Parenting From Trauma

Raising my kids, I can’t help but think about all those in my past that I’m disappointing by treating my children as growing independent human beings. We communicate, work through our thoughts and feelings, we practice empathy, and we have both our good and bad days.

By removing the “I win, you lose” element practiced by my parents’ generation, acknowledging my failures and faults, and apologizing (I still suck at this) when I screw up, I find my children are learning how to both communicate and be empathetic towards others. They are growing up saying “asshole,” yes, but they are not growing up to be assholes.

And that, as far as I’m concerned, is holy.

LGBTQIA+ PRIDE FLAGS WANTED! Local Church Targeted for Theft Because of Flying PRIDE Flags on Their Property.

Episcopal Church of the Saviour (ECOS) is an LGBTQIA+ affirming church in Hanford, California–the only LGBTQIA+ affirming church within a 20-mile radius. For months ECOS has been flying PRIDE flags on their property to encourage, welcome, and show love to the marginalized community located in the conservative city of Hanford. Not only has ECOS provided a safe and inclusive space for all people–including BIPOC and LGBTQIA+–but they are also hosting the only PRIDE event in Hanford! The event promises to be an open and inclusive celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community.

For as long as they’ve flown the flags–specifically the inclusive LGBTQIA+ flagthey have been the target of theft. Local bigots have stolen PRIDE flag after PRIDE flag no matter where, or how secure, the flags have been placed. As of this weekend, they are down to their last flag.

As a sign of solidarity and to stand with queer affirming spaces located in hostile, conservative, bigoted little rural communities, I would like to challenge any who read this post to consider sending the church a PRIDE flag in order that they may continue to encourage and reach out to offer a safe and affirming space to all people.

If you can, and would like, to donate a PRIDE flag, please send them to:

Episcopal Church of the Saviour
c/o The Rev. Julie Kelly
519 N. Douty St.
Hanford, Ca 93230

It is 2022. It is time to let bigots and racists know they are no longer welcome to decide who is or is not worthy of being part of the public space!

DISMANTLE THE GOP

Oklahoma stands poised to ban all forms of abortion—including ‘morning after pills.’ This is yet another example of the militant extremist measures perpetuated by the dying Republican Party in an attempt to steal power and enforce their white evangelical nationalism on the people of the United States. Worse, it echoes with the historic rise of the fascist Nazi party in pre-WWII Germany under the charismatic Adolf Hitler.

It is time to dismantle the GOP at every level. True conservatives (not this far-right, authoritarian, fascism-loving “Dark MAGA” posing as conservatism) need to form a new party. Trump has killed the GOP by empowering and emboldening bigots and racists to rise up and impose a theocracy as defined by their morals, values, and personal interests. The theocracy they push is identical to white nationalism wherein western anglo values are not just prioritized, but asserted as superior.

EVERY CONSERVATIVES ACCUSATION has turned out to be a projected confession. EVERYTHING from voter fraud to sexual perversion to pedophilia to social & religious indoctrination to racism and now this—an enforcement of religious-motivated law, aka the thing they accused Muslims of trying to establish in the U.S.

VOTE OUT EVERY Republican at the local, state, and federal level. They must be dismantled for the sake of democracy. Whatever it takes. No matter the hoops, get out and vote. The stakes have never been higher—even the 2020 election pales in comparison to what’s at stake for the country if Republicans regain power in the House and Senate.

Why I Speak Racism with White People

Tiktok’s @jolly_good_ginger shared a video that resonated deeply with me. In fact, if he grew up in an abusive environment and was raised in a cult, I’d think we were the same people. I’m not as good looking as he, but there are some physical similarities. We are both veterans. We are both poetic. And, it seems, we both have a unique insight into race, racism, anti-racism, and the part we’ve played in this very American problem.

Like @jolly_good_ginger, I wasn’t raised around racists, I was raised by them. I was them. And by God’s grace I escaped them, and continue to escape them. It is why I speak about racism with white people. My privilege, my insight, my experience—but especially my whiteness—grants me an open door to discuss these dehumanizing issues with people who refuse to even listen to the “other.” Those who—as Toni Morrison once pointed out—would rather these awful, horrific, and detestable acts of evil against our humanity be kept “drawn behind the veil” to protect our sensibilities.

It is not just our fellow humans who look differently from us that we mistreat. No. Those that are different—whose religion, race, ethnicity, sexuality, identity, poverty (that is, their poorness), family make up, etc., etc., etc. are “wrong”—we treat with the utmost indignity.

Let me draw the veil completely open. That which I shame are the same things I practiced. I speak to white supremacy with intimate knowledge which no amount of propaganda can ever dissuade—which can no longer dissuade.

And before any accuse me of suffering from “white guilt” caused by “CRT,” as some who cannot even spell “CRT” have already accused me, let me offer this:

Repentance is the turning away from something—an act, behavior, habit, etc.—in agreement that the thing from which you repented is wrong. This boldness of bigotry and racism in the American 21st century is wrong—is evil—and if I say nothing, do nothing, then I am equally culpable in that evil. If I go on pretending not to notice it because it doesn’t “hurt me directly”—which it does—then my repentance is nothing and my growth as a human being is a sham.

Those who have experienced, and repented from, the side of the aggressor like @jolly_good_ginger and myself, have an obligation to speak up not only of the blatant racial and bigoted injustice that plagues America, but of the tactics and strategies used by whites to further sustain and uphold white supremacy.

Racism, and all the other prejudices borne out of white supremacy, is not solely the problem of its victims. White supremacy dehumanizes all of us—transforms us into animals and a means of profit for a system which benefits only a few. This problem is a problem for all of us.

The Noise

In a small town somewhere in America, parents–not particularly bright, nor well informed, nor given to things like compassion, empathy, or kindness–gather to concoct plans to bully a school district into ignoring a statewide mask mandate for k-12 schools.

They are a minority. A terribly loud, terribly obnoxious, and terribly dumb minority. Armed to the teeth with conspiracy theories, debunked information, and a zealous confidence that they alone are awake in a world full of deceived sleepers.

This group looks like any other disturbed rightwing-conservative mob drooling and slobbering and dragging its knuckles at school board meetings across the country. Carbon copy, peaked-in-high-school, can’t spell “CRT,” book-burning fascists trapped on a hamster wheel of fear and lashing out, fear and lashing out, fear and lashing out ad nauseum.

If their lunatic ravings harmed no one but themselves, I wouldn’t care. As it stands, their brand of stupid puts the whole community at risk.

These unmasked, unvaccinated, pandemic-denying, petri dishes of disease want their plague-carrying spawn to run wild and mask-free where they can infect and spread their illness to those just trying to attend school without catching a case of COVID.

They say masks are inflicting psychological trauma on our children, impeding their ability to learn the naturally evolved emotional responses ingrained in our species, and leaving them in deep emotional ruin. This, however, is only smoke they hope to blow up our collective ass.

I said, if we cared about the psychological wellbeing of our children, then we would have done more to address school shootings. They, of course, jumped to the defense of the gun. This is how we know it isn’t about the kids; this is about scratching some white nationalist-affirming political itch. As if, somehow, getting rid of masks means Jesus wins and Trump is king of America.

God save us from these idiots.

Pizza In The 1980s and 1990s

My entire personality comes from the fact that, at a very young age, a person of authority told me that the more books I read, the more free pizza I’d get.

Jhanteigh Kupihea

Those of us who grew up in the mid 1980s through the 1990s had a strange relationship with pizza. We loved our pizza. This relationship was encouraged–even fostered–by parents, teachers, coaches, school administrators, principals, community leaders, artists, actors, and just about everyone in our lives.

Pizza was the ultimate motivator. Read books, raise the most money fur a fundraiser, win a contest, earn student of the month, place in the science fair/spelling bee/sporting events, win a championship, lose a championship, etc. were all rewarded with pizza.

Many of our favorite fictional heroes endorsed pizza in some form. For example, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles entire diet revolved around pizza, the epitome of iconic pizza perfection was captured in A Goofy Movie, and some pizza even came with comics!

What many of us learned as a result–what our schools and community taught us–is that reading, working hard, creating, problem solving, being competitive, being kind, looking out for others, working together, and fighting the forces of evil is winning and is rewarded with pizza. And we love pizza!

Today, many of us are a little confused by the anger we’ve received for doing the very things we were taught to do by the very people who taught us to do them. If we’ve learned anything, it is that there should be less anger and more pizza.

When History Repeats

An observation:

During the fight for Civil Rights in America, confederate statues and flags were raised throughout the South to intimidate the communities demanding Civil Rights for all. Community leaders swore black people would never be equal with white people.

Today, as we continue the fight for equality and equity for the marginalized (BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, women, disabled, poor, etc.) schools are under attack as demands for books and lessons which weaken white supremacists systems and power be removed.

Additionally, the same powers which resisted all paths to allowing diverse voices to be included in the American conversation during the Civil Rights Era, are now actively trying to strip away those gained seats through voter suppression, community intimidation, and substituting education with propaganda.