File Under “Deflection”: Stupid Questions

I don’t condone the violence or the rioting. It’s wrong and it’s terrible and it’s gut-wrenching to watch my country descend into chaos.

I simply made an ill-advised attempt to re-direct certain people’s attention away from the rioting and back to the source of the protests. (Don’t ask me why I did it. I’d made myself a promise only yesterday that I would NOT engage on this issue. Oh, who was I kidding, of course I’m going to engage.)

I tried to remind someone that there is undeniable, systemic racism in our country and that’s what we should be focused on. “Let’s not let ourselves get sidetracked here,” I said. “The continued, systematic denial of human rights is the real problem. Let’s direct our outrage there.”

Continue reading “File Under “Deflection”: Stupid Questions”

Douse the Flames

Your concern is quite touching. Truly. Your words of concern for all those small business owners whose shops are being looted and businesses being burned to the ground in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Chicago, and other cities all across the US during the riots sparked by the killing of George Floyd touch my heart. These people are just trying to make a living. They haven’t done anything wrong. These thugs must be brought to justice!

I know you’re not a racist. I know, because you said so. And I know that you’re moved by the plight of the oppressed and by the tragedy of Floyd’s death, (although he might have — no, probably did — deserve the treatment at the hands of the police officer — it’s impossible to tell from the video footage what came before — and after all if he could say “I can’t breathe,” then obviously he could breathe), but when the looting starts . . . well then that’s surely when things have gone too far. That’s real evil.

Continue reading “Douse the Flames”

I have nothing left

I am exhausted.

For two years, we’ve faced a constant assault on our nation’s values, our democratic institutions, and our fellow citizens, especially the most vulnerable among us. Along with the rest of the country, I have watched as:

Continue reading “I have nothing left”

Eleanor Roosevelt: July 23, 1943

“So my plea is that those who have the gift of words, use them in these days to give the people hope by which to live and dream, for without the vision we shall perish.”

I have deep admiration for Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady of the United States during one of our country’s most challenging times. She had bold, and you might even say modern, opinions about political, social, and racial issues. She was articulate, thoughtful, outspoken, and worked tirelessly for the causes she believed in.

In so many ways she was a woman well ahead of her time.

We could benefit from her voice today. And so I think that I will post regular quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt, starting with this one, which I believe is quite appropriate for those of us who read and write blogs:

“So my plea is that those who have the gift of words, use them in these days to give the people hope by which to live and dream, for without the vision we shall perish.”
From her nationally syndicated “My Day” newspaper column, July 23, 1943.

Our Defeats Will Steel Our Resolve

I just realized something:

All of the “defeats” that we have been subjected to over the last two years, that have left us so deflated and demoralized, are not defeats at all. They are signposts along the way to our better future. They are there to energize us, and more than that, to test our resolve:

Do we really believe in our cause? Or is it just so many empty words?

Are we whiners who expect that everything will go our way, and when it does not we throw up our hands in defeat? Or are we willing to get our hands dirty and do the hard work necessary to create the future that we believe in?

Do we wallow in defeat and demoralization while everything wastes away at the hands of a small group of people who will walk all over our rights and our dignity and take it away from us? Or do we fight back?

Do we really believe in the promise of our country? That all of us are created equal. That hard work will be rewarded fairly. That we can leave a better world for our children. That ours is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Because right now — at this moment — we are engaged in the great test of our generation: can the promise of this country endure?

We have been sitting here pining for someone to step up, waiting for someone to emerge and show us the way. We have been desperate for a leader so we can follow them to the promised land. But we don’t need a leader to follow: we already know the way. We can join hands and walk there together.

There is a great task ahead of us. And we will take increased devotion to our cause from the defeats we have suffered. But we will not be demoralized. We will not be defeated. We will not let others steal our hope. We will not watch our country crumble. We will steel ourselves for the fight ahead. And we will succeed.

Our future is one month away. Let’s go.

An Old Friend’s Very Revealing Statement

Even the people that you think are your allies often turn out to be as much a part of the problem as the people who show it overtly by their words, deeds, or their votes.

Today I was confronted by a statement from a man that I have known and respected for more than three decades. With his statement, he showed that he, too, blames the victims and completely fails to understand the real problem.Continue reading “An Old Friend’s Very Revealing Statement”

Kavanaugh Situation Says a Lot About White Male Privilege

It’s no secret that white male privilege, specifically UPPER CLASS white male privilege, is so ingrained in our society that usually most of us don’t recognize it. That’s sort of the definition of privilege I guess. But other times it’s so apparent that it slaps us right across the face. That was the feeling I had today while I was listeningContinue reading “Kavanaugh Situation Says a Lot About White Male Privilege”

Background on the Brett Kavanaugh Nomination for Supreme Court

It absolutely boggles the mind the degree to which the nomination process of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has dispensed with the norms that the President and Senate have followed in these matters for decades. Continue reading “Background on the Brett Kavanaugh Nomination for Supreme Court”