Monday, November 10, 2008

Holding Back My Words

I’ve decided I’m only going to post on THE PHOTO BLOG this week. I have a ton of photos that I’ve edited and want to share.

And I’m sick of the sound of my own voice.

After the excitement of President-Elect Obama settled a bit I was horrified at the developments in CA and several other states. The rights of gay Americans have been screwed with yet again. It feels like one step forward, two steps back.

My anger and disappointment regarding these events comes from several places –

People who are so bigoted, or naïve or ignorant or bullied by their church that they could vote to deny someone the same rights they have

Organized religions pouring tons of money into smear campaigns – campaigns of hate and ignorance and fear – I guess all the children in the world are fed and clothed and healthy – so they have money to spare to do their idea of God’s work.

President-Elect Obama’s lukewarm stand on gay rights. He does not support gay marriage and that disappoints me. I can guess at his reasons but I’ll leave that for another day.

Obama supporters have been overwhelmingly silent on this matter

In my mind progress for one without progress for all is not good enough.

Please click on the HRC logo on my sidebar and check out the issues for yourself and how you can help.

I also came across a site that is hosting ‘Let Freedom Ring’ – you can check it out HERE. Read some of the stories on the linked blogs and perhaps you too will get a sense of how Prop 8 and the other amendments affect real people.

I know for a fact that had my Uncle Lee been straight he would have been given custody of me when I was a child and my life, certainly my childhood, would have been decidedly better.

And that was 50 years ago!!

And here we are today.

I struggled this weekend with my decision not to take part in ‘Let Freedom Ring’ and I’m still not sure I made the right decision.

I think ‘Let Freedom Ring’ is a brilliant exercise in community support and a powerful exhibition of justified outrage.

I also think it will offend some.

Normally I don’t give a shit but I’m trying out the restraint that our President-Elect shows in the face of hate and ignorance. Of course it’s easy for me in this case since I am not directly affected.

As I traveled the internet visiting Peace Posts I couldn’t help but notice election related posts, the events were but a day apart.

And some of the election posts, even a few of the peace posts, pissed me off and made me sad.

There were posts carrying on about how we’re not “safe” anymore

Posts about socialism written by people who had clearly never looked up the word or listened to President-Elect Obama

As I visited friends I saw comments from some of the same people who have been attacking President-Elect Obama since the day he began his campaign.

I’m not talking about people who disagree on policy.

I’m talking about people who clearly are racist. They may not think they are, they may not be the kind of people who would burn a cross on your lawn. But they are racists none the less.

The way they refer to Obama supporters as though we are all unemployed, welfare cheats.

The way they blithely dismiss the historical impact of 1 out of 44 Presidents being someone other that a white male.

The way they mock community work and enthusiastic political involvement. One blog referred to it as “drinking the Kool-Aid”.

And you can clearly sense their outrage and their discomfort with the fact that people not like them were organized enough to get a President elected. That just kills them. And they’re ugly about it.

And so I want to respond in kind. I want to call a racist a racist. I want to call a fat comfortable white person out on their assumptions.

I also want to ask what the fuck they think has been going on for 8 years. Who the hell got us where we are now? But I stop.

And I stop because I want to show the same level of restraint that President-Elect Obama manages to show in the face of hate and ignorance.

And I stop because there are people in blog-land who are trying a different way. And I respect and care about those people. People on both sides of the issues. People like Ralph and Patti. People like Bond. People like Travis.

So I need to decide how to say what needs to be said.

I need to decide whether my decision regarding ‘Let Freedom Ring’ was the more mature, unifying me. Or the tired copping out me.

But at this moment I am sick of the sound of my own voice.

So visit the pretty photos over at the Photo Blog. And visit your own heart as well.



Jeni said...

I dunno Dianne - holding back on your words might have a disastrous affect on you -kind of like me, trying to talk without waving my hands.
Somehow, I can't envision you NOT participating in something that might be assisting in helping others. No, I haven't looked at the "Let Freedom Ring" site as yet, maybe after I do that, I might feel differently.
ALso, wanted to thank you for your comments today -especially the "drinking the kool-aid" comment. I really believe those who say things like that don't know the real meaning of racism, bias, prejudice and believe their way is the only way at all -no room for any type of compromise, much less learning or, respect and certainly not love for their fellowman.

RiverPoet said...

Amen, amen, and amen. My niece and her partner are trying to adopt a baby (or more likely an older child) in Texas and have been told POINT BLANK that they will not be given a white child, but they may be considered for a black or Hispanic child. They cannot even adopt an unwanted Chinese girl, because China - as a nation - doesn't believe in homosexuality as a legitimate state of being. They don't really care what "flavor" of child they get, but they want to help a child who needs a family. Isn't it completely insane that they would be denied ANY child who needs a home??

And yet my sister votes Republican, always. It makes no sense to me. And yes, I wish President-Elect Obama - my choice for the office - would take a stand on gay rights. But I feel he was holding his hand close to the chest in order to get through the election. He needed to appeal to a majority of American voters. If he didn't get elected, he would have had no chance of making any difference for anyone. Maybe that sounds like a lame assessment, but it's my humble opinion. I hope once he gets the ball rolling, he'll consider what is being done to discriminate against my niece and my friends. It's disgusting.

Peace - D

Maithri said...

I for one love the sound of your voice.

Keep talking, Keep shaking us awake and reminding us that we are still walking the road to justice for all human beings.

Let there be no mistake, Prejudice is prejudice is prejudice - no matter what form it takes.

We shall overcome some day,

My love to you dear friend,


Linda said...

Here in Connecticut we had the opportunity to vote on Question 1 - which was whether or not to hold a Constitutional Convention and give the common people a chance to present laws or amendments rather than it just being up to our elected officials.

The question is automatically on the ballot once every 20 years and it very rarely draws much attention but this year it became a big deal because the Catholic Coalition and several other groups wanted the chance to overturn the recent ruling that gays could marry in Connecticut. For that reason, and that reason alone, I voted 'no' on the question as I didn't think it was at all fair that gay couples were being targeted like that. I especially didn't like the idea of the Catholic Church being the ones to call the shots in government - after all, there is that whole separation of church and state thing we're supposed to observe in this country.

I don't know why there has to be such divisiveness over the issue of gay marriage in this country; I don't know why some people have to claim it's an abhorrence to God and all things good; and I don't know why people can't just accept that some people are very happy loving someone of the same sex. I see no reason why those people cannot be legally married in the eyes of any State and be afforded the same rights and responsibilities as anyone else.

For now, I don't blame President-Elect Obama for not taking a stand on this very volatile issue. There is already so much on his plate that it's overflowing and it's going to take a long time to clean it off and I think he needs to concentrate on the issues that affect everyone such as the economy. I'm sure that in time he'll tackle the very touchy issue of gay marriage but for now maybe it's best left on the back burner for a little longer.

Now, as for this past election, it has been ugly on both sides and I think it left a lot of us feeling wrung out and overwhelmed. There have been so many hateful things said and it's been very depressing to watch it all unfold while trying to find some middle ground. I've seen more than one friendship dissolved because two people couldn't agree to disagree and that saddens me an awful lot.

I remain hopeful that our country will pull out of the nosedive that it's in and that everyone will come together for the good our Nation rather than continue to argue their own personal agendas.

And you shouldn't stop posting just because your opinions don't necessarily jibe with everyone else's either. I'm sure that you can show the same level of restraint that President-Elect Obama does without stifling yourself in the process.

Linda Reeder said...

Don't stop talking. Maybe a short rest now and then, but the sound of your voice wakes people up. We still have work to do.

Dr.John said...

What is really sad an ironic is that the African American Vote that Obama got out in record numbers went around 70% for the ban on gay marriages. They voted for the first time many of them. Without their vote the proposition would not have carried in at least one state.
With the good comes the bad.

Mahala said...

Stand and Deliver. My new motto. My depression over the past few months was because I was denying who I was, what I believed in, in an effort to be accepted by others. I was disgusted with myself.

No more.

Dianne said...

jeni- nah, I'll be fine. I really do feel there needs to be a unity in this country and if it takes choosing our words more carefully, at least for now, then OK.
and yes Jeni - you are right, many racists don't realize they are. but that is only an excuse for a wee bit of time

riverpoet - there are 500,000 children languishing in foster care!! a parent is a parent and sexuality has nothing to do with parental fitness!! it is as simple as that.
and I am sickened by the 'added value' of white babies. a neighbor went all the way to China because she could 'only' get a black child here, she's a fucking moron. 'ONLY'!!!
my best to your niece, tell her that I'm pulling for her.

maithri - you have an inner grace that I don't think I have arrived at and so I want to be sure my motives are good - I want to shake up things out of love not because I want to punch some stupid blogger in the face
BUT - your loving the sound of my voice does make me very happy as I have so much respect for you.

linda - thank you for voting No!! thank you!!
and for your reasonable loving words about gay marriage :)
I agree that Obama had to let some issues go and what with all the 'Secret Muslim' crap he couldn't fight the churches over gay marriage as well.
I have ended several friendships over this campaign BUT they were not because of policy differences. they were because of blatant racism or religionism (is that a word).
I had/have no prolem discussing tax plans with someone. I won't put up with - he's a terrorist, he's a secret Muslim, his "people" want our money and so on.
that is not politcal discourse and I found that type of ugliness to come far more from the non Obama side -
I'm not stifling myself (like Archie Bunker lol) - I think I'm taking a deep breath to find a calmer voice.
thanks Linda :)

Dianne said...

linda r - just looking for a calmer voice :)

dr. john - it is sad and ironic and shows the far reaching effects of the church on our policies.

mahala - I am so pleased for you and proud of you. you are so f'ing smart and creative that you should always 'Stand and Deliver' !!!
I just need a breather and I need to decide how to deal with people who just won't quit. I've never been good at ignoring ;)

Tammy said...

I saw on TV about them taking the right for gays to get married away in CA. That's unreal that they can do that!!!

Dianne said...

tammy - imagine if you woke up one morning and a bunch of your neighbors had voted to dissolve your marriage. one of the blogs I read from the 'Let Freedom Ring' described walking home every night passing all the Prop 8 signs - what a horrible thing to have to experience.
thanks for stopping by :)

Ron said...

I just LOVE your voice of PASSION, dear lady!

It's ALL wonderful!

However, honor yourself and take a little break if that's what you feel is best right now. You deserve it!

I will most definitely be checking out your photo blog if that's where you'll be this week.

With pleasure!


Deborah Godin said...

Thank you for this post! and the links. Rest up, take some deep breaths, recharge, and come back to us. You and your blog are loved, admired and appreciated by many. And we will all be there for each other.

Mrs. C said...

We didn't get any Prop 8 stuff here. We just voted that everything would be in English when the state conducts business, which is a good thing because I'm stupido and don't understand Spanish. :]

What on earth to think of this link?? Am including it with a friendly question-mark, because honestly am not sure myself. It just looks like no one wants to politely disagree any more.

Jay said...

I've seen a few posts from people about how the Anti-Christ is now in charge and blah, blah, blah ...

I'm just ignoring them for now.

Travis said...

I'm going to come back and read the comments, because there is usually a really good discussion here. But before I do that, I want to suggest something to you.

I respect that you feel the need to re-evaluate and re-structure your message. I went through a similar exercise before I finally figured out what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. It took a conversation with a good friend to remind me of this phrase:

Do the thing in the way that seems best to you.

So I suggest to you this - write it all out somewhere. You don't have to publish it until you have it framed in the way that seems best to you. Indeed, you needn't publish it at all. But write and speak in private so that you can see it, and feel it, and finally own it for yourself.

Good luck. I'm looking forward to the path you find for yourself.

Cherie said...

I know that you want to help everyone at the same time, and you feel passionately these things. But you need not beat yourself up because you can't participate in everything with equal vigor. Take your victories where you can find them. Enjoy them. Tomorrow it will be a week since Obama was elected. This is a fantastic thing, and you were a part of it.

Now, I'm not suggesting that you should rest on your laurels, like you could. LOL I am fully in favor of equal protection under the law for everyone. And I'm not ashamed to say that my time in the church has reinforced that opinion.

But if you need a little R&R from the fight for just a bi,t perhaps to catch you breath and reassess how your efforts can be most effective, there's nothing to feel guilty about. Did you even say that you felt guilty? :) I don't think you did, but that was definitely the vibe I was getting from all that explaining. ;)

Love you!

SnoopMurph said...

Wow, I like Travis' idea-I need to do that for myself.

I love that you put voice to so much that I am thinking.

Arizona voted down gay marriage too and it is really disheartening.

Raven said...

Your voice is always wonderful. I read your anger more as a mix of pain and love than anything else. The best we can do in this life is to speak with and from our hearts. Your heart is so big that you are always eloquent. But it's good to take time away sometimes too. This is a time of transition. I know I'm tired myself on multiple levels. I'm doing gratitude posts right now in part because that's sort of easy for me and I can let other things fester. I think what happened in California and elsewhere is truly strange and sad but I think it will be rectified. I think sometimes when things seem to be going backwards they are really being propelled forwards. Maybe that's the optimist in me, but I'm going to cling to that anyway. Thank you for being you in all your aspects and moods. You are remarkable.

Dianne said...

ron- just time for pretty and art. :)

deborah - thanks :) I'm fine, I just want to find an alternative to reaching through the screen and ripping a few hearts out ;)

mrs c - I'll take a look later

jay - for now? let me know if you need back-up LOL

travis - we do always have good discussions here. that's pretty cool :)
I have written a lot I haven't published and it does help, thanks. that's a bit of what struck me this time, I am rarely unsure of how to proceed when I feel strongly about something. good lord it is a complex world!!

cherie - no I don't feel guilty at all, I feel conflicted and all the explaining was because of the conflict.
I know I do a lot of good work, I certainly try my best all the time. I may just be tired but if feels like something more. Growing pains perhaps? Not everything has to a rant? Good Lord NOOOOOOOOO ... I love a good rant.

snoop - i like his idea too. when I was working at the evil empire corporation I used to talk into a tape recorder the night before a board meeting so I could get all the tension and snark out of my voice LOL

raven - Nana used to say - it's not a well travelled road if it doesn't have any bumps.
I think what it is - I don't want to be hateful to hateful people but I want them to shut up and go away LOL

Queen-Size funny bone said...

I tread lightly on my blog when it comes to politics especially rights of others. I feel very passionatelly and sometimes that comes out in anger so I choose other avenues to air my opinions.

Dianne said...

queen size funny bone - I get angry too but often my anger fuels clarity and humor so it is a mixed blessing

mrs c - I visited that blog. interesting stuff. seems that blogger is trying to sort it out and report objectively.
my gut reaction to it is - there goes religion again, doing its best to divide people.

Lisa said...

A thoughtful post as usual, Dianne.

I feel your outrage--and your disappointment. I was mystified when Prop 8 failed. I couldn't reconcile how so many who voted for peace and hope and tolerance on one side of the ballot could have voted against human rights on the other. And I too, was disappointed that Obama did not take a firmer stand with regard to gay rights and gay marriage.

Marriages between African American slaves were also not considered legal and binding at one time and interracial marriages were banned until 1967. Have we learned nothing from the past???

And those same people who voted for Obama here in Colorado voted against school funding and funding for the disabled that would have cost them 2 cents on every $20 they spent. 2 fucking cents. Ugh.

But. . . We have a far better chance of changing the climate in this country with Obama at the helm. That I believe. And don't withhold your words--send them to a better place. Write your elected officials, write to Obama, let them know how you feel. Let them know that the suppression of others' rights will not be tolerated.

The "Let Freedom Ring" is an interesting experiment and might be far reaching but there are better ways to channel that outrage.

Send your voice out far and wide to our president elect--and every senator and congressman in Washington. Give them hell! :)

Lisa said...

Sorry, I meant to say on the above post "when Prop 8 passed". It's late. :(

Kerry said...

"Obama supporters have been overwhelmingly silent on this matter" - not the ones I know! It's been all over my Facebook news feed, of course 50% of my friends are gay and many live in California. I could go on and on forever about it, but I got tired of hearing the sound of my own voice, too. I just need a break from it all; maybe then I can come back to it refreshed and with a clearer perspective.

Matt-Man said...

I admire your ability to show restraint. If I tried it, my head would explode.

As for the Gay Marriage issue. In an indirect way this one part as to why Obama got elected. Follow me here...

The Republican Party's ideology over the last 15-20 years has been steered by the right wing Evangelicals. They have focused on nothing but culutural issues such as Gay Marriage, Flag Pins, GAWD!!

When a crisis such as the financial and mortgages markets tanking, they have no response for issues such as that. They have become a party hijacked by what I consider to be superficial issues.

I think the majority of Americans felt the same way this past election.

Cheers Di!!

Patti said...

Dianne, Don't ever stop writing what you think and feel...

We all have our opinions on a variety of issues. I'm not a Republican or a Democrat. I try to look at the person and issues.

Travis has a great idea - write it all down, just don't publish until it feels right.

Matt-Man said...

I really need to slow down when I type. I hope my comment's meaning came thorugh. Cheers!!

Dianne said...

lisa - I read 'failed' 3 times!! It's early LOL

I have composed some letters to officials. I have my Senators and Congressman on speed dial. Seriously!!

And I too believe that more can and will get done with Obama in charge than with any other leader - certainly any other Republican.

I'm channeling girl! I'm channeling!

Dianne said...

kerry - I guess I'm guilty of generalizing. I do know that many Obama supporters, and even some who are not, are avid human rights supporters.
There is however I large contingent of 'church people' as my ex would say - and they are notoriously anti-gay anything and that makes me crazy - and disappoints me. As Lisa points out - inter-racial marriages were illegal in some states until 1967!! Just 6 years before I married. And yet so many who fought to break down that door have no problem putting up a different door. Organzied religion divides far more than it unifies, that I do believe.

matt-man - I think you're saying that many who voted for Obama would not have had McCain and his party had an answer to anything meaningful. So - they voted Obama yet held on to their right wing or religion driven views in other matters. I know I saw a bit of that with my VFW buddies. Although McCain was one of them so to speak they were disgusted by his lack of attention to veteran affairs and his rather lavish lifestyle. Yet they are quite conservative on many matters.
Oy!! Matty - what a complex world. Perhaps we can put our heads together and explode simultaneously? ;)

patti - so when I do a word count and almost all the words have 4 letters - I should maybe revise!! ;)

Ivanhoe said...

It can only go up from here. But change of president will not change the hate and bitterness in people. They were hateful and bitter before. Some their whole lives.
Going over to your photo blog now :o)
Love & hugs,

Ralph said...

Please don't vacate your blog, even if for a little while. I hope, anyway. You must express yourself the best way you know. I am reserved, even though I do have points of view. But you have a more fiery approach. But that is you...don't give up your passion. And if you pull back a little bit, we understand. We just hope it's only a brief respite...

thailandchani said...

I don't think any of us should hold our words back.. but just be mindful about how they're used. I've noticed a lot of the same things you have... and I've also noticed the argument about Proposition 8 become just as hateful from both sides. Expressing any kind of hate only creates more hate.


Real Live Lesbian said...

It is certainly mindboggling what goes on in CA. Here's hoping things start changing soon!

Dianne said...

ivanhoe - hugs to you too. and you're right about hateful people, some of them just can't be anything but ignored. I'm gonna try :)

ralph - it IS only brief. I just wish to be constructive and I don't feel that way at this very moment although all these comments do make me feel good - I love that we all have these wonderful discussions here, I feel like such a good hostess lol

thailandchani - use your words carefully and productively is what I'm searching for. I have let some ugly people get under my skin and that is actually my fault not theirs, it gives them power they don't deserve. thank you for your thoughtful comment.

RLL - it felt like such a slap in the face. to give and then have a hateful campaign to take back. I read this blog by a gay man about how he passed all these Prop 8 signs every day on his neighbor's lawns and it just broke my heart.

Bob-kat said...

I sense your frustration - in fact it screams at me from your post! I also cannot believe what has happened in California. How awful to offer equality and then take it away. It wonders how 'safe' any of the freedoms that we take for granted are. In the UK, same sex couples have been allowed to form unions for some time now and I thank goodness that that 'right' remains unchallenged. I feel for those in CA who must wonder where they're union stands.

I can empathise with your frustration because I often have to choose whether to speak out or take a more tolerant approach to bigotry. My boyfriends family can be sexist and homophobic at times and it makes me uncomfortable. They don't think they are though! It's a really difficult posiiton to be in. Although I don't openly challenge them I do try and present a different view. I really have trouble with inequality but it is so hard being angry about it all the time. I hope you feel more yourself soon as I sense taht you don't [hugs).

Bond said...

I was a bit amazed that California let that happen. It is one state I never thought would go backward on this issue.

As far as how to handle your thoughts and feelings...Travis had a great idea...writing it all down.

I have had a number of conversations with a good friend and we have both decided to not be as silent as we have been recently.

That does not mean I will begin to proselytize on The Couch moving forward, but I will not take a back seat when I see people in the bloggosphere attacking issues close to me.

You can not be everything for everyone...but you can be ALL for YOU.

Remember that.

We honored Veterans and the Military from the USA and Canad today on THE COUCH

Because even us left wing radicals can honor those who serve!

Smalltown RN said...

Diane I echo what most have said here....keep voicing your opinions...they give us all food for thought. Like you I have always been a social advocate...if I see an injustice, I put pen to paper and write a letter..well now it would be email...but you get my point. Like you I can not sit by and expect others to make change happen...if I want change then I must do my part...

What happend in California is appalling....but I am not sure I would call it racism....racism by definition: Racism is prejudice or discrimination based on the belief that race is the primary factor determining human traits and abilities. Racism includes the belief that genetic or inherited differences produce the inherent superiority or inferiority of one race over another. ..."

So if I look at this definition I am not sure that the gay rights issues falls under this's a Human right's issue for certain. Why should two people be denied the same benefits another couple recieve freely because they are heterosexual? Doesn't make sense.....and what is the state of California going to do with those folks that they have already said could marry? It is such a travisty....

Anndi said...

Men and women fought and died to give you the right to speak your mind.

They died so that good souls like your uncle would be free to be who he was.

Find your voice and use it my lovely friend, however it feels right. I'll listen... because men and women died for my right to hear you out.

I'm am of the outspoken ilk, and though it gets me in heaps of trouble on occasion I know I am myself. Be you, because you rock.

Dianne said...

bob-kat - I have some similar family issues. and perhaps that is part of my growing frustration as well - holiday get togethers are coming up and some of my bro's friends and in-laws leave much to be desired. right after Obama was elected they were sending e-mails with pics of the White House all decked out like a rapper's crib and fried chicken buckets and watermelons and malt liquor bottles strewn on the lawn. but of course I don't have a sense of humor!! and I will need to spend some time with these asshats. Oy :)

bond - I will be over to honor your tribute :)
Travis is right - he's annoying that way LOL
and I don't intend to be silent, never was my style. as I keep saying, for my own benefit, I want to be a constructive voice but I also want to smack the shit out of a few folks ;)

smalltown rn - I mixed my issues. the racism I was referring to was the attacks on Obama during the campaign and the utter lack of any level of respect for him now that he is our President. And some could say I have no respect for Bush but that came from his actions. once he lied and caused people to die it was all over for me. and even now I question the policies and opinions of those who still support him, I don't question their employment, their family, their religion as they are doing with Obama and those who voted for him.

anndi - you're a good friend lady, a very good friend.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Dianne...I understand how you feel...And I have been so non-plussed by the passing of Prop 8 here---I found it almost immobilized me....And yet, I know there is a big fight here in California. It is not over...So that is a GOOD thing. But, what is so disheartening is EVERYTHING you said.
How ANYONE who calls themselvs a "Christian" could vote FOR this Proposition just makes no human sense to me. I agree...They are Racists, whether they know it or not. And it is incredubly depressing to me that this hatred is so rampant.

I haven't known quite what to do, other thsn supporting ALL the Rally's and Protests, etc. But I know I need to do something more than that. And maybe it has to be on my Blog.

There is something so startling to me about the fact that we could elect the First Black President on the one hand, and that in THREE States, Human Rights have been taken away and/or denied, to other people. The New Racism....! OY!

But I urge you to NOT shut up your very importanmt voice. Yes, take a breather because you need it, but PLEASE keep 'speaking up and speaking out'. WE NEED YOU, my dear! We truly do.

Akelamalu said...

Racism and inequality are a blight on our world Dianne. I pray that one day both with cease to exist. x

Daryl said...

I am not sick of your voice ... it often says far better than I could ever what I want to say, what I feel.

I believe President Elect Obama's reasoning is that gay marriage it is not a Federal issue but a State issue. I do believe that is what he said during one of the debates


gabrielle said...

Two months ago I made a decision not to protest the RNC in St. Paul. My initial plan was for my daughter and I to attend the rally at the capital the first day of the convention. We have a strong family tradition of gathering with others for peace, justice and ecology. I have photos of Emma at age 5 holding up a homemade placard that read “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
Then the emails started streaming in. Peace houses were being raided by police in riot gear; journalists were being detained; and there was random thuggery in the streets. A friend’s son had been brutally beaten while riding his bicycle home from school because he fit a profile. I rethought my plan. I would leave Emma at home and join the protest myself. The emails kept coming. More beatings and arrests. I reconsidered. I decided to stay home with my daughter and talk to her about what was happening. To this day, I feel ambivalent about my decision. I think about the rise of fascist states and the complicity of citizens. It is such a difficult balance.

Diane, I love to hear your voice . Your passion, eloquence and humor have moved so many of us for so long.

You sound tired today. Call it postpartum fatigue. It is a wonder how you have managed to consistently channel your fierce caring into compassionate and graceful dialogue. Sometimes reason is unreasonable. I don’t know what this means, except that I believe there are ways to express our love without depleting ourselves.

There is love and there is temperament. Obama has the ideal disposition for the job that lies ahead. Thank goodness for his composure, acumen and endurance. I know that I could not maintain this kind of evenness in the face of blatant hatred and injustice, chaos and confusion. But I have learned something about listening and about timing and tone over the years. If only because when you scream, sometimes it is into thin air.

On bigoty: I have a healthy respect for fear but not for those who do not have the courage to go beyond it. I have little tolerance for ignorance and narrow self interest. This is what I see happening with these so called “moral” issues.

For now, honor the wisdom of your body and spirit. There is a time for quiet reflection. And an inextricable link between art and community, between beauty and healing. One nourishes the other.
Take the time you need . Rest and regenerate. We will be here when you return.

Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.
Mother Teresa

Peace and blessings

Hilary said...

Yours is one of the most eloquent voices out here. No need to restrain it when it speaks what I believe is the truth. You have every reason to be angry but change takes time. And voices such as yours will help make a difference. Or so we can hope.

Jim said...

Diane, I am headed to your Photo Blog in a moment.
I had a similar but nicer reaction and those weren't racists as far as I know.
But they are going to have to live with the people's choice for at least four years. I for one am tired of the bigoted people and goodness knows we have a lot of them in Texas (we are a Red state).

I too will move to my Little Photo Place only in December as it will by my 3rd blogging anniversary and I need to taper down for a while.

Ask Dr. Jim (blog) will stay open as I only update it once a week or so.

Thank you for posting this, I hope things get better.

Dianne said...

oldold lady of the hills - I won't shut up, no worry :)
check out HRC, they have a lot of resources for speaking up

akelamalu - I hope that day comes sooner than later
the joy of Obama was ruined more than a bit by what was taken away from others

daryl - thanks Lady :)
I'm just struggling with the 'tone' of my voice. I just remembered something Nana used to say to me when I would shoot off my big mouth - she'd put her hands on her hips and ask 'now was that the only way you had?'

gabrielle - listening, timing and tone - that is what I am meditating on, how did you know :)
your comment bolstered me so much, thank you.

hilary - thanks :)
I'm trying to find the difference between outrage and anger.
hugs to benny

jim - I remain hopeful :)
I almost moved to Texas years ago, was offered a great job but my son freaked out about leaving family and he had enough to deal with at that time. ya think they would have been able to handle me lol

Mags said...

Hi there-I'm new here but I wanted to speak up and tell you that your opinions and thoughts matter and to not post them here on your very own blog isn't right. Don't be bullied by people who are too ignorant and childish to see that different isn't wrong.

I admire you for wanting to be respectful. I think that everyone, including myself, can learn a lot from people like you.

Dianne said...

mags - thank you for stopping and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate that :)

Jackie said...

A friend of mine (gay, Christian) quoted a couple of great quotes on his blog recently, in his musings on his disappointment over Prop8:

Two quotes give me solace and courage for the future.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
-- Gandhi

Difficult and painful as it is, we must walk on in the days ahead with an audacious faith in the future. When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.
--Martin Luther King, Jr.

I don't think I can add anything else, to be honest. Hugs!

storyteller said...

I understand … I share your frustrations over ignorance and racist beliefs … was saddened by the defeat of Proposition 8 and feel embarrassed at how many Californians allowed themselves to be so easily confused or mislead (succumbing to fear) when the arguments against were so clearly false. I’m hoping the measure will be overturned in the courts … again.

I understand … but I’ll miss your ‘reasoned’ voice. I’m sure I’ll love your photos, and I hope you’ll feel like expressing yourself with words again … seriously. Your words speak for many of us who avoid such topics on our own blogs for our own reasons.
Hugs and blessings,

Dianne said...

jackie - your friend has incredible spirit and grace, as do you. thanks for the quotes.

storyteller - I can't be quiet for long, it's not in my nature. I just need to find a kinder, gentler voice (lord is that a Bush line!! ;) - and you are so right that the campaign against gay marriage is false. thank you.

bobbie said...

Well, I know the feeling of being sick of your own voice, so I guess I understand that. But I love your voice too.

We do, or don't do whatever seems best at the moment. Have to go with our feelings.

Kit answered your comment on hers. Was afraid you might no go back to read it.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I am already on HRC's e-mail list, for a long time now...

So much is going on here in L.A.
I keep getting emails from friends who are very involved in getting Prop 8 poven unconstitutional....So, I have been signng petitions, etc.

magnetbabe said...

"We are the ones we've been waiting for." Such an important, galvanizing phrase often shouted defiantly on the stump. But us Obama supporters clearly weren't the ones the GLBT community had been waiting for because something went horribly wrong on election day. I am just sick about prop 8 and in retrospect wish I had done more to speak out about the importance of equal rights.

We've talked before about Obama's stance on gay marriage and it is politically pragmatic if not disappointing. I understand that the most important thing was getting change to Washington and he was the one who could deliver. But the irony is that while breaking down the last remaining civil rights barrier, Californians took already existing rights away from their gay neighbors. They should be ashamed.

Any petitions to sign, peaceful blog activities to partake in let me know I'll do it. Let freedom Ring seems like an appropriate outlet for those justifiably outraged by the passage of prop 8. But I don't think it was productive. I think you were right not to partake if you weren't comfortable. Save your energy for a more productive way to get an important message across.

Dianne said...

bobbie - I always check kit's place every couple of days :)
just looking at the header photo makes me smile as I'm sure you understand.
I have been writing some stuff as Travis suggested, I won't/can't be quiet for long. Plus I have a ton of holiday stories to start telling, we are a chaotic bunch this time of year ;)

oldold lady of the hills - I figured as much, just couldn't think of anything else constructive to suggest. Your Keith O post was wonderful :)

magnetbabe - we did discuss Obama's stand before and I do get it. I've been signing the petitions HRC sends me and I donated what I could afford for court costs.
CT was a good thing today.

Kimmie said...

Dianne...your voice is what defines you. Never stop sharing with us here. I have learned so much from you, and I thank you for that.

Always stay true to who you are.


karey m. said...

i feel you...these days, i'm more into looking at pretty things than dealing...

but i'm not sick of the sound of your voice...rather, your words.

take your time, and we occupy ourselves with pics instead...xoxo.

Pagan Sphinx said...

I may have to return to read all the comments...

I so agree with you about Obama's lack of support being disappointing and I'm SO glad you've spoken out about this. And the silence from a majority of Obama supporters has really bites. It's so glaringly obvious on the intertubes that this issue is being ignored.

Is it because Obama supporters don't want to seem disloyal to the candidate they worked hard to elect? I supported him too. And for the first time in my life with a good bit of cash.

I expect more from Obama, not less. I think it's up to us to make him (any president or elected official) accountable. This is a constitutional issue and I hope he pays attention. I'm not a single-issue type but I will do everything in my power to persuade him to take a stand in favor of what is right and just.

Thanks for this, Dianne.

Dianne said...

kimmie - thanks, you're such a good friend :)

karey - that's it! not the voice, the words. I can't control the anger and snark as I write about current events and until I do I won't be productive.

pagan - the comments are good - I love my readers and we always get a good discussion going. I'm very proud of that which is why I want my posts to be productive, not bitchy.
I think a lot is at play with Obama supporters and Obama himself. I came across an article that questioned why 70% of the black voters in CA supported Prop 8. How could they celebrate one victory over bigotry while taking part in another. The comments made my skin crawl and made me very anxious about the rather fragile unity among Obama supporters. As Daryl pointed out Obama's position was to leave it to the states. Considering what he was up against during the election - all the Secret Muslim, socialist, terrorist, radical crap - I guess he needed to choose his battles. I hated it though and felt it was a cop out. I know how much he has on his plate and I will wait to see BUT I don't blindly support anyone and on this issue he is pissing me off ;)
and no need for any thank you - if they can take things away from your child then they can take things away from mine. And I won't stand for it!
Love ya Lady.

Anndi said...

Just stopping by (again) to say I miss your voice and can't wait to hear what else you have to say... when you're ready... no rush. I brought snacks.

Dianne said...

anndi - 'I bought snacks' !!! I love you, you are very adorable ya know. I'll definitely do wordzzle this Saturday and hopefully my 'block' will be over by then. I did post a silly story about my son with a photo of something he made for me 30 years ago. I bet you kang on to Chicklet's stuff too!! :)
It's on the Photo Blog - just click on the camera on the sidebar.

Sleepypete said...

I got disillusioned by the politicians years ago - they don't seem interested in what the people want any more and are even less interested in asking us.

Mind you, people in a crowd can be pretty stupid too - why mess with people's lives when you don't need to ? That's how I see the Prop 8 thing. If they're not hurting anyone, then why hurt them by interfering ?

I have a new inspiration that'll keep my interest over the next few months - 30 yachtspeople set off last weekend for a round-the-world race. Definitely going to keep an eye on them, the rate at which the newswires come in, it's like reading the comments on a popular blog ;-)

PS I think USA did right by bringing Obama in :-) He seems like a fresh voice and a bringer of hope. Fingers crossed that he breaks the R vs D stereotypes. No such luck over here, think we're stuck on Party fighting Party for a while longer instead of actually doing something constructive for a change.

gabrielle said...

Just try not speaking and see what happens! You are a cherished!

Dianne said...

pete - following the race sounds interesting. I once followed a runner who was traveling cross country after 9/11 for his brother - he raised money for kids who lost a parent. His wife traveled along and posted stories and photos.
I have become 'reillusioned' with the election of Obama - it is unfortunate that we can not have a fully progressive nation because of the power of some churches and coprorations that profit from exploiting the ignorance and fears of too many of our citizens but there is room for hope.

gabrielle - I believe I had opinions in the womb ;)

The Quiet Rage said...

As a Californian, I was a bit surprised at the results of Prop 8 (gay marriage). There was another prop on the ballot in regards to animal rights and chickens having the right to be able to move around in their cages.

A lot of Californians were left wondering...... Why are we giving rights to animals and not PEOPLE? Not that the animals are not deserving, but why are we so warped about gays living their lives the way they want to?