Author Unknown…

Author Unknown | Memee's Musings

Dear little trump and follower. I listened as they called my President a Muslim.
I listened as they called him and his family a pack of monkeys.
I listened as they said he wasn’t born here.
I watched as they blocked every single path to progress that they could.
I saw the pictures of him as Hitler.
I watched them shut down the government and hurt the entire nation twice.
I watched them turn their backs on every opportunity to open worthwhile dialog.
I watched them say that they would not even listen to any choice for Supreme Court no matter who the nominee was.
I listened as they openly said that they will oppose him at every turn.
I watched as they did just that.
I listened.
I watched.
I paid attention.
Now, I’m being called on to be tolerant.
To move forward.
To denounce protesters.
To “Get over it.”
To accept this…
I will not.
I will do my part to make sure this great American mistake becomes the embarrassing footnote of our history that it deserves to be.
I will do this as quickly as possible every chance I get.
I will do my part to limit the damage that this man can do to my country.
I will watch his every move and point out every single mistake and misdeed in a loud and proud voice.
I will let you know in a loud voice every time this man backs away from a promise he made to them.
Them. The people who voted for him.
The ones who sold their souls and prayed for him to win.
I will do this so that they never forget.
And they will hear me.
They will see it in my eyes when I look at them.
They will hear it in my voice when I talk to them.
They will know that I know who they are.
They will know that I know what they are.
Do not call for my tolerance. I’ve tolerated all I can.
Now it’s their turn to tolerate ridicule.
Be aware, make no mistake about it, every single thing that goes wrong in our country from this day
forward is now Trump’s fault just as much as they thought it was Obama’s.
I find it unreasonable for them to expect from me what they were entirely unwilling to give.

— Author Unknown

The wonderful photograph was taken by Noah Grezlak and acquired through Unsplash. It’s a great source for free photos under the Creative Commons Zero license, so check it out!

Split Personalities

Split Personalities | Memee's Musings

Caring and Compassionate
Lady of Liberties
Indiscriminate and Independant
Nowledgeable* Negotiator
Tenacious yet Tactful
Open-minded Overachiever
Nasty Woman

Rude Racist
Uncouth, Unapologetic, Un-American
Misogynistic Millionaire Megalomaniac
Phony President

*K=Know-how

This month’s Poetry Party theme is Politics!  Whether you agree or disagree with my perspective I encourage you to participate!  The more we share with one another, the better we know and understand one another.  And although I do not vote and cannot win I never put forward a poetry challenge without requiring myself to participate.  So please accept my poem for what it is… my feelings based on my life experiences, biases and perspectives just as your life experiences, biases, and perspectives aid you in determining your viewpoint on any given topic.  Below you will find the important dates and the submission link for #NewEra Poetry or, to learn more, click the previously given link.

IMPORTANT DATES:

Submission deadline is Tuesday, January 24th, 2017, at 23:55 PST. Submit now!

Voting opens at 00:05 PST on Wednesday, January 25th and ends on Tuesday, January 31sh at 23:55 PST.*

Growing into Political Awareness

Growing Into Political Awareness | Memee's Musings
Photo courtesy of Madi Robson

This beautiful piece of writing is by Demetra Szatkowski. This is a coming-of-age story about politics, belief systems, and being female. Everything except for the title above and the photograph is credited to her. She posted this on Facebook and said we could share it. I am happy she is allowing us to share it because that is what I wanted to do as I read it, share it far and wide with every woman I know. I hope you will enjoy it.

☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀

I am 12. My family is on vacation in South Carolina.
“I don’t think a woman should be president,” I say contentedly, walking alongside my parents.
They both disagree.
“No, women are too emotional,” I say. “And I can say that, because I am one.”
***
I am 14.
I have decided that I’m not a feminist. “Feminism is stupid,” I say to anyone who brings it up.
It’s not even a real thing. I get things out of this system too. I know how to work the system. If I can manipulate men to get what I want, then that means I win. Men are not smarter than me. I have already discovered that I can flirt to get out of things, and that if I wear a low-cut shirt and bend over, it is distracting. I like having these advantages.
***
I am 16. I have just started driving, and I have a NOBAMA sticker on my car.
I know nothing about politics, but I was raised with Republican grandparents and parents who followed suit. I know that my grandfather is smart and so he must be right. I know that Republicans are for the people who work, and Democrats make the way for lazy people who want the government to hand things to them.
I argue with the people in my class who make fun of me. “Obama shouldn’t get to be president just because he’s black,” I say. Black people aren’t a big deal to me. I don’t even see color.
***
I am 18.
I like being cat-called. I smile and wave back at the men who do it. I laugh at other women who say they don’t feel safe. I feel safe, because I know how to handle myself. Anyway, it’s just boys being boys. That’s just how men are. It just means I’m attractive. Other women should face reality and deal with life.
***
I am 19. I am teaching yoga. I think politics are stupid. I don’t see why everybody can’t see that we’re all one. I think that if we could all just live in the woods everything would be fine. Politics have nothing to do with who I am as a person.
I read an article about yoga and cultural appropriation. I decide it isn’t real, because I’m doing a good job and helping people by teaching.
***
I am 19. It is fall, and I have started school in Vermont. My roommate is from New Jersey. The election is happening in November, and this is the first time I’ll get to vote. I still think politics are stupid, but being able to vote is exciting, plus my teachers always said I should. I am going to vote Republican, because I know my family is smart.
But my roommate is also very smart, and her family has a lot of money. And yet she is a Democrat. And when I ask her questions, she has an answer for all of them. And when she explains different policies, I realize that my actual values align more with hers than with the Republicans. I feel a bit ripped off. We watch the debates. And I love Obama. And I vote for Obama.
And he wins, and it’s like a fun game, and I happily move along with my life.
***
I am 20. I read stories about girls who have been raped. I have friends who have been sexually assaulted. I remember boys grabbing my butt without asking in high school. I start to wonder if it’s all connected. I learn what “rape culture” is.
I am 20. I stop wearing makeup. I stop caring so much about what my appearance looks like. This process is extremely difficult for me, and takes me months of anxiety and tears to get used to. I am angry that it is so difficult. I am angry for the 12-year-old girl that felt she needed to start wearing makeup in the first place. I am angry for the 12-year-old girl who wrote lists about how she could make herself more attractive. I realize that people are still nice to me even when I don’t look “pretty.” I realize that it is society who has been telling me I need to look put-together, I need to wear bras, I need to shave all parts of myself.
I am really fucking angry when I realize how much the ideas of powerful men have controlled my life. I am really fucking angry when I realize how much my teenage thoughts were taken from me by society.
***
I am 21.
I am in San Francisco. I am walking alone, and I get cat-called the most I ever have in my life. At least once per block. It is unbearable, the comments are disgusting, and it is irritating. I am mad. Sometimes I tell them to stop. Most of the time I feel too unsafe to say anything back, so I have to ignore it.
I feel angry that I live in a world where I feel too unsafe to even be able to defend myself.
***
I am 22.
I own a yoga studio. It has been 10 months of owning a yoga studio.
I become disillusioned with the drama-filled community. I google, “I don’t want to teach yoga anymore.” Up pops an article about cultural appropriation.
This time, I understand it. This time, I research for hours and days upon end. I read everything. I am uncomfortable about everything. I do not like it. But I understand it. I recognize the truth in it.
Research leads to topics about social justice in general. Dreadlocks are appropriation too? I watch videos and read articles written by people who are not white.
I am upset. I don’t know what to do with this knowledge, because no one around me wants to hear it.
***
I am 22. While my internal world is crashing down, my outer world is opening up.
I read about the refugee crisis in Greece. I decide to go.
I am scared. I am met with resistance and fear from people around me. But I have found a group of volunteers online who are actually there, who are able to calm my fears. I trust them, the people who are actually there.
When I tell my parents I’m leaving, my mom says, “Well, that’s noble.”
My dad says, “Watch out for the Muslim men, because they will want to hurt you.”
***
I turn 23 while I am in Greece, in a camp full of single Muslim men. A camp I had been terrified to go to because my entire life I have been taught by the world that Middle Eastern men want to rape blonde girls like me.
But bigger than my fear is my conviction that I do not want to live in a world where that is true. I feel that I would rather die than have to live in a world where I am always afraid. A world where I hope that stereotypes aren’t true, but am too scared to go find out and know for sure.
I think that the comments about Muslim men are based in racism, but part of me is afraid that I am wrong. I think, those beliefs had to come from somewhere, right? I am afraid that society is right and that I am wrong.
And I am not wrong. I am so fucking not wrong that I want to scream it from the rooftops and yell at every single person who had the nerve to say that I was. BECAUSE I WAS RIGHT ABOUT THE WORLD.
I meet the people that negative articles have been written about. I hear first-hand the stories of tragedy and war. I hear the other side of the story. I begin to understand, truly, how the media shapes our views.
The newspaper writes an article about me where I say that America is partially to blame and people from home attack me in the comments in ways I didn’t even know were possible. And I do not care, because they are not there. They do not see what I see.
And I come home and I am upset because how do you convey that experience to people?
***
I am 23 and I am laying on the couch at my best friend’s apartment while he tells me the history of the Middle East, that he majored in in college but I had never learned about before.
I start crying as I begin to understand the layers upon layers of the history of the world, and how different events have impacted each other, the mistakes people have made. I can relate the history to the stories of people I have met in real life.
All of a sudden politics feel extremely important.
***
I am 23.
It is before the primaries.
“I just don’t like Hillary Clinton,” I say. “We should have a woman president, but not her. I don’t trust her.”
Someone I respect a lot shares an article about how sexism has shaped our views about Hillary.
I read it and am not sure. The whole country says Hillary is a criminal. At least some of that must be based in fact, right?
I talk to people who confirm my views. Then I talk to other people, and they say, you’re wrong.
***
I am 23.
I have decided to travel, by myself. I am in Vietnam. I adore Vietnam. I buy a book on the history of Vietnam and start to read it while I am in the country and it is like magic, to be able to see things in front of me as I read about them.
I take a tour of areas of war by a war veteran.
I go to the Vietnam War museum and I have to stop over and over again to sit quietly with tears running down my face as I try to absorb everything my country did to that country. History I have never learned, not in this way.
I realize that politics not only are important – they are a matter of life and death.
***
I am 23. I start reading books from perspectives of people who are not like me. I read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, which makes me inconsolable for hours. I read the autobiography of Malcolm X. I understand what he means, about knowledge being the most powerful thing. I read article after article after article on racism, on sexism. Articles written by people of color, and articles written by other white people who say “I have been there too, and this is what you need to work through.”
***
I am 23. I am with people from other countries. “We quite like Hillary,” they say. “Our leaders like dealing with her, she is really intelligent. We don’t get why people from your country hate her.”
I am 23. I watch as an unqualified man gets to run for president because he has a ton of money. I watch as he is excused from his racism. I watch as he gets to say anything he wants because people are tired of political correctness. I watch as he brags about sexual assault.
I watch as men excuse his actions away. I watch as women excuse them away, and I see my 14-year-old self explaining why I’m not a feminist. I feel incapable of describing how this is the same. How oppression can be so deeply rooted that we do not even know it’s there.
***
I am 23.
At least a quarter of my country thought this man would be a good president. Around half of the country didn’t think he was bad enough to get out and vote against him.
I am 23 and am told that I’ll grow out of being so upset about this one day. I am told that when I’m older, I’ll understand that this is just democracy. I am told that because I am 23, I’m not able to see that everything will really be okay.
I am 23. I am told to be more positive, that I should not be so angry, that I should really be getting over myself so that we can move forward as one.
I am told that I am too vocal. I am told that I am not being vocal enough.
***
Next week I turn 24.
I am not putting up with this any longer.
________________________________________

*inspiration for this comes from Lauren Hayes. Her article was featured on The Codex and was entitled Stoking Fires and Poking Bears: The Evolution of a Nasty Woman. You can follow both The Codex and Lauren Hayes, separately, by clicking on their links above and then clicking on the follow buttons for each.

1.7 Million and Counting!

1-7-million-ballots-and-counting

Yes, more election stuff. But I will keep it brief. Hillary Clinton currently has a vote lead of 1.7 million more ballots cast for her than our President-Elect Donald Trump and still not all of the ballots have been counted! And despite the fact that there are many (too many) petitions out there asking the electors to flip their vote our hopes for having a sane, rational human being leading the world has gone. We are, in essence, stuck with this bully to lead the world. Countries which once looked to us for guidance may choose differently, and I wouldn’t blame them in the least. Our soon-to-be president  will in all likelihood choose 3-4 Supreme Court Justices who will dictate the laws of our country. His leadership will undoubtedly adjust our sails and send us on a new course the likes of which we can only imagine. And will have ramifications for decades to come.

We cannot change this fact, but we can try to protest in small ways our outrage, our fears and our strength and determination. And so I ask those of you who are concerned about the future of America for yourselves or your children or your grandchildren, for your friends, for your neighbors, or for your co-workers, please consider participating in this quiet yet moving demonstration which will hurt no one and cost you less than $2.

This is not my original idea. I am simply sharing it (thus the quotes) and a few minor tweaks on my part. However, for the safety and security of the creators I am not citing the originators. It is their wish that we all who feel like participating, share and show support.

“Join in and send a postcard directly to Trump! Here are the basic instructions to participate:

“** IMPORTANT – Don’t mail your card until SAT. NOV. 26th **

“1. Get a postcard from your state – any picture that represents your state.

“2. In the message section, write this simple 2-word message: NOT BANNON!

“3. Sign your name if you wish to do so.

“4. Address it as follows:
Donald Trump
c/o The Trump Organization
725 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10022

“5. Affix a stamp – you can use a 35 cent postcard stamp, or a normal letter stamp.

“6. Take a picture of your postcard that you can share on social media using the hashtag #stopbannon . PLEASE DO NOT USE A REFERENCE TO HILLARY CLINTON OF ANY KIND. She is not responsible for this and should be kept far away from any ramifications.

“7. Drop it in the mail! We are aiming to get these mailed between Saturday, Nov 26th and Monday, Nov. 28th to create a concentrated avalanche of postcards. But if you can’t send yours until later, don’t let that stop you.

“Now invite, invite, invite! The more voices we can get in the mail, from the more states, the better. To make it go viral we will all need to share the details with our sphere of influence in whatever ways we feel comfortable. Feel free to copy and paste the details or even post your own event. The more the merrier!

“If you are unfamiliar with Steve Bannon, he is a white nationalist who is also the head of a media company that proliferates alt-right (misogynistic, homophobic, anti-semitic and white supremacist) views.” He was the first hire to the Trump Administration, with no need for congressional review and approval. He will be the Chief White House Strategist and President Trump’s senior counselor. Do you remember how Dick Cheney was the puppetmaster to George W. Bush… well, this time it will be worse. It will be Steve Bannon.

So please join with me in sending a postcard from your area, anywhere in the world, to Mr. Trump with the clear and succinct message: NOT BANNON!

Please help keep the American Dream alive. We are a melting pot of nationalities and the differences we bring is one of the main reasons we are such a great nation!

The wonderful photograph was taken by Brandon Day and acquired through Unsplash. It’s a great source for free photos under the Creative Commons Zero license, so check it out!

Making America Great Again Op-Ed

To everyone that thinks “it’s just talk” or it was a brilliant scheme to get that title, but it is not who he really is, um, have you paid any attention of his life patterns? It’s not just talk. He has always been this way. Yes, his narcissism exploded while he was on the trail (any narcissistic would be fueled by that energy). And you think he doesn’t have power? Don’t you remember that George W. Bush declared war (without congress)?  Now, the president has that power, the power to declare war on other countries without We the People.  He will be responsible for appointing multiple chief justices –including the seat that was stolen from the Obama administration and gifted to Trump– that will support his ideals.   What ideals?  Well, these are the ones that go against me, personally:

I am disabled…. mocks me.
I have a mentally illness… I’m a crybaby.
I have a pre-existing condition… doesn’t care.
I am a woman… my health doesn’t matter and I have no value.

He has never done anything that didn’t serve him on a personal or business level. He does not love this country. He doesn’t care about us. He has spent the past year and a half tearing this country apart, ripping us apart at our seams, pitting neighbor against neighbor, sister against brother.

I am a child of the light and all I see in him is darkness and evil. He is Godless. For me, the only comfort I can find in all of this is that this must be part of God’s all-knowing plan* which will bring about the return of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Let’s stop romanticizing his slogan: “Make America Great Again.”  The reality is much darker.

 

*God’s plan is to bring Jesus back to Earth, bringing eternal peace and love with it. Unfortunately, it is man’s evil that will bring it forth. God’s plan is not evil. He, however, is all-knowing. He knows the past, the present, and the future. He knows our actions before we make them and see’s what is forthcoming in the world.

 

©2016-2019 All rights reserved.

I am a Public School Teacher. Give Me All the Refugees You’ve Got!

via Gadfly on the Wall Blog
Author: Steven Singer

syrian_refugee_schools

Come into my classroom any day of the week and you’ll see refugees.

That little Iraqi boy slumped over a book written in Arabic while the rest of the class reads the same story in English. Those twin girls blinking back memories of the Bosnian War as they try to underline possessive nouns on an English worksheet. That brown-skinned boy compulsively rocking back-and-forth in his seat fighting back tears wondering when his dad is going to come home from prison.

Every day, every hour, every minute our public schools are places of refuge for children seeking asylum, fugitives, emigres, exiles, the lost, the displaced, dear hearts seeking a kind word and a caring glance.

Some may shudder or sneer at the prospect of giving shelter to people in need, but that is the reality in our public schools. In the lives of many, many children we provide the only stability, the only safety, the only love they get all day.

And, yes, I do mean love. I love my students. Each and every one of them. Sometimes they are far from lovable. Sometimes they look at me with distrust. They bristle at assignments. They jump when redirected. But those are the ones I try to love the most, because they are the ones most in need.

I told a friend once that I had a student who had escaped from Iraq. His parents had collaborated with the U.S. military and received death threats for their efforts. So he and his family fled to my hometown so far away from his humid desert heartland.

I told her how difficult it was trying to communicate with a student who spoke hardly any English. I complained about budget cuts that made it next to impossible to get an English Language Learner (ELL) instructor to help me more than once a week. And her response was, “Do you feel safe teaching this kid?”

Do I feel safe? The question had never occurred to me. Why wouldn’t I feel safe? I don’t expect ISIS to track him down across the Atlantic Ocean to my class. Nor do I expect this sweet little guy is going to do anything to me except practice his English.

In one of my first classrooms, I had a dozen refugees from Yugoslavia. They had escaped from Slobadan Milosevic’s ethnic cleansing. Yet you’d never know unless they told you. They were some of the most well-behaved, thoughtful, intelligent children I’ve had the pleasure to teach. They were always smiling, so happy to be here. They approached every assignment with a seriousness well beyond their years.

But sometimes you’d see a shadow cross their faces. Rarely you’d hear them whispering among themselves. I was so new I didn’t know any better but to come down on them. But later they told me what they had been talking about, what they had been thinking about – how Henry V’s military campaign brought back memories. They taught me that day. Every year I learn so much from my children.

My high poverty school doesn’t get a lot of refugees from overseas these days. But we’re overwhelmed with exiles from our own neighborhood. I can’t tell you how many children I’ve had in class who start off the year at one house and then move to another. I can’t tell you how many come to school bruised and beaten. I can’t tell you how many ask a moment of my time between classes, during my planning period or after school just to talk.

Last week one of my students walked up to me and said, “I’m having a nervous breakdown.”

Class had just been dismissed. I had a desk filled to the ceiling with ungraded essays. I still had to make copies for tomorrow’s parent-teacher conferences. I had gotten to none of it earlier because I had to cover another class during my planning period. But I pushed all of that aside and talked with my student for over an hour.

And I’m not alone. On those few days I get to leave close to on time, I see other teachers doing just like me conferencing and tutoring kids after school.

It was a hard conversation. I had to show him he was worth something. I had to make him feel that he was important to other people, that people cared about him. I hope I was successful. He left with a handshake and a smile.

He may not be from far away climes, but he’s a refugee, too. He’s seeking a safe place, a willing ear, a kind word.

So you’ll forgive me if I sigh impatiently when some in the media and in the government complain about the United States accepting more refugees. What a bunch of cowards!

They act as if it’s a burden. They couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s a privilege.

When I see that iconic picture of three-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi drowned in Turkey as his family tried to escape the conflict, I find it impossible that anyone could actually refuse these people help. Just imagine! There are a host of others just like this family seeking asylum and we can give it! We have a chance to raise them up, to provide them a place to live, to shelter them from the storm. What an honor! What a privilege! What a chance to be a beacon of light on a day of dark skies!

I’m an American middle class white male. My life hasn’t been trouble free, but I know that I’ve won the lottery of circumstances. Through none of my own doing, I sit atop the social ladder. It is my responsibility to offer a helping hand in every way I can to those on the lower rungs. It is my joy to be able to do it.

It’s what I do everyday at school. When I trudge to my car in the evening dark, I’m exhausted to the marrow of my bones. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It’s not uncommon for a student or two to see me on the way to my car, shout out my name with glee and give me an impromptu hug. At the end of the day, I know I’ve made a difference. I love being a teacher.

So if we’re considering letting in more refugees, don’t worry about me. Send them all my way. I’ll take all you’ve got. That’s what public schools do.

#WCW Racial Diversity

I am so saddened by everything happening in the world. It seems from where I sit (please excuse my blessed American standpoint) that ever since the World Trade Center bombings the entire world has gone to hell in a handbasket.

I imagine however, that that is only when we (or I) poked my head out of the sand and truly began paying attention to everything happening in the world.

Anyway, many of you know where I stand on this world crash course we seem to be upon. Despite that viewpoint, I want to say that I am extremely disappointed by every American who is allowing their fear to turn to hate.

Let the refugees in!

Treat them with dignity and respect!

Allow them a chance for life, the kind of life you were blessed to be born into.

race diversity quote

Join me in playing Words Crush Wednesday (every Wednesday or whichever Wednesday you wish to).  Go HERE for the rules and to grab the badge.

I want this point to get across so this week I am not placing the badge. Sometimes WordPress Reader grabs the wrong image and I don’t want to risk it with this post. The message is far too important.

* To see the badge I earned, visit my very first #WCW post. And, here’s my pingback: Rebirth of Lisa