fog,” a ground-hugging blanket so dense you couldn’t see a single white line in front of your car as you crept down the road. One night on my way to see a girlfriend who lived out in the boonies amid vineyards and cotton fields, I had to open my driver’s door and look down at the road to keep the white line in sight. I was going about 2 mph when the white line disappeared. I stopped, realizing I had arrived at an intersection.
And here I am today, at the intersection again.
I’ve been hearing talk lately of “intersectionality,” the idea that no individual or community lives a single-issue struggle. Our lives occasionally intersect with others who are not part of our identity group, but when a news event or personal circumstance wakes us to something important that transcends our own sphere of identity, we have a choice. We can ignore the intersecting roads and continue straight through the intersection — as we usually do — or we can turn and join others in their quest.
This happened in the 1960s when white college students found themselves at the intersection of Civil Rights Road and Status Quo Avenue. Many of us joined with our black sisters and brothers in their quest for equality, if not by marching in Mississippi, then at least in our hearts. But sometimes feeling the plight of others is not enough. Action is required for real change. And today we have a better chance of transforming our feelings into action, thanks to the Internet.
However, even an action like tweeting or signing an online petition pales in comparison to putting your body on the line and speaking out publically. It is too safe, too energy-effi