A Writer's 21st Century Memoir.

Politics

What’s the Point of the Women’s March?

IMG_1388_editedThere were whispers exchanged between two older men with greying blonde and sandy-colored hair. They had noticed me out of the corner of their eyes and assumed that, since I was wearing my earphones, I wouldn’t be able to hear their conversation. What they didn’t know was that I pressed pause on my music app several minutes before and I had forgotten to turn it back on again. I wasn’t paying attention at first but, when they mentioned, Trump, I turned my attention to their conversation out of curiosity.

They were seemingly nice men wearing collared shirts tucked into their khakis. They sipped delicately crafted caffeinated drinks from Starbucks and smiled politely to the people passing by. However, the words that slipped subtly from their mouths were unintentionally unkind. (more…)


More Than Just A Repeat of the Past

 

I watched as peaceful protests marched down the street. They held signs encouraging equality and protection of America’s most basic civil rights.

 

“It feels as though time is repeating itself,” I said watching faces of all shapes and colors float by. The sun, at that point, had already set leaving those marching passed me to appear as though their image was waning in and out of the darkness that made up a strange dream. It was surreal. “It’s like the 1960s all over again.”

I found myself a couple of years later at the Women’s March. I stood next to like-minded people of all genders, of different race, faiths, and orientations. They held similar signs like the marches from that night a couple of years before and marched down the streets of cities all over of the nation. A few older people who were in the crowds couldn’t help but make the comparison again. (more…)


What Donald Trump Has Taught Us

March 8, 2016— Jupiter, Florida—Politico reports that Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, “forcibly” grabbed reporter, Michelle Fields, for the right-wing Breitbart news site, “nearly bringing her down to the ground,” when she attempted to ask a question after a Trump press conference. The next day, in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a black protester being escorted out of a Trump rally was sucker-punched by a white bystander. She later sat down with a local activist and spoke about her experience in a video that was posted to Facebook.

“I was called a n****r and a c**t and got kicked out,” she explains, and tells the interviewer that she was ultimately escorted out of the event by police.

So how can a man who is at the forefront of a hateful movement to divide America and instill violence at his large gatherings teach us anything? (more…)


How Lack of Funding Fueled A Forest Fire

Dark black soot covered the earth’s dirt floor. I had spotted burnt trees chopped down to save the ones surrounding it, charcoaled and black colored wood scattered all around our feet as we moved further up into the mountain. We followed the path that was once covered in flames up in to the mountains and out from the green meadow separating us from our campground. The sun was beating down on the six of us as we hiked higher into the mountain of trees all the while looking down at the aftermath of the forest fire that had just been calmed after weeks of burning.

The San Bernardino, CA forest fire broke out near Mill Creek Canyon, near Highway 38, and Bryant Street just north of Yucaipa. The towering flames had forced an evacuation of four homes on the Yucaipa ridge, campsites had been shut down, and fires were temporarily not aloud in the campsites that happened to open back up right before my group’s planned trip. The fire had burned at least 35 acres and was fueled by chaparral plants.

After hiking behind the campgrounds where we stayed, the six of us went back to camp for water to cool ourselves down and to clean up. One of the friendly campground hosts had driven up to a few of us who were washing away the dirt and grime from the afternoon’s hike. He asked us where we had hiked and told us all about the scorched earth behind the camp. (more…)


What Martin Luther King Had Said

baltimore-cover-finalIn April 2015, Baltimore police had arrested 25-year-old African-American, Freddie Gray. He had sustained injuries to his spine and larynx, fell into a coma on April 12, and despite multiple surgical attempts, he never regained consciousness. Gray died a week later in police custody. Six police officers have been suspended pending an investigation, but not much else has been done to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics latest available report, published in 2011, at least 4,813 people have died while in custody of local and state law enforcement between 2003 and 2009. Sixty-one percent of those deaths were classified as homicides.

There were an estimated 98 million arrests in the United States by local, state, and federal law enforcement from the years 2003 to 2009, according to FBI statistics. However fifteen states, not including the District of Columbia, did not consistently report deaths in police custody during that period—and Maryland, along with Georgia and Montana, didn’t submit any records at all.

What started as peaceful protests voicing their concern for their lives in Baltimore, gave way to civil unrest following the death of Freddie Gray. As of April 28, at least 250 people have been arrested, thousands of police and Maryland Army National Guard troops have been deployed, and a state of emergency was declared in the city limits of Baltimore. (more…)