Peace Isn’t Always Peaceful

Before anyone goes off thinking I’m advocating for war, please understand I am not. Ok. With that out of the way, let’s talk making peace in the United States of America, because we haven’t been this close to civil war since well, the Civil War. And forgive me if this post seems like it’s all over the place. Heavy topic.

Those on the far right have been saying the divide between right and left will never be bridged unless those on the left knock it off already. Those on the far left have said pretty much the same. There have been many a Tik Tok featuring a toothless, aging white man with a huge beard and a dirty trucker hat threatening to come for the sheeple and snowflakes for their deft thievery of the national election. It’s been super easy to laugh at the images and roll my eyes.

Then January 6 happened. As more details are emerging, the intent of the insurrection at the capitol has now been revealed to be much more sinister than many dared to believe. After all, why storm a building with zip ties unless you were planning to tie someone up and do harm?

This week, 20,000 National Guard troops have been setting up in DC ahead of the Biden/Harris inauguration. Everyone is on high alert because the toothless and those with a mouthful of chompers have been pretty open about what they hope to do with January 20. Thankfully, law enforcement appears to be actually listening.

So, where do we go from here?

I’m a history nerd and love the fact that I live in one of the 13 original colonies. I love our proximity to Washington D.C. and the fact that when we stroll the mall on a Saturday afternoon or take pictures on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial we are literally standing in the steps of history. This capital and this nation and all its stands for has its stories.

The world has seen great divides for centuries and at some point, amends have been made—sometimes freely, other times with great caution. Watching the World War II movie, Windtalkers the other day, a bigoted character in the film exclaimed disbelief that the Indigenous fellow GI he’d taunted actually saved his life, before saying the following: “Wouldn’t it be crazy maybe in 50 years we’ll be sipping beers with the Japanese?”

He spoke prophetically, did he not? The same can be said of Germany, (well prior to Trump messing things up), now one of our staunchest allies. How was peace brokered and nurtured there?

Well, one side had to surrender; one side had to admit defeat and accept it. That’s a starting point. But ideologies don’t just disappear overnight. Did Nazi ideas of racial supremacy evaporate once the Allies occupied and split the country into two? In Japan, did Emperor Hirohito cease to be a god in the eyes of his faithful when the articles of surrender were signed?

Interestingly enough, both Japan and Germany’s aggressions against the world were built on the ideas of race supremacy. To my knowledge (and I could be wrong), splinter groups in Japan embracing the ideas of their former emperor haven’t gained the footing that Neo-Nazi groups have throughout the world. As we’ve seen here in America, the flag “with the ugly spider,” as described by Gretl in The Sound of Music, is still waving—in the very nation who stormed Normandy to stomp it out.

Peace can be made in theory, but not always in action.

What will it take for the United States to truly be peaceful in action, not just in word? I wish I had answers. There are too many people entrenched in conspiracy theories, lies, and white supremacy right now. And unless you let those things go, there is no hand holding with truth tellers and people of different colors. In other words, you’ve got to get on the correct side of history in the eyes of humanity or common ground can’t be found.

You see, there are issues that go beyond the politics of running a country where compromise can’t be found. And those issues center around life and death. Racism leads to death for many Americans. As some have lamented their shock at why friendships and families have been ruined over Trump-following, I’d assert the issues of equality, justice, and the denouncement of racism and white supremacy are deal breakers. You either value all life in its diversity as on par with your own or you don’t. On issues like that, the side against that notion must capitulate or there is really no place to go.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., always chose a path of nonviolence, even when confronted with violence. All these years later, he is not wrong. Going high when others go low? That allows you to hold on to your dignity.

That said, I don’t believe in saying nothing. As Dr. King did, speak, write, and engage with others. Set people right when they are spouting wrong. Don’t shy away from the hard conversations. Have them and be firm about dispelling untruth with truth, facts, and a steady hand. Resist hysteria and lowering your standards out of anger. Stay even keeled and stay the course. I don’t know how or when or even if the nation will reach a point of peace at this point. But I do know that peace doesn’t come from standing back doing nothing.

For peace to truly win out, the method has to outweigh the madness.

Stop With the “Both Sides” Flawed Logic Already

I clicked CNN on Wednesday morning while working. I thought it would be good to listen to the speeches on the floor of the senate regarding the final certification of the election results. Isn’t it interesting that election after election rolls by and this same event happens (albeit with less drama), and most of us aren’t even aware that it happened? But not this year. After multiple lawsuits, a continuous barrage of lies crying fraud, failed rallies, and more lunacy out of Trump and his faithful, the senate certification was the last step towards Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ inauguration January 20.

So, one minute Ted Cruz was speaking (and I was rolling my eyes), and the next, cameras were panning out over a swelling crowd rapidly moving toward the capitol building. The reporters covering events went from monotone-speak to panic, as the crowd approached the building and forced their way in—unbelievable to anyone who’s been in DC post 9/11.

We all know what happened next. Surreal, shocking, disgusting.

Trump didn’t call in the national guard who could have squashed the insurrection. The Capitol police were woefully unprepared and, in a few cases, appearing to be welcoming to the brazen trespassers (photo evidence is available). It took hours before police backup from Maryland and Virginia assembled and got in place.

This is so vile.

Thankfully, all elected officials were evacuated to safety and the official boxes containing the electoral college votes were rapidly removed thanks to a quick-thinking squad of women who in all honesty, helped save our democracy.

As the dust somewhat settled as late night rolled in, analysis on all news networks picked apart what was clearly an attempted coup, minute by minute.

And several ugly things emerged.

  1. Had the crowd been Black Lives Matters, or really any group of minority protestors, they would have never made it to the first steps, let alone broken windows to climb through.
  2. There would have been many more deaths.
  3. The National Guard, SWAT team, DC Police, Capitol Police would have all been positioned at the ready in full riot gear, guns locked and loaded.

By the early hours of January 7, objections had been rescinded on the senate floor and resignations from White House staff and cabinet members began flowing in.

But by morning, I already knew what was coming next. And sure enough, the chorus began to swell with the “violence is terrible and both sides are guilty of it,”  or “It’s just so sad, but both sides have been violent—look at what the left did this summer, etc.” I don’t want to write all the things I heard along those lines because they are literally raising my blood pressure to recount them.

Hypocrisy much?

The violence of this summer in the wake of George Floyd’s death and nationwide protests was terrible. We all can agree that violence is not the answer and does more harm than good. However, it’s the reasons behind the violence of both the summer and January 6 that can’t be placed on equal footing.

Dr. King said, “A riot is the language of the unheard.” Before anyone says I’m trying to defend Target looters and the people who sacked the police department in Minneapolis, stop and understand what could drive people to so much rage and despair destruction offers the only outlet. The protests against the murder of George Floyd and all Black individuals who have been killed at the hands of senseless and ruthless cops, were necessary. These deaths stem from deeply rooted systemic racism going back to the infancy of this nation. If you haven’t made peace with the following fact, do it now: America was built on the backs of Black people—from its early infrastructure, economy, right down to the White House itself. That Black Americans have been treated as less than human at worst, and second-class citizens at best, for 400 years is unacceptable.

That legacy was never squashed with the abolition of slavery or the laws enacted as a result of the civil rights movement. Not even Barack Obama as president changed things enough. Human nature will allow rage to bubble up when nothing is done. And in this particular situation, when nothing is done, innocent Black people continue to die. Is it heartbreaking to see this type of violence break out in the very communities that don’t need that? Absolutely. Do I get where the anger, hurt, rage, and sense of hopelessness comes from? Yes, I do. While I understand it, it doesn’t make it the right option. Let me be clear on that.

But the riotous act of sedition and treason that resulted in an attempted coup on January 6, 2021 was the result of the false and incendiary rhetoric of Donald Trump and legions of Americans who have been foolishly swept up by their loyalty to one man over their country. As more details of the attempted coup are emerging, it’s getting clearer that what transpired was not a gang of over enthusiastic Trumpers getting out of hand. Multiple bombs, Molotov cocktails, weapons, and even zip ties for restraining people were part of the mêlée. Does that sound like just a spur-of-the-moment, whipped into a frenzy, charge toward the Capitol building to you? As author Dan Koit reports, “They were out for blood.” ( There had to have been planning involved with only one purpose behind it—to keep Donald J. Trump in power, at all costs. Patriots? Hell no.


What has resulted now are ongoing GOP defections and a quickly growing list of federal and local investigations which will likely result in prosecution. That sort of stuff doesn’t quickly pop up from a “peaceful protest,” gone awry. Those who remain defending Trump while refusing to condemn the acts of January 6 should be ashamed of themselves.

As Trump supporters both ardent and mildly sympathetic, keep popping up with their “both sides have problems” logic, they are only painting themselves as too blindly devoted to a foolish despot. And its pathetic. Because its apparent now that many of these otherwise sensible people have clearly lost their true north.

In 2021, how much more needs to happen to call out what must be called out? Oppose violence yes, but at the same time pay close attention to the objectives and results of protests and make sure you understand the root causes. One of the obvious problems with people spouting “both sides have problems?” They are paying more attention to the dominant color of the protesters than the reason behind the protests.

After the nation nearly missed a total coup this week where elected officials could have been held hostage and/or murdered, to try to lump this in with BLM protests and the like, is completely inappropriate and totally out-of-order. Because if you aren’t desperately clinging to Donald Trump and all that he represents, you should be able to see what’s what. So when you can’t, it only reveals your true colors.

But there is a silver lining to this very dark cloud—the voices calling for justice in America are only getting louder and growing in number. And come January 20, they will also get considerably more powerful.

Oh, Ye of Little Faith…In the Power of the Suburban Woman

A few months before November’s election, the current and more importantly OUTGOING president, seemed to think the vote of the American suburban woman was easily in his tiny, tiny hands. I think it’s safe to say the image of the American suburban woman blissfully ensconced in his muddled brain was that of June Cleaver or Donna Reed. You know, right back there in the good old days of America when white people ruled supreme, segregation was A-OK! and women did what their men told them to do… in pearls. Kids also roamed around outside unsupervised from dawn till dusk and no one had to worry, but we’ll get to that another time.

Except for Dear Leader, the times have a-changed—and since the country’s greatest stable genius doesn’t believe in reading, he likely missed the memos over the last 60+ years. Women are not unequivocally in the hands of anyone—especially these suburban ladies that do indeed, determine elections.

The suburban woman of 2020 and now 2021, is educated (in more ways than just a university degree, but we do have a lot of those), she works inside and outside of the home often juggling side-hustles to her main gigs, she is married, single, straight, and gay. She is young, old, and in-between. She has biological children, children born of surrogates, and children born in her heart through adoption. This woman approaches faith on her own terms or doesn’t. She is a friend, a daughter, a sister, a wife, even a hermit. She is no June Cleaver for she comes in all shapes, sizes and COLORS. And she has a voice she isn’t afraid to use.

I was among many suburban women these past several months who found ways to get involved in Anti-Trump activism during a pandemic. That’s right: I wrote postcards! I started with 100 cards, hand-written no less, to swing voters in Wisconsin. When it became apparent Wisconsin had flipped blue, I had to wonder if my cards had anything to do with it. Ha Ha! Maybe they helped just a couple souls find their way to the polls to vote in favor of someone who cared that they had good schools and access to clean water (among so many other issues). Maybe they wondered who this strange woman with a weird name was and decided to humor her.  

But when Georgia called run-off elections for this month, I was at it again. One hundred cards went to voters in the Peach State signed by some woman named Wilo asking them to help Jon Ossoff and Rev. Warnock do better for Georgia than what they had. And as of this writing, there are two blue senators heading to Washington. Did we do that? (Steve Urkel voice, please).

Let’s be honest about Georgia for a minute. There is one name that will go down in history as synonymous with the greatness that occurs when people of color and their allies show up and show out. Stacey Abrams. Take a moment, please. This woman. Oh, my goodness, THIS WOMAN.

This woman and millions of women inspired by her, have embraced activism in earnest in these past four years since Donald Trump backed his considerable caboose into the Oval Office. We’ve stormed the gates of Michaels (hard no to Hobby Lobby, thank you) in hot pursuit of poster boards and giant sharpies for our multiple protest signs. We’ve written the post cards, got involved in text and call-banking, wrote and called elected officials. And talked to our children (no small emphasis can be placed on that). You see, we’ve gone above and beyond kvetching on social media, folks.

And somewhere along the line others have listened, thought hard, and made some different choices than before. We’ve finally spoken out to our racist and sexist relatives, refusing to just smile politely to keep the peace. Voices that were previously silent, have been unleashed.

And some red states went blue with a Jamaican/Indian American WOMAN as vice-president.

There is obviously so much more work to be done, but it’s clear that big things happen when we women dig in and get involved. And on that note: To the Black queens who brought Biden to victory. THANK YOU!

So, for those still hell bent on returning America to its “golden days” of the 1950s, please go watch your reruns of Leave it to Beaver. Because that’s as close as you are ever going to get to that again.

Especially as long as we suburban women keep doing what we’re doing.

*Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

Grace in Defeat

One of the finest examples of courage and class in the face of crushing disappointment is the example of George H.W. Bush in 1992. He was a popular vice-president under Ronald Reagan and sailed to victory in the battle for the White House at the end of Reagan’s eight-year term. But in his bid for a second term, he was bested by a little known (at the time) Democrat from Arkansas, Bill Clinton.

It’s tough to lose. Especially when you are a senior statesman with pedigree, experience, and endorsement. But lose he did to a much younger man who didn’t share his background but carried his own impressive track record of making himself into something from humble roots.

On the day Clinton entered his new place of work—the oval office—he found a letter addressed to him on his desk. Bush had handwritten a note of congratulations and encouragement to the nation’s new president, underscoring the fact that Clinton was the nation’s leader, not just for his party. Bush threw his support behind his successor wholeheartedly, wishing him well, praying for him, and saying he’d be rooting for him.

Later on, in the many biographies and documentaries that emerged on H.W., it was revealed the loss was a brutal one—a deep wound that took a great while to heal. No, Bush wasn’t over it by mid-January 1993. But here’s where the class enters in. He put his feelings aside for the good of the country he loved. For Bush, it was going to be country over party all the way. And he wasn’t going to offer a terse “congratulations, best of you luck to you,” message to Bill Clinton. No, he dug deep into his well of decency and courage to reflect everything good about America. He chose to buoy the man who beat him to do his best for the country with the knowledge that his powerful predecessor had his back.

Thus began one of the sweetest and most empathetic traditions in American politics—personal notes to incoming leaders from outgoing ones ( Bush to Clinton, Clinton to Bush, Bush to Obama, Obama to Trump.

But now we stand at a point in American history where class and dignity inherent in a peaceful transfer of power have vanished.

Official concessions are more of a tradition than an actual mandate. So as long as Biden’s victory keeps checking out in all the rechecks, certifications, and validations that are customary in all American presidential elections, the results will not change.

And just to offer clarification, the Associated Press reports the following: “The Homeland Security Department’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has slapped down rumor after unfounded rumor about voting malfeasance and joined with state election officials in a statement declaring the election to have been the ‘most secure in American history.’ By secure, they meant there was no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changes votes “or was in any compromised.” That was a clear repudiation of Trump’s unfounded accusations.” (

Two days after Trump won the 2016 election, he and Melania were guests of the Obamas at the White House. Michelle graciously toured Melania around her new home, while Barack and Donald had their convo. The Bush’s did the same for the Obamas, and so forth.

Will such a thing happen now? It doesn’t look likely, though things can always turn on a dime. Would it be a nice gesture? Absolutely. But it isn’t needed. Because for the Bidens, there is no love lost. After all, they’ve already been in the White House—many, many, many times. Does Jill need Melania to show her around? Not when Michelle already has.

And does Trump need to talk to Joe Biden about the gravity of the presidency? Rhetorical question.

In the meantime, teach your children well—buck up and accept your losses when they happen. Extend sincere congratulations to winners. Realize we can’t win all the time but rising above disappointment with dignity always puts you in a position of strength. And if you’ve had problems with this as an adult, it’s never too late to try the “take the high road,” course of action.

A little note to the president: refusal to accept defeat with grace makes you a bigger loser than you already are.

Trump Caught The COVID!

This has been a week.

Last weekend, Franklin Graham and several thousands of the faithful, convened on Washington, D.C, for a peaceful prayer march. It wasn’t a political rally in support of the president (out loud), nor was it to pray for the destruction of the Democratic party and all its minions (out loud). Instead, the capital was flooded with prayers for the health of our nation.

Now, honestly, as a resident of the DMV, we didn’t hear much about it. I don’t even know that local networks gave it more than a mention. So that was good—in that nothing untoward went down worthy of news coverage. Prayers were prayed and everyone went their ways. But by Tuesday the worst debate in the history of American politics took place, Proud Boys were recognized and put on alert, and then—hold on to your hats, toupees, wigs, weaves, whatever—Donald and Melania Trump tested positive for COVID!

So, I had to wonder. Is God trying to say something?

I won’t attempt to weigh in on what God has in mind. That’s way, way, way, above my mental capacity. But it is just a little bit interesting, right? I mean, I’m not trying to connect dots or anything. I’ll leave that to conspiracy theorists far more skilled than I am.

But let’s talk about the president and first lady down for the count with coronavirus. First, I need to go on record as saying I don’t wish death and destruction upon the Trumps. I just want them to go away. So, I’m not laughing at him, shrieking “I told you so!” or reveling in the utter confusion that must have taken over Trump supporters who say the pandemic is a hoax.

But the irony, right?

So here’s why I think this might be a good thing. Could it be that Trump getting sick might be a turning point for the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States? The president and his lack of mask-wearing, poo-pooing the advice and counsel of scientists and the blessed Dr. Fauci, downplaying the seriousness of the infection, putting the economy and a false image of a well and powerful America ahead of the lives of actual Americans (over 200,000 of whom are no longer with us), has caused the type of division and dangerous behavior that has not helped us beat this mess.

His faithful followers, many of whom live in rural areas where they have not come face to face with Covid-19, have declared this whole thing a made-up story. It’s sort of like a kid covering their eyes and thinking because they don’t see you, you can’t see them. “Trump doesn’t wear a mask and has no problem with getting up close and personal with people. Well hey! That’s good enough for us!

Except now, COVID is having the last laugh. Donald Trump is sick (physically in this context) and his age puts him in a high-risk area. People his age have contracted this and went down, very, very quickly. And that’s not a made-up story, now is it?

With Dear Leader positive for COVID, perhaps the following might happen:

  1. We get country-wide participation in wearing masks in public. Because the hoax theory has been blown.
  2. People finally get that social distancing is important.
  3. Hand-washing and better hygiene is more of a priority
  4. The fake news that Covid-19 is nothing more than a cold is finally put to bed.

If the president comes through this with a mild form of it, good for him. But he will experience side effects such as extra fatigue and the possibility of the lingering inability to taste and smell McDonald’s’ food. The horror!

I’m sure his team of doctors is dosing him with all the remedies (that aren’t drinking bleach and hydroxychloroquine alone), to make a miraculous recovery and push the story that his bout with Covid-19 was no big deal.

But the truth is out there and you can’t take it back: Trump has COVID. It is real. He didn’t follow the protocols and now he’s sick.

Let’s hope this results in a lesson learned for the doubters among us so that maybe, just maybe, we can all come together and beat this thing. Because death doesn’t care if you are Republican or Democrat.

Also, wear your freaking masks!