You are JUST as F**ked as the rest of us. BE A NICE PERSON!!!

Snark and I were having a conversation the other day regarding traffic. Traffic takes up a lot of our conversations as we chat via our handsfree devices whilst maneuvering through the suburban jungles on their crowded asphalt and concrete trails, encountering dangers at every turn! In otherwords, traffic in the metro Atlanta area is completely jacked. No lie. Anyways, we were talking about traffic and we were talking about using manners in traffic. Like, if we are *all* waiting in an ungodly long line of traffic, is it really gonna hurt to let that person who is turning from the intersecting street to your right in front of you? Is that one car really going to make you later than you were already going to be? No, probably not. And that is the point.

In the case of all these assholes out there, yelling at the inconvenience of life because they have to wait in line or let someone scooch beside them to get some meds at the store or to all those who are so angry about people who don’t speak english living in our country…seriously? Are you really going to let your mouth open up and your ass fall out?

Guess what, people. We are all in this together. We will all eventually breathe the same air on this planet. We will all eventually drink the same water. Eat from the same farm. We are all connected in one way or another, despite the connection not being completely visible to us. We are all, in one way or another, affected by the same events that take place in this world and we are all responsible for being the best people we can be to each other. Doing this could make interactions so much easier.

And when this great big ball of rock decides it’s had enough of us puny humans living on it’s surface, or when we puny humans have done so much damage that this big ball of rock is no longer habitable, then we will all be in the same situation. So, when you think of all of this-and I mean *REALLY* think-then it really does make sense when I say:

“You are JUST as fucked as the rest of us.

Be a nice person!!!

Be Kind to yourself and one another,

The Grey

#Woke

via Daily Prompt: Oversight

It was gradual. But powerful. Sitting back and watching the protests in  Ferguson, where ever there was violence against people of color, the beginnings of #BlackLivesMatter movement, I thought to myself, “Wow-how angry these people are.” And went about my own business. I wasn’t indifferent, just ignorant in my understanding of their experience. Sure, I could watch the tv news every morning and night and see the violence that people of color are subjected to daily by the government meant to protect us all, but hey-it didn’t affect me, so….I didn’t think about it too much. Am I showing how deep I was in my own white privilege?  I hope so. Honestly, I am still shoveling my way out of this deep hole I am in.

Then I spoke with people. SPOKE with them about their experiences. SPOKE with them about their thoughts, their feelings, their beliefs. And it started to sink in. I wrote a piece earlier last year…about 6 months ago…and I stated that violence begets violence begets violence…but I better understand WHY there has been violence. I was still mired down in my own privilege and allowing that to influence my thoughts and feelings. But not anymore. I GET IT NOW. We have, since the founding of this country, used non-peaceful protest and actions to achieve the desired results (Hello…the American Revolution! A giant war that included an act of rebellion and governmental property damage in Boston). WE WERE FOUNDED ON NON-PEACEFUL PROTEST. I get it now, my friends of color. I get WHY there has been so much violence. I get WHY peaceful protest does not always work. And I understand that, if I want to be a part of this protest against the atrocities taking place in our country against people of color, women, immigrants, the LQBTQIA community, I HAVE to WAKE THE FUCK UP to the fact that it will not be peaceful, silent, or pretty. I HAVE to be okay with that because if I am not, I will remain in my bubble of ignorance surrounding myself with the unrealistic and idealistic point of view that just by talking about it, something will happen.

NO. I was WRONG to think that a peaceful protest will always be the best way to be heard. And it is uncomfortable. I feel guilty. I feel ashamed. I feel like I have been part of the problem. And I am going to try my damndest to correct my oversight. I am going to try my damndest to continue to be uncomfortable, because when I am feeling this discomfort, I am learning about what I have done to overlook the truth of it all. And MY truth is that I was too scared to be fully involved because I didn’t want others to think poorly of me, to think I was stirring the pot, to think that I was supporting something just to support it and not because I truly believed in the movement. I didn’t want to catch shit from my family, whom I love dearly, but I do not share the same political beliefs as they do.

The amount of emotional labor that my friends of color and my friends in the LGBTQIA (of which I identify as being a part of, btw) have put in to educate cisgender, heterosexual white people has been tremendous. They are the ones experiencing the violence, condemnation, anger, racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc and then they have to EXPLAIN WHY they are upset?? No. Not okay. NOT OKAY AT ALL. I should not expect them to go through all they do and then do MORE work to try to explain why things need to change. So, I plan to stay uncomfortable. And I plan to make other folks uncomfortable as well by talking about it.

So, my friends of color, my friends in the LGBTQIA community, stay angry. Keep protesting. Keep speaking out. I am going to be a better advocate for you. I am going to be a better listener. I am going to pay attention to the ignorance that is around me and try to educate people as best I can. And I may come to you from time to time to help me use the right words so I am not furthering misconceptions or passing along unhelpful and ignorant information. I am going to stay #woke.

Full Bellies & Empty Souls

Dear Paul Ryan,

I want to talk to you today about what I read in an article from Time Magazine. Here is the link: Paul Ryan Says Free School Lunches Give Kids ‘An Empty Soul’ I want to address the  idiotic thing you said to CPAC. Yep, that’s right. I called it idiotic. Because expecting children to want dignity more than to not be hungry means you are expecting them to go hungry. Let’s say that together…slowly.

“I, Paul Ryan, would rather children go hungry with dignity than have full bellies from a “free lunch”.”

Guess what, Paul Ryan? That makes you a certifiable douche nozzle. Now, lets look at statistics for a second, which you seem to have cleverly ignored in your bid to end the liberal left from wanting all children fed equally…but then, your policies never have gone in that direction, have they?

A quick Google Search pulls up a host of articles that show the affects of hunger in relationship with how children learn and the effects of hunger on a child’s ability to learn. Just pulling the abstract, from a scholarly publication, btw, and it says this:

“This study investigates the correlation between food insecurity, educational achievement, and health among kindergarten children in the United States. Data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study—Kindergarten Cohort are used to analyze educational achievement and physical growth of kindergartners faced with food insecurity. The results demonstrate that children begin to experience the effects of food insecurity even at the most marginal level of household food deprivation. Children in households with any signs of food insecurity score lower and learn less during the school year.”  -Winicki, J. and Jemison, K. (2003), Food Insecurity and Hunger in the Kindergarten Classroom: Its Effect on Learning and Growth. Contemporary Economic Policy, 21: 145–157. doi:10.1093/cep/byg001

There is even this article, published in The Journal of Nutrition. Do me a favor, read it.

I’ll even provide the link…here ya go: Food Insecurity Affects School Children’s Academic Performance, Weight Gain, and Social Skills1,2,3

Paul Ryan, did you even do your research? Did you? Did you tell your speech writers to do their research? Guessing from your speech, you did not.

Children do not deserve to go hungry. Children do not deserve to have their learning abilities hindered because YOU and the rest of your Republican cohorts believe that “dignity” is over hunger and should always be considered before feeding a hungry child.

I am ashamed of you and for you, Paul Ryan. I am ashamed that, as a father, you would suggest that a child go hungry. Where is your conscience, sir? Where is your heart? And most importantly, where is your compassion?

As a parent, it hurts my heart when I hear of a child who isn’t eating because their parents can’t afford to buy them lunch. It hurts my heart to know that there are kids out there with that awful, gnawing feeling telling them it’s time to eat and they have nothing to satiate that hunger. Also, I was that mom whose kids were on the Free or Reduced lunch program. I sacrificed *MY* dignity in order to make sure my kids were fed. Why? Because their need for nutrition outweighed my own pride. I would sacrifice my pride and dignity for them any day…but I am a mother-a parent- and that is just what parents do. Did I like doing that? Absolutely not. But their need to eat outweighed my own discomfort and it became a non-issue.

Paul Ryan, I hope you listen to what people are saying. Not just what the upper middle class white suburban republicans are saying to you. Not just what the lobbyists and political demagogues are saying… I hope you listen to those who have taken part in these programs and have benefited from them. I hope you read the research and evidence that is out there which shows nutrition and hunger play a significant role in how our young people learn, grow, and mature. And I hope you realize that your words are potentially condemning the youth of this nation to hunger, pain, suffering, and diminished education. Your words are powerful, Paul Ryan, and with power comes great responsibility. Try to use yours for good instead of the bullshit you seem to believe is “right”.

Sincerely,

A Mother who thinks you are pretty much scum.

 

Soul Band-Aids

I’m tired. I am tired of “the end is nigh” and I am tired of “stop being all butthurt, you liberal crazies” and I’m tired of all of the violence and the hate and the disgusting, vile nature of humans that has been revealed since the election happened last week.

My soul hurts for all of the people.

So, here are some band aids for anyone else’s soul in case they need them.

 

No More Cat Declawing!

Strangers being decent!

Cops doing good things for the community

I’ve included just a few things to read/watch and make you smile. I pulled them from Sunnydays and the Good News Network. There *are* good things going on in the country right now. Even though it seems as though we are being inundated with all of the bad, remember: GOOD THINGS ARE STILL HAPPENING. WE can not forget to smile in the face of adversity, no matter how hard it seems.

I love you all.

XOXO

A Call To Action

Time is of the essence.

I know there are tons of people out there who voted for Trump who are not bad people. They are not racists or homophobes nor do they want to deport all the illegal immigrants while dancing on the revoked food stamp cards and BLM t-shirts of others. They were fed up with the political climate and decided to take drastic measures and vote someone into office with whom they, in any other situation, would rather not associate. Someone who promised them *everything* they wanted, who said *all* the things these disheartened voters wanted to hear. This is a huge wake up call. Washington needs to see. They need to listen. They need to remember they are elected officials who are supposed to represent the people of this country and they are supposed to do things in our best interests and not their own. But is has always been a boys club and the electoral college..whom I believe is guilty of gerrymandering…went against the popular vote (what WE THE PEOPLE wanted, no less) and elected this man president. This shocking, unconventionally popular man who has made a name for himself in the public’s eye as someone who will gladly insult you should you even appear to be against what he wants.

So…for those of us who are sitting here wringing our hands, wondering what to do next other than be consummed by fear, stop. STOP. Stop the hand wringing. Stop the blaming. It is what it is. And all we can do is come together in an organized fashion to make sure next go around, something like this doesn’t happen again.

I have seen calls to action. Petitions to disband the Electoral College (an idea I am not wholly unopposed to) have already started circulation via email. Groups dedicated to fighting the good fight started during the campaign and now it’s members are pulling together to help us all become more politically active and aware. People are pulling together, declaring themselves allies and friends of people of color, of the LGBTQ community, of immigrants, of all of those who will potentially be negatively impacted by any of the political ideology espoused by the new President elect.

So, dear readers, I encourage you to get out there and act. Non-violently, of course. Do your research. Make sure the information you are giving out is not some overblown rhetoric that has been falsified via Facebook or even Wikipedia. Watch ALL the news channels. Find a group of like minded individuals and see whast you can contribute…be it phone calls, letter writing, blogging, interviewing, data compiling, or even just supporting others by being a listening ear. Stand up for those you see being treated unkindly, unfairly, unjustly. Say something to the people who are spewing the hateful words towards marginalized people. Make sure others know you are a safe person to go to, someone they can trust. Show compassion and kindness and don’t be afraid to tell people, if how they are behaving is wrong or discriminatory, that they need to stop and don’t back down until they do.

It is so cliche but it is so true. BE the change you want to see in the world. Put out kindness and compassion and understanding and hopefully, it will help make change. NEVER STOP FIGHTING.

“This loss hurts. But please, never stop believing, that fighting for what’s right is worth it,” ~ Hillary R Clinton, 2016

#I’mSTILLwithHER

Last night was…well, if I am being honest, it was devastating. I fell into a fitful sleep next to my husband who chose to stay up and watch the rest of the election. I awoke this morning with a pit in my stomach…that overwhelming sense of dread was so strong and as I checked my phone (as I do every morning) I realized why the dreadful feeling was there.

Trump won.

My intuition told me what happened and the onslaught of sadness, disappointment, and-worst of all-FEAR came cascading over me much like an avalanche would cover unsuspecting hikers of the Himalayan Mountains. I got dressed-reluctantly-and made my way to work. And when I did dare to speak on what happened, I couldn’t keep the tears from flowing as the reality of what happened set in.

Trump won.

Misogyny won. Racism won. Bigotry, hate, fear, homophobia, rape culture, and arrogance won.

Well…it won the election. But it did not win me.

I did NOT choose him. I can count myself among the many who chose love, hope, positivity, inclusivity, diversity, and a desire for effective change and even though those choices did not win the election, they helped to open my eyes to what needs to be done.

NO MORE FEAR. We CAN NOT let fear rule us now. We CAN NOT let fear dictate our lives. We must move forward, we must ACT to make this country what it is supposed to be and what it CAN and WILL be if we all come together to tell those who would try to silence us that WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED.

So stand with me. Stand with the rest of the nation so grievously wronged by the outcome of this election. Stand tall. Stand proud. Stand for those who can’t and those who have yet the ability to stand. Take action. Get involved in your local political groups. Look at your children, your friends, your family who will be negatively impacted and stand with me so THEY can have a better future.

I can tell you who I am standing for-I am standing for my daughters and for my son, for my niece and nephews, for my friends and family of color, for my friends and family in the LGBTQ Community, for my immigrant friends, for my friends who are chronically ill. I stand for them because I believe they deserve better than what was handed to us last night. I stand for them because the actions I take today can help make a better life for them tomorrow. So stand with me. For the fight has only just begun.

#ImSTILLwithHER

#PantsSuitNation

#HRC

 

Save The Drama For Your Mama

My husband and I have been binge watching a show on Hulu to catch up to recent episodes. The show is ‘Empire’-a story about a recording label started by a rap/R&B artist, built upon the CEO’s musical talent as well as on the back of his wife’s 17 year imprisonment for slinging dope to help make ends meet and to raise capital for the start of said company. It is FULL of drama. ALL the drama. Sex, drugs, mental illness, relationships both hetero and homosexual, deceipt, betrayal, love, honor, loyalty, respect and the lack there of…it’s ALL there. Within the first few episodes, I noticed a pattern. Going on a hunch, I asked the almighty Google and sure enough, Empire is based on Shakespearean drama…King Lear, MacBeth, Antony and Cleopatra, etc…all of the episodes have something that ties it to a particular, if not more than one, Shakespearean drama. Which I find fascinating.

We humans, as a collective whole, thrive on drama, it seems. We have been writing, reading, performing, and watching dramas for centuries as a form of entertainment. It has even leaked over into reality. Look at the state of our politics! The past two presidential debates have been more focused on drama, arguing, mudslinging, and defense than they have on actually debating the issues. Perhaps that is because of who the two candidates are, but at the same time have we, as a collective, really tried to keep the focus on the issues? In my humble opinion: No. Not really. And not whole heartedly if any of us have tried.

It is nice to have some fictionalized drama to fall back upon when one needs to escape into television shows. But why can’t we just leave it at that? Why must we pull that level of contrived drama into reality and MAKE it news and politics and what we deem most important to report upon? Why can’t we let the drama stay on television shows that are supposed to be dramatic and focus our attentions to the reality of what is around us? We have massive student loan debt, millenials that are faced with fixing the economy those before them screwed up all while realizing the very dire possibility it can’t be fixed, extreme poverty, national debt that is in the trillions and growing every day, a Cold War that *never* ended despite the media and all other unreliable sources telling us it did, a growing fanatical power in the Middle East that is threatening the safety of people continents away, a greater focus on the inequalities that people of color face every day that leads to biased policing, biased conviction rates, biased “justified” police shooting deaths of supposed perpetrators of color, more claims of sexual impropriaties towards women by men in power, rampant homophobia, rampant bigotry…the list goes on and on and on… One would think with the amount of drama we have going on in our nation *without* the presidential race going on it would be enough…but no. As stated before…just watch the last two presidential debates (I’m sure they are on YouTube somewhere). FULL of drama.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I will stick to watching fictionalized drama on the television screen instead of watching it play out in our nations politics. My night time soap operas can be played out by paid actors and actresses instead of politicians who are supposed to be working for the good of our country (snort)…
Sorry…the last bit of that sentence made me laugh. I think we all know that politicians are paid actors and actresses, too…the only difference between them and real celebrities are the celebrities KNOW what they do is fiction and is meant for entertainment while politicians believe the drama they bring to the table affects real change.

I wish I had a clever bit to end this rant post with but my brain isn’t caffeinated enough yet. So I will end with this: My opinions are my own. I don’t expect nor care if anyone agrees with my viewpoints. Yes, this is a somewhat political post, but I don’t talk about giving my support to one candidate or the other, nor will I reveal who I really support. But I wish I could have a sit down with them both. Because if I did, I would tell them both this: Save the drama for your mama…and stick to the issues. Care more about this country than you do your own agenda. And if you don’t have anything nice to say, then shut the fuck up.