It’s my Party, and I’ll post if I want to!


“Well, I SAW it online, so…”

This post is borne of the “furious-typing-Kermit-the-Frog” moment I had last night, aimed at someone I love, and is also my reaction to a whole passel of re-posted and inaccurate posts that hit my newsfeed this morning that are drivel passed off as actual news.

Read first for context:   https://goo.gl/oUvJh5

Repeat after me, 3 times:

“These memes, unverified stories, and mislabeled/doctored photos are hurtful, incite anger, perpetuate prejudice and spread lies.

These memes, unverified stories, and mislabeled/doctored photos are hurtful, incite anger, perpetuate prejudice and spread lies.

These memes, unverified stories, and mislabeled/doctored photos are hurtful, incite anger, perpetuate prejudice and spread lies.”

I will admit to posting a few unverified stories over the years. Not many, but it has happened. When called out, I have apologized and deleted the post.

It doesn’t matter to me what party or agenda the BS meme or ‘story’ supports-if it’s inaccurate or unkind, it’s inaccurate or unkind.

A couple of hints: if the source (hint: the word “source:______” is located at the bottom of the post, or if you’re forwarding an article you can tell whether the article is from a verifiable news source/show or simply a blog/opinion show) is an email from Drunk Uncle with a million forward arrows and has multicolored flashing ALL CAPS, or if the post has any version of:

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The Children are Listening. Still.


untitled-image-26The children WERE listening. Heard by me during school bus duty yesterday: (from a fourth grader) “He hates Black people, we’re all gonna die.” (from a 2nd grader in place of the usual good morning greeting) “Ms. Frisella, we’re doomed!” (from another 2nd grader) “He hates Black people and women.” (from the daughter of upstanding citizens, Haitian immigrants) “My brother says they’re gonna come to the door and take my parents back to Haiti.”

All of the above: beautiful, frightened, Black children.
Teachers, parents, everyone???
We’ve got a lot of work to do. Our kids are scared.
Get it together and start talking nice.

Give our kids ways to talk about the election in ways that make them feel safe and heard. Allay the fears-maybe by asking them things like, “So, moving forward, what are things we can do to make your life (this community, this country, the world) a better, more peaceful place? What actions can we take together that will make you feel safe?” Take away the helpless feeling of fear and replace it with positive action.

There is NO excuse for the United States to have had children living in fear yesterday because of the Presidential election results. The grownups did this (no finger-pointing; people in all parties are guilty of the animosity, of crafting fear-inciting ads, of sharing mean-spirited posts and un-fact-based “facts”,  of re-posting great uncle Frank’s “share if you agree!” memes, and of the unkind kitchen table talk- and remember I teach elementary school and “S/he did it FIRST!” bounces right off teachers), and shame on us.

United States, people. Yep, for more than half of us, our candidate didn’t win. We have to move forward and do our best to make the best of an unwanted situation. That’s harder to do for little hearts and minds.

United States. How about we let our kids be kids? How about we stop scaring them? There’s something more important than anybody’s need to post or say something inflammatory.

What, you ask? What’s bigger than my need to make a point on Facebook and burn that old high school classmate who disagrees with me so I can give myself a little false validation? What’s more precious than me using my frantic little typing fingers to put someone down so I can feel superior for just one second?

Children.
They are listening. They have been all along, and they’ve been hearing some pretty scary stuff from us-from those of us whose sacred duty is to look out for them. Teachers, parents, grandparents, mentors and elected officials.

They’re afraid, and for many of them, rightfully so. What are we going to do to make them feel safe and heard?

What are YOU going to do to make them safe?

Peace, friends. untitled-image

 

All are Welcome


I wonder every day about people who are angry at others who see the world in a different way; about those who are offended by the beliefs that don’t line up perfectly with their own; about those who can somehow justify a bias toward people whose skin is a different hue, fellow humans who worship in a different house, those in poverty, anyone who speaks English with an accent, those who want to marry but legally cannot, and (insert any other subgroup of humanity here); about righteous indignation in general.

Does this acrimony stem from fear? “If she can believe that so strongly, then maybe I’M wrong/bad/stupid?”

Is it born of a need to feel superior? “Your wrong-ness validates my wonderful-ness!”

Can insecurity be the fuel? “If YOU are beautiful but don’t look like me, maybe I’m not so cute after all.”

There is a church here in Orlando called Hope Unites. It is part of the UCC, which from what I gather, is based upon the “Come as you are” philosophy. A church that pays more than lip service to “All are Welcome” (straight, GLBT, brown, white, black, any denomination) is my kind of house.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if every house, every dinner table, every school, church, and country club had an “All are Welcome–and Celebrated!” sign at the entrance?

hmmmm….wait a minute….here I am wishing everyone feels like I do. Am I guilty of exactly what I was pondering in the beginning of this musing?

Peace, friends.