…forever friends…forever love…

Of all the testimonies given by countless Americans, prominent figures and everyday citizens, something that comes to mind as I sit watching all of them speak about their memorable relationships with Hillary Clinton, is what no one dares mention…Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

The only one chomping at the bit is The Donald . And I’m certain he’s saving it as his Trump card.

The image that remains with me of that tawdry period in President Clinton’s Administration is Chelsea strolling  between her parents, an arm around each of their shoulders, as they cross the White House lawn on their way to the helicopter. It’s a compelling glimpse of their beloved daughter holding her family together. With heads bowed toward hers, they look like broken people, especially Hillary.

Today there’s no evidence of that Hillary.

Whether it was their unbreakable family connection, their devotion to an only child, their enduring friendship, or their unwavering faith in God’s power to heal, or all of these combined…the Clintons have remain together for 38 years.

The “fighter” Hillary, the “change-maker” Hillary, the “stronger together” Hillary, and Hillary the wife, the mother and grandmother, “made lemonade out of lemons.” She stuck by her husband and faced down their critics; she didn’t turn her back on life. Instead, she returned to public service and became New York’s senator.

Observing Bill Clinton as speaker after speaker heaps accolades upon his wife, there’s no mistaking his pride at being the man who is lucky enough to be by her side as she makes history. However I’m sure Hillary would be the first to say, that she too is privileged to still be married to her soul mate. The man who encouraged her to be the best he knew she could be.

I know a thing or two about being married. My husband and I celebrated our 46th anniversary in June, the day after our daughter’s wedding. Married at 20, three years after we began dating, we went through the usual ups and downs of newlyweds. It takes time and work for a husband and wife to finally fit like “hand in glove.” It doesn’t just happen with vows. Personal issues don’t disappear with a wedding ring. Choosing a mate doesn’t mean he or she is perfection itself. For marriages that last, perfection comes with time and a willingness to compromise.

Weathering the worst together makes for enduring marriages, and…

…truly best friends and soul mates.

……….hugmamma.

 

 

 

 

 

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nurturing thursdays: powerful words…

A few things in historical documentarian Ken Burns’ speech to Stanford University’s 2016 graduating class, continues to resonate with me. He said…to educate all of our parts…to make babies…and that the arts make our country worth defending. 

To educate all of our parts.

I always tell my daughter “Being fully informed makes your decision, whatever it is, an educated guess. Whatever the outcome, you know you did all you could to make the best choice you possibly could in the moment.” Because she was a blessing, my only child after 16 years of hoping I would one day become a mother, I live with the thought that she could be gone in the blink of an eye. With the hateful rhetoric inciting Trump supporters to take America back to a darker time when the world was white and black, I worry as I see other mothers lose their children to gun violence.

An adult and wife at 30, I can no longer stand between my daughter and the world. And yet I know I have armed her with a clear vision of the real world ever since she was a youngster. Unlike a friend who felt her son at age 5 was too young for the truth, I felt my daughter was not too young to learn the facts of life. In doing so, however, I always followed the truth with positive words reinforcing hope, not negative resignation.

To make babies.

Not until you have a child, can you understand what it is to lose a child. Not until you lose a child, can you understand a mother’s desire not to go on living afterwards. I hope, as parents the world over do, that my daughter outlives me by decades.

The arts make our country worth defending.

Supporting my daughter in her desire to dance professionally will always be something of which I am proudest. It was not an easy path; neither was it a lucrative one. My daughter said, when featured in Discount Dance Supply Magazine at age 16…

Dancing is a gift that I would like to share with the world.

The greatest satisfaction is knowing when my performance has touched or moved someone.

She may not have secured millions as a professional athlete, but my daughter garnered millions in spiritual wealth. If she were taken by an act of violence tomorrow, my daughter can return to Our Father having lived a Christ-like life. And if I were to die first, I would do so knowing that I have been…

…a mother in Mary’s footsteps.

………hugmamma.

(Note: Click on the following link for more inspirational posts…
https://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2016/07/28/nurt-thurs-my-prayer/

 

…”I pass”…

Something said during card games, like poker and Black Jack. Usually offered when the player feels he is pretty certain of a win.

Anyone who has been following this presidential campaign can attest to the fact that Trump supporters have awarded him the ultimate “pass.” He is allowed to play the game for as long as he chooses no matter what cards he holds close to his vest. They are betting all their money on him winning, and they don’t care how he does it.

Trump’s latest “pass” is that he probably won’t be investigated for calling upon the Russians to find the supposed 30,000 emails deleted from Hillary Clinton’s server.

“Russia, if you are listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said to a room of TV cameras at Trump National Doral. “I think you will probably be mightily rewarded by our press.”

Senior policy aide for the Clinton campaign responded “This has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent…That’s not hyperbole, those are just the facts. This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue.”

Showing his autocratic bent in suppressing the media, “When a female reporter asked Trump whether he was encouraging Russia to hack into emails, Trump snapped back: ‘Be quiet! I know you want to save her,’ a reference to Clinton.”

Just as Trump went after the judge involved in the Trump University lawsuit because of his Mexican heritage, Trump will do anything to go after his Democratic opponent including espionage. Sacrificing America to the enemy is NOT beyond Trump’s high stakes’ game. He will win at any price! And, it seems, Trump supporters prefer to annihilate a democratic America in favor of a Trump regime. They are willing to sacrifice whatever strides our country has made toward independence, preferring instead to once again be part of a dynastic empire. Only this time it’s the Russian bloc under Putin.

Understandably blinded by their own individual grievances, Trump supporters desperately cling to the cult hope that Trump, as messiah, can deliver them from the purgatory they inhabit. What they don’t realize is that this game of Russian Roulette with one bullet left is aimed point-blank at the heart of America…and at their own hearts.

…America’s death…is our death.

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

…as it should be…

As excruciatingly messy as it might be sometimes, democracy is still preferable to autocracy. Each person speaking his and her own voice is still preferable to one voice speaking for all.

The difference between the RNC and the DNC is stark. Last night, apart from the megawatt speeches delivered by Michelle Obama, Corey Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, there were equally moving speeches delivered by ordinary folks like Cheryl Lankford. She was one of many trumped by the man himself when she enrolled in Trump University to the tune of $35,000.

I understood Lankford’s embarrassment at feeling she was the fool for being duped. I understood her inability to tell anyone about how dumb she felt. I understood how as a woman, we are primed to think it’s our fault if we’re stupid enough to get “taken to the cleaners.” Especially up against billionaire Donald Trump. Who would believe Cheryl Lankford if she spoke up against a man of his celebrated, moneyed stature?

Today, I was moved to tears by the story of Na’ilah Amaru.

“I was born on a dirt floor to a woman whose name I will never know. What I do know is that she loved me enough to give me up, so I could live the life she wanted for me. A life without hunger or despair, filled with hope, education, and opportunity.

As a baby, bundled up in the hopes and dreams of my mother, I began a new life in a faraway land called America. I was raised by two women, and learned early on about intolerance and hatred. But I also learned about the power of love, faith and hope.

The first time I saw Hillary, she was on TV addressing a panel of men with such confidence and ownership of self. Her poise and presence fundamentally changed how I would claim my own space in the world. I was 11.

Seven years later, my belief in America inspired me to raise my hand and solemnly swear to defend her ideals with my life. I joined the army as an ammunition specialist and gave the best of myself to a country that had given me so much. I returned from Iraq deeply committed to restoring the faith of America’s Promise—for everyone.

Tonight, in the birthplace of our nation, I renew our commitment to democracy with an historic step toward gender equality. Reflected in broken shards of glass, and Hillary herself, we can see the dreams of our daughters. This is America’s promise.

Along my journey, I have called California, Texas, Georgia, and New York home. And I know that what connects us runs far deeper than what divides us.

So, if you can hear my voice tonight, join me and everyone in this hall, by texting HILLARY to 47246—as we move forward, together.

As an immigrant, a combat veteran, a woman of color, and my mother’s daughter, I am American. My story is our story. The story of America.”

(PRNewswire, 7/26/16)

Ordinary women standing up FOR…

…an exceptionally, extraordinary woman.

…Hillary Clinton.

………hugmamma.

 

…a new direction…from the ground up

Millennials are determined to forge their own way irrespective of the mountain of experience stockpiled for their benefit by previous generations. Good for them! What they might lack in a foundation born of real life events, Millenials make up for in enormous self-confidence.

Technology and the great wealth it has afforded brilliant, young minds at an early age probably accounts for much of the risk-taking embedded in the very fiber of Millenials. There is no shortage of entrepreneurs, especially in the world of computers and cellphones. Where Baby-Boomers saved religiously for a down payment on a house, Millenials can plunk down millions on over-sized mansions.

Why then should Millenials heed any advice offered by generations that came before? Obviously they are doing something right. What isn’t apparent is other than themselves, what is it that they find worthy of their ambition that helps elevate those less fortunate than them?

It may be that Millenials can throw money at charitable causes of their choosing, but will they invest of themselves? Will they get “down and dirty” and grovel in the muck that is the environment of people of color, in order to help change the justice system?…to help level the playing field by funding educational opportunities?…to involve themselves in politics to improve their communities for others?

Millenials seem content to take, without acknowledging the hard-fought battles waged so that they could soar as far as they could dream.

Hillary Clinton, contrary to Republican propaganda, walked the talk from hopeful college student…to First Lady of Arkansas…to America’s First Lady…to New York State Senator…to President Obama’s Secretary of State…to the first female candidate for President of the United States for the Democratic Party.

It is a BIG deal to finally elect a female president. Hillary Clinton is breaking the tallest glass ceiling for women in this country. I can’t imagine that Millenial women don’t continue to face inequality in the workplace and in the community- at-large. They have it better for sure than my generation, but make no mistake…it is still a man’s world. Strides are being made everyday, the biggest being made now…almost 100 years after women won the right to vote.

Hillary has never played the woman card before now, but today she can do so with pride in all she has accomplished by sheer will, hard work and playing hard-ball in a man’s world. And in the run-up to the White House, she remains true to form.  She is not EXPECTING to win. Instead…

…Hillary Clinton will continue to work for every vote!

……..hugmamma.

interchangeable…

…Trump and Sander supporters.

Those continuing to protest Hillary Clinton’s nomination as the Democratic party’s candidate for the presidency look and sound like those of the Republican candidate. From what could be seen by way of the media cameras, they were mostly white.

What comes to mind first and foremost is that the opposition is not only directed toward Clinton, but seems to reflect an underlying disdain for Obama.

As the first, black president Obama continues to be held to a higher standard than any occupying the office before him. He is blamed for the unraveling of the Middle East, even though George W. is the one who declared war on Iraq despite being told that there were no weapons of mass destruction as originally claimed. The result? We are now facing the disenfranchised Iraqi military in the form of…Isis.

Further evidence that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s promise to undermine President Obama’s efforts to succeed is the fact that he is given little, if any, credit for saving the country from another Great Depression. Trump supporters forget that once again, George W. is to blame for that economic fiasco. It looks as though dissatisfied Sanders supporters who promise to vote for Trump, also discard the fact their economic predicament is the fault of a Republican president.

Aside from the decades long, nonstop vendetta directed at Hillary Clinton by the conservative establishment, it is obvious that a majority of her supporters do not fit the typical Republican profile. For the most part, people of color support Hillary’s vision of an inclusive, democratic America.

In a speech before supporters this morning, Sanders’ request that they vote for the Democratic ticket was met with opposition. His call for party unity is falling upon deaf ears. No surprise since Sanders himself doesn’t seem to want to give up his campaign.

Rather than hi-jacking their respective parties, Trump and Sanders should have gone their own way. Even children know, you can’t force…

…a square peg into a round hole

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

…together…let’s do this thing!

Watching Hillary Clinton address supporters in Tampa a couple of days ago, I found myself back on familiar ground…feet firmly planted in the America I know and love. I saw myself among the smiling faces seated in back of her…all “mutts” who call these United States home, regardless of our pedigree.

STRONGER TOGETHER is the pledge Hillary is making, and one that all who believe in our democratic system can get behind. All of us together will move America forward as we have done since our country was founded.

On the competitor’s side, Trump supporter Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, one of the speakers at the RNC, appears representative of those aligned with their nominee. Thiel is against a democratic America; preferring instead an autocracy. In “The Education of a Libertarian,” dated April 13, 2009 Thiel wrote “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.”

A match made in Republican heaven…Thiel’s billions funding Trump’s autocratic candidacy.

In his acceptance speech, Trump magnanimously promised to take care of all Americans and “make the country great again.” Somewhat reminiscent perhaps of another seemingly magnanimous figure who promised to return his country to the greatness it had known prior to WWI. And so another world war was waged in which millions of lives were sacrificed for the cause. In its aftermath, Germany was devastated and the Germans were branded the most hated people on the face of the earth.

The first graduate to address Welsley College as valedictorian on May 31, 1969, Hillary said “ ‘One of the most tragic things that happened yesterday, a beautiful day, was that I was talking to a woman who said she wouldn’t want to be me for anything in the world…She wouldn’t want to live today and look ahead to what it is she sees because she’s afraid.” ‘

 Hillary went on to tell her graduating class of 400 that “Fear is always with us but we just don’t have time for it. Not now.” Almost five decades later, the Democratic nominee for president is still fear-less.

There is no time for fear.

Never in America’s history have we stepped away from a challenge. Americans have always united against the common enemy, including Japanese citizens whose families were stripped of both pride and property and relocated to internment camps during WWII. And during the Civil War Blacks donned the Union’s blue uniform, even though EQUALITY for their people was never something they imagined.

Today our enemy masquerades in the form of Trump’s message to “make America great again.” It signals a return to an America where fear of people different from ourselves inspired vigilante activities that led to lynchings and mob retaliation.

As recent as March 21, 1981, 17-year-old Michael Donald, a black teenager was hung from a tree by members of Alabama’s Klu Klux Klan. Donald just happened to be…in the wrong place, at the wrong time. His life was taken because a black defendant was acquitted of killing a white policeman during a robbery. “Bennie-Jack-Hays, the second-highest-ranking official in the United Klans in Alabama, said: “If a black man can get away with killing a white man, we ought to be able to get away with  killing a black man.” Hays’ 26-year-old son, Henry Hayes, one of four white men involved in the lynching was executed for the murder on June 6, 1997.

And let’s not forget the racist rhetoric of George Wallace who in 1963, as governor of Alabama, tried to prohibit blacks from enrolling as students at the University of Alabama. President Kennedy, backed by the power of the federal government, forced Wallace to stand aside. The following day, Civil Rights leader Medgar Evers was assassinated in Jackson, Mississippi.

As the fear messenger, Trump is inciting his supporters to take the country back to a more familiar world order. And some may already be answering that call.

Imagine if this was…

…your daughter…in the wrong place, at the wrong time???

…i already do.

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

 

…not an award show…

Thus far Trump’s children have described their dad as THE nominee for “Best Father of the Year Award.” What they are not describing is…the BEST candidate for president of ALL Americans.

Having watched the last few days of the RNC, almost nonstop I might add, I’ve not heard or seen anything or anyone reflective of me…a woman of color. No, I’m not Black but as a tanned Pacific Islander with humble, Asian values…there is no one with whom I’ve been able to identify among the rank and file attending the convention. Their faces are predominantly white and their values are predominantly white values. Neither would be problematic, except that the vitriol being exhibited for “red meat” rhetoric is so totally alien to the America I believe in.

I understand the economic strife Trump followers are railing against, but it’s not like the rest of the country hasn’t been in the same boat. Aside from the black contingent crying out for equal treatment under the law, others feeling the economic boot on their backsides are not calling for opponents to be killed.

Not a fan of Senator Ted Cruz, I admired the guts it took for him to stand up in defense of his wife and father. Had he cowered to Party pressure as Paul Ryan did in endorsing Trump for president, I would have continued to think of Cruz as a non-entity.

When is it ever right to set aside our principles in favor of the “end justifying the means?” And Trump as the president of all the good that America stands for is inconceivable. As a wheeler and dealer, he is no better than the Middle Eastern dictators for who back room negotiations is a way of life.

While the Trump children speak lovingly of their father, their body language standing alongside him in the family box demonstrates their allegiance in business terms. There is no physical connection…no touching…no hugging… no tidbits of familial nuances showing organic tenderness.

I salute Trump for his wonderfully poised, politically correct children. I’m sure their mother, Ivana, had a lot to do with their gracious manners. After all, she raised them while her husband was publicly philandering.

It’s obvious that Trump did a good job of bringing his children into the family business. What’s sad is that they bought everything he taught them hook, line and sinker.

Children absorb what they observe. It’s true of the values of the Trump children. “The end justifies the means.” Say anything…do anything…

…to get what you want.

………hugmamma.

 

a mess…

That’s what’s become of the Republican Party.

The latest proof of this? Melania Trump’s amazing speech at the Republican National Convention. It was discovered AFTER the night was done that her speech had familiar strains of the one given in 2008 by Michelle Obama about her husband, the president. In fact, one paragraph in particular seemed lifted almost verbatim.

Melania Trump, Republican National Convention 2016: “From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise; that you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily life.That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son, and we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow.Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and willingness to work for them.”

Michelle Obama, Democratic National Convention 2008:
“…And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if y(ou don’t agree with them.And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children—and all children in this nation—to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

(ENews Online, 7/18/16)

A political mortal sin…on so many levels.

Plagiarism…from enemy Obama, no less. Lying…Melania offered to Matt Lauer in an interview prior to the convention that she wrote the speech with very little outside help. Trump to Hillary…”The pot calling the kettle black.” Fraud…doing and saying whatever it takes to win. Smells as odoriferous as Trump University. Disorganized organization…an oxymoron, right? In Trump World, where he’s a one-man-show, it’s conceivable that no one else knows what to do because he’s usually the man in charge…of all things Trump.

And so for placing his wife in an embarrassing position…

…trump should fire…trump!

………hugmamma.

nurturing Thursdays: coloring…outside the box

My new son-in-law is a blonde, blue-eyed Texan. It’s obvious he adores and cherishes his new Mrs. …my brunette, brown-eyed, beautiful daughter. He’s already said he’d like their children to inherit only one of his traits, his blue eyes; otherwise, he’d prefer they inherit their looks from their mother.

Who could find fault with a man who loves my precious, only child as I do?

What in his DNA makes my son-in-law so unlike others who see people of color as unlovable? And what in my daughter’s DNA makes her color-blind to someone so opposite in appearance to her? I can only reason that they have both known the kind of love and support which looks to a person’s heart, and not to the circumstances in which he or she was born.

Hugging my daughter’s new mother-in-law when we first met, I could see how alike we were…so utterly and totally in love with our children. And so “over the moon” that they had found one another. Neither of us noticed that we too had nothing physically in common…not our skin color…not our hair color…not the color of our eyes…nor the drawl, or lack thereof, when we spoke. Enveloped in a comforting hug, our hearts beat in unison. Two moms whose precious children had found a safe haven in one another…and dropped anchor, creating a home of their own thousands of miles away from those who love them so much.

Love does conquer all…if we allow it.

Allowing ourselves to love others unlike ourselves is the task set before us by God. Many more have succeeded than have failed. It’s in the media’s best interests to focus upon the failures rather than the successes. They seem miniscule by comparison, and perhaps they are since most go undetected, flying under the general public’s radar. However in the grand scheme of things, it’s really the little moments that add up to the greatness of our lives.

For two families celebrating a momentous occasion, the marriage of our children, all is right with the world. Granted, it’s not a perfect one. There is no Heaven on earth, after all. And yet God has given us the tools with which to create one that comes close to approximating the real thing. Whether or not we take up the challenge is up to us as individuals. And as individuals, each of us will face God with our own stories on judgment day.

We are all storytellers, everyone of us. How good we are at it…

…god will decide.

………hugmamma.595

(For more inspirational words, click on the following…
https://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2016/07/07/nurt-thurs-embrace-yourself/

 

history repeats itself…

After leaving the White House, President Johnson said: “I don’t believe you would have had any Wilkinses, Thomases, or Eatons [the murderers of Viola Liuzzo] if you didn’t have leadership that gave them that idea that they could do what they did with immunity.”

Many white Alabamans had made their peace with integration and a new kind of South, but George Wallace was not one of them. In 1970 he had won election as governor for a second time applying an overtly racist strategy an aide described privately as “promise them the moon and holler nigger.”

As Wallace campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination for a third time in 1972, he continued to deny that he was a racist. The governor blamed the press that “got folks believing now that I’m against certain people just because of who they happen to be.” Out on the campaign trail, he was on his best behavior, but sometimes things would just creep out, as when he referred to United States senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass.) as a “nigger.”

Wallace had risen to power on racial issues, and wherever he spoke on his presidential campaigns, his audiences were full of people who feared or mistrusted black people. Now in the last years of his political career, he played the race card again, but in a different way.

Thanks largely to the 1965 Voting Rights Act that Wallace had fought against, black Alabamans had won the right to vote, and the day was coming when it would be impossible for a Democrat to win an election without their support. The governor had not even wanted black Alabamans to attend his first inauguration. Yet now, when he needed them, he went to Tuscaloosa and crowned a black woman the University of Alabama homecoming queen, and he appointed black officials throughout his administration.

In 1974, Wallace won reelection as governor for the third time with 25 percent of the black vote. In his fourth and final gubernatorial campaign in 1982, he received around 35 percent of the black vote in his victory.

Wallace sent out one of his new black appointees, Delores Pickett, to campaign for him among her people. “Forgiveness is in our Christian upbringing,” she told her black audiences. “It’s something that Martin Luther King taught us.”

Black Alabamans were for the most part churchgoing people who were taught that redemption comes from forgiveness. They wanted to believe the governor had changed, and if he of all people had changed, then the world had changed.

As he sat in his wheelchair filled with pain, Wallace said he had found Jesus. But that faith never led him to face up publically to his long-held beliefs. He claimed his actions were driven by a belief in states’ rights and that he had never felt prejudice toward black people. He might have taken the lynching of Michael Donald and the conviction of the two murderers as a moment to talk about the wrongfulness of so much he had said and how words led to deeds, but he remained silent.

Despite the limitations of his public apologies, in private Wallace was beginning to grasp that he shared moral responsibility for so many reprehensible acts. One evening during his final full year in office in 1986, one of his aides, Kenneth Mullinax, was over at the governor’s mansion. Cigar smoke wafted down from an upstairs bedroom, and Mullinax went up to chat with Wallace.

“I have a lot of regrets,” Wallace said, “and I really worry about my soul.”

“But you’re born again, Governor,” Mullinax said.

“I flew all them runs over Tokyo dropping bombs, but that don’t worry me none. It’s my words. They kilt a lot of people. That’s why I’m worried I’m going to hell.”

Wallace had spoken the most provocative rhetoric. Then he had stood back and taken no responsibility for what his words led people to do. Now after all these years, he had come to an understanding of what power he truly had possessed, how profound his impact had been, and how tragic the results.

This was taken from THE LYNCHING…THE EPIC COURTROOM BATTLE THAT BROUGHT DOWN THE KLAN by Laurence Leamer

…trump…wallace, all over again.

………hugmamma.