Sober Up.

There are a lot of people expressing anguish and anger these days and a lot of people riding waves of blind trust. 

For those just getting around to anguish and anger, good for you. Now the choice before you is to bury your head once more or to find a way out of the turmoil. Anguish and anger are the first steps in coming to terms with the realities that we have accepted.  It’s a reckoning of the choices made for us long ago. The most obvious is the disregard of our relationship to the Earth, our dependence on fossil fuels and all the wars and destruction that have gone along with it. 

Another high on the list of accepted follies is patriarchy. If you’re still waffling about that one, check in with the women of Afghanistan or for that matter take a look at fundamentalists of any faith and how women are regarded. 

Women and the Earth have taken a beating over these past hundreds of years as dominant thinking has driven humanity back to the dark ages. Anger and anguish makes sense; but only if they fuel a revival of love and appreciation for life. That could be our way out.

To those of you bent on following blind faith to hell or to heaven: sober up. Jesus didn’t die to set you free of responsibility while you’re here. Your prayers and good wishes need to be accompanied by action. It might be time to take a page out of his notebook and overthrow the temples and challenge the money hoarders. It might be time to take off the yoke and stand in righteousness, not just talk about it. 

This is the time for courage and love. Bring on the best of humanity.

The Pathological Sickness of Patriarchy

Maybe its my age, maybe its being queer, I am not sure what’s driving my lack of patience with male violence against women, but on a scale of 1-10, I’m at 20.

I don’t know what the experts will tell us about the twenty-one year-old white male who gunned down predominantly Asian women in Atlanta.

He’s blaming it on his sexual addictions. Officials don’t want to believe it’s a hate crime. 

Give me a break. It’s all of the above and it smacks of the misogynistic disease that runs rampant in this country. It’s the pathological sickness of patriarchy.

And greed and patriarchy feed on power. Man camps are known to be breeding grounds for sex trafficking and the mutilation and murder of young women and men – predominantly in Native American populations and other marginalized people who live where resource extraction is big business.

OK, nothing new. Boys will be boys right? Out of state, away from their families, too much money on their hands and too much to prove…but this is where I get really lost.

Someone knows these guys. They are sons and fathers, brothers and friends of someone. Someone knows the sick propensities they exhibit. Someone knows and is not telling. Someone is letting it happen. 

And because pathological patriarchy is power based, it threads through our police, judicial, military and governmental systems. 

We are trained to look the other way.

How many reading this know what a man camp is? How many care to find out? What about the Circuit Court Judge in Milwaukee County assigned to Children’s Court arrested this week for trafficking in child pornography? A story buried as fast as it came up. 

Friends, we are way beyond “Time’s Up”.  And I am asking, where are the men and women to end this nightmare? Wake up.

For more on Stop AAPI Hate

A Wink and A Nod

Confederate flags, a noose and the cross referencing of Jesus and Trump signs were the images from the failed insurrection when five people died and some of us realized how vulnerable we are to white supremacy. 

It’s amazing how easily human beings can be led when given the dual excuses of racism and patriotism. Off duty police were part of the mob and called their fellow officers, who were there to protect and to serve, the enemy. Blue lives didn’t matter that day as one on-duty officer died of the beating he sustained. Allegiance to party disintegrated as calls for Pence to be hanged could be heard. No one is safe when the thirst for power is unhinged.

There it was displayed for the world to see the drama of white nationalism run amuck. But it’s the continued allegiance to the ignorance that has stymied me.  Republican Senators and Congressmen wouldn’t wear masks as they crammed into the safe zone at the Capitol, giving way to a rise in covid among them. And the calls to impeach are met with delusional grandeur by Congressmen still trying to sell election lies and defend the indefensible.

The wink and the nod is the way we keep our secrets.  The wink and the nod hides the insidious truths behind the façades of religious piety and a government that has never risen above the duplicity of violence and racism that was its foundation. 

It’s in the systemic corruption that allows peaceful protestors to be hosed, gassed and met with rubber bullets, while white terrorists are escorted in and out of the people’s house as they disrupt government proceedings. 

We won’t change it, if we don’t name it. This is not a partisan issue. It’s a human issue and we need to call it out.

Inequitable Justice

When a president cannot condemn white supremacy we have arrived at a pivotal moment. When he attempts to whitewash our history by sidestepping the Doctrine of Discovery and governmental acts of racism, we must demand truth.  

When his Supreme Court pick proclaims to be a strict constructionist and pledges allegiance to Constitutional Law, many will find patriotism in her words. But the founding fathers were fallible. Their constructs were laced with racism and misogyny inevitably creating an inequitable system of justice.

When Trump uses the rallying cry of “law and order” we must recognize that the judicial system in this country has always favored property over humanity. It’s not a broken system. It’s a system working as it was designed to work. It protects wealth and maintains control over individuals of lessor means through unjust sentences, impossible fees and physical might.

Change will come when the majority of us understand that we cannot fix this system. It’s stacked against us. Instead we must continue to create new ways of restoring justice. We need to develop better means towards rehabilitation and reconciliation. We need to take the leap towards what has been called “beloved community”.  We need to seek out and conspire with others in this human effort. And we must be willing to let the old system die.

This is why activists proclaim, “Defund the police”. Defunding the police is only one piece of dismantling a corrupt system, which must undergo transformation, if we are to survive as a people.

The farce of an election will play out. Lobbyists and other power brokers wait in the wings to have their say. But it’s not too late; it will never be too late, for we the people to co-create a better day. 

It is time to end the division cultivated by racism. We are and have always been one people.

The poster of the movie, “Birth of a Nation” is public domain. The Birth of a Nation is a silent film from 1915. It is three hours of racist propaganda.

An Election Won’t Save Us

It’s time for a do over. The bloody struggle with King George’s men did not give us independence. The king of corporate and wealth driven greed now enslaves us.

Every four years we get our hopes up that someone might in fact be listening and we engage in the destructive battle of joining sides. The pendulum swings and little changes.  The two parties count on that.

We are an oligarchy*. Our leaders have always been chosen by power and money.  Doubt it? Look up the letters to George Washington begging him to come to the Constitutional Convention. Apparently a Massachusetts farmer named Shay was tired of paying more taxes than even the King had asked. He formed a militia and demanded change. Fearing this mood of disharmony would catch on in other states, a convention was called.  The Constitution was constructed to create and to strengthen the federal side of the union. It was deliberately designed to protect the wealth and the property of the wealthy. A representative republic was formed, not a one-man vote democracy.

It was not merely a slight of the era that Blacks, Natives and Women were ignored. It was a conscious and purposeful choice. Maintaining power is intentional.

Let’s be clear, I will vote against the puppet currently holding the presidency, but I am not jumping for joy at the alternative puppet.

I am also not advocating violent overthrow. I am advocating the most radical change of all: that each of us take the position of being human first; that respect and care for one another and for the earth becomes paramount; and that we live as if we are the recipients of a great gift and are choosing to leave a great legacy.

We have the means. Do we have the will?



Roll Up Your Sleeves

The International Women’s Day has come and gone. Symbolic commemorations were held. Some aligned with patriarchy and capitalism, while others took to social media with memes of respect and women’s victories worldwide.

It all seemed curious at this particular moment in time. With much of the media warning us of socialism, it is forgotten that the first International Women’s Day was born on the heels of a socialist workers uprising. It was an eleven-week strike led by 20,000 women during the brutal winter of 1909. Young strikers, many of whom were immigrants, faced opposition from manufacturers, police and the courts. Their struggle continued for five years, inspired movements around the world and gave birth to the day we honor, March 8, 1910.

Today, women cry “misogyny” over Elizabeth Warren’s presidential withdrawal yet remain unaware that Tulsi Gabbard is still in the race.  They act oblivious to the Democratic National Committee’s exclusion of Tulsi. It is even more telling that women of color, who are taking the lead to educate and rally people towards justice and inclusion, are ignored or chastised for their strength. And yes I am thinking of Nina Turner, AOC, Omar, Pressley and Tlaib to name a few.

And in the patriarchal and whitewashed commemorations of women’s day, how many remembered or taught about the murdered and missing indigenous women or highlighted the efforts of those trying to end human trafficking?

How many acknowledged or are aware of the efforts of Mexican women trying to end the rise of femicide in their country? Or recognized the 80,000 who marched in MexicoCity on that day?

Perhaps it is time we leave the ivory towers of patriarchy and the comforts of capitalism to be more inclusive, to be more human, and to be more effective.

Roll up your sleeves, there is work to do.


photo of some of the women who participated in the 1909 shirtwaist strike, compliments of wikipedia


Rethinking Genocide

Dominant cultures share common threads. They forcibly and systematically destroy cultures and peoples who are different. They do this by killing and torturing, separating children from families, forcing indoctrination on the young, and by the rape and murder of women and girls. They do it with swift first strikes and then gradually through police tactics, court injustice, social crimes and environmental destruction. The governments of these dominant cultures carry on the atrocities for generations. Education and religion are used to maintain the status quo and to create an illusion that “all is as it should be.”

Since WWII we have termed this cultural and human destruction as genocide. In 1948, the Untied Nations created the legal definition of what was then coined the “crime of crimes”.

Ideas take time to take hold. This week dominant culture took a blow with the release of Canada’s National Inquiry into the epidemic of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.  Exhaustive studies and final conclusions prepared by professional Indigenous women were presented to the Canadian government.

Within the findings is the declaration that the Canadian government by omission and commission engaged in the genocide of Indigenous people.

As one survivor put it, “You can’t un-hear the truth.”

Here are a few words from the final damning report: “These violations amount to nothing less than the deliberate, often covert campaign of genocide against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA [two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual] people.”

Humankind must find a way to end the perpetuation of violence on Indigenous peoples.  Dominant cultures everywhere must grapple with the racist and sexist attitudes that are upheld throughout their systems and policies. The United States has developed an institutionalized apathy that needs to be challenged.

Kudos to all who are fighting this inhuman disease however you are called to do so.


For more on the report and its findings and to give credit for the photo used visit Eagle Feather News.

On Soundcloud. Thanks to WDRT for airing “Consider This.”

Kiss Patriarchy Good-by

Traditionally February 14th has been set aside for love. The history of Valentine’s Day is uncertain, originating with pagan fertility rites and morphing into a celebration of Valentine, the Christian saint of romance.

Since 1992, this day has been held in commemoration of indigenous murdered and missing women and children. Beginning in Vancouver, marches to honor and remember lost sisters, mothers, friends and aunts now happen throughout Canada, Minnesota, Colorado and North and South Dakota.

In past years, I have participated in these walks. The heartbreak of loss juxtaposed with the resilience to end this nightmare is powerful. The attempt to un-silence an epidemic that has endured since the coming of Columbus has largely been lost to the dominant culture. Our inability to hear and respond has added to the tragedy.

Yet as the cries for justice, protection, and awareness have multiplied, so too have the accounts of rape, sex trafficking, child abuse and femicide in our society and throughout the world.

Recent admissions by Pope Francis on the sexual abuse of nuns by priests, and the most recent study of child abuse within the ranks of the Southern Baptist Convention is ripping the scab off the silenced truth. The abuse of women and children is a direct result of patriarchy. And unless and until we acknowledge that truth, we will be incapable of changing it.

We have been quietly secretive, allowing the systematic and intentional degradation of women and children. We have refused to stop the spread of the cancer within our culture. It has been upheld in our courts, our churches and temples, our military, our medicine, our politics and our schools.

We have taught our sons to cover their tracks and we have taught our daughters to hide their shame. It is beyond time to end this grotesque relationship. Kiss the abusive nature of patriarchy good-by. It hurts everyone.