The pendulum of Jane Fonda’s life swings wide right now. In Lyon, France to graciously accept the 10th Lumiere Lifetime Achievement Award, Fonda used her platform to first thank the french and then to speak on American politics.
Speaking in French, which she masters fluently, having been married to late film maker Roger Vadim in the 1960s, she played on the surname of the inventors of the moving pictures, the Lumière Brothers. Lumière means light in French, and Fonda said her award was a gift of "amour et lumière", love and light.
Preparing to leave France for Michigan, where Fonda is working with Taraji P. Henson to get out the vote efforts in the minority communities, the Oscar-winning actor currently featured in an HBO biopic ‘Jane Fonda In Five Acts’, summed up the concerns of so many progressives heading into the midterms on November 6.
“The elections on Nov. 6 are the most important elections of my lifetime. So much depends on what happens,” she said. “It's hard for me to breathe right now.”
Fonda maintains close ties to Georgia, her home with former husband and CNN founder Ted Turner. She also operates a Georgia nonprofit GCAPP (Georgia Campaign For Adolescent Power And Potential) But now, she can no longer speak to extended family and friends there.
“I love them, but I can't talk to them anymore. And I will fight to my last breath to stop what they are trying to do.” Fonda is referring to massive efforts by Republicans in Georgia to disenfranchise minority voters as the state stands on the precipice of electing its first black woman governor — America’s first black woman governor — Stacy Abrams.
Republican candidate for governor, current secretary of state Brian Kemp, is disenfranchising minority voters at an epic rate. To most progressives and Democrats, Kemp has an untenable conflict of interest and presumably Jane Fonda agrees.
The activist also spoke about America’s president Donald Trump. “I believe he suffers from PTSD because like many men he was, I believe, brutalized by his father when he was very, very young,” she said. “And some men … lose empathy for others [and] also totally lack empathy. And he has been very brutal with his own sons. Father son father son, it's very sad. I hate this. I have empathy for him, it's difficult, I try, I work at it.” (Jane Fonda, you are a far better soul than I am!)
“Martin Luther King said, 'I don't have to like you, but I have to love you.' It's not easy at this moment,” she summed up the situation in America. “We live in the patriarchy and the patriarchy makes us think that empathy and love is weak, but it's not. That is where our strength is. We have two strengths — there are more of us, and also we go forward with love and open minds and warm hearts.”