A dangerous brand of patriotism.

19 Oct

(The title of the post was inspired by this article on cnn.com;
it is well worth reading in its entirety.)

“What is our excuse today for not voting?

Look at our history.  We are Lewis and Clark and Sacajawea, pioneers who braved the unfamiliar, followed by a stampede of farmers and miners, and entrepreneurs and hucksters.  That’s our spirit.  That’s who we are.

We are Sojourner Truth and Fannie Lou Hamer, women who could do as much as any man and then some.  And we’re Susan B. Anthony, who shook the system until the law reflected that truth.  That is our character.

We’re the immigrants who stowed away on ships to reach these shores, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free –- Holocaust survivors, Soviet defectors, the Lost Boys of Sudan.  We’re the hopeful strivers who cross the Rio Grande because we want our kids to know a better life.  That’s how we came to be.  (Applause.)

We’re the slaves who built the White House and the economy of the South.  (Applause.)  We’re the ranch hands and cowboys who opened up the West, and countless laborers who laid rail, and raised skyscrapers, and organized for workers’ rights.

We’re the fresh-faced GIs who fought to liberate a continent.  And we’re the Tuskeegee Airmen, and the Navajo code-talkers, and the Japanese Americans who fought for this country even as their own liberty had been denied.

We’re the firefighters who rushed into those buildings on 9/11, the volunteers who signed up to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq.  We’re the gay Americans whose blood ran in the streets of San Francisco and New York, just as blood ran down this bridge. (Applause.)

We are storytellers, writers, poets, artists who abhor unfairness, and despise hypocrisy, and give voice to the voiceless, and tell truths that need to be told.

We’re the inventors of gospel and jazz and blues, bluegrass and country, and hip-hop and rock and roll, and our very own sound with all the sweet sorrow and reckless joy of freedom.

We are Jackie Robinson, enduring scorn and spiked cleats and pitches coming straight to his head, and stealing home in the World Series anyway.  (Applause.)

We are the people Langston Hughes wrote of who “build our temples for tomorrow, strong as we know how.”  We are the people Emerson wrote of, “who for truth and honor’s sake stand fast and suffer long;” who are “never tired, so long as we can see far enough.”

That’s what America is.  Not stock photos or airbrushed history, or feeble attempts to define some of us as more American than others.  (Applause.)  We respect the past, but we don’t pine for the past.  We don’t fear the future; we grab for it.  America is not some fragile thing.  We are large, in the words of Whitman, containing multitudes.”¹

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Let’s stop normalizing abuse towards women

13 Oct

Here’s the thing…

Just as electing the first Black President in the history of this country has not only NOT eliminated racism, but often brought bigotry out into the open in sometimes unexpected ways, and places, electing Hillary Clinton would not mean that we live in a world where sexism, discrimination and misogyny are the exception rather than the rule.

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“Smile, sweetheart”

7 Oct

(This was originally posted to the Community section of MyMedia;
it has also been expanded with some content that is not appropriate for/allowed in that venue)

I post the following link with a caveat: the title of the article mentions Hillary Clinton, currently a candidate for the Presidency of the USoA. The article itself is not about politics per se, but about sexism.

Specifically, the sexism of telling women to smile.

To wit:

Women hate being told to smile, and it’s only in the past four years or so that I’ve completely lost patience with it. The last time was the grocery store employee who walked by me and told me to “smile, sweetheart,” and I gave him a nasty look and moved on. No one tells a male stranger to smile; only women are expected to placidly smile all the time.

There is a lot of important stuff in that piece, and I encourage readers of this thread to follow the link and read it in its entirety.

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Ellora’s Cave: last gasp?

4 Oct

(See updates at end)

It’s been just over two years since Ellora’s Cave sued Dear Author and Jane Litte/Jen Frederick, over “The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave.”

For those not in the know, that piece was based mostly (I’d say, 90 to 95%), on public records–from liens placed on the company by Ohio/Akron, to published pieces on traditional media, to the CEO’s own communications with authors, editors, and other employees, and with Jane Litte/Jen Frederick herself.

Still, Jaid Black/Tina Engler didn’t much like what the piece said about her, and so, a lawsuit for defamation was filed in late September 2014.

Between then and now, shit happened. And more shit happened. And then the suit was settled.

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Conduct unbecoming?

30 Sep

(Originally posted to the Community section at MyMedia)

Scenario: a woman is walking out of a building toward her car when a man grabs her from behind and lifts her off her feet.

After a couple of seconds of paralyzed surprise, the woman elbows the man in the face and frees herself. As she turns around, yelling “who the fuck are you?” the man in question–a stranger to her–runs off.

Would you consider her reaction outrageous?

Would you call her behaviour after being attacked–and yes, grabbing someone from behind and lifting them off their feet, is an attack–unladylike, unbecoming, too aggressive, ‘not model’ behaviour?

Well, it so happens this scenario is not made up.

Not only have millions of women around the world experienced this, as a prelude to being robbed, raped, beaten and more. And here we have just one example, caught on camera:
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28 Sep

Most of my readers already do this, but please, if you know of anyone who is planning on sitting this one out…show them this.

Descansa en paz, M.A.E.F (May 21, 1935-September 9, 2016)

10 Sep

My mother died last night.

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