Wisdom Through the Awful Grace of God

“My favorite poem, my—my favorite poet was by Aeschylus. And he once wrote:

Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart,
until, in our own despair,
against our will,
comes wisdom
through the awful grace of God.”

On April 4, 1968, Robert Kennedy spoke to a small crowd in Indianapolis at what was supposed to be a campaign stop during his presidential campaign. Instead, he had to break the news to this crowd – of mostly black individuals – that Martin Luther King, Jr. had images (1)been shot and killed. Cries rang out when they heard this news, but still, they listened to Bobby as he spoke of what our country could truly become if we fought through the fog of division and hatred seething through our country at the time.

Those words ring louder today more than almost any other time in our country’s history. We face an immense uphill climb today. Our country has continued down this path of division and hatred, and it has culminated in the devolution of man from our once compassionate and strong will towards social progress to a completely divided country and selfish way of life.

We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times; we’ve had difficult times in the past; we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; it is not the end of disorder.

But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings who abide in our land.

Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.

We cannot continue down this path.

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I Believe That, as Long as There is Plenty, Poverty is Evil.

Take a look at that shiny new smartphone you have, or maybe the big screen TV you rfk_poorchild1have at home. Pretty sweet, right? You’ve got these great commodities which you worked so hard for and now that you have them in your life you should feel happier, right? You now have what you worked for. It’s in your life now, and you can take pride in it.

As our sesquipedalian Cheeto-faced orange of a president states so eloquently: Wrong.

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Every Society Gets the Kind of Criminal It Deserves.

And none of us are innocent. So long as we stand on the sidelines and remain bystandersrobert_kennedy_glasses_2 to the hate, ignorance, dishonesty, and apathy we will remain guilty. Our society is the way it is today because of the inability for us to stand for what is right. It’s a hard truth, but sometimes those truths are the most necessary to wake us up to what is going on around us. Sometimes we need that fall from our comfortable bed to the hardwood floor to wake us up from the figments of our imagination we’ve envisioned around us.

The hardest part, though, is the waking up.

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Welcome Back

Well, it’s nice to be back here amongst friends, those who wish to make this world a better place filled with love, hope, and empathy. I thought I could stay away from this blog for a little bit as I continued writing a book, but I just can’t stay quiet anymore. Every single day we move farther and farther into the darkness as hope recedes like low tide, and I can’t continue to watch us sink as a human race into factions that will eventually tear us apart.

So, please, do not just adjust the dials on your television sets. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride, and join me in our quest to bring back the love and understanding our country once held close to its centralized heart.

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This Is Not Normal

Many frightening events are happening right in our country. They range from the consistent attempts and now possible appeal of the Affordable Care Act, the reconstruction of the Keystone XL Pipeline and Dakota Pipeline, to the horrific Executive Orders signed by Trump over the past few days. The most horrendous of these orders is the barring of Muslims from certain countries from entering the United States regardless of whether they be refugees, green card holders, or visiting. These are all terrifying to what our country stands for, but I read something the other day which terrified me even more than what we’ve been through these past few weeks:

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Why We March

The Women’s March on Saturday was exhilarating, but many people seemed to have missed its point when it came to why the United States just held its largest protest in its 229 years of existence.

The march was for the 10-year little girl who may not have the ability to make choices for her own body because a president wants to, as he quotes, find a way to punish women for getting an abortion.

The march was against a Congress that wants to go back to a time when men and women could be charged different prices for insurance based solely on their gender. Who ever knew being a female was a preexisting condition?

The march is for those who stand against the continuation of a country where men make decisions on behalf of women, both when it comes to their bodies, how much they get paid, and where they belong in society.

Will this march solve the problems our country faces? No. Will it provide a wake-up call to those who think believers in the equal rights of women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community will be silenced by a bully? Yes.

This march was only the beginning. It was a march to show those in power that we do not go along with the notion that rights be taken away, voting made more difficult, and that the most private of decisions with your body be in the hands of someone else. We are a nation of love, respect, and compassion. This new president does not represent who we are as a people and the ideals we hold closest to our heart, and that love we feel towards our fellow neighbors will overpower any form of hatred or discrimination this president or Congress decides to try and enact.

This march was to instill in those representatives and Congress members in states and districts up for reelection in 2018 and 2020 we will not go quietly without a fight and we make sure you never ever hold an elected office again for the rest of your lives.

And while millions may not be marching physically in the streets today, the pulse of those millions beats as one, and together we will break down your pitiful walls of sexism and racism. We will become more than just that ripple of hope Robert Kennedy asked all of us to become when it comes to fighting against intolerance, and we will wash away the injustices you’ve allowed to transpire and grow since the dawning of our nation. You may not hide behind your white hoods anymore. We see you for what you really are in your expensive suits and American flag lapel pins made in China: wolves in sheep’s clothing. And we’re not going to take it anymore.

I stand with all the sisters, mothers, aunts, daughters, grandmothers, trans women who know they deserve the same rights as everyone else.

I and millions of other Americans stand on the right side of history.

– RA

 

When Is It Okay To Punch A Nazi?

White supremacist Richard Spencer was recently punched while being interviewed by an Australian news organization. Now, while I never condone violence against any individual let’s look at the facts of what Richard Spencer stands for and whether the actions are justified:

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Today Will Be Difficult

Believe me, you will have feelings of anger, sadness, and despair. You may think the mountain we are about to climb towards racial, social, economic, and environmental justice is too high and may want to turn back. I know the anxiety facing my own heart when I think of the difficulties we face due to the next four years, but I’m asking you from the pit of my heart: do not give up.

This is a bump in the road. A rather large one, yes, but nothing more or less. I still go into fits of rage when I think of how our country could take one step forward and two large steps backwards with this election, but I know if we all hold true to our beliefs and what we know this country truly stands for one where we treat each other equally, with compassion and love, we will eventually gain those faltered steps back and march forward towards the progress we know our country is destined for.

There is no easy path to this success. It requires us, for lack of a better word, to get off our asses and get to work. Maintaining an eye on legislation being voted on in your local community, state legislature, and in Washington is essential. Stay educated, contact your elected officials, not by letter or email, but by phone, because believe it or not they fear those phone calls more than anything. I’ve learned this from person experience. We have more power in this government than we give ourselves. 

99 of you have decided to take a stand a ignore the inauguration with dozens of elected officials who feel that same fire within to keep fighting. That’s just the beginning.

Download the app Countable to learn about bills going through Congress. This app will keep you informed about what is the chaos of Congress, and don’t be afraid to call your congressperson or senator to let them know how you feel about it.

Stay organized. Join a group nearby you working within the Indivisible Organization, a grassroots organization with groups formed by people like you who want to enact change.

Absolutely want to resist Trump and don’t know where to start? Read this beautifully created manual by activists like Deray and myself to know what to do.

You are not alone in this dark time. And while they may be dark now, I know we can rid the skies of the clouds blocking out the garish sun and once again make this country one where we can all feel safe and understood. We are a compassionate and empathetic society underneath all the garbage currently floating around in this country. I think it’s about time we all picked up a broom and got to work to clean it up. What do you say?

– RA

Ignorance and Conscientious Stupidity

I’ve been receiving flack from some individuals around the Internet based off a Facebook event I created to tune out the Trump inauguration, which can be found here. In following the legendary Civil Rights leader, John Lewis, I created an event where individuals can state that they will not tune in to watch the inauguration. People have two options to respond to these types of events: either accept the event or ignore it. 

What I’ve come to find is that some of those arguing against me creating this event are thinking too literally in asking how this event could possibly bring about any change, frustrated that nothing will happen immediately because of it. I now understand where their frustrations lie: we live in a society where instantaneous response to something is the norm. If something takes time then it is a waste of time. And I’ve got news for some of you: we’ve got a long road ahead so you better buckle your seat belts and get ready for a bumpy ride. 

For making this simple event I’ve been called:

  1. A retard
  2. A “libtard”
  3. “Butt-hurt”
  4. Foolish
  5. A coaxer

And the list goes on. 

For those of you who expect those who are unhappy not just with the election but the road our country is headed down, I say this: we face a moral crisis unlike anything we’ve seen in generations. 

You have two choices: stand on the right side of history and show the world that we are a compassionate, caring, and loving people; or allow those at the top to walk over those who need help the most and ignore their cries -including yours – as the rich get richer, the poorer get poorer, and the ignorant become more vocal as this blatant attack on facts becomes the norm. 

I for one know where I stand, and I know the destruction these two dangerous ideologies can bring about, but don’t listen to me. Listen to the man whose life we celebrate today:

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Now where will you stand?

– RA

Why Am I Angry?

People ask me why I’m so angry and all I can to do is wave my arms around me in regards to what’s going on in this country, the world, and to humanity and STILL some people don’t understand where it’s all coming from. The solutions to the problems I’m angry about are difficult to find but the problems are very much evident and blantantly going on right in front of our faces. 

We face a narcissistic, literally idiotic man coming into the highest office of government in the United States who consistently gets upset when people say mean things about him and who devolves into a child when things aren’t going his way. His idiotic tweeting has done more damage to everything the office of the presidency represents in the two months it’s been since he was “elected” than in the entire eight years that even George W. Bush did to the office. You can’t trust a single thing out of his mouth, even when the facts proving him wrong are right there in plain sight. 

We face a Congress which is in the process of destroying our social safety net. The Affordable Care Act? Gutted. Social security, Medicare, and Medicaid? Those are on the chopping block within the next six months. Do you hear any outcry? No, because the news cycles are focuses on the completely asinine things Trump is either saying or doing. 

Speaking of Trump, his cabinet is full of some of the most racist, inexperienced, homophobic, and misogynistic selfish individuals I’ve ever seen in my life. You want a basket of deplorables? Just look at Trump’s cabinet. It’s a disgrace to our country and it’s a disgrace to what our country stands for. 

Selfishness is beginning to reign supreme around the world. Whether it be Brexit, Russia’a human rights violations, Trump’s “election”, along with the myriad of countries clinging to their guns and autocratic leaders rather than helping those around them. 

How can we live in a world where people care less for their neighbor than they do for themselves? The answer is simple: the well off are becoming more well off while those at the bottom are getting worse or that group is expanding. We need a change to the way this world is beginning to accept basically an international oligarchy. 

Stand up, stand your ground, and fight back. 

Reach out to your Senators and Represenative. Find out what their contact information is at http://www.whoismyrepresentative.com/

I’m sick of sitting back, seeing everyone yelling on social media, and implementing ways to bring about change. Get involved! Join rallies, call your representatives, and whatever you do, don’t give up. 

Join https://www.indivisibleguide.com/, the founding organization to take on Donald Trump and all the wrong doing going on right now in this country. It will be a tough two and four years, but don’t let that toughness beat you down. Get out there, knock on doors, join groups with likeminded beliefs, and build the mightiest wall you possibly can to block these despicable policies.  

And make Donald Trump and his cronies pay for it. 

– RA