Some days a topic for a post comes easily; other days, no amount of wracking your brain helps, and you end up with a mishmash, a hodgepodge, a melange, a gallimaufry of items. Today is one of the latter days.
St. Thomas (L or W), St. John (R or W), St. Croix (below or S)
Maybe because of its smaller size in area and population (106,450 per the 2010 census) or maybe because its population is 76% Black, the USVI has received even less media coverage than Puerto Rico after Irma and Maria. Today’s post is an attempt to rectify some of that and bring a spotlight to the ongoing struggles of our fellow citizens.
Too many of us were educated in a system that shies away from words like colonialism, imperialism, or racism when talking about our country. And yet, the evidence is readily available if one is willing to look. Today, we’re looking.
I’ve never been to Puerto Rico. Up until recently, if you asked me to find it on a map, I would have been able to find the general locale (I’ve heard it’s in a big ocean) but would have meandered around a bit before picking it out. Unfortunately, my ignorance goes beyond geography, so today’s post answers some of the questions that I have had; although I assume just about everyone reading is more knowledgeable than I am, I hope I’ll add to the community knowledge in some small way.
Inspired by WYGal’s Friday post at DK which featured the Helpers, today I am going to focus on the Explainers. Unlike WYGal’s theme, this won’t be an ongoing series, but I want to focus on the authors/writers/groups/publications which provide us with information and fresh perspectives, and contribute to one’s growth as an informed citizen and resister. Please feel free to add threads, posts, articles, or recommended follows which you’ve found to be useful Explainers.
Normally, I write my posts here and then copy and paste them for the DK Village. For whatever reason, today I wrote up my DK post first, and once I was done, I realized I didn’t really want to do the same thing here. So indulge me, even if you don’t sew…
Today’s the day that some have been waiting for and others have been dreading; with all the differences of opinion, one thing that is certain is that very, very few have actually read The Book. Yes, a bookstore in Florida sold some copies early (that’s how some CNN reporters got their copies), and a few more pundits were given advance copies with embargo conditions. And yes, some excerpts were released early; approximately four pages out of 512. We know those excerpts have stirred up controversy in the media and on Twitter, but what’s different this time around is that there has been significant, astute, and articulate pushback. Today I’m posting some of the best.
February 1943: A real life Rosie the Riveter. Women were called on to do the work; the call is alive again.
Even though the calendar tells us that summer doesn’t end for another 17 days, for most of us, Labor Day is a key line of demarcation. It’s getting dark earlier; the evenings (in most places) are cooler; and here in Michigan, the kids are headed back to school. For me, August was a month of scaled-back Resistance. My calls were less frequent, and since my freshman rep refuses to hold town halls, there were a few days of picketing his office…but very few sightings of him were reported. (After Charlottesville, and after intense, vocal outrage expressed on his Facebook page, he did give a clear, unequivocal denunciation of white supremacists, but then disappeared again.)
Now recess is ending, and there’s a full plate for Congress coming up. Our Resistance is more important than ever: between funding for Harvey-hit regions; raising the debt limit; funding the government for the upcoming fiscal year; ensuring the ACA is strengthened, not gutted; and defending DACA through legislation, our legislators have a full plate…and lots of opportunity for making mischief. We’re not going to get quiet now. With so much at stake, we can’t get quiet now.
By NASA/International Space Station () [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I’ve only experienced one hurricane in my life; Hurricane Gloria in 1985, when I was living in Portsmouth, RI on Aquidneck Island. As a native Midwesterner, I had no idea what to expect, and so I hunkered down with my dogs gathered round me and waited. I distinctly remember my reaction when we were in the eye. I found myself breathing again, even when I knew there was more to come. (We were lucky. Gloria hit during low tide, and the island did not sustain much damage as compared to other areas of Rhode Island and New England.)
Today I want to celebrate the good we see around us. I do not want to minimize what is happening in TX and LA; nor am I suggesting that 45*s idiocy can be ignored. But August recess is almost over, and the need for daily/weekly calls to our reps will be essential once again. We are more aware than ever of the need to confront racism and sexism in all its forms, and there will be ongoing calls for support as Harvey moves on and the rebuilding begins. We’re far from out of the storm, but today, let’s create and enjoy a brief breathing space.