Trump’s America

I just watched the cursor blink for several minutes with that headline above it, willing it to disappear, wishing I could change it to something more joyful, more victorious. But I am a realist, and this is our reality now. Donald J. Trump will, barring any unforeseen  accidents or acts of God, become President of the United States of America on January 20, 2017. That is a cold, harsh fact , that I and tens of millions of Americans are struggling to accept today. Some are not accepting it. #NOTMYPRESIDENT has been seen all over Twitter and t-shirts and many have taken to the streets in protest. I have mainly just taken to my bed. I wasn’t sleeping well before the election and not that it’s over, I am still struggling, but am sleeping a little better so I am hitting the sack every chance I get. Not just to sleep, but just to get away from news and social media. I haven’t turned on the tv since before the election. I have been on Facebook, but I read a few posts, made a few posts, and left. Too depressing. Everyone is talking about the voters and their reactions and their feelings. I am wondering about Hillary Clinton, and her family and friends and staff. I read that everyone was weeping during her concession speech. Except for her, of course. I’m sure her tears came later. I hope they came because they needed to come. All that time, and work, and effort, and putting  herself in the public eye, and being constantly grilled by the media and being professional and pleasant while being constantly scrutinized and slandered and being promised that this was her time. The convention, and the debates. Oh, the debates, where she outshined her competition so brightly that no one doubted that she had this election in the bag. Sure, it might be close, but there was no way America was really,  SERIOUSLY going to elect TRUMP, the loud-mouthed, overbearing, belligerent, sexist, bigot. Right? But they DID. Nearly 60 million Americans. My faith in the American public is BLOWN, not that it was ever strong.  SIXTY MILLION PEOPLE voted for this man, who is openly racist, sexist, and xenophobic. Who doesn’t believe in climate change, doesn’t have a clue about foreign policy, doesn’t have a clue about anything, really, that doesn’t pertain to him or his companies or family. I bet Hillary cried. But I bet she cried more for America than for herself. Because she knows what a disaster has been initiated. In a little over two months, our nation is going to be at great risk, if not already. Our allies and our enemies have taken note of what has happened here, and we will no doubt be tested. Will our allies stand by us? That depends on what kind of relationship Trump forms with them, and who knows what that might be? He’s rude, arrogant and self-centered, so, we’ll see. All the plans Hillary had for her term in office….gone. Obamacare won’t get fixed. No communication between communities and law enforcement for better race relations and criminal justice reform. Certainly nothing in the area of climate change. No common sense gun regulation. No immigration reform. No, he will just be focusing on that wall around Mexico he promised and making us pay for it. Trying to punish women for miscarriages and abortions. Promoting private prisons for profit. Deporting peaceful law-abiding Muslims for being Muslim. Restart torturing prisoners at Guantanamo. That’s just his short list. He’s shown himself to be an impulsive thinker. Whatever mood strikes him each day may dictate his next move. And “dictate” is an apt word,  for he plans to act as a dictator. He has no idea of how government works, no concept of checks and balances. He just knows he’s the boss. He plans to rule over America with his tiny little fist. Unfortunately, he’s got another almost 60 million Americans that voted for Hillary that are very unhappy right not and are not heeding the calls for “unity” and “open mind”.  I, for one, am not going to join the #NOTMYPRESIDENT crowd. It was a democratic election. We all voted. He was elected. He’s the new President. I despise him, but he will be my President. I will be ashamed of him, but he will be my President. I will most likely write about his foibles and faux pas daily in my blog, but he will be my President! That’s right. I will openly embrace him as President Trump, because I am going to be following his every move and providing commentary here on my blog every day until one of us dies or he is impeached and do everything possible to make it go viral. I’m sure I’ll be just one of many, but I’m going to do my part. Why? First of all, I voted, and that gives me the right to complain. And secondly, I intend to show Trump fans just what they voted for. Rub their noses in it? Maybe, just a little. I’d rather they read my words than have highly unpleasant conversations in person. I am Southern, after all. I can handle confrontation, but I don’t like it. It’s so unladylike, and it makes me perspire. Heavens!  Is this the Christian thing to do? Well, most Republicans don’t even consider me a Christian, so that is a moot point, but as it turns out, I am a Christian (God knows, and that’s all that matters.) and I think God wants me to use the talent he gave me for putting words together to good use and I think keeping people informed of the doings of their dictator/president is a good thing in a free society. And I’ll be watching the doings of the followers of this dictator/president, too, and reporting on that. But more on that later. 

But back to Hillary. Poor, poor, Hillary. Yes, she will enjoy a wealthy, comfortable retirement. No need to pity her too much. She has Bill and Chelsea and grandchildren and time to relax or travel or do whatever she has always wanted to do besides be the most powerful woman in the world. But I grieve for what could have been. We will have a female president one day, but I wanted it to be her. I feel that she has earned it. I think she is almost overqualified for the job. But it is not to be. She is still my hero.

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White Privilege and White Trash

14369967_1140978549274395_6949873094673701855_nThis is the recent Snapchat page of Kansas State University student Paige Shoemaker. I have no commentary from her to explain or defend this…this…atrocity. As one can imagine, there was a huge social media reaction and I do have a screen shot of one friend’s casual defense of this foolishness.Enter one McKenzie A. Benson, a paragon of white privilege, judging from her comment.  Only white privilege allows one to see a white person in black face calling herself “nigga” as a joke and not racist, and bemoan the fact that one can’t even wear a beauty mask anymore without being called names. (Heavens!) And try to shift the blame to another wrongdoer (Brock Turner) and whine about shaming bandwagons and ruining someone’s life. Poor, persecuted, white soul! Our hearts bleed for you, truly, they do. But this is just a temporary fuss. You’ll wash off your “beauty mask” and change your picture and people will forget and life will go on. No worries. Oh, child, if only I could hex you and make you black for a week or longer and see what a joke you think being a “nigga” is then! Ha ha! Wouldn’t that be a hoot? What if that black wouldn’t come off EVER? What then, huh? Would that be funny? HUH? Wouldn’t it? NO? Well, why not? Is there some reason that being black is not endlessly amusing? Is there some reason YOU’D RATHER BE WHITE??? Yeah.  That’s what I thought.  Now wash your face and shut your mouth!

 

Update: Paige Shoemaker has been kicked out of Kansas State University!!! Color me shocked and amazed. Actual consequences for a white girl? Say it ain’t so!!           Too harsh? Nah…                                                                                                                                                                    14292332_1403023259727360_1285238267023873840_n

 

 

 

Thanks to Jennifer Hay-Richardson for the screenshot.

God Bless Donald Trump!

I’ve been under the weather lately, physically and spiritually,  and I’ve had trouble getting going in the mornings, which is disappointing, because I had been showing some improvement after a long time of being down. I had a newfound enthusiasm glowing within me, and the main reason was because of my sweet husband, Steve, creating my writing space in our living room, a place for me to finally get serious about reading and writing and not spending all day in bed depressed. (Of course, this coincided with the onset of a new medication regimen, so it all works together, you see.) Bursting with joy (literally giggling uncontrollably) at the sight of my own desk and chair and books and computer, and bolstered by the right combination of pharmaceuticals, over a period of weeks I began to feel better. I stopped sleeping all day. I slept half a day for a while, then gradually, I eliminated almost all day time sleeping except for days I had migraines or stomach problems. Steve got used to seeing me at the desk when he came home instead of in bed, something I know had to make him happy. He told me once that coming home to find me in bed was kind of like coming home to an empty house. I remember thinking how sad that was and that I had never considered what it was like for him. How lonely it can be sometimes, to be the loved one of a depressed person. I made up my mind to try to be more sensitive to his needs after that, but I’m sure I have failed, as having a mental illness renders you quite self-absorbed. But I try. I know when he vowed “in sickness and in health”, he did not know then what he was agreeing to endure. But now he knows, and still, he endures.

I think this started out being something to do with Trump. OH YES! Trump! GOD BLESS DONALD TRUMP!! Why, you say? I hate Trump, don’t I? Well, hate is a harsh term that I hesitate to use. I really don’t like hate. I don’t consider myself a hater. I believe in love. I love all of God’s creatures. I catch spiders and bugs and throw them outside instead of killing them. Seriously, I do. OK, I have killed a few. But I try to save the ones that aren’t attacking me. I don’t like Trump, and if you follow my profile, then you know all the reasons why. First, he’s an imbecile. He’s just not bright. He thinks he’s a genius, but he’s not. He speaks on a fourth grade level and probably reads on an even lower level. He’s a racist. He’s against African-Americans, Latinos, Jews, Muslims, basically anyone who isn’t white. He’s a sexist, chauvinist pig. He hates women, treats them like animals, considers them disgusting. He’s a pathological liar. He lies just as naturally as he breathes. At some point, I may devote a blog simply to his lies. Trump’s Lies. He cheats in his business dealings. He has ruined many a small business just to avoid paying his bills and bankrupting and he won’t release his tax returns. He has a violent temperament, completely unsuitable for President of the United States. He has no class, no honor, and no soul. He is wholly UNFIT FOR DUTY AS COMMANDER -IN-CHIEF.  BUT GOD BLESS HIM!!

Because of Donald Trump, I have a reason to get out of bed every day. There are still weeks to go to the election and the polls are showing Hillary Clinton with a sizable lead over him, but that doesn’t matter, because this is American politics and anything can happen here and as long as there is the SLIGHTEST chance that this IDIOT, this raging, tiny-fingered, Oompah Loompah might get elected, my work is cut out for me. As an active member of Facebook, it is my duty to peruse the newsfeed each day and see what new trifling nonsense about him has been posted for the masses to read. As I read, I have on MSNBC news in the background, listening for headlines and snippets. Because as clear as it is to me what Trump is, apparently millions and millions of people out there think he’s simply WONDERFUL!! ( I know. Go figure. ) Facebook does not disappoint, because Trump speaks often and the media loves him,  no ,  ADORES HIM, and prints something every time he opens his mouth no matter what comes out! I’m gonna build a wall! No more Muslims! Hillary is crooked! Where are her emails? Hey Russia, can you find them? I like soldiers that weren’t captured. I want a Purple Heart! I get along great with “the blacks”. I mean, the stuff he says, it should be enough to bury him with, but people hear it, and they still say, “Yup.voting for Trump!” Like it’s something to be proud of! Or even better. “Not as bad as Hillary.” As if Hillary has ever said or done anything remotely close to anything Trump-like. I consider it my duty also to promote my candidate, Hillary Clinton. But mostly, I feel duty-bound to discourage as many Trump voters as I possibly can between now and Election Day. Why? Everyone has the right to vote their own mind, their own conscience. But my conscience will not rest until I have swayed as many people as possible AWAY from voting TRUMP. This is the vote of a lifetime. Several Supreme Court justices could ride on this vote. This man is more than just a moron. He is a DANGER and a THREAT to our country and our way of life. He has no clue about foreign policy, no idea how to handle foreign leaders, except for his “buddy” Vladimir Putin. He will almost certainly get us into war with Iran, and probably other places as well. WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER WAR. Let me say that again. WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER WAR.

So what’s the latest? Now he’s trying to discredit the Clinton Foundation, a charitable organization that has done so much good, raised millions and created hope where there was none, something he wouldn’t know about with his own “foundations”. Trying to make Hillary out to be the crooked one. Projecting much, Donald? And trying to work up some bogus bad health information about her after her own doctor has already cleared her as fit and ready to serve. Weak, Donald. Give it up, already. She’s gonna crush you like a bug in November. You know it, and I know it. But I know you won’t give up. That’s why I’ll meet you back here tomorrow morning, ready to take on a new day and all the crap you bring! BRING IT, DONALD! And God bless you!! Goodnight!!

An Arrest Warrant Is Not A Death Warrant

I am a 13 year veteran dispatcher of a city police department and when the subject of anything criminal justice comes up, I tend to see blue. I loved my job and even though I am no longer able to do it, I still have dispatching in my blood and in my heart. Any time I hear of police in action, police in trouble, police doing good things, police doing bad things, my mind snaps to attention and my heart pounds a little faster. Being a news junkie, naturally this happens to me quite often, as the police are in the news a lot more often than I’m sure they want to be. The good stories are wonderful, restore.-your-faith-in-humanity kinds of stuff. Cops pulling people from burning cars, talking people down from suicide, arresting domestic abusers and drunk drivers, catching killers and rapists and thieves, buying shoes for homeless people, taking time out to play ball with neighborhood kids. Little things, and big things. They all add up to our image of police as heroes. But not everyone has that image. Why? Because there are those who wear the badge who do not behave honorably, and they drag down the image of the whole department, of the name “police”. There are mediocre cops, who do a half-assed job of law enforcement, leaving a bad impression with the public and there are actual bad cops, cops who do not deserve to wear the badge and uniform and most definitely don’t need to be carrying a gun. These are not the majority. The majority of the cops I have known are the hero type, and I believe this to be true nationwide. But there are the “bad seeds”.out there, and we must stop looking the other way. “Cops don’t rat out other cops.” Right? You watch television or movies, you know that’s the way it is.It has to change. Good cops need to tell the truth, no matter what. One of the biggest problems in law enforcement is racism.

All of this has been on my mind lately because of the dreadful police shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge, and the shootings of unarmed black men by police officers that preceded them. Let me say firmly that in no way, did one shooting justify another. All of these deaths were tragic and wrong. In the cases of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, where they were  shot by police, those cases are under investigation and the families must wait for justice. Shooting  a random cop in another city is not justice for anything; It’s just murder. The perpetrators of these murders were violent, racist, psychopaths and not affiliated with Black Lives Matters, the group that has been protesting the unarmed black male police deaths. Of course, many don’t believe this, so there has been increased strife between the police and the black community.  But the reason for BLM in the first place is racism within law enforcement. I found out the hard way, through my connections, that you cannot so much as imply the possibility of racism among police officers without receiving a very negative, defensive response.  The whole ordeal has put me in a very tight spot. I still consider myself part of the law enforcement family, but for some, I am the prodigal daughter, and my return is not welcome. Part of this is because of the way I left, a mistake I made that can never be forgiven, but most of it is my support of black people. I love cops, but, I love black people. How am I supposed to choose between them? If a black person aims a gun at a police officer, then I feel that officer is within his rights to shoot to kill. But it’s rarely as cut and dried as that. Which brings me to my story of the day.

 

Korryn Gaines was not an innocent woman. She needed to be arrested. She was armed. She did in fact, allegedly fire her weapon at an officer. But my question is this:Was everything possible done to extricate her from that apartment without anyone being shot, including her 5-year-old child? In my experience with law enforcement, this would have been a tactical team operation. Why was there no SWAT team? Look at the OUTSTANDING EFFORT made to keep Jessica Sterling alive, despite her disregard for her own life and others and threats made to kill an officer. What was special about her? Why did they promise her they weren’t going to kill her? Why did she live to see her day in court, despite her efforts otherwise? Korryn Gaines deserved to go to jail. She had an arrest warrant on a past traffic violation. But she was SCARED of the police. Her five year old son was SCARED of the police.Why? Because her experience, and that of other black people, with police was different. She believed they would shoot her. And she was right. Her arrest warrant became a death warrant. Korryn Gaines deserved to go to jail. SHE DID NOT HAVE TO DIE. But she did. In front of 5 year old Kodi, who was also shot in the cheek. And now he will ALWAYS be SCARED of the police. This happened Monday. I just read about it today. If Korryn was white, how fast would it have been on the news? If Kodi was a white child, what kind of outrage would be going on? Ask yourself these questions and one more: Do Black Lives Matter?

Yes, the problem IS police brutality.

I keep seeing a meme going around that states: “The problem is not “police brutality”….” and goes on to describe the problem as being children not being raised right,not being raised to be responsible adults, etc. I think there is truth in that. I see evidence of this lack of parenting every day. Been to Walmart, or any public place, lately? Unfortunately, this does not explain away the whole tragedy. Police brutality exists. WAKE UP. The police are our heroes, and most of them live up to that title, but there are bad seeds, and even among the good ones, they are only human. They may panic in the heat of the moment and make a mistake. It happens. What we need is openness, transparency and honesty in the justice system. No more covering for bad cops. Why should the heroes be tainted by the bad seeds? The old blue code, “Cops don’t rat out cops” needs to go.

For those of you who don’t believe police brutality exists, I challenge you to do a little research and look up some of those names you probably heard in the news, but dismissed because they were associated with Black Lives Matter and you’re sure those people are troublemakers. Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, and a whole litany of others. In fact. look up one name. Eric Garner. I’m sure the YouTube video is still available. The entire video of his altercation with police  while standing on a street corner in New York, allegedly selling loose cigarettes. Eric was a big man. They didn’t beat him, or tase him, or shoot him. Instead, they put him in an illlegal chokehold and held on UNTIL HE DIED. “I can’t breathe,” he mumbled. “I can’t breathe.” They did not listen. They did not let go. They laid him down and watched him die. They did not attempt to revive him. They did not call an ambulance. They just stood around. All of this is on the video. I watched it over and over, looking for an explanation, looking for a way that he was somehow at fault. I didn’t find it. But the officer responsible, though charged, eventually got off. The guy who videotaped the arrest was arrested, though. JUSTICE.

Death like dominoes: Tragedy in Dallas

It began with Alton Sterling, a black man in Louisiana, pinned to the ground and shot by police outside a convenience store in Louisiana.The picture of his dead body went viral. Then there was Philando Castile. Shot by an officer during a traffic stop for an alleged broken taillight when he reached for his license and registration after advising the officer he was carrying a firearm. His girlfriend posted the aftermath on Facebook Live for the world to see as he faded away. Actually, it began a long time before either of these cases. It started with other shootings this year and years past and other killings of unarmed black men by white cops, like Eric Garner and Freddie Gray, where justice was not found, grief and frustration building with each incident. “I can’t breathe, ” Eric Garner choked out, before he died from an illegal choke hold placed on him by a NYPD officer. His crime? Allegedly selling cigarettes on a street corner. Freddie Gray was handcuffed and thrown into a police van and taken on a “rough ride” during which he somehow sustained a spinal cord injury he did not previously have. He later died in the hospital.So far, the officers charged with his murder have gotten off. So he broke his own back? So many more incidents I could name and detail here, people like the Black Lives Matter movement. Why black lives? Don’t all lives matter? Of course they do. But white lives have always mattered and always will. That’s a given. Black lives have not always mattered, and current evidence points to the possibility that maybe they still don’t. Black people are scared of the police, and it’s not just their vivid imaginations or their guilty consciences. Racism is alive and well and systemic in America. Most white people are in deep denial of this. They don’t want to admit it; they don’t even want to discuss it. Admitting racism exists doesn’t mean you personally are racist. It doesn’t make you anti-American. We can love our country and admit that there are issues that need to be addressed.

But instead of addressing the issue peacefully, one man, whom I shall not give a name, elected to use violence. An Army reservist, he set himself up as a sniper at a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, and began picking off police officers. 12  were injured, 5  were killed. These officers were there to protect the protesters and many were not wearing body armor, making them easy targets.  Contact was made with the shooter. He expressed his frustration with the recent shootings and a desire to shoot white people, especially officers. Eventually, they sent in a robot bomb to his location and he was killed. Thank God he was stopped and no more officers were shot. But what did the shooter accomplish? He lost his own life. He took the lives of others, creating more grief, more frustration. It’s an endless cycle. What comes next?  Will police officers now be more likely to shoot when they see black? Police officers are some of the bravest people in our society. Every day they get up and put on that uniform and go out into the world, they are putting their life in danger.  I worked as a police dispatcher for 13 years, and I know the dangers they face. There is no such thing as a “routine traffic stop”. Every time they approach a suspect vehicle, they are facing possible death. Every time they respond to a domestic disturbance, they are facing a potentially lethal situation. They have to be ready for anything and often have a split second to respond. I’ve heard their stories. I’ve known a few who shouldn’t have been officers, but the majority were good guys who just wanted to do the job right and get home safely to their families. There are some bad seeds out there. And there are some good cops who just make mistakes. There needs to be openness and accountability so that justice is served. There is a code among police officers. Cops don’t rat out cops. I understand the feeling behind that. But covering for a bad cop serves no one. Don’t let the bad ones make all law enforcement look bad. Children growing up should see the police as heroes, as good guys to run to in times of trouble, not bad guys to run from. I wonder what the average black child thinks when he sees a police officer. What can we do as individuals to heal the divide between black  America and the police?