Category Archives: Thoughts On….

Thoughts on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2021

Change is never easy. Especially when the change is overcoming and dealing with cultural, racial, and religious stereotypes.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Dr. King was one of many who fought for equality. Though his ultimate goal was equality for African-Americans, it spread to the rest of the country. Women, the LGBTQ community, immigrants, and other Americans of color who have been disenfranchised heard his message and understood exactly what he was saying.

Though we can proudly say that we have made progress in the multiple decades since he was taken from us, it is more than clear that true equality is still too far off for many. I remember a cartoon in a book when I was in school. The image was of a tree had been cut at its base, but the roots were untouched. The analogy about racism and prejudice was obvious.

The fact is that we have a long way to do. Between the riot in DC almost two weeks ago and the murders of multiple African Americans last year, the dark side of the United States revealed itself in a way that was opening.

What Dr. King started almost a century ago, we have to finish. It is the only way to make his dream a reality.

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Thoughts On the Bridgerton Trailer

There is nothing like a good BPD (British Period Drama). It has the power to sweep the audience into another world and for a short time, take them away from their everyday life.

The full trailer for the new Shondaland Netflix series, Bridgerton, premiered earlier today. Based on the series of books by Julia Quinn, the audience is introduced to the influential Bridgerton family living in Regency England. As the program progresses, they deal with the ups and downs that are unique to that world and that era.

The characters and the narrative are in the vein of Jane Austen, but the stories are not specifically based on any Austen novel.

I am intrigued by the casting of Julie Andrews as Lady Whistledown, the all knowing gossiping narrator who, according to the trailer is only heard, but not seen.

From a writing perspective, the couple pretending to be in love to get others off their back is one of those storylines that is used semi-regularly. The question is if the writer(s) make it their own or just copy what has been done before.

I am really excited for program. I can only hope that the promises made in the trailer are kept.

Bridgerton premieres on Netflix on December 25.

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Thought On the First Night of Chanukah and the First Anniversary of the Jersey City Shooting

History is not always made by the powerful. It is sometimes made by those who have been pushed to the margins of society. It is easy to remain quiet and just go about your business. It is infinitely harder to stand up for your rights and beliefs.

Today is the first night of Chanukah.

Today is also the first anniversary of the shooting in Jersey City. Motivated by antisemitism, the killers walked into a kosher grocery store and started shooting. They killed four innocent people, two of whom were targeted because they were Jewish.

As I write this post, I write it in honor of the victims who are not here to celebrate the holidays with us this year.

May their memories forever be a blessing.

P.S. I thought I would lighten the mood a little, because after all, Chanukah is a celebration of overcoming adversity and the push to assimilate. Thank you, Daveed Diggs for making us laugh and smile in this time of darkness.

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Thoughts On Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

To serve in the military is to potentially give everything (your life included) for your country.

Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. 79 years ago, Americans went to bed, grieving for those who were lost at the attack on Pearl Harbor. Over 2400 servicemembers and noncombatants were killed. Another 1178 were injured.

The soldiers who died that day were part of the greatest generation.

The sacrifice they made that day will live on forever.

May their memories be a blessing.

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Thoughts on Veterans Day 2020

Today is Veterans Day.

Normally, we would use this day to say thank you to the men and women who have fought and died to defend the United States. But this year feels different.

It feels different because of not just Covid-19, but because of political turmoil created by the results of the election.

Sometimes I feel like we take our rights and our freedoms for granted. The last few years have reminded me that democracy does not just appear or remain stable in thin air. A democratic government either fails or succeeds based on the actions (or lack thereof) of the average citizen.

Every year, we talk about thanking our living veterans and honoring the memories of those who are no longer with us. I think the best way we can do both is to do the hard work needed to ensure that the American democracy will exist for generations to come. Included in that hard work is putting aside our differences and trying to find a middle ground.

If we don’t, then what is the point of Veterans Day?

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Thoughts On the Anniversary of Kristallnacht and the Results of the Presidential Election

For generations, Americans have believed that our democracy was set in stone. Our basic rights, the political and cultural cornerstone of our nation was untouchable. Then you know who was elected President four years ago and it looked the American democracy was on shaky ground.

The anniversary of Kristallnacht is tomorrow and Tuesday. It was the unofficial beginning of the Holocaust. It was also a sign that dignity, democracy and humanity no longer existed in Germany.

Thankfully, Americans have shown our democracy and our freedoms are worth fighting for. In electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, we have perhaps avoided the path that led the to Kristallnacht and the Holocaust. But that does not mean that we can rest on our laurels. There is still much more work to be done before we can be the country that lives out the ideals in our founding documents.

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Thoughts on Wear a Mask (Be Our Guest Parody)

For the last 7 months, we have been reminded to wear our masks when we leave our homes.

In case there are fools out there who think that they don’t need to wear a mask, this lovely reminder from Beauty and the Beast could not be clearer.

In other words, shut up and just put on a dam mask.

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Thoughts On the Virtual JASNA AGM

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Covid-19 has flipped our world upside down.

Last weekend was supposed to be the 2020 JASNA AGM. Hosted by the Ohio North Coast region, Janeites would have met in Cleveland. But the virus demanded a change of plans.

Instead of being held in person, the AGM was held virtually. 1400 JASNA members attended via their devices. The plus side was the number of participants nearly doubled compared to previous AGMS. The downside was that like everything that had to transfer to the internet, there were glitches.

Overall, I was pleased with the AGM. It had the look and feel of an AGM without being there in person. Hopefully, we will be able reconvene next year in Chicago, even with the restrictions created by Covid-19.

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Thoughts On Columbus Day/Indigenous People’s Day

We are told that education creates pathways to the future. That being said, how we are educated is dependent on who controls our what is or is not taught.

Yesterday was Columbus Day/Indigenous People’s Day.

Depending on where one lives within the United States determines if one and/or both holidays are listed on the calendar.

The purpose of both Columbus Day and Indigenous People’s Day is to honor and educate about the histories of both Italian Americans and Native Americans. But while Columbus Day has been part of our culture for generations, it’s Native American counterpart is relatively new.

The issue is that while we celebrate the “discovery” of America by Christopher Columbus, we are discarding the true history of the period. The New World, as it was known then by Europeans, was not empty. Nor was it waiting to be discovered. There were hundreds, if not thousands of Native American nations who lived and thrived on American soil long before Columbus “found” this land.

The “founding” of America by Columbus was the catalyst for colonization and the destruction of the Native American way of life.

The question is, how do we reconcile the truth of the past? The easy answer is nationalize Indigenous People’s Day as a holiday. But like many things that appear to be easy, the reality is that it difficult and complicated, especially in our current political climate. The truth is that I don’t have an answer.

But I do know that is time to give our Native American brothers and sisters the respect and the history they deserve.

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Thoughts On Mental Health Day & the Lingering Effects of Covid-19

Living with mental illness of any kind is akin to living with a metaphorical and invisible weight on your shoulders.

I should know, depression has been my constant companion for many years. Adding Covid-19 to mix creates the perfect storm of a physical and mental health crisis.

Today is World Mental Health Day.

Like many of you, I have been home nearly 24/7 for the last seven months. Though I am grateful that my life has not been completely upended, it would be foolish to ignore the changes that the virus has brought on.

Before March, I had no problem with being busy. Going out and being social was the antidote to the daily battle with depression. Now it feels like the depression has won out. Other than taking care of my weekly errands, I don’t want to go anywhere. I just want to stay in and sleep.

If there any silver lining, it is that these last few months have finally forced us to examine how we treat mental illness and those who suffer. Perhaps when all is said and done, mental health will finally get the respect and treatment that it deserves.

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