It’s February 7th, 2017. United States Senators are debating whether to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren argued against the confirming Sessions and quoted the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., saying Sessions is a “disgrace to the Justice Department.”
Warren then read a letter, from 1986, by Coretta Scott King, the widow of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. In the letter, King called out Sessions’ fitness for the office sighting Sessions “has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens in the district he now seeks to serve as a federal judge.” Sessions did not win confirmation for the judgeship but was later elected to the Senate.
However, in the middle of reading the letter Warren was silenced by Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky who cited the arcane and rarely invoked Rule 19, which states that “no Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.” She continued to speak out despite before being forced to remain silent for the rest of the debate. (more…)
There 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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)