1968 Vs.2018

On April 4th, 2018 we reached the 50th anniversary of the asassination of Martin Luther King. Two months later, on June 6th, 1968 Robert F Kennedy was asassinated.

CNN has been running segments about 1968–the chaos, violence, masssive anti-war protests, America losing two great leaders by violent acts. The U.S.A had a pretty tough year in 1968. The war was raging on and our children were coming homes in body bags.

There was still  great racial tension accross the country.  Riots, demonstrations, police brutality. It was a time of great social upheavel. You should watch some documentaries about it. It’s amazing how there are so many paralells from 1968 to 2018.

Today, America is experiencing social and political upheavel like we have not seen in 50 years. Donald Trump being elected, the massive Resistance that sprung up immediately afterward, the police brutality against mostly Black men,the extreme polarization between the Left and Right.Donald Trump and the rampant,outrageous corruption playing out on national TV each day, the attacks on our Democracy, the Russian meddling in our elections, the Mueller investigation. The chief of the FBI, James Comey being fired. Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jung Un possibly holding a summit.

Then there was Charlotesville.

The mostly unseen war the Trump administration is waging against people of color.Separating mothers and their children at the Mexican border and then 1,500 children unaccounted for. Trying to stop practically all legal and illegal immigration because  Trump and many of his backers are racist.

Countless massive marches acrross the country –Women’s marches, marches for gun control because or children are being gunned down in schools accross the country. That would have been inconcievable when I was in school. Millions of Americans marching, demanding that Donald Trump is unfit for office and needs to be removed.

Why? Who are the people in the Resistance? The Resistance sprung up almost spontaneously as soon as Trump was elected. Indeed, the day after his inauguartion Washington DC was filled with approximately 500,000 to 750,000 Americans. Women, men, children, young adults, Seniors in wheelchairs, dogs, entire families marching down Independence Ave with signs. And there sister marches, some just as large, all acrosss the country and even the world. Many people from many countries saw our plight and stood in solidarity with us.

Marching on Indepedence Ave with about a million other Americans I realized that where we were marching at that moment were the same streets that Martin Luther King and his followers marched for Civil Rights. Where the massive anti-war protests against the Vietnam war took place. We were literally walking in their footsteps.

I grew up in America in a broken home. Our family was far from the normal seeming nuclear families that didn’t move every year and were so poor at times that we had got free lunches at school. We never went to church. But my mother was a post WW II baby and she grew up in the culture that despite our many faults as a nation, people cared about their country and communities.

As a child growing up in America, I learned from my family, schools, community that part of being a good American was being honest, charitable, loyal to their country. We were not taught to resent foriegners. They were generally treated with the same respect that any other American was treated with. We all knew the American story of how immigrants came here and worked hard to make a better life for themselves and their families, and made great contributions to our society and culture. Indeed, I am an immigrant. My mother is American and married my Latino father in Central America and had three children. I was born in Central America. We moved to the U.S. when I was 5 years old. I look like my American mother–white skin, blonde hair, blue eyes. So no one ever knew that I was an immigrant unless I told them. My siblings and I became naturalized citizens at a very young age.

We were taught to be respectful, to value integrity and hard work. To value being good citizens. Obviously, not every American followed the basic American values we were all taught. But those that did not were looked upon with disdain. For example, corrupt politicians. Con artists. No one wanted anything to do with a con man. They were easy to spot. Fast talking, making outrageous promises..you could just tell that they weren’t genuine.

So life went on in America since the 1960’s relatively peacefully. Yes, September 11 happened, which was a devastating. It was a very sad time in America. It set off a chain of events that we are still dealing with to this very day.

But then Donald Trump came into the picture. America has never had a President like him. We were naive enough to believe that anybody that was worthy of becoming President of the United States was an intelligent and honorable and more or less honest person. Donald Trump is none of those things. He is a liar, a con man, he enjoys being brutal and hateful. His intelligence seems to be below average. He has no impulse control. He is a racist. He cheats.

But now we know that the conditions that led to Trump being elected were hiding in plain sight …the racists, and I think a LOT of us have been caught off guard by just how many racists there stil in this country. The rampant racism was an ugly secret that was festering in our country going back to at least the Civil War.

This incredible situation that we find ourselves in today, is still unfolding. No one knows how it wil play out. It could end with half of the Trump administration being indicted for several serious crimes against their country. It could end with Trump’s 4 year term ending and someone else being elected. He thinks he will be president for 8 years. I don’t think so. It could end with all of us living in a police state and being thrown in prisons for speaking up against the Trump regime.

Thanks to the Resistance,which is made up of everyday Americans who saw that very bad and seriously destructive things have been happpening at the hands of the Trump administration. Americans have risen up to defend their country. The first wave of Resisters were mostly baby boomers who KNEW that there was something drastically wrong when Trump became President. We have had very little support from politicians on either side of the aisle. So we basically took it into our own hands. The second wave has been the young people from the schools that are experiencing mass shootings. Those kids quickly realized they were going to have to deal with politics in order to get what they are asking for. And they’re very savvy and articulate. I believe that David Hogg is going to be a high ranking politician or activist someday, along with many of his peers. They say they are going to change the world–and they will.

The press that Trump loves to lambast helped him get elected with their non stop coverage of him.And I honestly believe that many media outlets are trying to right their original wrong and hold the monster they created accountable. But again, they continue to give him non stop coverage because his ridiculous behavior and antics never end.

I, as an American living in Trump’s America now for about a year and a half, am sick of it. The majority of us are sick of it. Millions of us will continue to rise up for our country until we extricate this cancer from our great nation. In the end, if Trump is able to pull off being a dictator, which he’s working hard on now, many of us could be imprisoned or killed for our dissent. But I believe that most of us are willing to fight to the death to save our beloved country from a hate filled, vengeful, corrupt, power hungry racist and his followers.

We want decency and integrity back. We will never be the same country without those.

 

 

 

 

 

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Move over, old White men.

2018 is the year of change. Real change. Tens of thousands of women marched across the country on Feb. 20th demanding change. More women than ever in history are poised to run for office.

Today, I watch as thousands of students across the U.S. walk out of schools in solidarity of the school shootings, demanding gun control laws to keep them safe. They are fired up. They are impassioned. They have resilience and energy. They are adept at using Social Media to get their message across. They are taking on the NRA and lawmakers and demanding change.

For years, they sat helpless as horrific school shootings occurred all over the country and the adults did nothing about it. Even after 20 six and seven year old children were slaughtered in their classroom in Sandy Hook in 2012. Nothing changed. 

Now, the children have had enough. While many, many adults pushed for stricter gun laws, got nowhere because the NRA and their paid lawmakers refused to budge. Recently, Dana Loesch, the NRA spokeswoman, made a particularly vile video on behalf of the NRA, calling out media outlets such as the NY Times and the Washington post and CNN, saying “Your time is running out.”

No. NRA and old White male lawmakers: You made sure that we didn’t have our first female President in 2016. You are doing everything to you can to turn back time to to the 1950’s where White men ruled over women and minorities. You are out of date and tone deaf to what the majority of this country wants. The time has come for the nation’s youth to take over. They have demonstrated that they are more than willing to lead. Millions will be old enough to vote in the midterm elections and 2020 presidential elections. They are smart, progressive, and fired up. They make Donald Trump  and his associates look like fossils.

Women and children are this country’s future. So all of you out of touch old men move over. It’s time to pass the torch. Your time is running out.

 

How We the People are saving our country from the Trump Presidency

On November 8th, 2016 our worst nightmare began. Incredibly, Donald Trump was suddenly and unexpectedly elected the President of the United States. For me, the reality of living in Trump’s America has been even worse than I imagined. For months after the election, many, many people wanted to know who was going to step in save us from this monster. It has been a terrifying and traumatic ordeal for millions of us.

 During his campaign, Trump kept saying he was going to drain the swamp. Well, it turns out he was right. But not in the way he intended. Like a snake charmer, he brought out all of the stinking, nasty, corrupt people and organizations that were hiding in plain sight. Trump signaled to them that they were now welcome to come out in the open. To this day, I never cease to amazed and appalled at the sheer amount of horrible human beings that are in Trump’s inner circle. He brought the swamp creatures to the surface so that we could see them.

I am beginning to think that there is a divine purpose for Trump becoming President as painful as it has been. Donald Trump is the catalyst for ushering in a new era in the United States. Not the era he and his supporters intended–of the 1950’s White Supremacy, Father Knows best mentality where racism, sexual assault against women were widespread and socially acceptable.

No, he has helped usher in a new, enlightened and progressive era. As a result of the horrific mass shootings, the #NeverAgain movement sprung up spontaneously and I believe these young people are the future leaders of America. They are bright, articulate, and progressive. The NRA is now for the first time ever being seriously called on the carpet. People are seeing the NRA for what it really is. A radical, hateful and powerful organization that pays politicians millions of dollars every year to ensure that the ridiculously liberal gun laws won’t be seriously challenged, even after all of the horrific mass shootings.

 Powerful men have been called out for being sexual abusers. One after another: Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Harvey Weinstein, and Trump himself. As a result, the #MeToo movement sprung up and is becoming a powerful force against sexual assault and harassment. In a broader context, the Women’s movement has become large and powerful. There have been massive Women’s marches all over the country. More women are running for office than ever before.

We were forced to open our eyes and see the frightening numbers of racists in this country. On January 28th 2017, when Trump signed the executive order for the Muslim travel ban, thousands of Americans dropped what they were doing and made a beeline to the airports all over the country to defend our Muslim friends.

Donald Trump and his GOP enablers are probably about to go down in flames. Soon, they will be gone and Democrats will probably take control of the House and Senate in November. Big changes are happening now, and no one knows quite how it’s all going to play out once the dust settles.

What’s left after they are gone is us. Because of Trump, we now know that democracy is not a spectator sport. We actually have to work to defend Democracy and decency. We can no longer assume that Democracy will always rule. Large and powerful historical progressive movements have been born from this. WE are making America great again. WE are draining the swamp. We the People stood up for America at its most vulnerable time since the Civil War. No Knight in shining armor came riding in on a white horse to rescue us from this tyrannical, mentally unstable President. Even aside from Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation, we have done a pretty darn good job of resisting this evil ourselves. By resisting, marching, connecting on Social Media and organizing, voting, and staying engaged in the process no matter how difficult and exhausting. Somebody in the beginning said, “This is going to me a marathon, not a sprint.” That has proven to be true.

We are saving ourselves. Day after day, we fight back. We call our elected officials. We say hell no. We are Americans and we are not going to let Trump take our country away from us.

Tyranny and protest

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

Frederick Douglass 1857

Women’s March on Washington

Yesterday I did one of the most important things I have ever done in my life. I took the DC metro to the Women’s March on Washington. It was the day after Donald Trump’s Inauguration. Nobody wanted to go with me so I went alone. It was a last minute decision. I woke up that morning and saw the people on TV gathering for the march, and I knew I HAD to go and be a part of history. I hastily made a sign with poster board paper I had in my house and got in my car and drove to Springfield.

It was a dreary, drizzly day and I was petrified about having to navigate the Metro by myself. I was so nervous on the way there. I wasn’t sure exactly where to get off, and it was getting a little late in the day so I kept thinking, I’m going through all this grief and there will probably be only a few pockets of people milling around by the time I get there. I got there around 2 pm.

But it was too late to turn back.  I hopped off at the Federal Triangle metro station, still with plenty of doubt.I kept thinking I had made a foolish decision because it would be all over by the time I got there.   I walked toward the street and as I approached, I saw lots of people on a bleacher (left over from the inauguration.) The bleachers were blocking the street so I couldn’t see what was going on until I walked around the bleachers –and what did I see? Hundreds of thousands of people marching in the street. Actually, now the estimated count is up to a million.  A sea of people everywhere, many wearing pink hats. Thousands of signs being held up. The beautiful sight and sound of Democracy at work.

The scene was so awesome, it was indescribable. I was overcome with emotion and felt tears spring to my eyes. I had to hold back from bursting into tears. I was thinking, “Oh my God!”  As far as the eye could see, from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington monument, the people were marching and yelling and singing and chanting. Women and men  of all ages, mothers and their young daughters, elderly people being pushed in wheelchairs, babies in strollers…People of every race and nationality. The parade was a force in itself and I just jumped in and started walking, holding up my hand made sign. It said. “Fake President.”

There were so many creative, funny, serious signs…just reading the signs was so much fun. We all admired each other’s signs and posed for each other holding our signs.

After a while I made my way to the sidewalk where there was another bleacher looking out into the street. I stood at one of the highest bleachers so I could just take it all in. The parade marched on, slowly and boisterously. At intervals, the entire crowd would spontaneously burst out in loud cheers, as evidenced in this video I posted.

People were happy, peaceful..it was so wonderful to see that there were SO MANY people out there that felt strongly enough to fly on planes from California, Oregon, New York, to name a few, to participate in one of the largest marches on Washington in history. At the same time, hundreds of thousands were marching in cities all over the country, (not just the coasts!) and indeed, all over the world. It was Donald Trump’s first full day in office. And the American people spoke, loud and clear. The entire world spoke, loud and clear.

It was a joyous and exciting experience. We marched on the same streets that Martin Luther King marched on, the Vietnam war protests, thethe Civil Rights Marches, the Suffragettes….the most important historical events in our history. Their spirits were right there with us. We were exercising what makes America the greatest country in the world–the First amendment right to free speech. In the most sacred ground for Democracy–the Washington Mall. It was just a vast, colorful. beautiful sea of Americans who cared enough for their country to come and participate. If you look at pictures you can see how many were there, but to actually be there –it was a magnificent sight that I had never seen. Everybody was happy, friendly, excited to be a part of this massive outpouring. For the first time since election day when Donald Trump won, I felt real hope at that march. I saw that there are millions of us, all over the country, and all over the world.

It was a peaceful protest. I heard there were zero arrests. People sang, at times, “This land is your land”. We chanted things like, “hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go! I met a new friend from Portland, Oregon, while waiting on line to get back on the Metro. I have never been so proud of my country as I was at that march yesterday. Even the famous Gloria Steinham said she had never seen anything like it in here “very long life.” John Kerry was there. Madonna. Other celebrities, but I missed them all. I was just happy to see my fellow Americans out there being patriots for their country. God bless America.