Opinionated

It seems there’s a whole lot of hate, shame and blame going around along with a whole lot of judgment.

Here’s the thing, I only care about what side you’re on politically because I care deeply about all human beings. Shocker, I know. I try not to care, not to get involved, to go about my day oblivious.

I can’t help myself; I can’t avoid the man literally standing on the corner waiting at the food bank, who won’t make eye contact because he’s embarrassed. He’s embarrassed, can you imagine?

Well, I can. I am not homeless, I have a very comfortable roof over my head but I am middle class, and perhaps even what’s considered below the poverty line. Because that is my current situation and that’s all right. I have been rich, and trust me life is not much different. The only true commodity that has changed is time. I have more of it now, go figure. I have more time to think about the atrocities that are happening in the world.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t, but then perhaps I would walk right past that man completely indifferent. Can you imagine?

I wonder, would Trump see him? No, he would tell him in a tweet to ‘get a job’. I’m not worried about the red state or the blue state; I am terrified of the ugliness, immoral man and his cronies leading our country. My country, my parents’ country, and my grandparents who were indeed proud immigrant dreamers. Your country.

This is our country. The United States of America. How did we become so divided, heading backwards in time? We don’t have to look so far back when America was a proud, envied nation, Camelot. A time when we were not a global farce, an embarrassment. I can’t explain the logistics or the inner workings of politics; it’s way over my head.

But people, yeah I know people. After traveling the world immersed in other cultures, I developed impeccable bullshit instincts. I am a serious, first-rate bullshit meter reader.

And Trump is the ultimate bullshitter, con artist and grifter. He doesn’t care that women are being sexually assaulted, he doesn’t care about the dreamers, the mass shootings, he doesn’t care about the mentally ill, homeless, elderly, or that all lives really matter, black, gay, poor, female. He doesn’t care about the environment. (Global warming isn’t real, remember).

He doesn’t care, plain and simple. I call bullshit. He cares about money and power. He cares about narcissism and taking as much as he can with his opportunistic, dirty little fingers. He cares about divide and conquer. He wants to tear us apart, make us hate each other. We are so much better than hate. We are so much better than judgment, pointing fingers.

Aren’t we?

When you tell me you don’t care about politics, you’re telling me you’re indifferent, that you don’t care about everyone’s right to life. When you tell me your stocks are ‘the highest they’ve ever been,” I say how about that recent nosedive? Did you lose precious dollars?

How about pride? What about honor? Decency?

I ask myself every day, even though I can be selfish and wrapped up, did I do one good thing, something kind? Did I show respect, because that is how I was raised. Did I help others without showboating and broadcasting, puffing up my chest? I’m not famous, powerful or important. I’m just a girl, a grown up woman who’s been around the block and seen some horrible things. Some not so nice, but some positively mind blowing beautiful things too.

Trust me I have a big enough mouth, with my very own well-informed opinion.

I hope that Trump never finds himself outside a soup kitchen, head bowed in shame, penniless and broken. (Actually, I kinda do). Humility is the ultimate life-lesson, as well as sacrifice and service. I know in my heart that some good, decent human will be on the other side with a hot meal and a smile, nodding and happy to serve him.

That’s grace.

Yes, I am a feminist. Yes, I am a liberal. I have never been prouder to be a liberal who believes everyone deserves the same respect, decency and empathy. That is my God-given right, freedom and my choice.

Let’s cast politics aside.

Lucky in Loss

This picture popped up in my memories today on Facebook and made me smile. Michel and I fought, a lot. He thought I was spoiled. I was. We argued, a lot. I’d only learn in time and the passing of years what he meant. I learned so many lessons from him. How to live a simple life, to love and respect nature, to take long walks everyday, (like ten miles burn your ass and legs walks), how to laugh at yourself and others, how to work out, how to eat clean, and how to be here now. How to love. People, animals, life. The basics. All of it. Sometimes when I walk the nature trails with Lupe I can hear him, “hurry up connasse” and so I pick up the pace. And thank god for the days spent in his company in the sun, the fondest memories that a person shares with you are the ones that sustain us. I do the dishes, make my bed and celebrate another year (however hard, tragic, and chaotic) around the sun. Lost loved ones leave open wounds that become stitches in our hearts, scar tissue and eventually leaving room to mend. To grow, and to learn. The heart expands even when broken by time and circumstance. Love lives on the wind that blows frigid and in an instant, Spring appears changing her course once again. Nature’s seasons were Michel’s happiest, simplest magical place and I am still learning how to be present like him. My New Year’s wish for you is that you never give up, even when the physical pain of losing a loved one or perhaps even yourself feels impossible, keep on pushing the boundaries, stripping away all the nonsense, the baggage, the noise, and trusting you will fill the empty spaces with love, and relearn to walk again. To die young is not the natural order but a life lived full, simple and serene is a gift to be opened with gratitude, compassion and humility. Go ahead make your mistakes. Like the worst, wildest fuckups you can dream. And if you’re lucky they’ll be a person, or persons who will challenge you to get up and walk tall again and again. The nostalgic pictures help us remember we were here, and life was good. I forget sometimes reverting back to that spoiled girl, only for a moment. And then I remember how lucky in love I have been. 

Indian Red

Hate has no place in the home, on the mean streets, or the man-made war zones.
Of this ugly 21st century that is so unkind.
United as one, we are not.
We are not even close in these chaotic, heartbreaking times of epic, earth shattering cosmic shifts and distorted evil proportions.
Terrorists, murderers and violent, you are most assuredly unwelcome.
The time has come to become one voice united against all that has come undone.
You are your mothers and mothers and fathers and fathers only daughters and sons.
There is no do over.
Become something better, something way better than this bloodshed battle red.
Strong, confident, educated, kind and able.
Human.
Unclench those fists and do the work.
Peacekeepers with Statue of Liberty steel spines.
Gatekeepers of a new and improved united nation.
Dump the bad man and his arrogant posse of abhorrent greedy bastards
Stirring violence and divide.
Funny how fast we forget
Green is flimsy paper and cannot till the seedlings of a good, honest life.
One voice united will not be silenced or denied.
Lead with purpose, with love, with brothers and sisters on your mind.
Hearts wide open like our ancestors.
Indian red, backbone straight, oh so pretty, honorable and dignified. 

#ICan'tBreathe. Apologies. Opinion. From A Cop's Daughter.

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I am not going to talk politics, racism, society or even equality.

One, because I do not hold a master’s in Political Science, History or Criminal Justice.

I’m not even going to presume I know how to ‘fix’ this country or how far we have gone off track.

I’m going to stick with emotion, respect, courtesy, honor and humility.

The morally conscience way in which I was brought up.

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My father was a detective. He was the kindest, coolest, non-judgmental, honorable man I knew.

I loved running down the halls of the police station, the way it smelled, the dirty desks, the smiling faces dressed in blue who would greet me. I loved how safe, alive and happy I felt.

The sense of pride a five-year old has for her own personal superhero was overwhelming.

Black was not black in his eyes.

Any kid could get in trouble, petty stuff nothing major.

My father would not arrest him, beat him down, he would speak calmly to him with respect.

He had a likable way about him.

My dad would then go out and hit up the local merchants and raise money to send that troubled boy to basketball camp.

Yes, basketball camp and we were not rich, barely middle class.

How can I ever hate the cops when I have such a compassionate, shining example of him, seeing the human being first. The unfortunate youth who perhaps did not have guidance in his own home.

There would not be one kid he’d help, there would be hundreds who’s lives he would change.

Grown men, black, latino, white would turn up at my mother’s door teary eyed, “your husband gave me a shot, he saved my life.”

Respect. It’s so simple and sorely missing.

I’d grow up and move away from the shelter of a small town and the safety of my father the cop’s strong, compassionate, gentle ways.

When I moved to Harlem I honored the lessons and tried to be colorblind like he taught me.

The night Obama won the election I sobbed in the streets of 125, my heart bursting with pride.

I dragged my brother out catching him brush a tear away. I danced and watched a glorious, wise, well-lived grandmother cry with a child cradled in her arms.

Yes, she was African-American. I tried to comprehend how this stunning, victorious moment felt for her. I’m sure I couldn’t even come close to understanding the depths of emotion.

I looked in that beautiful woman’s chestnut eyes and for one glorious second we were connected.

It was a moment I might not have known without my father’s clear, honorable intentions.

There is no justice in a mother’s child being shot 9 times, or a father and husband of six children dying from a choke hold.

There is no sense, no Master’s Degree that can explain away the horrors.

Those police are certainly not the ones I know, I do not see my father’s reassuring manner in them.

No, no, no.

What is happening? What is happening to morals, values? How did things go so inexplicably wrong?

I partially blame the media, the goddamn violent video games and the ugly, greedy fast times we live in.

I loved a cop, I’m not apologizing.

He taught me right from wrong.

I’m apologizing to the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

My father the colorblind gentleman, well-loved and respected cop would be deeply sorry.

He’d try to fix it.

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Election Night Harlem 125 11/04/08 Obama  One LoVe.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dr. Martin Luther King

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