Treason?

To suggest that members of the most powerful branch of our “equal” branches of government should sit idly by while their wishes are ignored and American laws, customs and traditions are trampled … THAT is treasonous.

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States

Inhale Patriotism, Exhale Pandering…
Inhale Power, Exhale Impotence…
Inhale Strength, Exhale Servility…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Irony Deficient: Part 2

The enslaved in colonial America did not miss the irony of their oppressors’ protests against oppression by the British…all while keeping them in bondage.

“Until we are all free, we are none of us free.” ~ Emma Lazarus

Inhale Freedom, Exhale Oppression…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Bondage…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Slavery…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Irony Deficient: Part 1

It is endlessly ironic to me that the descendants of those who often escaped religious persecution in their countries of origin are so intolerant of other religions in this country.

“So when a nation of immigrants starts putting up travel bans, you have officially lost the plot [of the Bible].” ~ Rob Bell

Inhale Freedom, Exhale Persecution…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Intolerance…
Inhale Freedom, Exhale Hypocrisy…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Be the Light

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Be the light, see yourself in others and show them love.

Inhale Light, Exhale Darkness…
Inhale Sight, Exhale Fear…
Inhale Love, Exhale Hate…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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American Exceptionalism

This summer, I participated in a curated discussion exploring the black experience through television. After watching ‘black-ish” the exceptional creation of Kenya Barris, one of the white male participants voiced his objection to the Johnson’s acting white. When pressed, he couldn’t quite explain how they were acting white, except they live in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, drive expensive cars and wear fabulous shoes.

I saw his reaction as a demonstration of the way Americans equate wealth with whiteness. So ingrained in the American psyche is this idea of white wealth and, conversely, black poverty, that whole black communities have been destroyed by whites, indignant that blacks would possess material wealth reserved ONLY, they believed, for whites.

Today, that same sentiment is expressed in the extra security for people of color shopping in swanky stores, the harassment, even arrest of non-whites trying to deposit big checks and of course, the consistent assumption that people of color couldn’t possibly afford first class.

And since we know that any escalation will probably end badly for us…’cause racism… we resort to recording the woman who thinks she should board the plane ahead of us.

Inhale Deeply, Exhale Anger…
Inhale Slowly, Exhale Hostility…
Inhale Fully, Exhale Escalation…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections with Renita

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American Rights

I spent the entirety of my last visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the art gallery on the 4th level. The relentless nature of racism so palpable throughout the museum is present in this space as the catalyst for uniquely American art.

The piece that haunted me, “Increase Risk with Emotional Faith” by Kevin Cole, looks innocuous enough: wide, colorful ties intertwined in a haphazard even whimsical fashion. But the chilling inspiration for the piece was the artist’s grandfather’s story of a lynching tree in Tarry, Arkansas and the memories of black men, lynched for trying to vote, their ties wrapped around the noose as a warning to other black men.

Especially in the states of the confederacy, people of color fought and died for the right to vote in this country. I pray it’s a right we take advantage of before it is lost to all Americans.

“You have to tend to this garden of democracy, otherwise things can fall apart fairly quickly. And we’ve seen societies where that happens…so pay attention and vote.” ~ President Barack Obama

Inhale Commitment, Exhale Complacency…
Inhale Vigilance, Exhale Complacency…
Inhale Action, Exhale Complacency…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections with Renita

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Messy Democracy

Democracy is messy, never more so than when it’s in disarray. Democracy is fragile, especially when it’s under attack. Democracy is inefficient, particularly when its participants are so polarized.

Yet the democratic ideas espoused by our founders, as yet unrealized for all in this country, remain a shining beacon of possibility for people all over the world…and right here in America.

“Despair is not an option!” ~ Senator Bernie Sanders

Inhale Disorder, Exhale Dictatorship…
Inhale Fragility, Exhale Fascism…
Inhale Democracy, Exhale Destruction…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections with Renita

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We Woke Up Like This…Flawed

I write a lot about the grand experiment that is America. It was and is a great idea that was flawed from inception. We keep working on it, we keep trying to reach perfection, we get closer and sometimes, some of us believe we have arrived.

Then we have a 2016 election.

And those who thought we were close to realizing the ideals written in our foundational documents realized we were not. And those who knew we still had a ways to go recognized the relentlessness of the racism, sexism and violence rooted at our foundation.

Yet we persist in resisting complacency and accepting the unacceptable. And in 2017 elections, Americans who believe in what America stands for are fully engaged.

“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” ~ Edward Abbey

Inhale Challenge, Exhale Complacence…
Inhale Resistance, Exhale Silence…
Inhale Courage, Exhale Cowardice…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Melting Pot…?

I watched some of the PBS series on Italian Americans last weekend, and I was struck most by the fear this new group of immigrants generated in the European Americans who were already established in this country. Like the Irish who had come earlier in the century, Italian Americans faced negative stereotyping, discrimination and violence.

I was reminded that the struggle to live up to the ideals of our founding has existed since America came to exist. I was also reminded that the achievement of ‘whiteness” available to these groups seems to have robbed them of their collective memories of prejudice and distrust experienced by their ancestors.

If they remembered, would that change their attitudes?

“Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won; you earn it and win it in every generation.” ~ Coretta Scott King

Inhale Acceptance, Exhale Abhorrence …
Inhale Immigration, Exhale Marginalization…
Inhale Humanity, Exhale Antipathy…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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American Complicity

I suspect the one third of Americans who still approve of #45 is the same one third who frequently invite the one third they’ve identified as the “others” to just leave America. Or if they stay, to be denied full access to citizenship, preferably while serving time or detained in an ICE center….and servicing the government for free. OR be exterminated.

And if the remaining one third is disengaged, that could happen.

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” ~ Haile Selassie

Inhale Engagement, Exhale Indifference…
Inhale Speaking, Exhale Silence…
Inhale Action, Exhale Complicity…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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