If we were having coffee on a rainy Saturday …

Weekend CoffeeIf we were having coffee, your kids (if you have them) would be in my living room playing Legos or making Shamrocks with my boys. We would be drinking a cup of coffee out of my drip coffee maker, you out of a plain black mug and me out of my favorite Texas wildflowers mug. We would be sitting at my dining room table, laughing or crying about what has happened in your life over the past week.

We would certainly be commiserating about the police shootings this past week. I tend to keep a close ear on Twitter about the Ferguson protests, and I know people weren’t happy about the circumstances of the Ferguson city manager and police chief. Both will get their full pay and health insurance for the next year. Honestly, I can’t see them voluntarily resigning to much less than that, but there is a view of them on the streets that they are criminals and should be in jail, not receiving payments. I honestly don’t think protesters will be happy with what happens in the real world … but then, the protesters are trying to change the world as it exists.

In my own way, I am trying to change that. My CHADD organization is trying to bring a teacher training seminar about ADHD, and we want to make it available to teachers in low-income, mostly black schools. I know it may not sound like something that will help. There are many things these schools need more. But I hope that, with better understanding of the disorder, there will be fewer student discipline incidents for things that are really outside the student’s control, and that teachers will be able to address problems other ways. And it is a small way that I can make a difference.

As for the grant my organization has, there may be a chance we can keep the grant. I am waiting to hear a final answer on that.

I have decided to try the A to Z blogging challenge. I will do it on my other blog, Fiction as Life, and Cecilia will discuss her favorite thing, baking. We’re halfway through March already, and since I know I can’t do one post every day for the month, I’d better get started now.

This post is part of a coffee share linkup hosted by Part Time Monster.

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If We Were Having Coffee on March 6

Weekend Coffee

If we were having coffee …

If we were having coffee, I’d probably start spouting to you about my week before you even had a chance to sit down and have your first sip.

There are up weeks, and there are down weeks. One positive for this week is that I got medicine for my sinus infection and it is starting to clear up. Thank heaven for new antibiotics, because I’m allergic to most of the older ones. But I’m eating a lot more yogurt this week.

The week ended on a very sour note. I run an organization–well, a local branch of a large organization. We received a grant in December, and were in the process of figuring out what to do with it. The grant money fell into our laps, and all of a sudden we need to do something BIG.

Only … because of circumstances beyond our control, the board decided to return the grant money. Sorry I’m being vague about the details; I’m not sure how much I get to share. The big deal for me is that we don’t keep the money, and so we have to give up on our big project before it is even started.

If we were having coffee …

We would, of course, have to talk about the DOJ report. The one that talks about racism in Ferguson. We may be placing bets on whether Ferguson will settle with the Department of Justice. Frankly, I can’t see Ferguson accepting even the smallest settlement offer from the DOJ. I think the mayor’s press conference after the report came out was to say “this is what little we’ve done, and we’re not gonna do anything more.” I am aghast at how callous officials are about the report allegations. All they seem to care about is that Michael Brown’s hands weren’t in the air.

OK I’ll get off my little soapbox. I wish I had time to read the full report, but my hands are full. Cassatt has recovered from his ear infection and is now eating enormous quantities of food. The brothers are playing together this morning, for the most part.

We are finally getting some warm weather and I look forward to enjoying it this weekend.

I hope your week goes well. I didn’t get to read most coffee share posts last week, but I plan to visit this week. I look forward to having coffee with you!

The Larger Issue in Ferguson

Ferguson is about so much more than Mike Brown. For those who believe that this was an isolated incident and Darren Wilson committed no crime–

 Think for a minute about what it would take for so many people to honestly believe a police officer killed an unarmed teenager in cold blood.  Regardless of how you feel about Ferguson, take a moment to put yourself in the shoes of a protester.

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Ferguson City Council Meeting Shows the Problem with the System

I have not been posting here much, and I promise a good full update soon, but I have a follow up post on Ferguson.  There is a town council meeting tonight, and the tweets I am reading from it just make me steaming mad.  For example, this tweet:

As a lawyer, this leaves me fuming.  Failure to use a turn signal, while improper and deserving (sometimes) a slap on the wrist, doesn’t deserve anything more.  Certainly not being called to court over it, and no warrants for a failure to appear when the doors are locked.  

I also read that citizens of Ferguson are using the phrase “taxation without representation” for traffic fines issued.  The next two tweets emphasize the “without representation” part of that:

And …

What should make residents believe they will actually have these town hall meetings, and if they do, that they will be published?  My guess is, the only reason these will happen (if they do) is because Ferguson is under scrutiny by the Department of Justice.

Ferguson

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal …

The opening of the Declaration of Independence echoes in my head as I contemplate the horrific events in Ferguson last weekend.  Because it is clear that not all people are considered equal in our society.  And also this (from the 14th Amendment to the Constitution):

… nor shall any State … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

Last night, in the middle of everything that was happening in Ferguson, I tweeted:

What is “a culture that does not view everyone equally”?

It is a culture where white police officers think it is OK to tell a black teenager to “get the F*** on the sidewalk.”

It is a culture where people are feared based on the color of their skin.

It is a culture where black people are sixty-six percent more likely to be pulled over than white people.

It is a culture where I would not go stand in solidarity to protest a heinous killing because of the color of my skin.

It is a culture that redlined zones for “people of color” to live, separate from white people.

It is a culture where these zones still exist, even if not legal.

It is a culture where what you have is more important than how you got it.

It is a culture where some schools are not given sufficient resources to teach their students.

It is a culture where what happens to some will not happen to others because of age, race, and income.

It is not one culture, but many intertwined cultures.  Each one needs to change, and they cannot change independently of one another.

 

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