The Shutdown Is Not Working for Us

Dear Republican Senators:
The Government shutdown is not working for us. You are not serving the best interests of the people who elected you to represent them.

The bill that the House of Representatives recently passed is the exact same bill you passed, unanimously, only a month ago. There is no good reason not to pass it again. Please stop holding the American people hostage. Pass the bill, get the government working again, PAY THE GOVERNMENT WORKERS AND STOP TREATING THEM LIKE FREE LABOR (give them a raise while you’re at it – Lord knows they’ve earned it), and THEN talk about The Wall with the Democrats.

You all know there are better ways of protecting our borders than a wall. You all know about the technology we have available to us in the 21st century to protect our borders (and if you don’t know about this technology, perhaps now is the time to get acquainted with it) – technology that would make a wall obsolete.

If McConnell won’t do the right thing, then it is time for you to remove him as your majority leader, and get on with fixing this mess.

Sincerely,
Karen Molenaar Terrell

Advertisements

And Give You a Mug of Chamomile Tea

I read your comment on a friend’s wall
and got all fired up about it all.
“Most rational people feel as I do,”
said you.. “If you were rational, you would, too.
Don’t criticize him. Shut up. Be quiet.”
And in my thoughts you started a riot.
 
But… but… if Love leads us to warn
when our nation’s battered and torn
by moneyed men in their positions of power
and we cover our ears and eyes and cower
and say nothing – aren’t we abandoning our duty
to our country, our God, our own humanity?
 
When you tell others to be quiet, I feel wary –
people telling others to shut up is kind of scary –
when you say “most” and make a generalization
I see bias, I see no logic, I worry for our nation.
So I wrote a response to your weird comment

I clicked on “post” and published my own vent.

And then, curious, I went to your timeline
I wanted to see your face, to see what kind
of person would write those thoughts –
wondering if you were living in some kind of box.
And my mouth fell open when I saw what I saw –
a sweet face, a sweet smile, a white-haired grandma!

My heart felt a tug –
I wanted to give you a hug
and give you a mug
of chamomile tea.
I wonder when you’ll see.

– Karen Molenaar Terrell

First-Hand Experience

I recently posted on my Facebook wall a blog post by John Pavlovitz titled The Extinction of the White Male Dinosaur.  In the post, Pavlovitz writes: “In the coming days, the Tweets will become more erratic, the legislative assaults grow more transparently desperate, the hate crimes more brazen, the sermons grow more alarmist and incendiary. These Jurassic, soon-to-be-amber-trapped relics, will act is if the very sky above them is falling, because in very real ways, it is. They will thrash and spit and bellow, in an effort to buy themselves a few more days and a bit more power and another Federal judge or two, but they cannot stave off their inevitable disappearance, as progress and civilization and time swallow them up.”

As you might imagine, the post got a reaction from my Facebook friends. One of my friends asked, “Where does all the venom towards white males come from?”

To which I replied, “I love white males. My father is one. My brothers. My husband. My sons. This blog post (by Pavlovitz) was, in fact, written by a white male. It wasn’t written as an attack on white males, but as an observation of the death of white male privilege. Which I have never liked so much.”

Another friend (a white male) commented, “Please stop spreading the hate.”  He wrote: “One of the biggest problems today is the media. Try turning your television off. Try NOT believing everything you read on social media. Try to have a nice day!”

Here is my response to that comment and other comments like that one:
I don’t generally watch TV news – it’s too upsetting to me – sometimes I’ll watch PBS because they’re not loaded with commercials selling pharmaceuticals and they don’t show the graphic images of death that you see over and over again, replaying on the other networks. I generally get my news from print articles.

Here’s a question for those who ask me to stop sharing my thoughts: If my dad had posted the Pavlovitz blog post would anyone have told him to “stop spreading hate”? I’m guessing not. And I think that is an example, right there, of white male privilege. Dad calls himself a “lifelong Democrat” – his immigrant Dutch father was, in fact, a socialist. Both Dad and Mom were proud to vote for Barack Obama – and celebrated big-time when he won. No one has ever tried to censor Dad’s words or asked him to stop sharing his thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.

The blog post by John Pavlovitz that I posted above isn’t about hating anyone. It’s about celebrating the end of a system – an archaic “dinosaur” of a system – that has kept women and minorities underpaid and underemployed – and has kept them from sharing in the power enjoyed by white males in this country for centuries.

I don’t hate Mitch McConnell. I don’t even hate Trump. But I hate the system that put them in power, and has allowed them to tromp all over other people’s rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

And I don’t need to watch the news to know about white male privilege. My life-long experiences as a female, and my job working with mostly minority students,  have given me first-hand experience with this.

 

 

 

 

That M*A*S*H Scene Revisited

So here’s something… I woke up this morning with that scene from the M*A*S*H movie in my head – the one where Margaret Houlihan is trying to take a shower and Hawkeye Pierce and Trapper John raise the shower curtain on her in front of an audience of laughing men. M*A*S*H was one of the biggest movies of the early 1970s – nominated for all kinds of awards, including best picture. I didn’t see it when it first came out – too young – but I remember enjoying it, for the most part, when I finally saw it a few years later. I never did like that shower scene, though – it made me really uncomfortable – I thought it was mean-spirited. And now here we are in 2018. I’m thinking that scene might not play well in theaters, anymore. And I’m really glad about that.

We have made progress.

We Don’t Have to Choose

You know we don’t have to choose, right? You know we can support BOTH veterans (like my Dad) AND people who use their First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expression, right? Okie dokie… carry on then…

 

What will it take?

“The baneful effect of evil associates is less seen than felt. The inoculation of evil human thoughts ought to be understood and guarded against. The first impression, made on a mind which is  attracted or repelled according to personal merit or demerit, is a good detective of individual character. Certain minds meet only to separate through simultaneous repulsion. They are enemies without the preliminary offence. The impure are at peace with the impure.”
Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures

Have I ever changed my mind about a politician? Oh yeah. I’ve never had a problem with switching from one candidate to another as my thoughts evolve. Two cases come immediately to mind:
– I voted for Reagan in 1980. By 1984 – after I’d witnessed him fire all the air traffic controllers, break up workers’ unions, sell weapons to Iran, take money from social security, support Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein – I no longer supported him, and voted for the other guy.
– I voted for Clinton in 1992, but by 1996 my inner BS detector was beeping – and I voted for Ralph Nader instead.

I have never really been one of those people who gets attached to personalities. I tend to follow causes – not people. I tend to vote for candidates who share the same values as me (championing the poor and disenfranchised, working to clean up our environment, fighting for social justice and equality) – rather than showboat egomaniacs surrounded in glitz and gold.

And maybe that’s why it’s really hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that there are still people in my country who are blindly loyal to a politician who has – from what I’ve seen – shown no glimmer of genuine kindness or generosity or honesty since he’s been in office. A politician who oversaw more than 2000 children being separated from their families. A politician whose longtime lawyer has admitted that he was directed by the politician to pay hush money to at least two women to keep them from talking about their affairs with the politician . A politician whose campaign manager was just convicted of eight major financial crimes. A politician who is methodically dismantling the environmental regulations that protect our air and water.

How anyone can justify or rationalize any of this is beyond me. How anyone can spin any of what this politician has done into something good is a mystery. What will it take for his followers to finally say they’ve seen enough?

“Christian Scientists should beware of unseen snares, and adhere to the divine Principle and rules for demonstration. They must guard against the deification of finite personality.”
– Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings