I miss all those who left us in 2014, and one who stayed just long enough to share a son’s achievement and remind us to go Liberally into 2015.
I especially miss those still here, but only on camera, and those activists only death could deactivate, whose lives are our education of how to advocate for each other.
I miss Mom & Dad, as I do my Grandmamma and Uncle Gino who crossed the bar long before. I miss how they could educate with such magnitude in a single phrase — no adjectives or adverbs needed for this quintet, except Mom of course and later her protégé, me.
For my family it was, out with the old and in with the new, while others, complain, “Why should I have to push one for English?”
I know letting go is scary especially for conservative hearts and minds, but like indicting war criminals, it may prove to be our only hope to succeed at breathing healing life into a conflicted America.
I miss all those gone much too soon, because a toy gun was just too enticing, and a real one too handy.
With the faith to dream, arms spread to embrace, minds open to truth and our mind’s eye focused on the horizon where, barely visible stands the glory of Justice for All, waiting for us to grasp it, as our weapon of choice.
What of past promises for a day, a life, a planet where new ideas, even thinking for ourselves is restored? For that, peace and hope need be liberally spread to evolve the nation.
Until then, the lies we tell ourselves will keep some in denial:
- Seeing homes buried in feet of snow, as disproving Climate Change
- Watching towns and lives tornado twisted thinking Global Warming is a hoax
- Antagonistic partnering of corporatism and those in government using militarized law enforcement to protect cash flow status quo
- Believing there is no need to fix a society that cannot embrace American diversities as enlightening universities
- Denying our nation the natural benefits of immense historic contribution from hyphenated citizens we continue to deem second class in nature: women, African-Americans, Latino-Americans, Asian-Americans, Italian-Americans – we descendants of immigrants forgetting, most of our ancestors chose America to make a difference, as did Native Americans, before us, and African-Americans after Emancipation.
I love our country and cherish our U. S. Constitution, particularly when we don’t practice what it preaches, but abusing it for profit reaches the darkest depths of hypocrisy, and manipulating The Bill of Rights for political gain, the very underbelly of patriotism.
Our National and Coast Guards are our 21st century “Well Regulated Militia” Minute Men, and not Tea Party extremists sanctioning an Open Carry wannabe Police State.
On the rise, are Flu and corporate greed infecting politicians with corruption, yet we elect those who think the poor and less fortunate should be exterminated.
American Ebola, gas prices and morale are down, yet we vote for Wall Street’s Keystone bottom line, rather than love thy neighbor as thyself.
America isn’t too big to fail, while we accept top heavy Too Big to Jail re-construction of Capitalism. Our future can only stand its ground when the responsibilities of freedom, liberty, justice and paying taxes are supported equally by all pillars of society’s foundation.
Now in harmonious declaration, can we, in thanksgiving celebrate the memories of lives that still impact America….
- Governor Mario Cuomo
- Gun Control Advocate James Brady
- Progressive Democrats of America Tim Carpenter
- If I had a Hammer Pete Seeger
- Watergate/Post Ben Bradlee
- Master Poet, and Master human being Maya Angelou
- Robin Williams & Philip Seymour Hoffman
- Elaine Stritch & Lauren Bacall
- Mickey Rooney & Eli Wallach
- Ruby Dee & Shirley Temple
- Harold Ramis & Bob Hoskins
- James Garner, Ann B. Davis, James Rebhorn & Edward Herrmann
- Comedians Sid Caesar & Joan Rivers
- Eileen Ford and singers Joe Cocker & Jerry Vale
- Boxer Rubin Hurricane Carter
- Rafael Ramos, Wenjian Liu, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice
- affirming I will go, I shall go, to see what our new beginning will be.
Is Ferguson’s state of emergency: militarized police brutality, government racial imbalance, street arms raised unity and looting inspired curfew, an America reminiscent of 1861, a GHW Bush prediction, “if the American people ever find out what we have done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us, or a Robin Williams cry for help?
One thing is clear, whether Colorado Open Carry, Internet mouse clicked petitions or prosecuting Governors, Americans have been awakened!
Assaulting First Amendment rights to peacefully assemble in protest, didn’t begin with policeman Darren Wilson shooting unarmed robbery suspect, Michael Brown, multiple times.
It began with
- Attorney General John Ashcroft’s administrative degree to quarantine dissent, which then standardized designated protest areas as our new First Amendment M. O.
- President GW Bush’s political events banning and arresting those peacefully wearing anti-Bush T-Shirts
- Our Pentagon buying surplus war weaponry from those who profit from our being at war, and then giving the surplus munitions to police departments all over America
- DWB – FWA – SWB – and Trayvon Martin’s crime: WWB
- Assassinating Kennedy, King and Bobby
- An Uniformed Oakland California thug pepper spraying sitting peaceful demonstrators
- People being left to die in New Orleans after Katrina
- Michael Brown’s body left in the street for hours
Indiscriminately death casts a tall shadow, so our lives are our weapons for listening, advocating, voting, learning and sharing: the systemic stigmatizing of those deemed different is as old and prescient as
- Salem and McCarthy witch hunts;
- war on women history: no voting rights, being institutionalized for enjoying sex with their husbands, having three states block ERA ratification
- Veterans dying waiting for healthcare
- the cataclysmic void in our treatment and understanding of Depression – in 2014, deserting those with Mental Health issues, to the life of a 19th century outcast
Any death diminishes us, especially if unable to extrapolate Mental Health issues, and Ferguson, to all of America. Either we are the prime-time stereotypes and redundant news media cutouts, or we are who we love and emulate; what we vote for and fight against – we are our brothers’ keeper or not my problem.
However death comes: Lauren Bacall & Charles Keating, a NYC choke-hold or Ohio shot for being black, a war weary Anne Sexton, Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams – it guts our six degrees of separation.
I worked with Charles Keating on Another World, but the closest I got to Robin Williams was his co-stars: literally bumping into Nathan Lane in NYC one night, after his brilliance in The Producers, and chatting on the set of Lincoln with Sally Field – yet losing him feels too akin to my losing those who changed my life: Francis Hughes, PhD, Father Gilbert Hartke and iconic actress, Mercedes McCambridge.
I knew the addiction Mercedes was successfully resisting, before her son, John Lawrence Fifield, killed himself after murdering his wife and two daughters.
Her understandable withdrawal and retreat taught me:
- Stigmatizing Mental Illness and our ignorance of Depression, Schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s are as deadly as a militarized police state.
- Ferguson is America in miniature, from which we can learn to honestly live together as equals, or continue Supreme Court building a house divided against itself.
- Not all battles are civil wars between Christians and non, rich and poor, white and black, but increasingly, too many are.
Revelation: conservative top 1%, your armed biased law enforcement & private prisons — despite Koch-head billions and clichéd regurgitation of propped up puppets still not prosecuted for their 2008 Wall Street economic devastation on the world, people power re-elected a black looking chess player for President…
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