From the DRAFTS Folder — June 2017. Mostly pictures.
I gathered the pictures for this post seven months after the disastrous 2016 election, but wrote nothing.
My city of Newton was trying to decide whether to submit a formal recommendation to the U.S. House in support of an impeachment investigation. It wasn’t openly in favor of impeachment, it’s important to note. It was in support of INVESTIGATING the possible bases for impeachment. And yet, it was controversial.
Of course, the second trump was inaugurated, both emoluments clauses were being violated due to his undivested business interests. By the summer of 2017, the abuses of power and other egregious behaviors had piled up to a ridiculous degree. I will spare myself (and you) the litany.
My small but focused Indivisible Group appeared before the City Council to support the measure. Our philosophy was to show up. Do what little thing you can. It seemed to matter. (Does it still, I find myself asking in today’s Texas-Handmaid mood).
Most people were going to tick off trump’s impeachable offenses, as if to say: HOW CAN WE LET THIS STAND? I wanted, instead, to specifically address one council member’s objection — that is, that it was not the business of states to makes suggestions to the U.S. Congress. I hunted down an example.
What I found was that the citizens of Cambridge, Mass. formerly implored Jefferson to undo the Embargo of 1807. The federal trade restrictions stopped U.S. ships from conducting business in foreign ports. The embargo was meant to both prevent war with Britain and to make the economies of Britain and France suffer. Unfortunately, the embargo hurt our economy as well, particularly the merchants of the Northeast.
The petition stated in part: “But such is the unequal and oppressive operation of the embargo that we cannot believe that any real, true-hearted American can consider passive obedience and non-resistance a virtue.”
Timeless words, were they not?
It seems so long ago. 2017, I mean.
A Remonstrance, if you don’t know, is “an earnest presentation for reasons for opposition or grievance, esp. a document formally stating such points.”
Step forward! Shut up and listen! Step back! Silence is violence!
The voice of the hour responds: try being Black for a half hour.
Marshall your hatred and your good person biases and give them license, or don’t, for the hatred and biases both good and bad need no license. They like to go rogue. They operate on the sly. The rotten impulses will thwart and harm another’s soul, a Black person’s soul, whether you grant them permission or not. Being otherwise decent has nothing to do with it. Do a little reading for Christ’s sake.
So why must discrimination law require demonstration of INTENT? So bogus. Such a loophole.
So many ways to pose as ally, whether silent or speaking up. But, oh hallowed white person with every advantage coded into your DNA, silence from your earthworm lips surrounded by freckled skin prone to burning, no no silence is not acceptable.
Shout loud and clear and worry about getting it right and redeeming your moral points later.
(This business of hoping to earn badges toward redemption is not just a White Woman thing, BTW, it’s a very Catholic thing. So — fucking crucify me on two counts).
History shall condemn us if we do not, oh darling freckle-faced politicos, put our bodies on the front lines, yes, even our raggedy, lumpy bodies and yes, even during a pandemic. Protests? Maybe not. But calls and donations, yes. I’ve said it before.
TODAY: I shall call my reps in support of H.R. 51 — a bill regarding Washington, D.C.’s statehood. Why don’t you, too?
TODAY: I shout out the importance of all those down-ballot races. It’s not just the protests shrinking the response time between racial murder and indictment, it’s Black mayors and Black DA’s and Black police commissioners. Progressives of all races.
I long for the day when progress is measured by the absence of Black bodies gunned down by police and not by the swiftness of justice.
TODAY: I shall rest in the satisfaction of a Supreme Court acting like a court and not like an adjunct of the Executive (even though I’m inclined to move straight to dread about the tax case and did just that yesterday). In particular, I say HALLELUJAH AND FUCK YOU to trump for Neil Gorsuch authoring the LGBTQ opinion.
Have I lately been so satisfied by a court’s result?
(Well, yes, Judge Sullivan in the Flynn case. I CANNOT wait for him to sentence that traitorous ass).
TODAY: I shall finish one of the books by a Black author that I purchased in support of a week of buying Black writers (Instagram) (‘course, I’ve been doing this for years, letting myself buy bestsellers penned by Black writers LOOONNNG before they come out in paperback). Today? Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie John. It takes place on Antigua where Kincaid grew up and incidentally, where Eliza Lucas Pincnkey also grew up.
The Solstice is nigh (she said). With Leo on the ascendant, and a problematic 12th house, this time of year always comes as a kind of relief to me, a psychological blossoming as well as a literal one.
I will also make two more masks. The elastic I ordered back in March finally arrived. These two will be birthday gifts for a Cancerian friend who is coming over tomorrow to write POSTCARDS to Florida with me. If she’s lucky, I’ll use some of the batiks that Tina sent me.
They say the postcards make a difference, but what do I know? What do any of us know?
In the category of things that surely don’t make a difference but that make ME feel better: this week I sent a postcard to the White House, saying, “You’re Fired!” as part of a campaign to get millions of people buying stamps because — you know — ahem, absentee ballots, the Constitution, the USPS, Jeff Bezos.
I also made a complaint to the Virginia Bar about William Barr (OK impeachment might be out of the question, but can’t somebody disbar the fucker?)
Since this blog is PATTERN and outrage, here’s some noodling from this week, done in anticipation of some hot pink threads from Deb (due to arrive any minute).
P.S. Don’t give to the Minnesota Freedom Fund as I recommended a bit ago — they’ve been SWAMPED by donations! A wonderful problem for them. Also in case you don’t know, don’t give to anything Shaun King is rustling up. He’s reviled by many of the Black woman I follow on Twitter.
PPS. I do not mean to hassle those who are taking time to absorb things and order their thinking and staying quiet. I can’t tell you how tentatively I posted our Hearts for Charleston quilt on Instagram yesterday, it being the 5th anniversary of the Mother Emanuel AME massacre.
Was still awake when K’s alarm went off at five. Ugh. From studying maps of LA and Oroville (to track the progress of the fires), to dispiriting ongoing voter suppression news (it is just the GOP norm now), to the firing of Sessions, I found myself spacing out about appointments and social engagements this week and wondering what overwhelm morphs into. Not despair, I hope.
(Not despair, I hope?)
And what of Mueller? Was he strategic enough to withstand this level of obstruction? Will we be denied? Reading the first linked article below constituted a highlight this week because it credibly outlines why Mueller is likely poised to finish his investigation.
And who thinks our depraved President only went to Paris to meet with Putin? The international shame of him provides a whole other order of gloom.
So I went to a protest. The “red line” one. Not the one in Boston because I was tired. Too much trouble for democracy? Well, maybe. The Needham gathering, though small, offered a shared sense of outrage and worry and could be reached by car without hassle. Get well cards to Ruth Bader Ginsburg were circulated.
Tuesday I worked the polls. Our very civilized polls. It was busy — I gather from old timers, busier than normal.
A pleasant (for a change) visit to Salem came at the end of the week — very little traffic and a cleaner apartment than usual helped (PCA Maria #1 is back, to our shared relief). Doing the Times puzzle together was good, too (the sharing of it. Not this week’s puzzle!)
The North Shore visit came a week after one to K’s father in the nursing home where he is safe and well cared for and nevertheless restless and lonely.
Raking leaves provides ballast. Sanity. Tidying a closet, I can handle. Deciding which project to finish, not so much.
Here’s what I am looking forward to (and then I want to hear what YOU are looking forward to):
News that Grace and family are safe and their property untouched by fire;
The kids coming home for Christmas;
The first snowfall;
The indictments of Trump’s family and Sean Hannity;
The lentil soup I’m gonna make tonight;
Reading the next four hours and 28 minutes (gotta love kindle!) of “A Gentleman in Moscow,” which I am really enjoying.
Reading three articles about the use of dialogue in fiction;
A time when politics does not enter the dialogue here.
P.S. because of the overwhelm, I didn’t finish the draft post entitled “Savor a Little” in which I intended to lay out the impressive Democratic wins from the midterms — all there is to celebrate and feel terrific about. So, I’ll just leave you with this Washington Post article.