What a patriot Chelsea (Bradley) Manning is! What a hero of journalism! Someone who walked the walk as opposed to talking the talk. A person who has sacrificed all freedoms for what they believe in. A human being who without resorting to violence, went to war with the Military Industrial Complex. In the information/ knowledge worker age, Manning took the protests, sit ins, and whistleblowing concepts out of the 20th century, combined them, and brought them all screaming into the 21st century by innovating or at the very least popularizing hacktivism.
Chelsea changed many of my personal perceptions. I have always been pro equal rights for gays and lesbians. However, the T in LGBT has always been a source of a source of hypocrisy for me, Chelsea Manning will be my turning point on that issue. I have wanted to be a journalist and/or media writer, but after years of conglomerate media ownership/takeovers I feared there was no more journalism. Chelsea Manning restored my faith in both the existence and power of the fifth estate. I believed that Barack Obama was an advocate for changing government and voted for him with a sense of pride, feeling I was making a difference. Chelsea Manning’s prosecution as a spy under the Espionage Act showed me Obama is nothing more than the same prototypical politician in a different wrapper, with better public speaking skills.
I planned on referring to her as Bradley during this blog and most future blogs. While doing my research and brushing up on some facts, I found it impossible to do that. Chelsea’s attorney, reading her statement after the verdict was handed down, had me feeling bad for even considering such an action. Even typing Bradley Manning into search engines had me wincing, with the knowledge I had made a mistake. Chelsea has earned the right to be called whatever she wants. She has endured hell on Earth via years of solitary confinement in a military prison, all before receiving a 35 year sentence. All in the name of government transparency.
Chelsea Manning made me want to write again. I had only been writing for academic purposes. It was symbolic of how I lived me life for so long. Using negative assumptions dictate my reality. Living my life through a series of mental movies with stressful situations and outcomes scare me from taking action in the direction of my dreams. I would be creatively inspired by movies, music, television, paintings, and drawings but the good vibes would fade almost instantly. I felt like I needed to be inspired, that the inspiration needed to last. A self fulfilling writer’s block played out amongst many other issues. I was living my life as a weak coward. Chelsea Manning helped me find my bravery, helped me find consistent desire to write.
Chelsea taught me that we can’t afford to be afraid to move in the direction of what we believe in and what we feel is right. Just because we don’t act, doesn’t mean the World stops spinning, doesn’t mean that others aren’t taking action in place of us. She is a living, modern day example of many things that I have read about in books that are half a century old at least. She helped dissolve my fear of being lost in the shuffle. She helped me feel enthusiastic about putting my talents and abilities into practice, rather than leaving them in thought and regret. Chelsea Manning made me want to write again, Edward Snowden made me feel like I needed to be writing again…