http://theslot.jezebel.com/this-is-not-normal-1791911524

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You’re absolutely correct. None of this is normal.

 

http://theslot.jezebel.com/this-is-not-normal-1791911524

 

Hijab for a Day, the Alabama Way

Today is World Hijab Day so as a sign of solidarity, I wore hijab. I occasionally cover my head either for fashion or for protection as I am very fair and prone to sunburn. I shaved my head last February to raise funds for St. Baldrick’s and wore bandannas and scarves throughout the summer, sometimes wrapping like a tichel, sometimes just winging it. Wearing hijab wasn’t too far a stretch from what I’ve been doing so I decided, why not? I’ve been protesting our country’s despicable mistreatment of refugees and immigrants ever since Donald Trump was a candidate.

I live in Alabama. That could mean that I’d get a lot of flack for it, even as a white woman. However, my city (Birmingham) just declared itself as a Sanctuary City so while Alabama is seen as backwards and racially divided and divisive (and is, in many ways and parts), Birmingham itself is a bit more progressive and dare I say it: a little blue dot in a giant sea of red. Still, I was a little nervous as I went out to run my errands, which included a visit to *gulp* Walmart.

Now, I’m used to being stared at. Before I shaved my head, my hair was blue, aqua, purple, and down to my waist. Then with a shaved head tucked under a hat or bandanna or scarf – people often thought I was a cancer patient and I had to correct that misperception. I did get some looks, a couple of turned heads but no problems. No one said anything TO me but one woman decided to take her child and their food home from McDonald’s rather than eat it there after taking a good long look at me.

So that was my experience with hijab for a day. I may do it again, depending on the weather and my clothes. I overheat too quickly and can’t imagine a sweaty sticky hijab is attractive on anyone.

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Don’t Rage, Just Love

I’ve seen a few admonishments, or maybe they’re not so much admonishments but statements of practice from folks within the yoga and Buddhism community saying that we should not rage against the current atrocities being done in the name of “safety” by the US government. That marching “against” policies rather than for love or for understanding is somehow wrong or goes against yogic principles.

But I don’t see it that way. Maybe that makes me a bad yogi. If so…so be it.

See I rage and protest and fight BECAUSE I love.

I fight against injustice and oppression BECAUSE I love those that have experienced injustice and oppression. Not because I myself am oppressed. Not yet anyway.

I protest against harmful policies and administrations that seek to implement them BECAUSE I love humanity. Even those I don’t know, agree with or love me back.

I rage against the evildoers and express my rage for all to see BECAUSE I love and feel compassion for all beings on this planet and don’t want to see it destroyed just to line the pocketbooks of a very few.

It is because I feel love, and empathy and compassion for so many including those that don’t feel it for me that I rage, and fight, and protest and am willing to put myself in a position where I could be taken to jail, or hurt to keep others from harm. I help those that need it, knowing they’re unlikely to return the favor. Even those that voted for Trump get my compassion — for they so badly need it, probably more so than anyone else. For they were so badly misled. I am angry at them, yes. I acknowledge my anger — and then do my best to turn that anger into action to stop the harm from progressing.

So I rage.

I rage because I love.

My rage is tempered, purified and transformed by that love and vice versa.

I am not ashamed of it, nor will I be deterred from it.

Rage on.

Love is the Law. Love under Will.

Namaste.

 

 

 

He’s Gonna Blow Us All Up

Inspired by this blog post: https://infinite-coincidence.com/2017/01/22/donald-trump-is-going-to-snap-very-soon-and-here-is-how-i-know/

 

I’ve said before — and I know it’s not the most popular thought or opinion but … it’s entirely possible that the best thing for THE PLANET is for the human race to extinguish itself. We’ve had millions of years to get it right, and we keep screwing up. Look at what’s happening here. We thought we’d moved past so much of this.

The planet, Earth, will survive even a nuclear disaster. The most intense periods of growth come after devastating fires. It’ll take years, more time than any of us can outlive in the best bunkers. And another species may be the ones that become the dominant species on Earth. Maybe cetaceans (dolphins and whales). They have the largest mammalian brains and DO NOT WAR with other species or even within their own species. They have language, and culture within pods. Or the cockroaches are waiting, biding their time….

The EARTH will survive us.

And if that scenario is too doom-and-gloom — my ideal society is the one shown in Star Trek, where humanity is risen above petty wars over religion and race and doesn’t even use money anymore. No, we reach for the stars and explore the universe. But remember what it took to get there? A NUCLEAR CATACLYSMIC WAR. The survivors built a warp-capable ship from the remnants of a nuclear missile and got the attention of Vulcan’s passing by the rock full of barely-literate monkeys. (I know it’s science fiction but we have iPads now. Star Trek had ’em first. Roddenberry was truly before his time and that society is utter utopia, truly, for people that think science AND art AND religion AND humanities can all coexist without killing each other.)

Doesn’t mean I’m going to sit back and let it happen but the simple truth of the matter is: we’ve been given our chance, over and over and over for millennia and the goddamned neanderdouches keep dragging us back into the caves.

Image result for star trek roddenberry

To “Beckywiththepinkhat” from another Becky with a pink hat

There are many viral posts making the rounds from WOC (women of color) or indigenous women that were at the Women’s March on Washington or other cities this past weekend. These posts are admonishments to the white women that have just now decided to rise up and fight for rights that WOC (I am going to use WOC in this post to include all races EXCEPT white for reasons of expediency) have been fighting for generations. Two of these posts I will link here as examples:

https://twitter.com/sydnerain/status/823378710833270786

 

As a white woman, albeit a Latina (Brasilian) of Jewish descent, it’s hard to read those words. My first reaction is, “Hey! I didn’t do that to you! I am intersectional with my feminism. am a first generation American. MY ancestors didn’t oppress anyone – they were the ones oppressed as German/Russian Jews!” etc. And yes…I have been activist in some form or another for most of my life but not quite as activist as I SHOULD have been especially in light of what has been happening in this country. I was focused on other things, what I deemed important to me at the time (in my case, pit bull advocacy and animal welfare. Still important but the human animal is deserving of compassion too — and…I almost went off on a tangent. Nope. Stay focused Jax.)

Lakeshia and Hokte, and others saying the same — I want you to know that I AM LISTENING. WE ARE LISTENING.

Some of us white women are tardy to the party … but we are here now. Educate us.

I know you are frustrated with us; that it took us SO LONG to get here. But please, welcome us now that we’re here. Many of us are trying, please realize that. We’re going to flounder and flub and make stupid mistakes because for many,  it’s our first time as activists.  Educate us. Treat us like the newbies we are — be gentle. We are not used to being trod upon. I know…special little snowflakes are we, we white women of privilege. But that’s the thing here — so many of us (not me specifically) ARE coming from a place of privilege and have JUST NOW realized that it’s all being threatened and we are TERRIFIED and don’t know what to do. We don’t know how to act. I’m willing to bet that many of the women that marched on Washington had never marched before, had never traveled out of their own state or interacted with people outside their own demographic. It may not seem like a lot to you —  WOC who are activists and experienced in fighting for their rights but for some of the women I traveled with from Alabama — it was a GIANT leap of courage to leave their tiny  towns and interact with folks so far from their usual perspective. Acknowledge that.

I know you’ve been angry and oppressed and repressed for most of your lives and look upon so many suburban housewives with their silly pink hats with disdain and think, “what took you so damned long?” I don’t blame you for wanting to call us out. But at the same time, we ARE here NOW. So after admonishing us for being clueless or rude or just plain ignorant — maybe take a moment to also thank us for making the attempt to cross a cultural bridge that has stood for so long and that for many has been more of a wall than a bridge. Many “Beckys” DON’T understand. But they will now. Or maybe it’ll take another week or a month or a year but the fact that so many “Beckys” showed up is a step in the right direction. Acknowledge that.

If you, and we, want to work together then your admonishments need to be followed up with education on HOW we can be better as women. Just women. Not WOC or indigenous or white women or Jewish women or Muslim women or Christian women or how about we include the men of all kinds that joined us in the marches.

We were late. We were ignorant and rude and faltered and didn’t act correctly. But we’re here now and WE ARE LISTENING. We are trying. Help us help ourselves, together.

This is me: My name is Jackie (not Becky). I am a white latina jewish pagan buddhist LGBTQ disabled woman. And I wore a pink pussyhat. And I was there in DC. And I’m pretty sure I wasn’t rude to anyone and if I was: I’m sorry. But it had nothing to do with your skin color or culture, it had to do with the pain I was in and my body breaking down. At that point, you could have been Rutger Hauer *swoon* and I’d have barked at you to get out of my way.

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and closeup

 

 

PSYCH!

JUST when you thought 2017 was going to try and make up for the shitstain that 2016 was….the last coupla days happened. Some teenagers in Chicago tortured a disabled person chanting ethnic slurs and “Fuck Trump” (I’m leaving their color out of it – it doesn’t matter – it’s a hate crime no matter what color THEIR skin is). A mass shooting in a Florida airport today. It’s supposed to snow/sleet/ice/RAGNAROK in Alabama so the whole state is in a frenzy, the schools and banks and everything closed and I walked outside to….nothing. 
The PEOTUS (which is so close to piteous it really should be spelled that way) is Twitterbating  about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ratings on TV rather than taking intelligence briefings. The GOP congress has made its first attempt to repeal the ACA without a replacement. Oh, and defunding Planned Parenthood is next. They only scrapped their plan to gut the independent ethics committee after a bajillion constituents made a lot of noise about not — not the Twit-in-charge as he’d like you to believe. And the US is still thisclose to being annexed by Russia.
Yeah. Ain’t it a great day to be alive. Actually, yes it is. You’re here. You’re breathing. You’re feeling the feelings you’re feeling. You mad? You should be. You sad? You should be. You think the whole world’s gone crazy? You’re right. This is all a fucking dungheap of insane douchebaggery, I can’t even come up with any more words to try and explain it anymore. It’s like the Universe took a sharp left turn at Albuquerque and went to some alternate dimension filled with negative images of  decent people where our leaders should be.
So what do we that are still sane, rational (we think), compassionate, caring and hopeful (we hope) do?
Hell if I know. I’m asking the questions here, don’t look to me for answers. All I know is that I’m going to continue breathing, working through my feelings and trying to turn those destructive forces into productive actions. I’m angry at what is happening — but whining about it isn’t going to do anything. Writing to my congresscritters won’t either since they’re all GOP and eating the cilia in Trump’s large intestine right now. (I’ve tried. The response was regurgitated Trumpshit. That’s how I know they live in his bowels.) So I’ll have to find other ways to make my voice heard or at least be thorn in the side of the “Make American Terrible” crowd.