The List of Things We Shouldn’t Have To Say… (And What To Do About It)

Every once in a while, I get in full-on rant mode. This is one of those days. On the anniversary of the mass shooting at the Marjorie Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, I thought I’d start off with simple one. Still, when one of my favorite teachers died recently, it became a research project for positivity.

No child should ever be shot at school. Schools shouldn’t have to have “active shooter” lockdown drills.

For what to do about it, check out : March for Our Lives: https://marchforourlives.com/anniversary-2020 Sandy Hook Promise https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/

While I’m there, no person should ever be shot in church… or at the mall, or at the park, or anywhere else. As I understand it, guns are for hunting. People should not be hunted. For what to do about it, check out https://blacklivesmatter.com/ and Anti-Defamation League https://www.adl.org/

Most times —if not all — people should be able to believe their leaders. For what to do about it, check these out: Black Lives Matter Disinformation Page https://blacklivesmatter.com/black-lives-matter-global-network-defends-against-disinformation-going-into-2020/ The Toronto Star https://projects.thestar.com/donald-trump-fact-check/ and Factcheck.com https://www.factcheck.org/person

People involved with the law should not break the law. For what to do about it, check these out: The American Bar Association and their list of topics https://www.americanbar.org/topics/civilright/ and, in theory, the Department of Justice…https://www.justice.gov/crt/addressing-police-misconduct-laws-enforced-department-justice

Children should never be put in cages. Children should never be stripped of their families by a government for no reason. For what to do about it, check this out: Never Again movement http://neveragain.org/mission/ and The ABA immigration resources https://www.americanbar.org/groups/departments_offices/FJE/yourphilanthropy/migrant_justice/ and the Quakers https://www.afsc.org/key-issues/issue/defending-immigrant-rights

People have to eat. People need to drink (clean) water. These are basic needs. For what to do about it, check these out: WhyHunger https://whyhunger.org/ Heiffer International https://www.heifer.org/ Flint Water Challenge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9b-fWGZs80 Water.org https://water.org/

People need to have shelter from the weather. Again, this is a basic need. For what to do about it, check these out: Habitat for humanity http://www.habitat.org Mutual Housing California http://www.mutualhousing.com/ Mutual Housing Connecticut https://www.mutualhousing.org/

People should not mock, taunt, beat up, attack, or violate each other’s rights or bodies simply because they are different. For what to do about it, check these out: Southern Poverty Law Center https://www.splcenter.org/ NAACP https://www.naacp.org/ The Trevor Project: https://www.thetrevorproject.org

Men, women, and everyone in between have the right to and it’s good for their mental health — to control their own bodies.

For what to do about it: Planned Parenthood https://www.plannedparenthood.org Rainn https://www.rainn.org/ for women’s issues and general support https://www.rainn.org/articles/sexual-assault-men-and-boys for men and boys

Money is a means, not an end unto itself. If you have far more than you will ever need, give it to people who don’t have as much as they need for basic needs.

For what to do: Try The Giving Pledge https://givingpledge.org/ Alternatively, check out Poor People’s Campaign https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/

Financial abuse of others is wrong. Taking advantage of people because you can is wrong. For what to do: Elizabeth Warren’s original Consumer Protection Bureau, though sadly, it may have been gutted by the present administration. https://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/bureaus-offices/bureau-consumer-protection This may look too radical now (Or not) , but they used to have really good information. http://occupywallst.org/ This is a new idea and mission within my denomination, and I am so proud of it: https://www.chhsm.org/news/chhsm-joins-ucc-effort-to-abolish-medical-debt-for-low-income-families/

Nuclear war is not a good idea, nor something to be trifled with.

For what to do, check out these: Union of Concerned Scientists: https://ucsusa.org/nuclear-weapons and the Quakers https://www.afsc.org/key-issues/issue/international-peacebuilding

People should not be punished for doing the right thing.

For what to do, check here: but — as all federal government agencies right now — I don’t really trust them to live up to their task. Still, it’s worth a try. The Federal Office of the Inspector General https://oig.hhs.gov/ For non-governmental agencies, try the ACLU https://www.aclu.org

None of these will matter if we don’t have a planet.

For what to do, check here: Union of Concerned Scientists on climate: https://www.ucsusa.org/climate and Climate Project https://www.climaterealityproject.org/

For MLB … And, of course, if there are suggestions for organizations to go on here, write them in the comments section…

and still Resisting In Peace,

John

A New Strategy: A Multi-Front Election

As the Department of Justice messes with Roger Stone’s sentencing, it becomes more and more apparent that people need to feel hope in the political arena, just as we have had our hope overwhelmed for the past 3 years.

Trump has been the Trojan Horse for all kinds of evil, but he is not the only problem. Each member of the cabinet has come out of the horse like a soldier and is destroying their part of our democracy. Most important to me is the danger to the rule of law — the raw material of a constitutional democracy — posed by William Barr.

Kamala Harris is as fine a prosecutor as we have in the Senate. She would make a fine Attorney General — a strong supporter of the rule of law and a voice for equal justice under the law. Even the people who ran against her, bar none, say that they miss her presence in the debate. In short, she is widely respected and loved by most of the Democratic base.

So here’s my idea. Each of the candidates for the Democratic nomination should announce now during the campaign — that they will make Kamala Harris their Attorney General.

This will have three effects: 1) it will mark a public turning of the tide toward the rule of law and against the corruption that is William Barr. It will be a shot across the bow of the present administration, and it will draw Republican attention away from the Presidential candidate, changing the dynamic of the race.

2) It will say to the people of the country that we will have a more diverse administration regardless of what else happens. Women’s issues will stand a fighting chance, rights of minorities will be respected, corrupt people who have abused their power under this administration will quake at the thought of justice aimed at them.

3) Finally, the addition of Harris will add a piece of stability to the Democrat cause. If all of the current candidates agree on her, it means no matter what happens, justice will happen, and we will be back on track toward hope.

Note, of course, that I haven’t spoken to Sen. Harris about this, nor do I know how it will play out in wider politics. My point is that with creativity, we CAN save our democracy.

Resisting with Peace,

John

My Child, Your Child: Why Racism Matters

Mr. Trump, Mr. Miller, et. al.: I am a long-time liberal, so I have given up on ever convincing you because we share values. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am appealing to you purely on the grounds of your self-interest. There is something to be had in it for you: wealth beyond even your wildest dreams, if you can only access it.

My eldest daughter posted a story on Facebook about a brilliant third grader whose intellectual property rights are of incredible value: “Xochitl Guadalupe Cruz, is an 8-year-old coming from the Chiapas highlands, in southeastern Mexico. Earlier this week she became famous for being the proud recipient of the Nuclear Science Institute (ICN) Recognition for Women award, from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Cruz is in 3rd third grade of a Mexican rural school and has shown big interest in Science from a young age. When she was 4 she took part in Mexico’s “Adopt a Talent” Program (PAUTA) for intellectually advanced children which paved the way for her recent achievements.”

Now, as you well know, she couldn’t get into our country because she is Mexican. If her country’s people could not protect her, and she sought asylum here with her parents, Border Patrol agents would separate them and she would end up in a room with I don’t know how many children. She would have to share a toilet with all those other children. She would be given a blanket and sleep on the floor after being put in a “cold room” and not allowed to get a flu shot. All of the wealth that she has in her head would be lost to you.

Now imagine she’s already there. Believe, as you already do, that she looks like every other Mexican girl, and you now understand your problem. I say your problem because I would welcome her into our country, welcome her into my house, and do everything I could to both listen to her and encourage her. She would, if I treated her well, share all of her ideas with me for free. I’d wish her well on them, and we’d be friends until I passed away at some point.

For all you or I know, every child in ICE custody has the same ideas or gifts that she does. All of that wealth will never be yours, simply because you chose not to see it. That is what racism does.

Remember all the wealth America accumulated because Einstein came here, instead of staying in Germany? Hitler and his White Nationalist buddies lost all of that in thinking he was “just a Jew”. He was just one person! If you think like Hitler, how do you explain that to the Israelis or your Jewish son-in-law? I don’t understand how Stephen Miller can be in the same room as Jared. Somebody’s not thinking this through, or one of them is lying.

And while I’m on the subject, your Muslim ban, and your new extensive travel ban? Same thing. I’m sure that one of those people has the cure for cancer or AIDS or heart disease. Remember, all it takes is one. But you will never know, because you see no benefit to having them here.

Finally, a child doesn’t have to be from a foreign country to possess incredible skills or incredible intellect or incredible anything. Any Black child, every Asian child, every Native American child, that your police kill because you said it was okay, is your loss. I say your police because there are plenty of police with my values. It’s the ones that see no blessing in those children’s lives who can kill without remorse. There are plenty of Americans who also share my values and treasure their kids. Their children’s deaths at the hands of bigots will prevent you from getting anything from them as well. Another loss for you.

Having a hard time filling your cabinet or getting good cops to serve in the FBI or CIA or good scientists in your administration? Why do think that is? Because you don’t respect their gifts if they are not White. Most White people I know have friends that are some minority you despise. Another loss for you.

To bring it full circle, every poor White child that dies because your policies starve them, because you think they are unworthy of getting assistance, you’ll get no assistance from them. Or, in their desperation, they will turn to opioids or crack as they do in West Virginia or Kentucky or any of those other coal-country states. In any case your decision to punish them by withholding aid, will cost you more money in treatment to get their gifts, or they will be lost altogether.

Children —all children — have the potential to change the world. Their parents, with the right resources, would do anything to give their children those opportunities. Your hatred —the one that often gets you laughs at rallies or in rooms with your buddies — is costing you a lot. Screw me. Go ahead. “Own a lib”. It’s not me keeping you from all that money, all that glory for the America that you clam to love. It’s you and your racism.

Resisting In Peace,

John