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How it Feels to be a Democrat on Inauguration Eve 2021, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

I was sitting here contemplating tomorrow and the events of the past 2 weeks. 2 weeks ago tomorrow, President Trump incited a coup attempt and set his Patriots on a path to overturn democracy; an assault on our Capitol. He fanned the flames of insurgence and pointed them in the direction of our nation’s house with instructions to take the country back. Last week, he was impeached (for a second time) for his part in inciting violence and assault upon the very country and people he was entrusted to serve and protect. Tomorrow, we begin anew with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

One day more until we again have hope; another day, another destiny.

I’m afraid. I am exhausted from the past four years of enduring the unthinkable. I’ve felt that I’ve been living in an alternate reality; stuck in a nightmare that I cannot awake from. I’ve only recently realized that I’ve spent the past four years living in constant fear and under duress; terrified of the people wielding power and hate. Holding my breath, gritting my teeth and biting my tongue. Unable to fully breathe. I have been suffocating. Striking out and speaking out with the constant knowledge that it could put me in imminent danger. The worry is real. But the pursuit of good is greater.

One day more, we endure.

As a nation, we the people, have learned to band together to speak up and strike out against hatred. In the midst of all of this chaos, we have become unified in our pursuit of justice. It’s changed our perspective and given us a renewed faith and appreciation for the democracy our great country was born upon.  Here we are, less than 24 hours from the dawn of a new era. Tomorrow, we are given redemption in the form of hope, decency and democracy.

One day more.

 

Tomorrow, we will wake up and have a decent, good man as the president of our United States. We will have THE FIRST FEMALE VICE PRESIDENT. I get to celebrate this history-making inauguration alongside my two daughters, who get to see a woman of color, merit and humanity take the second-highest office in this nation. Let that sit with you a moment. Tomorrow, a man who perpetuated hatred and insurgence and led his own supporters down a trail of lies and conspiracies just to hold onto the power of the presidency, will finally leave the sacred grounds of the White House.

One day more.

Tonight, I can’t sleep. I am afraid as I inhale deeply and hold my breath one last time before human decency and democracy return to their rightful place in our nation’s capital. One long last night filled with hope and fear of what is to come and where we go from here as we the people, assemble in reformation to become the great nation we once were before the long four years of divisive tension that culminated in an insurrection. We can never unknow the hatred and vitriol that has been so freely spewed in the last term. Our neighbors, friends and family have revealed themselves as the monsters they are and we cannot forgive nor forget that they chose their hatred and money over the well-being and equality of the rest of us. It has been unbearable, this anxiety-ridden, claustrophobic hostage situation we’ve spent the last four years surviving.

Just one day more.

How it Feels to be a Democrat on Inauguration Eve 2021, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris

Tomorrow is unseen and I don’t know how this is all going to playout. I’m hopeful that tomorrow goes as expected but I’m trepidatious because this is not the same United States that it was four years ago. None of us are the same as we were before the Trump administration. We don’t see one another with those rose-colored glasses of civility anymore and neither does the rest of the world. We have been revealed to be instead of the photoshopped version of ourselves hiding behind press releases and fancy clothes and makeup to a stripped-down naked and hungry version of ourselves for all the world to see. We fought amongst ourselves as our allies and enemies watched on. Our president’s bravado and narcissism has left us exposed and vulnerable to the world; attacks foreign and domestic.  I pray tomorrow, we finally can make America great again… I hope we can rebuild bridges where he has built walls.

One day more.

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Anarchy in the USA an American Coup Anarchists Storm Capitol Building, Trump supporters stand on the U.S. Capitol Police armored vehicle as others take over the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday,

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

This is breaking news*** President Trump encourages armed Insurrection in Washington DC. A woman is in critical condition after being shot in the chest on capital grounds. Once again President Trump has poured gasoline on America and threw the match to set our country on fire. Pro-Trump mob storms the capitol building.  Anarchy in the USA, an American coup as anarchists storm Capitol building. Make no mistake, our democracy is under assault.

 

This is treason.

He has incited a coup. This is an insurrection and rebellion. This could be the beginning of a civil war. This is not okay. Make no mistake, this pro-Trump mob of rioters are anarchists and this is the death of democracy. I’m not shocked because I’ve expected this since he was elected in 2016. He’s been calling on his supporters to do this. He’s been inciting violence by calling them to action. Today, Trump supporters stormed the capital building and stopped capital action as the Vice President presided over the presidential ratification process today. Our capital building is on lockdown due to threats from Trump-supporting Americans. I am embarrassed and disgusted to be an American today. This is the fall of America. President Trump needs to call off his dogs. What the fuck is wrong with America?

This is absolutely anarchy in the USA. This is an American coup.

Anarchy in the USA an American Coup Anarchists Storm Capitol Building

Bonfire of the Insanities

Earlier today, Vice President Mike Pence said he could not and would not overturn the election which enraged Trump supporters and brought Trump’s wrath down upon him. The vice president had to be evacuated for safety. There is an armed standoff at the house front door. There was an armed standoff at the door of the house floor. Protestors breached the senate floor. Tear gas was used in the rotunda and house members were given gas masks and sheltering in place. What the fuck is going on? The insanity and inflammatory conspiracy theories that Donald Trump has been spouting for the past years and months has finally broken the United States of America.

READ ALSO: Donald Trump will destroy America

This disgusting display of treason is undermining our democracy. This deplorable behavior is on display for all the world to see, all those law-abiding citizens of us can do is sit at home knowing we are being seen and judged by other countries. These people storming the capital building are making us vulnerable. Trump’s lies and the false hope he gave his supporters that the election could be overturned has incited a coup. This is something we would see in worn-torn countries, not the United States.

Anarchy in the USA an American Coup Anarchists Storm Capitol Building

Insurrection in America

There was a Saturday, way back in November, where a lot of us exhaled a collective sigh of relief. Not going to lie, I wanted Kamala Harris and Joe Biden to win the election for so many reasons but I don’t think the least of all reasons was the return to decency, I never realized how scared and sad I’ve been living the past 4 years, not until I found myself sobbing at the election results. It was happiness, elation, relief and a sense of security. I had hope. Then, the other 4 times, Biden was declared the winner of the election, my hope began to slip away.

READ ALSO: United We Resist

I don’t think I’ve had real hope since the 2016 election. I’ve been existing on some plane, surviving through to 2020. But somewhere between the great disappointment of 2016 and November 6th, 2020, I sank into such a long and arduous depression that it became my constant state of being. I began to distrust people, fear Trump supporters and stopped feeling safe to live my truth. It’s hard to feel safe when your world is governed by a maniac who doesn’t follow any of the rules of politics or basic human decency. On top of all of that, not only does he not understand how politics works (nor does he care) he is a sore loser. The leader of the free world, who the entire rest of the world is watching, is behaving worse than a threenager.

Breaking: Anarchy in the USA an American Coup Anarchists Storm Capitol Building

This is not even a dig at the man. He started out with no knowledge or experience doing a job that he wasn’t equipped to handle and that quickly catapulted to gross mishandling of America progressing to full-on encouraging insurrection and inciting violence. Nothing felt absolute anymore except for the fact that the country would be divided, he wouldn’t tell us the truth and he’d be sure to take every one of us down with the ship. He’s trying to make good on his promise. He’s our captain and we are the U.S.S. Titantic. This is anarchy in the USA and it is a revolting display of unAmericanism.

READ ALSO: White Privilege Protects Criminals while Being Black gets your murdered

I’ve been waiting for today to arrive and the results of the Georgia runoff election to come in. Just this past weekend, while the rest of the country was on holiday, Mr. Trump was in secret instructing Georgia to “find the votes”. Recently, he strong-armed the vice president to, like a common thug, to “make the right decision”. Mr. President, I get that you don’t understand math or how elections work but Mr. Pence does, though not my candidate choice, he is in fact an educated and experienced politician and I think he’s ready for this job to be over. He has spent the better part of the past year placating a 300 pound tantruming, epitome of little dick energy man child. What’s happening today is Anarchy in the USA; an American Coup. When Anarchists storm Capitol building that is treason.

President Trump directly urged fellow Republican Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, to “find” enough votes to overturn his defeat in an unprecedented one-hour phone call Saturday that legal scholars described as a flagrant abuse of power and a potentially criminal act.

READ ALSO: We Need Change in the USA

I’m truly disgusted at the shit show this election has turned out to be. We can’t even celebrate our victory because the president is such an unqualified sore loser that he won’t concede like an adult. In every competition in life, including elections, there is a winner and a loser. The grown-up accepts that to win you risk losing. There is no shame is losing a fight well fought but being a sore loser is the worst and most embarrassing thing you can do.

Anarchy in the USA Not my America.

This is not 1812 and we need to restore order to the people’s house. Donald Trump needs to concede and tell his supporters to stand down and go home. This is a coup attempt and they, along with Donald Trump, are committing treason against the United States and all the American people. This is Trump’s legacy, an America divided.  Shame on Donald Trump. Silently watching, Donald Trump is actively destroying American democracy as the mob he enacted tears down our capitol.  This Trump mob is American terrorists and this is an attack on our democracy. He could have inspired a nation, instead, he incited a siege. We the people, do not accept this. I am heartbroken.

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Vote like your life depends on it, vote, democrats, republicans, coronavirus

I am completely befuddled at what is happening in America right now. How can we live in a country where our own common sense and intelligence is pushed aside to listen to what a politician says? Never mind, science and medicine. People are literally dying while we fight over semantics. Fun fact: Coronavirus is real and it doesn’t care if you’re a Democrat or Republican. This is why you must vote like your life depends on it.

As Americans, as human beings, why can’t we all get on the same page and agree that human life is more important than who’s a democrat and who’s a republican? Political parties are supposed to be chosen based upon the candidate whose political ideologies align closest to our own. Everyone has the right to choose for themselves who that is. But somethings are bigger than that, like human life.

Vote like your life depends on it

When I see someone in need, I help them. I don’t ask for credentials first. If someone is desperately in need of help, I don’t care what race, religion, sexual orientation or political party they belong to because that is extraneous information. None of that is relevant when I’m deciding whether or not to help someone in need. So why can’t we all agree that this pandemic needs to be controlled? More importantly, why can’t we all do our small part to stop the spread?

Coronavirus is real. We know this. It has killed 231,000 Americans to date. That’s not a hoax, that’s facts. Just ask the relatives of those who’ve lost their loved ones.

231,000 mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters of America dead.

All that is being asked of us, as conscientious Americans, is to social distance, wear masks when in public, stay home when sick and use common sense and yet, some still refuse. People have actually become combative to the point of protesting and refusing to comply with mask mandates. I’ve seen people not only refuse to wear masks but purposely cough at other people. Coronavirus is becoming a weapon of the willfully ignorant. People are brutally fighting and even murdering others over a mask.

READ ALSO: Why I Risked My Life to Vote

I get it, the President of the United States (who has access to the world’s best healthcare and an unlimited budget to get round the clock, top of the line treatment) said it wasn’t too bad. He even said, “Don’t be afraid of CoVid. Don’t let it dominate your life.” I’m glad he didn’t die. I’m happy it wasn’t too bad for him but even if I can accept that, you need to accept the fact that I have several friends who are now CoVid long haulers and I’ve lost family members. Either he’s extremely lucky, extremely well cared for or maybe just completely full of shit. His behavior is not only irresponsible but dangerous to all Americans. What exactly is the point of this continuous gaslighting of the American people?

Coronavirus isn’t a Democratic hoax. These people aren’t coming back after the election. They haven’t been sequestered on some remote tropical island virus and I’m pretty confident they haven’t gone into the Democratic party’s super-secret Coronavirus witness protection program. They are dead forever. There’s no reset button for them. Of course, they also didn’t have the same kind of treatment available to them as the president because they are regular people, like you and I.

READ ALSO: The Consequence of believing your vote doesn’t count.

Everything is opening back up, just in time for the election which happens to coincide with cold and flu season. Hospitals are full and overcapacity here in Indiana, yet, our mask mandate is scheduled to ends in a couple of weeks. Our high school is in Mode 2 but, when the quarter ends and the mask mandate ends, the plan is for the students to come back fully in person, Mode 1. The cases are constantly rising as are the number of kids quarantined at the school, but hey, let’s do like our president and let’s go against common sense, science and modern medicine and just do what the fuck we want to do.

I am at the point that I’m feeling like maybe I’m having some sort of mental break because how can this many people be this fucking ignorant? How can they believe a politician with an agenda over their own fucking eyeballs? It would be comical if it weren’t so frightening.

Vote like your life depends on it because it does. Either way, your way of life is about to change.

I’m a Democrat. I used to be a Republican (when I was in college). I’m also a devout Roman Catholic. My educational background is in political science, history, criminology and sociology. I learned about the branches of government, procedure and law. My politics and my religion may not always be on the same page 100% but you have to weigh the consequences of the many over the benefits of the few. That is free will and I believe that my God gave me free will, intelligence and the capacity to love all people.

READ ALSO: What Every Mom Needs to Know about Coronavirus

My lifetime of religious studies has taught me to never judge others and to show compassion, empathy and love to others. I’m supposed to do for others as I would want them to do unto me and I know that no one human is of more value than any other so it is my social responsibility and Christian duty to do my part to put good into the world not spread hate and incite fear-mongering. I believe in truth and honesty.

Let’s say you really, truly, believe that Coronavirus is not a threat and maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones who it doesn’t affect long-term or kill. Fine, you are entitled to your beliefs but why can’t you still wear a mask, just in case, if it makes others feel safe.

If you believe Coronavirus is real but you don’t like wearing a mask, surprise, none of us do but if you could save a life by wearing one, why wouldn’t you? You think it’s your “right” not to wear one, it’s not. Nowhere in the Constitution or the bible does it say you have the right to not wear a mask and intentionally (and maliciously) put others at risk. If we could all adhere to common sense and logic, listen to science and wear the masks, all of this could be controlled and we could go back to a more normal existence.

Right now, I feel like a prisoner in my own house because I have an underlying condition and I can’t count on everyone to do their part to keep me safe even though I do mine. More importantly, I have a president who is gaslighting those of us following the science. I feel like I’m living in an alternate reality.

I’m not here to push a candidate down your throat. All I ask, in any election but especially in this one, is that you please use your own judgment, common sense and intelligence. Your vote is more important than it has ever been.

Vote like your life depends on it because it does and so does your kids’.

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Joe Biden, Early Voting, Absentee ballots, mail in voting, election, vote in person, democracy, trump, election 2020

Originally, I said I was going to mail in my ballot. I’m a diabetic. That makes contracting CoVid a potentially larger threat for me. I’m not willing to be the guinea pig to test the theory. I know people who’ve died because of it. I don’t need to test the theory any further.

Common sense told me to vote by mail. Of course, in my red state, you have to have a listed qualifying reason not to vote in person. Having an underlying condition during a pandemic is not one of the options. Still, I was going to fill it out and send it in.

Then, our president started promoting conspiracy theories about how ballots will be lost and voter fraud will run rampant and while I know it was meant as a dig at democrats, that democrats were going to interfere in the election. I, as a Democrat, didn’t get that memo, more importantly, I know the real culprit is the tiny man afraid to relinquish his power. Did someone order a Cheeto flavored Napoleon? Anyways I found it all quite entertaining coming from someone suspected of partnering with the Russians to interfere in our last election. But, that’s the past and neither here nor there. But, if anyone knows about voter fraud and interference, I guess it would be Trump.

Joe Biden, Early Voting, Absentee ballots, mail in voting, election, vote in person, democracy, trump, election 2020

Anyways, I went against logic and common sense and risked my life to go vote in person because I can’t risk my vote not counting. Our country is in great danger of permanent and irreversible damage right now under this administration of inexperience and absolutely corrupted by power president who is letting his ego drive his every decision.

I have been completely disillusioned and disappointed with the American government and our election process since the 2016 election. This is not sour grapes. This is not liking the man as a person, though lack of morals, ethics and common human decency has left me wanting in a commander in chief. My degree is in Political Science, history, sociology and criminology with a focus on law and I have a better comprehension than most about what this presidency really means long term. My friends, we are living through the destruction of democracy and if this continues, life as we know it will be irrevocably damaged. The country you love will no longer exist.

All this to say, I was uncomfortable going to vote in person. I felt vulnerable and exposed, as cases are spiking everywhere and we are heading into cold/flu season, but this election is so important to the future of our country and our children that there was no way that I wasn’t going to cast my vote.

Since this pandemic has begun, I’ve had to cancel my daughter’s quinceañera..twice. I’ve hugged my mom once. I haven’t hugged my dad since March 14th. I’ve only met my youngest sister’s new baby, once since he was born in April. I missed my middle sister’s intimate wedding celebration yesterday. I’ve seen my oldest brother, twice. I’ve seen my other 2 brothers who live about 5 minutes away twice since March. I haven’t hugged or seen my friends since last spring. All this because the pandemic is a real threat and I can’t trust the general population to wear their masks and follow the rules to protect all of us. Instead of enduring a minor inconvenience (masks) that none of us particularly like for the greater good, these selfish individuals do as they like putting the rest of us at risk.

Instead of all of us hiding in our homes to stay safe, why not make the rule followers unwelcome in public? Why should those of us following the rules feel afraid and in danger every time we leave the house due to a few people’s selfishness and inability to follow the rules.

If you’re wearing your mask and following the rules, this next little bit is not for you, look away now.

Ok, if you are still reading this immediate next paragraph, I can only assume that you fall into the rule-breaking group. You’re not going to like what I have to say on this subject. You’ve been warned.

Hey, you, yes you not wearing your mask, you’re a fucking selfish piece of garbage. It is not “your right” to not wear a mask. That is written nowhere in the Constitution. Your wants are not more important than the rest of our safety and health. You’re not fucking special. Put your fucking mask on. Maybe you should feel afraid that someone’s going to punch you in the throat when they see you using that facemask as a chin warmer. You feel threatened and at risk for a while.  P.S. if you pull your mask down again to cough, expect to get punched in the face. You make me sick.

Back to our normally scheduled blog post.

What I’m saying is I risked my life voting in person because it is THAT important this year. If you don’t believe me just ask the 223, 000 Americans who’ve died from Coronavirus in the United States or the 8.14 Americans who’ve contracted it. They didn’t deserve to have their lives cut short because of another person’s inability to care for anyone beyond themselves.

I implore you to get out and vote. Know the facts about both candidates.

Visit JoeBiden.Com and know Joe’s vision.

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immigrants, border immigrants, immigrant children, zero tolerance, immigration

Zero tolerance for humanity, this is the America our President wants us to live in. A world where we dehumanize entire races and refer to them as criminals and “vermin”. Spreading the gospel through fearmongering that these “vermin” will infest our country.

A world where we rip children from their parent’s arms and put them into “camps” where child migrant detention workers are told to stop frightened siblings from hugging, denying them even the simplest comfort through the trauma of being stolen as they watch their parents being arrested for trying to seek a better life. If nothing else has made the connection for you between Germany in the 40’s, the “camps” should make it crystal clear where this all is headed.

immigrants, border immigrants, immigrant children, zero tolerance, immigration

This could be me. This could be many of you. And don’t kid yourself, if it’s being done to immigrants at the border, it can be done to anyone. Just because you had the good luck of being born inside this country does not make you better, more deserving or immune from the wrath of zero tolerance. Because let’s be honest, the only thing that makes you any different than “them” is dumb luck. You are not better in any way than any other human being. A human is a human is a human. Tomorrow, zero tolerance could be pointed in your direction.

READ ALSO:  No Sanctuary for Children

What I find to be the most sickening thing about all of this (and the list is long) is that our current leader has asked himself, “What is the quickest way to get people to give up on their dreams? What is the quickest way to stop a strong-willed asylum seeker in their tracks?” Threaten to take their children away. This is America today.

Some people value being “right” over being moral. They value getting their way, over giving in to help others. They would rather die proving us wrong than relent to make things fair. Kindness, respect and human dignity are provisional and not extended to all people. To them, not all humans are created equally.

No one is safe; not even children. In fact, they are the targets. Anyone with a brain knows that the fastest way to stop anyone from doing anything, including fighting for their own life until the bitter end, is to threaten their child’s life. We lose the ability to live for ourselves the moment we become parents because we serve a higher purpose.

immigrants, border immigrants, immigrant children, zero tolerance, immigration

As parents, we would lay down and die for our children without hesitation. It’s not even something we rationalize or think about. It is instinct. I’m not even sure we can control it. If our child is in danger, we throw ourselves in harm’s way without a moment’s regret. It’s compulsory and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

READ ALSO: We the People

But as every parent knows, that kind of all-consuming, unconditional, miracle, life-affirming love has a price. The price is that we will do anything for them and would rather sacrifice everything, including any chance of happiness and safety and peace, to make sure that they are safe and have a better chance at life.

This is why so many immigrants come to our country from Central and South America (and around the world) seeking asylum; seeking shelter; seeking safety; seeking a better life for themselves and for their children. These are third world countries where the most valuable thing you have is family and we are taught from a very young age that family is everything. To deny them even that basic right is a cruelty beyond measure.

They do not come to steal your jobs. They do not come to rape you. They do not come to pillage your towns and destroy your lives. They do not come to flood your streets with drugs and murder your children. Most people seeking entry into the United States come for one thing and one thing only, a better life. It has absolutely nothing to do with you, least of all to harm you.

When I became a mom, my entire life changed. I was no longer who I was. I was a mom. My life was no longer my own and it never will be again because I relinquished that life for a bigger more intentional one. My purpose is to care for, love and raise good human beings. I am the keeper of the future, as are all mothers and fathers.

The people who want to build the wall know this but they don’t care when it applies to immigrants because they have dehumanized this group down so much that they no longer see them as human beings, and they never see them as equals. This is how they deny culpability. This is how they sleep at night. This is how and why they rip sobbing children from the arms of their desperate parents.

READ ALSO: If we Do Not Recognize, We Cannot Heal

The children being ripped from their parents’ arms are not collateral damage of immigrants coming to this country. No, the children are being used as pawns by our administration. Give us our wall, stay on your side and your children will be back in your arms. Until then, we will take them. Displace them. Make them disappear. You will never see them again. Our government is holding their children hostage. Our President is terrorizing families seeking shelter and asylum.

immigrants, border immigrants, immigrant children, zero tolerance, immigration

Imagine coming to a country, someplace you have always believed is better than where you come from; less dangerous, less volatile, less crooked and you find yourself being so cruelly refused.  Not only are we sending you back. We are sending you back with empty arms. We will eliminate the very reason you came seeking a better life. Go back to your dismal life with your empty arms and let this be a lesson to you, we don’t want you here and your children mean less to us than garbage.

The only way any of this changes is through Congressional legislation. Even though, please keep in mind, there is currently no law requiring that families be separated at the border that is a mandate of our President. This is your America.

It is up to you and me and every single person in the United States who respects and values human rights to experience a little discomfort, step up and speak out on behalf of the sobbing, frightened, motherless children in the camps. If we don’t help them, who will? You can stop this madness. Start small.

Contact your Congressional leaders, raise your voices to let them know this is not ok and we have zero tolerance for separating parents from their children.

Contact your congressional leaders. Find them here.

Here is what you can say:

“Hi, my name is _____ and I reside in ______. I’m urging Senator/Representative ______ to denounce Trump’s family separation policy and use all of Congress’ authority to stop it. I urge you to support of Senator Feinstein’s bill, the Keep Families Together Act, S. 3036, and insist that immediate attention be given to the atrocities occurring at our border.”

Sign the petition.

I signed a petition to Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate, which says:

“Stop tearing children away from their parents. Families belong together.”

If you believe families belong together, please sign this petition? Click here 

Make your voices heard. This is our America.

 

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Sandy Hook victims names, Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown Connecticut, Adam Lanza, Mass shooting, gun control

I woke up this morning, then, I remembered what today is the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting.  It’s 11 days before Christmas. It’s the third day of Hannukah. It’s also the 5-year anniversary of one of the most heinous mass shootings in the history of America. The day 26 innocent children and adults were brutally murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary.

My girls gleefully squeed this morning when reminding us that TODAY is the day that we adopted our puppy, Lola. She was a Christmas surprise for our girls in 2012 after a particularly hard year; we lost a baby, we lost our family dog and we moved away from everyone we ever knew. But, I know today is something else.

Five years ago today, a man murdered 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. On Dec. 14, 2012, a 20-year-old named Adam Lanza fired his Bushmaster rifle through the school’s locked front door and commenced a killing spree. At the time, it was the second deadliest mass shooting in US history. What seemed to shake the nation the most was the age of the victims, children who were just six and seven years old. On December 14, 2012, my daughters were 5 and 7-years-old. The Sandy Hook events shook me to my core.

Sandy Hook, Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown Connecticut, Adam Lanza, Mass shooting, gun control

Today is December 14th. A day that changed the way I parent forever; a day that changed me. Today, on a morning just like this in the small town of Newtown, Connecticut, parents dropped their children off at Sandy Hook Elementary and kissed them goodbye like I did on that same morning in a sleepy town in Indiana.

You drive off, probably listening to Christmas music with your heart all full of that feeling of positivity and cheer we all feel at this time of year because it’s in the air. People are nicer, friendlier and generally, the world is just slightly better.

I remember dropping our girls off and the Big Guy and I took the day off to finish our Christmas shopping. In fact, we spent most of the day playing with a certain puppy and the rest was spent wistfully having lunch and laughing as we ducked in and out of stores thinking of how happy each this or that would make our daughters on Christmas morning. All the while, we counted ourselves lucky that our children were safe at school.

It wasn’t until the pick-up line that afternoon that we actually heard the horrific news of what happened to those 20 beautiful children and the 6 adults who tried to protect them and my heart broke as all of my faith in humanity drained slowly from my body, as I held it all together at pick-up. It wasn’t until after bedtime that night that I could fully digest the scope of what Adam Lanza did that day.

Lanza then entered a first-grade classroom where Lauren Rousseau, a substitute teacher, had herded her first grade students to the back of the room, and was trying to hide them in a bathroom, when Lanza forced his way into the classroom.[44] Rousseau, Rachel D’Avino (a behavioral therapist who had been employed for a week at the school to work with a special needs student), and fifteen students in Rousseau’s class were all killed. Fourteen of the children were dead at the scene; one injured child was taken to a hospital for treatment, but was later declared dead. Most of the teachers and students were found crowded together in the bathroom. A six-year-old girl, the sole survivor, was found by police in the classroom following the shooting.The surviving girl was hidden in one of the corners of the classroom’s bathroom during the shooting. The girl’s family pastor said that she survived the mass shooting by remaining still, and playing dead. When she reached her mother, she said, “Mommy, I’m okay, but all my friends are dead.” The child described the shooter as “a very angry man.A girl hiding in a bathroom with two teachers told police that she heard a boy in the classroom screaming, “Help me! I don’t want to be here!” to which Lanza responded, “Well, you’re here,” followed by more hammering sounds.

Lanza next went to another first-grade classroom nearby; at this point, there are conflicting reports about the order of events. According to some reports, the classroom’s teacher, Victoria Leigh Soto, had concealed some of the students in a closet or bathroom, and some of the other students were hiding under desks. Soto was walking back to the classroom door to lock it when Lanza entered the classroom. Lanza walked to the back of the classroom, saw the children under the desks, and shot them. First grader Jesse Lewis shouted at his classmates to run for safety, and several of them did. Lewis was looking at Lanza when Lanza fatally shot him. Another account, given by a surviving child’s father, said that Soto had moved the children to the back of the classroom, and that they were seated on the floor when Lanza entered. According to this account, neither Lanza nor any of the occupants of the classroom spoke. Lanza stared at the people on the floor, pointed the gun at a boy seated there, but did not fire at the boy, who ultimately survived. The boy got up and ran out of the classroom and was among the survivors.

Hartford Courant report said that six of the children who escaped did so when Lanza stopped shooting, either because his weapon jammed or he erred in reloading it. Earlier reports said that, as Lanza entered her classroom, Soto told him that the children were in the auditorium. When several of the children came out of their hiding places and tried to run for safety, Lanza fatally shot them. Soto put herself between her students and the shooter, who then fatally shot her. Anne Marie Murphy, the teacher’s aide who worked with special-needs students in Soto’s classroom, was found covering six-year-old Dylan Hockley, who also died. Soto and four children were found dead in the classroom, Soto near the north wall of the room with a set of keys nearby. One child was taken to the hospital, but was pronounced dead. Six surviving children from the class and a school bus driver took refuge at a nearby home. According to the official report released by the state’s attorney, nine children ran from Soto’s classroom and survived, while two children were found by police hiding in a class bathroom.[41]:14 In all, 11 children from Soto’s class survived. Five of Soto’s students were killed.[62]

I was mad. I was devastated for those who lost their lives but even more so for the parents and family members who, just like me, dropped their beloved everythings off at school that morning and that very night sat sobbing with empty arms. It was so unfair and so horrific that I almost couldn’t allow myself to believe it.

I’ve never been one to live my life in fear but that day and every single day since I’m afraid every time my children leave my arms. Every morning I send them to school, I pray God sends them back to me. Every time I hear a siren, I hold my breath and hope it’s not a shooting at their school; that a man with a gun having a bad day doesn’t decide to take his hatred for the world out on my children. His collateral damage will be my complete undoing.

I think often, almost daily, about the parents and children of Sandy Hook. I can’t imagine what the world must look like to them. I don’t know how they’ve survived these past 5 years. I’m assuming with a lump in their throat and a fight in their bellies.

I know they will never get justice because they will never get their tiny loved ones back and each passing year is a reminder of what should have been. I imagine this time of year has lost all of its glisten and glean for those families and in its place moroseness and sorrow has settled in. I wish there was a way to bring their children back to them but I know that is impossible. But what we can do is make their deaths not have been in vain.

We must continue to fight for stricter gun control laws. No one’s right to bear arms should outweigh a parent’s right to hold their child in their arms; to watch them grow up and spend a lifetime loving them.

My husband dropped our girls off at school this morning. I kissed and hugged them all just slightly longer than I should have this morning and I began to pray the moment they walked out the door. Please let them return to me. This is my daily prayer that I say with earnest but even more so on this morning, December 14th because I know there are the parents of 20 children whose hearts are being shattered all over again this morning.

So please, whatever you are doing this morning, wherever you are in the world, whoever you may be, stop and pray for those families who lost their children and those children and brave staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary who went to school on a day just like today, five years ago and never got to come home. Pray that those parents have the strength to continue carrying on and they can someday get some peace.

But don’t just pray, do something. Fight for the safety of our children. Stand up for better mental health coverage and stricter gun control. Make good choices and remember that while you are listening to your Christmas music, doing your last minute shopping at Target and drinking your latte, there’s a mother in Newtown sobbing uncontrollably; there’s a father whose loss has turned to bitterness and he doesn’t know how to fix it; there are a brother and sister who will never get to hear the laugh of their little brother again. There are gifts that never got opened and holiday celebrations that had to be repurposed into funerals.

I’m begging you, if you are weary from all of these mass shootings, tired of innocent children being nothing more than collateral damage to a system that continues to value an outdated right to bear arms over its children and tired of being constantly afraid that your children won’t come home because guns are too readily and easily accessible stand up and fight like your life depends on it ( because it might) for stricter gun control and legislation to regulate the purchase of parts to assemble semi-automatic weapons because even though we do have weak gun control laws in place for purchasing guns, there are none for buying the parts and assembling your own at home. Think about that for a moment and do something.

Whatever you do today, never forget the 26 innocent children and adults who went to school on a day like today and never got to come home because a sick man had easy access to guns and rained down devastation on the world. Hug your children tight.

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clean air moms, RAA, REINS Act

This post was produced with support from Clean Air Moms Action. All opinions are, of course, my own.

It’s clear that the world has gone crazy. With the advancements in technology, you’d think it would give us more access to information to help make more informed and factual based decisions but it seems that is not the case. Technology means a penchant for instant gratification and as a side effect, rash decisions and willful denial of science for some. Case in point, global warming. It’s real and it exists.

My parents raised us in a place of high pollution with one basic concept in mind, be kind to the earth and the people of it and it will be kind to you or, at the very least, better. I do the same with my girls.

Since growing up in the Chicagoland area, a place where emission testing had to become a requirement when I was a small child because of all the pollution from local foundries and high traffic pollution it made me a more aware person. I have known for a long time that the harm we do to the planet is not without ramifications. We are expending our resources at an alarming rate. We are contributing to the massacre of our own race by refusing to contain our carbon footprint.

clean air moms, RAA, REINS Act

Since having children, I have become an active and vocal advocate for a better world for my children. I want a place where they can live long, healthy and happy lives. Therefore, I am 100% against government throwing up roadblocks at every turn that make it easier for our children to live in an unhealthy world. As a mom, it is my job to keep my kids healthy and if that means fighting for better laws or against bad laws to protect our children, I will.

But it goes beyond just teaching my kids to behave responsibly with their own carbon footprint. While that’s definitely a start in the right direction. I don’t have the luxury of just teaching my children to conserve electricity and water or to recycle, though we do all of those things and more.

The damage is so far gone that I have to be aggressive in my plight to protect my children from the willfully ignorant, who refuse to believe that such things as global warming even exist even though the signs are all there; even when glaciers are melting faster than ever in history, coral is bleaching and natural weather disasters are at an all-time record high.

Maybe you’re thinking, I’m a mom. I’m super busy chasing babies and driving ungrateful little people all over God’s green earth. Yes, we all are. But, I know you want to do something. You don’t want to just sit around and wait for the planet to disappear before your very eyes. I can’t live with the thought that maybe my great grandkids don’t get to live on this earth. I have a responsibility to do something while I’m here. I want to leave a positive legacy for my children.

clean air moms, RAA, REINS Act

We rely on our government to ensure so much is safe: The food we eat. The air we breathe. The toys our children play with—and so much more. But right now, legislation is moving through Congress that guts the crucial federal safety protections we rely on to ensure that what surrounds us isn’t putting us in danger or making us sick leaving us and our children vulnerable.

Two pieces of legislation, in particular, the Regulatory Accountability Act and the REINS Act—are direct and radical threats to public health that have broad, overreaching consequences. They will render agencies incapable of implementing and enforcing commonsense safety laws that have broad public support taking away the little safety net we have in place.

The REINS Act would require Congressional approval of rules, effectively giving either branch of Congress or powerful lobbying groups, a “pocket veto” on safeguards. Meaning the person with the most power makes all the rules. It may not necessarily have anything to do with what’s right, fair or best for our planet or our children.

The Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA) would create hurdles to rulemaking similar to the one that kept America from banning asbestos. These dangerous bills have either already passed the House (RAA) or were placed on Senate Legislative Calendar in just recent weeks (REINS).

clean air moms, RAA, REINS Act

Why You Should Care

It’s not political, it’s a matter of safety – these “reforms” will have a broad impact in hampering regulations in a number of areas, all of which pose a danger to our families. For example:

Halloween: Do you know what kind of toxins and chemicals are lurking in Halloween makeup and costumes? Do you know what’s in your kid’s candy?  Is it scary to think that any safety regulations that currently exist may be gone?

Food safety: The RAA would make it difficult or impossible to enforce standards and keep the food in our kids’ lunch boxes safe. Efforts that have been put into place to label for allergens, reduce sodium, eliminate trans fats, remove arsenic and lead from baby food/juice, label GMOs, etc. are all on the chopping block.

Product safety: These bills would undermine product safety for nearly every item our children interact with by stalling or killing future protections

School safety: From asbestos in classrooms to lead in drinking water and even the safety of the school buses, the RAA and REINs Act would make it harder to keep our kids safe in school. Protections to safeguard our children from toxic chemicals would be difficult if impossible to implement under these bills.

Asbestos: “Asbestos, an issue that many of us thought to be resolved, continues to plague schools and pose a health threat in classrooms throughout the country.” If the school was built before 1980, it likely contains some. Do you know if your school has it? https://www.momscleanairforce.org/asbestos-schools/ 

Dirty air and water: The rise of asthma and other respiratory diseases are drastically increased by air pollution. These bills would make it harder to keep our air and water clean. As early as possible, it’s best to read how to test the water in your home to ensure the safety of your family.

Asthma: One in 10 US children has asthma, the most common chronic disease of childhood. Have air pollutants triggered an asthma attack for you or your child?

In fact, everyone in my family has seasonal allergies so it made me start to wonder if maybe something inside the house is off. Maybe they’re not seasonal, maybe there is something in our home making us all sick too.

Did you know that indoor allergens like dust mites, pet dander and molds are actually a cause for concern because not only do they affect allergy and asthma symptoms, they are present all year long in your own home and they only get worse when we are stuck indoors during the winter months?

With this in mind, anyone that’s allergy prone should be monitoring their indoor air quality year-round to make sure they can breathe easier. We’ve started using the Awair Air Quality Monitor. It’s the perfect solution, it allows us to keep track of dust, VOC levels and other toxins and chemicals in the air via the companion app, enabling us to make changes to our air quality and reduce indoor allergens. Think of it as a Fitbit for your air quality. It’s a small thing but it helps me to help my family in our own home.

Car safety: Would you know what to do if locked in the trunk of a car? Thanks to one survivor there is a glow in the dark safety pull inside trunks now, but this lifesaving consumer protection is now in jeopardy.

Toy/product safety: What would it mean if there were no protections in place making the toys, products like pacifiers and sippy cups, or furniture you buy for your family safe?

All of these things and more could be at risk of no longer being required and that would put our children in serious danger.

How We Can Stop It

Here’s how you and me and you (and you too, over there acting all shy in the corner) can make a difference. Mobilize to take action against the RAA & REINS Act by emailing your members of Congress via the click-to-email tool on cleanairmomsaction.org . That’s it. It takes a few minutes, even a busy mom can spare that for something so important.

For more information on how you can help protect your children, you can visit the Clean Air Moms website, Facebook page, Twitter page,  Instagram and YouTube page.

*The Awair Air Quality Monitor is not being recommended by CAMA it’s just a product I love.

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Eminem, Marshall Mathers, BET Awards, Donald Trump

Marshall Mathers, rapper Eminem, tore into President Donald Trump during a ferocious acapella freestyle titled “The Storm” at the BET Hip Hop Awards on Tuesday. Eminem opened the four-minute tirade with a reference to Trump’s ridiculous “calm before the storm” wisecrack before tearing Trump apart over immigration, corruption, white supremacy, the NFL, gun control, environmental disasters and all the other BS he’s done since taking office.

Eminem is my hero and The Storm is my anthem.

Like so many Americans, Eminem is tired of watching silently as our country is being torn down and ripped apart at the seams. Those of us who see the irreparable damage that is being done to our citizens, our country and our reputation have been trying to find a way to make our voices heard.

We protest. We take knees. We stand up. We yell though it feels like into the abyss. I have used my venue and my voice first to convince my fellow citizens to never allow this ill-equipped and unqualified man to run our country. When he became our president, I weeped and became despondent because how could those of us who knew, history and politics, allow those of you who don’t to make such a dire choice? I felt like I failed in educating you.

Eminem, Marshall Mathers, BET Awards, Donald Trump

Then, I was angry because we were strapped in and on this ride for the next four years. I no longer yelled because yelling fell on deaf ears. I tried to respectfully, point out the issues. I feel it’s my responsibility to myself to make sure that the world keeps its eyes open. I feel it is my responsibility as a mother to fight for a better world for my children.

I changed my plan for change, how I would go about it but every single one of us who is watching with a functional brain, a loving heart and the belief in human equality and true democracy feels the frustration and angst bubbling beneath the surface about to boil over.

Eminem, The Storm, Marshall Mathers, BET Awards, Donald Trump

Every word Eminem spoke was the truth.

I am not one to go about change by cracking jokes at the expense of our president. Even though I detest the man and his lack of experience, the way he is heading us straight for civil and nuclear war, I refuse to mock the office he holds because I do believe in democracy. I believe in America but the America we are living in today since Trump took office, is one of discord and hatred. We are hated from afar and we are hated from within.

 

I’ve felt for a long time that the president is playing a game of shells.He’s got us debating semantics when children are dying because we’d rather have our guns than our people. While we are busy looking over “there” he is doing something twice as horrid over “here.” The news covers his tweets but what about his lack of compassion for the people of Puerto Rico, the wall he’s building to keep Mexico out, a fight he picked with the NFL over men taking a knee for equality when he allowed KKK clansmen to run a woman over because they had a permit. He is saying and doing things that could very well lead to our demise as a people and as a country. Why is he inciting a nuclear war by playing chicken with a lunatic? Is his ego so big that he’d risk all of our lives?

Do you think Eminem went too far or are you balling up a fist?

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Marilou Danley, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Route 91 country Music Festival, Stephen Paddock, Mass Shooting, Country Music Festival, Jason Aldean

At least 58 people were killed and more than 515 people were injured when a gunman, Stephen Paddock, opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip Sunday night creating the largest mass shooting in U.S. history. He fired at the crowd from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort. Country singer Jason Aldean was on stage when the shooting began and chaos ensued.

Trigger Warning: Some of the photos included in this post are very graphic.

How do we ever feel safe again with gun legislation that allows gunman like Stephen Paddock to just open his window at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay resort and open fire on a group of music festival goers like they were fish in a barrel? How is this the country we live in? This is the deadliest attack on U.S. soil since the attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. of September 11, 2001.

Marilou Danley, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Route 91 country Music Festival, Stephen Paddock, Mass Shooting, Country Music Festival, Jason Aldean

64-year-old, Stephen Paddock fired shots from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel and killed at least 58 people (as of now) and injured more than 515 people. It is the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

Police used an explosive breach to break down the door to his hotel room, and Paddock killed himself. Police said Paddock was found dead with as many as 10 firearms. I’m not sad to say he killed himself but at the same time, I am so sick of these monsters being killed before we get any answers. I know in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter why they did what they did, having that question answered will not change the outcome but at least maybe we could understand. Maybe we could try to make sense of it all.

Marilou Danley, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Route 91 country Music Festival, Stephen Paddock, Mass Shooting, Country Music Festival, Jason Aldean

Another morning, another news story about some crazed lunatic taking his semiautomatic weapon and senselessly killing innocent people. It happens so often that not only are we becoming accustomed to it, we expect it. We fear it but it’s our new reality and we live in a world where we know every single day might be our last.

I don’t accept this. I am angry. I am outraged. I am pissed off. Just last week, we took our daughters to a concert. This can happen anywhere. Do you understand, we.took.our.daughters???

Marilou Danley, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Route 91 country Music Festival, Stephen Paddock, Mass Shooting, Country Music Festival, Jason Aldean

So to break it down for you in parenting today, you can keep your children in a bubble and be labeled a “helicopter mom” with all the negative connotations that come with it. Or you can be cool and just go about life like it’s normal that sometimes people get gunned down at movie theaters, concerts, and school for no good goddamn reason. I can’t take it.

It’s too heavy. This responsibility of raising kids and keeping them alive when so many random acts of violence just keep happening. How are we supposed to do it? How are we unarmed with nothing but our unconditional, never-ending love for our children supposed to protect them from the boogie man that lurks right beneath our noses…the neighbor next door, the kid who delivers your newspaper, the old guy who hands out hard candy for Halloween or the shy, quiet kid who stays to himself at school and even though your kid goes out of their way to be friendly and inclusive, because that’s what we’ve taught our kids to do ( though I’m not even sure anymore if it’s to be kind or just as a defense mechanism, last-ditch effort to stay off the shit list) so maybe when that freak comes to school with his semiautomatic weapon he’ll remember somewhere in his broken brain that YOUR KID didn’t laugh at him.

Marilou Danley, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Route 91 country Music Festival, Stephen Paddock, Mass Shooting, Country Music Festival, Jason Aldean

I can’t take it. Politicians talk about gun control like it’s just another political discussion, like taxes or health care, but it’s life or death. You are deciding that in order to get the votes, it’s ok to let maniacs have semiautomatic weapons…or firearms at all. If you’ve got problems and you hate someone, why can’t we live in a world where you have to get up close and personal and use your hands, face-to-face, not like a coward shooting from atop your tower at unsuspecting people?

I am sick to death of the NRA and all the other groups arguing for their right to bear arms. Read the constitution you morons, it was written in a time when the American people had no strong army and had to be ready to organize into a militia to fight and protect against the British army. We have a full military in place now and the need for Stephen Paddock, Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Omar Mateen, Seung Hui Cho, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold and so many more to have ready access to weapons does not exist.

When I think of all the mothers and fathers who grew, raised and loved these children who have been killed (because yes, even adults are someone’s children) I can’t even swallow the lump in my throat is so big.

Marilou Danley,Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Route 91 country Music Festival, Stephen Paddock, Mass Shooting, Country Music Festival, Jason Aldean

I was talking to someone and they argued, “Well, the problem is that if you take away the right to bear arms the bad guys will still find a way to get them. The gang bangers and deviants will find a way to arm themselves.”

The thing is, while maybe this is true since there are so many guns already floating around the United States, do you really think this weirdo, average white men like Stephen Paddock, Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Eric Harris or Dylan Klebold would have the wherewithal to be able to find a gun runner? It’s not like that sort is hanging out with or even trusting these oddballs. Nope, these assholes are going to their local gun shows, Walmart or wherever the hell else it is that weird guys go to buy their guns…off the rack, like the rest of us go buy toothpaste.

Maybe new gun legislation wouldn’t stop all the gang violence and drive-bys but I bet it sure would slow down the frequency with which we see mass shootings by lone weirdos. Because yes, if you just hoard semi-automatic weapons and plan to go into a place of business, worship or anywhere people are congregating just to shoot and kill as many people as you can because you are sad or mad or whatever the hell else you are with the world because you’re pathetic, then yes, you are a lone weirdo. This is what you have chosen to be. There is no excuse for this behavior. We all have shit days; we don’t all go on mass shooting sprees.

Nevada has some of the loosest gun laws in the United States, and has no limitation on the number of guns that can be purchased at one time. It is legal to own, purchase, or sell machine guns there if the weapon was manufactured before 1986. The state has no law regulating large-capacity ammunition magazines, according to the Law Centre to Prevent Gun Violence.

You know, I keep asking myself when will it be enough? Who has to be killed that we collectively say, “Nope, that’s too far!” But I guess in the United States there is no such thing, after all, Adam Lanza killed a bunch of innocent kids and yet, Stephen Paddock was able to get his weapons, get them into the Mandalay Bay resort and go on a shooting spree from the comfort of his room like the coward he was. Once America decided killing children was bearable, the gun control debate was over. It’s like we allowed the most heinous thing in the world to happen and that still wasn’t enough to stop it. We got over it. There apparently is no rock bottom.

Maybe there needs to be a mandatory psych evaluation before anyone can buy a weapon beyond just a background check? I know for a fact that there are people who refuse mental health treatment for fear they will be labeled mentally ill and not be able to buy guns. So to recap, mentally ill people purposely forgo treatment so that they can still have access to weapons. Feel safer now?

How many moms have to bury their babies? How many dads have to get that news in the middle of the night? How many brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, sons, and daughters have to go on living with such a giant, senseless hole in their world?

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the people attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival and their families, who have been irreparably damaged. I hope you can find some kind of peace again in this world. BUt we need a hell of a lot more than just thoughts and prayers to stop this sort of thing from happening again.

To those who fight so hard for the right to bear arms, your right to carry a weapon is systematically killing our children. Is the price worth the right?

 

Update: 4:07 p.m. More than 19 rifles were found in the hotel room of the gunman in the Las Vegas mass shooting, a law enforcement official confirmed, along with hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Among the weapons authorities discovered were two rifles with scopes on tripods positioned in front of the two windows that had been broken out, a law enforcement official said.

 

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NLF,Donald Trump, Take a Knee, #TakeAKnee, Equality, lives matter

I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly I wanted to say about this NFL take a knee situation and Donald Trump’s condemnation of it. I can’t believe how divided the country has become over the NFL taking a knee.  Are we really so collectively ignorant that we don’t understand what it’s about? I mean what is so controversial about taking a knee in silent protest of the divisive racism that plagues our nation currently, always if we’re being honest, only more openly these days?

I say shut up and take a knee. In my world, it is the only thing to do. Unless you want to stand up and throat punch racists, bigots and misogynists all day long like some kind of throat punching righter of wrongs superhero. I suspect it would be a full-time job, especially in Trump’s America.

Let’s get some facts straight:

  • In the United States, we have the right to peaceful protest.
  • Nowhere in the constitution does it demand that we stand for the National Anthem and wouldn’t we be hypocrites if we did stand to respectfully salute a country that only protects and respects some of us. This is no reflection of our military, I am referring to the laws in this country that allows us to treat some people as less than.
  • We are “the people” of “we the people” and we have every right to demand that equality.
  • You can take a knee and 1000% support our military. The National Anthem is not a homage we pay to our service men before every national sporting event.
  • Donald Trump picked a fight because he is a bully and that’s what he does. Apparently, his social feeds were lacking in drama so he created some.

To me, this entire controversy is stupid because we should all be taking a knee to demand equality for all Americans. If you are standing, either you don’t understand why the knee is being taken or you are part of the problem. I honestly think every person in the United States who believes in equality should take a knee. We should do a national knee in and refuse to move until things change. I’ve got time. I can type in a kneeling position.

This morning I read a post in which the author said that the NFL is messing up. They are putting asunder what is already not divided, they are bucking up the system and in the process messing up what America is all about….football. She spoke of the one nation of football under God and I kind of wanted to puke.

According to her, its all kumbaya and rainbows in the stands but these damn, political football players with all their lofty dreams of equality and oneness are messing up her tailgating and football time. In her mind, the NFL players are part of the problem. They only need look into the stands to see that the country is united in football. Can’t we all just get along?

Firstly, this woman is part of the problem. Secondly, I was very recently in the stands and just like the United States, if you are sitting in the wrong section, it’s not so comfortable and united. It’s pretty fucking scary and intimidating. It’s like openly accepted prejudice. As a Latina woman, it felt the same as being the only minority in an all-white, male event.

Sure, it’s awesome if you’re part of the majority. For you, it’s all chicken wings and beer, extraneous high fives and lots of shouting. For the minority, the wrong person in the wrong place, wrong color at the wrong time, it is uncomfortable AF. There I stood, in the wrong section, rooting for the wrong team.

Aside from the expected normal rude, loud, obnoxious behavior that anyone tends to get being the minority anywhere, especially at an organized sporting event where alcohol is sold to fuel the fire, one particularly deranged fan took it even further and personally, tried to pick a fight with me by first accusing me of stealing his seat to then accusing me of stealing his water? I was pretty flabbergasted because a) I’m an adult b) I had the brains to buy 4 bottles of water in 100 degree temperature when I knew I was in row 1 and my out of shape, old-self wasn’t going to be making multiple trips up and down those stadium stairs and c) I.AM.GROWN !

Now, if I were a meeker woman this short, fat, balding loud man would have made me feel threatened and scared. As it were, he just really pissed me off and I was completely prepared to throw his ass over the railing and go to jail for it because I can no longer shut my mouth while some loud-mouthed white guy tries to intimidate me into shutting up and staying in line. That is the problem.

And this woman who says the NFL players only need to look to the stands, to their fans, to see the cohesiveness and unitedness of this great nation under God, well, that broad is delusional. She in particular needs to take a knee because she is the biggest part of the problem. She refuses to believe there is a problem because, for her, there is no problem. It must be nice to have the option to not see the problem because it does not affect you whatsoever but for those who it does, standing up for the National Anthem is not an option. We all need to take a collective knee to stand up for equality.

What is your opinion and why on the NFL players taking a knee?

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