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?

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.

 

An Open Letter: to the passive aggresive broads trying to school me in feminism and guilt me into voting for Hillary…SPOILER ALERT: It ain’t working.

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Dear Kate Cronin-Furman, Mira Rapp-Hooper , and all the other woman trying to school me in feminism and guilt me into voting for Hillary,

I believe your assertion that for some “late-breaking sexism often means later-onset identification with the principles of second-wave feminism”, however that experience is EXACTLY why I’m CHOOSING to vote for Bernie Sanders as opposed to Hillary Clinton; and I’d like the think pieces on why I’m naive or somehow less of a feminist than you are to stop.

I am an HBCU Dean’s List grad. I am a Black Single Mother of a 4-year-old daughter. I am a proud member of the LGBT community, and I have been eking out an existence working 10-12 hours days for $12 an hour in one of the most discriminatory industries (Hollywood) in the world. You assume that because I won’t blindly vote for Hillary I must be naive to the discrimination of the business world or the social structure of this country in general; this position is not only disparaging, but sexist, and ageist all bundled up nicely in a tight fist that I’m tired of being assaulted with.

I’m proud the woman before me have paved a pathway for us, but didn’t they do so in order for me to have the freedom to vote about the issues and the candidates’ political and social anatomy not their physical anatomy? Making young educated women out to be people pleasing and inexperienced shows a level of callus that is scary and truly disheartening. The woman of the baby boomer age were once idealist…what happened to that belly burning fire that was emboldened by opposition and in search of true progressive change? Why settle for just any woman when there is more at stake here than ovaries in the oval office? We have a Supreme Court justice nom on the line, we have oil pipelines from Canada pending, we have a trade deal that could dismantle what little democratic power we have left over corporations, and we have a privatized prison system that threatens to sue if we don’t continue to fuel them with free labor. I and thousands of other women graduated from college as the economy fell apart; we faced even more abysmal job prospects than we would have had we been met solely with the sexism already expected in the workplace.

I am not some starry-eyed child who doesn’t know what’s good for me. I am the product of my history, culture, and environment. I am the niece of two Uncles jailed by Clinton’s 94’ Crime Bill. I am a bi-sexual woman who is puzzled that the same woman who supported her husband in signing DOMA, the HIV travel ban, as well as overseeing the doubling of LGBT discharges from the military in his tenure, can act as if that never happened or claim to have magically “evolved” dismissing my and countless other peoples pain. Hillary didn’t fully support same sex marriage until 2013…yes…2013! She flew in the face of change and only joined our ranks as the prevailing winds of pew polling blew. She’s never stood true as a weather vane for equal human rights for all…only the humans who benefit her public image.

Bottom line: I don’t trust her. I don’t trust Hillary to do right by me or any of the issues I care about. If I were a man the very women who bash me would respect my right as an American to vote for the person, male or female whom I’m most ideologically aligned with. However, I am not a man…and these women… my sisters claim “there is a special place in Hell” for me and that I only support Bernie because his camp is where all the boys are. The legacy I want to leave my daughter isn’t one of forced affiliation or entitlement; it’s one of progressive ethics so I’ll stand tall in my opposition. If Bernie wins on a platform of revolutionary change I can take comfort in the fact that regardless of which side they played ALL women will benefit both directly and indirectly from that.

I do hope that a woman will inhabit the white house one day soon, but that isn’t my ONLY hope… I pray that by the time my child is of college age she won’t have to tackle the issues I have had to. I hope she won’t have to decide between living a life and paying back student loans. Yes, sexism is very real but so is the need to reduce income inequality, corporate welfare, and the cost of health care. I have aspirations for myself and my daughter that are bigger than the shadow cast by Hillary and when I look into my child’s eyes and my own in the mirror, I know there are better female candidates out there, but we as women need to recognize them… let’s not squander our “1st woman” card on a layup.

Please.

Most Certainly a Feminist,

Lauren J. Croom 

Kendrick was sitting at the GRAMMYs like…

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“Ok, soooo the awards are mine? It’s official? Let me drop this single on um right quick”
Sheesh… I’m with EVERYTHING HE SAYS… EVERYTHING…
Poetry at it’s rawest, Kendrick pulled my heart out with this one.

Wells Fargo Explores Definitions of What it Means to be African-American

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Although I may not always agree with Wells Fargo’s Business Practices, this #MyUntold Project is really worth checking out.

This story-telling initiative offers a glimpse of what it means to be African-American today.  View the stories & share your own using #MyUntold.