No, You’re Not Imagining It: 3 Ways Racial Microaggressions Sneak into Our Lives — Everyday Feminism


We are NOT Post-Racial. Hard to look at? I'll bet it's harder to be on the receiving end-ALL the time.
We are NOT Post-Racial. Hard to look at? I’ll bet it’s harder to be on the receiving end-ALL the time.

I posted this piece on my Facebook page as well. The truth and civility with which it was written are stunning.  I encourage you to read every word, even when it feels a little uncomfortable, even when you recognize that there might be things that need to change in your paradigm, the worldview you were raised to find acceptable, and/or your own behavior.

Thanks to Everyday Feminism and Anni Liu for the amazing essay.

Peace, friends.

Click the link below to read this eye-opening piece.

No, You’re Not Imagining It: 3 Ways Racial Microaggressions Sneak into Our Lives — Everyday Feminism.

Speak up, even when it's scary. Staying silent so as not to 'rock the boat?' Another Microagression.
Speak up, even when it’s scary. Staying silent so as not to ‘rock the boat?’ Another Microagression.

Thank you. Just thank you.


(this post dedicated to Rosina McVicker, Phyllis Ayoob, Karin Monday, Wendy Geller,  Susan Clary, and the people of Our Companions Animal Sanctuary, and Siglinda at The Goathouse Refuge)

I’m starting my “Malevolence-Free Monday” with a thank-you note to the angels-on-earth who devote their hearts, homes, and wallets to Animal Rescue.  In the attached video, there’s a line from Annette King-Tucker’s poem (credit below): “I know of no creature unworthy of my time.”  That’s the Rescuer, in a nutshell. If every heart on our planet felt this way-and I don’t mean saying it, or posting a cute meme about it, but living it and exemplifying it with action?  There would be no war, no hate, no bigotry, no superiority-dances being done by the jib-jab-looking talking heads on televison. Yes, the pundits would be out of business but you know, people not dying because of their skin color, orientation/identification, or beliefs, so okay. But I digress.

I am honored to know some rescue people. They are as diverse a group (as far as political views, socio-eco status, religious views or lack thereof, etc.) as you’ll ever find. They love and respect each other. They don’t waste their time with hard-hearted thoughts about each other because of their philosophical or political leanings. Why? Because at the core of their open and loving hearts lies the truth from Ms. King-Tucker’s poem: “I know of no creature unworthy of my time.”  That’s not just a belief to a Rescuer-it has become a part of their DNA. These are, on so many levels, the most evolved humans on earth. I know this to be true. I also know that they are some of the most un-sung heroes; fortunately for us and for millions of animals, they don’t do any of it for glory or thanks. But they deserve some human gratitude. Which, I’ll grant you, is nothing compared to the grateful smile of a Pit Bull who was once used as a bait dog and is now looking at you from his side of the couch, waiting for you to throw the ball again-but hopefully, Rescue people, you’ll read this and share it with other like-hearted heroes. I want you to know how much I appreciate you:

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Phoenix Rising


I take care of a few feral kittens who live in my neighborhood. They are healthy and happy, with the exception of one baby I’ve named Phoenix.

Phoenix is a sweet and loving feral who needs a lot of medical attention. I am virtually fundless but cannot watch this girl suffer when she still has so much spirit and life in her. She has fleas, ear mites, roundworm, and a nasty skin infection, and that’s just what I can see.

I set up a “Chip In”  page to raise funds to help her live the happy life she deserves. Once she’s well, I’ll work on finding her a home. She’s full of spunk, purrs, and talks up a storm. Somebody will be very lucky to have this little girl as a best friend!
Believe me, I understand broke. If you can’t donate a buck or two, you can still help- say a prayer for little “Pheenie.”
To donate, go here:
http://paxgirl.chipin.com/mypages/view/id/069b548429740859 -no longer valid or accepting donations!
Thanks for caring.
4/28: Phoenix update-There were enough donations to the ChipIn page that I was able to get enough help for Phoenix that she now looks like this:
6/22/13: Phoenix is healthy and beautiful, but quick and smart-I haven’t yet been able to catch her and get her spayed. She did have a small litter of two kittens (only two,thank goodness) on my front porch, and took very good care of them. I am determined to  get her spayed and vaccinated this summer. Wish me luck!
11/29/15: Phoenix is neutered, vaccinated, happy, and healthy! We did this for about 15 neighborhood strays, and of that group, there are 5 left, and two new kitties have been visiting for breakfast, so I imagine we’ll take care of them too so that they won’t procreate.
Phoenix says, “Thank you.’

Paws to reflect


“Life is life – whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no difference there between a cat or a man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man’s own advantage.”

~Sri Aurobindo

Shelters are filled to overflowing with sad and frightened animals. The suffering they experience in the bleakness of their cages, their grief at being separated from their humans, their babies, or their mothers, their confusion and fear just before their ‘euthanization–‘ all of those energies are released into the universe, enlarging the dark cloud that hovers over not just humanity but all beings. The pain we feel (or avoid by changing the channel and burying our heads) when that dog-gone (yes, intended) Sarah Mclachlan commercial comes on and makes us cry-that is an organic, authentic, primordial cosmic hint:  we can do better for our planet-mates. We must do better.

ending their nightmares, one animal at a time.

I have come, through the magic of Facebook, to know a peaceful warrior by the name of DJ Chandler. I would only mangle her bio if I tried, but if you’re curious, no doubt you can find her online. I was inspired to share her with you because she is personally responsible for the diminishment of the toxic cloud of confusion due to her tireless efforts to find forever homes for shelter animals on Death Row. She organizes people to pull the animals from high-kill shelters, shows us how to contribute to their veterinary expenses, finds foster homes,  and arranges animal transport from shelter to vet to foster to new home. She has also rescued and fostered countless dogs, cats, and horses herself.

Their physical injuries are mended. Their fears are (sometimes very slowly and painstakingly) allayed. Their sadness is loved away. The cloud dissipates just a little more as each cat starts to purr again, as each dog puts his head on his new human’s knee for the first time and looks up with trepidation and-wavering-trust.

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“Guess what? So are you.”


“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama

I remember being about 10 years old. I was over at a friend’s house. We were in her room on her bed, giggling, talking about boys and school and 10 year-old stuff.  The conversation turned to a second friend. It was pretty benign until we started talking about an aspect of her appearance.  As someone who was ridiculed daily, I don’t know why I did this, but I made some stupid remark that our pea brains found to be just hysterical.  What I didn’t know was that Friend 1 had stashed Friend 2 under the bed just before I arrived.

When Friend 2 slid out from under that bed, the embarrassment and shame I felt reverberated within every cell of my body. Even now, writing about it, the echo of that sensation makes me cringe.  Of course, Friend 1 was simply delighted by our discomfort, and Friend 2 bravely laughed it off. Because when you’re 10 that’s what you do.

But decades later, I wonder if Friend 2 remembers that afternoon; whether or not she recalls that episode, I know that moment put a dent in her self-confidence.

I wish I could say from that moment on I spent the rest of my childhood speaking only golden platitudes about everyone I knew.  Nope, though I did develop a habit of peering under the furniture  before I opened my yap. And while I did make a concerted attempt to speak kindly, I was still an insecure kid, after all, and at the time I thought being what I perceived as  ‘accepted’ was more important than anything else.

I was well into adulthood before I got it together gossip-wise.

*****Disclaimer!  ‘got it together’ is a relative term in this musing; I still fall into the trap occasionally but with effort can change the spin of a remark mid-sentence. When that doesn’t work, I sometimes call my own self out in front of whoever I’m talking to, which can be a tad disconcerting to my companion….*****

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WWFRD?


“A mind at peace, a mind focused on not harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe.”

-Unknown

This quote, simple yet eloquent, represents my philosophy of life. That, and the knowledge that a good homemade cookie is sometimes needed for medicinal purposes. Also, if you want to gauge your level of self-realization in this world, ask your cat (I’m feeling pretty good about myself this morning; I woke up with a cat sleeping on my chest, and the other curled up at my side. Then again, it was 40 degrees in Orlando this morning….).

While I can loftily proclaim my philosophy of peace, I can’t claim that I exemplify it (as the recent dent in the laminate floor in my living room can attest).

I am a mess. Continue reading