A Mean Place

I’ve avoided this page for too long. I can’t any longer.

My mama wouldn’t be proud. I’m breaking her rule. I have nothing nice to say, but I’m sayin’ it anyway.

A while back, I wrote about my confrontation with my neighbor.

Here it is.

I want to walk next door and confirm that the current state of my country, my world, was what she wanted.

I wish I hadn’t been right.

I wish I could go back and grow a pair.

I’d actually put the Hillary sign in my yard.

I would’ve stopped the voter suppression I witnessed at my poling place, where the man in charge intimidated the brown people in line.

“You might as well leave now if you don’t have a photo ID.”

I knew he was wrong. I knew about the court ruling. I gripped my own drivers license and turned away, disgusted at his lie, disgusted at my inability to confront the well-dressed, middle-aged Republican in charge.

So here we are:

DACA,

Charlottesville,

Climate Change,

Harvey,

the EPA,

Korea,

Russia,

the subtle implosion of my health insurance,

the racist comments my Asian-American daughters have endured at school because it’s now acceptable to chant “TR**P, TR**P, TR**P” on a school bus.

I’m using asterisks because, in this era, all press is good press. I’m not about to contribute to that sinkhole.

If my words upset you, feel free to unfollow. This isn’t a one-off and done rant from me. I’m done pretending that things are OK. I’m an American. I vote. I expect more from my government than this.

 

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Why You Gotta Be So Mean?

Which political issue do you care about most?

 

I’m scared at how pissed-off everyone seems to be.

All of this political venting has made it worse. I’d like to sit Donald Trump and his supporters in our old time-out chair. Can you see it? The Donald in the baby chair?

As much as I might disagree with his stance on:

IMG_4894Immigration.

Religious freedom.

Racial intolerance.

Feminism.

LGTBQ rights.

Baskin-Robbins’ Flavor of the Month.

I support his right to an opinion.

But not his bad manners.

Or those supporters who think his behavior is an acceptable way to behave.

False Assumption

falseassumptionI have a neighbor, who sends me junk email. Specifically, she posts political propaganda in opposition to my beliefs. She doesn’t mean to be malicious (at least not to me personally. She’s very malicious in her views.) She simply believes I think like she does.

I delete the emails. I read the first few words to make sure it’s spam. And then, I hit the D button.

I’m tempted to hit return and debate the garbage, but it wouldn’t change her mind. I’m tempted to put a placard in my front yard like the neighbor down the street, No Selfishness. Or a bumper sticker on my car, Vote for ___. I’m tempted to sign her up for all of my liberal leaning political action groups, but the message would be lost on her.

Robert Frost wrote, “Good fences make good neighbors.” I’ve built a twenty-first century fence around my property, a boundary of non-response.

Price To Pay

I met an old man last week, eating breakfast at Las Palapas. He sat in the booth next to mine, and since we were both single, he faced me like we were at opposite ends of a long table. The diner was empty, save a busboy and our waitress, who refilled our coffee cups before taking her morning break.

“Shame. Shame on this newspaper.” He opened a quarter-folded copy of the local, but corporately-owned rag. “It says here, ‘The problem boils down to money. Uncle Sam gives veterans a government headstone or marker, burial flag, presidential memorial certificate and perpetual care of the gravesite if it is in a VA cemetery.’ But no casket. How can they say that?” His thick lilt was punctuated by a hard tap on the table with his fist. “That the problem boils down to money? I gave twenty-seven years of my life to protect my country.”

The busboy asked a question in Spanish.

My new friend answered, “Sí.”

His coffee was refilled.

“What price to pay? The problem isn’t about money. It’s about respect.”

I agreed, but I couldn’t offer any homily that would help, so I listened and nodded.

*To be fair, the article congratulates a local charity that provides caskets in San Antonio, but not Abilene, where two homeless vets died. Read more here.