Peace bubbles



“It is not that I belong to the past, but the past that belongs to me.” ~ Mary Antin

“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.” ~ Daniel J. Boorstin

Hello Monitor readers,
Our 2022 summer continues to experience extreme heat, extreme double standard lawmakers, extra extreme expanding of the wealth-gap of the 2% salaries vs. the 98% salaries, and unbelievable extreme climate change deniers even in the face of local and global droughts, fires, and deadly floods. And, the extreme stuck-ness and feelings of powerlessness when we try to process senseless acts of violence, mass shootings, and experience a growing awareness of Ukraine being just the tip of the iceberg as far as historic colonization of second and third world countries.
I recently heard a U.S. lawmaker say he wants to bring back $2 gas. I just want to bring back ethical business CEO leaders who raise their employees’/staff salaries in proportion with their own CEO’s salaries, and who are grateful to pay respectful taxes that keep America growing, prospering, and being a global leader of justice, without the outdated biased policies and discriminatory practices that lead to economic, health-care, housing, transportation, and other racial disparities, as well as the obvious injustice perpetrated on people walking, jogging, dancing, or driving while Black or Brown, sending them into the prison system.

We are also beginning to understand the impact of discrimination on health. For instance, discrimination has been linked to anxiety, depression, sadness, helplessness and low self-esteem. Research has shown that experiencing everyday discrimination can harm a person’s memory and also lead to faster memory decline. Discrimination can result in poor physical health, including increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and respiratory disease. It has also been linked to sleep disturbance and daytime fatigue. I believe the fatigue is simply and sadly due to (the constant stress of) always having to be on guard for being profiled, which is different from having a general awareness of potential crime and being mindful for our safety.

I received an email from a friend who is like a brother from another mother/father that I immediately replied to with a request to share his words with Monitor readers. I’m glad Brother Art S. said, “Yes”! The following is the beginning of his email. Due to the length of his reflections and the desire to not extremely overload our minds, his message will continue next month. Please sit with Art’s words. Thank you.
Hi Friends,
This is a small meditation on our current state of affairs. I have been puzzling about “what is going on” all around us and in the world for some time. To me, the indications are that we are at some kind of crossroads. The path forward is unclear. I figure if I can understand where we are and the genesis of this situation, I can get an idea of the alternatives and the forces that could influence how we move into the future.
The basic flow of the dots I am trying to connect is this –
• The capitalist world is in crisis and,
• A direct consequence of this is our social, political, economic, expected routines are disintegrating.
• This means that in the USA, the framework of White Supremacy (which has held this “system” together) is also disintegrating.
• The activism we see from Trumpites and the Republicans is a direct reaction to this.
• This reaction is about their personal identities and they are ready to sacrifice much to restore order.
• This narrative and these emotions are leading to increase authoritarianism.
• Authoritarianism is the default mode in which the USA is headed.
• An alternative vision and movement to support this is urgently needed.
• This alternative vision must be created by Black people and other People of Color.
• Alternatives are not unified with the Movement for Black Lives offering the most cogent vision.
• We all need to step up.
The following is a little more detail. I included links to two articles that seem relevant and helped clarify my thinking.
I think it is fair to say that we exist in a world where “order” as I think about it – the disintegration of anchors, mores, expected outcomes of actions, the “usual” routines, the everyday features of moving through life – is tenuous at best and deteriorating at least. This includes everyday things like rising food and gas prices, “supply chain disruptions,” changing work environments, out of reach home prices, medical insecurity, inadequate wages and benefits, etc. Institutions are failing us: schools, banks, universities, the post office, mass media, social media, etc. Government is not governing: Minneapolis City Council, federal gridlock, state gridlock and partisan manipulation of law, election districts, etc. Police are terrorizing rather than protecting (and ineffectual when we need them to stop mayhem). Certain kinds of “criminal activity” is also very visible and increasing: car jackings, shootings, domestic violence and hate crimes and hate violence. And there are big things like Jan. 6 insurrection, Minneapolis going berserk on the 4th of July and major disruptions after George Floyd’s murder. This is just a quick survey of the “disorder” here. I am sure you can think of more and this is happening all over the country and the world. Charles Darwin reflected on experiencing an earthquake. He said something to the effect that this was most unsettling since what he had always taken to be solid and secure, was now shaking beneath his feet. To me, this is way more than unsettling. My family and my friend’s lives are at stake. Many lives I do not know are at stake.
Many forces have combined to bring us to this moment. The failure of a worldwide capitalist system is one. I believe it is no coincidence that while most people struggle to get by day-to-day, a few elite owners continue to amass huge fortunes. Commonly known at the “wealth gap,” this has been increasing steadily. Recently, the increase in wealth comes from paper transactions like stock buybacks and speculation. On the other side, the wealth is extracted from employees through low wages, few benefits and higher prices. All this is not tied to material wealth but paper value. COVID-19 exposed the many fault lines in this system re: health care, education, the work environment, workers’ benefits, supply chains, food insecurity, homelessness, disparate effect on communities of color, inadequate transportation infrastructure and public transportation systems.
White Supremacy is a key factor that holds everything together. As the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond describes, “Racism was done.” It was an intentional strategy to divide and subdue natural allies against wealthy landowners and became institutionalized throughout the USA. As I am looking at it, in addition to skewing institutional behavior to favor White people, the system is based on very strict and powerful methods of constraining the behavior of Black people and communities of color. These methods are violent and militaristic. The police and national guard come to mind. Police, to me, are state-sponsored terrorists. Since the founding of this county, citizens have lived under a system of constraints (called civil and criminal law) that have worked well enough for White people.
Today, people of color are challenging these and rising up to protect and assert their humanity and to challenge this authority….
Thank you, Mr. Art! To be continued next month…

Again, I give shout-outs for TPT’s critical conversations and broadcasts. Among their July’s shows were Larry Long’s “American Roots Revue,” “Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America,” and “Prince Phillip: For Queen and Country.” Please keep sharing critical conversation and needed factual historic and current information, TPT. Truthful information isn’t about shaming. It’s about acknowledging and honoring – and often about correcting, repairing, and reconciling bad boo-boos, like the Jan. 6, 2021 failed domestic terrorist attack on our nation’s capital, the current intentionally stacked Supreme Court with an extreme political-agenda or the continuation of outdated biased systematic laws that favors and gives privilege to White people (who do not necessarily want it).
In other words, constructive critical conversations and learning is only opposed seemingly by people who would like to keep the outdated supremacy thinking that men (majority White) should control the destiny of People of Color and women; and who are rightly feeling shamed and guilty and acting out their dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors. Likewise, People of Color and women are rightly feeling victimized and mad as a firestorm and acting out their internalized oppressed attitudes and behaviors.
In short, we all need to keep breathing, stepping back, and allowing some ongoing healing to happen by cultivating healthy trusting relationships with ourselves and with others, which is part of bending the arc of justice and being good and necessary trouble makers. Thank you, TPT-PBS and thank you to all the past (RIP), current (Be Strong), and future (Elders In-Training) justice champions’ shoulders we stand on and knowledge we share. Also, on-going shout-outs to the water protectors and for those advocating for alternatives to Pipeline 3 and respecting First Nation Peoples and promoting green jobs!
Enjoy the Great State Fair month and stay optimistic even in extreme times!!!!!!!

In Gratitude: Keep the positive vibrations flowing, stay optimistic; and, keep hope alive by striving and digging to hear, see, and be the truth.
May Peace Be In the Rondo, Frogtown, Hamline/Midway, Como, and Surrounding Communities...
May Peace Be In Our Homes & Communities…
May Peace Prevail On Earth (MPPOE)!
BE SMART! DO YOUR PART! Get Your vaccination shots and booster shots if you feel comfortable doing so!!!


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