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Calling on all California State Politicians to Respond

“Nüremberg Principal IV states that “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him”

We are in a moral crisis and none of us should be sleeping at night. California, I have given up on the other 49. I have always felt more allegiance to state than country. To the geography of the West–the open air beyond the great divide.

I heard about the border and I wanted to run down there despite the idiocy and spectacle and unwise planning a lone American latina on the border trying to rush facilities incarcerating babies and children would be. I didn’t know what I’d do when I got there. I’m a mother. I wanted to pull children on my lap and give them hugs and feed them and tell them it’ll be okay.

But it’s not going to be –childhood trauma runs deep. Whatever happens those kids will never forget. Best case scenario is children reunited with their parents will forever jump and panic the moment they are out of sight–to the bathroom, to another bed to sleep.

I can just manage feeding myself and my own kids. I feel helpless and as an article in Slate mentioned, slightly numb. Somewhere I’m convinced a meeting took place where Trump and his cabinet of evil decided to just inundate the good people of this land with stuff daily to break us down.

We will all go off social media for self-care and then they’ll sneak up on us and make life worse for everyone.

I digress but I used to think of Republicans as the nation’s grandfathers with a well-balanced if heartless check book.  We came up with ideas. They’d tell us no. Relent slightly. And sometimes one of those white supremacist roaches would crawl out of a crack in the foundation and we’d slap it with a newspaper and throw the whole thing away. Republicans had a roach problem but they weren’t themselves roaches.

I can’t even wrap my head anymore around dissecting this on a tray and finding out where it all went wrong. I only have a world where breastfeeding children are ripped from their mother’s bodies by the same people who want to force poor American women to have babies whether they want them or not. We live in a world now where the worst of everything is possible and no one acknowledges their own ironies.

Like a mass of evangelicals standing behind heartbreak and destruction with smiling happy wal mart faces.

I retreat to California. My state that stands in defiance to the Trump Administration. My  state’s politicians take this further. Each and every one of us needs to stand up. You need to stand up. Sign on. There is no sleeping for this state is a sanctuary for no one now.

Let’s go to the border of our great state together. Let’s demand to see the children. Let’s demand they are released to their parents immediately. Let’s verify they are safely together. Let’s welcome these families and feed them. Dear god, we owe them now at least that much.

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Two Nights and Morning in San Francisco

Last night I had the pleasure of doing a reading of three short stories at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. The audience of mostly students were amazingly attentive and after the reading came up and asked great questions, talked about their own struggles with writing, and told me about how the details of my Latina characters meant something to them.

I knew what they meant. I’ve grown very fond of a few characters in my short fiction  that are loosely based on the old grumpy Mexican grandfathers in my life and their various eccentricities (like wearing socks with flip flops around the house , for example).

I also enjoyed the eclectic presentation and reading of my former professor and friend Zack Rogow, for making me revisit some poetic masterpieces that I’d not heard in awhile. It was a great evening over all.

I was struck by comments students made about my stories and their interest. I then woke up as we do these days to Trump America and campuses being raided by ICE agents for DACA kids. I just don’t understand the fear these luddites have over brown kids getting an education. What’s it to them? In my town of Greenville so many are proud to NOT get an education–so it’s not that brown kids are ‘taking’ an education away from white kids. What is it then? I needed a break from Greenville.

It was a great thing to witness such a diverse student body.  It’s hard to even fathom the hatred right now.

It’s Thursday morning. The wind whipped itself through Northern California something fierce. I’m waiting out the storm with coffee and a view out my friend’s window in Russian Hill. I really needed an infusion of San Francisco——even though SF is only a shadow of its former self–still it was enough to make me feel whole and hopeful.

North Beach coffee and breakfast awaits.

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Women’s March: Sacramento

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Friday night my kids and I made the three hour trek to Davis to hang with a good friend and her kids. These kids were in play groups together back in the day and even though Carol moved away to Davis, we still keep in touch and get them together. Another friend from my early Greenville days moved to Sacramento–about 3 miles from where the Women’s March was starting on Saturday morning.

So after a somewhat harrowing drive in California’s storm season, including snow and a downed tree and a three hour drive….

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We got to Davis. The kids took off to their rooms to hang the way tweens/early teens do. I got busy assessing the hat situation. Carol bought a pussy purse! Which I now have because she’s a good friend and loves me for some inexplicable reason.

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At first the kids weren’t overly enthusiastic. It’s been a hard election everywhere but as we are in that red pocket low on education corner of California where it’s both beautiful and lethal it’s been really hard. Especially on my kids and especially on my daughter. She goes to school each day dreading a couple of kids who taunt her Mexican heritage and for not being Christian. And believe me a non-Christian kid who was taught about the beauty and love of Jesus Christ does not get how Christians can be into Trump.  I can’t explain it to her. I just say they probably aren’t aware of their own bible and tradition.  ANYHOW. The march immediately made her feel less alone. Her two friends live in more progressive areas now so they weren’t as downtrodden but they were amazed and felt the power of the march.

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My daughter and the other girls  loved the creativeness and the brashness of the signs. They immediately took out their phones to record them.

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ANd so we marched. We marched for REspect. Reproductive Rights. We marched for Trump’s victims of sexual assault. We marched for arts and humanities and education about to be cut. We marched for Education. We marched for rerorductive health. We walked to protest

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Organizers said there were supposed to be about 8K people and it was more like 20K–now I’m hearing of totals more towards 30K. I’d believe it. We were packed like sardines but happy all the same.

State Controller Betty Yee lead us in an Oath on the state capitol steps  to swear to protect and defend each other in these dark times. Warm and fuzzy day–even in the bitter cold weather.

It was a great day!

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Dispatch from the Deep North up at Hip Mama

Dispatch from the Deep North

I thank my editor at Hip Mama for encouraging this post.