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Ramblings from a Southern liberal, Boomer, single parent, grandmother, reunited birthmother, cancer survivor, pop-culture observer, retired teacher

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The Waking

I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I feel my fate in what I cannot fear.
I learn by going where I cannot go.

We think by feeling. What is there to know?
I hear my being dance from ear to ear.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Of those so close beside me, which are you?
God bless the Ground! I shall walk softly there,
And learn by going where I have to go.

Light takes the Tree, but who can tell us how?
The lowly worm climbs up a winding stair;
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.

Great Nature has another thing to do
To you and me; so take the lively air,
And, lovely, learn by going where to go.

This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
What falls away is always. And is near.
I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow.
I learn by going where I have to go.

--Theodore Roethke


Joy's Updates - Straight from the Horse's Mouth.
Thursday, April 24, 2008  
Open Letter to Elisabeth Hasselbeck

Elisabeth Hasselbeck is the ditzy blonde co-host of The View whose opinions come straight from Fox "News" and whose only claim to fame is having been on Survivor (which I don't watch) and marrying a football player. If any of you watch Survivor, tell us something about her when she was on there. Did she win or what? She drives me crazy almost every time she opens her mouth and won't listen to anyone. I sent this letter to The View and decided to post it here because the others were trying to explain for the countless time about what it means to have a woman and a black candidate. She persists on saying that no one should vote for them just because they are historic candidates. Whoopi explained that they are both qualified but that it might take a while before gender and race are not factors. Elisabeth said she wanted someone who could do a good job. They pointed out that all the white male presidents haven't all done well and have made mistakes. She just doesn't ever get it.

Go on, Elisabeth, just say it. You are not for Hillary and Obama because they are Democrats. We all understand that.

I'm a white woman over 60 who grew up in the segregated South, gave up a baby for adoption, married, divorced, and was a single-parent teacher for most of the 37 years I taught. I get what Whoopi, Joy, and Sherri are saying. Until you’ve given away your baby because keeping her would have made other middle-class white people uncomfortable, been hanged or arrested for being black, ridden a bus past white schools on the way to a separate but unequal black school with cast-off text books, drunk from separate water fountains, had separate public restrooms, not been allowed to take certain courses in school, been told “you don’t want to be a lawyer; marry one,” and in general been treated like a second-class citizen, maybe you can’t understand. It shouldn’t take all that, though.

We didn’t have choices. I wouldn’t marry the father of my daughter because the pregnancy was the result of date rape, which we didn’t even have a name for back then. It was still our fault and the worst thing we could do. I felt guilty about it and lied about it until my daughter found me seven years ago and outted me. I envied the black community because they got to keep their babies and were supported by family who didn’t blame the child but helped each other. Being reunited with my daughter was wonderful, but we lost so much. And for what? People tell me I should be happy because she found me and is in my life now, and I am. But I compare it to black people who were finally “allowed” to sit anywhere on the bus they wanted and then people wondered why they weren’t grateful. I am angry at society for the way things were then. I know what it was like to be powerless and in a cocoon.

Molly Ivins said her liberal bent sprang from the same root that nurtures most Southern liberals: race. "Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything," she wrote. Amen!

If I were black or gay, I’d be angry all the time. I don’t know how they handle it. Traditionally, churches were the only safe place black people could be together and express their frustration as well as worship and hope for a better life. At first that hope was in Heaven, but later they had a glimmer that it could happen here on earth. Spirituals contained code for the Underground Railroad as a means of escape. That’s why civil rights leaders sprang from those churches. The Reverend Wright you keep harping about came from that tradition. Sometimes we need to vent and learn from others who understand, which is why we have support groups. What he said provided teachable moments for parents to give a history lesson and to put things in perspective. Good parents have discussions with their children about values and help their children become independent, productive members of society. As Senator Obama said, you can take moments from what we say, piece them together, and make it sound worse than it is. Obviously, he said so much more that was positive, inspiring, and hopeful. Give that a rest. It’s been covered.

You want to vote for a Republican – period. Leave it at that and quit trying to justify anything. It is embarrassing to listen to you do it and frustrating to watch you block out reasonable points the others explain patiently to you. I don't know why you don’t understand and have no empathy, but I know people of all ages who don't either. You don’t even listen but wait to interrupt with the same inane remarks over and over. I doubt this will get through to you either. At least you can’t interrupt me.

By the way, I voted out of my demographic for Barack Obama.
Bill Moyers has an interview with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright on his Journal tomorrow night on PBS. Videos and texts of his shows are on his website.

2:32:00 PM

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