Things have gotten a little heavy up in this here blog of late. Sometimes you just need a good song to get us all dancing together. Hope you enjoy this Miranda Lambert tune as much as I do.
So lets shake hands and reach across those party lines
You got your friends just like I got mine
We might think a little differently
But we got a lot in common you will see
We’re just like you, only prettier
Thank you Mayor John Birkner Jr. and the Westwood Borough Council for raising the gay pride flag on the borough hall. Reading about the flag raising at njersy.co/westwoodrainbow made me quite emotional. As a kid, I would have never imagined my mostly conservative hometown being so welcoming and inclusive to celebrate gay pride month. Of course back then I had no idea what gay pride was and the rainbow flag—what’s that?
When I came out in the early 90s I didn’t believe that being gay was something to be proud about. Nor was it something to be ashamed of. I still believe this. Being proud of inherent traits like having blue eyes or being left-handed or being gay seems a little silly. For me, pride comes from how you live your life. It’s about having the strength to be honest with yourself and your loved ones, to accept yourself, and to live out and openly with integrity and respect for your fellow human, especially when they didn’t quite understand you, and at a time when the world was a much more hostile place than it is today.
I applaud my hometown for the message it sends and for making the world more welcoming than it was yesterday.
Now, of course today has some important differences. The advance of technology, the impact of the internet, our fragmented media landscape, make it easier than ever to splinter ourselves into echo chambers. We can shut out contrary voices, avoid ever questioning our basic assumptions. Extreme views are given powerful microphones. Leaders willing to exploit fear and skepticism have tools at their disposal that were unimaginable when I graduated. Continue reading “Popular Vote Winner’s Commencement Speech”
The historic record is clear, the Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and P.G.T. Beauregard statues were not erected just to honor these men, but as part of the movement which became known as The Cult of the Lost Cause. This ‘cult’ had one goal – through monuments and through other means – to rewrite history to hide the truth, which is that the Confederacy was on the wrong side of humanity. First erected over 166 years after the founding of our city and 19 years after the end of the Civil War, the monuments that we took down were meant to rebrand the history of our city and the ideals of a defeated Confederacy. It is self-evident that these men did not fight for the United States of America, They fought against it. They may have been warriors, but in this cause they were not patriots. These statues are not just stone and metal. They are not just innocent remembrances of a benign history. These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy; ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement, and the terror that it actually stood for.
After the Civil War, these statues were a part of that terrorism as much as a burning cross on someone’s lawn; they were erected purposefully to send a strong message to all who walked in their shadows about who was still in charge in this city.
This morning Brandi Carlile’s “Beginning to Feel the Years” came to the top of my iTunes shuffled “All Songs” playlist. I instantly knew I wanted to post the song with a few loving words about my husband Danny. So I searched for a video. In the process, I went on a little YouTube sidebar binge, watching other Brandi Carlile videos, including her Late Show with David Letterman performance of “Keep on the Sunny Side” with The Avett Brothers
Is this the kind of disruption people voted for? Sure, some did. (During the campaign, Hillary referred to those folks as a basket of deplorables, and that was being kind.) Others voted for Trump because they were in pain or they felt like they had no voice or they just wanted to shake up the system. While I didn’t vote for Trump, I, too, thought Washington needed a big time jolt. But not like this. If you are still defending this president and his autocratic goons, then you are delusional. You are the problem. Please, take your head out of Sean Hannity’s propaganda-filled ass and get some real facts and fresh air.