Unblocked

14

April 8, 2018, Prescott-

I dreamed, last night, that two of my students were on a planet where people looked like us, but were not able to communicate verbally.  The boys watched people talking to them, and to one another, but noticed that there was no sound coming.   Photos were taken and sound waves were visible on the pictures,  looking almost like bubbles.

I wonder if this is how the students feel, sometimes, given their own speech difficulties.  We are usually able to determine what a student wants, based on body language, requests made in basic language or, in one case, apraxic compensation.

There is another takeaway from this dream.  People have been talking past one another, for nearly twenty years.  It’s almost as if they are afraid of “catching” a disease, just from hearing a contrary opinion, similar to the way some white folks would wash their hands after contact with a person of colour, or some Native Americans would shake their hands in the air, after a handshake with a white man.

Society is constipated, to put it indelicately.  How else can we be in a situation, where anyone can see racism as the reason behind  “Black Lives Matter” or fascism as the reason for expanded background checks for gun owners, or for denying a firearms purchase by someone who is known to be mentally ill?  How else can a woman be seen as the perpetrator of her own rape, or sexual abuse that stops short of rape?  How else can teenagers, on both sides of a debate, be viewed as mere pawns of the same adults who have punted the school safety can down the road, since 1990?

My students, in real life, are loved and well-understood, even with speech impediments or non-verbality.   Those around us, regardless of viewpoint, have the right to speak and be heard- as well as hopefully being understood.

Let’s start thinking outside the bubble.

It’s Time

4

November 10, 2016, Prescott-

It has been two days, since this time of transition began.  People on the Left have vented their frustrations and spoken of their fears.  People on the Right have expressed their joy at being “vindicated” and spoken of their annoyance.

It’s time to start listening, hard, to one another.

It’s time to really take stock of how we’ve really been, towards one another.

It’s time to stop blaming one another.

Black Lives Matter did not create the recent round of violence against police.

The Tea Party did not create the outpouring of hate against transgender people.

It’s time for the common people, of all backgrounds, to recognize that we each achieve more, shoulder to shoulder, than we do nose to nose.

It’s time for those of us deemed “little”, by the media, to know wire-pulling and manipulation, when we see it.

It’s time for people of faith to expect elevated behaviour, from our leaders and from one another, rather than to overlook base actions and coarse speech.

Make no mistake: I love my friends in  Christianity,in the Baha’i Faith, those devoted to Judaism, Buddhism,Hinduism, Islam, Wicca, because their faith defines them;

I love my friends whose sexual orientation and gender identities differ from mine, because they are honest people, trying to make sense of  complexities that few of us in the “straight” world can really understand;

I love my friends who are young, gifted and from hundreds of ethnic backgrounds and dozens of religious traditions, because they will inherit the Earth, and need all the encouragement they can get;

I love my friends who live in small towns and crumbling cities, in the Northeast, Midwest and South, because they do not deserve to be cast-offs;

I love my friends who live on Reservations, in ghettos, in barrios and in ramshackle mountain hollows, because they do not deserve to be stepping-stones for the callous and the greedy;

I love my friends of colour, and of pallour, of youth and of age, because the blood that keeps each of us alive is the same, and too much of that blood has been shed, in the name of falsehood.

It’s time to share our Home, our America, our Earth.

 

You Matter, Too

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August 30-31, 2016, Prescott-  Tomorrow, my Facebook page will have “Blue Lives Matter”, in the profile pic. This does NOT mean that I have suddenly discarded my conviction that Black Lives Matter, Vivas Latinas Importan, or that the world needs Native Americans.

My life has always mattered- to me, to my family, to my core group of friends from adolescence and to countless others met along the way, ever since.  I can’t remember ever really feeling unloved, even in fleeting moments of self-pity.  Worshiping Boous Hoous wouldn’t have gotten me very far, anyway.  I also can’t remember a time when I was truly destitute, in terms of quality human friendships.

Too many, however, can’t say the same.  Too many parents and spouses place conditions on their love.  Too many children are taught that it is harshness and hardness which bring about success in life. Too many in positions of authority, from teachers to police officers, are taught that stridency is the way to bring about obedience, whilst humility is for wimps. Too many, in positions of trust, are deluded by programs and scripts that don’t serve anyone other than the executives of the corporations which dream up these programs and scripts.  Too many vacillate between “Less (staff) is more” and “More (clientele per worker) is optimal.”   Thus Child Protection Agencies, schools and counseling services are operating with insanely unwieldy worker/client ratios.  Too many civil servants and elected officials are encouraged to place themselves above the needs of the people whom they represent.

The truth is, each of us matters- as much as the next.  It has always been so, in the eyes of the Creator.  Black lives matter, too.  Vivas Latinas se importan, tambien.  White lives have never been seen as not mattering.  Native American lives deserve to be valued, a lot more than they seem to be, even today.  Asians, Pacific Islanders, Australian Aboriginals, “Mixed Races” of all kinds matter, also.

One does NOT matter, to the exclusion of others.  The misguided young man who told a Black girl in Buckeye, Arizona, two days ago, that her life and those of her fellows in BLM do not matter, is living in a deluded construct of the past, which can never be successfully revived.

The truth, inconvenient only to those whose own self-loathing  is couched in racism, is that the world is showing us its true nature: There is but one human race, and we all need to get along.  There is no going back, anymore than there is a successful outcome to driving in reverse on a freeway.

I support Blue Lives Matter, because too many decent, hard-working peace officers die on the job.  I support Black Lives Matter because too many decent people of colour are dying young, often at the hands of those who look like them.

My life matters, so does yours.