Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays?

Even though my heart and spirit are so heavy and troubled this holiday season, I do want to send to all greetings and prayers.  We will be needing them, it seems.  No matter what you celebrate, believe, or not believe, we ALL need to believe in common humanity and the need for PEACE!  And that is certainly a large part of the message of the holiday season.

And as Steven W. Thrasher wrote - 'hold you loved ones close.'  Of course, my kitty thinks that includes pets, too! I certainly concur with that!!!

So let us  all, human and animal conpanions, send good wishes and vibes for the entire planet.

 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Whose America Is It?

Greetings again, dear readers --- at least I hope there are some out there.  Today is a "two-fer", so be sure to also check out the blog post immediately following this one.  And PLEASE, don't be shy;! I'd love to hear from you.

So much of the current political climate is distressing. There are those pledging resistance and that is a small spot of hope.  We will need all of that - and more.  Concerning to me (and hopefully to all of Goodwill) are those on the alt-right who suggest America belongs to white men.  And there was something else I had noticed, headlines and phrases such as *********'s America (I refuse to use the nutjob's name) caused me to write to a couple of editors about denying him the brand and that it was---- MY AMERICA, TOO!

All of that finally led to the following poem.  Hope you enjoy it.  I could use some encouragement here.

Whose America Is It?

Whose America is it?
A question I must ponder today
As I wonder how there can be some myopic individuals
Who suggest America belongs to white men
My reply to that suggestion must, of course be, “Wrong!”
It is my country, too,
The land of this proudly mixed-race woman,
Who is absolutely American
Born here
Studied here, taught here
Still living here
In the home my Father built
On the land my Mother bought
It is the country of my extended family,
Generations increasingly shaded by diverse ethnicities
It is the country of the people I meet
Regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual identity or preference
For aren’t we all neighbors,
As a Biblical parable explained?
It is historically a country built by and defended by hands of many colors
Despite hurdles placed in the way
Or humiliations so often endured
Surely a testament of attachment and belonging

Instead of exclusionary arrogance
All should heed the wise thought
Of a certain President Truman
Who told us being an American
Means you believe all men (and I will add ‘women’ here)
Are created free and equal
And isn’t it common knowledge that all means all
And not just some?

Open eyes, open ears,
Open minds, open hearts
Must lead the way
Then, and only then, can we
Follow examples of bridge-builders
Applaud trailblazers who opened doors for others,
And reveal the beauty in Dr. King’s Dream
The vision of just who is American should be broadened,
For as the country has grown geographically over centuries
Its heart must also expand,
Sending pulses throughout an ever more inclusive cultural landscape
As we realize that America belongs to all of us
And to America we all belong,
Each of us playing a part
In the continuing story of “We, the People.”



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NOOOOOO, Not AGAIN?

Greetings.  It just happened so recently:  I saw something I either hadn't noticed or seen before.  By now most of you must have heard of the animated movie Sing! or maybe have even seen it.  I really didn't pay much attention until I saw that image... A GORILLA!  And it immediately hit me as a very racist image.  So I then KNEW what my next blog post would be.

So while looking online for a link to let you look up the image, I found this post, and it's even worse than I thought.  The whole story line about this character is racially insensitive.  I'm dumbstruck.  What year is this?  Why do we have to continually contend with this stuff?  It's not even the first time I've written about such racist images here - check out the related posts if you haven't already.

All people of Goodwill need to stand up against this. We need to be aware of such things and speak out against them ---- and NOT patronize the brand or the offering.

And if this or any post is of  value to you, please comment and/or share. Thanks!

Related Posts:



Saturday, December 3, 2016

Three R's

Greetings again - and I HOPE there are readers out there!

It's been hard since the election to write.  Even blogging, I haven't really known exactly what to write next.  There have been so many dissections, but the result has made my heart and spirit very uneasy as I mentioned.

I don't know if you'd still call this a "dissection", but here are some reflections which I developed after the idea of "Three R's" just popped into my head (along with something else which I'll mention later).

I feel going forward we need to think in terms of Three R's: Resist, Remedy, Renew.

  • Resist.   As I mentioned in Seek a Just Unity, I am very wary of any normalization of or accommodating the incoming "so-called" administration.  Accommodating a leader with authoritarian tendencies usually is a disaster. Further, so many also feel that this nutjob's picks for his cabinet are uniformly disastrous.  We need to recognize the dangers posed to folks' health, liberties, even lives and Planet Earth itself.  You might wish to read another great piece by Steven W. Thrasher . Resistance and pushback will be crucial.  You can support organizations such as the ACLU or Planned Parenthood who are fighting for rights and liberties.  Folks are standing up against corporate aggression, for First Amendment right to protest, for Indigenous Rights, and for the environment by supporting  the Standing Rock #NoDAPL protests in various ways.  For example, many folks are pulling accounts from banks who are helping to finance this nefarious project.  We must also fight against things such as religious or racial profiling.  The Intercept has a new article detailing the response of 9 tech companies to the question:  Would [name of company], if solicited by the Trump administration, sell any goods, services, information, or consulting of any kind to help facilitate the creation of a national Muslim registry, a project which has been floated tentatively by the president-elect’s transition team?” (Only one said no, and if you haven't heard, I won't spoil things;  please check out the article).  Might it be a good idea to contact some of these companies - those listed in the article and also others - and let them know what a horrible idea this registry (or any such thing) is?  I'm sure you can think of or find other suggestions - and it's great to share them.
  • Remedy.  The Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., President and CEO of Hip Hop Caucus, said in an panel discussion on one of the C-Spans, that the ultimate goal must be legislation and policy formation to really affect change.  So we need to advocate for legislation and policy decisions that will benefit "We, The People" - from local concerns up through national and global ones.  We need to make sure leaders and officials are accountable and hold their feet to the fire in an attempt to get us on a more progressive, positive course.
  • Renew.  We MUST renew our commitment to Dr. King's Dream.  We MUST renew our commitment to making the "American Dream" more attainable for more people.  We MUST renew (or in some cases, begin to form) our recognition of our common humanity; that MUST overshadow tribalism. We MUST renew our commitment to our Planet (you'd think that would be obvious, but for some folks - notably that notorious nutjob - it isn't!).  Long term, we MUST get more and more folks on board. That's very hard to do now in this poisonous political climate, but we MUST find ways, great and small, to reach folks.

Would love to hear from any of you. Please share your thoughts in comments.  I really put some effort into this and it's been lonely lately.

Oh and I did say I'd mention something else that popped into my head around the same time as the idea of  "Three R's."  How about some music - say, a song I I hadn't thought of for quite some time?  Well, here are the lyrics, anyway; I tried to find a video, but it seemed most had poor sound quality, so I'll just give this:




And as always, if you find this post or any post here of value, please comment and/or share. Thanks!

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Seek a Just Unity