The news lately has me on edge.
If I turn on the TV, I’m likely to face a parade of bitter white guys in dark suits talking about Ukraine, Rudy Giuliani and extortion.
The internet delivers a picture of the long-lost, oh-so-reptilian Alex Cranberg. The oilman behind Douglas County’s sinister dalliance with school vouchers as well as other Republican candidates and causes has secured a bazillion-dollar contract to drill for oil in, where else, Ukraine.
The mayoral election in Aurora was so mishandled, so confusing and so close that volunteers were pressed into public service frantically going door-to-door in an attempt to validate hundreds of ballots. How pathetic is that.
And the New York Times reports that a poll of likely voters reveals a shocking number of them agree with the statement that women who run for president “just aren’t that likable,” which is a clever way to get them to admit to secretly being sexist to the marrow.
It’s no wonder I feel such relief when I sneak to bed at 9:30 to binge-watch “Schitt’s Creek.”
Alas, there may be no real escape from the dark night that is our reality, but if you look carefully now and then you’ll see glimmers of hope, and I don’t mean just in the wacky brilliance of “Schitt’s Creek.”
Cue an ovation for Megan Rapinoe.
It wasn’t enough for her to kick the most goals in the 2019 World Cup or to be awarded the Golden Ball for the best player in the tournament. She could have taken her trophies and headed to the locker room for a glass of champagne and a massage.
After all, athletes are supposed to lie low and keep their opinions to themselves so as not to upset the sponsors, the fans, the owners.
Think of the children, some say. Or, um, the money.
Instead she decided to use her extraordinary profile as an international superstar to rear back and kick the bear.
She spoke of so many people of courage and conviction who brought her to this moment – Colin Kaepernick especially. She also called out #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke, Harvey Milk, Gloria Steinem, Audre Lorde, Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, and the leaders of Black Lives Matter and Time’s Up.
“I’ve gained this incredible platform in such a short period of time, but I’m not going to stand on it alone,” she said in her acceptance speech at the recent Glamour Women of the Year awards. “I refuse to do that.
“And I’m not going to act like my whiteness has nothing to do with me standing before you now. …
“We’ve got to switch the game up.”
The game, as she sees it, is a “system that benefits some over the detriment of others” and “is quite literally tearing us apart in this country.
“While we all have injustices we are facing … I still know in my heart of hearts and my bones that I can do more. And that we can do more. And I know that because we just have to. We must. It’s imperative that we do more.
“My mom … impressed upon me and my twin sister at a very young age, ‘You ain’t sh– ’cause your good at sports. You ain’t sh– ’cause you’re popular. You’re gonna be a good person. You’re gonna be kind. And you’re gonna do the right thing. You’re gonna stand up for yourself, always. You’re gonna stand up for each other, always. And you’re damn sure going to stand up for other people. Always.”
Rapinoe wants to reimagine our culture and our attitude toward each other.
“…I think we can move on from losing alone to the belief in winning together.
“… We have such an incredible opportunity to redefine what power and influence and success looks like,” she said.
She’s 34 years old. She’s out and proud. She doesn’t care if you don’t like her.
“We’re here. We’re ready,” she said to a roar of applause.
Remember this moment.
We have seen the future. And she has purple hair.
Diane Carman is a Denver communications consultant.