I Am Alive Today Because of My Father, and so Are Countless Others.

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When I was a few weeks old, my parents were driving home from a visit with my Grandmother. My Dad usually drives every where but luckily this time he took her up on her offer and rode shot gun. They got on the freeway, and he decided to take one last look at me before taking a nap. He pulled down the visor to see me slumped over the tray of my car seat my skin a shade of purple. He had my Mom exit the freeway, and they pulled into the gas station. My Mom pounded on the door, but this was before the age of 24-hour stations and the man inside calmly waved her off. My Dad leaped into action pulled me out of the car placed me his lap instinctively starting CPR. The thoughts that were going through his mind may have paralyzed another Father: “My first born is dying!”, “Why won’t anyone help us?”, “If this doesn’t work, my newborn may pass away in my arms.” The gas station owner finally got up, and after seeing the situation through the window allowed my Mother to call 911. As the ambulance pulled into the parking lot, I drew a breath and color began to return to my face.
Once at a carnival my Younger sister was riding a steep slide. As kids we weighed nothing; we were scrawny little things. She started her descent, and our Dad recognized something wasn’t right. My Sister looked frightened and was picking up too much air and too much speed. He knew she wouldn’t slow down and the results would be disastrous. He moved to the side of the slide, and I watched in amazement as he calculated when she would lift off and snatched her out of the air. She very narrowly escaped a brutal tumble that could have been fatal for a child her size.
My Father is a Firefighter Paramedic. He saves lives. He’s been the subject of a Movie and was played by Michael Beech and has even received commendations for saving people from a burning building on his day off. ONE HIS DAY OFF! He was driving, saw a fire, realized the first responders on duty may not make it in time. With no gear or any form of protection other faith and knowledge of his craft, he busted down doors and pulled multiple people from the building before it was fully engulfed in flames.
My Father has literally saved my Sister and my’s life, as well as well, the lives of countless other’s and continues to do so in stride and with no regard for accolades or recognition.
Mind you, my Father, like any other Man is not with out flaws, but I believe that’s what makes him all the more a legendary figure in my eyes. Forget Marvel and DC the real hero birthed me.
I Love you, Daddy.

 

This post was inspired by Treana Allen and her lovely wife Lorelei Estrada who posted this video and got me thinking about my blessings.

Pride & Precedents

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Last night Clinton hearkened back to the Seneca Falls Convention where in 1848 people gathered to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman … Fredrick Douglas was even there in favor of the rights of women… but which women? I was sickened to hear her declare victory in the name of all women…in my name.
The Woman’s Suffrage movement led to White Women getting the right to vote in 1919 while Black Men’s rights had been smothered post-reconstruction.

ALL other people of color remained an after thought until 1947 when Natives were finally allowed to vote in the country of their origin and 1952 when people of Asian descent were granted the right to be citizens; but it wasn’t until 1965 that my Grandfather was allowed to vote…1965!

Much like the erasure of people of color from the history spouted in her speech, you’ll probably notice the platform issues Clinton used to lure you in sliding off her plate and onto the rubbish heap.
This election has lacked in genuine inclusion…Ask Bernie. Ask the Beautiful Black women who have been manhandled and jailed by HRC’s security for simply quoting their fearless leader. Ask the voters in the 7 primaries between yesterday and the election who were told their voices don’t matter by every major media outlet a day before the last Super Tuesday…
Last night I watched as my FB feed flooded over with ‪#‎ImwithHer‬ and‪#‎GirlPower‬ hashtags and I felt truly saddened, not angry like some, but saddened that after all the fighting, protesting, tears and lives lost when it comes down to it we are still sheep… still asleep… still unready to take the leap…What will it take?

My mentor Kevin Gershan always says “We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change”… I am deathly afraid of what future we face… I am terrified when I ponder the consequences.

What Happens to a Vote Deferred?

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You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you feel personal failure because people close to you…people you hope you positively influence made a bad decision today that will haunt all of you both disproportionately and indefinitely?  Well ya… I’m feeling that coupled with a deeper understanding of what it looks like when people confuse the definition of feminism with sexism and don’t even know it. I did my part and regardless of the outcome I can tell my daughter genitalia didn’t sway my vote.

As a feminist by definition I viewed both candidates equally as politicians with agendas and when I compared their records, ethics, and platforms…I can tell her I voted for the right guy and fought for him all the way to the convention…I hope I can tell this story to her one day and laugh about how silly it is that I was afraid for her very life…

I hope I can look back and I don’t remember the nightmares I’ve had of her replacing Sandra Bland on that video or her growing up in a world dominated by war and ruled by resource scarcity… I hope that my hope comes peeking through the clouds of media dust storms that bury FBI investigations and passive aggressive racism under girl power puff pieces and celebrity obituaries.

I pray that before it all falls to shit something pulls the pin out of this grenade and we explode into enlightenment propelled by the understanding that although things aren’t perfect it isn’t impossible nor is it unrealistic to demand real progressive change in a country that has always been dragged, kicking, and screaming into the future…

I’m hoping someone reads this and feels regret…deep mournful regret for not taking a chance on the underdog today… but instead of deflecting they take a hard look at WHY they felt OK with self identifying as unworthy of hope… I want them to ask themselves “what happens to a dream deferred”… then I want them to watch a Trump rally and find out.

On Syria And Why Being Poor (Not Privileged) Prompts Me Not To Vote For Hilary

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If I could begin to express the level of despair I felt watching this video…I would… but I don’t think my heart could take it.

When you have connections…real connections, to all parts of the globe you die a little when you witness hurt blasted (or ignored) on TV…It’s impossible to watch people crying and distraught in the street after something like this when you know that could just as easily be your family or friends…but our world is cut off from theirs, isn’t it?

We are soft as an effect of our 1st world comforts and equally as hard as a result of the incessant onslaught of images like these… We think: “that’s so sad” and then promptly change to something uplifting to lighten the mood. It never crosses our mind that Rome fell. Things in our country are not perfect. We aren’t far behind.

Syria used to be a beautiful vacation spot,

plage

hama     ibnwalid.jpg

home to a major seed bank, beautiful historical ruins, and a crucial part of the fertile crescent a.k.a the cradle of all known civilization;

now it (like so many others before it) doesn’t hold a candle to a shadow of it’s former self.

My adopted Uncle was born and raised near the Doctors Without Boarders hospital that was bombed this week. He used to go back frequently to visit family. He was well to do. He had a few homes there.

Nowadays, my Uncle is no longer well to do. He’s a lot grayer all of his homes there are destroyed and he can’t go back anymore or it’s likely he won’t return. I remember when he’d complain about Assad occasionally but the economy was stable then so I don’t recall it being a daily thing.

“It started with the drought” he’d say… (global warming seems to be a reoccurring precursor to a lot of these issues but, I digress) once food prices increased so did overall tensions and the kettle began to boil…

Our mixing pot here is boiling, but we’re too busy calling the kettle black to notice we’re on the tipping point too.

This election is about more than defeating Trump or a woman satisfying her insatiable ego by becoming president. This is it. This is a defining moment for us, our fork in the road where our choices are immediate destruction(Ted Cruz/Trump), cruise control at 65 on our current pathway to destruction (Hilary), or Bernie… who just wants us to spend with our true interests in mind, tax with our true interests in mind, and view the world with an emphatic heart.

I can’t compromise, because I see my future in the eyes of refugees dying on the streets of their own city. I can’t in good faith vote for Hilary knowing her track record of violence and disdain for black and brown people. She has and will continue to propagate the type violence I just witnessed and I can’t be party to that. Being poor not privileged is what propels my decision not to support Hillary because my vote is my voice and I can’t allow any outside pressure to silence me.

Hubris doesn’t allow us to see just how badly our tight rope is fraying as we walk it. We continue our jeering and crusading, nose turned up to those already fallen.

But

as oceans rise, water get scares and dirty, education becomes a privilege as opposed to right, and inflation devalues our already maxed out 50 hour work week; we’ll eventually have to come to grips with the fact that chickens really do come home to roost. Our insensitivity and deeds done aboard won’t be readily forgotten by those who we’ve wronged in the name of “Democracy”.

I’ll leave you with only final thought…

Imagine if you will the frothy head of a beer, toppling over the rim  in excess with mad abandon as if the spout will never run dry, suppressing the bubbling brown body of the beverage which suffocates below the foam… Eventually the bartender cuts flow and either tips the glass or runs across it with a blade cutting the head off and settling the liquid. Who are you in this analogy, the liquid or the foam?

Lemonade: Rejoice or Simply Recede  

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I finally tasted #Lemonade and it wasn’t anything like it was portrayed to me. It was a full bodied thirst quenching tall glass of amniotic bliss… It was a rich visual embodiment of the call and response like conversations that women of the diaspora play out internally on a daily basis. It is sheer and utter blaspheme to paint Beyoncé as an “Angry Black Woman” seeking to publicly air a lovers spat…The images… so carefully crafted are delicate representations of our strength as black women… don’t you see?

It’s a celebration of life and vibrancy in face of dull toned turned backs… It’s a chin held high in face of misplaced applause… It’s the acknowledgment of the side eyes we’ve dished out to those whose very image we were trained to covet over our own… It’s an ode to the colored girl… and an antidote to the colorist. If you watched an hour of sunshine and chose to see rain… I can only deduce that it either wasn’t made for you or you were not ready to receive it. 

I was ready though…I been ready. I needed this more then I knew I did… a burst of brilliant blue-black ultra violet light. So many talented womenfolk pooled together in a single contiguous heart string… lined up in Formation… calling me with their eyes saluting me, emblazoned with the symbols of our pride.

I’m glad to be alive in these strange times…these fearful, exhausting, yet awe inspiring times. I finally tasted #Lemonade and all I could muster to say out loud was thank you … Thank you to the ancestors for laying the foundation for Formation by turning lemons into Lemonade under the watchful eyes of your little girls…because you never know who you are raising until they rise up.

 

What We REALLY Lost On Tuesday

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Tuesday night sucked… hard. The progressive movement suffered a number of losses but none more important that our loss of faith in the Democratic party as a whole.

I’m finished begging the Democratic party or anybody else to pay attention to issues that matter to me and people who look like me. I’m not going to concede in fear of Trump; if he wins it’s our own damn fault for ignoring the cries of the 99% and divesting from education, industry, and infrastructure for far too long… My generation is a casualty of trickle down economics, austerity, shitty foreign trade policy, a 15 year war, regressive racism, and the continued misguided political decisions of our predecessors…We have every right to be angry about the condition of world we are to inherit. I refuse to reward negative behavior and give up the rights my grandparents so viciously fought for me to have.

If my Grandfather were alive I know who he’d vote for…

If King were alive I know who he’d vote for …

I’m not a sell out. I’m not a sore loser whose pride is blocking a vote for Hillary…

I’m honoring my ancestors legacy by standing tall in principle surrounded by those stooped over in huddled pragmatism.

I am not easily knocked down… There is just too much on the line to be disillusioned by the expected voter and information  suppression accompanied by election fraud. Those of us who know that 4 more years of the same could end in unspeakable tragedy for so many understand that we have to ride this thing until the wheels fall off.  I am still on board with Bernie Sanders and if the stars align I’ll be in Philly this July channeling my Ancestors, and the millions of people who just want a fair shot at a decent life. Yes, Tuesday was disappointing but if we pull this off wouldn’t it make for a great read for future generations who will reflect bewildered by our society’s prolonged lack of empathy. I can’t wait till all of this feels like a lifetime ago but until then keep calm and Bern on.

 

2015:Just When I Thought I Had Shit Figured Out, You Proved I Know Nothing.

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“A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.”

Click here to see the complete report.

Reading the above assessment of my 2015 blog traffic report felt like winning “Most Improved” at your high school varsity golf team banquet… pitiful (and I should know I won that very award and they lost my trophy in the mail).

For some reason I thought I would be able to change the world with my words nearly over night with my blog and YouTube vlog…but alas the year came and went unwavering in its opposition to my success.
The beginning of my 30th year was prefaced by:
-Extreme fatigue and the totaling of a parked truck and my already failing automobile.
-An invisible video blog that everyone said was inspiring but never watched (I know because Google Analytics never lies).
-Being sued for joint custody of my then 3 year old daughter by her biological donor because I finally broke down and filed for child support.
-Living with someone who criticizes my every move and insults my character on a deeply personal level consistently, but who happens to be fighting cancer so I can’t say shit.
-Still being broke…as fuck as the whole the world erupts in chaos and i just want run away and live in a cabin in the woods…
You know the normal stuff people deal with while ushering in their 3rd decade of life.

I thought that, circumstances being what they are, I should have no problem coming up with content to write about…problem was too much content, not enough time and evil ass perfection paralysis.

I have over 180 “draft” posts sitting half finished waiting for me to fluff them up and press “publish”… but I hesitate…WTF is wrong with me?

I’m exhausted that’s what.
I’m just fucking tired.
I’m tired of working on average 52 hours a week and only bringing home $523 because I don’t earn a living wage.
I’m fucking fed up with having no time to myself and feeling like a shitty mom for wanting to take a shit in the bathroom alone.

All I want to do is garden, talk shit about politics and pop culture, quilt, cook, raise some animals, and be the type of mom that raises a kid who benefits man kind…Is that too much to ask?

Blog, why can’t you magically attract more readers?

I know I’m not the only radicalized hippie out here.

Where y’all at?

Damn, this turned into a journal entry quicker than it should have ….smh. Sheesh; but I suppose that’s OK as long as I keep writing. As long as I keep writing, I keep expressing myself and in doing so I create small ripples…ripples can become waves and waves have the power to erode mountains.

Don’t count me out just yet folks.

I’m still here.

XOXO,

Lauren Croom

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