TOWOIT #40

February 25, 2017… Day 37.

Waiting to hear about the DNC election. I have not gotten into this. From what I understand, from what I can tell, Tom Perez and Keith Ellison are both very progressive and would both be very good. I am personally for Keith Ellison because he seems to make the Bernie people happy, and I don’t think there’s enough daylight between him and Perez  to kick up a fuss. Let’s unite behind him if it makes those other guys happy. I am tired of proxy wars. I am tired of feeling like I’m being taken hostage. So in this case, I’ll just say “Let’s go with Keith.” I feel this on a personal, visceral level also — because when I’ve heard radio interviews with Keith Ellison, I find myself warming to him and wanting him to continue. When I hear radio interviews with Tom Perez, I find myself tuning out and thinking about other things. His voice is sandier, lower energy. It reminds me of the adage, “podcasting should burn calories.” If there’s one basic thing I learned from the 2016 election, it’s that we need people who can tell a story. Trump and Bernie both told a story. So, I think Keith Ellison tells a better story, vibrates on a better frequency. Honestly, my whole being just wants to unite behind a leader, and I want this over with, and I want it to be Keith Ellison. We Democrats will ALWAYS disagree with each other and bicker over the details because that is who we are as a people. I don’t expect that to end. I just want this DNC election to be over.

Yesterday at the lake, the sun had a little warmth to it but the wind was cold. A small knot of women in hijab, with their little kids, were trying to have a picnic. The wind was whipping their clothes around, and also interfering with their picnic items on the wooden table. Their kids were running around, jumping in puddles and muddying themselves. It was one of those days when the crows are just everywhere suddenly. Crows were all around in the trees above us, but also on the ground, just screaming and cawing hoarsely. Flapping around a bit menacingly, these big intelligent birds with unknowable motives. So many crows. And really cold wind! And then even the sun went behind a cloud, and the afternoon got colder and darker all the sudden. The whole scene just looked like a bad idea for a picnic. The women were just laughing, just letting their kids get filthy and wet, just enjoying each other and making the most of things. I think I would have admired them in better political climates too. But with all this stuff just thicker in the air we breathe now–I felt grateful to them and their fortitude. Thanks for showing me how to just have the picnic anyway. Thanks for being part of this city with me. 

Kurdish journalist Shifa Gardi died today from a roadside bomb. She was covering Mosul. I’ve been hearing and reading a lot more about Mosul lately, remembering that there’s a whole world out there besides us here in the U.S. If we can all agree that Isis is the absolute worst bunch of fuckers, then the Iraqi troops trying to liberate the Isis-held half of Mosul are the world’s heroes right now. And the people who have been living there in Isis-controlled Mosul have been living a dystopia that we only like to flirt with the idea of here in the U.S.

In the U.S., I know it’s annoying (infuriating?) to people of color to have to witness us (cis, het-passing, vaguely Christian-ish) white people go through a certain process since the election. It goes something like this: “I am tipping into something scary, that feels like the beginning of a new oppression, so now I know that I was freer before and I feel how lucky that freedom was. I can really understand that free feeling as a more tangible thing. But now I also know that other people didn’t have that freedom I felt. They had the oppression. All along. So my freedom that I took for granted wasn’t even real freedom, it was just this illusion that we were all free and everything was fine. Nothing was ever fine. If we aren’t free til everyone is free, then there was never freedom, there was only my own deep deep privilege. And I’m still benefiting from that privilege. Oh my God.” 

Well, that’s some of us anyway.

Evening updates: 

Tom Perez won DNC chair, and as part of his acceptance speech he moved that Keith Ellison should be deputy chair. Perez and Ellison seem genuinely united. Thousands of Berners saying they have to start a third party now. They use a lot of metaphors about death–dead horse, nail in coffin, death knell, death-comes-before-rebirth. Meanwhile, other people are worried about actual, literal, human deaths. Because we are living through a national emergency.

I think Perez and Ellison together could be good news. I have to try to believe so right now. Also, there was a run-off election in the Delaware state senate, and the Democrat won easily. It meant that the state senate remains in Democratic control.

I’ve been seeing more news stories about the freakishly early and hot spring, and about how the polar ice caps are doing alarming, unexpected things. It is so easy just to feel despair. So many dire problems, and we have a government that is like small children out in the backyard, thinking they can dig their way to China by lunch time.

According to The Spokesman-Review, border patrol agents have been routinely boarding greyhound buses in Spokane. A Facebook post from a friend of a friend, shared that when everyone was on board a Seattle-bound greyhound bus, a CBP officer came on board and went down the aisle asking every single person where they were born.

 

 

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