A young man, who had emigrated from India, stood up hesitantly, then fearlessly asked the famous author on the stage, “Could you please share some of your experiences and offer advice as to how to transition between Indian and American cultures?” Nilanjana Sudeshna Lahiri, who goes by Jhumpa, smiled at the questioner and her audience before stating that she had grown up American and her experiences of navigating cultures could be found in her stories and writings. From a hospitably crowded pew in Hendricks Chapel on a cold night on the Syracuse University campus, I thought about the “other America,” the one disparaged forRead More →

Dear Representative Tenney, I had to laugh when I heard your interview about “paid people” who are targeting your seat and the organization Indivisible, who has “set up offices,” in your district with the “primary purpose (of) retake(ing) the house on the Democratic side.” I’m a long time resident of the 22nd district, a member of Indivisible and I wish someone were paying me for being a responsible citizen. Certainly, in these times caring about our fellow Americans and their well-being; standing for the rights and opportunities of all people; and protecting our Constitution feels like a full-time job. But these are not the tasksRead More →

This article published in The Guardian on February 17, 2017 by an ICC affiliate member living out of district, outlines how the current administration and Republican majority in Congress is seeking to limit the right to protest and resist. Donald Trump will use every weapon to stamp out the grassroots resistance by Douglas Williams Social movements play a critical role in holding his administration to account. But Trump’s recent executive orders could endanger their survival Pundits say Donald Trump is “undermining democracy.” But their concern is often just about elite institutions: the media, the judiciary, the electoral system. What is ignored is the effect thatRead More →

If your first answer to the question in the headline is “Donald Trump,” think again. Trump is known to have a short attention span, and running the most powerful country on Earth takes some fairly high levels of concentration. Trump seems more than willing to delegate responsibility, as long as he is free to Tweet. Even before his Cabinet positions were filled, Trump looked at a handful (no play on words intended here) of advisors to do more than advise. Steve Bannon has either risen to the top or was at the top since Paul Manafort stepped down due to exposure of his dealings withRead More →

From time to time, leading up to the election, I would be chatting with a friend and be stunned to realize that someone I’ve known for years was a Trump supporter. How did we get here? I think we stopped listening to each other. Now it’s too late for that election, but not too late for me to at least try listening to my friends who support Mr. Trump. I want to know why. It’s going to take self-discipline not to reject my Trump supporter friends while I reject his legitimacy as the Electoral College’s election pick. Until I understand the people who see DonaldRead More →

Years ago, I wrote a YA fantasy novel which featured a fierce young shepherdess, named Saga, who was fighting against a powerful misogynistic regime. The novel never saw the light of day, probably because that girl was everything I’ve always dreamed of being; smart, powerful, fierce. She was the kind of character who starts out good and just gets better, which doesn’t always lead to an exciting read. But there was one scene that even now I thrill at thinking I wrote. In it Saga ranted about everyone treating her like she’s nothing. An older woman responds, “If you’re nothing, why are they so afraidRead More →

Discussing the latest round of news headline assaults on the American psyche while riding in a car, my son and I attempted to come up with something positive about the beginning of this most divisive, Trump era of political and national life. “He’s an endless supply of fodder for comedians,” my son said. “He causes artists the kind of existential angst that leads to producing new art,” I added. We drove on in silence, unable to come up with anything else that might be considered a positive outcome. A few days later, I participated in one of the multitude of Women’s Marches around the country,Read More →

Welcome to the blog of the writers of Indivisible Cortland County. Read the latest personal essays, stories, op-eds, commentary, analysis, poetry, and even occasional humorous pieces of local writers working toward the mission of ICC. This is where writers dream of a better world, work toward making it happen, and resist actions that damage our democracy. Come here to find solace or hope, encouragement or initiative, examples or questions we can answer together. Current contributors include: Lynn Olcott: Lynn Olcott is a retired teacher and free-lance writer. She lives in Cortland. Nancy Dafoe: Nancy Avery Dafoe is a writer and educator who taught at the high school andRead More →