Friday, July 8, 2016

All the bad things

What do you say when there's nothing left to say? When you’re me, apparently that’s when you start talking.

I realize that since my blog has been on radio silence forever (that’s metric, more like months-and-months-and-months in American) it’s a bit strange that I would start my re-boot this way. I haven’t SAID anything in a long time. But this morning I just can’t not mark the day. Here’s what I know:

One of our candidates for president is a vile racist (or maybe race-ish’d, since it’s not clear if he truly believes the vile things he says/retweets/implies or if he just knows it serves his candidacy to make sure certain segments think he does believe it). He’s a misogynist. He mocks the handicapped. He thinks that stating something as fact makes it so. His favorite source for information is “Some people are saying….” He has, it seems, no capacity for empathy. And though I applaud leaders who are capable of taking a stand, assessing the facts, and then changing their mind on an issue, this particular candidate has been on almost every side of every issue from moment to moment. (Except Obama. He’s always hated Obama. Gotta give him that…) This candidate makes me SO ANGRY and disappointed in humanity that my head hurts.

The other one of our candidates for president has so much excess baggage she wouldn’t have the credit on her Am Ex card to pay the fees to get on a Southwest flight. Her self-fulling prophecy seems to be “I can’t trust anyone so I better skirt the standards and protocols of my position which makes me untrustworthy and gives people ammunition so I can’t trust anyone….” Back in the 1990s her husband broke my heart (not literally, I interned at “Fresh Air”… ba-dum-dum) but he made it up to me by being an engaged, thoughtful, pro-human ex-President. And she was part of the renewed good feeling. Now, it seems, she’s doing her darndest to finish off my last gasp of youthful, 90s exuberance. Even though I agree with her on most of the issues, this candidate makes me SO SAD and disappointed that it hurts my heart.

Here’s what else I know:

Last night police officers in Dallas were targeted and murdered as they were doing their jobs. And it serves to mention in this time of nationwide questionable tactics, Dallas has been ROCKING police reform. They, it seems, were doing their jobs WELL and RESPONSIBLY. Shooting any cop, even a d-bag racist, is bad, but these particular cops being targeted is just devastating.

The day before a 32-year-old man in Minnesota was doing his best to follow police instructions, inform the officer of his weapon and HIS RIGHT TO HAVE SAID weapon. Reached for his ID. And he’s dead. Because broken headlight.

A man in Louisiana was taken to the ground, taze’d, and THEN shot several times by police. Because selling illegal CDs (and possibly being kind of a dick about it).

All of this makes me so distraught that it hurts my soul.

Other things I know:

People I know and love make choices I don’t understand. These choices are objectively and obviously horrible and have negative impact on those closest to them. From their point of view I have to believe the choices seem to be the only reasonable ones… but I can’t even. I don’t even.

And that’s the thing: I DON’T even speak up. Try to start the conversation. Make an effort. I don’t because it’s far more comfortable to shake my head and tsk, tsk, tsk and worry. Also, I’m a wuss and maybe it’s not REALLY my business because it doesn’t affect my day-to-day.

NONE of the stuff I talk about here affects my day-to-day.

I’m not black.

I’m not gay.

I’m not handicapped.

I’m not sending emails of any kind to Secretary Clinton, let alone classified ones.

I’m not a cop.

I’m not being taken advantage of financially or emotionally by a family member.

I woke up this morning, clicked on Twitter and my public radio app, heard the horrible news, sighed and fretted... and then got out of bed to make oatmeal for my kids. I had the luxury to consider my thoughts. I had to the luxury to decide that I might want to write something down. And I listen to NPR coverage as I type. As I type SAFELY in my home.

Meanwhile, my kids play inside and outside of my house. Free of fear, free of hunger, free of emotional want - as it should be - but as it is NOT for so many kids.

What’s it all mean? What do I want? Specifically, what do I want TO DO?

My guess is there are many more like me who are wide-eyed, shocked, and sad about this stuff. Are you a middle income white lady with no official skin in the game but feeling completely out of sorts about all of this? Please please please tell me what you are DOING? ACTION is what I'm talkin' about. (And yes, "pray” is great but we are so far beyond that).

I will end with the wise Facebook words of my sister, Heather. She is referring to our annual week-ish-long gathering of my siblings and their offspring and then some. As usual, she says in a few sentences what I couldn't' figure out how to say in a blathering blog post.:

If you want an example of how this society could work, spend a day at Camp Gungah. Trust me, you'll be equally annoyed by, entertained by, loved by, given a wedgie by ALL of us.
White semi-racists, white ultra liberals, immigrants, blacks, in laws, out laws, ex spouses of in laws, Asians, Hill Billies, suburbanites, fat people, skinny people, shack in laws, shack in laws' children, young, old, engineers, teachers, homemakers, librarians, country music fans, functional alcoholics....
And we've never shot anyone.

This is only a fraction of the Camp Gungah contingent. But... none have shot any other. Not that there isn't cause in some instances.....


  1. I'm with you. Right now I am just trying to hold it together to make it through a day of work without crying, screaming or totally losing it on some poor unsuspecting idiot. I am not sure if my head will explode before my heart breaks or vice versa.
    Robert Kennedy is my personal hero (or one of them)once said "Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance." I think, while we are trying to decide what ripple to make, adding a sane voice of humanity in what seems to be a sea of thoughtless rabble-rousing intolerant bullpoop is a good start.

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