Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Thank you Alabama

Thank you Alabama
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
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This one’s for the Yellow Dog Dems, the Exonerated Men, the Indies, the Greens, the Swings, the right-wing refugees.

This one’s for the fed-up librarian retired in Gadsden who never voted Dem until today and Peggy in Montgomery and Ebenezer on Fourth Avenue cutting hair saying white folks don’t scare him no more since Vietnam, he’ll vote in a dog fight, he don’t care.

This one’s for the troops on the ground, the phone bank crowd, the drivers and givers and big spenders and Twitter warriors and the keyboard queens sharing memes.

This one’s for the women who left early and the men who came late and the elderly and sick who waited in line for hours. This one’s for the disowned children of the rainbow world who stayed close to home when home wasn’t safe. This one’s for the descendants of slaves. This one’s for the woke kids in Tuscaloosa and Auburn and the genteel ladies in Mobile hiding their girlhoods in purses beside their photo IDs.

This one’s for the progress, the message sent, and the sins that can no longer be disguised behind a Bible verse.

This one’s for the Americans who lose time and again, but are never defeated. This one’s for the daughter who tugs at her mother’s skirt and asks, “what’s next?” This one’s for the mother who replies, “We keep fighting.”
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

An Open Letter to White Women in Alabama

An Open Letter to White Women in Alabama
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
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Liberals are wrong about you. You’re not racist or homophobic (and no, you’re not married to your brother). You’re well-educated. You love your family and your church, and you will always put them first. If others have a problem with that, so be it.

You live in Alabama because you love it – the tall trees, the trips to the coast in the summer, the fried everything, the slow, pleasant pace of life (except during football season, when the air ripples with excitement).

Everyone is nice here, too. Neighbors are real neighbors; people take the time to stop and say hello. If you get a flat tire, a second later someone will stop and help. Do they do that up north, you wonder? In Chicago or Boston? Do they really care about their fellow man — all those self-righteous snowflakes with their protest signs, smug liberal cannibals so hungry for outrage that they’ll eagerly devour their own?

These Libs pop up online sometimes and accuse you of hating women, to which you reply, “I am a woman.” Just because you don’t strap on a pussy hat and march on Washington, demanding rights that (news flash!) you already have, doesn’t mean you haven’t felt the full weight of womanhood.

Or girlhood, for that matter. You remember being fourteen, don’t you? – all limbs and unruly hair, a mouth lined with braces. It’s a difficult time. You’re not a child anymore, but you’re not a woman either. Suddenly watching certain movies with your dad feels strange, and you no longer tell your mother everything. You still play games with kids on your street, but somehow it doesn’t feel the same – almost as if there’s another layer, a new price for playing.

Did older men approach you then, or gaze at you from afar with a look in their eye that made you uncomfortable — a look that you had no name for yet? Maybe it was a young man who first made unwanted advantages … are you the one woman out of four who has been sexually assaulted? If not, then certainly you’re in the Harassment and Close Calls Club, where most of us are members.

When was the first time you were told to be silent? When was the time you silenced yourself? Have you had enough self-reflection to trace back all your life’s struggles to the moment you said no and he said yes?

I think you have. In fact, I think you’ve changed a lot over the last couple of months, haven’t you? You’re still a God-fearing woman who loves her family, but lately, the pillars of truth that build the foundation of your faith have taken a beating. You’re starting to wonder if men, who have spent centuries interpreting God’s words, have maybe, just maybe, construed His words to their favor.

It started with Trump’s Access Hollywood video. It repulsed you. It didn’t keep you from voting for him (he was still a better choice than Killary), but it didn’t sit right with you then, and it still doesn’t. Then, a year later, the #MeToo movement grew momentum. You didn’t participate – at least, not in public. Instead you wrote it down somewhere – maybe in a post-it note that you slipped into your Bible, or maybe you typed it in a flurry of keystrokes that you saved in an inconspicuous folder on the family computer. Maybe you didn’t write it at all, but spoke it, when only God was around to witness your truth.

A month later, when public figures began to lose their jobs from sexual harassment claims, you thought quietly, “You reap what you sow.” And when, fifty-so plus men later, your husband casually mentioned, “This is turning into a Witch Hunt!”…you quietly disagreed with him.

Liberals are wrong about you, but maybe the Conservatives are too. You are not a sheep. You will not be spoon fed what to think. You may never march down Pennsylvania Avenue wearing one of those obscene pussy hats, but maybe it’s time you protested in your own way.

On Dec. 12, you have a big decision to make. As a fellow Southerner, may I make a suggestion? In the voting booth, go ahead and hand Jesus the wheel, but let your fourteen-year-old self lead the way.
Sunday, December 10, 2017

What a Mass Shooting Expert Wants You to Know

What a Mass Shooting Expert Wants You to Know
Sunday, December 10, 2017
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What a Mass Shooting Expert Wants You to Know

Jackie Schildkraut's Facebook wall is filled with posts describing the fallen, a digital shrine. Christopher Roybal from Colorado, "could draw people in with an infectious smile." Carrie Parsons "had a contagious giggle." Patricia Mestas was "a mother of three, a grandmother of eight, and a great-grandmother to one."
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