For my family, the holiday festivities are over. We’ve exchanged gifts, shared meals, played together, and laughed much. So while most of you are still in a state of anticipation, I’ve moved on to the introspective part of the year; that fine tradition of the “year in review.” These are some of my lessons from 2017; please feel free to share yours in the comments.
I’ve never been to Alabama. I have no family in Alabama (although my since-passed aunt and uncle retired there). To the best of my knowledge, I don’t know anyone in Alabama. Despite all that, I will be watching the returns come in tonight with bated breath and fingers crossed. For those who are like me, with zero personal knowledge or experience of Alabama, I’m providing numbers and factoids to fill in some of the gaps.
A Fourth of July celebration back in the day; we can still raise our voices today.
I’m not gonna lie…as I followed the unfolding of the Senate passage of the #GOPTaxScam last Friday night, I became so stressed, upset, and angry that I ended up throwing up in my kitchen sink. I discovered a burning core of hatred within me which quite frankly frightened me. As a result, I took the weekend off from politics, spent some time reflecting on whether hope was even possible, and re-centered myself by remembering my core values, which do not include hatred or violence. What follows is the product of those efforts in tweet form.
Giving Tuesday is not just a marketing ploy like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. It was started six years ago:
Created by the team at the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y—a cultural center in New York City that, since 1874, has been bringing people together around the values of service and giving back—#GivingTuesday connects diverse groups of individuals, communities and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving. A team of influencers and founding partners joined forces, collaborating across sectors, offering expertise and working tirelessly, to launch #GivingTuesday and have continued to shape, grow and strengthen the movement.
#GivingTuesday harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities; it provides a platform for them to encourage the donation of time, resources and talents to address local challenges. It also brings together the collective power of a unique blend of partners— nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses and corporations, as well as families and individuals—to encourage and amplify small acts of kindness.
As a global movement, #GivingTuesday unites countries around the world by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another. givingtuesday.org
Puerto Rico, 1900
Philadelphia North American, Rep. : The present condition of Puerto Rico would have been absolutely incredible and inconceivable to Americans of two years ago. We thought we knew our own hearts, and we should have said with entire confidence that wherever our flag went it would go as a messenger of benediction. Has a year and a half of empire stripped us of all the fine feelings of humanity with which we went into war for Cuban liberty, and turned us into a race of mercenary oppressors?
Ex-Attorney-General Smith, of Indiana
“It is conceded that Puerto Rico constitutes part of the territory of the United States and that our title to it was acquired under the treaty making power of the constitution ; and it follows, therefore, that the moment the title passed from Spain to the United States the constitution extended itself over every part of the island. Any attempt by congress to segregate the constitution and extend a part of its provisions to our island possessions is a violation of the letter and spirit of that instrument, amounting almost, if not quite, to an overt act of treason. We took these people from choice, not compulsion, and by that act we extended to them the protection of our constitution. If we have made a mistake in adding this territory to our country it is not too late to correct it. “
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.