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I’M IN LOVE WITH A NASTY, ANGRY, HORRIBLE, DISRESPECTFUL MADWOMAN

Cartoon used by permission: 242362_RGB_1290.png Running mate Harris by Bart van Leeuwen PoliticalCartoons com

“We need more than a victory on November 3rd, we need a mandate that proves that the past three years do not represent who we are or who we aspire to be.”—Kamala Harris, The Future VP of the United States

Needless to say, I am in love!  I didn’t think it was going to matter to me which qualified woman Vice President Biden picked to be his running mate until he picked Kamala Harris.  Granted it was the unveiling of an historical moment, which caused even my very White husband to choke up with tears at the possibilities, but it was also the power and hope I felt rising up in me, my daughters, and my friends as Kamala spoke when she accepted the call to action from Joe Biden. The power with which she so excellently and urgently prosecuted the zeitgeist of corruption, racism, and death against Donald Trump that he has unleashed into the lives of the people in the United States made me stand up and shout “hallelujah!”  As she declared, “The case against Donald Trump and Mike Pence is open and shut,” for the first time I could see a future without Trump, and I felt sure Vice President Kamala Harris was going to help get us there. Maybe even become our first woman president.

I tried to imagine how this chapter of America’s story might be told to our children in 100 years.  I wondered what kind of children’s books would be written about Kamala as future generations looked back on the dystopian country that “nasty” women like her helped save from the very brink of destruction.

A 2120 CHILDREN’S BOOK FOR VERY, VERY SMART CHILDREN

THE MARVELOUS, FANTASTIC, NASTY, ANGRY, HORRIBLE, DISRESPECTFUL, MADWOMEN WHO DESTROYED A LYING KING AND SAVED A KINGDOM by E. Tomczyk

Once upon a time, in a nation that existed a hundred years ago, there lived a people of many ethnicities and races.  It was a vast land that had often see-sawed from murderously grotesque (a misshapen monster of its actual self) to outrageously sublime (the best it could be) in trying to fulfill its pledge of “…one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” 

After hundreds of years of fits and starts after it was born, the majority of the people enthusiastically elected a chocolate leader who seemed to embody the promise and the hope of that great land. Unfortunately, a significant part of the vanilla people who existed within the kingdom and who considered themselves to be the most righteous and loved by God were very, very angry and plotted to make him a one-term leader. They could not see beyond his race and ethnicity and worked night and day to try to destroy him. But no matter what his enemies did, the chocolate leader was greatly loved, admired, and adored by many and led the nation to a better place for eight years.

But as in far too many stories about humans, an evil being arose on the horizon and captured the hearts and imaginations of a majority of the vanilla people (including a few of the chocolate people—I’m not going to lie), and let them establish him as King. He was a bright orange color (similar to a Cheeto), and he came to be known as “The Lying Toddler King.”

Immediately, The Lying Toddler King got on most people’s nerves—worldwide.  He was crude and rude, and he lied when telling the truth would have been so much easier.  Lying was his modus operandi.  There are those who say he averaged 30 lies a day.  Because he had never progressed beyond toddlerhood, he didn’t read, he refused to share, and he demanded to have his own way all the time.

If more knowledgeable adults and court advisors tried to correct The Lying Toddler King, he would shoot nasty words of 280 characters at them and make them very, very afraid.  Most of them would tremble in terror.  Whenever the Lying Toddler King threw nasty blue birds at them, reputations would be shot down, jobs would be lost, and the wounded recipients would crawl back home and hide under their beds. Once Toddler King actually hurled 200 tweets at his kingdom peeps in one day!

“Why in the ‘cuss word’* do you treat the peeps so badly?” a couple of The Lying Toddler King’s sycophants asked at the beginning of his reign.  “Can’t you see that many of them love you; we just don’t think you should say racist, misogynist, perverse things to your subjects or they will become disappointed and vote you out of your toddler kingdom.  Best to keep those things inside your tiny little head or you will scare people.”

“NO! NO! NOOOOO!  I do what I want, you ‘cuss word’ lapdogs.  Don’t you know that my people are so loyal that I can shoot anyone on 5th Avenue and no one would stop me?” boasted The Lying Toddler King.

Three years went by and The Lying Toddler King ruled with impunity (that means he never got put in a “time-out” corner for anything he did that was bad, boys and girls).  But a lot of bad things began to happen on his watch.  Sickness and death.  Injustice and brutality.  Murder and mayhem.  Racism and cruelty.  Destruction and pollution. It got so bad that chocolate and vanilla people joined together to remove the bad king. The women—especially the chocolate ones—had had enough! They picked a grownup vanilla man by the name of Joe Biden who, in turn, picked a chocolate running mate by the name of Kamala Devi Harris to fight The Lying Toddler King and his sycophantic side-kick whose name was Mike Pence (also a man-baby of the pasty white variety).

Kamala Devi—isn’t that an unusual name, boys and girls?  It literally means: “Lotus—goddess of prosperity, good luck, and beauty, which manifests as protective womanhood that is fierce—strong enough to create new worlds but able to destroy those worlds…”  Kamala was the first African-American, Asian-American woman on a major-party presidential ticket in the vast land of our story.  Her mother was born in India and her father was born in Jamaica.  They immigrated to America and Kamala was born in that great land.

Go figurean immigrant and a chocolate woman as well!  This was the Lying Toddler King’s worst nightmare. He immediately became frightened and confused. It was well known that his kryptonite was strong women—especially strong chocolate women.  He sensed that they had the power to eat his lunch. The Lying Toddler King had a giant hissy-fit and pulled a bunch of mean and racist building blocks out of his toy chest to throw at Kamala. “She’s such a nasty woman, I tell you.  NASTY, NASTY, NASTY!” wailed The Lying Toddler King.  “She’s angry and horrible!  I think she’s a madwoman. Did you see how disrespectful she was to Sleepy Joe?  I’m surprised he even picked her as a play-date buddy.  Besides, I heard she doesn’t even belong here among our vanilla people, and the rules forbid her to be one of its leaders.  I heard her parents were born in ‘cuss word’-hole countries.  Somebody better check that out!  Where the ‘cuss word’ is my nukkie?”

The more the Lying Toddler King screamed and yelled, the more women of both chocolate and vanilla colors came together to declare their allegiance to the Biden/Kamala team because for the first time in years, they could see a better world ahead.  Eighty-year-old vanilla women were sending emails to seventy-year-old chocolate women that read: “I’d almost lost hope until I heard Joe Biden picked Kamala Harris as his running mate.  We just might survive, after all!”  Grown chocolate and vanilla men who didn’t fear strong women were high-fiving each other. Chocolate little and big girls burst into tears because for the first time they saw someone who looked like them who was prepared to help bring down The Lying Toddler King and potentially break the most powerful glass ceiling in the land. They made T-shirts that declared: I’M A NASTY, ANGRY, HORRIBLE, DISRESPECTFUL MADWOMAN!  HEAR ME ROAR, MOTHER “CUSS WORD”! The more these women roared, the more The Lying Toddler King became frightened and unglued.  They became known as the NAHDMs throughout the land, and no matter how much The Lying Toddler King tried to cheat, steal, or destroy the election, in the end all the NAHDM women—chocolate and vanilla—stood united and they crushed him and removed him from the throne!

The citizens of that great nation learned their lesson and never elected a baby king to lead them again.  You’ll have to read the sequel to find out whether or not they ever reached their ancestors’ vision to be an ethical and just nation, thus leaving their children a better world.  In the meantime, the moral of this story, boys and girls, is never, ever underestimate a woman—especially a chocolate one.  THE END

(*The use of the word “cuss” instead of actual swear words is a shameless rip-off from the director Wes Anderson, who used this brilliant mode of communication for his animated characters when filming the children’s book “Fantastic Mr. Fox” by Roald Dahl.)

Cartoon used by permission: 242301_RGB_1290.jpg Trump Reacts To Kamala by Bob Englehart PoliticalCartoons com

Eleanor Tomczyk is an author and a humorist who is an award-winning voice-over performer.  In 2011, she created the blog, “How the Hell Did I End Up Here” which features mostly satirical posts that have thousands of readers around the world—although she was recently banned in Pakistan (for real!).  Tomczyk’s three books were featured in a recent book festival: “Monsters’ Throwdown,” “Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles—Podcasts to my Miseducated Self.”  Currently in her 70s and living life like it is freakin’ golden, she is a consummate storyteller and much sought-after motivational speaker.  If you don’t believe me, just ask her!

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on August 16, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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MY BLACK SKIN IS MY SIN

Cartoon used by permission: 239571 Birth Target by Bill Day Tallahassee FL

I am 72 years old.  I am Black. I am heartsick.  I am tired.  I am horrified.  I am scared.  I am mortified. I am enraged!  I am undone.  I am hopeless….

This has been my state of mind since the murder of George Floyd, and I feel like I’m sitting Shiva for our country because it finally hit me that all the work I’ve spent my life pursuing toward racial harmony has pretty much come to naught.  Actually, the “Karen” story (Amy Cooper) about the White woman who tried to destroy an innocent bird-watching, Harvard-educated Black man’s life sent a dagger through my heart and dropped me to my knees.  The George Floyd story just finished me off!  The “Karen” story didn’t happen in Mississippi, it happened in New York City.  She wasn’t an old fart set in her ways, she was young.  Ms. Cooper probably worked with African-Americans, maybe even socialized with them. She keeps shouting to the world that “I am not a racist,” and yet, when politely asked to obey a law she was breaking by someone who was Black—rather than complying—she weaponized her White privilege against an innocent man by falsely accusing him of assaulting her.  At the very least, she could have ruined his reputation and his livelihood, but at the very worst, she could have gotten Christian Cooper (no relation) killed by the cops who would have come running with guns blazing to protect this White damsel in distress.

“Nothing’s changed,” I said to my White husband whom I’ve known and loved for almost 50 years.  “Sure, you and I were ‘allowed’ to get married a decade or so after Loving vs. Virginia struck down the miscegenation laws in America, but the plight of my people has been two steps forward (Emancipation), three steps back (Jim Crow Laws), four steps forward (Civil Rights Act), five steps back (Police brutality and White Supremacy Terrorism)…it always seems that Black folks come up short when the math is tallied regarding equality and justice.  You know what the problem is, don’t you, Honey?  It’s slavery!  To coin a phrase from Van Jones, ‘Our Black skin is our sin’ and systemic racism started from the moment we were dragged onto American soil as chattel.  The institution of slavery gave even the lowest form of White man (unintelligent, KKK’er, whip-yielding, gun-toting, racial terrorist) a license to reign over us and left the most excellent of Black person (educated, honorable, God-loving, hardworking, peace-loving) with a target on his/her back.”

“As a White man, what do you have to say about that,” I said to my husband.

“Just listening,” he replied.

Cartoon used by permission: 239715 George Floyd by David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

My poor, sweet husband.  The thing is that I know he listens because he is one of the good guys—what the Jews used to call “Righteous Gentiles”—non-Jewish people who risked their lives to help Jews escape the Nazis.  In my case, his children’s case, our grandson’s case, and our Black friends’ cases, he is a “righteous White man” who tries to understand the racism that plagues African-Americans.  But he is still a White person.  Still endowed with certain “inalienable rights.”  And as I mused about how closely connected in spirit the false accusation of Amy Cooper was to the killing of George Floyd, I realized that both situations happened because White people thought they could get away with their actions because of their entitlement—the law be damned.

Consequently, I decided to invite a couple of other “righteous White people” over for a “social distancing bring-your-own-drinks—but go home if you have to pee—cocktail hour” on my very large wrap-around deck.  We sat six feet apart while we caught up on our lives, and had a conversation about race—three White people and me. 

Cartoon used by permission: 239755 Our own worst enemy by Dave Granlund PoliticalCartoons com

(For the purposes of this story my “Righteous White friends” will be called Joe and Meg.  My husband will be referred to simply as “WW—White and Wonderful.” This is only a snippet of a much longer conversation.)

ME:        Hey you three, what does it mean to be White?

WW:      Watch out, everything you say to her will probably end up in a blog.

MEG:     I don’t know…I can tell you that I know that I can’t possibly know what it means to be Black, no matter how hard I try.  I’ve never walked in your shoes.

ME:        Excellent politically correct answer, Meg, but it still doesn’t answer my question.

JOE:       I’m not White, I’m Jewish! 

ME:        Of course you’re White.  You’re an Ashkenazi* Jew.  If you were a Sephardic** Jew, I might cut you some slack.

JOE:       I’m just sayin’, I’ve suffered racism. Oy, how I’ve suffered.  I’m fine until certain people find out I’m Jewish, and before you know it—I’m dealing with anti-Semitism.

ME:        I’m not denying that, but for the sake of this discussion, you’re White.  You know why?  You can blend in and no one would ever know you were Jewish.  My skin color announces my Blackness as soon as I enter a room.  In fact, there have been times when I’ve been promised rental properties over the phone or set up business arrangements via email and White people assumed by my “articulate” speaking voice and excellent grasp of the King’s English that I was White.  But the minute they laid eyes on me, I lost said rental property with the bold pronouncement: “Oh, I thought you was White.  You sounded White on the phone.  You need to know we don’t rent to niggers in this town.”

MEG:     She’s right Joe.  Have you ever been chased by White people when you jog or ride your bike?  Have you ever been denied a place to live?

ME:        We’re getting off topic here.  One of you three White people tell me what it means to be White so I can go get me some of that.  I’m tired of the struggle.

Cartoon used by permission: C Clamp Racism by Bill Day, Tallahassee, FL

MEG:  Well, being a WASP is what being White means to me.  I’m about as White Anglo-Saxon Protestant as they come.  There is not a shred of color anywhere in my background.  I’m ashamed to say that the racism in my family was blatant.  I’ve tried my entire adult life to overcome it.  I also think everyone is just a little bit racist though.

ME:        True, but for the sake of this discussion, it’s about racism against Black people.

WW:      I’m a direct descendant of Governor Bradford of the Mayflower.  Got the papers from the Daughters of the American Revolution to prove it.  I was always told I could be anything I wanted to be because I came from that stock—even President of the United States.  I never thought of it as White privilege, it was just what I could aspire to if I wanted it.

ME:        Yeah, don’t I know it.  His mother has been dead for ages and she is still rolling over in her grave because WW married me instead of a White girl.  Talk about Black skin being my sin.

MEG:     That’s it.  I guess being White means being part of the status quo and never having to think about “fitting in.”

JOE:       I’m Jewish…I think about not fitting in all the time.

MEG:     But if you didn’t tell anyone you were Jewish…it’s not the same burden.

WW:      Maybe that’s it: Being White means you get to assume, presume, and expect certain rights and privileges.  You think your life is supposed to be whatever you want it to be because you are a White male, especially.  When that doesn’t happen, it often comes as a total shock.  For instance, when I was out of work for four years, the worst part of it all was the despair of my dreams deferred.  This was not supposed to happen to me.  I kept telling God and Eleanor that this sure is a waste of a perfectly good White boy!

ME:        And what did I tell you?

WW:      “Get over it.  Now you know how the Black man feels.”

MEG:     I’m not so sure it is relevant what it means to be White to White people if we want to solve racism in America.  I think if we are human we need to listen to the stories of the pain and fear that Black people are experiencing and learn from it without getting defensive about being White.  It’s not really about us.

ME: Well, it kind of is…

Cartoon used by permission: 239646 The Flame by Bill Day Tallahassee FL

WW:      I think that’s the key: Listening and absorbing the stories.  Sometimes I think our entitlement and privilege keep us from hearing the stories about people who aren’t like us. People in general are terrible listeners. Those histories of the African-American journey since 1619 are there to teach us, if we just listen and work to bring about the needed changes.

ME:        I know what it means to me to be Black.  It means never feeling completely comfortable or totally accepted.  Being Black to me means always being on guard because some White person feels he or she is entitled to hoist a Confederate flag in my community—all the while claiming they are not racist—“It’s just my heritage.”  It’s always making sure I’m not perceived as the “angry Black woman” to White people as I respond to that gun-toting White Supremacist that the goddamn Confederate flag is my heritage too—a heritage of bondage, enslavement, and terror and it needs to burn in Hell, not be flung in my face.  I can never, ever relax.  My Black skin might scare them if I’m too demonstrative—too passionate about a subject. Too anything! Remember Honey in our early Jesus freak days how some White Christian chick told me that my Afro offended her, and I needed to get rid of it because she thought I looked like a Black radical and that freaked her out?  Good grief.  This chick was supposed to be my sister-in-Christ for Christ’s sake. Ride or die for Jesus and all! 

WW:      I loved that Afro on you.  Talk about sexy!

ME.        Focus Babe.  I think the thing that chilled me to the bone this week is that it doesn’t seem to matter how much education a Black person has, how much money, how much status, how much talent, how innocuous our activities—our skin color can get the police called on us by any entitled White person—just because they can.  We are rarely given the benefit of the doubt.  Remember how Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., Harvard’s most prominent scholar of African-American history, got arrested by a Boston policeman for entering his own house?  You know, he’s the guy who helps celebrities find their roots, right?  President Obama held a beer summit with Biden, Gates, and the cop to smooth things over.  Conservative talk radio and Fox News trashed Obama about it for years.  Well, we know now that Gates and that policeman became friends.  In fact, the policeman gave Professor Gates a sample of his DNA, and the two of them turned out to be distant cousins and share a common Irish ancestor.  (So take that and shove it up your ass, Fox News.)

WW:      Maybe that’s the answer to the beginning of healing for our country from racism.  Maybe if we as White people recognize our privileges and entitlements and stop clinging to them, then we could seek out what connects us as human beings with all people of color.

ME:        And WORK, WORK, WORK together to change policies, and laws, and institutions…

CONVERSATION ON RACISM TO BE CONTINUED…

*Ashkenazi Jew: originally from Eastern Europe, Germany, Russia

**Sephardic Jew: originally from Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia

Cartoon used by permission: 239837 History Quiz by David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

Lest you think I’m being hyperbolic comparing Amy Cooper’s false accusation to the policemen’s heartless murder of George Floyd, I find that the demonic spirit of both comes from the same well-spring—racism.  Our history is replete with these nightmares that haunt African-Americans on a daily basis.  Here are just a few:

1891 Joe Coe’s lynching—Lizzie Yates, a 5-year-old, said she was raped by a Black man.  Coe was a railroad porter, husband and father of two.  Witnesses vouched for his upstanding character and whereabouts on the day in question. Many years later Lizzie Yates confessed she had lied.

1921 Tulsa Race Massacre—Sarah Page accused a Black teen of assaulting her, which later on proved not to be true.  Dozens of Black people were killed, hundreds were injured and thousands were left homeless or displaced.  Greenwood (affectionately known as the Black Wall Street) was home to scores of lawyers, teachers, preachers, bankers, and business owners. The entire town of Black residents was burned to the ground by Whites (nationally renowned Black surgeon A.C. Jackson—the best in the nation—was gunned down while standing on his front porch trying to cooperate with the attackers).  What wasn’t burned was confiscated.  It has been recorded that for years afterwards the once wealthy Black women of Greenwood saw their jewelry worn with prideful abandonment by White women who passed them on the streets of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

1923 Rosewood massacre—Fannie Taylor accused an unidentified Black man of assaulting her (accusation proved to be a lie—she was having an affair with a White lover who beat her). Many of the Black people in the mostly Black township were massacred by White Supremacists and Rosewood was obliterated.

1931 Scottsboro boys’ trial for rape—Victoria Price and Ruby Bates (suspected of prostitution, they tried to escape potential morality charges by accusing nine black teenagers [age 13 – 19] of raping them on a train). The women were examined by a doctor but no evidence of said rapes were found.

1955 Murder of Emmett Till—Carol Bryant accused 14-year-old Emmett of whistling at her and flirting (a few years ago—6 decades later—Bryant admitted to falsely accusing Emmett and said: “nothing that boy did could ever justify what happened to him”).  Emmett was beaten, mutilated, shot in the head, and thrown in the Tallahatchie River after being bound to a 70-pound cotton gin fan. He was discovered three days later.  His face was so disfigured his own mother couldn’t recognize him.  The killers were acquitted, although they subsequently boasted to Look Magazine (for thousands of dollars) that they were responsible and proud of it.  After his death, Emmett Till became an icon of the civil rights movement.

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE:  If you are wondering why you should read about these horrors (after all, you didn’t commit them—no one you knew was involved in these crimes—you weren’t even alive for the majority of them)—think again.  I challenge you to listen, learn, and absorb these stories and many, many more. Unfortunately, there are too many to list here. But that is what the Google machine is for.  Search out these stories, not only to appear “woke,” but to gain an understanding of why traveling through life with Black skin can truly be misinterpreted as the mark of Cain by many a White person who will swear on their mother’s grave that they are not racist.

Cartoon used by permission: 239607 The Death of George Floyd by Jeff Koterba Omaha World Herald NE

Eleanor Tomczyk is an author and a humorist who is an award-winning voice-over performer.  In 2011, she created the blog, “How the Hell Did I End Up Here” which features mostly satirical posts that have thousands of readers around the world—although she was recently banned in Pakistan (for real!).  Tomczyk’s three books were featured in a recent book festival:  “Monsters’ Throwdown,” “Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles—Podcasts to my Miseducated Self.”  Currently in her 70s and living life like it is freakin’ golden, she is a consummate storyteller and much sought-after motivational speaker.  If you don’t believe me, just ask her!

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

I recently had a dream that I received a double-sided invitation to a birthday party of great significance for a very important entity who was dying (apparently, all Americans were invited).  The invitation was sent by “America’s Moral Fiber” and addressed to me as “One of America’s Citizens since Birth.”  The front side of the invitation announced that the lady would turn 243 years old on July 4th this year.  The invite stated that when she was born, she had been birthed in a magnificent family of fine ideas, but unfortunately, had failed to live up to those ideas, which were causing her very life to be in danger.  The invitation went on to instruct that the birthday party would take place anywhere, anytime on the day of July 4th, and that the menu would consist of picnic food and fireworks.  Attire: comfortable summer wear.

CARTOON USED BY PERMISSION: 212595_600 Bob Englehart, Middletown, CT

 When I flipped the invite over, I noticed the following statement:

PLEASE BRING PRESENTS!  Even though the Lady has everything under the sun (mountains, valleys, rivers, great plains, magnificent cities, bucolic countrysides, tropical islands, a beautiful bouquet of people from every color and gender spectrum, just to name a few), she has lost her way and is in need of specific presents from her guests if she is to recover from the diseases that are consuming her.

Below is the list of presents from which to choose and their definitions in case there is any confusion:

GIFT OF COMPASSION

In my view, the best of humanity is in our exercise of empathy and compassion. It’s when we challenge ourselves to walk in the shoes of someone whose pain or plight might seem so different than yours that it’s almost incomprehensible.—Sarah McBride

CARTOON USED BY PERMISSION: 226955_600 Christopher Weyant, The Boston Globe, MA

GIFT OF BROTHERLY LOVE

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.—Martin Luther King, Jr.

CARTOON USED BY PERMISSION: 211084_600 David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

GIFT OF MERCY

Teach me to feel another’s woe, to hide the fault I see, that mercy I to others show, that mercy show to me.—Alexander Pope

CARTOON USED BY PERMISSION: 225381_600 David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

GIFT OF EMPATHY

It’s hunger. It’s homelessness, often. It’s underfunded, under-resourced schools. It’s abuse beyond the chilling. It’s having overwhelmed parents and caregivers. Those are the things that young people are struggling with beyond our view.—Susan L. Taylor

CARTOON USED BY PERMISSION: 186592_600 Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune UT

GIFT OF GODLY CHARACTER

I don’t believe a champion is the biggest, baddest, meanest dude in the world. I think the champion is like a warrior; it’s like the head knight or lead samurai: humble men of integrity, respect, and honor that treat people kindly.—Jon Jones

CARTOON USED BY PERMISSION: 226873_600 David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

GIFT OF TRUTH

The trouble with lying and deceiving is that their efficiency depends entirely upon a clear notion of the truth that the liar and deceiver wishes to hide.Hannah Arendt

CARTOON USED BY PERMISSION: 225742_600 Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch, OH

GIFT OF INTELLIGENCE

We should all feel confident in our intelligence. By the way, intelligence to me isn’t just being book-smart or having a college degree; it’s trusting your gut instincts, being intuitive, thinking outside the box, and sometimes just realizing that things need to change and being smart enough to change it.—Tabatha Coffey

CARTOON USED BY PERMISSION: 224424_600 Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN

***

When I awoke from my dream, I was reminded of the high ideals that had once graced the hearts of America’s founding fathers that seduced all the immigrants who had ever come to America in search of a better life.  That wondrous dream and promise that even quickened the hearts of the Africans (my ancestors) who had been stolen from their own countries to build this nation by the sweat of their brows and the brokenness of their blood-whipped backs, who eventually came to believe in the dream—that their children, too, could live in the majestic promise that all men are created equal. I decided that I would attend our nation’s birthday party this July 4th and that I’d bring the “Gift of Hope” wrapped in the birthday paper of the preamble of the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness….”

CARTOON USED BY PERMISSION: 197362_600 Dave Granlund, Minnesota

***

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

All quotes are courtesy of www.brainyquote.com

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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Everybody Deserves to Go Home

Do you know what I discovered this week?  In the words of a tweet by Charles Blow, the NYTimes columnist—“Everybody deserves to go home.” 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or have a heart of stone, you—dear reader—have discovered the same thing as I did.  The cold-blooded murders of two Black men (32-year old Philando Castile and 37-year old Alton Sterling) by White cops who swore to protect and serve our citizens, and the slaughter of the Dallas police officers by a crazed hater of White cops because he was angry about Castile and Sterling’s deaths have made me ill, horrified, sad, broken-hearted, numb, speechless, and frightened for our country’s soul, and the future of my grandson.

van-jones

All I could help thinking after seeing Charles Blow’s tweet was none of the people who died in these horrific events deserved to die as they did—they all deserved to go home at the end of the day. Mourning these deaths are not mutually exclusive—any decent human being can do both. They all were somebody’s father, brother, son, husband, fiancé, nephew, or friend.  All of their lives mattered.  And just like Dylann Roof (White man who slaughtered nine Black church attendees in Charleston) does not represent all White people, Micah Xavier Johnson (the Black terrorist who shot and killed 5 Dallas policemen) does not represent the Black Lives Matter group or all African Americans; and just like those two cops in Louisiana and Minnesota who murdered Sterling and Castile do not represent all cops, the fact that 123 African-Americans have been killed by policemen in 2016—not to forget Trayvon Martin walking home with Skittles and an ice tea or 12-year old Tamir Rice playing with a toy gun—does mean we need to take a good hard look at the facts that plague us as a society and fix them. We have it in our power to do so if we just pluck our heads out of the sand.

Lives Matter Nate Beeler The Columbus Dispatch

Cartoon used by permission: Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch/Cagle Cartoons

Everyone is wringing their hands in America today, most are claiming that we’re near the brink of disaster as a nation, and many are looking for a “hero” to save us.  Well, “we don’t need another hero.” We are America’s heroes!  We—you and I—can save us.  (To those who blame President Obama for failing to “unite us”—get over yourselves—he can’t lead us where we don’t want to go.)

The issues are multi-faceted but we can conquer them:  racism, classism, income inequality, drugs, mental illness, GUNS, GUNS, GUNS, poverty, fear, injustice, hopelessness, and despair.  Shun the haters, turn a deaf ear to the liars and the racists, and fight until the end of your days to change the gun laws and the 2nd Amendment (yes, gun worshippers, you are going to have to give up some of your rights so that we all can have the right to go home at the end of the day).  And we mustn’t forget to fight a war on poverty.  If you have two pieces of bread—share one piece with someone in need, reach out and exude the love of God to all those who cross our paths.  We are not Americans first, Black, White, or Latino second, male or female third; we are human beings first and foremost—all created in the image of God—all who deserve to have enough to eat, a roof over our heads, an education for our children, as well as being able to go home at night.

So when you read that a certain ex-Congressman (Joe Walsh) says: “3 Dallas cops killed, 7 wounded. This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you,”—decry him with all your might by standing up as “real Americans” and denouncing his racist shit so boldly and loudly that he has no other recourse but to crawl back into the rat hole from whence he’s come.  When you hear or read that Sarah Palin has gone on a racially-charged rant after all we went through as a country last week and stipulates that the “Black Lives Matter movement is a farce,” take to your Facebook, Tweeter, Instagram, and blog accounts to denounce her and her stupidity, and then make sure no one like her ever gets near a governing office again by showing up to vote in every single election from here on out.   Why?  It is the only way we will make sure that all of us will go home at the end of the day.

Hate Bill Day Cagle Cartoons

Cartoon used by permission: Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons

In the meantime—until we get our shit together as a country—I’ve got to go and teach my grandson how to survive as a young Black man in America because what the Black Lives Matter movement is protesting is very, very real.  Check out this 10 Rules video from Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio—rules I have lived by all my life as a Black woman in America who has been stopped and harassed by White policemen more than I can remember in neighborhoods where they thought I didn’t belong.  Most of them were neighborhoods I lived in, and one of those encounters happened just two years ago at the ripe old age of 66.  (P.S.  Might I add that my husband of 37 years is White, most of my friends are White, and when they get pulled over for a “busted tail light,” it has always been a curtesy notification from the policeman accompanied by a smile and “have a good day!” None of them has ever ended up dead like Philando Castile.  I know this because I’ve been in their cars when it has happened, and I am always stunned at the different realities between the Black and the White world in America.)

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES

“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death.”Anne Frank

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”Martin Luther King, Jr.

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”Martin Luther King, Jr.

All inspirational quotes from www.brainyquotes.com

Want to know more about the author?  Check out www.eleanortomczyk.com

Lives Matter Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Cartoon used by permission:  Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune/Cagle Cartoons

 

REFERENCES

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/americas-killing-fields/2016/07/08/7db1ed38-454b-11e6-8856-f26de2537a9d_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-f%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

 
7 Comments

Posted by on July 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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CAN YOU IMAGINE 2016?

Do you know what I discovered today?  It is the last day of 2015, and boy-oh-boy am I glad 2015 is coming to an end, even though it means I’m closer to death’s door now that I am in the last quarter of my life.  2015 has been such a mess that I can’t help but fear it will hijack 2016 and really create even more havoc than we’ve seen heretofore.

Radicalized 2015 Rick McKee The Augusta Chronicle

Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle/Cagle Cartoons

2016 is going to be an “anything can happen” New Year—I can feel it.  Since I like to be in control at all times, I wish I could get some answers from somebody who knows what’s going on to see if 2016 is going to give me a heart attack or not—thus making 2016 the year I kick the bucket from sheer terror or outright heartbreak.  But God is not answering.  I don’t know why—I certainly nag him enough about everything from here to Zanzibar. My prayers have fallen into one word panic attacks:  God, “Help . . . “See” . . . “Stop” . . . “Destroy” . . . “Rescue” . . . “DO” . . . “SOMETHING!”

Since God isn’t speaking to anyone I trust, I’ve been thinking about visiting a fortune teller to get some answers, so I ran it past my husband (WW—“White and Wonderful”) because he’s the smartest human I know, and I can trust his input to me when I am about to do something crazy.

I came upon WW reading a copy of Time Magazine (the one with Chancellor Angela Merkel on the cover), and as we made eye contact, he said:

WW:      “Hey, Cutie.  I was just catching up on my reading.  I bet you’re glad Time didn’t put Donald Trump on the cover as 2015’s most influential person.  I don’t think your heart could have survived that.”

ME:        “That is exactly what I came here to talk over with you.  2015 almost made me lose my mind.  I want to go see a fortune teller to see what 2016 has in store so that I can handle it better.  Do you think it’s a good idea?”

fortune-teller

Used by permission: Riber Hansson, Sweden/Cagle Cartoons

WW:      “Hum . . . about as good an idea as you riding the zip line in Costa Rica a few years ago and getting stuck 200 feet above the ground over a rain forest.”

ME:        “Hey!  You did the zip line too!”

WW:      “Yeah, but I didn’t get stuck, twirl around like a leaf in a hurricane, start to scream bloody murder, and have to be rescued.”

ME:        “Well, you would have gotten stuck if you had ta-tas the size of Mount Rushmore like I do.  They never test drove that apparatus with anyone who had boobs bigger than 34As.  Anyhow, what do you think of me going to a fortune teller to get a reading on 2016.  I’d do my research and seek out the most credible fortune teller.”

WW:      “I’m pretty certain that credibility and fortune teller used in the same sentence is an oxymoron.  Besides you already know the answer:  man will continue to act the fool on Earth until it is in his best interest not to do so.  But since I’m in a cavalier mood, I’ll humor you.”

ME:  “Fabulous!  What’s your name?  You have to have a name in order for this to seem real.”

WW:  “How about “The Amazing, Outstanding, Great White Wonder”—TAOGWW for short?  Don’t give me that look; if you want me to play this game, I get to pick my name—take it or leave it.”

ME:  “How much do you charge?”

WW:  “One roll in the hay!”

ME:  “You are a riot, old man!  It’s a deal!

“Okay, TAOGWW, will Black Lives ever matter with White policemen in America?  Did you hear that the White dude who slaughtered nine Black worshippers in a Bible study in Charleston in 2015 was asked if he was hungry when they arrested him, and the policemen went to Burger King to get him dinner?  Now contrast that with twelve-year-old Tamar Rice in Cleveland—gunned down by police within twenty seconds upon their arrival on the scene for playing with a toy gun in the playground.  Can you imagine where we’d be today if the Po-Po had asked Tamar Rice if he was hungry?  Tamar would be alive, and I wouldn’t be scared shitless for the life of my grandson.  I’m one phone call away from pleading with his mother to keep our grandson locked in the house until he’s twenty-one, and then sending him to live in the Caribbean as a young man.  So I ask again, oh great one:  will Black lives ever matter in America other than as chattel of old or a prison workforce in 2016—our modern day slavery?

Police shootings I Milt Priggee www miltpriggee com

Used by permission: Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com

Grandson advice Bill Day Cagle Cartoons

Used by permission: Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons

TAOGWW:  “Probably not.”

ME:  “What do you mean, probably not?”

TAOGWW:  “Time will tell.”

ME:  “This is pathetic.  (At this rate, it doesn’t look like you’re going to be knocking boots with me anytime soon, if you don’t start answering my questions, Buddy.)  Let’s try another one.  Bill Cosby just got charged with sexual assault after fifty women accused him throughout 2015 about his nasty-ass behavior against them.  Will he finally get convicted and go to jail in 2016?

TAOGWW:  “Probably not.”

ME:  “What do you mean, probably not?”

TAOGWW:  “Time will tell.”

ME:  “What kind of fortune teller are you?  You aren’t telling me what I want to hear—you aren’t telling me anything!”

TAOGWW:  “I’m telling you what you’ll be wasting your money on if you actually go to a fortune teller.  I’m telling you that if O.J. got away with killing his wife and her friend, I don’t hold out much hope that Cosby will be convicted.  He’s rich and he’s famous—need I say more?”

bill-cosby

Used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star/Cagle Cartoons

ME:  “Stop it!  You’re not taking this seriously.  One more question, and you better get it right or my “honey-pot” goes on lock down.  Will Donald Trump be our next president in 2016?  You know this is one of my biggest fears.  If this happens, we’re going to have to move to Canada and take our grandson with us.”

TAOGWW:  “Probably not . . . only time will tell—specifically the morning of November 5th.”

ME:  “AUUUUUUGH!”

Trump as President John Darkow Columbia Daily Tribune Missouri

Used by permission:  John Darkow, Columbia Daily-Tribune, Missouri/Cagle Cartoons

TAOGWW:  “You’re getting the answers you’re getting because the answers lie within us as citizens and human beings—not in a crystal ball.  I tell you what, instead of spending your hard-earned money on fortune tellers who don’t know squat, how about donating some of your time and energy getting people to the polls in November to vote (especially the young and the poor), keep using your voice to unclog the ears of our cell phone, reality show addicted populace to care about more than the immediate tweet, message, or selfie, and keep sounding the alarm along with all good people across social media that things are rotten in some of our police departments and across much of our country.   In time things will change.  How’s that for fortune telling?

“So . . . do I get my payment in installments or one lump sum?”

2016 Wake up and Pay Attention Osama Hajjaj Jordan

Cartoon used by permission:  Osama Hajjaj, Jordan/Cagle Cartoons

ELEANOR’S “SELAH” (AHA) MOMENTS ABOUT 2016

I am discovering that if we don’t wake up as Americans and make some serious resolutions about how we think, what we think, and who we let influence our thinking, 2016 is going to make 2015 look like 1933 all over again—when Hitler became chancellor of Germany and a twelve-year reign of terror began.  May 2016 be the year my fellow Americans wake up and push back the tides of darkness:  politically, racially, spiritually, and educationally.  Come on, my brothers and sisters:  we can do this!  And if we do, we won’t need a fortune teller to tell us the outcome—it will be obvious, and our nation will truly be great again!

New Year's Resolution I John Darko, Columbia Daily Tribune Missouri

Cartoon used by permission: John Darko, Columbia Daily-Tribune, Missouri/Cagle Cartoons

***

MEDITATIVE QUOTES ABOUT THE NEW YEAR

 “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every New Year find you a better man.”—Benjamin Franklin

“Let our New Year’s resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word.”—Goran Persson

“Ring out the false, ring in the true.”—Alfred Lord Tennyson

“My New Year’s Resolution List usually starts with the desire to lose between ten and three thousand pounds.”—Nia Vardalos

***

ALL QUOTES FROM www.brainyquotes.com

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out www.eleanortomczyk.com

WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS (Monsters’ Throwdown and Fleeing Oz)?  ON SALE NOW AT AMAZON!

REFERENCES

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/12/30/the-brave-woman-and-unlikely-heroes-who-brought-down-bill-cosby.html

http://www.snopes.com/2015/06/22/dylann-roof-burger-king/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-donald-trump-is-destroying-the-republican-party/2015/12/28/747668f6-ad9e-11e5-9ab0-884d1cc4b33e_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-b%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-conservative-party-jeopardized-by-trump/2015/12/23/3335339c-a8e2-11e5-8058-480b572b4aae_story.html

http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/30/us/affluenza-teen-ethan-couch-detained-in-mexico/index.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nora-dunn/tamir-rice-and-the-nation_b_8891018.html

http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/28/us/tamir-rice-shooting/

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on December 31, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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