Dare You to Move

dytm3-2Twilight Seattle is one daily occurrence that goes down fast here in maritime autumn (faster once the winter arrives).


Sunset is 4:20 this evening.

Twilight begins.

It will last most of forty nine minutes.

By 5:10pm darkness falls.

Welcome to the fallout Welcome to resistance The tension is here The tension is here Between who you are and who you could be Between how it is and how it should be -Dare You to Move

Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
The tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be
-Dare You to Move


 

Three weeks have disappeared since the election that “shocked the world.”

At times it has felt like a waking dream just after a nightmare (for many).

 

(Donald Trump shocks world, wins presidential election in biggest upset in political history)

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-wins-election-results-2016-11

 

 


It has been 48 years since I felt this odd.

dytm0-2It was the morning of my sixteenth birthday. I was awake to see the announcement of the death of Senator Robert Francis Kennedy (Note 1). It is embedded in my forever memory – the frailty of a cause and its leader. I was already in shock since the murder of Dr. King at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. That was only sixty-three days before.

Assassinations and an election bound together inside us like a hideous knotted rope. These far flung events are tied by time and space because so very much has gone unchanged in most of the last half of an entire century.

An unchanged melody can be heard – that plays out sadly and awkward – across the American landscape. Yet it is one that appears more as a dystopian dreamscape – from a Young Adult Trilogy – than the clear strong strains of a Patriotic Hymn. The tune reeks of fear and loss and hopelessness. It tastes of failing promises to ourselves and to our children.

A Drumbeat of War ..

A Drumbeat of War ..

Across time an horizon is strewn with the bodies of justice-warriors and partners of good faith initiatives. The sun is setting. No song is being sung for the grandchildren. But if you listen closely there is the faint drumbeat of war.

Before we search the horizon for some army of darkness approaching at twilight we need to be very still. Look to the fading light and see in that half-darkness that the drums are beating within our own hearts. We are a nation at war with ourselves, a people who have forgotten who we are.

There are no leaders coming through the twilight to lead a revolution. Remember the twilight lasts just short of one hour before darkness falls. Waiting for the twilight just before sunrise will be too late. Without movement before the dawn hope will be lost to the shadows.


Where is the legion of my generation

Where is the legion of my generation


Where is the legion of my generation (the baby boomers). We were born into the very foundational fire of our heroes passion that blazed a way forward. Our failure with the subsequent Generation X and then Y has left our grandchildren on their own. Yet, many of these orphaned Millennials burn to make a sustainable future free of bias and despair.

These are the ones who must move with haste into the dark night to bring light where now there is none.

And they must be able to count on our willingness to hear their voice ..

Orphaned Millennials burn to make a sustainable future free of bias and despair.

Orphaned Millennials burn to make a sustainable future free of bias and despair.

And in our ability to create for them the place of honor at the head of the table ..

And in the assurance we will fight like tomorrow is today so as to grant them full access to running this revolution ..

And then have them experience our presence at their back and in their flank and in virtually surrounding them with our overwhelming numbers ..

And claim them before the odds are stacked so high against them that blood will be the only way out..


dytm7-2Twilight

The Golden Hour ..when all things remain suspended just long enough to regroup, replenish, and be restored.

Twilight

The Blue Hour .. moments before dusk when the heart slows to take in the strength needed to declared war on the forces of the night.


We can do this.

We can’t see the wind, but we know what happens to the trees.

Look not for the wind, but for the effect of the wind.

Dare you to Move


Words from Millennials

"I'd like to make my shame count for something .."

“I’d like to make my shame count for something ..”


Just What I Needed / Not Just What I Needed

Artist: Car Seat Headrest Album: Teens of Denial

I have nothing but questions

I need answers, those would fill me up

I KNOW WHEN I’M BEING CATERED TO!

I KNOW WHEN I’M BEING CATERED TO!

I will not settle for the lowest common denominator!

Will I find out That I am people too?

Will I find out
That I am people too?

Hello my friend, we’ve been waiting for you for a long time

We have reason to believe that your soul is just like ours

Did you ever get the feeling you were just a little different?

Well, here’s our web page, you’ve finally found a home

 

Good people give good advice

Get a job, eat an apple, it’ll work itself out

It’s a phase

It’s chemistry

It’s your own fault

Well don’t listen to us

We’re just people too

I will not settle for the lowest common denominator!

I will not settle for the lowest common denominator!


I’ve been waiting all my life

I’ve been waiting for some real good porn

Something with meaning, something fulfilling

I’d like to make my shame count for something

 

I feel so empty trying to explain this

His name is William Onyeabor, he’s from the 70s

And when I wake up in the morning, there are people sleeping on my couch

Well, I’ll have something to say about that one

 

Free people give free advice

Let go of the pain, let go of the fear

But if I let go of that

What will still be here

Will I find out

That I am people too?


NOTE 1

After receiving word of Senator Kennedy’s death, his spokesman Frank Mankiewicz left the hospital and walked to the gymnasium where the press and news media were set up for continuous updates on the situation. At 2:00 AM PDT on June 6, Mankiewicz approached the podium, took a few moments to compose himself and made the official announcement:

I have, uh, a short….. I have a short announcement to read, which I will read, uh….. at this time. Senator Robert Francis Kennedy died at 1:44 AM today, June 6, 1968. With Senator Kennedy at the time of his death were his wife Ethel, his sisters Mrs. Stephen Smith, Mrs. Patricia Lawford, his brother-in-law Mr. Stephen Smith, and his sister-in-law Mrs. John F. Kennedy. He was 42 years old. Thank you.”

NOTE 2

Twilight (4:20pm – lasts 49 minites)

The golden hour (sometimes known as magic hour) is a period shortly before sunset during which daylight is redder and softer than when the Sun is high in the sky.

The blue hour is the period of twilight early in the late dusk each evening when the sun is at a significant distance below the horizon and the residual, indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue hue.

Dusk occurs at the darkest stage of twilight, or at the very end of astronomical twilight just before night.


EPILOGUE

In Christian practice, “vigil” observances often occur during twilight on the evening before major feast days or holidays.

 

The Maghrib prayer (Arabic: صلاة المغرب‎‎ ṣalāt al-maġrib, ‘”West [sun] prayer“), prayed just after sunset, is the fourth of five formal daily prayers (salat) performed by practicing Muslims.

 

According to Hindu scriptures, a daemonic king, Hiranakashipa, performed penance and obtained a boon from Brahma that he could not be killed during day or night and neither by human nor animal. Lord Vishnu appeared in a half-man half-lion form (neither human nor animal), ended the life of Hiranakashipa during twilight (neither day nor night). Hiranyakashipu (Sanskrit: हिरण्यकशिपु, “clothed in gold”; the name is said to depict one who is very much fond of wealth and sex life: hiranya “gold,” kashipu “soft cushion”) is an Asura from the Puranic scriptures of Hinduism.

 

In Judaism, twilight is considered neither day nor night; consequently it is treated as a safeguard against encroachment upon either. For example, the twilight of Friday is reckoned as Sabbath eve, and that of Saturday as Sabbath day; and the same rule applies to festival days.


TRC

The Day After – Always Remember How You Felt This Day

day-1-mcgov-2In 1972 I worked on staff of the McGovern for President campaign in Texas. We lost big. I was twenty. When conceding the presidency to Richard Nixon on that night when he only won the electoral votes of Massachusetts and the District of Columbia Senator George McGovern of South Dakota said,

day-1-mcg“We have found the greatest outpouring of energy and love that any political effort has ever inspired at least in my lifetime .. I want every single one of you to remember and never forget it, that if we pushed the day of peace just one day closer, then every minute and every hour and every bone crushing effort in this campaign was worth the sacrifice.

I felt so bad, but also I felt so very much a part of something great that had been born from that campaign. That was not anything like what millions feel today regarding the result of this political cycle.

So … here is my question to the man in my mirror this morning:

“This time did we do all that we could do to defend our beliefs and secure the future we want for our children and this world?”

If the answer is yes, then we can say as McGovern did to his supporters that, “this campaign was worth the sacrifice.” We must remember the sadness and heartrending ache that this year’s campaign wrought. More importantly, we must remember that not only did we give our best, but we are determined now not to quit .. ever.

Like McGovern knew.. we will always have each other and the truths we together in our souls.

If the answer is no – that we did not give our best – then please don’t forget how you feel today because now there is even more to do.

McGovern ended his concession by saying,

Now the question is to what standard does the loyal opposition now rally?

We do not rally to the support of policies that we deplore ..

but we do love this country and we will continue to beckon it to a higher standard

So I ask all of you tonight .. 

Stand with your convictions.

I ask you not to despair of the political process of this country because that process has yielded to much valuable improvement these past two years. The Democratic Party will be a better party because of the reforms that we have carried out. The nation will be better because we never once gave up the long battle to renew its ideals and to redirect its current energies along more humane and hopeful paths.

day-1-mcgoverSo let us play the proper role of the loyal opposition and let us play it in those familiar words from Isaiah that I’ve quoted so frequently,

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength

They shall mount up with wings as eagles

They shall run and not be weary

They shall walk and not fade.

God Bless you and good night.”

 

Time for you and I to become the loyal opposition?

Michael Ignatieff, former leader of the loyal opposition in the Canadian House of Commons, said in a 2012 address at Stanford University:

The opposition performs an adversarial function critical to democracy itself… Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of the same sovereign, servants of the same law.”

A protester walks past a fire burning along Broadway at 17th Street following a mostly peaceful march in demonstration against President-elect Donald Trump in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

A protester walks past a fire burning along Broadway at 17th Street following a mostly peaceful march in demonstration against President-elect Donald Trump in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

Not my President, not today,” many across the nation yelled.

One college student showed CNN a sign that said, “I still can’t believe I have to protest for civil rights.”

We don’t feel the government is hearing our voices when we say Donald Trump is not our president. The fact that he’s our new president says a lot about where our future and our generations are heading.,” said UC Berkeley sophomore Esmeralda Cortez, who was at the protest.

day-1-laprotest-2For millions of American Muslims, black and Latino voters, gays and lesbians, immigrants, people with disabilities, Jews, women and others offended by Trump during the long run-up to Election Day, Wednesday morning brought a looming sense of dread.

 

The following are thoughts from folks who could become the next members of the loyal opposition:

Katie R    Yesterday at 3:46am · Teach For America Special Education Teacher · Philadelphia, PA

“I feel like I can’t breathe and all I can think about is what I’m going to tell my kids today.”

day-1-sheaShea H    Yesterday at 4:11am · Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) Teacher – Plano, TX ·

I woke up this morning heartbroken and sick to my stomach. I don’t know how to face the day and my sweet little students. Knowing this is their future. I have to put all my faith and trust in God that his plan is always bigger and better than the one I see in front of me. So I am going to try with everything I have to be joyful in knowing God is in control and I have a job to do today.”

Lori M    Yesterday at 5:55am · Seattle ·Teach for America Teacher

I’ve snoozed every alarm this morning… not because I’m asleep or tired…but because I’m scared. I don’t know how to be a teacher to my diverse classroom of beautiful students today. I don’t know how to face my students of color, immigrant students, Latino/a students, lgbtq students, female students, etc and tell them that America didn’t value them. I don’t know how to bring unity in the face of brokenness… when I am broken too.”

day-1-sad-r-2Lynn A   San Antonio, TX – Certified American Sign Language Interpreter

“Up in the middle of the night wondering what the hell we will do now with no health insurance since Trump aka Orange Toddler will be President and he had pledged to dismantle it first thing. I am wondering what having no Social Security until age 70 will look like since the GOP has pledged to move retirement age up. I am wondering if none of that will matter anyway since Trump will destroy the earth first with unregulated oil and gas development through our treasured National Parks, and his insistence that Global warming is just a plot started by the Chinese. I am trying to decide if I want to live through the nuclear winter/fallout that will come when he starts a war over some perceived personal slight. I am also pondering the welfare of that hairy orange animal, living atop his expansive head.

 

say-1-arrested-developmentARRESTED DEVELOPMENT @ADtheBAND    12:14 AM – 9 Nov 2016

Donald Trump has won. Now is a test of everyone’s faith and character. #GodBeWithUs

Jennifer G  November 8 at 11:30pm · Seattle · Special Education Leader

Trump might become THE president of the United States, but he will never be MY president. As a woman, I refuse to accept a president who has so little respect for my gender. As an educator of special needs students, I refuse to accept someone who mocks people with disabilities. As an educator who has worked with wonderful students and families of many races, religions, countries of origin, and sexual/gender orientation, I refuse to accept someone who chooses to foster hate, fear and intolerance. As a woman who was groped while walking down the street in broad daylight as a young teenager, I refuse to accept someone who thinks it is his privilege to engage in, and joke about this sort of behavior. As a person who strives for peace, I refuse to accept someone who encourages violence. As a person who tries to think rationally and logically, I refuse to accept someone who spews misinformation and has such little regard for the truth. As a Christian, I refuse to accept someone who lives his life so, so far from basic Christian and human values. As I wrote months ago, this election is not about politics. It is about what we value – as individuals and as a country. I do not accept Trump’s values and am heartsick that so many people appeared to do so.”

day-1-claiborne-bridge

Claiborne Bridge entering the 9th Ward before and after Katrina

 

 

Rose G   Yesterday at 6:00am · feeling amused at 7th Ward of New Orleans. On the Claiborne bridge downtown someone tagged

fuck this racist asshole president –A

Not A #PLL

 

 

 

Maggie Gyllenhaal @mgyllenhaal    5:13 AM – 9 Nov 2016 Actor

Despair does nothing for me this morning. I’m looking for hope wherever I can find it. This “will be a test of our seriousness and resolve

day-1-protests-against-trump-election7-2In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

day-1-ccPerhaps we can bring the day when children will learn from their earliest days that being fully man and fully woman means to give one’s life to the liberation of the brother [and sister] who suffers. It is up to each one of us. It won’t happen unless we decide to use our lives to show the way.” – Cesar Chavez

Boulder High students cheer on cars that are honking for love and peace as they drive by the school. About 200 Boulder High School students walked out of class Wednesday morning to protest the message of hate they say president-elect Donald Trump sent during his campaign. For more photos and a video, go to www.dailycamera.com. Cliff Grassmick Staff Photographer November 9, 2016

Boulder High students cheer on cars that are honking for love and peace as they drive by the school. About 200 Boulder High School students walked out of class Wednesday morning to protest the message of hate they say president-elect Donald Trump sent during his campaign. For more photos and a video, go to www.dailycamera.com. Cliff Grassmick Staff Photographer November 9, 2016

BOULDER, Colo. – Dozens of teens in Boulder walked out of class to protest what they say is Donald Trump’s message of hate.

The Daily Camera reports that about 100 Boulder High School participated in the protest Wednesday morning following Trump’s election. They held up banners with messages like “honk for love” along the street outside while others held a Mexican flag.

In an email to the newspaper, students said they don’t oppose the nation’s political system but oppose “the hate that is being broadcasted by our newly elected leader.”

Remember “Black Lives Matter”

Note: Please go here to look at this petition.

https://www.change.org/p/electoral-college-electors-electoral-college-make-hillary-clinton-president-on-december-19

Donald Trump is Everybody’s Problem Now

ap-election-hillary-supporters-cry-ps-161108_12x5_1600-2My youngest daughter texted me a few hours ago. She had been watching the election results with her girlfriend and others at a bar in safe blue Portland, OR. This was all she said,

I’m so scared.”

I replied,

Baby, don’t be scared. Detroit and Madison may save us all (this was before the state was called) Don’t be afraid ..” I went on. “ we have our family and friends and I believe we will always have hope.. We will prevail..”

Then feeling like my grown daughter was a small child calling me when I was late to come home and read that nights stories I wrote,

Go home .. turn off the news.. snuggle up with each other and the puppy. The world will still need people of good will tomorrow.”

 

2:04 am in the safe blue city of Seattle – in the safe blue state of Washington – on the safe blue Pacific coast. I know my children and family and friends are in pain. They are not all in a safe-blue-space. At least half of this entire republic is frightened for our democracy this morning.

At least another half of this land is overwhelmed with new hope. These fellow Americans are sensing the sweet fresh air of justice finally served. They have experienced a reckoning.

 

Over the past forty years the Republican Party has germinated and beckoned this movement of silent desperation. They feed it with hate and vengeance and blame of the OTHER. They plowed fields of hideous innuendo and outright un-factual half-truths and even more vicious goddamned lies made up from the ether-of-division and from the whispers of small sinister soulless men. They planned and they plotted through a mesmerizing glitter of gold-plated-rubbish and the never satisfied consumption of useless things and yet more futile stabs at dehumanizing greed. They left their privileged white pawns leaderless, ignorant, stupefied, shamed and completely bankrupt.

And the cowards of the Democratic Party let them.

Mulcairbrexit-daniel-sorabji-384x220-2

Now we are here.

Almost every scientific poll  .. WRONG.

Almost every political pundit .. WRONG.

Almost every major newspaper .. WRONG.

Almost everyone on the planet Earth ..

S T U N N E D.

But not the true believers. See how dearly they believed?

They went all in.

They were not stunned. No, not the ones who have been left behind by the self-satisfied future-seekers who damn well left them behind.

And we should not be surprised. Not if we can stomach being honest with ourselves for a moment of reflection.

We really should have seen this coming.

The most committed wins.

Detroit could not save us this time.

Detroit could not save us this time.

How many homeless does it take?

How many bullets fired in anger at the unmoving targets of the innocent does it take?

How much profit from our investments does it take before we know that so many are being left underfoot for our success to be realized?

How long do we push too-many people through that too-small opening of opportunity before the hole is filled and the left-behind are .. left forever behind?

When do these voiceless, and former proud workers of America’s past say.. enough?

Now?

 

One of my former students sent this email a few hours back..

I’m at sea. I don’t know what to do. I’m in total despair. I could really use some words of encouragement or hope.

How do I keep going in a world where a man like that has the support of my country?”

This is how I lamely replied,

We can figure it out together .. We must. We will .. tomorrow we can begin.”

 

Gustave Moreau - Thracian Girl carrying the Head of Orpheus on his Lyre

Gustave Moreau – Thracian Girl carrying the Head of Orpheus on his Lyre

Finally another former student posted on facebook..

Comfort me, dammit!”

I wrote this..

We can figure this out .. together. WE WILL .. together..

We cannot follow Orpheus down to the underworld to revive what has been lost .. or sing celestial songs to make the sun rise only to be torn apart like Orpheus was by those who could not hear the divine music.

No – we must own this national shame and be the courage for our children’s children’s children to claim that the day of white imperial hubris has come to its logical tragic conclusion..

as brutal a task as it may turn out to be.. we are left to cry as one – the prophetic word ..

THIS is NOT who we are .. we are a people

of MERCY and JUSTICE and PEACE.. “

I will stand with you and your generation to the very end..

PS: This is only the beginning of a miracle we cannot yet see.. do NOT despair my dearest friends..

He is just a man.. that is all..

We .. we are a people.”

 

Epilogue: Final words from a past president on the occasion of the concession telegraph to their opponent.

It’s now apparent that the American people have chosen you as the next president. I congratulate you, and pledge to you our fullest support and cooperation in bringing about an orderly transition of government in the weeks ahead. My best wishes are with you and your family as you undertake the responsibilities that lie before you.

jimmycartermattheweffect         And I signed it, Jimmy Carter.

Remember: Black Lives Matter

Between Damascus and Rio a Warmer Sea

 

We live in the age of the refugee, the age of the exile.”

 -Ariel Dorfman

yusra mardini refugee athletes

For the first time in Olympic history, Refugees will be represented in world competition. Every one of these 10 courageous athletes has a remarkable story of resilience and courage.  This is a glimpse of one of those gallant souls.

It needs to be noted that these 10 athletes are from countries torn apart by war and their only option was to take flight to another country. But these athletes have not become citizens of those countries that have adopted them. They continue to remain refugees who hope that one day they might be allowed return to their homelands.

yusra mardini (2)Vinay Devnath reported in Storypick.com on swimmer Yusra Mardini, one of the 10 Olympic athletes from the Refugee contingent. (Yusra was a star swimmer in Damascus, Syria before civil war tore the country apart.)

Her talent was recognized early on and she was even endorsed by the Syrian Olympic Committee for being an exciting prospect to bring the medals in. When war tore the country apart Yusra kept swimming, sometimes in swimming pools with their roofs blown apart by bombings according to Devnath.

And sometimes you would be swimming in pools where the roofs were [blown open] in three or four places.” – Yusra

There comes a time when you just cannot keep on going, and that time had come when Damascus became too unstable and Yusra’s family decided to flee the country.

She and sister Sarah trekked from Lebanon through Turkey to get to Greece. The refugees finally crowded upon a small boat to try and cross high seas to get into Greece illegally.

yusra mardini refugees boat2 (2)And then this happened.

Yusra was on a rubber boat with 20 other people that had just drifted off the coast of Turkey. The boat’s motor failed and stopped completely. The refugees now were stranded in the open sea.

Yusra jumped into the cold Aegean Sea with two other swimmers. They pushed the boat full of 20 people for over 3 hours until they reached the Greek island Lesbos.

Devnath wrote that she could not use one of her hands because it was tied to the boat. But she swam with all her strength, using her other hand and her legs.

 

 

Yusra Mardini IOC

 

 

It was three and half hours in cold water. Your body is almost like … done. I don’t know if I can describe that.” – Yusra

 

 

Once in Berlin Yusra began to train for the Rio Olympic Games. Her trainer says she worked hard and with great dedication.

Maybe I will build my life here in Germany, and when I am an old lady I will go back to Syria and teach people about my experience.” – Yusra

On Saturday (Aug 6, 2016), Yusra Mardini, a Syrian refugee now based in Germany, stormed to win her women’s 100-metre butterfly heat but failed to qualify for the semi-finals.

The water is warmer still.

Kristen Bell Tweeted  “A reminder of who refugees are: Syrian refugee competing in Rio pushed a sinking boat to safety for 3 hrs & saved 20”

 

Yusra_Mardini_02 (2)When an entire segment of the world is burned and reduced to a lawless battleground for thugs and mercenaries, a land where government does not exist, where the slate of history is being wiped out and hope has drowned in gallons of innocent blood, the only respite comes in the form of the open seas and what lies beyond the horizon. So ships are boarded and pain is tolerated just a little while longer.”

― Aysha Taryam

 

 

TRC

 

Prophet’s Melody (Memory and Hope)

Baton Rouge matters (2)

By Omar with permission 2016

“ .. if anything can, it is memory that will save humanity.

For me, hope without memory is like memory without hope.” – Elie Wiesel

 

Elie-Wiesel-QuotesI want to touch

the arm of Elie Wiesel

while he calls down hope

 

I want to feel

my children’s children’s

wonderful melody

 

Sitting Bull - graphite pencil sketch by Greg Joens (2)I want to see

the eyes of Sitting Bull

before he dies the prophets fate

 

Before the days of Baton Rouge

before the days of hate

 

I want to look

upon the face of god

my unblinking desire

 

Before the night of darkest dread

before the winds of fire ..

 

TRCHuman beings should be held accountable. Leave God alone. He has enough problems.

– Elie Wiesel

“Catch on fire and others will love to come watch you burn.”― John Wesley

 

rev dr KarenThe United Methodist Church Just Elected Its First Openly Gay Bishop

In a momentous step toward LGBTQ equality the United Methodist Church (UMC), America’s largest mainline Protestant denomination, has elected its first openly gay bishop.

The Western Jurisdiction of the UMC (a regional collection of churches) voted unanimously to elect the Rev. Dr. Karen Olive as a bishop. Oliveto currently is the pastor of Glide Memorial UMC in San Francisco, California. She came out to her congregation (and the denomination) as a lesbian in a same-sex relationship this past year, signing her name to a public list of LGBT Methodist clergy according to Jack Jenkins in a THINK PROGRESS article.

He went on to report that until the vote, the UMC (whose Book of Discipline still officially prohibits the ordination of “self-avowed practicing homosexuals”) has not  had an openly gay bishop.

This heralds a breakdown of a main obstacle that has inhibited the LBGTQ community from access to the ‘fullness of Christian vocation’ because their lifestyle is ‘incompatible with Christian teaching.’

A 40-year movement to end codified discrimination against LGBTQ persons is reaching a tipping point that hardly any rational-minded observer can deny,” read a statement from Matthew Berryman, executive director of Reconciling Ministries Network, a pro-LGBT advocacy organization for Methodists.

Rev. Dr. Karen Oliveto (2)Oliveto said after her election, “I think at this moment I have a glimpse of the realm of God. I want to thank the candidates who I have journeyed with these past few days, for the grace with which we walked with each other.

And know I stand before you because of the work and prayers of so many, especially those saints who yearned to live for this day, who blazed a trail where there was none, who are no longer with us, and yet whose shoulders I stand on.”

Carly Hoilman reported in THE BLAZE that the United Methodist Church remains deeply divided over LGBTQ rights. At the same time several regional districts are openly defying the prohibition by appointing gay clergy and allowing same-sex weddings in their churches. Some instances have led to trials under the church legal system.

rev dr Karen-Oliveto-Muslim (2)In a statement released following Oliveto’s election, Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, said, “This election raises significant concerns and questions of church polity and unity.”

According to Hoilman the Council of Bishops does not have constitutional authority to intervene in the election, but “is monitoring this situation very closely.”

Ough went on to acknowledge that while some UMC members will see Oliveto’s election as a violation of church law that divides congregants, others will consider it a mark of inclusivity.

Our differences are real and cannot be glossed over, but they are also reconcilable,” Ough said. “We are confident God is with us, especially in uncharted times and places.”

 

TRC(Editorial note: In further reports these players will all be approached regarding the United Methodist Church and that denomination’s role in a future Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the United States.)

Friendship (2)

What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace.”

― John Wesley

 

“ .. Thoughts on Syrian Refugees ”

Syrian Refugees HEADSPACE PRESS

Syrian Refugees HEADSPACE PRESS

“ .. Thoughts on Syrian Refugees ” by Permission “PO EMZ 2015” – omar


Holy Christ!” (said I)

An image flicked on laptops
around the world.

That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever seen!” (She whispered)

ABC NewsA forlorn dog
leaned against a cell wall.
Abandoned.
Alone.

It’s breaking my heart!”
(He said and shook his head)

It’s heart was broken.

ABC NewsWhy?” (They cried)
Hundreds.
Thousands.
They called and they clamored
to adopt the saddest thing
“.. they’ve ever seen!”

I’m so relieved.” (He nodded and agreed)

Another happy ending
to sooth the memory.

I’m filled with hope!” (She wiped away a tear)

PO EMZ 2 bA dog is saved
and satisfaction
settled down
upon the uncertain.

Time to share the love!”
(said I .. mostly to myself)

PO EMZ 2 Afghan Child Associated Press photographer Muhammed Muheisen - Copy - Copy.. and so
.. moved on
.. where thoughts
.. that filled
.. my aching mind
.. can rest
.. in quiet
.. half lies
.. while I
.. in shared certitude
.. can pause
.. on this
.. one found victory
.. with others
.. filled with faith
.. that our will
.. may still
.. bend
.. toward justice
.. in the end.

But still .. “what is the saddest thing I’ve ever seen?”

AP photo Muhammed Muheisen

 

Again .. and again.. Shooter-School-Massacre ..

candlelite oregonA candlelight vigil is held for the victims of the Umpqua Community College mass shooting in Stewart Park, Umpqua, Ore., Oct. 1, 2015. Photo by Mike Brunker/NBC News

Woke up to another school shooting. Another campus tragedy unfolded this morning at 10:38am PST.

I turned on my computer, went to feed the cat, and came back to see the Breaking News.. “This morning on a campus in southwestern Oregon.. yet another school shooting in America.”

I was not shocked. I wake up every morning and expect to see the horror in this world spin out stories of unimaginable grief. I have internalized that we now live within this staggering pace toward our self-deconstruction of civilization. (Much-less a sense of our lost humanity).

God is not punishing us. (Even though punishment for our social justice acts-of-omission regarding the cessation of gun violence might seem justified.)
We are punishing our children.

Newton_memorialAfter the ghastly evil that destroyed the lives of 20 children and 6 adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut I have ceased to be shocked by the extent people will go to create hideous ways to undo human existence.

(A girl lights candles at a memorial in Newtown, Conn., a day after the massacre.) (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)

I am only shocked that anybody is left surprised that SHOOTING INNOCENT PEOPLE (children by any other name) has not stopped.

Who the living hell has stopped anything related to the subject of guns, mass shootings, or the motivations and root causes behind any part of these tragedies? No one has. No one.

President Barack Obama spoke to the nation regarding the school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

obama shootingThere’s been another mass shooting in America,” he said to start his speech.
He went on and said, “Our thoughts and prayers are not enough,”
It’s not enough.”

What is left to say after the carnage at Sandy Hook in 2012, or the repulsive event at the Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina on June 17 this year? What is there to do when so many American citizens insist that gun ownership is their right and not their privilege?

There is no logic.
There is no common ground.
There is no justice.
There is none .. not when last October 5 children of God (including the shooter) from Pilchuck High School in Marysville, WA were added to the inexcusable toll of mass gun murder.. along with the 12 children of God shot dead at the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, CO, and the horrific gun slaughter of 32 more children of God at Virginia Tech in 2007, and backward beyond the 12 children of God who were so methodically and unspeakably executed at Columbine on April 20, 1999.

And what of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg , OR and the 9 murdered children of God lost today? Shot with a gun.

So when we witness – on every level of media available – the inevitable coverage that is thrust at us because of “yet another senseless shooting” .. not much is left but further numbness to the obvious truth.

Guns must be eliminated as an object of power for the sake of all of God’s children.

Who has the will to do this?

Who but people of faith in a just and loving God that insists upon our intentional involvement in bringing about peace.

momsdemandactionWe know these Anti-gun violence groups such as the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Sandy Hook Promise, Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Common Cause , the Children’s Defense Fund, and more .. they do exist. Can they ban together and create an indivisible vigil before congress?

We know there are others. If no one has the will to lead the majority of American citizens who are firmly opposed to the rampant unchecked “right to own a gun – even if it kills me and you” gun rights activist agenda.. then we have no answer to .. “yet another senseless shooting.”

one child

A National Town Meeting will be called. Someone must call it. An unyielding indivisible vigil must begin.

WE WILL.
Occupy Faith therefore calls for a A National Town Meeting during the week after Christmas this year to begin to address the elimination of guns as an object of power .. for the sake of all of God’s children.

Do you have the will to join us?
Write us immediately.
Dare You to Move..

Grace and Peace to You.. Michael

Katrina Remembered Day One

“Everybody here has a story. New Orleans was always a place where people talked too much even if they had nothing to say.

Now everyone’s got something to say.”

― Chris Rose, 1 Dead in Attic: Post-Katrina Stories


10 years late 1 - CopyStill standing after 10 years. I first stood in front of this house 2006.

On August 16 of this year I sent out the following plea to a large group of young people who were involved with the recovery and rebuilding efforts from the Summer of 2006 through the Summer of 2010.

I will share some of their reflections over the next few weeks and consider the TEN YEAR AFTERMATH of HURRICANE KATRINA.

The Plea..

8-29-05Dear Katrina Builders and loved ones.

August 29 is the TEN-YEAR-AFTER-MARKER for the event that brought us together.

A moment in time that made us stronger as one heart and one mind. The subsequent events changed us forever after.

Today I have an urgent request. I need your remembrance and your will and your time.

Please write me your remembrance of your contribution and your hearts investment in the rebuilding effort in New Orleans. Ten years after how are you affected?

Let me know if you have the will to still effect a change.

Give me a bit of your time to send this to me. Tell me if you want to invest more of your time for change in our world today and tomorrow.

Grace and Peace be to unto You..
Michael


I am never at ease with the knowledge that we could never do enough to put their lives right.”

Miss Ora 1 - CopyLarkin with Miss Ora and Jeff

An excerpt from Jeff sent on August 20..

Michael,

I will never forget the time I spent in New Orleans, from the first muggy moment we set foot outside the airport to the last Thanksgiving that we spent there with Sister Maura and Miss Ora. I am equally haunted by the joys and the pains that I shared with the women we helped and with the other students as we realized the smallness of our position. I am never at ease with the knowledge that we could never do enough to put their lives right.

nola jeffery - CopyWorking and living in New Orleans left a hole in me that I’m not sure I’ll ever fill. For the first time in my life, I was in direct conflict with the world in front of me. I was working on problems with no solutions; patching drywall on disasters that stemmed from systematic racism and rooted in hate. I had to confront my own frailty in the face of a crumbling house, and my own singleness in a system that would willfully exclude loving and generous people from its benefits.

I don’t know what I can do to help—and I’m certainly not as idealistic about it as I was when I was 16—but everything I do now hinges on developing a position and voice to address those individuals directly and to let them know that they’re loved, and that we acknowledge and love them as our own.

I’m stuck as a man with limited power, facing challenges that transcend any situation or place. But I know now that if I’m not using my personhood to raise as many people as possible, then I am failing my mission as a human and my calling from God—whomever or whatever that may be.

There is no humanity without recognizing that every person in the world is more similar to you than they could ever be different. There’s no looking at another person without seeing a shade of yourself there.

I’m haunted, Michael, and that will drive me forward for my entire life.

Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

God’s Peace, Jeff.


NOLA Michael's visit day 2 054 - Copy

I called out for help.. ya’ll came to my door.

By dawn the following day I was remembering my friends down home in the south. I was certain that they were okay because they had the resources to be.

That was the morning of August 30th on Monday.

I was just as certain – as I watched with the rest of the world – that there were so very many folks who were not safe. They were never safe. They had been forgotten without resources before.

Before.

It was only the first day after and Katrina had merely begun to wipe away the muck on the glass so all could see the truth.

Clearly.

End Day One

8-29-05

Miss Ora passed 2012…

Remembered..

UNTIL BLACK LIVES MATTER.. Part One

There was a time when skepticism was an act of rebellion.

Since to a degree I both believe in evolution and have faith, I can only conclude that, as prophesied, to have faith will someday be an act of rebellion.” ― Criss Jami¹, Killosophy

Penn State student Zaniya Joe wears a piece of tape over her mouth that says "Black Lives Matter" during a Ferguson protest organized by a group of Penn State University students on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, in University Park, Pa. (Nabil K. Mark/Centre Daily Times/TNS via Getty Images)

Penn State student Zaniya Joe wears a piece of tape over her mouth that says “Black Lives Matter”  (Nabil K. Mark/Centre Daily Times/TNS via Getty Images)

(whites must fight) UNTIL BLACK LIVES MATTER.. is realized Part One

So many white people have grown weary of the national debate on racial matters.

Too weary..

So weary that race will continue not to mater until an abolitionist-like² spirit is born into this present generation of white folks.

Therefore for the overwhelming majority of white people – black lives will continue to not matter.

Please indulge me for one moment.

I am a white male. I am sixty-three years old. I hold a Masters of Divinity degree. I have gone to the top ten percent of schools in the country. I grew up in the typical (WASP) white Anglo Saxon Protestant home. There was one black student in my high school. I have seen all four of my children through excellent colleges. I am a person of unearned privilege. I still believe in Liberation Theology. I embrace existential Christianity and I am an unapologetic social democrat³. I have been in the civil rights/ anti-war/ peace and justice movements for over forty years. (And as a best friend says I am a, “little pile of laundry with blue eyes“).

I confess these facts to prove my being an “expert witness” in the case that white people must fight for the reality that Black Lives Matter. In that light I make this opening statement and submit the brief that follows.

The vast majority of my white race in America does NOT understand the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement. Without our informed camaraderie the movement will fall into our post-post modern pedestrian blindness of tolerated segregation. Period.”

BLM in SeattleOnly recently did I have this shattering epiphany and wakefulness. It was Saturday Aug. 8th when Senator Bernie Sanders was campaigning in Seattle.

(pictured) Marissa Johnson speaks as Mara Jacqueline Willaford holds fist (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

(Sanders was pre-empted in a chaotic confrontation with a pair of Black Lives Matter protesters, who took the stage and refused to let him speak).⁴

Over coffee with a colleague I confessed my unease at the action taken by those young Black Lives Matter activists. I said, “Come on.. Bernie Sanders? I mean he’s the only one running for president who has consistently fought for civil rights and against all its’ systemic affiliations.”

My colleague agreed and added, “At the very least the action was rude. And it certainly didn’t help their cause.”

There it was. My white professor friend and his white protestant minister friend agreeing that these kids were rude to interrupt such a fine gentleman. Senator Bernie Sanders, a selfless servant to the cause of justice for all people. How could they hope, with these type of tactics, to win people over to their cause? How will their generations voice, that Black Lives Matter, ever be heard?

Indeed.

BlackLivesMatter-ExplainedForTheSlowThere it was. The man in the mirror was staring at me. There was my righteous white man’s face saying, “When will they ever learn?”

When will I ever learn?

If not for those few courageous young people.. I would not have learned.

If not for their willingness to be mocked by a large crowd of white people (who were supposed to be “sympathetic” to “their” cause).. I would not have been “offended.”

If not for their impassioned insistence to have their message attended to.. I would not have heard their voice.

Dear God I finally heard them.

Thank God they had the audacity to interrupt this caring white politician as he rallied his mostly white supporters. Bless them for walking the same path of uncertainty that their elders took fifty years ago during March of 1965 over bridges in Alabama.

After my friend was gone I just sat alone at our coffee hangout. I stirred the near empty cup. My new view was vivid in my mind. Then I remembered. It haunted me from so long ago. There was another group of young black students that seemed so disrespectful and offensive to yet another gathering of progressive white supporters of the cause.

Gang Peace Summit KC 93In 1993 the first National Urban Peace and Justice Summit (AKA: National Gang-Peace Summit) ⁵ occurred at St. Mark’s Union Church in Kansas City, Missouri. Community activists, city leaders, and rival gang members came from across the nation hold a summit in an effort to curb youth violence in the nations mostly black ghettos. It was a success.

The next year – again at St. Mark Union – many representatives from the first summit came back together to meet with the half a dozen other summits that had spawned in major cities around the country. Other new activists came as well. One group was the so-called New Black Panther Party (started in Dallas, TX). They were just as young and just as angry as the original (Black Panther Party for Self-Defense) under Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale organized in October of 1966.

Most of the assembled white folks (and some of the black folks) were intimidated in various degrees. It was not until a circle gathering later the first day that things changed for my unease. I sat beside the pastor of St. Mark Union Rev. Sam Mann. (Sam was the white Methodist minister at the all-black St. Mark Union. A son of the deep South he became an advocate for human rights active in the fight against racism for more than four decades — despite his upbringing.)⁶

Sam Mann 1 - CopyI asked him what did these young men need. It bothered me that they were not allowing anyone to finish their contributions without interruption. What did they want to hear?

(pictured: Rev. Mann and kids from St. Mark”s)

He whispered to me, “That is it. They want to be heard. They want to be heard until they are finished speaking. No matter what they say and no matter how long it takes.” Then he suggested that it would be interesting to see what they would do if, “one of you white clergy was to ask for their forgiveness.”

I was so humbled I did not need to ask “forgiveness for what?” I was almost too afraid and certainly too ashamed to ask Sam, “Should I?”

So I stood with my hand raised like I was back in 2nd grade. I suppose I looked so ridiculous in my clergy collar, blue jeans, cowboy boots and sixties hair cut (little pile of laundry with blue eyes) that they were embarrassed for me. I ask them if they would please accept a plea to forgive the Church, my ancestors, and me for our actions over so many years. I told them that I wanted to hear their voice today.

One young man answered that it was easier for him to forgive me than it would be for me to give their voice access into the white church.

Even though this group, the New Black Panther Party, was disavowed and shunned by the original founders of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense – and declared a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center – the young man’s’ reply was (and absolutely is) just as valid a statement. And the action of confession from people of white skin is still critical for reconciliation to be authentic.

Are we too weary to listen?

My epiphany that was jump started by the Sanders campaign incident in Seattle came into a clearer focus at the Senators next event in Los Angeles.

Rory Carroll of the Guardian reported from LA last week that, “Instead of protesters upstaging him – something that has sabotaged two previous events – the 73-year-old senator from Vermont had African American allies on stage to introduce him and reassure the Black Lives Matter movement, and others, that he may be an old white guy, but he was their old white guy.”

Carroll went on to recount that, “Before Sanders took the stage,.. some supporters had worried about Saturday’s fiasco in Seattle, when two women who said they represented Black Lives Matter seized the mic and demanded Sanders do more about police violence. It left nagging questions. Was he out of touch? Was Vermont too vanilla for a diverse nation? Would protesters again leave him mute?”

Symone-Sanders-Bernie-SandersInstead a young African American, Symone Sanders, appeared and introduced herself as the campaign’s newly appointed national press secretary. (Omaha native, Black Lives Matter supporter, criminal justice advocate, and communications specialist Symone D. Sanders was named national press secretary for Bernie Sanders.)

Another African American, Dante Harris, the leader of a local flight attendants’ union, helped warm up the crowd. “Workers’ lives matter! Black lives matter! The truth matters!”

Senator Bernie Sanders is – of course – a professional politician, but I believe he has been consistent in progressive actions over his career as an elected official.

In that light he is not displaying hypocrisy when he declared at the LA rally, “There’s no president that will fight harder to end institutional racism.”

What becomes troublesome for the singularity of Black Lives Matter was what Harris intoned before Sanders took the stage – when he said, “Workers’ lives matter! Black lives matter! The truth matters!”

I submit that black and white companions in the Black Lives Matter Movement must focus on just that for now until it is a reality.

UNTIL BLACK LIVES MATTER

Grace and Peace be Unto You .. Michael O Harrington


 

NOTES Part One:

  • 1.) Born May 29, 1987, Criss Jami is the lead singer of the rock band Venus in Arms based in Washington, D.C. He is also a poet, essayist, existentialist philosopher, and the founder and designer of Killosopher Apparel. He studied philosophy at George Mason University.
    2.) Dictionary.com 1. (especially prior to the Civil War) a person who advocated or supported the abolition of slavery in the U.S. 2. a person who favors the abolition of any law or practice deemed harmful to society:
    3.) Heywood, Andrew (April 10, 2010). Political Ideologies: An Introduction, 5th edition. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 127. ISBN 978-0230367258. “Social democracy is an ideological stance that supports a broad balance between market capitalism, on the one hand, and state intervention, on the other hand. Being based on a compromise between the market and the state, social democracy lacks a systematic underlying theory and is, arguably, inherently vague. It is nevertheless associated with the following views: (1) capitalism is the only reliable means of generating wealth, but it is a morally defective means of distributing wealth because of its tendency towards poverty and inequality; (2) the defects of the capitalist system can be rectified through economic and social intervention, the state being the custodian of the public interest”
    4.)Please see
    http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/black-lives-matter-protesters-shut-down-bernie-sanders-rally/
    5.) http://www.cleveland.com/specialreports/index.ssf/2013/03/stop_the_killing_gang_summit_h.html
    6.) http://www.depauw.edu/news-media/latest-news/details/11350/ http://www.indianapolisrecorder.com/religion/article_f662d409-bce9-5f5f-b6ba-b51a143ccb92.html

 

PART TWO to be continued..

We need co-conspirators, not allies’: how white Americans can fight racism’

BLM White Sign HolderWith the end of empire, we are coming to an end of the epoch of Rights. We have entered the epoch of Responsibilities which requires new, more socially-minded human beings and new, more participatory and place-based concepts of citizenship and democracy.” – Grace Lee Boggs