Marching in Spirit and Love

Today is today, tomorrow will be tomorrow.  Life goes on, good and bad, safe and dangerous, and fair and unfair.

Currently I am in a good place, with a new sense of confidence and ability to do what I am meant to.  On the other side of that good place I am angry and dismayed.

Today is a sunny and gorgeous autumn day in Western North Carolina.  A day for hiking mountain paths, mowing the yard for the last or almost next time this year or for a fall cleaning blitz.  For me those activities mean that all is right with the world.  And in my little world all is good.  Today anyway.

And yet, all is not right in the world.  In Charlotte and Atlanta there are marches and protests.  Another black life has been snuffed.  More than one, with ________ in Tulsa. There is question as to why there are less and less efforts to deescalate these situations instead of shooting to kill.  I remember times when a suspect would be talked down or at worst, shot in the leg.  That seems to be no more.

I’ve been reading and commenting upon Jim Wallis’ (Sojourner magazine) blog on this topic:

The ravine between white men who deny the existence of white privilege and those who work to convince them that it exists, is deep and wide.  (And yes, women deny white privilege as well, but not as vociferously.) Why is it that some will cry out about their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms at seemingly all costs, while chastising those who kneel in silence during the national anthem or march in protest of unequal treatment of black Americans in our cities?  The right to protest is an Amendment to forget?

It’s much easier to see the biases and faults of others than it is to see our own.  I definitely get that.  Those who responded to my words of response on Jim Wallis’ blog, those who say white privilege does not exist, were ready to explain or defend the police action in Tulsa and Charlotte.  One admitted that racism may still exist.  May.  How I wish that it was only a mere possibility!

These responders were apparently white and male.  One said he knew a few black people, but not well.  Both decried the protests as unacceptable, emphasizing looting and riots as the reason.  There was blame given to the black community for not favoring education enough (the ubiquitous “they” don’t encourage it) and that the black community encourages their own to hate police.  And yet these statements come from two people who admit or seem to admit that their knowledge comes from “what I hear” or “what I’ve read.”

I as a white woman, am no savior of people with darker skin than mine.  However, if I do not speak what I believe to be the raw truth, I am failing myself, my children and my friends.  But not ONLY these, I am failing humanity if I don’t share what I know, and do my best to be a culture broker, sharing what I know to be true from those who know that they do not receive equal treatment from shop owners, police and others.

Erin Hensley Schultz bravely says what I am saying, and is far more eloquent in  So, Which Is It?  It helps me to know that there are others out there like me, who feel the need to speak even though others will say we are nuts, bending over backward to help those who should be helping themselves.  WHAAAT???

Today I am not in Charlotte marching.  I wish I was and know that I could have gotten there if I really wanted to.  As I watched CNN last night and saw marchers go mile after mile, I wondered if I could really do it.  My hips hurt as I watched a reporter walk and walk and walk.  And yet there was an energy in the crowd and I imagine many felt no pain.

I am wondering.  There is a small black community near where I live.  I want to reach out and let them know I am upset.  Will I offend them?  Should I not worry?  What can I do?

When I write again, I hope to be able to tell you more.

Marching in Spirit and in Love.

Peace to ALL.

(Please follow me at







I pinked myself today.  Something I’ve wanted to do, but was too chicken. Then a reason came up.  An excuse? Maybe, but I don’t think so.

You see, I have quite strong feelings about the abundance of pink at football games in October, in merchandising (where little if any money goes to cancer research) and simply the preponderance of PINK over the other colors of cancer.  We don’t see any other cancer populating male dominated sports the way we do the glaring Pepto Bismol shade of breast cancer awareness.

Why not purple for prostate and pancreas cancers?  Blue for colon cancer, and why not spread the love and go red for heart disease?  A little of those colors may be seen here and there, but never with the bold and brazen save the “ta ta”s pink.

Why am I so snarky about this?  I guess because I’ve always been a person who believes in fairness.  Breast cancer is getting all the attention and it simply isn’t right.   Prostate cancer is something football players should be concerned about.  But of course that wouldn’t be attractive.  Big guys wearing purple to educate other guys about the dangers of this disease?  Prostate cancer is a cancer most men will have before they die if they live long enough.

Men don’t like to think about prostate cancer because of its one major side effect, that while varying from man to man, is a true downer.  Literally.  The to have an erection is very likely to decrease (sorry, I can’t think of better words), and while there are medications, and other treatments, I don’t know a man alive who wants to think about it. Understandably so.

I have dear friends who have had breast cancer.  I support them and the fight against breast cancer.  I would do anything for them, probably even wear pink.  A dear friend of my daughter has breast cancer, and recently underwent surgery.  Their group of friends got together before the surgery and all dyed a part of their hair pink.  I was touched by this and said “I will too!” and then said nothing until now.  Today a thatch of my hair was dyed pink, and while I think it looks pretty cool, I didn’t do it for me (ok, I really did want to give it a try), but mostly for Kat, offering support across the miles.


I’m not wearing pink ribbons, but I am supporting my friends. I look for the day when professional sports players wear a color that takes more courage than pink.

Next time purple?  We’ll see. Today it’s Pink… for Kat.





So, Which Is It?

This is such a well written piece. Erin says what I feel and what I believe. She quotes MLK: “Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.” White people like me cannot pretend that all is fine and good, or that we’re good people without prejudice or even more… white privilege. We ALL are prejudiced in some way whether we are aware of it or not. Most of us don’t like to think we are, but I can think of many times when I saw someone and thought a thought that I’d rather not admit, and it came from a dark place within. A place where my almost all white upbringing left me without knowledge of people with darker skin, a place where I didn’t expect a black woman to be a physician, or that we would one day have a black president. I believe I’ve grown out of that prejudice, and yet sometimes my white girl ignorance slaps me in the face.

White privilege on the other hand is something that white people must acknowledge, and stand up for our brothers and sisters of color, protecting them when others won’t. Our voices must be raised.

When I say “protecting” I mean that we use our own white privilege to speak up regarding Black Lives Matter, Driving While Black and such. Our Black and Hispanic brothers and sisters do so as well, yet I believe until white people say ENOUGH!! ENOUGH!! Black Lives will not matter as they should. Oh for a day when we did not describe a person by his or her color of skin. Thank you Erin.

It's Fine.

I’m scared to post this. I’m afraid of alienating people I love, people I interact with on a daily basis, people whose friendships I value. I wouldn’t say this if it hadn’t been weighing heavy, like a 50 pound weight on my tongue every time I open my mouth to say something and stop before it comes out because I don’t want to stir the pot. I don’t want anyone to be mad at me. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But I can’t, in good conscience, do that anymore.

I live with a certain degree of privilege. Monetary privilege? Not so much. But social privilege? Absolutely. I am part of a demographic that is perceived as the LEAST THREATENING to society. I’m a White Lady. Further, I’m a Southern White Lady. Still further, I’m a Heterosexual, Cis-Gender, Southern White Lady who Happens to be the Married Mother of Two…

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Stupid Phrases for People in Crisis

So important. Please read.

Marilyn R. Gardner


  1. God will never give you more than you can handle. While some may believe it is theologically correct, depending on your definitions, it is singularly unhelpful to the person who is neck-deep in a crisis, trying to swim against a Tsunami. A wonderful phrase recently came from Support for Special Needs. They suggest changing this from “God will never give you more than you can handle” to “Let me come over and help you do some laundry.” This strikes me as even more theologically correct.
  2. It gets better. Yes, yes it does. But right then, it’s not better. And before it gets better, it may get way worse.
  3. When God shuts a door, he opens a window. Maybe, but maybe not. Maybe he just shuts a door. Maybe there is no window. There was no window for Job. There was a cosmic battle that raged as he sat in distress. There…

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Shackles and Ivy: The Secret History of How Slavery Helpend Build America´s Elite Colleges!

As if there isn’t enough bad/sad news. Disturbing, extremely disturbing.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Uncovers Her Family’s Shocking Slave-Trading…


Shackles and Ivy: The Secret History of How Slavery Helped Build America’s Elite Colleges

  • Postshow_wilder

    Pt. 2: Craig Steven Wilder on “Ebony & Ivy,” Race, Slavery and U.S. Universities

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    Filmmaker Uncovers Her Family’s Shocking Slave-Trading History, Urges Americans to Explore Own Roots

A new book 10 years in the making examines how many major U.S. universities — Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, Rutgers, Williams and the University of North Carolina, among others — are drenched in the sweat, and sometimes the blood, of Africans brought to the United States as slaves. In “Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology American history professor Craig Steven Wilder reveals how the slave economy and higher education grew up together. “When you think about the colonial world, until the American Revolution, there is only one…

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Political Pieces of Life

I am very new to this blogging thing, better at responding than initiating I think, but I do have lots of thoughts swirling around.  Many write about facts and having the facts as well as get your facts straight.  Well… I’m terrible with details and am one who knows things by intuiting and feeling, something many “thinker” friends do not quite understand!

For starters, I am an INFP on the Myers Briggs’ Personality Inventory.  Many people have taken a form of this inventory or something similar.  People like me tend to love it, while “T” folks aren’t always so sure. Ts are thinkers and Fs are feelers.  Anyone who knows me is not surprised to find that I’m an Introverted INtuitive Feeling Perceptive type.  People like me often know things because we just KNOW them.  In political discussions this doesn’t often go too well.

This is a reason I’m doing my best to learn more through other bloggers, reading as much as I can and yet I know I’ll never be like Dr. Rex or Michael H-S and be able to list fact after fact.  I’m finding my place in political discussions, learning what I can add from an intuitive feeler’s perspective.

One thing that comes to mind is the latest “concern” about Hillary Clinton’s health. I have long wondered how candidates can possibly endure the rigors of being on the road, speaking almost constantly, flying here and there and back again and then on the Sunday morning news shows!  And usually most look rested and ready to go.  A lot of adrenaline pumping through veins, I’m sure, but still… how do they do it?  It’s easier for me to identify with Hillary because she is a woman with many of the same concerns I have.  She has much better control of her emotions than I do, and while being a mother, grandmother and a professional, that’s about where our similarities end.  She is the ultimate combination of a Queen Bee and a Worker Bee,  going and going, but not in circles. She gets things done.

I had a hard time with her connection to big banks, the vote for the war in Iraq, and the fact that she and Bill are now extremely wealthy, with speaking engagements that pay way more than I can imagine ever making.  Chelsea was paid $60,000 (supposedly) to speak in Madison, Wisconsin earlier this year.   I would be thrilled with that amount for a yearly salary at this point in my life!  Money does divide us from one another.

But… I had to admit that when I listened to Hillary’s speeches and debates that I was drawn in by her words, her intent and meaning.  I still don’t agree with everything she says, and yet her words were more practical than my beloved Bernie Sanders.  I could see that she would be able to deal with all the challenges to face the next president, i.e. for starters the legislature!

Still, I wasn’t sure.  She’s one tough lady.  She wasn’t always likable or approachable in my view.  It wasn’t until her husband spoke at the Democratic National Convention that I began to really get it.  Before you say anything about Bill, let me say this, I know he is a charmer and more.  He could sell winter coats to Floridians!  And yet, there is something humble and real about him.  He IS the charmer, he knows how to reach out to people, all warm and inviting.  That’s not Hillary’s style.  I will guess that she is definitely an introvert on the Myers Briggs’ scale, as well as most likely iNtuitive and a Thinker as well as a J which means she gets things done, finishes them up and doesn’t leave a project to be finished “later” as mine often are.  J stands for Judgment, which is misleading in that it means needing closure, not leaving things “blowing in the wind.” It does not mean judgmental!  Anyone can be judgmental.

You will notice in my writing that I may tend to get off track. I’ll try to pull myself in. The reason for the MBTI(tm) description is that from what I have seen and intuited, and others have noted as well,  Hillary is a behind the scenes workhorse, not one to charm and chit chat, although she can be very warm and welcoming.  Still it is not her comfort zone to come into a group and ooze charisma.  She is better out in the field getting the work done! Bill’s description of her law school years, her work in Alabama and other places, how she was a change agent even before she graduated!

As I heard our former  president speak about his wife, that “girl”, I suddenly realized what she has been through.  For years, as long as she has worked for the good of people in need, there have been naysayers saying, “WHAT did she say?  She won’t bake cookies?  She’s a b__ch!” and more.  We have criticized her as a woman for the clothes she wears, her expensive hair care, and more.  We all know that male candidates and politicians (for the most part) are not criticized for the cut of their suits, or their hairstyles.  Well… some are made fun of, that’s for sure.

I imagine that her whole career has been tinged with whispers in the wings, criticism from men (and women) afraid of her power.  I am nowhere near Hillary in energy, drive and success, and yet I relate to the fear and whispers of others in a work situation.  I’ve been there and it is not pretty.  While Hillary may be seen as the Queen Bee, she has suffered from other bees working against her.  In the classic Queen Bee Syndrome, the Queen does not support her subordinates, teasing and baiting them, ultimately destroying them.  Hillary has fought off the bees that would have her gone, and she is still here, fighting and fighting for us.

Is she perfect? No, of course not.  Is she human? Yes. It saddens me to think that a successful woman has to be a bitch to succeed, thereby alienating many who would otherwise look up to her.  Her recent illness shows that she is very human, and my hope is that news media and others will give her a break.  No human is safe from illness.  It is relevant to know her general health, however as many have mentioned, what about FDR, JFK and others?   Her opponent is certainly not a picture of health in any form or fashion.

I hope Hillary will take a few days to rest, recover, let her lungs heal.  If I followed her schedule, I’d be dead.  There is no way I could keep up.

I am not a political wonk.  I am a daughter, wife, mom, grandmom, aunt, friend and bits of this and bits of that.  If you can put up with my random jumps from here to there and back again, there might be something in my writing you will resonate.  I’m always open to suggestions… kind suggestions.. ;~)

In gratitude, with wishes of Peace,