We Are the Change We Are Looking For

The cliché of the era is that these are trying times in our country. There is division between political parties, fear of “the others” that could invade our country and our interrupt our lives and anger about years of silence about sexual and physical abuse at the hands of the more powerful.  We get angry, we wring our hands, we minimize or rationalize, and we become numb – in any combination.

Alternatively, you might come from a different perspective that there is “nothing to see here”.  You may believe that the negative language is just noise in an empty space.  What matters is saying, “look over here, we are engaged in – really – important things to make the country great again. “ Machiavelli is still right all these years later – the ends justify the means.

Consider this; the number of hate groups in the country has grown yet again this year.  Women still make less than men for the same work do and #metoo has just pulled the covers off the sexual harassment and power plays that have gone on for years.  Whatever the cause for bad behavior, whatever the party of the perpetrators, the truth is we can do better, one day, one person and one word at a time. Yes, words matter but more importantly how we use words matters.

Words make it personal and immediate especially if I do not see or know who you are. Words mean different things to different people.  So, consider this. Is it too restrictive to be mindful of how we speak to and treat one another? Is saying something more thoughtful a hindrance to one’s freedom?  Is it an indignity to be asked to learn about someone else’s sensitivities that we did not know about before? Is it beneath our station to consider respecting other perspectives?

For those who mock what is considered politically correct, ask yourself when you decided that any attempt to consider the myriad of interpretations of your words was beneath you.  When did you decide that too many people were just too sensitive?  On the other hand, when did you decide you no longer needed to continue to understand why these issues matter to someone else? The golden rule still applies in religions across the world and it still teaches us reciprocity. Last time I looked in the bible; the principle of the golden rule was still there.

If you are one of those wringing your hands over the audacious comments of presidents, prominent people and the person down the hall, your gesture is not enough.  We must speak up and stop allowing bad behavior to get a pass regardless of whom it is. For those who choose to preserve the “peace” I say, okay, this peace allows you to avoid the inconvenient and painful truth that, as Martin Luther King said, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal”.

We have to stop being numb to the tolerance for racism, misogyny, disrespect and abusive language and behaviors.  Stuff happens, intolerance drips from the top down into the puddle we are all standing on. The option to clean-up or stay standing in it stands at our feet.  As Obama said, “we are the change we are looking for”.

In order to be the change speak up.  If you see injustice, say something. If you say something that offends someone, acknowledge it.  The internet buzzes with videos of people being caught “live” being outrageously abusive and offensive to their neighbors.  The buzz goes viral and this outrageous and unacceptable behavior is normalized for some, and traumatic for someone else.  Nevertheless, somewhere in the buzz the message is still implied that this is not acceptable. There is hope that we get that words matter and that racism is still wrong and that sexism and misogyny are unacceptable. Let us all be better. Read More

Time’s running out

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But it’s not too late to get registered to vote in the November 6 elections.

Here’s a handy infographic from Let America Vote with registration deadlines for each state:

And you can check on your registration status at I Will Vote.

I’ve also set up a Midterms thread on the forums if you have information to share.

Earlier this week, an angry guy on Facebook said he was scared that women “like me” had the right to vote. It was rude, of course, but also very motivating. I encourage all y’all to be scary and vote, regardless of gender. Read More

Lamento Borincano

Here’s some música for your Monday, Lamento Borincano by Marc Anthony:

Todo, todo esta desierto y el pueblo esta lleno, de necesidad, ay, de necesidad….

Donate:

Puerto Rico Reconstruction Effort
Arriba PR Project
Arriba PR Project
United for Puerto Rico

Change.org petitions:

Send Navy Hospital Ship USNS Comfort to Puerto Rico to Aid Our Fellow Americans
Waive the Jones Act for Puerto Rico to Help Rebuild its Infrastructure and Economy Read More

Powerful musical statement from Ricardo Arjona at last night’s Premios Billboard

You can watch the video here from Telemundo.com

 

I’ll choke on my tears if I try to transcribe the whole thing, but here are some of the highlights:

Dijo adiós con una mueca disfrazada de sonrisa

El mojado tiene ganas de secarse
El mojado es mojado por las lagrimas que bota la nostalgia
El mojado, el indocumentado, carga el bulto que el legal no cargaría ni obligado

No es de aquí porque su nombre no aparece en los archivos
Ni es de allá porque se fue

Mojado de tanto llorar sabiendo que en algún lugar te espero un beso haciendo pausa desde el día en que marchaste

Si la visa universal se extiende el día en que nacemos
Y caduca en la muerte
¿Por qué te persiguen, mojado?
Si el cónsul de los cielos ya te dio permiso

Read More

Why is the blog wearing red?

Today we are commemorating International Women’s Day and participating in A Day Without a Woman by “wearing” red and not doing any blog work.

Visit the Women’s March website for more information.

Here’s an article from Bustle on how to spend the day when you can’t take the day off.

ETA: ICYMI, the blog in red.

Read More

This is not a politics-free zone

I want to get ahead of the need to have to explain this in response to a specific situation and avoid having anyone feel singled out.

This is not a politics-free zone.

I am a woman, a feminist, a Latina, a lover of the Spanish language, and a person with a chronic illness (Ankylosing Spondylitis). The overwhelming feeling I’ve had even since before the recent election is that there are a lot of people who would like me to shut up and go away. Now that the new administration is in, I’m absolutely SURE of it.

Which makes the fact that this blog even exists “political.” And makes the fact that I will not allow it to become a space that normalizes sexism, racism, or any other kind of bigotry an act of resistance. The time has passed when we can “agree to disagree” about the casual devaluing of people’s lives or allow verbal abuse to happen under the banner of “free speech.”

So, no, I have no plans to change the way I express myself to avoid angering those who are “tired of politics” or “tired of political correctness.” Like I said, plenty of them are already angry that people like me even exist and that we refuse to be silent and invisible. That makes it impossible for this space to be “politics-free” and I don’t now, nor have I ever, had any intention of it being that.

If you choose to stick around, I’m happy to have you. If my stance offends you, I hope you find what you’re looking for elsewhere. Read More

In this house, we do love

Whatever else has changed in the world tonight, what hasn’t changed is that this blog is no place for misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia, or any other kind of bigotry.

All comments will be moderated until I’m prepared to deal with them. Excuse the inconvenience. I’ve been there, done that, and I’m not doing it again.

In the spirit of pulling together and helping each other, A List of Pro-Women, Pro-Immigrant, Pro-Earth, Anti-Bigotry Organizations That Need Your Support (From Jezebel).

A few more that aren’t on the list:

Families USA is a healthcare advocacy organization

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) “the leading organization for the protection of children who enter the U.S. immigration system alone and strives to ensure that no such child appears in immigration court without representation.”

And while this may not sound directly related, DonorsChoose.org is crowdfunding for teachers who, let’s face it, already have their hands full and this week did them no favors. Helping them fund classroom projects helps their students, who are also having a tough time right now.

Trans Lifeline

Crisis Text Line Read More