I love the West Wing. And it is still relevant too – Introducing the Big Block of Cheese day!
My best nonpartisan thoughts? The President was feisty and I enjoyed his promise to exercise executive powers to bypass Congress on issues the White House strongly supports. Whether or not his promises to amount to anything is another story. The speech is sure to piss people off, which won’t help cooperation. Humor was good this year and thankfully no singing but I am unhappy with some of the claims of working with states and others on topics like marriage equality. In reality Obama and the White House have often come down soft on many issues and worked through a more passive support role.
The GOP response – well, in traditional fashion it basically said the same things but from a “the other party does not know how to do it right but we do” fashion. However, this might be the corniest thing I have seen in years. Also, why do I need to know about your entire family history? Woman, working background, do-it-yourself-er, mother, wife of a soldier…if only you were young, Queer, and Latina and the GOP would hit all their targets.
This year I promised myself I would wholeheartedly dedicate myself to my New Year’s Resolutions. I generally think the whole idea is crap, but only because we don’t put in the effort required to turn a resolution into action. This year I made three resolutions:
So far, I am on track. Now I need your help to push me further while raising money for my mother’s legal defense.
As you know, I am running a campaign to raise money to pay for my mother’s legal defense (see this post for the most recent update). I thought to myself…
If I am running a campaign, why not run a campaign based on running?
I am no runner but I want to be. With no thought of my mother’s lawsuit, I set a personal goal for January of running 30 miles and completing a 10K by month’s end. This may not seem like much but for someone like me, who has never been a runner, it is a lot. So far I am on track – as of January 22 I am at 19.8 miles this month and with my MLK Jr. Day holiday I ran 7.1mi (11.4km, the longest run of my life) to complete my 10K goal. I will reach 30 miles…but what about February?
In February I will go further, push harder, and run longer to honor my mother who has always been strong through even the toughest of times. When she is in pain she grits her teeth and forces herself to continue forward. I will do the same. In February I will double my January goals – running at least 60 miles and running at least two 10K runs. As I write this my only thought is “holy crap.”This is where I need your help. I am running for my mother and I will donate 25 cents for every mile I run. When I reach my goal I will donate another $15 dollars to her defense, and I hope you will do the same. Look for weekly updates posted from my Strava activity. Donate here.
EDIT (2/2/14): See that I met my January goal here.
On Thursday I wrote an update about my mothers ongoing lawsuit where she is the defendant against false accusations. If you have not already read this post, please do so here. You might say I am taking advantage of this story to further my own goals — and you are right, in part. But my mother needs the help. And this story infuriates me.
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Late last year a 16-year-old Texas boy hit and killed 4 people while driving drunk. His defense hinged on so-called “affluenza,” by which he was said to have not learned proper behavior because he was raised in a wealthy household where bad behavior was not punished. Okay, I will buy that if his parents did not raise him well he might be a “worse” child. But to allow this to way in legal defense for murder? I am sorry, but this is wrong at a very fundamental level.
Privilege let him have all the fun I am sure he had without getting in serious trouble (until now). But in a civil society privilege absolutely CANNOT let him get away with murder. I don’t care who you are or where you come from – we all know drinking and driving is illegal. In fact, being from an affluent family he is far more likely to have received a good education and been taught the significant effects of impairment along with its potential legal consequences.
Rehabilitation over punishment makes sense to me on many levels. He should go to rehab. He should be taught how to be a normal member of society. Being a minor, he should be separated from his parents and should be put through a program to teach him responsibility and social awareness. He should not be given a reduced sentence. He should not be going to rehab at a gorgeous estate that costs a half million dollars. He should not be treated differently because of his privilege.
I am not a lawyer and I am not familiar with the minute details of the case – perhaps this punishment is fair in terms of the precedent of the legal system. But I can tell you this – a defense on “affluenza” should not even be an option – it should be unthinkable.
My mother is not rich and she will not have a world-class lawyer to get her out of this situation. But she does have a lawyer, and he does cost a lot of money. Help my campaign to support her financially. Donate now.
BBC Daily Commute Podcast. “Affluenza” definition by the woman coining the term. (where I first heard the story). Story starts around 13:00.
The Golden Ghetto: The Psychology of Affluence (by author Jessie H. O’Neill, person who coined “Affluenza”)
Help me support my mother’s defense by donating today.
Last Thursday my mother went for her preliminary arraignment and received the official charges set against her. To summarize, 3 charges of each:
I am including copies of the court documents so that you may see this is for real. I blacked-out sensitive information (such as the name of her accuser) and, where applicable, replaced it with a description of the removed material (“Plaintiff name”). Continue reading
Seattle has a ridiculous number of homeless people and it seems the new intake systems is only highlighting the problem. What can we do to help these people? Or, better yet, what can we do to reduce the number of people who are homeless in the first place?
Honestly, no. but then I saw this headline “What Happens When the President Sits Down Next to You at a Cafe.” What does happen? Here a quick account of such a situation from a regular guy (he might be an editor for The Atlantic, but he covers technology, not PUTUS)
You are poor or just scraping by. Your are uneducated. You may have never had a snowball’s chance in hell of making it because life got you down from the start. But you are white, so yes – you are still privileged. I know it can be hard to think about and even harder to accept, for myself as well. But it is true.
White privilege and racial oppression are very difficult topics with white people of the poor/working class because despite their whiteness they still suffer. When non-whites bring up racial discrimination/oppression/white privilege it seems like they are making an excuse for their circumstances. They are trying to find an easy way out. To take advantage of their non-whiteness to gain an upper hand.
White people may think “I am white and I deal with the same shit.” Such is the way of the poor and working class – we are trained to be obedient, to fight among ourselves, to unquestioningly seek out the same fame and fortune that is the cause of our oppression as a class. As white poor and working class we deny that our race gives us any advantage because it justifies our poorness. It prevents us from thinking other people have to work even harder and deal with even more crap just to live the same struggle as us.
I urge anyone who identifies as white and from the poor or working class to consider what “white privilege” means to you. Think about it then check out this article from the Occupy Wallstreet movement.
I would also take a peek at Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” mentioned in the article. Or perhaps engage another non-white person of the same economic status in conversation. You might learn a lot – I know I have.
An article written for the Huffington Post written by the CEO of the non-profit I work for discusses the light we carry and the ways we can share it with one another. I enjoy the metaphor. I agree with the central concept of shared humanity. But I struggle with one line:
We would do well to realize that when we help someone else find a way out of the darkness caused by poverty or isolation, we find ourselves becoming more nourished. As we give freely of our light, of our wealth and our privilege, our brightness is not diminished. It is expanded.
Is sharing our light truly free, or does it cast new shadows?
What is wealth to light?
Do we really give our privilege? If we did, wouldn’t sharing privilege with others actually mean giving privilege up altogether? Is not our focus on giving just a sign of the privilege we enjoy?
These are hard questions and I am glad that my CEO has embraced the debate of Social Service vs. Social Justice and pulled Jewish Family Service of Seattle into this discussion.
or do we just use our privilege to give the