America, who are we, and what are we going to tell the children?


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Written by my contact Kevin Powell, writer, public speaker – New York, US.  >Originally  published on: “MEDIUM”<

America, who are we, and what are we going to tell the children?

PLEASE NOTE you can also read this blog on MEDIUM:  http://tinyurl.com/gm6pblm

 

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

—BOB DYLAN

 

Well it’s like cranes in the sky

Sometimes I don’t wanna feel those metal clouds

Yeah, it’s like cranes in the sky

Sometimes I don’t wanna feel those metal clouds

—SOLANGE

 

MY SINGLE MOTHER RAISED ME TO VOTE and she raised me to think for myself. It makes sense, given where my mother and my entire family are from, the rural and impoverished Low Country of South Carolina, a mere 30 minutes across the mammoth Savannah River into Georgia. My mother was birthed by Jim Crow America—Whites-only signs here, Coloreds-only signs there, domestic terrorism against her and people who looked like her as real as the blood that knifed through their sugar-and-salt veins. And there was an understanding that White people, no matter what their class background, had power and privilege, and Black people, no matter what their class background, had nothing but themselves. It is not like my mother and I discussed the Civil Rights Movement or American history when I was growing up. We did not. We barely could afford food, there were no books save the Bible, and my mother never marched or rallied or outwardly protested anything. Indeed, there was both a fear and hatred of Whites, a fear and a hatred that intruded frequently, like the choking, I-can’t-breathe smoke from a deadly fire in our Jersey City ghetto. My mother did not quite know what to make of White Americans, and that bewilderment was transferred to me the way we teach children our cultural traditions. It was a defense pose, I know now, to protect ourselves from everlasting insult and injury. What my mother did do was share and repeat the tales about what she and her three sisters and brother and father and mother endured in their America—the brutality and violence of their poverty, and the disrespect and meanness of the Low Country White folks, including the ones who hired her and her sisters, from the time they were little girls, to be the help, in their homes, at their stores, and on their land picking cotton. She lived, she survived, and her education was interrupted before she got to high school. But what my mother did have was a resolve not to allow anything to defeat or destroy her. When I hear folks talk about the amazing strength of women, in America, on this planet, historically, the person I think of is my mother, the first leader, the first teacher, and the first feminist I ever met, regardless if she readily knows or associates with that word. We survived the policies of presidents like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and homes dominated by rats and roaches; we survived thieves and hustlers who could’ve climbed our fire escapes and busted through our kitchen windows or robbed us on the streets outside; we survived violence and neglect, and shady public schools and corrupt landlords; we survived heroin and crack epidemics that ripped apart other lives, and we survived my mother’s minimum-wage jobs and cuts to whatever little public assistance she could secure. It is astonishing to me, as the adult I am today, to think of how I sometimes earn for one speech more money than my mother made in any given year of supporting me from birth until I graduated from high school. We did not complain, we did not care, in actuality, who the president of the United States was, my mother and I, because we did what we had to do to maintain, and win. A win for us was my mother having a job. A win for us was the government cheese and other free food given to poor people in our time of need. A win for us was my getting excellent grades in school and believing my mother, when she said so, that an education was my one chance for a life better than hers. A win for us was our next dilapidated apartment building having fewer rats and fewer roaches and more consistent heat and hot water than the previous dwelling. A win for us was my mother never allowing any man to pimp her for food and shelter and sex. A win for us was my not getting murdered or imprisoned or addicted to drugs. Was it extremely hard and complex and tragic and depressing and hopeless? Oh yes. Did we want to give up? Oh yes. I remember well those days when my mother would both pray to God and acidly curse my father’s name for being a no-good man who had abandoned us completely. I remember well the days when my mother said to me, point blank, whenever I got into trouble at school or with the police, “I don’t think you gonna make it.” And I remember well the days when my mother announced, without pause, that she wished she had given me up for adoption, because her life would have been easier alone. This is the America I know, an America that soaked and hand-washed my mother’s soul with racism and sexism and classism before she had had a chance at a whole life for herself. There was no therapy. There was no social media or online petitions with which to vent. There were no healing circles or women’s groups or yoga classes or any of that. My mother had to suck it up, go it alone with child at her hip, have blind faith in a God she could neither see nor touch, and have a vision for my life since there was none for hers. I rarely saw my mother cry or show any emotion beyond raw anger, and I was the target of that raw anger on many occasions; this was my mother’s limited emotional vocabulary, her reality, and she had to keep going, based on what she knew, because the only other option was dying a slow death. Thus, she had to save her life, and she had to save my life, with tough love, with a rage vomited from an American dream not available for people like her. Perhaps this is why my mother drilled into me to vote, why she always used her voice for better housing for us, for a better school for me, why she would write, in the best use of the English language her eighth-grade education had afforded her, letters to politicians and other local leaders seeking help, an answer, anything. Somewhere inside her troubled mind my mother knew she, we, deserved better, that there had to be a better America, and a better world out there—

 

THIS IS WHY I HAVE NOT HAD MUCH TO SAY in these early days after the American election that anointed Donald Trump president of this nation, and, shockingly, to at least half the country, escorted Hillary Clinton into a retirement she was not expecting. I have watched and listened and read through the numerous phone calls, news commentaries, emails, text messages, social media posts, appeals to resist, and blogs and interviews of those crying, of those dazed and confused, of those seeking guidance, wisdom, anything that would shake them of what feels to millions like an American nightmare. I have had many people—millennials, Gen Xers like me, Baby Boomers—reach out to me, petrified, saying they do not know what to do. There is hurt, there is resentment, there is a real and urgent anxiety of what might be next. I hear and feel that anxiety, and fear, in the voices of Black people who are scared that police forces nationwide will rev up practices like racial profiling, like stop and frisk, that more Blacks will be harassed, assaulted, and killed by the police. I hear and feel that fear in the voices of Latinos and other immigrant people, who believe that Mr. Trump’s menacing anti-immigrant rhetoric during his two-year campaign will now bear strange fruit that will seek and destroy families, communities, and separate children from their parents and grandparents, forever. I hear and feel that fear when one of my Facebook friends, Mark Zustovich, posted that he will fight the next administration every single day of the Trump years to protect his marriage to his husband, a fear that is mighty real for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, not only for the right to be married, but also for the right to be alive. Likewise, for my twenty-something assistant, who has two mothers, one Black, one White, whose very family make-up—multi-racial, queer, straight, unapologetic—is a threat to those who believe my assistant’s family is not “normal.” I hear and feel that fear from women of every distinction, who feel spectacularly dissed that there is a wicked hatred and reckless disregard for women and girls, an in-your-face dehumanization, that a man, a man like Donald Trump, who has a biography of sexual abuse and harassment and rape allegations against him, who has been a serial adulterer, and who, a month ago, could be heard on audiotape saying we men should grab women by their p____— and now he is the next president of the United States of America. I hear and feel that fear with women who are concerned about their abortion rights, their reproductive rights, who do not want men telling them what they can and cannot do with their bodies, what services they can and cannot have. I hear and feel that fear with women who are survivors of domestic violence, of sexual assault, of rape, of rape culture on college campuses, who now wonder, more than ever, where they will be able to go, who they will be able to turn to, as they lug, like a heavy load, the exposed and unhealed scars of male abuse. I hear and feel that fear from Muslims, from Arab people, from the disabled, from the Jewish community, from any who were marginalized, maligned, and mocked by Mr. Trump’s words and antics on the campaign trail; these human beings feeling, more than ever, that they have targets on their backs because of who they are, what they are, what they look like, how they walk or do not walk, how they stand or sit, how they speak, how they pray, worship, think, live, love. Alas, the late rapper Tupac Shakur once said to me, in an interview, there is no place called careful. He was right. We are not safe in America, we do not feel safe, nor feel that we have any inalienable rights, because someone has decided to come after those of us who are different—the others—with a cruel and unrelenting salvo already: literally hundreds of hateful incidents since election day.

That is why this is, without question, an American tragedy, the entire 2016 American presidential season, and what it has wrought. Quite clearly it was White Americans, rich ones and poor ones, White women and White men, Whites with college educations and Whites with not much schooling at all, who elected Mr. Trump. It was his direct and subtle embraces of race and racism and White nationalism—lying through its yellowed teeth that it was patriotism—that made Donald Trump a populist candidate, with his shaming and blaming of the others with the bullets in his perpetually cocked and loaded verbal gun. Make America Great Again. But the question for us others, always: Make America great again, for who, precisely, and how? For here is a man who had no prior political experience, no military background to speak of, who had declared bankruptcy around his businesses at least a half dozen times, who is an unabashed racist. You think not, David Axelrod, you who said on national television Mr. Trump is not a racist, then how do you explain, with a mountain of evidence, matters like the housing racial discrimination lawsuits against him and his father, or his relentless public demonization of the New York City Black and Latino young men who became known as the Central Park Five, who were falsely accused of raping a White female jogger and were cleared of the charges after spending time in jail and winning a settlement? This is just the short list for those of us who are also New Yorkers and have experienced Mr. Trump’s circus antics for decades. We Americans do not need to say Mr. Trump has Hitler-like qualities and in fact need to stop that. There are enough morally ruined leaders and figures in U.S. history who pushed various forms of hate and oppression for us to compare Mr. Trump to. We’ve got Frances Scott Key and we’ve got D.W. Griffith. We’ve got Rutherford B. Hayes and we’ve got Woodrow Wilson. We’ve got Bull Connor and we’ve got George Wallace. Yes, this new commander-in-chief is the historical President Andrew Jackson and the fictional Archie Bunker rebooted for the new millennium: crass, vulgar, enthusiastically ignorant, an egomaniac, someone who, like Jackson, belittles and despises those others: for Jackson it was Native Americans and his blood lust for their land, and the Black slaves he owned and paraded, brazenly, like prized animals in a zoo; for Trump it is Muslims and Latinos and Blacks and women and immigrants; Donald Trump is someone who, like Bunker, hails from the New York City borough of Queens, who runs off at the mouth without any thought of what he is saying (or maybe he does), and who, like Bunker, is an equal opportunity offender. The hate that hate produced is for anyone who is not him, or people like him. For there is wrath, and then there is the wrath of The Donald. And this is not a dream, this is not a joke, there is no do-over, the electoral college ain’t gonna change its mind, petitions or not. As sure as President Barack Obama has already welcomed Mr. Trump to the White House, out of duty and protocol, to begin the transition process, this is happening. As sure as Mr. Trump has begun to hand over his transition team to right-wing fanatics and sexist, racist bigots, pretty much all White males, this is happening.

So I say let us feel what we are feeling, to get it out, the wet, soggy emotions, the fear, the sadness, the anger, the rage, the pain, the trauma. To not do so would be to deny our own humanity, to be as crazy as the times that are now clubbing us squarely in our faces. Yes, these are terrible chapters for America, this nation of ours. But depending on what group you belong to, what identity or multiple identities that you claim, it has never been the America it claims to be. Just ask Native American people who have suffered through genocide and degradation and exploitation for centuries in this land that was originally their land. Just ask Black folks whose ancestors were snatched from Africa and forced to work as slaves, for centuries, building the very foundation of America, including, I learned only very recently, colleges like Rutgers University in New Jersey where I studied. Just ask women, women of any race and creed, what it has been like to be viewed, from the very beginning, as a sexual object, as a caretaker or mother or mammy figure and nothing more, as evil or the b-word or a thot or whatever other anti-woman term one knows, if you, a woman happen to believe in yourself, if you happen to want to do something with your life other than be the punching bag or punchline for men. Just ask Irish people, or Italian people, or Jewish people, or Polish people, or Japanese or Chinese or Filipino people, or Latinos from anywhere in the vast universe we call Latin America, or Arab and Muslim people, what dirt and hate has been palmed and rubbed into their faces, what unwelcome journeys they’ve undergone in this imperfect union called America, and you will find folks who struggled to belong, who were told to go back where they came from, who too have found an America that at one time or another used them as both scapegoat and target practice for home-grown hate. Or simply ask poor people of any background, the ones we refer to as welfare queens, and ghetto, and ‘hood, and illegal aliens, and rednecks, and poor White trash, and every other name and phrase we can conjure, the people who, as my mother and I did, crawl and live day to day, paycheck to paycheck, teetering somewhere between life and death, between surviving and barely making it at all.

This is our America, the America we’ve been given from the jump, passed from generation to generation, consciously, unwittingly, and, yes, maliciously, as if this is our birthright to dance with the ebb and flow of sheer insanity. Am I surprised that someone as racist and sexist and vile of a bully as Donald Trump is the new president of the United States? No, absolutely not. Indeed, I saw it coming, because I know America, and because I have seen America, each and every single one of the fifty states in fact, in a way most of us never have, and most of us never will. I have driven through the wide open fields of the Dakotas and I have ducked and dodged tornadoes in Kansas and Missouri. I have witnessed moose crossings in Alaska and watched, amazed, leaping whales in the aqua blue water of Hawaii. I have had fireside chats with residents of environmentally hip Oregon and Washington State, and I have grimaced at the confederate pride in states like Virginia and South Carolina, my family’s roots. I have driven across America, flown across America, been to all the large cities, all kinds of small towns that really do have Main Streets, and I’ve been amazed, time and again, by the magnificent architecture of an Atlanta or San Francisco, and the small-building humility of sleepy, winding towns like Green Bay, Wisconsin and Longview, Texas. I have felt the muddy blues of Chicago and the muscular go-go beats of Washington, D.C. I was there when there was civil unrest in cities like Teaneck, New Jersey, and Ferguson, Missouri, and my first trip to Los Angeles was for an MTV documentary after the riot in that sprawling metropolis. I have marveled at the ecological terrains of New England and New Mexico, and the spell-bounding snow blizzards of Michigan and Ohio. I have stumbled and climbed the Colorado Rockies alone and I have stood at the hungry mouth of the august Grand Canyon in Arizona, mesmerized that it existed. I was there in New Orleans, in the death trap that was Hurricane Katrina, as the last people were being evacuated, and I walked and mourned block after New York block in the aftermath of 9/11 as we collectively stared at the endless rows of photos of missing persons gone forever. I have done speaking tours along the brown clay of rural Georgia, and I have strolled, transfixed and with lumps of tears in my eyes, on the grounds of Tuskegee, Alabama where the famous Tuskegee Airmen—Black men—had trained to be pilots during the decade of World War 2. Black men who had been told they did not have the mental capacity or genius to fly planes. And here I am, a Black boy born and raised in an American ghetto, Jersey City, New Jersey, who did not even get on a plane myself until I was 24-years-old, because I was poor, broke, and because I was too afraid to leave the comforts of where I was from, and because I simply did not have the courage nor the imagination.

So in seeing America I have gotten to know myself. When I first began to travel extensively here there everywhere, as a writer and journalist, as a public speaker, as an activist, I honestly only spoke about race and racism, no matter the other problems of our society. As a matter of fact, I will never stop talking about race and racism, indeed, as that remains one of the great diseases of our republic. But when you read, when you study, when you travel, when you listen, when you hear, when you share, and people like you and people not like you share, too, it affects your spirit, it affects your mind, it affects your eyes, it affects your ears, and you change, you evolve, you grow. I think about this when I think about my reading a poem at the 100th birthday celebration of the poet Langston Hughes in Lawrence, Kansas, in the 2000s; how my poem was about my Aunt Cathy and her agonizing struggle with mental illness; how when I was done an older White woman with granny glasses and a mop of gray hair atop her head, old enough to be my aunt or mother, came up to me sobbing uncontrollably, clutched me by the arms with her soft, sausage-thick fingers, and said “I’m Aunt Cathy too.” I was dumbfounded that a poem I had written about a Black woman had so connected with this White woman. I’ve recounted that Kansas story many times to audiences throughout the United States. But now that Donald Trump has been elected president, and it has become evident that a majority of White women voted for him, you have to wonder about the dynamic between White women and Black people, especially White woman and Black women. This woman said to me she is Aunt Cathy too, but how many White American women, conservative ones and liberal or progressive feminist ones as well, truly empathize and understand and feel a sisterhood for Black women like my Aunt Cathy, like my mother, or, even, Black women who are college-educated, professional, who are leaders in one space or another? How many of these White women are more invested in Whiteness than they are in womanhood, to the point where they could and did ignore Mr. Trump’s many sexist and misogynistic utterances and behaviors and voted for him anyway, because the Whiteness piece—anti-immigrant, anti-Muslims, anti-Black people, anti- any people of color—spoke to their deep-seated fears of the others taking over? That Kansas woman may have very well been sincere when she said “I am Aunt Cathy too,” but there is a nation of millions who publicly or privately do not see it that way. Understandable why a number of Black women are pissed at White women. Black women stood by Hillary Clinton in large numbers, were in her inner circle, and highly visible in the leadership of the Democratic Party that attempted to put Mrs. Clinton into the White House. There is a feeling of betrayal that I am hearing from Black women, that they supported the first female presidential candidate of a major party, a White woman, more than White women did; that these White women, in voting for Mr. Trump, represent, yet again, a total indifference for the lives and concerns of Black women and Black girls. This has left many dumbfounded….

This is because we, Americans, live our lives in boxes, in closets, in that prison otherwise known as fear, and our lives are governed only by what is right in front of us, and we are unwilling or unable to see the humanity and the similarities between us, since we choose, first, always, forever, to see difference. Please do not misunderstand me: I would never want to be anything else other than my African self, my Black self. I am madly in love with my family, my community, my history, what my mother and I endured; I am madly in love with Black people, my people, our unique ability to make something from nothing, and the many inventions and innovations, the music and art and culture we’ve given the world; the many ways we express faith and spirituality; the timeless blueprint for freedom and democracy we built and created and christened the Civil Rights Movement; the way we have bounced back and maintained, time after time, against great odds. But because of my own wild and unpredictable journey, and because I have been open to learning and rethinking, I have come to feel the same about women, about my queer sisters and brothers, about Native people, about Latinos and Asians and Jews and Muslims, about White sisters and brothers of every ethnicity, about the disabled, about the religious and the atheistic and the agnostic, too, about the wealthy and the poor, about all members of the human race. This could not have happened if I had not learned my own history, my own culture, my own identity, first. But in learning myself I learned to be a bridge-builder, not a bridge destroyer, and I am so very clear you, whoever you are, are my people too, and in being divided from each other, purposely, maliciously, we have been divided from ourselves. So I know what I think and feel, now, is not the norm in America. One could argue that there has been a gross dumbing down of America just in the past twenty years alone, that Donald Trump is the great result of that dumbing down. I happen to agree with that sentiment. But even that is only partly true, because it is palpable to me that some of us have no clue what America is, what an American is, and that some of us do not even know our own history, or American history, or ourselves. Facts do not matter. Research and study do not matter. What matters is who can talk the loudest, who can yell over who, who can create the biggest lies and misconceptions about another person or group. What matters is who controls the storytelling, the myth-making machines, who has power, and who does not. And who is fighting for their life to hold on to that power, even as it damages, time and again, those with no power.

America is and has always been a nation propelled by division, violence, fear, hatred, ignorance, and the powerful few pitting the rest of us against each other. That mindset is as old as the split blood of the first slaughtered Native Americans, as old as that Constitution that proclaimed Black folks three-fifths of a human being, as old as the Emancipation Proclamation that happened, grudgingly, when it became clear that Abe Lincoln and the North needed those Black slaves, as soldiers, to fight to preserve the Union. This is that America, where every single time we seem to make some sort of progress, a baby step here, a baby step over there, something, someone, some force, water hoses us, unleashes barking dogs in our direction, and say things like Make America Great Again, knowing that alleged greatness has zero to do with anyone other than a select group of White people in America with boundless wealth and power to do whatever the hell they want to do whenever they want to. That making America great again means, especially, that White men, straight White men, need to stay on top, from here to eternity. That does not make one a racist for saying so, it makes one honest. From the so-called founding fathers like Washington and Jefferson and Hamilton to the Bush dynasty and now Donald Trump, this is what it is. The rest of us are left fighting for crumbs, and fighting each other. For sure as I am writing this there have been hundreds of racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and anti-queer incidents in our America. People, hateful people, ignorant people, have been emboldened, both by Mr. Trump’s campaign and by his victory, to go out and get the others. This is a lynch mob mentality. This is the mentality that had my ancestors hanging from trees, that exterminated Jews, that rounded up Japanese Americans and herded them off to internment camps. This is what oppression and discrimination look like. This is what White racism and White supremacy and White nationalism look like. As for us others, dabbing at our gashes, writhing, futilely, from this madness, this moment is what it sounds like when doves cry—

 

AND THIS IS WHY I KNEW DONALD TRUMP WAS GOING TO BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT, even if I never said it aloud. If one just looks at a few historical markers, the writing was always on the wall. First, this two-party system is a scam and needs to be busted up. There is something wrong with any country where a small group of people control that democracy, who gets to run for office and how, unless that person happens to be independently wealthy, like a Donald Trump, like a Michael Bloomberg, or is supported by the super-rich. Then the system bends to their will and inclinations. When I voted on election day in my beloved Brooklyn, New York, I thought about the instances I had seen the very same ballot, where there really were no choices at all, except, mainly for Democratic or Republican candidates, and oftentimes only one person was running for a particular seat, or if told on the ballot to pick six judges, there were only six judges listed. Or I think of the fact that a number of my New York City friends reached out to me on election day, asking who they should pick for certain judge positions, clearly not aware that if they and I did not reside in the same district we were not being presented with the same choices. My point is that just like we do not learn about equality and diversity and inclusion and humanity in a real way in our schools or the mass media culture in America, we likewise learn very little about the political process, about civic engagement.

This makes it mad easy for a Barry Goldwater in 1964, a Richard Nixon in 1968, a Ronald Reagan in 1980, a George W. Bush in 2000, and a Donald Trump in 2016 to come along and essentially say the same exact things about law and order, to ignite finger-pointing, the blame game, fear, to build national political campaigns on snappy catch phrases that appeal to the stresses and anxieties of citizens White like them, with no concern for the dire consequences. This is how Southern Democrats, or what were called Dixiecrats, began to migrate over to the Republican party with Nixon in that year 1968, and became Reagan Democrats by 1980, and are now card-carrying members of the Republican Party, or the Tea Party, or both. Hate pretending to be politics, plain and simple. Blame the Blacks and those Latino illegal aliens. Blame women, blame queer people, blame the Muslims, blame the Arabs. Blame anyone and anything, and never, like never, look in the mirror. Because these people, these others, are violent, they are dangerous, they are immoral, they are oversexualized, and they want to pimp their butterflies, and the government, our government, for every dollar possible. And when you have a school system and a mass media culture that still teaches gross lies and mythologies like Columbus discovered America, and conveniently ignores the fact that America was “founded” on racism and sexism and classism, that the founding fathers were remarkable and courageous and moral yet conveniently omits that most of them owned human beings—slaves—and did not believe in liberty and justice for all, then the never-ending un-reality show has been casted, from our textbooks to Trump Towers to the blatant lie that Rudy Giuliani was the hero of 9/11 when in fact he has made a huge fortune off those heartbreaking deaths while others still suffer, that White people, especially heterosexual White males, have not only been our saviors and heroes, but likewise, they have had to beat back one threat after another, for the sake of our democracy: Native Americans, slave rebellions, women, poor and angry Whites like those of Shays Rebellion, the foreign Whites who encroached upon this America, like the Italians and the Irish, and the Jews; there is forever an enemy lurking, generation to generation, who must be captured, interned, locked out, driven from the country, or blocked from getting in. Sometimes we call them communists, sometimes we call them terrorists, sometimes they are Japanese, sometimes they are Arab, but they assuredly are not Americans. Because to be an American, the way we’ve been taught to believe, is to be White, is to be heterosexual, is to be at the center of everything, is to be a man, is to be daring, a seeker, or doer, without any help whatsoever, is to be someone who makes his own way, who conquers immense obstacles always, is strong, speaks loud, is a rugged individualist, is someone who pushes back against the others who would fancy halting his motion, his forward progress. He, that American, not only knows the America that once was great, for people like him, but he knows what it takes to make America great, again. It is a fear factor that drives him, that if he does not do this, in America, on the planet Earth, then these others will completely out-populate him and overwhelm him, his identity, his purpose, his reason to exist. And that is not in his DNA, to be equal, on the same level as anyone, and not what he was taught. King of the world, him only, the others need not apply—

 

SO WHAT BOTH THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AND white folks with power in America, and those of us lucky enough to sit and work with those White folks with power, bank on is us not knowing these things, us not being taught to be thinkers and, God forbid, critical thinkers. These realities consumed my thinking as I made my way to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio and then the Democratic one in Philadelphia this past Summer. In Cleveland, where images of the basketball team, the Cavaliers, having just won the NBA championship were everywhere, it was also clear that this largely Black and heavily Democratic city had been besieged by mostly White, uber-conservative Republicans. It was an ironic juxtaposition, to see and hear White folks who may have only weeks earlier cheered on Black men, either LeBron James or the Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry, now booing loudly and disputing incessantly anything that smelled of racial benefits to people of color. I even heard one White man equate the Black Lives Matter movement with the historically racist and obscene Ku Klux Klan, and another say BLM was a terrorist organization. Yup, ignorance and fear and hate are powerful aphrodisiacs. Then there was the great irony of the hordes of impoverished Black folks hustling and selling pro-Donald Trump and anti-Hillary Clinton shirts on the littered pavement leading into the convention. And quite surreal to see and hear the earsplitting parade of Christian evangelicals—the Jesus people I call them—with gigantic white crosses, screaming that queers were going to hell, that women who had abortions would be joining them, and that if you masturbated you were one step from being queer, too, and closer to hell as well. All of this would be amusing, laughable, downright hilarious, if these folks were not serious, and if, inside the convention, Donald Trump and his legion of doom with names like Rudy Giuliani were not preaching the kind of dark hate and horror that wildly whipped up the racism of Whites of all stripes, not just the poor ones in rural America. I left that convention knowing Donald Trump was going to win, but I kept it to myself. It was White, very White, and I barely ever saw a single face of color, except a few “diverse” delegates here and there, and the rest were the help, serving food, pouring drinks, smiling on cue, and mopping and sweeping and keeping the convention clean and spotless.

Yes, the Democratic convention looked like America and its prodigious diversity, but I can be mad real now and say my politics are closer to that of Bernie Sanders than Hillary Clinton. And I am not one of those folks who felt Bernie Sanders had a real platform, either. He did not. He was thin on his ability to speak to the others as well. But what Mr. Sanders did have was the magical touch in capturing with choice words what many of us feel about the people with power. That people like me, too, have become fatigued of a political system which, since 1989, and with the exception of Barack Obama these past eight years, has put a Bush or Clinton into the presidency. And has recycled Bush and Clinton political operatives in their administrations, including that of President Obama, to the point where you could barely tell which party, which president, as they often gave the same bullet-point speeches on the same issues, albeit with some nuanced differences if a Republican or Democrat. My point is that I was not surprised, when I got to Philly, to see the giant presence of Bernie Sanders supporters inside and outside that convention. Like Donald Trump, Sanders had tapped into the underbelly of political disillusionment, and had mass appeal from Americans who’d felt alienated from the political system. Trump’s had been with working-class White Americans, especially working-class White males, while Mr. Sanders had been toward multicultural young America. And folks were not happy that Hillary Clinton and her team had seemingly bamboozled their way to the Democratic nomination. We would learn in Philly and in the weeks after the Dems gathered there of some very shading dealings by Clinton supporters toward Bernie Sander’s campaign. Why? Because Bernie represented a brash political movement unseen since, well, Bobby Kennedy in 1968. I’ve always wondered what would have happened had Bobby Kennedy not been killed in June of that year, he who had the unique ability to reach highly educated people, but also had a flair for speaking to working-class people of every culture, including the same working-class White males who would eventually follow Reagan and Bush and Trump into the Republican fold. If there is a sin of the Democratic Party, and there are many, it is that it stopped being the party of working family America a long time ago, and became, for a variety of reasons, the party of class-conscious intellectual elites and liberal political lifers. The only use that working people have for the Dems, I have come to believe, is to vote when told to vote, and for whom. Perhaps that is why I felt as uninterested at the Dem convention as I did at the Republican one. Why I felt that just like Donald’s doomsday gathering was a spectacle, a show, so was it a show to force unity on Hillary’s one shining moment, even as Bernie delegates inside the convention shouted as loudly as they could to voice their discontent. The Hillary and DNC remedy for the discontent: to shhh them, to roar over the Bernie people, or to ignore them as if they were not there.

Yet we knew the choice we had: Donald Trump is an unrepentant racist, sexist, xenophobic barbarian of a man who inherited his father’s wealth and network; Mr. Trump is a New York used car salesman masquerading as a polished and intelligent businessman. He is not. He is heterosexual White male privilege on steroids. There was a time, for sure, when I was fond of Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton. It was in 1992 when they first burst onto the national stage. I stood by them, in my long-gone twenties, as Bill was accused of one sexual affair after another. They were the second coming of John Kennedy, of Jackie Kennedy, but the everyday people version. However, over the course of their eight years in the White House we watched President Clinton, supported by Hillary the entire way, push through a welfare reform bill and a crime bill that would have catastrophic effects on the very Black people who helped put him into office. We would watch Mr. Clinton methodically turn his back on the suffering folks in Haiti while helping other nations, and hear his wife refer to a certain segment of the Black community as “super predators.” And then there was the matter of Bill Clinton lying, in a nationally televised message, about his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky in the White House. Not lost on me either that had Mrs. Clinton won her husband, a serial adulterer and possibly a sexual predator himself, would have been right by her side. Ironies of ironies. And yes, I had thought about Hillary Clinton’s spotty, contradictory, and at times unethical work, as Secretary of State under Barack Obama, in global hotspots like Honduras and the Middle East, of the fortune she and Bill Clinton amassed post- his presidency, and the sloppiness with which those darn emails were handled. But, to be fair, Hillary Clinton was, by far, the most qualified candidate, Dem or Republican, from both parties. Heck, when you look at presidential party nominees dating as far back as 1968, except for Nixon that year, Gerald Ford in 1976, and George H. W. Bush in 1988, it can be argued that Mrs. Clinton had, by far, the best resume of them all, including Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, her husband Bill, and Barack Obama. But she is a woman, and we who are honest know it does not matter if a woman is as qualified or more qualified than a man for the same position. We know it does not matter if she is subjected to abuse and vulgarity and disrespect her entire career. As I made my way through Cleveland during that Republican convention, it stung me to see the shirts and signs calling Mrs. Clinton a criminal, a whore, saying her role was to give men blowjobs, to watch one Republican after another, women and men both, eagerly shelling out $10, $15, $20, more, to buy tee shirts that debased Hillary and her character in the cruelest and most inhuman ways. What does any of this have to do with politics? I wondered, and does anyone care that Hillary Clinton is someone’s wife, someone’s mother, someone’s grandmother, and would anyone want their wife, their mother, their grandmother, talked about in that way? One of the saddest moments at the Republican convention, on the streets, was watching two women talk with two men peddling those anti-Hillary tee shirts, the women telling them they understood the need for money, then proceeded to give the men $500 not to sell the shirts any longer. The men took the money, packed their stuff, and walked off. But within half an hour the men, their clothes changed a bit, were back in the same spot selling the same tee shirts. Men, this is how sexism works, from the highest levels of power and authority to the streets. Our male privilege plus our male power means, or so we think, that we can say and do anything to women, any time any place, tell women who they are and are not, demean them by all available means, and exploit them, their images, for our own benefit, with no guilt whatsoever. Was Hillary Clinton a great candidate? No, but she was the best one. Is Hillary Clinton a great speaker or magnetic personality? No, but she knows her policy positions, both domestic and foreign, inside and out, whether I agree with her positions or not. Where the right-wing movement, dating back at least to Reagan, has been so very effective is in never having real platforms or policies itself, other than blaming and undermining the others at every turn, and doing whatever it could to disparage and assassinate the characters of their opponents. Especially when their opponent, like Mrs. Clinton, comes with easily exploitable baggage like a suspect husband, that sloppy handling of emails, and a laundry list of other items that we heard about more than we ever heard about any real issues and real direction for America this year.

And to be blunt, I am also not under any pretense that the Democratic Party actually stands for democracy, or that it actually cares about Black people. Trump was not wrong when he said the Dems have done little to nothing for Black America, for inner cities like where I come from. The Democrats have been highly effective at making us others believe we have nowhere else to go, that voting is our only option for salvation, and we are duped with that line every single presidential election cycle. This is why people did not vote in this year’s presidential election, why many do not vote in any local or national election in any given year. The whole thing leaves a very bad taste in your mouth. Shaming folks, calling folks out for not voting, in this era of got ya moments on social media is not the solution. Fact is even folks like me, who have voted in every single election since we could, local ones and national ones, are clear the system is horrific and needs to be changed. I am very clear what voting means to people in America who have been denied the right to vote at every turn in our history. I think of this when I go to vote. But I also feel that voting is just one of many tools for us, and this whole notion that if one does not vote, or did not vote in this presidential election means they have no right to speak, or are the problem, is as problematic, to me, as voter suppression, voter I.D. laws, and voter fraud. It smacks of an oppressive mindset, of a fascist mindset, of making people believe non-voters are the problem when, in point of fact, it is the system and the often-manufactured leaders strutted in front of us who are the problem. People of all backgrounds are simply tired of business as usual, of the same kinds of speeches and sound bites, of the same kinds of promises, of the same kinds of lies. I recall when I was running for that Congressional seat in Brooklyn the number one question I was asked over and over, by every kind of Brooklynite one could name, was this: Are you going to be exactly like these other politicians if you get into office? People wanted to know if I was going to be a better alternative. Just like those who voted for Donald Trump saw him as an alternative. But Trump as an alternative, as an option, is no option. Supporting him is like supporting the devil, is like supporting a slave master on a plantation, is to be in bed with the evil and the soulless. You may get some trinkets, some money, some reward, some access, you may feel good in the moment for giving Hillary and the Dems the middle finger, but at what price to your spirit and your sanity, and at what price to America? Yes, I am speaking to some of those Blacks and Latinos and women and Whites and queer sisters and brothers and others who so bald-facedly supported Mr. Trump, even as he said the most sickening things we’ve ever heard on a national campaign trail. Where there is no self-love there certainly is no love of others, of the people, any people, and the absence of love is a ready recipe for the powerful to keep their power, while the rest of us, as I said, fight each other—

But we also know this election of Donald Trump is a major rejection of the presidency of Barack Obama. It began as soon as he was elected and the obstruction has been ruthless. There was simply no way, I feel, that certain segments of America were going to tolerate a Black man, then a woman, even if she was White, as president back to back. That kind of cataclysmic shift means we would be rejecting what we’ve been taught, consciously and subconsciously, about who built and created America, who explored America, who developed and expanded America, and who continues to be the saviors of America. And if you are self-hating, ignorant by way of your education or ignorant only because you want to be, then you follow that narrative, that the Black man is incompetent, and has destroyed the country, that a woman does not have the ability to do the job, either. You in a sense nigger-ize both the Black man and the White woman. And that White woman cannot win no matter what, even when she does clumsy and racialized things like carry hot sauce in her purse or play street corner board games with old men of color in Spanish Harlem. It comes across as pandering for people of color votes, as hoping those same people of color will forget the policies and words and deeds of you and your husband back in the day, when they have not. So this election result was both White Americans saying enough of this rainbow coalition stuff, and people of color saying, Yo, we are not stupid, we are not feeling this at all. This is why many did not vote, stayed home, could care less. It is foolish to condemn them as if they are somehow betraying history, the Civil Rights Movements, their ancestors, their elders. It is foolish to say them not voting cost Hillary Clinton the presidency. No, what cost Hillary Clinton the presidency is a rigged and archaic electoral college system, given she won the popular vote nationwide. What cost Hillary Clinton the election is a system of sexism, espoused by men, internalized by women too, who truly believe that women are not equals to men, who truly believe the storyline that women are not fit to lead, do not possess the stamina, the mental toughness, that women cannot be trusted in positions of authority. What cost Hillary Clinton the election was referring to people as “deplorables,” which is about as classist and elitist as one can be, and is a metaphor for how classist and elitist the Democratic Party has been for a very long time. And what cost Mrs. Clinton the election is a Democratic Party that has not been innovative and visionary since at least the 1960s. Resting on your laurels is not going to cut it. Reminding people what you’ve done in the past is not going to cut it. Giving a few of the others influential leadership positions does not translate to the masses of people, no matter how well-intentioned. What matters is power, who has it and who does not, and what matters is not taking people for granted, except when you need their votes every couple of years.

Part of the problem is that the political system, movement building, activism, all of it, has been reduced to voting and running for office. In the immediate moments after it became clear Donald Trump was the next U.S. president, many hit me up asking if I would consider running for political office again. As I said, I had done so in 2008 and 2010, for Congress in my adopted hometown of Brooklyn, and it was a nightmare both times. My past, which I have been very honest about my entire adult life, was attacked and used against me. Meanwhile, we could never raise enough money from that same elite class of Democrats who essentially handed this election to Donald Trump. And at the end of the day I began to realize, no matter how tight or progressive or inclusive my platform, no matter how well prepared I was around the issues, no matter how hard we worked, on the streets, at subways, door to door, that American politics is really not about the American people at all. Politics is a vicious, bloody, ego-driven gladiator sport that has little to do with the spiritual or love, it is about power and privilege, it is about who has the money and who does not, and, yes, it is about fame, about celebrity, about how exciting and shiny your brand. With that in mind, as much as Hillary Clinton got the support and push of Barack and Michelle Obama, the naked truth is it was Trump’s brand that was more aligned with President Obama’s. Both were, in a sense, celebrity candidates created by the mass media culture. Both electrified thousands at rally after rally. Both ran campaigns very thin on actual policy. The difference, of course, between Mr. Obama and Mr. Trump, is that Barack Obama actually is highly intelligent and had the capacity and humility to learn, and to surround himself with good people. With Mr. Trump you get the impression that he truly believes he alone can fix everything in America, and in the world. But this is how American politics works, the ebb and flow of Democrats and Republicans, the back and forth between red states and blues states, the switching back and forth every few years of who gets the presidency and who gets to control the Senate and House of Representatives. We are told it is a democracy, many of us believe it, but no, let us stop lying to ourselves, America is an oligarchy, not a democracy. Power in the hands of a few, and we the people are so untrusted to make the right decisions that the presidential election is the only election in our land, on any level, where it is not one person one vote, where it is not you win if you win the popular vote, but instead the twisted and secretive electoral college, which allows states, party leaders, the crooked and the corrupt, to dictate how things unfold, depending on the mood of America.

 

THIS IS WHY IT IS SAD TO WITNESS THE NUMBER OF WHITE LIBERALS AND White progressives utterly flabbergasted by Donald Trump’s election. For people of color we have been conditioned to this for a very long time. We too may be surprised but we are not traumatized to the point of inertia or apocalyptic horror. We done seen some things, and it is business as usual as far as we see. This is why White liberals and White progressives have to be the ones to confront their White sisters and brothers who are racist, not Black people, not people of color. You all have to be the ones to talk with your family members, your friends, your fellow employees, who loudly or privately voted for Donald Trump. And you all have to be the ones to challenge the racism in this country, in your communities, at every turn. It cannot just be us; it cannot just be people of color. The reason Donald Trump got elected is because you all have not been doing that work. It is not about making folks feel guilty. No. It is about telling uncomfortable truths so we can move, and move in the right direction, prayerfully, finally. For example, when I got back on the road to deliver a lecture post-election, I made it clear my feelings about what has transpired. It did not sit well with a White male who brought me in to speak during a West Coast stop. He proceeded to tell me, in the most condescending tone possible, that I had gotten “political” with my speech, that I was off message. I told that gentleman, without blinking, and after a back and forth that went on for an hour, that I was not his slave, that no one gets to dictate to someone else what they can and cannot speak about. But this is where we are, in America, in our America, where some ignorantly believe that if you address the presidential election, or race, or gender, or class, or anything else that is deemed to be too touchy or too controversial, that you are the divisive person, that you are the problem, that you are trying to be politically correct. No, sir, what I want to be is human and alive, and I am interested in real freedom and real democracy, not this illusion we’ve been toying with for centuries now. What I am interested in are those young men at Rutgers University, my alma mater, who said I was demeaning them, on the day before the election, because I dared to challenge them on sexism and rape culture on our college campuses, and their lack of knowledge about women and girls beyond, yes, mother figures and sex objects. These are the young men who will go out into the world, who will make decisions, based on how they view themselves and how they view others, men who will either be about justice and equality, or who will spread the same backwards logic and behavior that has damaged women, and us men, for so long. Good people cannot continue to be still and silent. That stillness, that silence, is agreeing with hate, is agreeing with fear, is agreeing with violence, is agreeing with division, is agreeing with ignorance, and is like saying we are good with business as usual even as millions are suffering.

So we’ve got to figure out ways to come together, we must, to be human, to talk, to listen, to spread love. Slut-shaming Melania Trump for taking nude or semi-nude photos when she was a young woman twenty years ago is as sexist as anything that was said about Hillary Clinton. Hoping Mr. Trump gets assassinated, and saying that publicly, on social media, is participating in the very same violence we say we are opposed to. Telling people to just give Mr. Trump and his administration a chance, after we’ve been subjected to insult after insult during his campaign is not the way to go either. It is like saying let’s give racism a chance to fix itself, when it has had four hundred long years to do so, and that has not happened. And it will never happen, not small changes, not anything, without protest, without resistance, without us getting organized, without us being the media ourselves given the many tools we now have, and not without people voicing their grievances every chance we get, because this is an abomination, this man and this election victory. And, yes, artists should use their art to have the difficult conversations, to shake things up, and I am proud the cast of “Hamilton” spoke up and challenged Mr. Pence as he was leaving one of their Broadway performances. Conversely, Mr. Trump, you cannot control everything, least of all us creative folks, us artists, and as long as you and your circle are behaving in ways that are the polar opposite of what America claims to be about, our art, our work, our protests, will reflect that. You’ve rolled up your sleeves, and so have we. We are not going to be passive in the face of oppression and meanness and hate. This is why White women and Black women fighting each other on social media, via blogs, is not the way to go. We should, yes, talk, openly, directly, about that intersection of racism and sexism, of what feminism and womanism mean here there everywhere, especially amongst so-called progressive and liberal folks, always, because it is real like that; but we’ve also got to figure out a way to talk with and listen to each other, no matter who we are, where we are not discarding and destroying each other to make our points. Hurt people hurt people, as we say, and there are many severely wounded souls in America. This is why we should protest, why we should organize, why we should raise our voices and vent, because this is our work, our therapy, our healing, and we should not listen to any disconnected celebrities or would-be mouthpieces that tell us to give him a chance, to give it time. We gave Mr. Trump the past two years to show us who he is, and it is abundantly clear that he is not thinking about the rest of America, including the working-class White folks who voted against their own economic interests to support him. Because it is about him, his brand of Whiteness, his brand of White manhood. That goes for Donald Trump, that goes for vice president-elect Mike Pence and the havoc he wreaked, as a politician, in his home state of Indiana. A havoc that Mr. Pence will soon enough set loose on an entire nation. Him, Breitbart’s Andrew Bannon, Jeff Sessions, Rudy Giuliani, and other salivating racists are the revolving door of White men who are lifting up Trump Nation. Ay, there is a pattern here. America has always been racist, has always been awash in the belief of White superiority above everyone else. But with Mr. Trump’s win we have that White supremacist mindset, that White nationalism, on full display in a way we have not seen since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. They aim to dominate and control, they aim to put, unapologetically, themselves, at the center of the universe, no matter who it injures, no matter who attempts to stop them. It is terrible, and it is going to get worst, because history tells us so—

So yes we should practice peace, and yes we should practice love, and yes we should be kind toward each other, and figure out, Black people and White people and people of all races and cultures and creeds, women and men, straight people and queer people, poor people and rich people, abled body people and disabled people, religious people and non-religious people, good people of any ilk, how do we seize this moment in time and look at ourselves and what we’ve wrought, together, to create something better, something different, together. This is bigger than politics and voting. People in power do not want change, they want their power, and they have it. And their power means they want confusion and chaos, they want trauma and pain, they want people feeling powerless. Because these are exactly the things that keep them in power. White sisters and brothers who voted for Donald Trump somehow think they did the right thing, that they are innocent of any crime. I wonder about the ones who are my friends and colleagues, who I work with in different ways, who voted for Mr. Trump on the low, quietly, but do not dare say so aloud for fear of the response, even if the response is merely Why? In voting for Donald Trump you sent a clear message about what America is to you, what you want it to be, and it truly does not include the others, except at the margins, on the sidelines, to entertain on stage or in the sports arenas, to be at your service and pleasure, but definitely not to share power with you.

So what I want is power that is rooted in love, power that belongs to all people. I want us to understand that love is the revolution, is the change, that America will forever be a nation with a penniless soul, no matter how rich and no matter how strong militarily as long as love is absent from its core. This is hard business, this love thing, and America has avoided it for as long as it has existed. We prefer a dysfunctional relationship, an abusive relationship, and that is exactly what it has felt like. I think once more of my mother. Ma, as I have called my mother since I was a little boy, still believes in voting, still believes in America, even if America and her fellow Americans have not always believed in her, or even know that she exists. My mother lives a simple life, a humble life, for there is a power and a love there in that sort of life. And I take solace in the fact that Gloria Steinem, one of the majestic symbols of America’s women’s right movement, has said that Black women are the real and first feminists in this country. That is my mother, that is my aunts, that is my late Grandmother Lottie, my mother’s mother. You want to know what freedom is, what democracy is, what power is, what love is, get to know the lives of women like them. It is in the way they wash clothes, how they cook their food, how they sing their sorrow songs for God, how they do their hair, how they save their coins, how they raise their children, how they crease their bedsheets, how they scrub and clean their own homes, how they love the men who do not love them. They too sing America, even if America rarely sings for them. My mother is in her seventies today, living her golden years after a road trip that has taken her from the South to the North, from poverty to poverty, from a wooden Southern shack to the senior building where she is, finally, at peace with herself. She is retired, in a complex with other older people who done seen life, and America, in ways many of us could only imagine. They make it easy for these seniors to vote. My mother just gets on the elevator and goes downstairs, which she does, dutifully, for every single election.

I think of the pride my mother felt when Barack Obama was elected president in 2008. In my mother’s home, next to the White Jesus and the all-White-folks Last Supper sketch is a framed photo of Barack and Michelle and their two daughters, Sasha and Malia. Their family is my mother’s family. Reminds me of how many Black Americans, in years past, had in their homes framed images of the two Kennedys, John and Bobby, and Dr. King. Because in those images, just like the Obamas for my mother in 2016, was a feeling of safety, that someone in power, someone in leadership, truly cared about them, and had also risked their lives doing so. Whether that was all true or not is another conversation for another day. But the point is that we’ve gone from the Kennedys and Dr. King and Barack Obama to Donald Trump and all the president elect’s men, and it don’t feel good, it makes my mother uncomfortable, makes her wonder what is next after all she has seen. She talks regularly about the shortness of life, she reminds me constantly, much to my discomfort, that she will not be here forever, that she is tired, but likewise my mother urges me to keep my life together. Ma knows life ain’t easy for no one, especially no one who comes from where we come from, who are people like us, the others, seemingly banished to the invisible corners of the American dream. I hear my mother loud and clear because this year has been one of the hardest of my life. In spite of regular exercise, as much sleep as I can get, and being super health conscious and a vegan with my diet, I have felt an exhaustion, this year, like I have never felt before. The weight of it has worn me down, physically, mentally, spiritually. I have had great highs with my work and opportunities, and I have had great disappointments in my interactions with people of various backgrounds, in person, online, via cellphone. Sometimes it was the other person, sometimes it was me. Honestly, in the aftermath of the Trump victory I have thought long and hard about my old hurts, any of my toxic feelings about people, why this person or that person and I no longer talk, what could possibly be so bad that people are divided from each other, given the monumental task now before us in America, to help heal a people, a nation, that ostensibly has no clue how to do so.

But there are clues, and they rest with young people, they rest with the children here and the children not yet born. I saw that hope with the mostly White children I was with in North Carolina just the other day, at Charlotte Country Day School. There was a joy, a longing, a feeling, a shining in their eyes, amongst these young people born in the late 1990s, in the 2000s, that there can be a different sort of world, that there must be. I saw that hope with the Black and Brown young men I was with in Washington State the other day—African American, Latino, Asian, Native American, Arab—as they shared their dreams, their sorrow songs, their stresses, their anxieties, and, yes, their fears. There was a joy, a longing, a feeling, a shining in their eyes, too. And these boys, like those girls and boys in North Carolina, as they talked with me, as they asked me questions, as they sought a safe space to be themselves, to be free, whatever that means for them, are holding on to something they may not even see in many of us adults, that they can barely see in themselves sometimes due to the clutter of tech gadgets and social media and messages and symbols bombarding them from every direction. It is what my mother had in her when she was that young Black girl playing in her skinless front yard of rural South Carolina a lifetime ago, as sweat beads peppered her nose and the sun’s greasy hands tamed and twisted and braided her hair, that somehow and some way, she, we, we the rainbow children, gonna make a way out of no way, that we did not come this far just to give up now—

 

Kevin Powell, writer, public speaker, activist, is the author or editor of 12 books, including his critically acclaimed autobiography, The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood. Email him, kevin@kevinpowell.net, or follow him on Twitter, @kevin_powell

Kevin Powell:  http://www.kevinpowell.net/

Thank you  Kevin for this very thorough article!

Paul Alexander wolf

 Paul 

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/an-assessment-on-donald-trump-and-potential-aftermath/

https://paulalexanderwolf.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/why-americans-should-oppose-an-upcoming-donald-trump/

 

An assessment on Donald Trump and the potential aftermath.



ABUSE and TORTURE insufficiently dealt with in Australia.


“The administration of justice – is the firmest pillar of Government.”  – George Washington (1st US President)

http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2016/s4510208.htm         The discussion on “LATELINE” now!

 

https://newmatilda.com/2016/07/28/dont-just-blame-the-guards-don-dale-is-what-systemic-violence-looks-like/                                  LOOK what they did, – being only a tip of the iceberg. Systemic violence is sustained injustice and only creates a repetitive cycle of violence, It is only breeding hate and is not isolated injustice to the mentally impaired who are in custody, the children and others. It is an exclusive sign of cultural impairment of a society where racism is still in the back yard of government institutions and where only a free press is able to show the prejudice, which would be otherwise swept under the carpet.

 

Good evening!

I would like to speak tonight briefly about an issue which is close to my heart – which should be dear to the world perhaps, – and had better be dear to this country  – which we cherish for reasons – as different, – as large as this country is.

Australia is said to be a good and free country – but where it comes to fighting for fairness and justice, – for correction of the wrongs and widening what is right in society, or – in the potential of young people, – there are many things which could be done better – in the rather oblivious views – of far too many  Australian people.

Political systems are getting only less indifferent when the free press is getting hold of gross injustice. – Injustice forgotten – part of our political and legal systems –  seems to come to daylight – only when the press – or eg “Four Corners” – is getting hold of it. – The last is a good sign of our free press – but not so good sign – of our systems, – which – under the banner of being better than other countries – need to protect the vulnerable – the elderly – and the children in our country.

Oppression  – anywhere – is a potential plague  everywhere – wherever justice is not served. – We speak e.g. about 190 vulnerable children – sleeping each night – in emergency rooms in South Australia, – whilst 26000 calls about abuse – are getting unanswered. – The waiting time to make a report – often –  takes an hour, – which I  saw myself.

The nature of abuse – at times – has extreme dimensions – and it is a sickness of our society – where parents have increasing difficulties to bring up children. – It is a sickness of our country  –  where drug cartels – walk free – whilst the “intelligence” – is there – to infiltrate them – and to end them, – preventing as such the increasing influx of ICE – whilst other countries – seem to have less problems to contain those issues. – It is a sickness of society when Carers in nursing homes – abuse – frail and elderly – demented people – when one culprit – recently – is walking away – with only nineteen days in jail, – whilst there was video footage for his crime.

It’s a disease of society – as well – when juvenile guards – are set to escape prosecution – whilst the video evidence is there that they abused a young difficult child – This child  himself with a background history of child abuse, – ADHD – and – for sure – a criminal record.

People – who are not protected – and vulnerable –  need to be protected.

People – who commit crimes – need to face justice, regardless, – but in detention – they need to be protected. Where human rights – might be abused in society, – it does not serve any purpose – to abuse them in detention as well.- – Whilst there might be crimes against humanity – which deserve a  death sentence , – even then – this can be done in a humane way.

That’s the obligation – we have as a free society.

That’s the obligation – we have to protect innocent and harmless people, – as children are – in detention.

Whatever  children have done – there is no justification to deliberately harm them – when they are detained – and where community service would be the better solution for isolation.

The victims of this kind of violence – are everywhere and anywhere.

This type of violence is  as wide – as the spectrum of the colours and religions  breathe in Australia!

This violence – well-bred – under the silent surface – of our systems of justice and government – where it can’t be always controlled – is much of a disgrace of our culture – where grace could be found – in proper law enforcement – this country needs – to prevent the ramifications in the future – if this type of oppression does not get resolved.

The solution of the problem – is not – a Royal Commission – to look at failings of child protection – and youth detention systems – administered – by Northern Territory in Australia – where it comes to this aspect of abuse, – as the NT knows widespread political corruption. – The nominated head of the Royal Commission is an NT ex-chief of justice – who sentenced a 55 year old man in 2005 to a one month’s jail sentence for the sexual assault and bashing of a 14 year old girl. – He realised in 2012 that he had the balance wrong, – and whilst everyone can get the balance wrong – and may realise this 7 years after the incident, – Royal commission’s – delay– immediate justice  and are not the answer. – The Northern Territory has a reputation of corruption – and this incident of gross abuse in juvenile detention – should be – a matter of the Australian Federal Police – as it could well be a tip of the iceberg.

The question is who will be next – to suffer under the hands of people – who abuse their powers – in a senseless act of human right abuse – on Australian grounds, – as part of their connection – with systems being governed – by State Governments – who lack control on their own systems – like it happens anywhere and everywhere.

And it goes on and on and on – and lip service to justice will fail justice – and failing justice will fail a government, – like we see in many countries. This type of hidden violence will neither create nor make, – but will break – the potential of a nation – which claims to be a better country – than many other countries in the world. – It will refuse – to bring to daylight – which sustains silence – at night – and – if so required – by an assassins bullet. – Civil order – is not served by justice disorder – but by candid facing the truth – as candid as “Four Corners” presents the facts, – presenting the voice of the people – where it should be the people to hear this voice – as – too many things – are not seen or heard of – in response to violence – on this nation’s soil.

Mind you, we can degrade ourselves – in our response to injustice, which ignores our common humanity – when we accept excuses from a Government who talks about non-violence abroad – but fails to practice it – here – in our nation – as part of their poorly controlled structures – to protect both people in detention – and those with good intention.

The Chief Minister of Northern Territory in Australia – who knew that there were built in tear gas systems – in buildings of juvenile detention – as part of lock up – and torture treatment –  should be jailed himself – if he did not try to correct this. – We are just falling far behind, if the public voice does not speak up – against this. – As built in tear gas systems – in juvenile detention, – children strapped in mechanical chairs – and tortured – reminds us of Germany during the second world war – where so many people said: “We did not know!”

The Prime Minister – Malcolm Turnbull – failed the real Australian culture – with his tardy response – to the Northern Territory juvenile justice crisis – and –  he does not take the speed – to make this country – a better country where it comes to the most fundamental values – and make this country – a “shining stone” to the world.

In Hebrew words – he did neither make “a window for the ark” – nor did he create a “light” – for those  – who should see – and act – better.

It all falls down to proper leadership and Government, where justice should be the cornerstone of this Government – for this nation…….

It isn’t! ..

It’s a failure for those who are in Government – both at State and at Federal Level. …

Those who conform – have neither real courage – nor real integrity – and don’t match the required qualities of our time!

Thank you!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

 

WHY AMERICANS SHOULD OPPOSE AN UPCOMING DONALD TRUMP


Donald Trump’s Most Idiotic Moments

Donald Trump
“The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the constitution.”
-Thomas Jefferson.
Thank you for listening tonight to some of the reasons Donald Trump should never have the nomination of the Republican Party for the US Presidency. …Also the disgrace of a potential Trump election would really create, – both for the US and the rest of the world.

I spend only a few words on this topic and far more could be added, but it is up to the Americans where they can,   to increase  the opposition against Donald Trump in peaceful and dignified ways, – simply by not voting for him.

If we look at the future of the US, we not only look at the powers of those in power, but also at the powers in ourselves. As people of a society, as people of a community:  as a force to build a Nation by unified grace, –  or to allow such a Nation to be disrupted by divided disgrace, or shame,  or even infamy.

Mind you, those powers are at times hidden, and not always coming to the surface, – but all those powers in the real positive have to do with both compassion and love for the greater good for our society, for the greater good of people being put in the dark. For the greater good of ourselves and our children. And not always can we surrender to the short cuts of US politics on the cheap, the lack of inspiration , – with neither a clear vision or a worthy challenge.

This is the situation where the US stands  today!

When Lincoln stood up as an obscure solicitor and got the nomination of the Republican Party, long ago, his powers were invisible and intangible. But it served a greater purpose.
When John F Kennedy as an inexperienced Senator of Massachusetts, got the nomination in 1960 to represent the Democratic Party for the US Presidency, – his powers were invisible and intangible as well.  And also here it served a wider meaning as he did win with a narrow margin from Richard Nixon.
If Richard Nixon had dealt with the Cuban Missile crisis we all
would not have existed any more.
Powers you know, – both invisible but eventually visible, initially intangible but eventually real.
For all of us applies that nobody can take away those powers from us, – however  only WE can give them.  And this applied e.g  and in particular to those in some political arena of their times and generation: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Lincoln,  Franklin D Roosevelt, John F Kennedy, his brother, – Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan and others.. Not to speak about US writers like Robert Frost, Ernest Hemingway, J.D Salinger or poets like T.S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Maya Angelou, Tupac Shakur and many others.
Even though a number died prematurely, – the US did receive abundance for their giving.
They all had real substance!
Their devotion and energy sparkled new-born dimensions in US history, – both at political level and cultural level.
Even though they were not perfect, they harnessed special forces of unseen energy to mobilise and refresh both the Constitution and the better instincts of the American people, – where it came to some US Presidents, –  or Martin Luther King,  or,-  e.g the New York Senator “Bobby” Kennedy who was killed in 1968.
At some extend we can say from President Obama the same. But the book of history has not closed on him in retrospect.
The cheap rhetoric of Donald Trump, however, is so easy to be seen in 2016 that any child can follow his message. A message which could unlock the energies of the undoing of the US as a power, with widespread disaster, – if this person would become elected as US President.
President Bill Clinton once said that the US will not exist forever and the tragic is that his words may come true earlier than expected, if Donald Trump’s following may rise, and follow him to a potential US Presidency.
There is neither the basics of any real compassion for DT’s countrymen, nor any real affection for those who are put in the shadow of American society. He multiplied billions for his own business but never multiplied the enlargement of his own character for the benefit of others. If elected he would only create further internal friction in American society with the risk of increasing violence, –  and groups opposing each other over and over again.
It would be a failure of US Democracy if this person would be ever US President and the ranking of the US at the international stage of politics would diminish on his presence in ways never experienced before.
Where the US brought forward real substance in some earlier Presidents, writers, poets and others, – Donald Trump has neither substance nor any intelligent purpose for the future of the United States of America!
Mind you, there is neither ceiling nor limit to the amount of compassion one can feel for those who struggle at the other side of the prosperity spectrum.Those who live in poverty, often within the context of discrimination and often within the spectrum of breeding violence against one and other. Often, with nearby streets where almost every day kids get killed as a result of unlawful gun violence.
The reality of the US is that this huge country is at large inhabited by many cultures and the division line is neither always the colour of the skin nor the contents of religion, – but the intolerance based on extremism, and the bottom line poverty for a number of people.
All those energies of people living together were made out of the greater force of love, aimed to enhance the human spirit in larger than life dimensions. All those people are born with the potential at least to live in peace and harmony, to give purpose to their lives.
All those people have it within their nature to express the better features of their personality,  in whatever entity education facilitates the lining and dreams of both their character and future.
Only an US President who is standing at the centre of the moral spectrum, able to conduct an orchestra for both a better Union and a better US future, is able to harmonise some of the deep-rooted frictions within the United States itself. Frictions which still date, at some extend, from the long history of racial struggle, the movement on social justice under direction of Martin Luther King,jr and the short cut legacy of Robert Francis Kennedy apart from others.
Whereas President Obama brought some change because of his compassion towards the wider dimensions of the US as one society, Donald Trump would ruin almost everything what Americans did build up in times of trials and tribulations. Not only this, – the US would lose almost all of its credibility in the world as such, because  a devastating choice of Donald Trump would only show the type of muscle power no Nation in the world would be prepared to swallow. -Immaturity and unpredictability , abusive behaviour, – with no real ability to listen to advisers, would hang like the sword of Damocles over both the US and the world under a Donald Trump Presidency.
trump quote one mexico
Going to war has been a key element under past Republican Administrations and with Donald Trump the risk of both war and social unrest is most excessive, – the least.
The better potential of the US would never be properly guided by a Donald Trump Presidency.
trump quote two muslims
The better potential is to fight for justice where there is injustice. The better potential is to help harmony where there is disharmony. And finally – besides many others –  the better potential is to encourage prosperity where there is a lack of prosperity for those already living under the poverty line. But all this based on reasonable social rest, –  and not anti-social unrest inflicted by any offensive or repugnant actions by Donald Trump. The last would be a rip off on the cultural enlargement of the US as well.
Often, poverty is a cause of revolutionary violence which can easily escalate under the reigns of a ruthless US President.
Donald Trump would not be the white politician who could be fair or understand the goals of either Mexican Americans, – Latino Americans or African-Americans.
He has neither a real clue of religious justice and freedom, nor show a rapport with broad spectrum white American on the future of a multi racial society.
And still he is gaining momentum!!!
For those of you who are black or Hispanic, white or Muslim, Jew or Christian or anything else in terms of colour of the skin, race ,  or religion,  Donald Trump will never judge you on the content of your character, –  but may create once more a Nation where people are judged just by their religion, or just by the colour of their skin, –  and history will repeat itself at the cost of the legacy being made by John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Robert F Kennedy and many others besides President Obama.
Japan and South Korea and other countries may have nuclear weapons with a Trump Presidency, – and all this is never allowed to be happen!
There is far more to say but simply show in your votes that you are against Donald Trump.
The last is good enough as it facilitates the elegance of a mature US democratic system, where people are granted the privilege to make a conscious vote on those who surround them, -those who represent them, and those who lead them.
Thank you so much!!
Paul Wolf
 –

An Act of Love close to Passover


The gospel of John is both attractive and baffling for various reasons. Jesus is going to the home of Mary Martha and Lazarus.
They are almost his closest circle of friends, perhaps closer than his disciples. Martha provided hospitality for Jesus and his disciples.

Mary, Martha’s sister was a deep thinker and Lazarus was their brother. He died later but was raised to life again by Jesus. They were very close friends. Mary and Martha were young  women.
They admired Jesus and each time when Jesus came to Jerusalem
he stayed with them. The three provided a home for Jesus and He loved them and they loved Him.

Jesus enjoyed friendship.

You know, the sacredness of life we experience is the relationship with friends, with other people, – if it is the way intended to be. We don’t need many friends but most of us need someone, at least. People with whom we take the risk of knowing and being known. I guess this is the essence of the human and spiritual journey which we may enlarge by increasing our compassion for others because we have friends with whom we can share the deepest end of our humanity. The core of our humanity, which can be a new beginning as well at times.


It may widen our horizons. And what is more beautiful that people know us and love us anyway and vice versa?

In essence this is what God does to us as well.

The diner party Martha and Mary had with Jesus one night, including some others, – was dense with feeling. Not abundant as such but as if something was hanging in the air. As if something was going to happen.

Mary comes up and goes to the cupboard and gets a bottle which is filled with a nice smelling lotion. A very expensive one and she is pouring this over the body of Jesus.

The original Passover is a memorial to God passing over the houses of the children in Israel is an act of protection and love for his people.

It was at a time close to the Jewish Passover. The time as well that chief priests were plotting to kill Jesus. This lotion or oil was a very expensive and luxury item in the house of Maria and Martha. With her hair bend down she massages the oil into the skin of Jesus.

Touching and being touched in the most loving way is something both beautiful and sacred in life as it is part of our core humanity. Mary offers her expression of love to Jesus without any expectation. She does it because she feels it deeply. It has nothing to do with calculation of any kind.

She is not doing it because Jesus needs it but she feels she needs to give it

And for sure, there are always people like there were at the time who comment on this in the negative. Such as the expensive oil could have been sold for the benefit of the poor etc. And often those remarks may come – if we translate this situation to “here and now – from people who do not care one bit about the poor. People who take a cheap shot on both remarkable and beautiful circumstances, full of prejudice.

People who are technical right but so awful wrong in measuring the spirit of the moment, so to say. And Jesus remarks quite straight in both his comments and observations that the poor will be always there, – but He will not be always there.

He understood that there is a difference between an indulgent expression of love and an act of excessive self-love. Mary was just genuine in her appearance at the time and in the presence of love there are no rules or regulations.

If you love somebody for what he means or for what he gives, or for what she gives and means to you, – what is against a genuine expression of affection?

Art, love and acting in spirit is not about money, calculating or accounting, – but it is about startling and amazing moments in life. Both wonder and beauty, and they can’t be sold.

When people are moved and respond from this emotion in their unique identity with love, there are times you have to break open the bottle of expensive oil, – and do what your genuine feelings of affection dictate you what to do. All this as part of a spontaneous act of love, – which is always in the giving and not in the taking.

Mary loved Jesus and she knew what to do in that moment

If I look at the world, I see there are plenty of barriers and walls. Plenty of rules and regulations. Plenty of prejudice and taboos.

But what has been given in true love neither knows taboo, nor barriers or walls, –  and as such we may be part of many and many may be part of us

For we know in part, – but in love we are complete!

Are we?

HAVE YOU EVER LOVED SOMEONE YOU NEVER MET?


Have you ever loved someone you never met?

This might be a fascinating subject, isn’t it? Because the requirement seems that you need to meet the person before you love him or her.

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The full truth is that regardless our circumstances or environment, there are people around the world with  whom we could connect,  at such a different level perhaps, –  that this would be in full harmony with both the 2 natures involved…True, – if the allowing of this feeling could be realised in a day-to-day reality, so to say… But for sure,  you can’t judge this before you have met, – and met for some time perhaps.

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But often this is not the case as neither the allowing of the feeling is always there nor the real life situation where one can meet up with one another to build up bit by bit the friendship. The last being required the least, – as a first step.

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Not to speak about people we never met, the last being an entirely different story…Falling in love as such seems not possible.  But perhaps not everyone agrees on this one.  And sure, –  stories are nice to share, isn’t it?..  Even when there is a lot of fiction and fantasy involved.

At times this can be quite funny!

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But who cares, – we are free in that section of our mind and heart where we may have dreams, fantasies or imaginations, – whether we feed them or not.  But mind you, –  what you do with the “feeding” and “the bringing out “.  In 65 years from now we are all dust, – and the question is how did we live in between.  In our response lies the last choice.

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Well, – I can say there is nothing secret or unusual about those feelings, as at times they are a reality. At some extent I feel it is part of human nature. The beauty that people can mean a lot to you, even if you don’t know them, even if you have never met them. And for sure you don’t need to be in love with them as the last is a different entity, – so to say. The fact that unknown people can mean a lot to you can be an enrichment of your own nature through the colours and the “keys” being transmitted to your own life.. And this is mainly the issue I want to touch base on, as falling in love with someone you never met is in my glimpse on this subject impossible.

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What it is, I don’t know. What the power of love is, – I don’t know. Perhaps at times the impressions we get, even though they might be very limited, –  may appeal somehow to the better things in ourselves. Potential partners are anywhere on the world but it is pointless to pursue, unless there is a valid reason.

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Does this make any sense at all?

If well-preserved it is one of the larger mysteries in life where the power gets broken if disclosed, or if disclosed too early where it should not be disclosed. It is an odd comparison perhaps, –  but the power of the biblical Samson got lost when his hair was cut, – but when his hair grew he was stronger than ever before. When we try to “establish” some of our past or present secrets in reality, – we cut ourselves and lose more than we ever possessed perhaps.  In search of the good, conscience is always a process.

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Once Samson disclosed his secret he was lost. They took “the mickey” out of him.  In other words, it is not always wise to show what is going on in your heart as cherishing some of the larger secrets may enhance your humanity, –  because, through the transmission of energy you may be better able to translate those emotional pockets back to your higher inner-nature.  This is the domain which has “pure creativity” to work it all out in your own place, –  the last which is what life asks you to do with care, compassion and integrity.

What I say seems to be the ideal scenario, – I know.  It does not always work this way and people are different.  But for all of this, there is no harm in those feelings,  it depends what you do with it.

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How does this happen?

Obviously I am not sure, but I suspect in the channelling of both our energy and awareness, we pick up at times both things from the physical world and the non-physical world. The reality part is not always that important but when we are lucky and channelling the right direction, through the grace of God, we may use it for the purpose being designed for both the better of our human nature and others.

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In my “last will and testament” I can show I loved lots of people for those reasons in my life and I am full of gratitude what they meant to me and what they gave me during receptive moments in my being. Some people I knew, others I did not know. Some live in my lifetime, others did not live in my lifetime. But always there was the transmission of some mysterious energy, which for me appealed to my inner-nature and made what I became, – still a “work in progress”.

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As I said, sometimes it is better not show the secrets of your heart, at least not on the specifics, allowing as such not the rejection and scrutiny of others. But “giving way” to the free flow of the unspeakable in the increased compassion of your nature, seems at times the better way. The last finding its means in various creative identities of your life.

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Again, –  I need to ask whether this makes sense, as it may work different for others.

For sure this is more difficult when you are really in love with someone and it seems impossible. But within the larger gift of life you may see this as one of the dimensions which could exist in different identities elsewhere as well, – and you don’t need to be absorbed by one “dead end” as being in love, as such, is a reflection on yourself in one particular situation. Which is being allured to one particular attraction, as perceived in someone else. It simply is not reality. And the last has nothing to say about how it would work out in a real life situation. Mind you, you better be careful if you have those feelings at times because if you disclose this to the person of attraction, and you don’t know each other at all, – you will be considered, the least, as very silly, – and for sure it will fall on “deaf ears”..

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If this is the case you need to get to know yourself a bit better and use common sense.

In the inter-connection with people in life though, there is – as well – much we may not understand. But the beauty is we don’t always need to understand as both the mystery and curiosity are allowed to have a place in life.

Image result for Quote on In the inter-connection with people in real life though, there is – as well - much we may not understand.

Things come to our awareness by what we see and hear in other people, and the last at times in retrospect, – when we have time for ourselves connecting with the broader sense and awareness of nature.

The way we may interconnect with each other in the very best possible way is more like “a sacred bonding” as it shows us how to forgive when we need to forgive. It shows us how to give to one another’s well-being. It shows us compassion and understanding.  It may show us affection of a different nature, when we see things not being right and try to correct it. It has to do with the better way of showing justice as well, –  in a broader sense.

Image result for Quote on The way we may interconnect with each other is a sacred bonding

In my life I cherish the people who brighten my day through the seen and the unseen, whether they live nearby or far away, regardless, at times, – whether I know them or don’t know them at all. It sounds weird perhaps and not many people may relate to me on this one but it’s just me, the way I embrace life as it is, – accepting both the possible and the impossible.  Many people as such leave an “echo” with me and some, – just this way , are very dear to me as there is much warmth in it,  without those people even realising this themselves. And that’s fine!..

Image result for Quote on Many people as such leave an “echo” with me and some, - just this way, are very dear to me as there is much warmth in it, without those people even realising this themselves.

At times they live in entirely different circumstances far away, amidst poverty, – and in the way they deal with things they “sparkle” as a mystery. Some people as such are unique in the integrity of their own nature, from which we only see part of it, – but enough to appreciate their inner-being which shines through this.  And we don’t know them at all, – interesting isn’t it?.

Image result for Quote on Some people as such are unique in the integrity of their own nature, from which we only see part of it, - but enough to appreciate their inner-being which shines through this. And we don’t know them at all, interesting isn’t it?.

If I would express this the way I wished to do at times, my gratitude would be very poorly understood. Mind you what their perception would be on me. I fear it would spoil it for once and for all, as we live in totally different identities.

I can only hope I work the same this way for some others perhaps as they do for me, and for sure, – I don’t always need to know,  as sometimes it is better to leave this to the funny and  precious secrets of life.

Discipline and direction in our connections are far more important.

Image result for Quote on Discipline and direction in our connections.

And mind you, allow your imagination to play similar as characters evolve in films, – like they do this in ourselves at times. The editing is part of a spontaneous process through the in-depth involvement we already have with ourselves and some others.  All this is already provided in our upbringing until now, and through the experiences we have and had. We get better persons when each time we surf the waves of our emotions the right way, – both for ourselves and for others. Not allowing us to be blind-folded in scenes which are not practical.

Image result for Quote on Not allowing us to be blind-folded in scenes which are not viable.

If you want to reach out for a better connection with others, be aware that the circumstances and perceptions of people can be hugely different than yours, and that improvisation as such is based on both respect and being receptive for what is going at the other side.

There might as well be the cultural restrictions of marriage, but the connections with others perhaps should not be restricted where we connect with the better part of ourselves in others. There where we can add value to each other as part of our normal humanity, the last finding its way in the world. There is neither harm in any value, nor is there any value in any harm.

Image result for Quote on There might as well be the cultural restrictions of marriage but the connections with others perhaps should not be restricted where we connect with the better part of ourselves in others

The last is an interesting one as where people cheat they are dishonest and being dishonest often brings harm. The question on the moral spectrum of what is harmful and not harmful has a variety of dimensions, including and not restricted to showing affection, being tender and kind, apart from embracing and kissing each other.

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For myself I do consider any genuine and mutual show of affection being normal as part of close encounters where you trust each other.

Cheating is when you don’t watch the distinction between being loving in character and making love as part of a sexual relationship. The last in circumstances where it would be far better to refrain from this. For sure, as said already, – there are many potential partners on this world but it is pointless to pursue any if there is no valid reason, – as so much harm can be done as well.  Existing love for one can’t be replaced by a potential love for an other person, – even when we have the capacity to “bring it on”. Even though there are more scenario’s possible, – harm reduction is hard to meet if our conditioning is not wired up for the best compassion for others.  It is not an easy one for many, but wisdom for the few.

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When you are really committed in friendship you simply don’t cheat. People carrying trust and trustworthiness close to their heart simply don’t cheat, as gifted – hopefully – in wisdom perhaps, they know that real love lasts far longer than making love, and that the last often ends the friendship in which perhaps much has been invested for possibly good reasons.

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If people are married and it proved already it did not work and it has been discussed already open and candid, – there might be a grey area which is not up to me to consider,  as I haven’t this experience as such.

When we really care in authentic ways, neither being pretentious nor imposing our perceptions on others, – we may embrace the concept of love in unassuming ways wherever we go in this world. The last with the distinction that real love has far greater dimensions as it is an impression from the Universe, through which the earth and all what lives has been created, – not by chance but for a purpose.

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Our humanity may grow through the real humanity of others and with certain restrictions,  there are no rules or regulations for this purpose being still in progress, – which includes love in a broader sense.

In essence our humanity is deeply inter-connected. As always it is as important to be able to listen and to be listened to. It keeps you fresh and alive. If we are able to free up ourselves “in the osmosis of life”, we can find up a way in the connection with other people, more meaningful and in line with what humanity requires us to work on to get to the next stage.

In terms of film making – by comparison – we may end that the right actor for a particular role is perhaps not the very best actor. Likewise the right person in a relationship is perhaps not always the greatest partner, – and the right partner in a business entity is not always the best person.

And finally the best love affair is for certain not always the best friendship, – whilst the best friendship is not always the best love affair.

Image result for Quote on And finally the best love affair is for certain not always the best friendship, whilst the best friendship is not always the best love affair.

For all of this, surfing the soul on any implications is the best manifestation in inter-humane creativity, – as the better outcome is always harm reduction. Rather, perhaps, than self-destruction through inflicted trauma, betrayal, deception and others..

Good friendships last, – ”love-affairs” rarely last.

This is reality!

Therefore finding the right distinctions in the many dimensions of love, is an art worth to be mastered as it seems dead easy, – but it is easily dead as well.

Why?

The last because  relations can make you, – but they can break you as well.  And there is already enough being broken, both in life and relationships.

Image result for quote on a bad relationship makes you feel worse when you were single

With real friends you rehearse and rehearse until you get better as friends, – regardless time place or age.  And in all this you can find your own VOICE, – your unique identity as well..

The quality of our humanity is at the cornerstone of any good friendship or a better connection. Relationship means relating to each other,  and caring for each other, – and not being careless to one and other. It means healing wounds and not creating wounds.

Friendship is not about knowing everything from each other, but enough not to tell each other what he or she thinks, but providing him or her direction and help which way might be  the best way to go at times, – the last only if required, – the last at times if requested.

If you create the right stuff on which people may “turn on” in the best possible way, – for sure you are starting to be a good connection.  And all this is part of inter-connecting and trans-personal conversations, – perhaps.

It is not about who is most “like me” or “not most like me”, – it is more about “on what you resonate” as a person in others, – and often you don’t even need to give it a name.

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The last as providing a label to a variety of identities in this world, not rarely takes away the mystery on which things could evolve. If you love friendship to be endless, show it endless, without labels or discussing the identity as such, – as not doing as such “frees up” as much.

Last but not least, the last applies to marriage as well where this identity works the way it is supposed to work, – but the last might be different in the variety of cultures. Like connections and friendship do function at different levels among the colours of the various cultures as well.

Interesting, – isn’t?

Feel free to say what you like to say on this subject.

Thank you so much!

Paul Alexander Wolf

Paul 

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“The uncommon thought on the uncommon matter” – Sean Penn


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The uncommon thought on the uncommon matter, as the famous Actor Sean Penn once said, – means that perhaps at some stage something may be breaking through all the conditioning we know and see on this planet.

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The type of conditioning which is neither correct nor humane but being closely linked with the inadequacy of both our government and justice systems, the last nearby or far away.

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The conditioning as well, which applies to the common numbness of an increasing number of people. A conditioning which should not apply, but still is part of the day-to-day reality which encounters many problems all over the world. The way people respond, the way nations respond,  because far too many people have simply no clue on what they inflict on others or simply don’t care. And mind you, at times this runs through families, cultures, countries and generations.

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In all this “the courage factor” is the most important element to face all this, – and not walking away from it.  If you walk away from it you will be followed by the implications of far often an occurring neglect and failure of justice, – both in our close connections, but also in the wider concept of “the world”.

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As we all know, – the pictures of refugees,  detention centres, refugee camps do resonate today at all corners around the world.  Like climate change does.  Like human trafficking does and many others. Things – issues , which affect basic human rights and through which the conditioning of people – the wrong way –  is allowed to endure,  and continue in all the ways we know and see. It’s an image we get from the television. It is an image of day-to-day life, – often in devastating dimensions. We see the pictures of people holding on to boats going to Europe. We see wounded children running crying away from both violence in the air or on the ground, – trying to escape death.

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Look, through history there have been many refugees and as a result of this children from parents arriving from far away have been born e.g. in the rain forest areas of Brazil, or in 40 degrees below zero temperatures upper north in Canada and many other countries.

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They found new roots where they were planted, and those are perhaps someway the lucky ones, –  if they had luck enough to meet and engage with the good colours of humanity as they found it in different way in the countries were they were able to make new home. Where they found ways for education and where they were accepted through the contents of their expression and character. Apart from evil, –  there is much kindness in the world as well, but often it is hidden.

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The ongoing agony is for those who neither find home nor being accepted elsewhere.. People who are not lucky enough with their encounters and fall in the wrong hands, For them the road to freedom is a long one, if they are able to sustain the trafficking, the torture or the rape.

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The question always is what those people became in the long way of the brutality they endured with the pictures imprinted in their heart soul and minds. We don’t speak about those who died along this road.

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If you survive and have to live up to the expectations of civilisation as we know this, for sure this is not the easiest transition,- as long as you are welcome and not judged by whatever some people in your group inflicted.

Some keep praying in their prayers but don’t see light as the darkness in their soul could not reach the light anymore, numb as they became. Perhaps they stood up in the past against domination but the domination was stronger and did beat the light of them. That is what torture can do you know, that is what war can do. We know this all too well as people with PTSD trauma’s after service in Vietnam, Iraq or other countries have already difficulties to be accepted in their own countries, – as the conditioning of far too many other people is wrongly wired the way their prejudgment goes.

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We need to accept that a fair number of refugees have a tribal background who lost all their own connections with what was 10 years ago peaceful living, listening to stories within their elder ethnic groups where there was peaceful and cultural harmony until they became invaded by whatever evil. They had order in their mind but now many of those once mindful people, are totally disrupted in their mindset as the violence sustained is imprinted.

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It is said “the truth sets you free”, but which truth and which future. The truth of the jungle where you need to be alert for any pending danger is a different truth than the truth I live, but I am able to relate to all those people as when the tide of history does change we are all homeless and on the go. The concept I may be able to embrace, still, is a far different concept others are allowed to embrace, through the weird conditioning of our world.

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And still, in some of my connections far way, – I still see shining the colours of courage. People who stop the long wanted prospect of a career and look after ailing relatives amidst the huts and villages where the care is insufficient, – and some are the sole carer for a whole family, working flat out to get a minimum income which goes to the costs of healthcare. And meanwhile some of them are doing the cleaning of their ailing loved ones at night, but still with a hope rarely met by others by day, – despite –so often – the tiredness.

Some people are more restricted than others, – and the gift of a free choice for the “good life” by birth right,  is more the privilege of the few and not the blessing of the many.

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For sure, we have to do what life asks us to do in certain circumstances, – but in the most restricted circumstances the last response of providing ongoing care to someone in a poverty-stricken area is the most ideal expression of humanity. No numbness at all but conditioning at its best.

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Humanity and inter-humane connections across the spectrum of cultures is the golden standard for real progress all over the world. Compassion for your own people and “all people” (please don’t take this literally!) is the standard on which we all will be measured one day. And that day will come. That day will arrive. The day that all those people who sustained the agony of their time and kept the colours of both courage, compassion and faith will be set free, whatever they had to sustain..

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It will all fit the larger picture of a future which we can’t see as yet, but in our dreams it might be alive already and we may say: ”Why not?”

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Believe it, hear it, and see it, – with all those who share this with you, and make it work, – rewind and rewire towards a better condition of humanity!

Thank you so much!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

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There is a space in yourself between the impulses you get and the time frame you respond. It is like Viktor Frankl  once said, and it has great implication to realise and work on the realisation of this given fact. Feel free to inhale those words and imagine really what it means…..Do you recognise this?

A place between stimulus and response, and in that space we prepare our response, prepare our answer to whatever happens in our lives. And it that space, that inner area of freedom, lies our chance to grow or to fail, – or to fall,  whatever way you call it. Our chance to recognise the need as part of fulfilling the core of our humanity, in close connection with other human beings,  or failing both ourselves and others, – lies in that space of decision-making. Sometimes the response is slow, at times it is instant, by instinct, driven what we have internalized by ways of experience and learning from inside. Interesting isn’t it?  Frankl was an interesting man by the way.

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This particular space in ourselves is a powerful place you know, nobody can take this away from us, – apart from our own selves, failing to use this freedom, – this space,  in it’s full strength…

Does this make sense?

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Let’s call it “the inner studio”. The studio where you are allowed to believe in. It is free, you know, – and at some extend you can invite others to come in, perhaps, – if you wish.  In that case, however, on the base of being trustworthy. If such you are able there to develop yourself away from the spot light, with others, – before you take action of any kind.  In this space between stimulus and response lies perhaps your unique voice, – the beauty of your dreams,  if the response follows this direction, either slow or instantly.

It’s a place where you can rehearse and refine, refine and rehearse. For sure, – like acting,  it is important to learn your lines, – your boundaries as well, in which you feel comfortable. It is not always good to go that far as you can go. For sure you are allowed to do this in this inner-space, – but certainly not every time in your response. And mind you, if faced with problems, – the problem is as important as the response, – as in the response you may create positive change. But generally stay well within yourself!  And if life asks you to give it that extra inch, –  give it that extra mile, if you wish, and leave no stone unturned and give it everything you have!

That’s life you know, the life from actors, writers, politicians, lovers and bloggers. The life of all in one and one in all. It’s my life your life and most of the live we see in others. And all those things where development starts is in that inner-core of strength and decision making, that space between stimulus and response, our inner-studio, – whether we share this space with closed ones or not…

You can compare the studio with a place where actors, writers etc come together and discuss the work which needs to be done. Often it is personal.  At times it attracts you at a certain place which might be helpful for “setting” the next scene….. Mind you, – this applies for everybody,…even doctors. Like me.

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Again this inner studio knows no boundaries or exceptions, the fantasy may have a free part, the inspiration is often born here. In musical terms it is the silence between the music being heard. And in life, drama,  playwriting or anything else, – it is the important pause between actions.

The “pause” of both creation and response.

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What more is important to know about this?

You know, It is VERY important as well to stay the course, if the last is an expression of goodwill, – refined in so many dimensions as we can see. In such moment we can love each other without touching each other as the energies transmitted in the trillions of impulses may connect us somehow, – at times really  at the core of our humanity.

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The last which can only be recognised in an other person. And the interesting thing, you know, – is that we don’t even need to know this person, –  as personally it can be.  Sometimes it can be an impression from the other end of the world. I do experience this myself, and in my freedom I allow the receiving, –  if it is good.

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Allowing this to verbalise as such is an other question. Not every time you can respond from the heart. Mind you what this could create.

At times it is better to wait and see what grows, and how it grows, – in some occasions.  Like the farmer plants and gives water, like he or she observes the growing – and finally says to the growing existence of “the plant” that he or she loves this unique reflection of creation. This is good you know, also that we keep learning this way and get better tuned in what life requests us to do at any particular point of its development.  An ongoing movement forwards in which we are allowed to be engaged, – whether we are actors or real life people in real life circumstances.

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But we need to have support with this.

If we allow in our own inner studio those people we trust and love, in sustained ways, – we may respond for the better, even if those persons are not around at the same time.

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But when you are together and lucky enough to have a real studio, it is important to invent together, –  as part of a pure spontaneous process. Getting to know each other is essential for this.

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If you prepare a role, you need to get a great impression of that role first, – if for instance in an act or drama you need to play someone. Sometimes it is the story behind the person, the fiction itself, or the real-life person, –  being still alive or passed away already, – the last maybe many years ago.

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In other words you need to get a very good impression from the real life character you want to play, or from the real life purpose you have in your mind, – to play it out in the real only ONE life you have.

This requires fantasy, intuition, inspiration and a good deep knowledge as well. And if you GET the picture, – allow it to live in you, allow yourself to play with this picture and allow the picture to play with you. You may not be able to figure out everything as due to the complexities, –  but a real life impression may emerge in which you transmit the key of that character, or the key of that domain in life you want to  cultivate as good as you can.

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Certain parts you need to prepare, – for sure. Other parts you need to leave open and unconsidered,- as acting from the “unconscious” is important in any identity. When you are relaxed after due diligence, your conscious is “free”,  as long as you “are in to it enough”

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Does this makes sense or is it too dry, or too complex.

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Well let me say this,.. if you choose people into your inner circle, or even, a step further, into your own studio of creation, – don’t select them on the colour of their skin or the beauty of their appearance, as in such case things can go wrong and you may be fooled… No, – for sure, – select them based on the higher level of your intuition. The last resonating with the likely “key contents” of their character and work,  – and if they look nice it’s a bonus. The last for sure in the film or model industry. More even there, – but mind you, even a beautiful actrice, needs to be able to play her role very well as the public does not go on the expression of her beauty only,  only though the combination of the two.

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When you really figure out the key of the role, YOUR ROLE, – whatever it is or may be, at some stage your unconscious will take, over as long as you are relaxed in yourself. You need to trust this specific part of you, – this inner space between impulse and response, as again in this area lies your growth and fulfilment if you prepared your own base as good as possible.

Don’t build your house on sand, as the bible says, as it has no foundation.

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To get to this stage you need to take in a lot, – to get “the” real good impression in both body mind and spirit. If you really have the key of the role, that what you want to be or want to play, – this all needs to be based on lots of information, you know.. You can really make the best of the improvisations in your mind, – a  tapestry being created already, – if you went through thorough preparations before, – as best it can be in the provided circumstances…

Speaking about tapestries and weavers,  often, the mind of real weavers and their imagination, –  never stops. ..They create, even in their dreams.

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Also, – ask questions without answering them yourself. This can be a place for the studio, you know, the place which you might share with your best connections. “Why am I here”.. “Where am I going to? etc etc”   “Is this appearance right?”. “Which way can it be done differently”

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It reminds me a bit of my study Medicine in Maastricht, in the Netherlands. Apart from the normal and sometimes abnormal stuff you need to learn before becoming a doctor, we had a group, which was called “The Attitude Group”. Not that every doctor was lacking “attitude” but both a good conduct and bedside manners are important ( or helpful at least!!), – on the playground of a doctor, any doctor… Hence this group.. This was a different “studio of sorts”, – not perfect but we got the flavour, with lots of laughter as well.

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An other thing which is crossing my mind is the importance of “being wanted”. That you are wanted to play the role in whatever endeavour where you have to play this role. It is not always the case, but it is a real bonus when you feel wanted, that you feel wanted to perform, – that you feel wanted to express what you are, or what you so dearly want to be.

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And whether it is writing or acting or anything else,-  the editing needs to be done as well. Very important though, even when it comes to the stuff related with your own soul… Mind you, whatever is going on there, – not a fraction you want to be disclosed on the real playground in public.  Not always an easy job, but most interesting this area. This area becoming in the “public eye”  is a matter of choice, adopted  in your expression or performance, – in either the real life situation or the act you have to play in a film, or as a model.

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Certain parts of the available material, you leave away. Likewise certain emotions at times, – whilst on the other hand allowing other emotions to radiate, – makes the scene perhaps at its best within both the domain of your culture and your performance, – by choice!

Look at film fragments as how they are sealed together as a piece of real art at times. That’s the role of editing, – and really trust your editors, – hose in and around you.

Mind you again, all this takes a lot of work! What takes place in seconds as such in a real film, took hours of preparation perhaps. Life simply, though, does not come easy, – even when you are lucky. In terms of performance, – whether it is protecting human rights, being a President,  an Actor or a Writer etc.  requires a lot of input. You know, rehearsal and rehearsal(!!), –  editing(!!), knowing lots about the key components, in other words knowing YOUR stuff(!!), – and besides this imagination and improvisation!

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Make sure you are “in the scene”, in the plot, surrounded by those you trust, – surrounded by those with whom you have a real connection, and I can say you it’s all worthwhile, and at times it’s lots of fun. Because we go as we grow, and when we do this together there is real meaning in our connections when we do this for a real purpose. Connecting as such can broaden the mind like travel may do, – the difference though is that real connection between people can build on each others purpose in life and is as such not a “stand alone thing”.. We are inter-connected, – but choose your real connections wisely!

They can make or break you!

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Does this make sense?

That’s life you know, – that’s life. And tell you one more thing, the more you love it the more you come to live, and when you have to go, it’s all fine because you have been fully alive, and the last is which counts when we die.  Mind you, I made lots of errors in the editing of my own expressions, speaking at times too much from the heart, too early perhaps, – and at times my products became better in retrospect, by repeating, editing, and rehearsal, –  in both my mind,   body and spirit

Why?

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Because editing, playing, writing, performing is an ongoing thing in life, and if you really love, – it is a lot of fun.  Fun if you see it all with a great sense of humour as well…  And mind you, …my favourite actress and producer is Hilary Swank, just because of her great passionate role in the “Freedom Writers”…. Just to keep it simple!

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Why not?

We can do the living only once, – and mind you, – let’s do it good,  and reach out the right way, – our true north strong and free!

Thank you so much!

 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

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AND LOVE IS THE GREATEST OF ALL!‏


You know,
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The work of many accomplished people who work for peace and mutual understanding encounters major obstacles and random attacks of violence at various places on the world.
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The means by which this violence becomes clear get’s increasingly “screwed” at the core of humanity, –  and what we are supposed to stand for…  (Pardon my “French” by the way, – but “screwed” is part of normal Aussie slang and is the right expression of the ugliness which is on a daily display at many places on this world)
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This applies to the violence and cruelty to animals as well. The last for instance which became clear by viewing excessive cruel images of the dog industry for human food consumption in countries like Vietnam and other Asian countries. Dogs who die a  slow violent death, inflicted by sick human minds.
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Human minds, who, when taken away the thinner layer of civility in favour of other human beings, – would take their cruelty out on other human beings as well.
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One may wonder what drives people to spread the evil of their instincts to the outside world. It seems as if hatred at times accumulates in the spirit of human beings, hatred which leads to the destruction of the “soul connection” with right-mindedness.
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It seems nearly an impossible task of people being drifted off this way, again to be attached  to the universal law of love, – coupled with healthy relations with human beings. As the last is the crux where things go better or bitter. But each one has at the end of the day an own responsibility, even though muddled the mind may be. Anger can be understood, confusion can be either with words or wordless realized. But aggression taken out on others in terms of violence, and in the extreme the brutal slow killing and other destruction of a different life, –  is both senseless and repugnant, no matter what the circumstances are. UN peacekeepers who abuse and rape are simple criminals, showing as such that those things do come from corners, the least expected.
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For this reason it is so vital that people learn to connect with each other, for what they have in common in the positive, for what they have in common to encourage each other.

By empowering one another in hope, love and compassion for all that lives.
I believe in the broader concept of love being the cornerstone of life and human relations  and the connections with all life. Not in the fluffy way often misunderstood and diminished by some cheap media perhaps,  focussed on one aspect of It only, – but in the enlargement of our energies as spiritual-beings, – mortal as we are in our physical appearance.

Whilst people, at times, do express a remarkable beauty and attraction whilst being young, it is hoped by getting older they continue to have “this inner beauty”,  which was part of their
“gift of life”,  the last however though, –  by choice!  Our appearance may change over the years, – less glamorous perhaps.  More in the “background”.   As long as we stay compelling from the “inside”.
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And with some you see the seeds of this inner-beauty already by the pathway they followed in life, the courage and determination they harboured through the challenges at each stage of their lives, – and with some this started even already in early childhood.
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People have the gift of being beautiful this way, and for goodness’ sake, – why is it that so many things go wrong at just the human part of creation.
We have examples of human beings who did overcome a most humiliating childhood and despite scars became the most compassionate people, reaching out in ways beyond understanding.
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In all this lies the real spiritual freedom which we need to cherish to become finer in our existence, – more tolerant and forgiving to ourselves and others, connected within a frame of both human understanding and encouragement. This is not restricted to the
distinct relationship of our partner(s), –  (if we have one),  but it is inclusive for all human encounters which is enriching our lives this way.
It is the only antidote for spiritual imprisonment which lies at the root of isolation, the last often a breeding ground for unexpected perplexing behaviour.
Therefore never loose your spiritual freedom!
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Humanity should reach the next level of our presence here on earth if we want to survive as a human species, as with all material being available now “we” can destroy this planet a thousand times with everything that carries life.
It is for this reason I speak of the weight of this concept of a new humanity finding its way to a common understanding, shared within all dimensions.
Why?
Because it is too important to recognise and to understand this, and to share as such with an increasing number of people all over the world, – with people dedicated to inter-cultural linking of all kind. The last, –  as “respect” for all grassroots within the human ranks is both  priceless and vital.
And so the  “greatness”  is to connect,  to learn,  to love and to leave a trail of an enduring inspiration….
Yes, – a  glowing  foresight which “lights” the world and eventually, –  all those,  who live on it…. 
As long as we can say, at least, –  most of it’s people, – and the last would be good enough!
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Therefore a broader wholesome education is not the filling of a hole, but the rekindling of a fire within the human interconnections, and this may unburden an increasing darkness of the world.
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So, when we are exhausted and worn out let’s try to get rest.
When we need help, let’s ask for guidance.
When we are disconnected, let’s try to get like-minded.
When people come in our lives with a low-level of insight or
sensitivity perhaps, – help them playfully to get a better understanding, as our humaneness and mercy are often stronger tools than the usual rejection and non-communication.
Let’s embrace, –  affectionate words being  better spoken whilst alive,  – than expressed only over the graves of our loved ones.
Yes, – it is possible to love in retrospect,  but it is far better to be warm-hearted and  tender in prospect.
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Let’s enjoy what we playfully may see in each other, and allow gratitude and inspiration to get the better of us, as in doing so, –  we may shine more than we did before.
If possible, let’s bring out the best thoughts to each other, as speech and language are the gifts to brighten genuinely the lives of others and ourselves, – rather than to devalue our encounters in needless ways.
And so my fellow people, the most potent missile on earth is when the mortal spirit get’s on fire, – and if we have the choice, – for sure, let that be the blaze of love.

Thank you so much.

“AUSCHWITZ begins wherever people look at the slaughter house and say: they’re animals only”‏


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A few remarks on what happens in Europe. An increasing crisis with refugees.
Likely not the real crisis are the refugees itself, as a group, – but the related tiny fractions only who undermine everything what is the aim. And the aim was to help and reach out, and this should stay being the aim but meanwhile eliminating some dangers for society itself.
The question is what is the price of true values and what patience and efforts are required to reach those values. The values as well to give refugees a new chance in Europe. A new chance as well in the US. A new chance as well in Canada, –  or anywhere else where people deserve a new chance.

By endurance justice will prevail by cutting off those who make injustice and crimes the domain of their activities, like happened for instance in Cologne. We must continue to work for peace and reconciliation. We must try to reconnect with each other and open the frontiers to a different humanity, faced with the conviction we have to deal with so many issues  as mankind gets compromised. We have to try and cut any intercultural barriers and prejudice, – besides making more gentle the life on this earth.

But the last based on the principle of justice for everyone equal.

Never loose your spiritual freedom by becoming enslaved through dogmas, whether they come from a religion or any people being captured by the false sentiments created in the public domain. The public domain which includes an increasing number of dangerous agitators and right-wing radicals. Radicals who seek only one solution.

Always ask yourself what the God of Your (“real”) Understanding requires you to do in any specific situation and refrain from bringing harm to those who should not be harmed, – those who are innocent.

As such you are better off than any dogma’s. As such you are better off than any right-wing radicals. As such you are better off than following Donald  Trump, – who promised to build a wall between Mexico and the United States, –  and claimed after a shooting that he could kill somebody in NY, without losing votes.

As such  you are better than any ringleaders threatening the status quo by violence. As such you are better than Donald Trump and the “blindness” of his followers, – in the US. As such you are better off than Geert Wilders in this small  Dutch country, where his Party for Freedom resists anything what has to do with Islam or other “foreigners”. He has an increasing number of followers.  He says his movement is peaceful and democratic, – but Hitler claimed to be peaceful as well until he got the powers through democratic elections.

People, by the way, who never endured the violence in Syria or anywhere else in major “capitals of torture”, – are not qualified to speak judgment on all groups of ethic minorities. 
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True wisdom comes with answering the question in word and deed where to diminish pain and suffering, if possible.. If children are learnt both at home and at school how to relate to each other in the best possible way, through forgiveness and learning to love, their relations in adulthood would thrive with more inner-strength, –  and a refreshed new generation would embrace better leaders than ever before.
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They would be better able to deal with the human playground in politics where proper interactions are so important to make the difference we need to make. They would make a difference in society, like ordinary people as well, at home and in their communities. They would be able to capture the people again who were at risk to get lost.
Against human inadequacy we must strive for understanding, even if long-held convictions have hardened our hearts and minds. Strive and alienation are part of our culture and this applies to the problems of refugees as well.

Sweden had the greatest influx of refugees and encounters significant problems with a tiny fraction from the people arriving from Syria. However  this fraction is imposing a danger of different kinds, both for their fellow country man and triggering as well the increasing force of right-wing extremists ,who simply seek the political or even violent solution that “any foreigner” should leave the country.

Though many have been exposed to cruelty in Syria, it provides no freedom to assault or rape in the free countries who embraced them as part of the values we cherish in a free society. People who as such commit crimes and compromise the future chance of their fellow country man, the very last who try to build up a new life on dreams which have been shattered, – those people committing those crimes need to be returned to Syria, – failing other options. All this to prevent the long-term deep-rooted prejudgment festering in western society, –  and in free elections right-wing radicals coming to power, In that case increasing the risk that history is going to repeat itself.
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A human being should never be used as a means to an end, but the end comes when a human being creates the end of others.

Auschwitz should be a lesson to the world. It should never ever happen again. But allowing right-wing radicals in the Netherlands, Germany and other countries coming up as a response on what goes wrong in the management with refugees, the worst of evils may come to light if those groups are not eliminated by the power of reason, and gain a majority of voters.
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Never allow this to happen, never allow history to repeat itself as the skin of civilization get thinner when right wingers and people like Donald Trump raise to power.
Mind you, never allow this to happen, never be silent against extremism of any nature, never be silent when human rights are compromised on the altar of nationalistic sentiments, as history will repeat itself then, – with different and darker dimensions.

Thank you so much!
 Paul 

Paul Alexander Wolf

Challenges of our times and generation, memories and others.

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