A Beacon of Light
A surreal image of a happy place I hold in my heart wishing we could all get along.
This short catch-up will segue into a longer diatribe that follows, written on the Fourth of July, 2020. Much has transpired since then, so I’ll add more about every day here first.
Covid Times – 2020. San Francisco
I’m proud to write that we have done a remarkable job here with the pandemic largely due to our city and state leaders taking this seriously well before the rest of the country. And to this day, September 26, 2020 – we are all (mostly) still wearing masks, social distancing, and following protocols. Our death toll has been quite low – as of Sept 23rd, 101 dead San Franciscans. That’s IT. My college closed before the state mandate since the city mandate struck us first. We were all home by March 12th, teaching our courses remotely. You might find this interesting: Why SF has the lowest COVID-19 death rate of any other major city.
I have been watching the same man in the same outfit show up to serve tennis balls to no one on the other side of the court for months. It feels a bit like Groundhog’s Day as he comes to the court at 7a every morning. He hits a couple dozen balls across, then walks to the other side, collects them all, and repeats. I’m quite certain that this, for him, is exactly what a swim in the Bay is for me: a total reset. I have only managed to get through these past many months of Covid, Trumpocalypse, fires, bad air, a day that was night all day (no sun, no light), teaching hands-on, technical courses fully online, myriad Zooms, and so much more.
As I type this, lots of people are enjoying a perfect-weather Saturday in SF. After weeks of fires and smoke, the air has been clear for the past 7-days and everyone wants to be OUTSIDE. I can hear people at the corner bar that has built an outdoor parklet for people to imbibe outside while maintaining some semblance of social distancing. I can hear the creaky swings across the street beyond the tennis court with the slow, sing-song sway of two tones. Children playing, dogs out on walks with their masked human families, friends sitting together on blankets on the grass. It almost feels NORMAL for a minute, save for the masks covering smiles. Do you still smile under your mask? I do.
We must keep smiling and pushing to make this country a place of love, harmony, and peace. Yes, I live in a bubble here in the Bay Area. It’s a beautiful bubble and I hope we can spread this bubble across the continent. It’s a good life and worth every penny. And quite frankly there is enough damn money in this nation to fix the broken souls who do not have this. We need a plan that seeks to help others. America has been trying for decades in a hit-and-miss (mostly miss) to fix its problems. That is, up until 2016. That’s when everything snapped into a thousand tiny pieces so that the treasury could be sucked up into the giant bag of the 45th President, his family, and his GOP sycophants.
From the Fourth of July – 2020. U.S.
First, let me alert you that this page today contains my rant on the current state of affairs in the U.S. If you’d like to skip to something pretty and filled with love and light, try here, DanaJae.com.
I’ve never liked this holiday. It only celebrates what is white in America. It’s an ugly non-inclusive celebration of “rockets red glare.” ugh.
What do we do in the wake of the most evil administration and GOP sycophants we have known in the history of our American political experience? What is it about THIS TIME in our American history that one of two political parties acts not of and for the people, but entirely for their own self-interest at the mouth of a carnival barker, wanna-be dictator, schooled by the Russian autocrat in how to topple our democracy? And what of this ghastly AG Barr working overtime to strip the DOJ of any and all justice removing honest attorneys whose jobs are to uncover the truth in the stinking, steaming, scheming swamp of the 45th President? Norms, protocols, rules-of-conduct have been heaved out the window with the Constitution tossed into a Drumpster fire. The White House, soaked in racism, needs a new name. Some have been calling it The People’s House. HOW IS THIS COUP d’ETAT HAPPENING RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES AND THERE SEEMS TO BE NOTHING WE CAN DO ABOUT IT as we watch our hard-earned tax dollars support the antics of the bloviating rapist in the WH? People say “Vote.” I simply can’t imagine where America will be in September, let alone November. Give this thieves den until Jan. 20, 2021 and there will be nothing left.
“I see dead people.”
Never mind what the FOUNDERS would think. SCREW THAT and THEM! Most of us were taught total fabrications about the history of the U.S. This country was founded with racism sewn into the fabric of the flag. The early 1600s brought European immigrants to America and they decimated the people who were here before us. The myth of Thanksgiving has us believing that the Pilgrims mingled joyfully with the Native Americans. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead of learning the native way, the white colonists destroy the native culture, stole their land, and sent them to remote corners of the country to reservations. They signed treaties to honor sacred native land, but then decided to renege and do as they pleased. Case in point, Mount F’ing Rushmore and the white supremacist who carved the faces of four presidents on the sacred mountain.
Heinous act – white people seeking their freedom by derailing the freedom of brown people who were already here.
Not to be outdone in the ravaging of the Native American population, the founding fathers and early white settlers cruelly killed the spirit of Africans brought here against their will and worked them to death to build white wealth. Ugh. ENOUGH of the freaking founding fathers already! I thought I had a solid education from my Junior High and High School in San Diego, but my mouth was agape most of the time in Leon F. Litwack‘s U.S. History course at UC Berkeley in 1981 when, in my sophomore year there, I learned the reality of our heinous, whitewashed past.
Many other countries around the globe are in the midst of massive protests to join the Untied States in the #BlackLivesMatter rallying cry though nearly all of us also suffer from a continuing uptick in people testing positive for COVID-19, hospitalizations, and deaths. The pandemic has magnified tenfold our global unrest and horrifying health disparities. The chasm of inequality has reached 212-degrees and people are rightly furious. It’s easy to understand how these gargantuan issues have swirled together in a perfect storm to ignite the need for big changes. The earth has been given a healthy and heartening release from the human debilitating expansion as we have been on lockdown. This human pause has been just long enough for us to see what happens when Gaia is free of our pestilent destruction of the planet. Will we change to keep her from dying completely beneath our treading feet? As long as the white patriarch remains empowered to continue the global climate debacle, it seems we will just feel an inkling of what it could be if we worked toward goals such as the recent EU Climate Law.
Conspiracy Theories Central: The Trumplestiltskein people are filled with them. They unroll one after another with the Narcissist-in-Thief and his attempt to control media networks with his messaging. The conspiracies are so completely asinine that the majority of us who actually think for ourselves and research bogus claims to prove their invalidity can’t believe some of the utterances from people’s mouths. A few Floridians seem to have one last week’s Darwin Awards with this one: Florida Residents Angry over new Coronavirus Mask Rule. [Stupidity warning. Swallow any liquids you have in your mouth as you watch this.]
Here’s a brief rundown of what systemic means to me with regard to a host of societal ills in America (all heinous actions). It begins with the storybook myth of religious tolerance. This country was founded by a bunch of white people from an imperialist nation seeking refuge in a new land. When they arrived, however, there were people already here: the Native Americans (who did not call themselves such) who had their own spiritual belief system that was shunted by the whites seeking their own freedom from religious persecution. Christianity and “In God We Trust” became the call of the immigrants whose generations of children now claim the U.S. as “ours.” It’s a stolen nation.
So, let’s do a collage of horror outlining the various ways people of color have been trampled in these “Untied” States. Emancipation Proclamation signed January 1, 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” But it took two-and-a-half years for slaves in Texas to find out about it: Juneteenth. The denying of rights for African Americans remained for decades in the Jim Crow Laws. And on and on it went: Brown vs. Board of Education, Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Fair Housing Act all in attempts to give rights to African Americans to be able to enjoy the same freedoms as whites. But also within these attempts, the KuKluxKlan, the racist hate crimes of Wilmington, NC in 1898 and the massacre of blacks in Tulsa, OK in 1921. During these times, more and more Confederate statues were erected around the south as last as the 1980s! The 1980s!!!! What country erects statues of traitors to the nation? These are ugly men who fought in a bloody civil war AGAINST America and they stand tall in many southern cities. This is systemic racism. The KKK infiltrating police departments across the nation is systemic racism. Denying children an education about the real history of America is systemic racism. And finally, when the nation elected a black president to TWO terms, he was thwarted from any kind of nonpartisan successes because a southern racist leading the Senate vowed to say “no” to anything he proposed. He could only make any significant achievements (aside from Obamacare when the Dems controlled the House and the Senate) by executive order. The GOP have played ugly partisanship for long enough. They have hitched their hopes to a racist president who succeeded Obama as the 45th and must be shooed out of the White House in 2020. He is a walking prince of darkness who (along with his administration) has ushered in an era of pain, death, and economic disaster for America.
July Fourth – a day of mourning
Try these on for size if you have not yet read them: A People’s History of the United States written by Howard Zinn and this one also by Zinn, A Young People’s History of the United States – Columbus to the War on Terror.
Americans deserve to know the truth.