My friend, my family, do you still love me? Stop this…

pleading-hands-1050x700Over the last week, I’ve spent a lot of time being angry. Angry at myself for not listening to my friends of color who told me that white supremacy was alive and well and more wide spread than I was willing to believe. Angry at my fellow citizens for choosing to vote for hate. Angry at the electoral college. Angry at Trump and his campaign. And especially angry at my family and friends who I thought were better people. Over and over I asked “Do you love me?” and you finally answered “No.”

So I’m using that anger as fuel; for creativity, for energy, for resistance. Because I will not let this go. Consider me a little more “woke;” I see the writing on the wall. You, my friends and family who voted for Trump, revealed yourselves as the bigots I didn’t think you were. No, you are not the KKK kind of bigot. You probably wouldn’t burn crosses in front of a person’s home or hang somebody from a tree. But you are the kind of bigots who feel no remorse in choosing politics over human lives. You chose promises of money over the well-being of immigrant and minority families. You chose to protect your own privileged skin while throwing black and brown people under the bus.

You are probably thinking: “How dare you call me a bigot! I voted for the lesser of two evils! I was only voting for Trump to shake things up! I voted for his economic plan! I voted against the establishment! I voted against Clinton! I voted pro-life! I voted my conscience! I voted for America!” And sure, you voted for those things. But you also voted for hate and for that I am holding you accountable.

In my life, many of you have helped me remember who I was when I was on the wrong path. You loved me enough to tell me when I hurt you. You also loved me enough to hold me accountable for messing up; and forgave me as I made amends. And my friends and family who voted for Trump, I love you so very much and I love you enough to tell you, you are on the wrong path. And this is an intervention.

Whatever you may think of Clinton, she ran a campaign platform of “stronger together.” She did not run a presidential bid on hating people. She did not call for violence against anybody. But on election night I turned to my partner and told her, “I’m ashamed of it, but I’d never thought that I would be so very grateful our son has your skin.” Because you voted for the guy whose platform was based on the belief that all Muslims were terrorists, all Mexicans are rapists, all Black people are thugs and that he would deal with all of them through registration, deportation and “law and order” execution. And perhaps you never really listened in history class but there are striking similarities between this populist platform of hate and that small man in Germany who made the same promises, only to deliver them at the price of millions upon millions of human lives.

Because your vote, your choice, will cost real human lives. And it has already begun. Since last Tuesday, hate crimes have surged across the United States against the LGBTQ community, Muslims, Hispanics, African Americans and women. Your choice made hatred legitimate. You gave people permission to assault already vulnerable populations with impunity. And since then, I have not heard a single one of you repudiate these hate crimes. You have stood by your president elect. You’ve said, “Give Trump a chance!” And he goes and selects as his closest adviser an unabashed white supremacist.

I refuse to accept this man and his racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, hateful administration as the leaders of my great country. I will be on the front lines of the protests. I will march and vote with my fellow Americans in rejecting this surge of bigotry. I will preach from my pulpits against Trump, and against you and what his campaign and your votes represent. And I will be standing on the side of love because that is the only place to stand. To stand anywhere else is to stand on the side of death.

To my loved ones who voted for Trump, I now stand in prophetic judgement against you. I am asking you to turn away from your fear and your hate. I am begging you to remember what it means to be a Christian. And if you are not a Christian I am begging you to remember your humanity. I am begging you, as people who know me and know my heart, to choose love.

Because if you don’t, you are turning this country down a path which will end up in more bloodshed. And that blood; the blood of Black children gunned down for a traffic stop, the blood of the immigrant dying in a detention center, the blood of the Muslim beaten on a bus, the blood of a woman raped on her way home from work, will be on your hands. And may all that you hold holy and sacred have mercy on you then. Because you will be remembered as Cain to your families, your friends, and your fellow citizens.

I am here asking you, pleading with you, “Do you love me?” As a person of color. As a Mexican American. As a nephew. As a cousin. As a friend. As a fellow citizen. Because I love you; and I will not give up on you. Please reach out to me; talk to me. Help me understand. Prove to me that I am wrong about you, for the sake of love. For the sake of life. For the sake of our country. And for the sake of our children.

Amen.

 

Growing pains.

I prefer my curses the old fashioned way…

A friend once told me, “It’s an ancient Chinese curse: ‘May you live in interesting times.’” Curse or not, it’s true. We do live in interesting times. In my grandmother’s lifetime the world went from horse and carriage to space travel. We found better ways to kill. We found better ways to heal. The biggest advent I believe is communications.

For the first time, humanity is connected in real time. Every continent and every country communicates in video and audio simultaneously. I don’t think we (humanity) were ready for it. It happened too fast. We haven’t overcome xenophobia. Racism. Classism. Whatever-ism. Suddenly we are all in the same room trying to figure out how we all fit in. Like high school with nuclear weapons.

So much anger.

Take the recent uproar over a very distasteful video about the prophet Mohammed. One really crappy video done in very poor taste by an obvious bigot. Throw it into the internet. The entire Muslim world erupts. People die. Embassies burn. In the west, we denounce the video but still uphold its inherent quality of free speech (however hateful it may be). In other countries, they say we should put whoever made it to death.

Global communication explained: NO TOUCHIE!

For the first time, we CAN all talk to each other. We just don’t know HOW to talk to each other. Our technology brought us together. Now we’re all standing around not really knowing how to get the party started. Forget being in high school; we’re suddenly at my first 8th grade dance.

We live in interesting times. It shouldn’t surprise us. The world has always been interesting. There has always been war, protest, catastrophe; every single century since we started keeping records. The only difference is we are now globalized and have a 24 hour news cycle. When something happens, we know about it instantly.

Prophet?

Every generation complains that the next generation is going to hell in a hand basket. People cry out that we are living in the end times. We dream of a somehow lost “golden age” where life was more simple, pure and free from all our modern day problems. Reality check; this is complete fantasy. Old problems were solved, new problems took their place. If there was ever a golden age, we’re living in it now.

Instead of cursing ourselves, we should embrace continuous change and own it. We have to be strong, innovative, and willing to make the hard choices to earn the right to be a global society. Bob Dylan has a song: “Times they are a-changin’.” I believe this song rings true as much now as it did in 1964.

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Start changing.

I nothing you.

Fine, see if I care! Go ahead and jump.

A friend of mine and I were in the car recently talking about relationships ending. Not just romantic ones; personal ones of any kind. Sometimes friendships grow apart. Lovers break up. Family members have feuds. In all circumstances, strong emotions are involved.

Hate is just another way of loving somebody; except without gooey fluffy stuff. Both involve obsession, physical unease, tears and catharsis. They inspire bad poetry and 80’s rock ballads. Love and hate can lead a person to outlandish and freakish feats. Each leave a swath of destruction behind them. At least we give love the benefit of the doubt. Hate gets a bad rap because it’s all negative and stuff.

Kirby, little ball of hate?

My friend and I both agreed that it would be better to just ‘nothing’ somebody. When you see the person, you just don’t care anymore. They’re dead to you. Now THAT is the ultimate end to a relationship, when emotional attachments just cease to exist. I just wonder if this was even possible?

Human beings are emotional creatures. We have all these insane wonderful chemicals (estrogen, testosterone, endorphins, dopamine, serotonin) motivating us to love and hate and eat and cry and mate and watch Jersey Shore. They don’t make any sense! When one of these little bad boys get out of whack… well, we know what happens.

Sociopath? I thought I just had a chemical imbalance…

How do we just shut it down for someone, especially if we had some kind of relationship with them? Personally I think it is impossible except for the sociopathic. We like need to feel something towards others. It’s what glues society together and holds us back from mass murder.

At the end of the day, however, the best revenge is to just ‘nothing’ a person. It would end their control over your emotions.  It would be like they never existed, and for a human being, isn’t that the equivalent of hell? To never have existed at all, even when you do…