gratitude-a-thon day 1020: Get out, no really GET OUT

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I have been trying to keep my mind off of politics.

But it’s so hard when there is slashing and burning of things that matter.

Is it possible that Trump is not an actual human being?

Anywho, last night’s political distraction was the movie Get OutAnd seriously, you should get out and see it. Talk about a political statement. I’m not going to give away any of the plot points, because 1) I always give away too much. 2) I always give away too much, but this is a movie that will create discussion at the dinner table. Like even if you’re eating alone–that’s how provocative it is.

It’s Jordan Peele, of Key and Peele’s directorial debut. Dude wrote it, too. In case you just thought he was a sidekick, or riding on Keegan Michael Key’s coattails, you will change your mind mighty quick once you see this movie and really ponder it’s depth.

Also, as if I didn’t think the big cushy barca-lounger chairs at the Super Lux and the full menu of food and drink brought to your seat weren’t decadent enough, BREAKING NEWS: they’re now offering free blankets. FREE. COZY. BLANKETS. If the economy goes to shit, I’m selling the house and living at the Super Lux (I actually think this is a viable plan).

Gratitude for distractions. Movies. Blankets. Anything not to have to watch our country disintegrate.

sad-a-tude-a-thon day 899: a country in trouble

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We wake up. I instinctively reach for my phone to check the news.  Another police shooting of a black man. We look at each other like, WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING?

There is video. There is audio. There is another crying, grieving mother who’s lost her son. And then, retaliation. A sniper takes out five policemen. And there are more mother’s who have lost their sons. And we all feel a little like we’re losing our minds.

 

The sadness is like a gloomy day covering the nation. The layers of “why” lie in our history. There is no simple fix here.

saditude-a-thon day 634: we’re all we have

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We are our only hope.

And yet, we  can’t get our shit together.

For all the “We have a black president,” banter, we also seem to be on a killing spree of black boys and men across the country. The Charleston Church shooting is an abysmal reminder that racism lives lavishly right here in the U.S. of A. Shame on us. For all the progress we’ve made, we still seem to be walking up the down escalator. Martin Luther King must be weeping  today.

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A glimmer of hope, in the form of forgiveness. Many of the family members who lost  loved ones in the shooting looked the shooter in the eye yesterday while he was being arraigned, and forgave him. http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000003752109/victims-families-address-dylann-roof.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=b-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

Forgiveness. Is this part of the way out of the maze? When forgiveness, love and humanity beat out ego?

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And when will we face the simple truth that guns are far too easy to get, that background checks are essential? We are shooting ourselves in the foot not to think this is part of our demise.

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When is it that we will begin to truly believe that mental illness is a disease just like cancer, and not a lack of willpower, or a character defect, and start normalizing it so that the stigma disappears, and people reach out for help.

We’re all we have. And yet….

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gratitude-a-thon day 481: i’m not black

I’m not black. I’m white, the lucky color. The color that opens doors, and doesn’t get suspicious looks walking down the street. I’m the color of the American dream, no questions asked. I’m white, which implies if I add red and blue, you’ll think I’m good, and treat me like a law abiding American, even if I’m breaking the law. I’m white, and all that goes with being born a shade that always gets the benefit of the doubt.

And while there are a million reasons being black is cool, like being cool, for instance, the rich traditions, the history of struggle, the music, writing, dance, food, family, beauty, athletic power, the booty for God’s sakes, being black is dangerous. It could get you killed, in fact.  It happened again yesterday, when the police officer who killed Eric Garner was not indicted by a Grand Jury. Yes, I said killed, because this was no accident. He was killed. By a police officer who used a chokehold, and ignored the words that Eric Garner said numerous times: “I can’t breathe.”

Last time I checked, the words, “I can’t breathe” mean that you are unable to breathe. Let’s go a step further, and make sure we’re all on the same page, shall we? You need to breathe to be able to live. So, just to wrap up here, if you can’t breathe, you are probably going to die.

Houston (and every other city and town in this country), we gotta problem. A big problem. And it’s called racism. If you weren’t convinced by the Michael Brown case, where only nine days ago another police officer was not indicted by a Grand Jury for killing Michael Brown, then perhaps you are by Mr. Garner’s case.

I love and support police officers. They choose to put their lives in the balance everyday just doing their jobs, keeping me safe, but I take issue with this loss of life, this video of a man being held down by several officers, in a chokehold, while he says those words, “I can’t breathe” and dies on the sidewalk at 42 year old, with six children at home,  for selling loose cigarettes.

As Jeffrey Toobin said last night on CNN, “What DO YOU  have to do to be indicted as a police officer?”

But back to me, I’m not black. So, like, I ‘m not going to have to worry about it. Because I’m white. I’m the lucky color.

 

 

 

 

gratitude-a-thon day 474: love’s in need of love today

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Dennis Leary said something about racism that’s important to consider:

“Racism isn’t born folks. It’s taught. I have a two year old son. Know what he hates? Naps. End of list.”

Martin Luther King said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

As we spend the day tomorrow celebrating a holiday that revolves around being grateful, I say, let’s also take a moment to think about those who have less to be thankful for, about those who feel unempowered at the most basic level, about how you just don’t know what it’s like to be black if you’re living a life of lily fucking white privilege. And when I say privilege, what I really mean, is a life where you are given the benefit of the doubt at every turn.

As Stevie Wonder sings it, love’s in need of love today. Send it in, guys.