When will we say “Enough” and mean it?

I know I haven’t written in a while. Pardon me, but I’ve been sad. The orange buffoon has shattered my vision of humanity, and I’m struggling to break through the darkness that is despair.

So, another school shooting today. I have to ask – what’s the big deal? I mean, it’s not like we really want to do anything about it, right? Who cares anymore? Certainly not our lawmakers, certainly not the members of the gun cult. It’s just dead kids, right? We have to accept this as an inconvenience of American life, like taxes and traffic jams.

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I hate to admit this, but I’ve become blase’ about the whole gun thing. I used to get angry, heartbroken, scared, and would participate in one-sided maniacal shouting sessions at TV news coverage of dead children and murdered-at-the-hands-of-the-police Black People. It was exhausting for me, a middle-aged white grandmother, to care so deeply and oppose so vehemently, death by firearms. Now I just feel hopelessness.

Do not misunderstand me. My husband has an arsenal scattered amongst my tchotchkes in our home. He is responsible enough to put away the easily accessible ones when the Grands visit.  The rest are locked away, inventoried and waiting for the day that he is gone and I will make rid of them. But I have traveled this country, often alone, and have never felt the need to be armed. I guess that is because of my privilege. I mock him when he slides a pistol into the storage compartment of the car door. He says he’d rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. I guess. I just don’t think I need a gun.

What makes a person who is so sensitive – so insecure, become emboldened when they wrap their fingers around the trigger of a weapon? What makes a person (I really should use the male pronouns here, because women do not commit mass shootings) think they can fill in the hole in their confidence, psyche, masculinity or need for attention by killing innocents with a weapon of war? Blame the unfulfilled need for power and control? Blame the patriarchy? You betcha!

Those of you reading who say in order to value life we need to get back to god/read the bible in school/arm teachers…bite me. What we lack in this country is moral guidance, not religion. We need little boys to be taught that it is not OK to lash out aggressively towards their female classmates. We need them to be able to understand the meaning of “No” and not be shattered by it. And we need little girls to be taught that male aggression does not mean “he likes you”.

I don’t know anymore what it will take to solve this problem. I just don’t know. Call me a coward, a quitter. But for today, I’m gonna sit here in my comfortable privilege and not give a damn. I am doing this to shield my emotions from the terror that is all around us.  I’m tired of the Marches. I’m tired of calling and writing Congress.

Tots and Pears people.

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Religious Extremism

An acquaintance on social media posted the following: “If you believe your religion is worth killing for I’d like to suggest you start with yourself! How many bombings, be-headings and shootings do we have to put up with to realize religious extremism is really the problem? And No I’m not just talking about one particular […]

via Condoning Religious Extremism — the Beachwitch

Condoning Religious Extremism

An acquaintance on social media posted the following: “If you believe your religion is worth killing for I’d like to suggest you start with yourself!
How many bombings, be-headings and shootings do we have to put up with to realize religious extremism is really the problem? And No I’m not just talking about one particular religion, I’m talking about all religions.”

The argument I always hear about this is “those are just radicals, extremists”. My answer to this comment is that as a supporter of your religion, you are guilty of condoning these actions simply by belonging to this same religion. And of course, your ‘good book’ tells you how to subjugate women, beat your kids and slaves, and kill your enemies. So, if your book tells you how to do this, you’re not a ‘better’ person just because you decide to ignore your book.

Listen to us please

The tragedy in Manchester yesterday was a strategy explicitly targeting an audience filled with girls. Disenfranchised young men enabled by misogyny and toxic masculinity are being recruited by radical extremists who see it as their calling to rein in females and put us in our place. It’s also pertinent to note that the entertainer (Grande) has a large gay following. There is little doubt that misogyny and homophobia were two of the reasons behind this attack. The talking heads seem to be missing this.

Attempts to address the threats represented by all kinds of extremist violence, including white-christian-male-supremacist violence in the US, fall on deaf ears. Just like our outrage about pussy-grabbing, we are dismissed as being overly sensitive and alarmist in our concerns.

 

The internet is full of people offering prayers (the least effective thing one can do) and posting memes. To these people, only their religion matters, and they are blind to the fact that not everyone shares their views. Personally, I reply to their posts that the people affected by this shocking act of violence are in my thoughts and their fate weighs heavy on my heart. I end my comments by saying that our leaders must be vigilant in bringing these extremists to justice, and we must not be distracted by anyone attempting to call on a deity that believers insist can intervene after the fact, yet did nothing to prevent it.

When the privileged feel threatened

I submitted this letter to the editor yesterday (once I calmed down enough to write it).

My response to the letter “Christians are stopped from serving the Lord”.

Dear Editor,
I read this letter today and immediately knew I had to respond. I am human, so please understand when I tell you this hurt me. Deeply. Let’s get something straight. Christians are not being “stopped from serving the lord” as they please. I think what the writer actually means is that she feels threatened.
For much of our history America has been dominated by Christianity. Everywhere you turn there are symbols of the Christian faith. Christian churches are in every community in America. Hospitals funded by Christian organizations provide health care in every state. Schools and Universities named for Christian leaders teach America’s youth. Americans are free to wear symbols of their faith on chains around their necks and on their clothing. They can read religious books in public, and say grace openly in restaurants.
I never hear my Jewish and Muslim friends complain that they are unable to worship as they please in our country. I wonder why that is, especially since throughout history they have been victimized, tortured and killed (by Christians) for merely existing, much less practicing their faith.
Because others are using their voice to assert themselves in our culture, Christians are feeling offended. I think they have confused the rights of others with their own. In America, you can have an abortion or marry a same-sex partner if you want to, because it is legal to do so. If you don’t believe in abortion, then don’t have one. If you don’t want to marry someone of the same sex, you don’t have to. No one is forcing Christians to have abortions or get ‘gay married’. But, you do not have the right to tell others they cannot.
What happens when privilege is threatened? Remember what the wealthy plantation owners did when they faced losing all that free slave labor? Remember what kings and queens throughout history did to people who opposed them? Remember lynching in the south during the Jim Crow era? These kinds of things occurred because a class of privileged people felt threatened.
Since today is Sunday I assume many of you are worshiping in the church of your choosing, praying to the god you believe in, wearing the clothing you selected from your closet which I assume you bought with your hard-earned money. That is your right. But you don’t get to tell the rest of us that we must do the same, because hooray, we’re in America.

How am I Supposed to Feel?

He’s dying. I wasn’t expecting to hear this news. I always thought I would get a phone call that he was dead, but I did not expect a call telling me that he was sick and dying. And so, today, I am examining my feelings.

Do I care? Doesn’t he deserve this, to suffer? Didn’t he bring this on himself, his choices and lifestyle attributing to his now eminent demise? Am I able to look beyond the pain and suffering he caused me, and most of all my children, and find an emotion not entangled with hatred and resentment?

We were together for nearly ten years, married for the last two. Although not the father of my children, he often spent more time with them than I did. I worked a full time job, and towards the end of it, a second part-time job. Near the end, he would sleep all day.

In my mind I pretended we were still a family, even after my oldest left home at 17. Even when writing 1000 sentences or pulling weeds was used as punishment, I told myself he just wanted to build their character. I didn’t know, but should’ve known, he doled out the more severe punishments when I was away.

I knew we were ending, knew it couldn’t continue the way it was, and that there was no saving it. After years of drug use and mental manipulation, something had to give. The day I came home and my youngest was black and blue was the day I saw reality, saw what was happening right under my nose. I found courage and once I had my wits about me I took action. Changing the locks, the 50B protective order, adding a security notice at the kid’s school – all these actions were steps I needed to take to make us safe.

No words cannot express my regret. I failed to see what was happening right in front of me. For that, I will never forgive myself. My oldest has struggled with life, from addiction to jail to rehab. For years my youngest raged at the world, spending time in a psychiatric facility. I had done the same, for 11 days, some months before it came to this. I should’ve realized then that being with him was poisoning us all. He was an emotional vampire, but also the giver of light. The affect he had on me was blinding. I’m not saying I am not guilty. But I know I was confused.

And now he lays dying, yellow and sick from liver damage. My daughter went to see him and said he did not recognize her. He told her that he and I went for a drive to the lake yesterday. I don’t know if I’m convinced that he believes that, or if he is still playing games, looking for sympathy.

Part of me thinks I should go to the hospital, as my daughter says, for closure. My youngest says he intends to go, not because he forgives him, but just to know he has put the past away. I told him not to expect an apology. He says he wouldn’t accept it anyway.

I turned to Google to decide what it is I am feeling. As someone who was not raised in an emotionally stable environment (my mother suffered from mental illness, but I’ll save that for another day), I have often struggled with my lack of emotional maturity. I have a hard time understanding what it is I am feeling. For most of my life I simply went through the motions, not really feeling a lot of things I should have, could have. I think I have been in survival mode since I was about six years old. I’m also a sensitive, but I was never taught to embrace it. Now I am at the point in my life that I’m digging in my heels, wanting to slow the clock and live in the moment. I need to feel everything, completely. Even if it hurts. I need to feel it.

I feel sorry for him because he squandered what we had, and anger that the family we could’ve been, wasn’t. I feel contempt that he dared to use me like he did. I feel shame that I let him. I feel empathy because he is still a human being, and disdain for him being such a waste of human life. How did he let his life spiral into homelessness and halfway houses? I feel pity for him, but not to the point that I’m willing to help him. I do not forgive him, but I understand that life is not easy for those who are not strong enough. I am strong enough, but I do not forgive myself. I do not wish to see him suffer. I am not that cruel. I do resent that because he is sick, and because my daughter called to tell me he is sick, he is once again in my thoughts. Once again, I must consider him. Only this time it’s to say a final goodbye.

Meet the new hate. Same as the old hate.

Trigamy? Really?

You know what? I don’t even care about this. Here is what I think about Kim Davis. I think her brand of religion causes her to feel guilt and shame about her past. So now, in order to feel ‘worthy’ she has to fight against what is perceived to be the easiest discrimination to practice – that being against the gay community. Ah, but therein lies the rub! The LGBTQIA community has had enough! And with support from allies and the recognition of the court, they have been vindicated, albeit in a small way. All the suffering and abuse doesn’t just get washed away because of the SCOTUS ruling. We still fight, and fight to educate, and will continue to do so until ALL citizens have full and equal federal protection. Or until these RWNJs die off – whichever comes first.

Taylor Statute

Kim Davis Gets An Award For Breaking The Law To Discriminate Against Gay People

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Here is a picture of the award I would present to her

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Granddaughters

They are one and three years old. The older one has my mother’s middle name, just with fancier spelling. The younger one, the baby, is even more beautiful than her mother. Except, as a baby her mother was a dark-haired beauty with the most beautiful blue eyes. Almost thirty now, she is still a beauty. Confident and so much more aware of her place in the world than I was at that age. But that baby. My, my.

The girls are blonde, courtesy of a sweet blonde boy who grew up to be the man who loves my daughter. Their stubborn trait can be blamed equally on each parent. But the way they take my breath each time I see them – that’s all theirs.

I remember the first time the older one took my hand and said “Follow me Mimi”. I wanted to shout with joy that she knew my name!

How is it that you think your heart has all the love you will ever need inside it, but then you discover this grandbaby love and find it is uncharted territory?  Just when you think you’re older and wiser and there are no more “firsts”, your children have children, and brand new love finds and charms your weary heart.