WILLIAM RIVERS PITT FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Tonight, I raise a glass to many upon many, and to many more again.
I raise a glass to those who ran to the sound and the smoke and the screams and the blood on Boylston Street in Boston, to do what they could. I raise a glass to those who survived, and to those who did not. I raise a glass to those with a hole in their life now; I have wept for you and yours more times this year than I can say, and I hold you and yours close to my heart tonight.
I raise a glass to you who have gone to war, and have come home to feel the back of America's hand as you limp on your prosthetic or tremble in disorder. It has been wisely said that a nation which does not care for its veterans, for he and she who has borne the battle, and their widow, and their orphan, has no business making new veterans in new wars anywhere, ever. To you, I raise a glass.
I raise a glass to every man and woman who wants to work but cannot find employment or get assistance because a few people you will never meet have decided it is politically expedient to see you suffer. They will tell you this nation has no money, which is a filthy lie; we have money, lots and lots of money, which is sent to strange and greedy corners because what we lack is not money, but a proper set of priorities. I raise a glass to you, and wish you a better year than the one you have endured.
I raise a glass to the healers, the helpers, the activists arrested trying to defend the right to vote, the right not to be poisoned by a pipeline or a fracking field, the right not to be harassed by police, the right to smoke a joint and make cancer just a bit less of a burden. I raise a glass to you who Occupies, who dares, who risks, who stands for us all.
I raise a glass to each and every man and woman who has fought for, and achieved, the right to marry whoever the damn hell they please. I raise a glass to love in all of its forms, to the states that have abandoned apartheid and embraced civil rights in the matter of marriage and love. I raise a glass to all those who wait behind the invisible bars of the ongoing apartheid in too many other states, and I raise a glass to the not-too-distant-future, when those bars will come crashing down, when love can be love for everyone, at last.
I raise a glass to every woman everywhere who pushed back against trans-vaginal ultrasounds, against getting raped after getting raped, against the idea that women's bodies are not their own, but are some form of public entity into which the Bronze-Age morality of modern white men can be shoved by way of dark-of-night legislation written by cowards and fools.
I raise a glass to those who have died before the barrel of a gun, to those who have been maimed by a gun, to those who have lost someone to a gun, and to those who fight every day to try and stop the bloody avalanche of death by gun in America.
I raise a glass to Truthout, to BuzzFlash, and to every other alternative media source that dares to barge the genuine news into the body politic. The organization I work for does more good in a day than the New York Times does in a month, and my gratitude at being able to participate in that is fathomless and bottomless.
I raise a glass to you, America, to the good you still have within you and the greatness you can achieve, if you choose to.
I raise a glass to my wife, and to my daughter, and to my mother, and to my friends, without whom I would quite simply be lost.
I raise a glass, and hold you close, and wish for you the best of all possible New Years.
With all of my love,
William Rivers Pitt
(Photo: Jon Phillips)