The Urgency of the Moment

“…Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy; now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice; now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood; now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children. It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment…

“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood… I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character…

“…and when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: ‘Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.’”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
from the “I Have a Dream” speech

King’s words are still relevant today – and we are, again, living in a time when we need to recognize “the urgency of the moment.” Our nation is at a crossroads, isn’t it? All the slime and ooze hidden on the bottom of the pond has been stirred up and is coming to the surface – corruption, racism, bigotry, and greed are being exposed to the light. Now it’s up to us to decide, as a nation, what we’re going to do about it. The decisions we make now – the direction we choose to go – is going to determine our fate.  I’m thinking we should choose equality, freedom, and justice, right?

I keep hanging onto the memory of that night – the night of the election – when I saw a shooting star streak across the sky and the voice said, “Trust. Everything is happening as it needs to happen.” But the voice didn’t tell me what was to come would be easy, or that it wouldn’t involve some effort, time, sweat, tears, courage, and prayer…

trust

“Peals that should startle the slumbering thought from its erroneous dreams are partially unheeded; but the last trump has not sounded, or this would not be so. Marvels, calamities, and sin will much more abound as truth urges upon mortals its resisted claims; but the awful daring of sin destroys sin, and foreshadows the triumph of truth.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

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“…unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.”

Adventures of the Madcap Christian Scientist

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Years ago, when I was a teenager maybe, I remember seeing a Star Trek episode that showed a man who was half-black and half-white in a struggle with another man who was half-black and half-white – they were enemies because of their color – and I remember looking at them, thinking, “But… they’re BOTH half-black and half-white… what’s the issue here?” And at the end of the episode we finally see that the reason they’re enemies is because one of them is white on the right side of his body, and the other is white on the left side of his body, and… yeah… I remember thinking how absolutely ridiculous it all was for them to hate each other just because…

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Guest Poem: “I Cried”

From my friend, Nikkita – 

I cried
By Nikkita

I cried today.
I cried for my family, my town, my country.
I cried for our world.
I cried for people I love. People that love me.
I cried as I listened to our president justify hate.
Justify bigotry
Justify Racism.
Justify terror.

I wept today.
I wept as I saw my cousin, my beautiful biracial cousin, crumble in my arms.
I wept as she asked why, why, why
I wept because I don’t know why
I wept as she asked if he, her president, cared at all
As she asked how he could defend them
Defend those bigots
Defend those racists
I wept as she asked wasn’t she worth loving
Worth saving
Worth caring about by the man who holds the highest office in our land.
I don’t know why.
I don’t know.

I screamed today.
I screamed in my head, so loudly, because my vocal chords can’t.
I screamed as the president tore down reporters
I screamed as people defended his behavior
I screamed as the replays of disgusting people chanting “Jews Will Not Replace Us” filled the screen.

I cried today.
I cried because I don’t recognize my government
I don’t recognize my nation
Anymore.
I cried because these are the groups, the very same groups,
That believe my Jewish grandmother
My black cousin
My gay best friend
My disabled friends
And me
Should be cleansed off this earth and
The president defended them.

They aren’t good people.
Never good people.
For if you are not a Nazi
But can protest with a Nazi
And chant their chants
And stand and say nothing
You are worse.
Worse than the Nazi
Worse than the KKK
Worse than their hate
Because you claim to not be filled with hate
But you stood there. You stood there.
And you said nothing.

I wept today
For my country, my world.
I wanted to smile
To be joyful
Full of love
And light
And peace.
But not today.
Today I cried.
Tomorrow?
Well, tomorrow
I FIGHT BACK.

I will fight hate with love
Bigotry with acceptance
Racism with inclusion
Ethnic cleansing with diversity
And terror with peace.

I FIGHT BACK
I will fight back with my voice
My actions
My deeds
My heart.

I FIGHT BACK
By saying no
By insisting that my government say no
By demanding equal rights
Equal love
Equal care.

I FIGHT BACK
By refusing to let this go
We can’t let this go
We can’t normalize this hatred
We can’t pretend.
Pretending got us here.
Pretending he would change
Got us a president
Who defends Nazis.

I cried today
Tomorrow I might smile
And the next day I might laugh
But not today.

Today I cried
Because tears and outrage
Horror and Disgust
They are the only correct reaction.
I cried today.
Tomorrow I fight.
The next day I love
And the world WILL change
For good
Because
You and me
And everyone good
Will not forget
Ever.
In memory of Heather Heyer, H. Jay Cullen and Berke Bates

Love is everything

What are they so afraid of?

What are these people so afraid of? Do they really think the Jews are going to try to “replace” them? What does that even mean? Replace them, how? Do they really think the “liberal snowflake lefties” are going to rise up and ambush them in their sleep and then… what?… force them to watch foreign films with sub titles or something? Make them eat tofu? I mean… seriously…? The people I saw armed with guns in Charlottesville were not the snowflakes. It wasn’t the left-wing ministers and priests standing elbow to elbow, talking of love and fellowship, who had the AK-47s, or who drove a car into a crowd of people. Or who killed anyone.

Sorry. I’m a little fired up at the moment…
Karen

tofu

Sympathizing with Error

Yes, our country needs to unite – but not behind the KKK, the NAZIs, or our current President.

And yes, Love is the answer. But Love shouldn’t be confused with that fear-based thing where we stop ourselves from doing and saying what we know needs to be done and said because we’re afraid of “making waves” or we’re afraid of confrontation. Sometimes evil needs to be confronted and called out. We need to love. We don’t need to appease. We don’t need to placate, mollify, or pacify. If someone’s feelings are hurt because we happen to disagree with them – that shouldn’t stop us from saying and doing what we know is right. We shouldn’t let ourselves be controlled by others like that. That’s not Love. That’s being a chicken schit.

“Neither sympathy nor society should ever tempt us to cherish error in any form, and certainly we should not be error’s advocate…Attempts to conciliate society and so gain dominion over mankind, arise from worldly weakness….If you venture upon the quiet surface of error and are in sympathy with error, what is there to disturb the waters? What is there to strip off error’s disguise?”
– Mary Baker Eddy

“Here’s the thing: If you’re with a group of people and they’re chanting things like ‘Jews will not replace us’ and you don’t immediately leave that group, you are not a very fine person.”
– Jimmy Kimmel
Great Jimmy Kimmel video clip here.

kind-people-unite

 

“Today it hurts to be human…”

Dear Moz,

Today it hurts to be human – to see my fellow men and women hating on people just because of the color of their skin or the place they were born. My heart weeps.

Today I was remembering how you stood up to the racist man in the Sears store when I was just a little girl. As a black family walked by, the bigot turned to you – expecting probably to get agreement from a fellow white person – and said, loud enough so the family could hear, “Those people should stay in their own part of town.” And I remember how your face turned red with indignation and you almost shook with the fury you felt, and you said, “That family has as much right to be here as you or me!” And I was so proud to be your daughter.

I remembered the day Dad wanted to visit his old home in a part of Los Angeles that most white people would have probably avoided then – I remembered how Dad knocked on the door of his old house, and the look on Pearl’s face as she saw him standing on her front stoop. Dad explained this was his childhood home and asked if he could come in and look around – and Pearl opened the door wide for him and shook his hand, and welcomed him in. And I remember the young black men who opened the door for my dad 42 years later, when he was 98 and living in a retirement home – I remembered how Dad made a special effort to turn and thank them, and how they said it was no problem and wished him a good day.  And I was so proud to be his daughter.

And today a young black man and I were so polite to each other in the bank – “No, you first… No, really, YOU first… No, I insist…” – that I started laughing at the pair of us – my heart just so full of his kindness and generosity that I wanted to hug him.  And later there was a black man who crossed the street in front of me when I stopped for him, and turned to thank me, and saw me smiling back at him, and smiled and waved. And later still – at the teriyaki place – there was the Asian man with the beautiful smile who had to reach in front of me to get the soy sauce – and he apologized and excused himself – and I joked with him: “No, you can’t have it.” And he started laughing with me. And the simple beauty of these encounters was just so poignant today – as on the other side of my nation racists hurl their fear and hatred out into the world – that I felt myself tearing up.

You and Dad showed me how to open my heart up and feel the pain and love of others and, though sometimes it hurts terribly, I would not have it any other way. I’m grateful for this gift of empathy. Thank you, Moz.

I love you.
Karen

Interracial Kindness 4