Call to Action — This is Our Duty

Honestly, there are so many absurdities and atrocities going on now that I feel my head may explode trying to process it all. And, the more I take in the more I feel that we are teetering on the precipice of a darkness not seen since the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis. You may scoff and say that can’t happen here, but I would challenge that assumption in the prevailing atmosphere of hate and anger fostered by the current occupant of the White House and his supporters.

I just saw today where Jonathan Scott of Property Brothers on HGTV posted his support of the Women’s Marches on his Facebook page and received numerous hateful responses. Fortunately, most comments were positive, but it’s still alarming that there are so many people who harbor such ill will toward women, minorities, the LGBTQ community, immigrants and refugees!

Another assault has been unleashed against an at-risk population with the Trump administration’s new policies regarding refugees and immigrants, which are pretty draconian. It is an attack on what American can and should stand for in a world of conflict and persecution.

Immigrants and refugees from everywhere, and their descendants, built this country.  If not for them, we wouldn’t even be here! Many arrived at Ellis Island (pictured at right). They all came here and found a home, many having to fight for survival and respect along the way. It wasn’t easy, but they did it because they had a chance!

One has to wonder if Donald Trump, a New York City resident, ever bothered to visit the Statue of Liberty and read the words at her base.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Now, I will grant you that we have not always lived up to that promise, especially when the Jewish people were looking to escape Nazi Germany before the Holocaust. And now, Trump marks the observance of the Holocaust by closing America’s borders not just to the many immigrants and refugees, but to hope!

First, he wants to build a wall to keep out the Mexicans. Then he bans Muslims from a number of countries, while saying he will give a preference to Christians! That’s an insult to all Americans who believe in liberty and justice. And it sure as “hell” is not Christian in its approach.

If we allow this to go unchallenged, then the terrorists and the fascists win. And we lose! Is it not enough that we confined Native Americans to reservations, brought Africans over as slaves, confined Japanese Americans in internment camps,  and refused entry to many Jews condemning them to the Holocaust? Enough!!!

Those of us who believe in the promise of America, human rights and the Christian principles of “love thy neighbor” and “do unto to others as you would have them do unto you” have a duty to do whatever we can to right this wrong.

I am reminded of a quote by Martin Niemöller (1892–1984). He was a protestant pastor who opposed Hitler and ended up spending 7 years in a concentration camp.

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

You can read more about Martin Niemöller here.

So take action NOW by contacting the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), your elected representatives, and your church, synagogue or mosque. Also, please share this blog with others!

Be the voice of hope and the welcoming arms of freedom!

Let the R.A.I.N. wash away the hate so love can grow!

The Divine Miss Bri

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A Free Press — The Light of Truth

Well, after all the big ado about crowd size, alternative facts and Trump coming up short in the size department (just couldn’t resist because in this case size really does matter), the administration is for all intents and purposes waging a war against the freedom of the press. The latest salvo was fired by Stephen K. Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist and former head of Brietbart (ahem) News (that’s a real stretch), where facts are fiction or alternative facts.

Here’s a link to the story where he says the “News media should keep its mouth shut!”

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump’s-chief-strategist-says-news-media-should-‘keep-its-mouth-shut’/ar-AAmhL9O?li=BBnbcA1

As typical with conservatives, he called the news media the opposition party, elitist and the usual insults. The issue always seems to be that the far right version of the truth never quite jives with the real truth, which can be rather inconvenient, especially considering this disparity has been practically a constant with both Trump’s campaign and his administration. Of course, they rely on less than reliable sources for their “alternative” facts!

http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/26/media/infowars-alex-jones-donald-trump/index.html

As a former radio news director, anchor and reporter, I know how those in the spotlight like to spin the facts to their advantage. However, in my experience interviewing local politicians, state representatives, a governor and a former president, I have never seen anything to beat the obfuscation, misdirection, temper tantrums and general disrespect for the news media (and by proxy the public) shown by Trump and his ‘team”.

So maybe we should remind the current administration and its mouthpieces that the same constitution which the far right is always harping about includes a troublesome thing called the First Amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There are a bunch of inconvenient rights in there that Trump and the conservatives find terribly annoying. But more importantly the rights are a cornerstone of maintaining our liberties in a free society.

“Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”  Thomas Jefferson

“Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, it is democracy.”      Walter Cronkite

And this brings us back to the central point:

Without a free and independent media to investigate, fact check and verify what our government is saying and doing, we will be living in a dictatorship!

So whether you love them or hate them, be thankful that we have a free press! But again, make sure you carefully select and verify the media you choose to use to get your news. And yes there are both liberal and conservative outlets, although I find the major news networks (CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC) try to be as independent as possible.

In the end, it’s all about shining a light on the truth! And so Mr. Trump and associates, here’s a little something from Plato to think about.

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”  Plato

Stay observant and call out those who would hide the truth!

MAKE A DIFFERENCE TODAY!

Let the R.A.I.N. wash away the fog and expose the truth!

The Divine Miss Bri

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Marching Forward After The March

Yes, that’s 1:19 AM! Late night (or early morning depending on how you look at it) and I really should be sleeping, but vigilance is the price of freedom … or the price of keeping the momentum going.  That’s the subject of this post — building on what was started Saturday!

First, however, here’s a link to a response to those who expressed the belief that women already enjoy full rights/equality. It’s currently making the rounds on Facebook, but I thought also worth sharing here.

https://medium.com/@dinachka82/about-your-poem-1f26a7585a6f#.4zasr7x5o

 

Now, back on my original topic. After the excitement surrounding the Women’s Marches, comes the time to roll up our sleeves and follow up with the never-ending and sometimes tedious work of making our views known and fighting for the things we believe. In other words, get more involved and stay involved, because persistence is a key to bringing about change.

It’s obvious that Trump and his team are trying to overwhelm us with misinformation, lies, highly unqualified and / or untrustworthy cabinet nominees and more in hopes that we will burn ourselves out and finally give up in frustration. Don’t let it happen!

Here are some suggestions on how to stay focused and be as effective as possible in pushing  for the things we believe in.

• Stay informed on the issues and on pending legislation. A FB friend recommended an excellent iPad / iPhone app which I downloaded this evening. It’s called Countable. I strongly recommend checking it out!

• Use all means at your disposal to share important factual developments because truth and knowledge are our biggest allies. *Note that I did say “factual”! There is so much false news, satire and propaganda out there that it can literally bury the truth if we are not careful. Verify before you share anything as “facts” and stay away from “alternative facts” aka falsehoods.

• Also, please avoid attacks on non-political family members of the opposition. It’s crass, uncalled for and more like what the far right would do. We’re better than that!

• Stay in contact with your elected leaders and make your positions known. Show them that we are an involved, dedicated and persistent group of voters!

• Set a strong example for your daughters and your sons that they can and should actively stand up for what they believe in.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE EVERY DAY!

As always, please feel free to share this blog post. Also, I would love to hear your comments and suggestions. (Keep them respectful please, because Karma and I are both bitches!)

May the R.A.I.N. wash away lies and let the truth show through!

The Divine Miss Bri

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Inspired to Fight Back

Hi! Welcome to the newest incarnation of my blog. As it has been since I first started it, this blog is a work in progress. While it has been trending toward the political in support of transgender rights, I have been inspired to take the next step and make it an ongoing effort to actually fight for the rights of all who are being threatened by the new government. This applies to everyone who is not able to enjoy the equal rights to which ALL citizens should be entitled.

Today’s Women’s Marches were the catalyst that got me mobilized to really become an activist, so I joined the A.C.L.U. and the H.R.C. in addition to re-thinking my blog and my priorities. As an out and proud transwoman, I have tried to simply be an example that transgender people really are everyday people — we work (if people will hire us), we shop, we laugh, we cry, we pay bills and we pay taxes. Of course, I’ve been fortunate to live in a state that provides the LGBT community more rights than many places. Plus, my friends, mostly theater people, have been very accepting.

However, the election campaigns brought out a very ugly side of America in the anti-women, anti-black, anti-muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric being espoused by candidates and their supporters, especially the Trump camp. Post-election, Trump’s nominees and appointees embody the hard core philosophy of extreme conservatism that marginalizes women, racial/ethnic/religious minorities and members of the LGBTQ community. The key point that emerges is that if we do not band together and fight together for the rights of all, then we will all lose.

While the national demonstrations are hugely important as a statement and as a motivator, the next step is to get involved, as Michael Moore said in addressing the women in D.C., by supporting organizations like the ACLU, HRC, Planned Parenthood and many others. He also cited the phrase most associated with former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill that “all politics is local” in urging all of us to get involved in local politics.

One essential thing that must be stressed is that we do not seek special treatment but rather equality of rights. We simply want to be treated equally and not marginalized because of our gender, skin color, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or anything else.

I have renamed this blog “Raging Against Inequality Now” AKA R.A.I.N., because I hope to rain all over the new government’s efforts to treat us like second class citizens or worse. Over the coming weeks, months and years, I hope to address specific threats / challenges and some options to help deal with them. I invite your comments and suggestions going forward, but please keep them clean and respectful because Karma and I are both bitches! Also, if you like what you read here, please share it with others. The more the merrier and the bigger the impact!

LET THE R.A.I.N. COME DOWN!!!

The Divine Miss Bri

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