Brought to our knees
It just keeps coming
Every time I sit down to write this letter, I’m often overwhelmed by the enormity of news and urgency of this moment. It just keeps coming. Devastating storms, hateful policies, war cries, heartbreak. It’s no wonder…we have literally been brought to our knees in our relentless resistance and humble hearts.
But instead of a rousing speech this week about doing more, we’re embracing the wisdom of Bayo Akomolafe on slowing down, listening deeply, and questioning everything. When we allow for the uncertain to emerge into a space untainted by old stories and default patterns, we’re able to build sacred relationships and sanctuaries that will guide us forward. David Whyte’s words echo this sentiment…
Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window
toward the mountain presence of everything that can be
what urgency calls you to your one love?
What shape waits in the seed of you
to grow and spread its branches
against a future sky?
— Kerri Kelly, founder of CTZNWELL
In the wake of what we’re experiencing, it seems fitting to double down on our shortcut. On race in America, we’re highlighting: “Patriotism Is for White People.” And we’re recommending this piece on climate change to every person we know.
We are again in a moment when instead of facing the very cold, hard truth of institutional racism in our country, many citizens, the media, our government, and our president are throwing up smoke and mirrors, so that all of sudden, white women are crying about disrespect for our flag and Colin Kaepernick is still unemployed. This is not about old glory, folks. But, if you’re reading this letter, you already know that. Colin Kaepernick began kneeling, on recommendation from a green beret (minute 7), we might add, to protest the police shootings of unarmed black men. This weekend, players and owners rallied in solidarity for equality, justice, and truth, as Trump condemned their silent protest. We are reading this piece by John Pavlovitz: “White America, It’s Time to Take a Knee.”
“White friends, if your immediate response to the shooting of a man or woman of color is to try and justify why he or she is dead instead of asking why they were shot, you may be the problem here.”
JUSTICE LA NOW!
Right now, LA County, which houses the largest prison population in the world, is threatening expansion. Justice LA, a coalition of organizations working with local communities, launched yesterday to campaign for a reallocation of the $3.2 billion that would be allocated to two new jails. Spread the word.
The third (Is it really only the third?!) attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare is dead in the water. Collective action has saved health care. But we would never have gotten to where we are today without National ADAPT and the activism and leadership from the disability community. Plans for the next attempt are already underway, but we’re ready.
“I wish I knew how to quit you, Facebook.”
ALL HANDS ON DECK
WE HEART PUERTO RICO
Hurricane Maria is the 17th storm of 2017 and has hit home. Literally. Puerto Rico is suffering under devastating conditions and are in desperate need of water, food, shelter, and more. And while “he who shall not be named” was picking a fight with the NFL, five ex-presidents have stepped in to provide relief. And they need to. The governor is calling for a humanitarian crisis. While many are calling Maria Trump’s Katrina. This video will break your heart but don’t look away. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment. For all of us.
Here’s how YOU can help. And here is an article that identifies charities with a four-star rating and which allow you to specify disaster relief funding when you donate. And this from the front lines.
This letter from Serena Williams to her mom is incredible. Read it now. Today, Michelle Obama said, “Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice.” A 13-year-old reverses gender roles in this short film. And the fight for women’s bodies.
We’re reading “The Dying of Disagreement” and rereading “My White Friend Asked Me on Facebook to Explain White Privilege. I Decided to Be Honest.” And as, Arnold Eisen describes in this piece about indifference, not all are guilty “but all are responsible.”
HERE IT IS.
Chance the Rapper serving it up brilliantly. As always.