Breaking

To Whom It May Concern:

 

I am an ordinary person. My ego is average (or at least I like to think so). My intelligence is average as well. I am terribly creative, and I own that. Even though I operate this sporadic blog, I do not over-seek fame or recognition, which I also have to own, as that has often led to the stagnation of my career and ambitions. I share all of this so that it is understood where I’m coming from. I’m just a girl.

 

My country is breaking. It is being destroyed from without and from within, by ugly ignorance and by ugly individuals. All the perpetrators of injury to America are wrong, but our elected officials who choose to damage our country are the worst. There is no excuse for their continued behavior and they should absolutely be held accountable and in certain cases, prosecuted.

 

In 1968, president-elect Nixon committed treason, but his actions were hidden and he was never charged for that crime. (Look it up – dag.) Now, 50 years later, we find ourselves with another treasonous president at the helm. Too many of our elected officials have jettisoned morals, values and reason in exchange for god knows what from this president. Looking at the downward spiral of my country, it would seem we are incapable of learning from our past. I fear we are doomed to make the same if not worse mistakes. I am more than sad and I am also terrified.

 

I am inspired by the Womens March and its efforts. I am inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. I believe in peaceful protest and efforts toward decency. In short, I believe in decency. I actually believe there are more decent people in America than not. But if they’re anything like me, they don’t know what to do right now. They don’t have a clue how to help move the United States away from hate and ignorance, and toward love and kindness. Those words are incredibly simple, I know. But they’re good words. They matter. Or at least they should.

 

On inauguration day in January of 2017, I began wearing a black armband. I did this because I was in mourning for my country. With only a handful of exceptions, I wore it all year. During the last few weeks of 2017, I put the armband aside. I had begun to feel that the act of wearing it was casting a shadow over me. That my mourning was adding to the depression I had felt since the previous presidential election. Depression is hard to carry. It’s dark and it’s unhealthy. If taking off my armband might ease my depression, I was willing to take it off.

 

Now it’s February 2018. The depression hasn’t lifted and I’m quite certain the source is the horribly ugly person occupying the White House, along with the shameful people who choose to do his bidding. The willful ignorance expressed by the most vocal among us is incomprehensible. What’s more, it is un-American to my thinking. So-called party loyalty that outweighs all else deserves no respect. Having lost respect for many people has also added to my depression. Some of those individuals show no signs of willingness to reclaim their decency. That’s heartbreaking.

 

All of this leads me here, to writing you. I don’t know your name. I have likely never met you. But I am asking you to dig deep and lead us. Us – the good, decent people of America. We need guidance, we need a plan. We need someone to show us how to peacefully move our country out of ignorance. We need someone to provide us with practical ideas for action. A yearly march is wonderful. Kneeling during anthems that don’t represent all of us is brave and patriotic. I’m all for these things. But what about every day? How can I show my disdain for this administration while supporting my country’s potential for decency? How do I function in my day-to-day life while making it clear that my moral compass is functioning fully?

 

The armband counts, but I know exactly two people with those, and one of them is me. My mind goes back to the suffragists and their wearing white. I know I could make this choice, but I’d also have to spend money to update my wardrobe. That isn’t exactly practical. I’m asking you to come up with something – anything – that I and others can do to show who we are, to each other and to the world.

 

I know I’m not making a lot of sense here. I don’t know how to do this. I’ve never been an adult during a leadership crisis of this magnitude. I’ve never witnessed such heinous people tearing apart my country. I am at a loss. I can do my part, but I’m not the gal to lead us through and out of this, before it’s too late. I’m hoping, praying, for the right person (or persons) to step forward and guide us. Through love. Through peace. Through integrity.

 

For now, the black armband is coming back. It is still a representation of mourning. But now, for me, it is more. It is a show of my defiance of the chosen hatred of the few. It is a sign of love and respect for the good America can be, even if we’re wandering in the dark right now. I’m going to wear it, even if some don’t like it.

 

So – dear person – I’m waiting for you. I’m hoping for you. I need you. America needs you. The world needs you.

 

Thank you.

 

Mikki

Just a Girl

Citizenship

 

 

Today someone I know will be taking an oath of citizenship and, presumably, starting a new chapter. (Or maybe continuing the current chapter of his life. His call.)

 

Citizenship means a lot of things to a lot of different people. And that’s generally okay. Depending on where one lives, citizenship may mean trying to get the hell out for mere survival. It may mean government healthcare, or the right to vote. It may mean religious freedom. It may not. The way one views one’s home country is probably a lot like the way certain folks view their home states in the US: with pride. As I’m not a gal who thinks that way, it always surprises me when I cross paths with someone possessing a strong sense of state pride. It reminds me of being a kid in Georgia. I remember a few other kids talking about how Georgia was the best! And how other states were second-rate. Mind you, these memories are from my 10-year-old world, but I’m guessing kids haven’t changed much on that front. And like I said, when I encounter an adult with that same state devotion, it kind of makes me chuckle.

 

There’s no reason to think a person’s sense of country pride would be any different. And when it comes to immigrants choosing to become citizens of a new-to-them country, the pride is often greater than that of those born there. New citizens learn things about their adopted country, things most of us forgot soon after taking grade-school exams on the subject. New citizens take a test – a test, people – in order to live freely in their new country. It’s one thing to be born some place. It is another thing entirely to elect, as an adult, to become a citizen in a land foreign to one’s birth. And pride? New citizens have more patriotism and pride than most. It’s actually kind of beautiful. And inspiring. If you’ve never met a naturalized citizen of your country, you’re missing out. They’re the ones who love their new country enough to cry during its anthem. They’re the ones who talk about the grace and bounty of where they’ve chosen to live. Their sense of pride and patriotism kicks the ass of folks like me. Like I said – it’s kind of beautiful.

 

But back to today’s oath of citizenship. I wish this person the best. I truly do. I can’t know what his new citizenship will mean to him, but I do hope it brings him joy and happiness along with any other benefits to which he is entitled. And if he happens to feel a sense of pride during the playing of the anthem, good for him. Great Britain’s “God Save the Queen” really is lovely. May England treat him well.

Patriotism in Da Hood

 

 

Yesterday I found myself tooling about Da Hood. I mean Da Hood, y’all. As in, please don’t ever make me go there except in daylight.

 

For most of my hood drive, I was behind a thug-mobile covered in stickers proclaiming love for various types of guns. As in, “I Love My Gat.” And “I Love My Nine.” The kid driving couldn’t have been more than about 20 and he should’ve scared the pee out of me.

 

But he didn’t. I’m not sure why, but I kept seeing his eyes in his rear-view and I couldn’t help thinking he was posing. Now I wouldn’t have challenged that kid – on any subject – for nothing. But I wasn’t afraid. Of him. His bumper stickers freaked me out, but not him.

 

As I made my way through Da Hood, I successfully avoided some sort of major ruckus involving multiple police officers. It must’ve been something, as others were standing on the tops of their cars and taking pictures with their phones. I didn’t see any of it, as I was just trying to circumvent the entire scene. I succeeded.

 

At some point, I spotted the flag in the above photo. It was gi-normous, I tell you. Upon first seeing it, I couldn’t help thinking how if it fell on me, I’d be a goner. But it didn’t fall. It just waved in the wind and billowed on the breeze. It’s one of the biggest flags I’ve seen around L.A. Maybe they’re just more patriotic in Da Hood. Go figure.

 

And if they’re not more patriotic, well, there’s at least one kid there who loves his guns more than Ted Nugent ever will. Nothing says “America” like…