FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Ten Years

Ten years ago, my sister Laura and I were in Greenwich Village at a restaurant near Washington Square Park. We stood all afternoon, hopped up at New York City’s Gay Pride Parade.

I’ve told you one of my hobbies is eavesdropping. And on that particular evening, my nervous system vibrated from nearby conversation. Soon I was leaning. Leaning to hear more. So much so, I apologized and then further infringed. “May I add something?” The two nodded. I intro’d Laura, intro’d myself. They intro’d themselves, mother and daughter. I wish I could remember the exchange, though recalling the feeling, feeling it now, is enough. Memories flitter and flicker evocatively.

On our right, a man and woman, he a New Yorker, she from France (maybe lovers), sat. Soon they joined the discussion. And then others. I’m smiling now, wistfully, as I recall the room, small tables, the intimacy. It was magical. As Laura and I left, did I suggest, “Same time next year?” Did she? Maybe. spins in extremes, both concentrated and expansive, the past viewed through gossamer.

Ten years ago, Obama was months away from taking the POTUS oath. Peaceniks were filled with hope. The world was filled with hope. Then in August of 2008 Obama tapped Joe Biden as his running mate. Many were filled with hope still, but at some time, somewhere, tucked in there between the announcement and the election, Biden said, “You don’t have to be Jewish to be a Zionist.” I knew Obama couldn’t/wouldn’t save us, that no one among the political class could or would save us EVER. And writing that—well, it’s not solidly accurate. I knew before, knew after the 2006 midterms when the Dems took Congress and……………. nothing changed, and I feel stupid that it took so long for me to realize how propagandized I was. How long I believed there was a difference between Republicans and Democrats. How long I believed that capitalism was a just economic system. How long I believed the USA provided opportunities for all.

It’s even worse today. Some of you will challenge this. You’ll say separating migrant children from their parents predates Trump, that Barack Obama did it, just suavely, quietly. You’ll say Obama killed and maimed children with his war policy. All true. Trump’s military drops a bomb every 12 minutes. Both George Bush and Obama were epic mass murderers, and it appears that the current Megalomaniac-in-Chief will equal and perhaps surpass his predecessors in destruction. Still, there is something even more merciless with Trump, a zealous tribalism and legitimation, permission for white nationalists to speak, even act, violently against anyone they consider un-human. And they consider anyone un-human whose skin color is various shades of dark.

Meanwhile, war against the un-human rarely is discussed on corporate media outlets. Instead, those venues representing “liberal” views perform outrage that Trump is engaging in a particular hour’s chaos.

Ten years have passed and I am back in the city I love, back for the birth of my second grandson, on call to take care of my four-year-old grandson, formerly known as Mr. Poop-adore, when my daughter-in-law goes into labor. Secondary is reliving an exquisite moment—the Pride Parade and dinner at the Washington Square Hotel. So, yesterday, Laura, my guy, and I took the subway from Brooklyn to Manhattan, emerging up and into a crowd we’d heard would number one million—paradise for me. Diversity, acceptance, expressions of love. Love everywhere. Love that I photographed.

A child, wearing a shirt with two words: “LOVE WINS”

A sign that read: “LOVE HAS NO BORDERS”

Another: “KEEP FAMILIES TOGETHER”

This: “Let US Never Rest Until Those Children ARE REUNITED With Their PARENTS”

And: “MAKE AMERICA GAY AGAIN”

Someone handed Laura a card:

SPREAD THE LOVE
People notice the good you bring into the world!
KEEP THIS CARD AS A REMINDER THAT YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL HUMAN BEING
OR
PASS THIS ON TO SOMEONE WHO COULD USE A LITTLE EXTRA LOVE

I should have read this before Chuck Schumer marched past, surrounded by his followers, because I didn’t spread the love to the old, capitalist, Zionist, imperialist monster. Instead, I shouted, “Resign. Resign. Term Limits. Resign.”

I did however spread love while walking later though Washington Square Park. No conversations with strangers this time at the restaurant though.

Later, when I talked with my grandson and he told me he’d been to a rally, he said, “Mimi, Donald Trump took those children away.”

His mum asked if he had anything else to tell me. He said, “No justice, no peace.”

I arrived here through a memory. And created another.

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
Andrew Levine
A Bulwark Against the Idiocy of Conservatives Like Brett Kavanaugh
T.J. Coles
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex
Jeff Ballinger
Nike and Colin Kaepernick: Fronting the Bigots’ Team
David Rosen
Why Stop at Roe? How “Settled Law” Can be Overturned
Gary Olson
Pope Francis and the Battle Over Cultural Terrain
Nick Pemberton
Donald The Victim: A Product of Post-9/11 America
Ramzy Baroud
The Veiled Danger of the ‘Dead’ Oslo Accords
Kevin Martin
U.S. Support for the Bombing of Yemen to Continue
Robert Fisk
A Murder in Aleppo
Robert Hunziker
The Elite World Order in Jitters
Ben Dangl
After 9/11: The Staggering Economic and Human Cost of the War on Terror
Charles Pierson
Invade The Hague! Bolton vs. the ICC
Robert Fantina
Trump and Palestine
Daniel Warner
Hubris on and Off the Court
John Kendall Hawkins
Boning Up on Eternal Recurrence, Kubrick-style: “2001,” Revisited
Haydar Khan
Set Theory of the Left
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail