Forthcoming

"Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another." author Toni Morrison (1931- 05.08.2019)

“If I tell the story, I control the version. Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me”; Nora Ephron, author/comedian

"Make your story count". Michelle Obama

"Social pain is understood through the lens of racial animus". Researcher/author Sean McElwee writing in Salon, 2016

"We are citizens, not subjects. We have the right to criticize government without fear."  Chelsea Manning; activist/whisleblower

“My father was a slave and my people died to build this country, and I’m going to stay right here and have a part of it, just like you, And no fascist minded people, like you, will drive me from it. Is that clear?” Paul Robeson; activist/singer

“We have a system of justice in this country that treats you much better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent”. from civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson

“This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?” Frederick Douglass, WHAT TO THE SLAVE IS 4TH JULY? 07.05.1852 (full text in blog)

Senator Elizabeth Warren "We're a country that is built on our differences; that is our strength, not our weakness"

 

"We are more alike than we are different"v  Maya Angelou

As a Black writer, I was expected to accept the role of victim. That made it difficult in the beginning to be a writer.      James Baldwin

I often feel that there must have been something that I should’ve done that I didn’t do. But I can’t identify what it is that I didn’t do. That’s the first difficulty. And the second is, what makes you think you’re it?   

         Harry Belafonte, activist and singer at 89

 

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble; It's what you know for sure that just ainst so.

Mark Twain

 

You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.

Mary Tyler Moore

 

 You can’t defend Christianity by being against refugees and other religions

Pope Francis:

 

"I don't have to be what you want me to be". Muhammad Ali

"The Secret of Living Well and Longer: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure"  attributed to Tibetan sources

Recent audio posts include interviews with Rumi interpreter Shahram Shiva, London-based author Aamer Hussein, South African Muslim scholar, professor Farid Esack, and Iraqi journalist Nermeen Al-Mufti's brief account of Kirkuk City history. Your comments on our blogs are always welcome.

 

Been There Done That -- Post-election Thoughts (following on Oct. 21 and Nov. 3 blogs)

2014-11-05

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

Did our candidate win? No.

Was it a waste of my time? No.

Would I volunteer again in two years? Yes, although not for a party that puts Hillary Clinton as their candidate.  (What will be my alternative?)

Next time, I my join efforts with one of the small parties—Green or Working Families. They might endorse the same candidate, but my mark in their box will hopefully demonstrate to those arrogant parties that they don’t deserve this vote. (Other citizens have already withdrawn their loyalty.)

As for my candidate in District 19: Sean won 28% of his votes from Democratic supporters and 5% from Working Families voters, finishing with 33.9% overall. This against his opponent, Congressman Gibson, who accumulated ballots from Republican, Conservative and Independent voters to win with 63%.   

We should be pleased by 33.9% for our savvy first time candidate in a traditionally Republican-held area. But the 30% difference between Sean and our opponent was not what campaign organizers claimed:-- “10% and closing the gap fast”.

From a radio report on Sean’s campaign after the election, we learn he’d spent $1.84 million. He sounded upbeat; he assured supporters that he’d continue to promote issues he campaigned on.

Did that million plus go for free coffee and donuts for volunteers? Regardless, the million-plus bundle is what allowed Sean to actually enter the race. Sean is married to a very rich person, so he likely didn’t need Democratic Party funds for his campaign. More significantly, he doubtless knew there’d be nothing forthcoming from the party. It had decided to ignore the district, as it had in our state level elections.

It’s all rather off-putting, I admit.

Two phone calls I received on the eve of election day further explain why this young man entered a race he was unlikely to win. (Both were robo-calls, prerecorded messages computerized into a list of voter numbers.) One was from Hillary Clinton, the other from Bill, urging me to vote for the candidate I’d given my free time for.

What does this say? Well, it’s 2016 in Clinton-World and our wealthy, energetic Sean, with abundant resources ($$$$) and an emerging party machine in our district, will be campaigning for the woman expected to be the Democratic candidate for president.  

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