Besides that tumultuous bike ride a few weeks ago, my body has had a few more rough patches. Many of my coworkers at Hands of Hope were really sick with a cold the past two weeks; several had a fever and even stayed home from work. While no fever, I seemed to have spent a full week fighting off some bug causing a lot of fatigue.
The first day that I felt almost back to normal, I headed over to work as usual, in the rain. I arrived and realized that I wanted to retrace my steps to see if I left a key in my rain jacket. I took a step onto the wet tiled floor, and BAM! hit the ground hard - absorbing the fall with my lower back and hip, and even my head a bit.
Thankfully, I'm okay, but it shook me up some. I iced right away, took some tylenol, and knew that I would be sore the next day - which I was, my neck the worst. Mostly, I just want some time (how about my remaining days on this half of the world?) to be uneventful when it comes to my body.
The 'nasty' election is over, with a result that I did not expect. I hear that there are Americans who feel they haven't been heard, and they raised their voices. I just hope that they don't forget to listen to the voices from us who did not want this result. As always, we need to find some common ground.
And I hope that there was very little voter intimidation. The little I read about made me sick to my stomach. That is inappropriate and has no place in our democratic republic.
It saddens me that fellow Americans found it within themselves to vote for someone so inappropriate and vulgar, who likes to incite violence and aggression toward people unlike him - toward immigrants, women, people of color, and people of other religions.
My hope going forward is that not all people who voted for Trump believe in all that he represents. I hope we can find the middle ground.
And I will be working my hardest to support people who have been targeted by him.
Living as an American abroad, it hurts to see how people in other countries are appalled at our choice of a leader. I wish that we Americans would view our stance from a more global perspective.
The cutest little puppies that are temporarily staying at the Garden
Let me end with an excerpt from Michelle Alexander, in her book The New Jim Crow, who was recently interviewed in the new Netflix documentary, "The 13th" (you should check out both). In the last paragraph, she is actually quoting another great book that I want to read: The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin. Her subject specifically speaks to mass incarceration, but even if you haven't read much about that, I think it still speaks to our present moment in history.
...If the movement that emerges to end mass incarceration does not meaningfully address the racial divisions and resentments that gave rise to mass incarceration, and if it fails to cultivate an ethic of genuine care, compassion, and concern for every human being--of every class, race, and nationality--within our nation's borders, including poor whites, who are often pitted against poor people of color, the collapse of mass incarceration will not mean the death of racial caste in America. Inevitably a new system of racialized social control will emerge--one that we cannot foresee, just as the current system of mass incarceration was not predicted by anyone thirty years ago. No task is more urgent for racial justice advocates today than ensuring that America's current racial caste system is its last.
...Taking our cue from the courageous civil rights advocates who brazenly refused to defend themselves, marching unarmed past white mobs that threatened to kill them, we too, must be the change we hope to create. If we want to do more than just end mass incarceration--if we want to put an end to the history of racial caste in America--we must lay down our racial bribes, join hands with people of all colors who are not content to wait for change to trickle down, and say to those who would stand in our way: Accept all of us or none. (258)
[in the words of James Baldwin] "And if the word integration means anything, this is what it means: that we, with love, shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it. For this is your home, my friend, do not be driven from it; great men have done great things here, and will again, and we can make America what it must become." (261)
P.S. Promptly after I finished this blog, I used a door to slice open my finger. Apparently, no break for me yet.