The other day I saw a neighbor walking up the street ahead of me. In 2016, that white woman displayed a political sign in support of Agent Orange (something I don’t think I’ll ever forgive or forget), and when I saw her walking along in her red T-shirt I experienced a surge of anger. That red shirt triggered a stream of expletives about how she supported a white supremacist. (Poor Zippy had to endure that volcanic eruption.) Stupid mean people. Stupid red shirt.
But you know what? All the horrible racist people in this country don’t own the color red. Red is a beautiful color. Red belongs to all of us.
Cave Creek Canyon Ranch. May 16, 2019.
And no one wears it better than this dapper Northern Cardinal.
Marched this morning with a couple hundred thousand other people. The day started out cold and overcast (really appreciated the ride downtown on the packed-to-the-gills light rail because all that body heat warmed me up again) before turning sunny and warmer. It was a good morning, and I’m glad my neighbor friend, Kim, invited me to march with her. I brought my camera and captured some of the wit and wisdom of the very large gathering. (Click to enlarge)
In case you missed it the first time.
“They tried to bury us. They did not know that we were seeds.” (h/t and thanks to Jenn Hubbard for translation)
Construction workers above the march.
And here’s me with my sign:
Finally, here’s an overhead shot of Civic Center Park in Denver:
DENVER, CO – January 21: Tens of thousands in Civic Center Park for the Women’s March on Denver January 21, 2017. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)
Kim and I left the march before it reached the park so you won’t be able to find us in this crowd. Turning around was a good call, though, because as we “swam” downstream, we got a good look at THE MANY MANY PEOPLE. It was life-affirming to read the signs screaming with anger, hope, and humor.
We’re gonna need all three to make it out alive.
I just removed this sign (h/t Bob Herbert) from the back window of my Prius. It’s faded from approximately six years of sun exposure. I put it in my car after attending the Democratic county assembly in March of 2010 that was nothing more than a lovefest for Obama. It wasn’t cool with me that the Democratic party was overlooking the horrible policies it’d (rightfully so) shrieked about during the Bush/Cheney years once it was a Democrat enacting those policies. I was disgusted by the lack of spine. I taped the sign in my car and revoked my membership in the Democratic party. I became an Unaffiliated voter.
Here it is, nearly six years later, and we’re facing a loathsome soon-to-be president whose election was largely enabled by that same spinelessness. The corporate Democratic establishment opened the door to this nightmare and, because Obama doubled down on many Bush/Cheney policies, shit’s about to get real in a way many people didn’t see coming.
Right now it feels as if I could cover my Prius windows with signs and it still wouldn’t be enough to address the realities of Agent Orange. But whatever signage I adopt, it can’t be all about him. That madman exploited the situation put in place by people who were/are supposed to be the opposition party, and right now I’m not seeing a whole lot of spine.
I just hope I’m not the only one calling them out on it.
Update 1.17.17: Silly me, I thought my intent was clear yesterday, but neither Zippy nor Zebu understood that I meant this post in a positive way (both for MLK and Bernie Sanders), as in “Look! It’s a man of color speaking about economic inequality, despite the prevailing ‘liberal’ wisdom that only ‘one-note Bernie’ and his young white male supporters believe this issue is of utmost importance.”
When I searched my photos to see what image spoke to me today, I decided to use this picture from two months ago:
And as I looked at that slightly freaky, somewhat off-putting creature, I pondered the connection for today. Clinging? Holding on for dear life? Prayer? None of those resonated with me so I did an online search for “praying mantis facts,” and found my answer:
Instead of running away from a threat it will stay put and try to look bigger. It will raise its wings and raptory arms and try to stand as tall as possible. Maybe even rocking from left to right to seem more intimidating. Does it work? Actually, it does! Animals that are not particularly interested in eating the mantis or have not yet experienced this are a bit suspicious of a prey that does not run away.
In light of the current political freak show and our soon-to-be bully-in-chief, aka the Circus Peanut, I think we should all take a page from the praying mantis.
No running away!
Stand as tall as possible!
No running away!
And, if necessary, rip the bastards’ heads off and devour them.
What a waste it is to lose one’s mind.
Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful.
How true that is.
~ Dan Quayle
I received texts from family and friends after the election, asking how I was coping with the world’s new Agent Orange reality. I replied, in part, that there was still hope for the future if, out of this debacle, the Democratic party reassessed and became a true party of resistance.
And while the establishment Dems who pushed so hard for a Clinton candidacy are still deeply in denial regarding last week’s beat-down, there are glimmers of hope. People on my Twitter feed who have never, to my knowledge, tweeted anything remotely political or activist, are now engaged in the democratic process. They’re calling their representatives. They’re adding those representatives’ phone numbers to their contact lists. They’re writing letters, signing petitions, and asking others to do the same.
They’re taking to the streets and pushing back.
We have Donald Trump’s ugly authoritarian character to thank for that, and while that might not feel like much right now, it’s a legitimate silver lining.
Image found on Morguefile.com without any identifying info, so if you’re fortunate enough to happen upon this sculpture, please let me know where it is.
The strength and power of despotism consists wholly in the fear of resistance. ~ Thomas Paine
Trump don’t own orange.
See the beauty everywhere,
that way fear can’t win.
My 20-year-old son (known here as Zebu), is studying in Sweden this year. He’s been there since the middle of August and has found much to like and admire about that country and other places he’s visited in Europe.
Today we had a lengthy text exchange. My opening message was to ask if he’d already found a Swedish girl to marry so he could remain there rather than coming home to Agent Orange (aka Trump).
Here’s his reply:
Many people have asked if I’m just gonna stay in Europe, admittedly they ask jokingly, but I really thought about that. I feel like it’s almost a requirement that not only I come back but I spend a lot of time fighting back and doing real work. As a white male, my life changes very little. But a lot of people just had their agency put in danger. That’s bullshit for me to leave at this time and allow a steamroll of those who don’t have a soapbox.
I’m not surprised by his attitude. I am, however, very proud to be his mother.
The ever-thinking Zebu playing chess. June 2016
* and no, I didn’t drink all that last night. I’m no Lucille Bluth. C’mon!
I think that the thing that we learned,
back in the day of the civil rights movement,
is that you do have to keep on keeping on.
~ Charlayne Hunter-Gault
Beauty blooming in the swamp at Kapok Park.
No matter what the outcome today,
gotta keep moving forward.
Not me. I’d be perfectly satisfied sitting on top of a tree, oblivious to all the stupid and ugly churning down below.
It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company.
~ George Washington