An Open Letter to my Goddaughters

War. What a topic to pick to write to my 3 beautiful Goddaughters. I wrote the first draft for HOURS, starting at 6:00 am this morning…and I was just editing the final draft. Then I lost it.

I lost it ALL!! What the F..*k! HOURS of work and edits! SHIT!! Don’t know how to SAVE on Medium yet! Good GOD Almighty! This sucks.

I’ll learn. This is so important to me.

So I start AGAIN! Ha.

I woke with a dream of writing this letter on Veterans Day. I was at the Bay in the Mouse House. I took this selfie on the morning of Thursday, November 11, 2020 to begin the open letter. I had just had a hospice visit with Popi in West Chester, PA, an actual War Veteran. I chose each item in the photo to explain how I fight NOW. It’s Sacred. There is an altar behind me that I set up just about WAR that I’ll explain to you privately if you actually end up reading this!

If you all are ANYTHING like I was when I was younger, you don’t want to hear about WAR. Hence the OPEN letter. It’s for those who want to read it even though I DREAM of having this conversation with the 3 of you.

I HATED the topic of War.

“War. Huh. Good God y’all. What is it GOOD for? Absolutely NOTHIN’” 🎼🎶

That’s what I used to sing. Please look up that song on your phones 📞 and laptops 💻. You will see the date it was written. 1969. I was 9 years old. Go to Youtube and listen to the voice of Edwin Starr. I was a Motown baby 👶🏾 and those songs during the anti-Vietnam era defined my ethics and morals.

So did the posters that stuck flowers in guns and said, WAR is bad for Children and other living things.

I despised War. Even as a child. I thought a lot about such heavy things.

I was considered a “gifted” child. My IQ was rated in the 99th percentile while my brother Eddie’s was off the chart. We both were very intense. What I thought as a child DEEPLY mattered to me!

Eddie and I discussed philosophy and metaphysics while playing games. We were also highly athletic. I was award winning in track & field and got the coveted Presidential award 🥇 for over-all fitness.

Eddie was obsessed with Bruce Lee, martial arts, and became a devoted and belted Aikido practitioner that, had he lived past 1979, he would have definitely mastered.

You all know the talent that runs through ALL the Davis “Kids”. Debbie, our eldest, Celine’s mom, could hum an Aria before she could speak! Eddie and I were the ones who could “Draw our asses off” and became prolific painters. Michaela set the stage on FIRE 🔥 with her High School rendition of Medea!

My parents had their hands FULL. All 3 of us capitalized on our talents in amazing careers in the Arts. We focused and trained and worked HARD…took the risks, and it paid OFF.

As I rewrite this letter from my home in Brookland NE, I’m so grateful to DC, to HOME RULE and specifically to Marion Barry, our Mayor for LIFE. He and so many others DEDICATED funding for the Arts as a WAY OUT of poverty, trauma, and gang warfare for our urban children, especially Black Children of the 70s. The DC Youth Chorale. The Duke Ellington School of the Arts. It was PHENOMENAL. And it saved so many of us raised in DC post the April 4, 1968 riots after the Assassination of Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr when our “Chocolate City” was FORCED to live in wide spread degradation and POVeRTY post WHITE FLIGHT.

Yes. I was a “gifted” child who was GIFTED with the arts to survive a WAR I didn’t care to believe was still being waged against me and People like me. NOW, I must review my childhood choices that said NO to ROTC, NO to the US Army, and NO to a 4yr Scholarship to Yale. I hated WAR, and I LOVED ART, so my choices made sense to me at the time.

I said YES to Philadelphia College of Art. Thank GOD! Maya and Maggie, that’s where I met your mother, my BEST friend from my undergrad years. My first GIRL best friend. My brother Eddie was always my best friend. Until I came to Philadelphia to go to college.

Maya, your mom and I repeat the story of your name. It was MY choice for the FIRST child I was gonna adopt. Your Mom asked me if she could use it for you. It fit so perfectly. Reza, your Dad, the 3rd of our Mod Squad, loved it as well. I LOVED the name…it spoke to my fascination with World Religions and how humanity deals with the realities of LIFE.

I had just taken a course in World Religions at PCA (Philadelphia College of Art) and fell in love with the concept of “Maya” in Hindu philosophy. I wanted to teach my adopted daughter to not fear the misogyny of this world 🌍. To not fear any of the barriers to success and the twisted hypocrisies around the pursuit of happiness in America…like racism, sexism, heterosexism, homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-semetism, poverty, ignorance, propaganda, revisionism, ableism, ageism, classism, colorism, White Supremacy, institutionalized Domestic Terrorism, Rape Culture, ethnic genocide, and many other HORRID and evil constructs of our Nation…I wanted to instill a FAITH that all of these very REAL harms and tragic dramas played out in our American lives were actually and ultimately illusions…along with so many human narcissistic ego-based constructs…illusions that could be eventually transcended by the practice of goodness.

GOODNESS. I LOVE goodness and I wanted my daughter to have this belief in GOODNESS despite ALL evidence that EVIL permeates and seems to WIN unfairly…I wanted to IMPRINT this faith by name on any child of mine who would have to face what I did in just the first 20 yrs of my life.

Maya. I’m so glad I told your mother YES. I never adopted. That’s another LONG story. You ARE the child I wanted. My first Goddaughter, and I am your first Godmother.

Maggie, you are my 3rd and youngest Goddaughter and I LOVE our story of how you chose ME as a child!! Ha! I’m your second Godmother.

And my precious Celine. You are my blood Goddaughter and the BEST gift a sister can give to a childless sister. Debbie will ALWAYS be my “heart” for that decision she made when you were born.

Wow. The 3 of you SAVED my life in ways I can’t even begin to explain, but this letter is about WAR and WHY I NOW wish I would have taken that 4yr Scholarship and joined the Army through ROTC and become an Officer and studied WAR along with political science, LAW and Theology.

I never thought I would believe that, for I had such a RICH and beautiful and successful life as an artist and in the creative fields! Yet after 4 years of “TRUMPISM” and the madness of the RED HAT HATE campaign…the VERY REAL WAR we are IN…A CIVIL WAR…Hybrid…an Economic WAR with REAL deaths and tragedies…REAL terrorism. A REAL tyrant with REAL destruction of our Democracy and a REAL divide of our Nation…we are DEFINITELY at WAR.

And I was NOT prepared. I was NOT trained. And I got REALLY hurt.

If I had made the choices of ROTC and Yale, had I studied WAR and political science, and served in the US Army….and gone to Law School, then gotten my Doctorate in Theology I would have been PREPARED for this MADNESS we are suffering under.

I would be a Veteran just like Popi. Just like Bill (my two dads). Just like Uncle Johnny, my favorite Uncle. Just like Aunt Colur, the longest living sibling of my Grandmother Precious. I would be enjoying my 60s the way they did.

I could HELP protect our Democracy in a much more IMPACTFUL way than the way I “FIGHT” now. I could forge a SAFER KINDER world for the 3 of you, who I would do ANYTHING to protect from the cruelties of this world.

I KNOW you 3 KNOW, that I would easily give my LIFE to protect you…And YES, I would even KILL to protect your lives. I would KILL to protect my own. I would KILL to protect the LIVES of Americans who practice GOODNESS and believe in equity and inclusive Democracy, but are PREY to those who practice DOMINATION and CONTROL and stop at NOTHING to selfishly get what they want, and who exploit others for profit, right or wrong, good or bad. This is innate in me. It’s always been that way. What I LOVE, I protect. And I, my dear Ones, believe in LOVE above ALL things.

I LIVE for LOVE. I would surely DIE for LOVE.

To me, American Democracy is a SACRED path of self governance that is ancestral. It is a path of LOVE. A very MORAL way for a Nation. Higher than any other form of Government. It is our RIGHT on this LAND. It was practiced long before the European journey here. Long before European colonization. Long before the establishment of the United States of America 🇺🇸, Canada 🇨🇦 and Mexico 🇲🇽 created the boundaries of 3 Nations out of Turtle Island when the Indigenous Tribes were slaughtered and our Land was stolen.

To me, Democracy is our FATE. It is our DESTINY. It is in our LAND. It is in our Waters. It is in American AIR SPACE. It is in the HEART ❤️ of all TRUE American patriots who will DEFEND democracy from all other forms of less mature governance like Republics…like what “TRUMPISM” and the Tea Party Republicans want to roll us back into…

Back to an UNRECONCILED time in American history after European colonization during the active 20 million genocide of Indigenous People when TOXIC European so called “WHITE” MALES established our Nation’s wealth and infrastructure off of the labor of African chattel slave trading and human “owning” as they made up the concept of “RACE”, the concept of RACE by skin color where “WHITENESS” (lack of melanin) is SUPERIOR and each darker hue with lower CASTE (sounds familiar India?), and made up land “Ownership” by stealing and cheating the established inhabitants of the Land…then created a mock version of the very Democracy that was practiced by Indigenous Tribes. The “Mock” version of Democracy denied ALL rights to anyone else but themselves…other “WHITE” European male foreign immigrating colonists who stole and cheated to “OWN” land as they declared independence from Great Britain that was seeking WORLD domination at the time and still practicing Monarchy.

I LOVE how Great Britain grew out of the whole mess of African Chattel Slave Trading AND Monarchy once the 13 British Colonies declared Independence and WAR against them! Great Britain 🇬🇧 is one of my FAVORITE countries to visit and some of our BEST American citizens come from there.

But America…we did not fare as well as Great Britain after our War of Independence. We STILL have crooks and genocidal folks who DEMAND that toxic “WHITE” European males who indulge in slavery and land stealing RULE and DOMINATE and CONTROL this Nation through a “mockery” of Democracy. And they have been DOMINATING for over 500 years by means of WARFARE despite all the flowery words of Democracy. They simply USE the words in classic propaganda methods of control of the masses that humanity has been using for governance for a very long time.

So when I think of WAR, I think of Joan D’Arc. Viva La France 🇫🇷!!

I wish I could be like her for America. I wish I could be like Ms Liberty…ANOTHER gift 🎁 from France 🇫🇷!! (Besides YOU Celine!) It will take so much LOVE and miracles. I’m 60 now. I’m disabled. The “Tea Party” Demi-god Republican Candidate that I believe is an illegitimate ANTI-American TRAITOR, like many actual American War Veterans, would surely call me a “LOSER”, like all disabled Veterans…

Yet I STAND with #RIGHTmatters Campaign as I STAND with Black Lives Matter Global network. I could have done MORE than STAND. I could have LED internally in our government after defending our Nation with my LIFE if I would have said YES to the ROTC, YES to the US Army and YES to Yale and YES to the study of law, that my aptitude tests all said I was perfect for.

Art is forever. It would not have gone anywhere. It was a selfish call to choose Art over ROTC. An ignorant one. A naive one. A childish one. It was the best decision I could have made at the time. I was but a 16 yr old child. But Popi was right.

Now I know.

My beautiful Goddaughters. Bob Marley was right.

Everywhere is WAR. And we must FACE it. Every Nation must FACE it. Every citizen must decide where they stand. There is no SAFE middle ground and NO avoiding WAR. Even conscientious objectors can serve our country. Can defend Democracy and our Constitution.

Even Muhammad Ali “served” our Nation by refusing to go to War with the Vietnamese as he chose time in jail. He was BETTER able to CHAMPION Equity in Democracy by COMBATING racism in America by going to JAIL instead of Combat in Vietnam 🇻🇳 . He FOUGHT to Champion “Black People TODAY in America…Black People who have NO future…Black People who have NO knowledge of themselves…Black People sleeping on concrete…”. He FOUGHT!

He fought like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi fought for India’s Independence from the SAME Great Britain 🇬🇧 World domination WAR strategy.

He fought like our Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr fought for human Rights in America! I swear if Dr King had lived, HE would have been the first Black male President of the United States of America 🇺🇸 !! He TRAINED!! He got his degrees and SERVED the American People and FOUGHT for our lives and risked his own life time and time again even as a pacifist!

These men were my childhood HEROES! As was Malcom X, especially as he transformed into El Hajj Malik El Shabazz.

Dr Betty Shabazz and Dr Coretta Scott King and Mary McCloud Bethune were my SHEROES! They ALL trained in ways that were so deeply unselfish as they earned degrees and went to WORK to serve our People!

Non-violent Resistance IS a tactic of WAR!! A practice of GOODNESS that transcends the illusions of EVIL!! It does not take hold very long here in America, though. And Assassination seems to be a constant response to non-violent resistance.

That’s why I prefer Joan D’Arc’s strategy of WAR for GOODNESS. And I finally understand the Bhagavad Gita. Arjuna and Lord Krishna had to work the whole morality of War and killing OUT spiritually. How can we KILL for LOVE and GOODNESS?

I believe it is ALL in the preparation and willingness to DIE AND Kill for LOVE. I believe in DIVINE intervention and guidance on such moral and ethical issues. There is a balance to LIFE and DEATH that is necessary for all things in creation.

Humanity truly brings WAR and disease upon this Planet 🌎. If we are to ACT in LOVE to bring BALANCE when we are overwhelmed with HATE and GREED, I believe Sacred Warriors are CALLED for the ultimate Sacrifice that MUST be led by one’s FAITH in Goodness and NOT one’s EGO and personal pleasure.

My Beloved Goddaughters, after witnessing the devastation of “TRUMPISM” and the RISE in White Supremacy Racism in America once AGAIN, I’m ready to sacrifice my LIFE and my EGO and my personal pleasures so you all have a FUTURE worth living. I’m an Elder now. Time to put away childish ways of thinking and leave that to children. We are at WAR.

I’m PERFECTLY suited for such risk. I’m childless. I’ve even broken up from my “EVERYTHING” 10 year long supposed to be FOREVER relationship with Darlene. I’m FREER than I have ever been as far as risk assessment. So many of my friends I’ve already buried. DC no longer protects Black Seniors OR at risk Black youth. We NO LONGER invest in the Black Empowerment Arts and promote and pay for the talent that we did in the 70s. Marion Barry is dead and sick folks tried EVERYTHING to shame him, degrade him, enable his liabilities, and even kill him BEFORE he died so he could STOP protecting Black People in DC and STOP protecting Black and Indigenous Land and SToP helping Black Seniors and STOP saving Black Homes.

NOW, we have a Black bodied Mayor and a Black bodied Ward Council who systematically destroy EVERY protection the ERA of Barry set for “Chocolate City” since we won home rule. DC is hand delivered BACK to TOXIC WHITE male dominated Corporate RULE as if Rev Dr Martin Luther King’s LIFE and assassination meant NOTHING, and land is stolen and cemented over as if Democracy is ALL a farce and a corruption beyond salvage as long as you PAINT YELLOW LETTERS on 16th Street across from the White House and still KILL Black boys running FROM Police in Wards where WHITE Developers are given Black neighborhoods to “develop” as we “Round up SUSPECTS” of having illegal firearms and DISPLACE generational Black People at a rate HIGHER than during the Great Migration from the Southern CONFEDERATE SLAVE DEMANDING States when ALL my Grandparents LEFT the Lynching Jim Crow World…left our homes and farms so we could be TRAUMATIZED again by hateful calculated cold-hearted shut OUT RACISM up North.

WAR. This is WAR. I have to study it and fight it at the SAME time! Making so many mistakes…but I have NO choice. I didn’t believe there was STILL a Civil War in America…until the 2016 Election when we VOTED in President-Elect Hillary Clinton (one of my FAVORITE trained internal Government LOVE Warriors!) yet inaugurated who I’ve ALWAYS called the “Pedophile” from my days in the Fashion Industry. What a WAR! Illegitimately!! And he LIED under Oath ASAP!!

Thank GOD the Women of America MARCHED right after the “Pedophile” perjured himself under Oath. I’m so PROUD to have shared that American HERSTORY with BOTH Maya and Maggie!! As Celine entered IN the cesspool and ran for Office in her LA neighborhood!! We are MORE than 50 percent of this Country, but some of us are REAL SICK and we VOTE in ways that KEEP Illegitimate Pedophiles enabled and protected in PRIVILEGE, just like battered women in cycles of Domestic Violence. Misogyny has it’s WORST enemy inside women. Now that’s a DEEP WAR. The ENEMY INSIDE US!

So I fight on ALL levels. Inside. Outside. Making mistakes. Growing in FAITH. War.

The FIRST Black Woman I campaigned for PRESIDENT of the United States of America 🇺🇸 was Shirley Chisholm. I couldn’t t VOTE yet, but I could CAMPAIGN! The NEXT was Senator Kamala Harris. She ran during this time of EVIL!! I was SO PROUD of her! Her work in California as the Attorney General EXCEEDED her, so I was ELATED when she was elected to the Senate! I TOLD Popi that I would drop EVERYTHING and do ANYTHING to volunteer for her Campaign. She ended her race before I could arrange to volunteer. So I just ceaselessly prayed for her and her Sister and her family…so GLAD Biden chose her…so glad our Democratic Party CHOSE her for VP. This is GOODNESS in ACTION even in the cesspool of corruption!

Now we have a WAR over VOTES and over the COUNTING of VOTES. And a WAR on our Supreme Court.

I FIGHT in this WAR because I BELIEVE in the 3 of you. I BELIEVE in your RIGHT to a Democracy that INCLUDES you. All of you. All of whom you LOVE ❤️.

I LOVE you. I FIGHT for your future. I’ve had a GOOD life. You deserve an even BETTER Life! So NOW, Tata Niki is at WAR. Popi and Uncle Johnny already served. I honor them today by picking UP the FIGHT and servicing my TIME in what ever capacity I can. It’s my turn.

Happy Veterans Day.

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