Posts from the ‘The Point’ Category

#6 From the Archives: Adjustments,Tucks and Plans

My niece, Karen, is my Super Hero. Every day she does things I can only imagine; seismic acts combining our highest human qualities with medical professionalism in her job as a nurse. This piece brought me to tears once again. Even more so because nearly two whole years have passed. This was published right after the White House turned orange and before we knew just how much worse things could get.

Karen recently moved from southern California back to Minnesota, where she continues to “be a helper”. I’m guessing this will remind her and the SoCal crew how much they miss each other…

First published: November 15, 2016

Guest Blogger:
Karen Lindquist,
Southern California
(then) Minnesota (now)

Anita’s Note~ Kudos to my niece, Karen Roehrick Lindquist, who wrote this first as a comment to my post: My Letter to the Young Folk. Her powerful sentiment left me in tears. Lucky for us Karen agreed to having the comment published as a post to share with all of you. Many people are asking, “What do we do now?”  (when the White House turned orange) After reading this you will have some ideas on that… Read more…

Stay the Course…

So much noise out here, virtual & real: emails, posts, texts, tweets, and us bewailing and moaning to each other. How many times can we say or type “UN-F-ing BELIEVABLE”?

VOTING is the most powerful, silent act of resistance we have. Let’s do all we can to get folks to the polls for this mid-term to VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS.

Voter registration deadlines vary by state.
The last day to register to vote online or by mail in California is OCT 22nd.
• The deadline to register to vote in person in California is NOV 6th:
Conditional voter registration is a safety net for Californians who miss the Oct 22 deadline. Voters can use this process from Oct 23 all the way through Election Day. Eligible citizens can go to their county election office or a designated satellite location to register and vote conditionally. These ballots will be processed once the county elections office has completed the voter registration verification process.

I like the noise Wall of Us is making—should be heard by all genders and pronouns. Check it out…

Read more…

Marian Anderson on “What’s My Line” 1957

American contralto, Marian Anderson, 1897-1993, was one of the most globally celebrated singers of the 20th century and yet the panel on What’s My Line in 1957 felt ashamed when they couldn’t guess who she was…

 

Ms. Anderson sang at the Lincoln Memorial  on Easter Sunday in 1939 after she was refused a performance at Washington’s Constitution Hall. In 2014, young people gathered to commemorate 75 years since Anderson’s effort to strike out against racism through the power and beauty of her voice. Jeffrey Brown reports for PBS:

Adjustments,Tucks and Plans

Guest Blogger:
Karen Lindquist, Southern California 

Anita’s Note~ Kudos to my niece, Karen Roehrick Lindquist, who wrote this first as a comment to my post: My Letter to the Young Folk. Her powerful sentiment left me in tears. Lucky for us Karen agreed to having the comment published as a post to share with all of you. Many people are asking, “What do we do now?” After reading this you will have some ideas on that…

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist waits, expecting it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” ~ William Arthur Ward

Thank you for your continued guidance Aunt Anita…as I woke to my alarm last Wednesday morning and learned the “official” call, I had to pick my jaw and heart up off the floor, make my coffee, get out the door and get to the hospital where I take care of almost exclusively Latino families whose child is experiencing a serious medical condition. And when I got to my unit, the air was eery and thick. Generally I’m there before the kids wake up so I’m slipping into each room silently checking tubes and drains and medication and safety equipment before I ever see those little eyes open.

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On Wednesday the TVs in each room were quietly broadcasting various newscasts. Moms and dads and grandmas were soundlessly, dazedly watching. As I tucked and adjusted and straightened, I made eye contact with those parents and thankfully no words were needed as my heart had gone from the floor to my throat and there would have been nothing my voice could have produced. Each room, I did my checking and felt those parents and felt the weight of our new reality.


And then when Hillary spoke that morning, the unit paused and I watched with my Latino and black and Muslim and female colleagues and together we fought back tears and anger. And then the day marched on as it had to so we could treat, heal, and love those families. Then the week marched on and the waves of sadness, grief, disbelief, and fear have rolled in.

It’s traumatic. It’s traumatic to witness the destruction of our friends’ and neighbors’ civil rights. Just ask those who have come before us. We are witness to a(nother) surge of open white supremacy and hate speech. And it’s traumatic. As with all trauma it can be difficult to navigate.

I am encouraged by those who call for action and preparation…I like adjustments, I like tucks and I like plans. But I fear that calls for unity are delicately disguised calls for acceptance. I cannot accept. I cannot stand in the face of this and call it a difference of opinion. I’m not grieving because of our different viewpoints on social and political issues. I grieve because Trump’s hate rhetoric is bigoted harassment toward our vulnerable people and his election is a sign that—for at least half of our voting country—this is acceptable.

I thought only the fringes of society could possibly overlook his misogynist, racist, homophobic, sexist values and actually vote for him. This cannot be normalized, it cannot be woven into normal life. I am thankful for those who are called to protest and activate. For me, while I might not hold that picket sign, I’ll continue to be a helper. I will continue to help and love and value all different people no matter their race, religion, how much they have, who they love, what they believe in…I will be a helper…and lean on those who have been here before to help me.

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“We Shall Not Be Moved” ~ March On Washington 1963

America has been here before.

Watch this video of the Freedom Singers that preeminent day 53 years ago.

The Freedom Singers began in Albany, Georgia in 1962 during the Civil Rights Movement. From L-R: Charles Neblett (bass), Bernice Johnshon Reagon (alto) Cordell Reagon (tenor), unknown and Rutha Harris (soprano). This performance was at The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Tuesday, August 28, 1963.

We shall not, we shall not be moved
Just like a tree planted by the water,
We shall not be moved.

May 27, 2014 ~ After North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis refuses to meet with North Carolinians, a sit-in turns into a church service lead by Rev.William J. Barber, President of the NC NAACP:

Other versions of the song: http://civilrightssongs.blogspot.com/2015/02/we-shall-not-be-moved-lyrics-videos-and.html

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Freedom Riders at the March on Washington, 1963

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Civil rights organizer Karen House at ’63 March.

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Paul Newman at ’63 March

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Marchers cool their feet in the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, ’63 March on Washington

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March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom: 8.28.63

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Van Jones: “Whitelash”

Since political activist Van Jones used the word “whitelash” on CNN after the election  a bunch of people have lost their minds. Nothing makes some folks more uncomfortable than the very mention of race, so touché, Van. So irritating to hear, “Why does everything always have to be about race.” Well…because everything HAS pretty much been about race since race was constructed in the 1600s. No matter what room you walk into in the USA, race done already walked in there before you, right along with sex and money, to name a few.

whitelash, n  1. an adverse reaction (i.e.backlash) by white racists against non-white civil rights advances.

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If you don’t know this man, you should. And I’m happy to introduce him via three videos where he talks about whitelash and a whole lotta other issues that are on our minds since Tuesday night. I especially hope young folk will watch video #3 and “Check Out His Thought” Read more…

And now…moving on…My letter to the Young Folk

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Edith Lee-Payne at March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom: 8.28.63

I’m impressed with how you are engaged and involved with today’s political & social issues. I’m hopeful for America’s future because YOU are that future. And yet it breaks my heart to see you filled with stress at having to witness the moral degradation of late.

Exhausted from the two-year fiasco we’ve endured we’re also concerned for our unknown future. My 22-year old daughter said “it feels like a death”. Students are crying, wearing black and protesting on campuses all over the country.

It’s not enough for us to verify that the country seems hopelessly divided and say we fear for your children and grand-children. Better that we circle the wagons—keep all of you close via face-to-face conversations, video chats, texts and phone calls because ~ yes we have seen a death of a measure of common decency and human spirit, but also of apathy, which needs to die. Let audacity live in its place. Your generation is waking us up to the call for paying attention and holding ALL politicians accountable, on both sides. Van Jones says—we must mourn (and drink water!) in order to heal, and then we must pick up and move forward. As President Obama said, “the sun will come up again tomorrow” ~ a place where from death there can be new life.

I know it’s hard for you to imagine that America has been through worse than what we are seeing now, but it’s true. Much, much worse. It’s up to those of us who were there for those times to help you navigate these rough waters by elevating morals.

We who believe in decency and “re-spect” must look deep and “see-again” the Good Wolf embedded in the foundation of America—a determination that had to be strong to rise from the blood and ashes of piracy and genocide that is, sadly, America’s bedrock.

Beginning in the 1600s with the collisions of First Americans with the entitled Spanish and British dissidents, the forced migration of enslaved Africans, indentured servants and others, race was constructed in America—and as Farai Chideya, said on Twitter, “white” is also a race. One cannot build on such a wrongful foundation and escape the consequences. An America where forces that embrace wide-spread bigotry can rise to power is part of those consequences.

Through centuries of hardworking fighters who would not be moved the phoenix called Audacity rose and still flies in the hearts of all who believe. Trust in the power of one; we must continue to not be moved and be the positive, inclusive change we want to see in the world.

With each rising sun of the next four years we will renew the journey as countless fighters before us have done. We will not succumb to the notion that at its core America is anything less than benevolent and humane—otherwise we would not have survived these 240 years. THAT is the balm to begin healing.

And no. We don’t move to Canada; we move forward like The Scales of Justice ~ working to strike a balance between the forces that seek to divide us and our collective Audacity.

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