Tag Archives: Fascism

How to Love Radically in the Era of Trump

6 Feb

radical-loveI have been struggling, along with 2/3 of the nation, since November. I have been fearful, hurt, and worried for ALL targeted communities. For those who insultingly made this about “Hillary lost, get over it,” you missed the point, quite sadly. This was about resisting a fascist regime, which we are now under, as evidenced by the over 20 Executive Orders delivered by Trump — as evidenced by the myriad lies spread by Trump and his team (please don’t make up attacks, Kellyanne).  This was about supporting a billionaire bully who makes fun of people with disabilities  and says it is acceptable to grab women by their genitals.

And so I struggle. I struggle with how to be loving to Trump supporters, some of whom are family members — family members who have decidedly voted against me, my family, my friends, and the earth. Yet I must maintain that we have to stay in community; we have to operate from our hearts first; we have to make space for those who are hurting us. I STRUGGLE!

I struggle every day to make this space for people who are deliberately oppressing so many. It is hard to love someone when they are punching you or shooting at you or sustaining systems of oppression. Moreover, I don’t want to become like those who are oppressing us! I think our individual and collective ability to RESIST with every fiber of our being and simultaneously love and make space for Trump supporters is Radical Love. I would love to take credit for this, but at least two of my friends for over 30 years, Jen, and DeShawn helped me here.

I feel obligated to share some survival tips and invite you to share how you are surviving a world gone mad.

  1. Take a break from news and social media.
  2. If you are able to, binge watch some tv that brings you joy. Here, I would strongly recommend the Netflix remake of One Day At A Time. My friend Gita recommended this to me, and Robert and I are loving it! It has a Latina cast and addresses social issues and is FUN! Rita Moreno is in it along with Justina Machado, and I think I am in love with Isabella Gómez. 
  3. With intentionality, seek out friends, family, and family of choice who feed your soul.

Finally, join me in a commitment to Radical Love! I commit to being in and operating from a place of love, while I know there are days I will fail at this. When I fail at this, I will not shame myself. I will continue to work towards building community, solidarity, and find ways to both resist this current fascist regime and love those who are engaged in supporting a world of fear, hate, and oppression. If this sounds or feels contradictory to you, all I can say is: I’m able to hold a lot of tension around being messy — this work we do towards social justice/transformative justice is MESSY! We don’t do this work in isolation and we will not complete it, but we must be engaged!

I invite you to share how you are navigating currently. What is working and what is not working?

Standing in love and solidarity,

Michael

Advertisements

Feeling Grateful in Time of Great Despair: Happy New Year

1 Jan
2017:Organize

2017:Organize

2016 has been an exceedingly painful, turbulent, and awful year. Since turning 50 three weeks ago, I have been deeply troubled by the current course of the United States under what can only be called a Fascist regime, under Trump and his merry band of racists, misogynists, and homophobic collectibles, who seem to want to dismantle all of the agencies that serve people in the United States. Their collective efforts will ensure that the top 20% of Americans not only keep their wealth but will build on it exponentially — a wet dream for Paul Ryan. Sadly,  author Thomas Pynchon  captures the philosophy of the 21st century GOP:

Back when I was getting into the business, all ‘being Republican’ meant really was sort of principled greed. You arranged things so that you and your friends would come out nicely, you behaved professionally, above all you put in the work and took the money only after you’d earned it. Well, the party, I fear, has fallen on evil days. This generation — it’s almost a religious thing now. The millennium, the end days, no need to be responsible anymore to the future. A burden has been lifted from them. The Baby Jesus is managing the portfolio of earthy affairs, and nobody begrudges Him the carried interest…

There is no sense of paying it forward — no sense of leaving the earth a better place for future generations. No, the rules have changed and now it is about getting all you can and getting more than you need, regardless if others have to go without, and future generations have to suffer for it.

As I have turned 50, I am witnessing our country turn backwards and turn its back on all targeted individuals and communities. For those predicting an economic windfall under TrumpPutin, I worry you are a bit delusional. I am most regrettably predicting a recession that will be just as traumatic as the one George W paved the way for during his administration.

While it has been most challenging not to give into a misanthropic abyss, or The Princess Bride’s “Pit of Despair,”  I have also had to do some serious reflection as we are about to usher in 2017. While I am terrified of what the next four years have in store, I have to also be exceedingly grateful for the life I have.

Here is what I have that makes me share tears of joy: A life partner whom I love and adore and who loves me as we get to travel this journey of life together; such amazing family and friends who make my heart swell with love — friends who constantly make me work to be a better person. These two things alone give me hope and make me so extraordinarily grateful! I know I am strong enough to persevere and resist a fascist regime.

I know how to engage in community organizing, how to stand in solidarity for human rights and social justice. I know how to keep vigilant and NOT normalize our current condition. I also know I do not do this work alone, for I do this work with my brilliant family and friends! To all of you: I say thank you! Happy New Year. I wish you all peace and that you each are surrounded by love.

Bigot of the Week Award: October 5, Matt Birk

5 Oct

Bigot of the Week

After all the voices for equality emerging from professional football lately, it was perhaps inevitable that a player would feel obligated to buck the trend. Jumping in with both feet (in his mouth), Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk decided to blast his homophobic bigotry far and wide ( I suppose he is a wide end receiver hehhehe). The man who was named NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year in February wrote an OpEd for the Minneapolis Star Tribune (the home of his previous team, the Vikings) aggressively opposing marriage equality. On what basis? His desire to impose his religion on everyone (he’s Roman Catholic,  you know the Pope in his beautiful frock covering up all the sex scandals)  and the sad lie that marriage exists only for the children.

Same-sex unions may not affect my marriage specifically, but it will affect my children — the next generation. Ideas have consequences, and laws shape culture. Marriage redefinition will affect the broader well-being of children and the welfare of society. As a Christian and a citizen, I am compelled to care about both.

Yes, you should care about both, Matt, and the fact that this “redefinition” creates equality and sends that next generation the message that everyone has value. I guess that doesn’t matter to you. Not content with his essay, Birk also recorded this toxic PSA for the Minnesota Catholic Conference reiterating his stand. I guess all of you single parents are sinners in the eyes of Matt Birk.

Thank you to my friend, Jennifer Carey for inspiring this week’s Dishonorable Mention, which goes to the Arizona legislature. Not content with their state’s abhorrent racist laws on immigration, they’ve decided to join the war on women as well. HB2625, which passed the house in March, is now working its way through the Senate. This odious bill allows employers to opt out of the mandated provision of birth control. Employees must submit to intrusive questions,verifying the purpose of the medication to be solely for medical reasons and not to prevent pregnancy. The bill would grant employers the ability to deny female employees the right to be covered based on religious beliefs. Given the makeup of the Senate and the nasty beast sitting in the Governor’s office, it is very likely that the bill will become law before long.

Death Knell For the Republican Party

26 Aug

That tea bag sure doesn’t cover much…

As the GOP Convention grows ever nearer and the Republican Platform is now in place, I have to reflect and mourn for what was the Republican Party. While I actually probably identify as a socialist, I am, nevertheless, forlorn at the demise of what was the Republican Party, or more specifically in despair at what has replaced the GOP. For those paying attention and not watching Fox (Faux) News, it is painfully clear that ignorant white “christian” racist, homophobic, women hating heterosexuals known as the Tea Party have taken the GOP hostage and have bullied their way into controlling a discourse that affects an entire nation.

I simply cannot understand how any Gay, Black, Latino, Poor, Woman and the myriad other marginalized people would vote for the lying bigots that are Romney and Ryan.  For those who discarded Michele Bachmann, I have to ask, “have you not noticed that she and Ryan are basically twins?”  They have identical voting records: both consistently vote against women, against the LGBT community, against the middle class, and both are millionaires.

Unfortunately, I had to listen to the lying bigot Romeny address an uber conservative population in Ohio and his exact words were: “It is time to get a Republican back in the White House.”  Ick, Ick, Ick!  This is not the sentiment of what is best for Americans, but rather Romney has demonstrated complete partisanship as well as his own pathological narcissism as his driving force.

How embarrassing is it that we have a political party that stands on the principles of hate?  What message does this send to the rest of the world?  Do Romney, Ryan et al have any idea of what the word Fascism means?  Two white (allegedly heterosexual) men making decisions about women’s health and agreeing with Todd (Mr. Misogyny) Akins as well as saying they want to repeal all civil rights gained by the LGBT community, while protecting the 5% of the wealthiest Americans.  Someone please jump in here and help me understand why anyone would vote for these people?  Never mind the loss of the party of Lincoln; this is not the party of Gerald Ford, of Eisenhower, and it most certainly is not even the party of their much heralded Ronald Reagan.  This political party is the party of white right wing religious extremists.  I only hope America is paying attention and not buying into the insurmountable lies from these rancid tea bags.

Bigot of the Week Award: August 17, State Representative Andy Gipson (MS)

17 Aug

Bigot of the Week

Thank you to my friend Chris Wilson for inspiring me to write this article.  This was a very difficult article to compose, for it terrifies me and reminds me that people who have no sense of history are dangerous and scare me personally. Andy Gipson, Republican Mississippi State Representative posted on his Facebook page that  gays should be put to death, as he quotes from the bible:

If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

In an email exchange over this post with UnityMS, he firms up his position:

To be clear, I want the world to know that I do not, cannot, and will not apologize for the inspired truth of God’s Word. It is one thing that will never “change.”

Ordinarily I try to leaven these awards with some wit, to point out hypocrisy (like cherry-picking your verses from Leviticus) and skewer idiocy and mendacity with sharp contrasts. This particular bigot filled me with such rage and sorrow that I had to walk away from my keyboard while contemplating what to say. This man, elected to serve all his constituents, wishes death on a whole population to satisfy his narrow faith. That’s the simple truth of it. That simple truth makes him a bigot and makes him an easy winner of this week’s award. How can I not take this personally? This bigot and pathetic man has said he wishes me and my husband dead just because we are gay.  Who would Jesus hate?

Gipson would also win the Coward of the Week, clearly lacking the courage of his convictions. When the story broke nationally, he simply took down his Facebook page rather than stand behind his beliefs. When the Huffington Post rightly observed that he clearly advocated murder, he posted a weaselly non-retraction, trying to rationalize away the impact of his white-hot hate. Using that passage from Leviticus to call out perceived sin also identifies a punishment and implicitly approves of it. This kind of behavior is why the Family Research Council is labelled a hate group, whether they approve of the label or not. This kind of thinking put millions into death camps seventy years ago.

Gipson called for the execution of people based solely on an aspect of their humanity. This kind of declaration is unacceptable in a public servant and should be rewarded with the loss of office.  So Mr. Gipson, who will be next on your target list of those you think should die? Who appointed you to a position of who gets to live and die?  I only pray that you are not allowed any children and that your venom does not cause another teen suicide. May you deal with your internal demons and I will try to feel sorry for you, rather than be full of rage at your behavior.

Number 2 Bigot of the Year 2011: GOP Presidential Candidates

30 Dec

Number 2 Bigot of 2011

The title of the article could have easily been Ship of Fools.  What an embarrassment of riches we have with this misogynistic, homophobic, classist, racist, group of rancid tea-baggers.  Thank you to the many TSM readers for nominating the GOP Presidential candidates–I’m sure it did not come as a surprise that I was already on the same track. Perhaps regular reader Jay put it best in his nomination of:

…the Republican Party, especially the embarrassing cohort which is seeking that party’s nomination for President, and the party’s Congressional “leadership.” The second major party of the US has veered dangerously off-course, with potential and real tragic effects upon not only the US and its citizenry, but the world at large.

This coagulation of corrupt and crazy candidates is so awful that even Republicans cannot seem to find one they like. Perpetual self-denier Mitt Romney is the marginal leader, but he’s so toxic that almost every other joker in the pack has had a shot at the top. As TSM contributor Lex “WebWordWarrior” Kahn noted in his nice overview of the candidates, even before any of them got heavy press there was much to dislike. As each has flared into and out of prominence, their baggage and their utter disdain for the people they would lead has become clear. Perhaps nothing has been so damning, however, as their own words and actions during the incessant stream of debates. From Mitt’s pandering to Newt’s frothing to Perry’s babbling they have all shown their true ugly colors, perhaps none so much as hypothetical Libertarian Ron Paul and his blithe acceptance of the death chants from the audience. As the primaries and caucuses get underway next week the pack will thin and we’ll get to learn a lot more about a smaller number of these rabid monsters. Let’s hope that ugliness proves to the American people how lucky we are to have the President we have.

Flashback to 2010: The #2 Bigot last year was the U.S. Supreme Court’s Fecal Five.

Newt Gingrich: Putrescence Purchasing Prejudice

4 Mar

Clap Your Hands if You Can Buy Hate

For those of us that were wondering how on earth did Iowans get the financial backing to oust fantastic supreme court justices that demonstrated courage in their leadership, we have only to look at Newt (I left my dying, cancer-ridden wife for my mistress) Gingrich for the answer. Yes, Presidential hopeful, Newt Gingrich helped to bankroll voters to promote bigotry, hate and prejudice. While, I really don’t want to believe evil exists in the world, if it does, one of the faces of evil is certainly Newt Gingrich.  Yes, Newt (so appropriately named)  anonymously donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to a successful effort to recall three judges who overruled Iowa’s law prohibiting same-sex marriages–talk about paying for hate!

One might suggest a silver bullet for Newt, but I’m pretty sure you can’t kill the undead!  What we can do is eliminate his voice. We need to band together and make sure he never holds public office again!  We need to expose him for the Fascist he is. While I sure do miss my family and friends in Georgia, I don’t miss the absolute lunatic politicians: Sonny Perdue, Newt Gingrich, Bobby Franklin, Saxby Chambliss, and of course, Zell Miller.  Click here for the full article.

%d bloggers like this: