7 Quick Takes: Wildcat Sanctuary Edition

7 Quick Takes

I’m taking a break from talking about racial reconciliation, BLM, and masks to share one of my favorite charities with you: the Wildcat Sanctuary. In terms of my giving, they are second only to my church. (I also will sometimes donate off of their wishlist so Ramsey can have another box to sit in.) I invite you to check out their page to learn more about their work, the captive wildlife crisis, and why you shouldn’t adopt a hybrid cat (Bengals, Savannahs, Chausies, and Safaris).

Their videos are set to appear first on my Facebook wall, and watching them is a highlight of my day. I also will watch them when I’m falling asleep at night. Here are some of my favorites and some that show how wonderful the sanctuary is. Most of the videos I am showing are of the medium cats and cougars because they are my favorites, but they do have lions (all but one of whom were rescued from zoos in Argentina two years ago) and tigers.

— 1 —

So you want to work with wildcats… Here are interviews with some of the caretakers. Elyse works with pretty much all of the cats, is the vet coordinator, and does a lot of operant conditioning. You also get to hear from the hybrid caretakers and the ones that do a lot of the medium-sized cats.

— 2 —

Essey, my sponsored cat. Full disclosure: I fell head-over-heels in love with Essey when I saw the first video below. (She’s a tiny girl just like I was at her age!) I looked to see how much it would be to sponsor her, and it was thankfully within my budget. I also included her intake exam video so you can see what an intake exam looks like at the sanctuary.

— 3 —

Serval cuddle puddles. Servals are probably my favorite cat to watch after the cougars. They look like something out of a Dr. Suess book and their cuddle puddles are adorable. I also love the chirp that Rocky (one of the servals) is making about a minute into the video. (This is one of 12-13 videos that they made as part of one of their fundraising drives last year when they posted every hour on the hour from the sanctuary.)

— 4 —

Washington cougars. While I root against the Washington State University Cougars as they are the archrivals of my parents’ alma mater (Go Dawgs!), I am smitten with these three babies. They were trapped on the other side of the Cascade Mountains from me and were taken in by the sanctuary because Washington state doesn’t allow the rehab and release of apex predators. People suggested names based on places in Washington, and the sanctuary decided on Rainier (girl), Quincy (boy), and Tacoma (boy). Rainier is my favorite, mostly because she’s a little pistol. My favorite video on the site is probably the second one where Elyse is feeding them and she calls out “Cougars!” as she is clicking the tongs.) The cougars are now big enough to move down to Cougar Cove where they live next to another cougar family, the 5-Wild.

— 5 —

Inside rooms for the cats. The sanctuary is unique in that they provide both an inside temperature-controlled room for each of the bigger cats (and bungalows for the hybrids) and an outside fenced habitat. Here are some videos that showcase the insides and the hybrid habitats.

— 6 —

Enrichment. In addition to providing a lot of space for the cats, they also provide enrichment for the cats to destroy. Apparently, they have an entire shed dedicated to this, which includes a spice rack. In addition to the obvious favorites of catnip and tuna, the wildcats also go crazy for seasoning salt. Of course, the cats like boxes–that’s just a given. 🙂

— 7 —

Andre the cougar. Andre, one of the cougars in the 5-Wild, decided to eat some cardboard a couple weeks ago and developed a bowel blockage that had to be removed with emergency surgery. He was down in Quarantine for a week afterward so they could make sure he healed properly. I think the cutest thing ever is the fourth video down when Rio (the blonde female caretaker) walked in and started fussing over him and babytalking him… and he starts chirping/meowing at her. He even meowed for Judson (the male media person for the sanctuary). 🙂 (Cougars can also purr and one of the caretakers in the first take describes them as sounding like a bunch of motorboats.) Andre is back with his cougar posse in his habitat and doing well.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

Holy Buckets!

I’d laugh at these people who are having meltdowns over a unanimous decision in West Palm Beach, Florida to require masks… except that they’re creating a public health crisis by **NOT** wearing masks and infecting innocent people who **CAN’T** wear them for legit health reasons.

Attention Karens at the meeting:

Masks are not the devil’s law. Masks have been scientifically proven to protect people. Wearing masks are protecting people who are immunocompromised, people taking care of other people who are immunocompromised, or who cannot wear masks because of their own health issues (asthma). Masks do not kill 99.999% of the population.

Get your heads out of your butts and start giving a crap about other people.


The rest of the world

7 Quick Takes: Getting Political and Pissing Off My Trolls Edition

7 Quick Takes

It’s been THAT week here. My sweet child decided to pull out his g-tube on Tuesday (necessitating it being changed a month early and causing me a pretty massive adrenaline spike as I had to change it while being half-awake), I’m fighting allergies up the wazoo, and that’s not even getting into all the racial and political things going on in this country. I can’t do much about my kiddo’s g-tube sitch or the allergies, but I figured I would vent out my spleen on the politics and social things.

If you don’t want to deal with reading my anti-Trump/anti-racist/pro-mask ramblings, can I *HIGHLY* recommend heading over to watch some videos at the Wildcat Sanctuary Facebook page? (For those of you who don’t do Facebook, they have a YouTube channel with some of the videos on there.) They are set to appear first on my Facebook feed, and I sponsor one of their bobcats. (Click here to see what made me fall in love with her.)

— 1 —

The rally in Tulsa on Saturday night. Someone convinced Trump’s minions to reschedule the rally in Tulsa to the day after Juneteenth. (I’m truly SHOCKED that they actually listened.) The head of Tulsa’s Department of Health does not want him there because of the massive COVID-19 risk this rally poses, and the Tulsa World newspaper’s editorial board has made this clear as well.

The governor of Oklahoma has invited Trump to visit the neighborhood where the Tulsa Race Massacre took place, and black Tulsans are unnerved by this. They also didn’t include black leaders in the discussion, which is a pretty huge slap in the face when THEY were the ones killed in the massacre.

It might be a good idea to lift up some prayers for everyone in the Tulsa area for safety from the COVID-19 cluster that is probably going to result as well as from any of Trump’s “fine upstanding people” causing shenanigans.

— 2 —

Nothing new under the sun. The Tulsa Race Massacre was not the only one that happened. Why was this never spoken of in U.S. History classes? In the case of the Tulsa massacre, people were terrified into staying silent, and it would not surprise me if the same thing happened with the other massacres.

— 3 —

This is not a coincidence. Black men have been found hanging from trees in New York, California, and most recently in a Texas school parking lot. With everything going on, the timing is pretty suspicious.

— 4 —

#SayHerName The cops who killed Breonna Taylor are still on the job. Their names are Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove. You are invited to make some calls to get them fired and charged in her killing pending the outcome of the various investigations being launched by the state and the Feds.

— 5 —

Commemorating the Emanuel 9. Five years ago, Dylann Roof walked into Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina and shot nine people dead. He did it in order to start a race war, and one of the most vivid memories I have of the day after it happened is one of the family members of the deceased telling Roof that she forgave him because she had to do it as a Christian. He wanted to start a fight, and she effectively blocked him.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, one of my former denominations, held a prayer service to commemorate them on Wednesday.

Another moving song about the occasion:

— 6 —

Hydroxychloroquine. The CDC has pulled emergency authorization for use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine… BECAUSE IT IS UNLIKELY TO BE EFFECTIVE!!!!!!!!!!!! All of us who have been offered it by our rheumatologists for our conditions are rolling our eyes because WE HAVE BEEN TELLING PEOPLE THIS. (Its brand name is Plaquenil, and it has been out for a while.) Among the side effects that turned me off of trying it was liver issues and retinal damage. If it was the only thing that was going to keep me alive, my parents (who have my medical POA) would have permitted it to be given to me, but there was no conclusive evidence that it would do any good–only that it would cause serious cardiac side effects.

The lesson here: Trump should have waited until peer-reviewed/strong> studies came out before talking about it.

— 7 —

One more mask take. I’m just going to say this plainly:


Yes, your glasses fog up. Guess what? It happens to doctors and nursing staff in hospitals all the time. (I’ve seen probably 50 letters to the editor from doctors and nurses all over the country on this subject.)They have no sympathy for you, and I don’t either. I’ve had to live in a mask, gloves, and gown over my clothes for a week at a time while in the PICU with Daniel. If I can do it for a week or more at a time, you can do it for an hour while grocery-shopping or at Mass. Masking up protects those around you from getting infected with COVID-19 if you have it, and it honestly is a sign that you care about the welfare of other people. Given that states are opening up too fast and seeing a spike in infections, places need to be enforcing it.

The CDC recommends it as do the Mayo Clinic, this study from the National Institutes of Health, this other study from the National Institutes of Health, this study in The Lancet, the Cleveland Clinic, this study from the National Academy of Sciences, and many other studies.

Yes, Trump doesn’t wear one, but he’s also a fundamentally selfish human being who requires those around him to wear masks instead because he cares about them not infecting him, but not about him infecting them. Don’t be like Trump. Mask up.

(And to my main troll: the office of your Congressional representative thinks it’s hysterically funny that someone in Washington state is donating to her campaign because one of her constituents is being an Internet troll.)

*Bandanas and neck gaiters count here as well.
**Autism is included in medical reasons.
***If you haven’t been able to acquire one and/or need instructions on how to make one, leave me a comment and I’ll get you information on how to do that.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Getting A Few Things Straight Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Who Antifa is. Just a head’s up:

Cadet Bonespurs is an idiot.

— 2 —

On defunding the police. This is what it means. This is what it can look like.

By the way, this is who a lot of the looters are.

— 3 —

Let’s get something straight. Breonna’s killers have yet to be brought to justice.

Say her name.

— 4 —

On dealing with racism. Aside from being completely on target, this gentleman’s penmanship is exquisite.


— 5 —

Worthy. Beloved. Needed. He is right. “Matter” is the minimum.

The truth.

— 6 —

There’s work still to do. This is not an overnight process. We’ve got 400 years of horrible history to rectify.

We are only just beginning.

— 7 —

And because it still needs to be said… Y’all still need to wear a freaking mask.

Do you believe me now???

— Bonus—

One of my most recent facepalms. Apparently, nobody in Trump’s administration knows why it is racist to hold a rally in Tulsa on June 19th. Or… they just really don’t care.

(Tl;dr of the links is that there was a race massacre in Tulsa in the early 20th century that annihilated black-owned businesses, and Juneteenth is a day celebrating the enforcement of the end of slavery.)

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: What’s On My Mind Edition

7 Quick Takes

I’ve gotten political this week here and here. There is so incredibly much I want to say, and my constant state of exhaustion these days is making it hard to find the words, so I figured I’d give you a picture of the various directions my mind is going in right now (late afternoon on Thursday). Some of them are related to the events of this last week, and some of them are “ooooh shiny!” type thoughts about bullet journal supplies.

— 1 —

I’m honestly really angry at the people who are getting their news about the protests from biased sources. Click here for an interactive media bias chart. I tend to double and triple-check my sources to make sure that whatever I’m posting is as neutral as I can get it. I have also been examining my own biases and trying to get news from sites like The Grio that show things from a different cultural standpoint.

— 2 —

I’m really struggling with how helpless I feel right now. I’m not going to lie. It feels like this verse in the Dropkick Murphys song “The Green Fields of France” right now:

And I can’t help but wonder oh Willy McBride,
Do all those who lie here know why they died,
Did you really believe them when they told you the cause,
Did you really believe that this war would end wars.
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame,
The killing and dying it was all done in vain,
Oh Willy McBride it all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.

While I know the song is addressing World War I, the whole thing about “the killing and dying it was all done in vain… it all happened again, and again, and again, and again, and again.” Last week, it was George Floyd. Before that, it was Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. I don’t blame the black community one damn bit for being angry because the cards are stacked against them, and there is no static date in sight for change to actually come until our society completely reevaluates itself.

— 3 —

I’m thinking about the casual racism I’ve witnessed in my own life. When I was living in Bexley for seminary, the cops there often got referred to as the “Bexley Border Patrol” because of their habit of following black men walking on city and neighborhood streets. It was only 20 years earlier that the seminary had their first black students, and the seminary president had to go to the police department and tell them to stop harassing them. (I heard the story from one of the students who became a professor there and was teaching my “African-American Religious Experience” class.) The local Kroger was right across the bridge over Alum Creek, and it was like walking into a different world once I crossed the bridge from the leafy streets of Bexley. It was then that I learned that Columbus looked like a checkerboard with white and black neighborhoods alternating. It was something that I had never thought about before as a sweet little 21 year old girl from northern California. That year of seminary changed a lot of the ways I saw the world.

— 4 —

I’m heartened at some of the conversations that are happening in various places. Louisville Metro Council’s public safety committee has unanimously approved “Breonna’s Law” which would regulate no-knock warrants. It is named for Louisville paramedic Breonna Taylor who was killed while asleep in her home when officers stormed in on a no-knock warrant and opened fire. Investigations have been opened into her killing by the FBI, and there was a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the city by her family.

There is also a bipartisan push to demilitarize police, which I think is important for many reasons. There needs to be a serious push toward community-based policing and not the rough tactics that Trump has been demanding. We’re seeing from the protests that the rough tactics are backfiring pretty spectacularly and are causing more problems than they’re resolving.

I don’t think police departments are going to be defunded, but I’m really hoping that conversations between city officials and organizers of protests might start a kernel of change happening.

— 5 —

I’m reading what people are saying and trying to listen more than I speak. (And yes, this is harder than it sounds for me, and I don’t deserve a medal for it. Former President Obama wrote this, which I think is helpful for people like me in figuring out a starting point. There is also this list, which is being added to as time goes on. (For those who are “all or nothing” people like me, the second link is stuff to do over time to help you consider your privilege and move toward being helpful, not to have to accomplish by tomorrow.)

— 6 —

I’m mentally putting together a list of things to do tomorrow to help my child to not have a screaming meltdown. Let’s just say that someone had a bad night and someone’s mommy has been suffering the repercussions of this all day. It’s hard having a largely nonverbal child with autism who can’t tell you *WHY* they are enraged and screaming so loudly that it is shattering glass in a three-mile radius… at 12:45 a.m. (My hunch is that allergies are causing him to be congested and not feel good, and I couldn’t make a run to Haggen in my jammies for Children’s Dimetapp because they close at midnight due to COVID-19. (They’re usually open 24 hours.) He was tired today, but the 4-7 p.m. meltdown time was pretty normal in terms of rage at being told “no” to things that his crappy impulse control (from the ADHD) compels him to do. I’m seriously wishing there was even a shot at in-home ABA up here.

My kiddo truthfully occupies 90% of my spoons and 75% of my mental energy these days. This is why I tend to rip heads off of people who don’t have kids with autism but still think that they have anything useful to say to me regarding what I *SHOULD* be trying with Daniel. (Hint: A gluten-free diet isn’t going to magically cure him. Neither is the GAPS diet.)

— 7 —

I’m plotting out next week’s bullet journal layout to keep myself somewhat sane. I’ve got a bunch of stickers from Planning with Kay, but I still have a month to go until I migrate my bullet journal and use those for my July layout. (I get to start a new journal at that point! *bouncebouncebounce*) I also need my ink cartridges to arrive already so that I can print out stuff for next week’s layout.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

The Sacrilege Committed Monday Night By Trump

Let me be damn clear on this: I DO NOT SUPPORT THE ABUSES OF POLICE ON PROTESTORS IN THE LAST WEEK. NOT ONE LITTLE BIT. I posted about my thoughts on all of that on Monday night.

What has me spitting fire for the last 36+ hours is what happened in D.C. around 6:30 p.m. because it was just adding insult to the massive injury this country has.

There were peaceful protestors at Lafayette Park. Trump was speaking in the Rose Garden and trumpeting his power to call in the military to put down the protests, kind of like happens in Russia, China, or North Korea. Hope Hicks, one of Trump’s advisors, decided it would be a fabulous idea for Trump to take a picture in front of a St. John’s Episcopal Church holding a Bible. Oh wait… there’s this pesky problem of the protestors in Lafayette Park around the church.

So… in the spirit of Napoleon “dismissing the crowd “with a whiff of grapeshot“, the police, backed by the National Guard, unleashed tear gas, flash bangs, and rubber bullets on the protestors, who were peaceful and not violating curfew. (If you’d like a firsthand account from a clergy person who was AT the church when this happened, click here.) The mayor of Washington did not approve of this.

When he got to St. John’s Church, he didn’t go in to pray. He didn’t meet with church leaders. (His handlers didn’t even give the rector and staff a 30-minute warning that is the bare minimum of courtesy.) He didn’t let the Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of Washington know. He just had pictures of himself taken while standing in front of the church holding a Bible.

Let’s talk about all the things wrong with this picture.

1.) He is holding the Bible upside down and backwards. If it was actually a holy book to him and not just a prop to make him look like a defender of Christianity, he would hold it more reverently. When asked if it was a family Bible, he replied that it was “A Bible”. That says to me that the thing he is holding has no importance to him. It does, however, have importance to me. The teachings in it govern how I live my life. The teachings in it are about loving one’s neighbor as much as one loves oneself. Those teachings are antithetical to Trump’s actions. I feel like the Bible was desecrated by him holding it that way.

2.) Him standing in front of the church gives the impression that the church backs him. It is an Episcopal church. I am an Episcopalian. We do *NOT agree with his actions, his words, or most of the things he has done during his time in the White House. Mariann Edgar Budde, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, made this ABUNDANTLY CLEAR. She found out about his visit while watching the news and seeing a scene out of a war movie taking place in front of one of her churches. Michael Curry, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, weighed in on this as well.

(Side note: I had the displeasure of seeing a bunch of Trump followers taking the Presiding Bishop to task for his words, and my act of charity for the week was responding to their idiocy kindly and explaining to them why they were wrong. I also had to inform them that the Presiding Bishop told us after Trump’s election that we need to pray for him… and we do it in some form EVERY Sunday. It’s written into our liturgy.)

3.) HE TEAR-GASSED PEACEFUL PROTESTORS FOR A ******* PHOTO OP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I wish WordPress would let me use 72-point font for that one.) People were peacefully protesting the murder of an innocent man, and he put his selfish desires above listening to what people were saying. It was the cherry on a feces sundae. We are in a horrible situation in this country, we have a horrible history, and the person who is supposed to be our leader is taking selfies with a holy book to pander to his followers instead of listening to people and acting like someone deserving of the leadership role he has. I am sitting here at a loss for words at how utterly inappropriate this was.

This image from Twitter actually sums it up well:

A summary of Trump's photo-op.

Fear not, Catholic readers. He went and took selfies at the St. John Paul II National Shrine. It was supposed to be to sign an executive order on religious freedom and he laid a wreath, but the Archbishop of Washington was not amused, given Trump’s actions in the previous 24 hours.

The pictures taken at St. John’s Church and the shrine will undoubtedly be used for campaign propaganda to make him look like a defender of Christianity, but he is the farthest thing from a defender of Christianity. His actions represent everything Jesus preached against in the Gospels, and I am angry beyond words that he decided to pander to his base rather than listen and learn during a time when our nation really needed it. I saw it way before he ran in 2016, and I cannot understand why people don’t see it:


I feel like the 5th chapter of the Book of Amos speaks to all of this beautifully:

Hear this word, Israel, this lament I take up concerning you:

2 “Fallen is Virgin Israel,
never to rise again,
deserted in her own land,
with no one to lift her up.”

3 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Israel:

“Your city that marches out a thousand strong
will have only a hundred left;
your town that marches out a hundred strong
will have only ten left.”

4 This is what the Lord says to Israel:

“Seek me and live;
5 do not seek Bethel,
do not go to Gilgal,
do not journey to Beersheba.
For Gilgal will surely go into exile,
and Bethel will be reduced to nothing.”
6 Seek the Lord and live,
or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire;
it will devour them,
and Bethel will have no one to quench it.

7 There are those who turn justice into bitterness
and cast righteousness to the ground.

8 He who made the Pleiades and Orion,
who turns midnight into dawn
and darkens day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out over the face of the land—
the Lord is his name.
9 With a blinding flash he destroys the stronghold
and brings the fortified city to ruin.

10 There are those who hate the one who upholds justice in court
and detest the one who tells the truth.

11 You levy a straw tax on the poor
and impose a tax on their grain.
Therefore, though you have built stone mansions,
you will not live in them;
though you have planted lush vineyards,
you will not drink their wine.
12 For I know how many are your offenses
and how great your sins.

There are those who oppress the innocent and take bribes
and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.
13 Therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times,
for the times are evil.

14 Seek good, not evil,
that you may live.
Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you,
just as you say he is.
15 Hate evil, love good;
maintain justice in the courts.
Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy
on the remnant of Joseph.

16 Therefore this is what the Lord, the Lord God Almighty, says:

“There will be wailing in all the streets
and cries of anguish in every public square.
The farmers will be summoned to weep
and the mourners to wail.
17 There will be wailing in all the vineyards,
for I will pass through your midst,”
says the Lord.

The Day of the Lord
18 Woe to you who long
for the day of the Lord!
Why do you long for the day of the Lord?
That day will be darkness, not light.
19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion
only to meet a bear,
as though he entered his house
and rested his hand on the wall
only to have a snake bite him.
20 Will not the day of the Lord be darkness, not light—
pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?

21 “I hate, I despise your religious festivals;
your assemblies are a stench to me.
22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them.
Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
I will have no regard for them.
23 Away with the noise of your songs!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
24 But let justice roll on like a river,
righteousness like a never-failing stream!

25 “Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings
forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?
26 You have lifted up the shrine of your king,
the pedestal of your idols,
the star of your god—
which you made for yourselves.
27 Therefore I will send you into exile beyond Damascus,”
says the Lord, whose name is God Almighty.


I’m Tired

Apologies that this is all over the place. I’m dealing with an allergy migraine and Daniel is having a hard night.

I was all prepared to do some blogging this weekend on an article a friend sent about Betsy DeVos vowing to make sure that public schools shared any funds they go for COVID-19 relief with private schools.

Then, the riots started happening. There was only so much I could read about what was going on before I had to shut down Facebook and Twitter to go watch bullet-journaling videos on YouTube because all of this is making me tired.

Why am I so tired?

[+] Because yet again, police officers violated someone’s civil rights and the person died in the process. Before anyone starts going off on how I should be supporting law enforcement, my family members who have actually WORKED in law enforcement have all condemned what happened to George Floyd as excessive use of force. All the statements I’ve read of those at the scene state that he wasn’t resisting. Off-duty medical professionals tried to get the police officer with his knee on George’s neck to remove it because he was showing all the signs of asphyxiation such as his nose bleeding and him losing control of his bodily functions. I’m sure that the officer’s lawyer is going to say that it was a lapse in judgment, and I’d argue that it was an egregious one, considering that the Hennepin County Medical Examiner ruled his death a homicide.

How many times does this have to happen before things DO actually change and law enforcement officers stop this crap?


[+] Because there are idiots claiming that “if you can talk, you can breathe.” Apparently, they’ve never had someone sitting on their chest and refusing to get off or crushing their larynx. I have. You can beg them to get off of you for so long. (There was a kid that used to push me down and sit on my chest when I was in preschool. I still remember the feeling more than 35 years later and I’m still pissed that the teacher just told him to get off and made no effort to actually HELP me.) I’m also asthmatic and have spent time in the ER in respiratory distress. You can still talk up to a point.

[+] Because I’m sick of the double standard that exists in our society where white men can walk into state capital buildings armed to the teeth, but African-American protestors are pepper-sprayed, shot with rubber bullets, and tear gassed. I’m a heck of a lot more unnerved by the protestors with automatic weapons walking around a few weeks ago than the peaceful protestors this weekend. The people smashing windows and looting stores were not part of the groups marching and protesting. If you look at close pictures, they’re decked all in black with gas masks, goggles, and their skin is the same color as mine. Were there African-American people who participated in looting? Yes, and the organizers of the protests can be seen pulling them aside and telling them to stop.

The reaction of police in many major cities this weekend shows that not much has changed since the Civil Rights Movement 50 years ago.


[+] Because I’m feeling so much pain for friends of mine who legitimately have to worry about their sons encountering police officers. While Daniel’s autism could mean an adverse police experience, it’s unlikely that he’ll encounter a police officer who will assume that he’s a robbery suspect or that he is in a place to cause trouble. Journalist Robin Roberts spoke of her fear about her son being mistaken for a criminal if he wears a black surgical mask in public instead of one with a colorful pattern on it some weeks ago on one of the morning shows, and it was striking to me as it’s not something I even think about. Ahmaud Arbery was murdered for just jogging in a white neighborhood while being black. Breonna Taylor was swatted by police. None of those things are even remotely on my mind as something that could happen to me.


[+] Because I’m sick of having a president who incites racism. The jerks protesting in Charlottesville and marching with tiki torches to incite fear are not “fine people”. There were not “good people on both sides” of that protest. His tweet about “thugs” in Minneapolis and how “the shooting starts when the looting starts” a few days ago was taken down by Twitter as a violation of their community policies. He hires people with ties to white nationalism as his advisors and his current press secretary. The sad thing is that this is just scratching the surface.


[+] Because I’m sick of feeling so helpless when this happens. I’m speaking out, signing petitions, calling my legislators, reading news from sources like The Root and The Grio, and calling out racism when I see it. I encourage my students to tell their stories because we need to hear the perspectives of people from different cultures. I read books with diverse characters, and take that into consideration when buying books for the children of my friends and for my nephews. I’m cognizant of what companies I support, and I am aware of my privilege as a white woman. I ask questions, and I listen to my friends when they tell me that what I said innocently actually has other connotations when said about someone who happens to be African-American. (I’m also not saying any of this to trumpet my virtue and prove that I’m not a racist.) I’m really trying to do what I can to understand the world of my friends from different cultures than my own.

Yet, I’m aware that there has to be a cultural change, and that every piece of this change is going to involve people losing their lives. I hate this. I really do. I can scream that BLACK LIVES MATTER until I’m blue in the face, and people are going to keep dying until we start listening to Colin Kaepernick and others who have been taking a knee and protesting the horrible treatment of blacks in this country.