Everyone Needs To Be Heard


I have been monitoring the murder of Freddie Gray and I was glad to see that the protests were peaceful, until yesterday.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said:  “Violence is the language of the unheard.”

I want to share that I have personally marched and picketed up to 1995, when my husband died.  It was a very difficult time for me, after his loss, and I could no longer use my energy as I once did.  While protesting in Harrisburg, PA; Washington, DC; Cleveland, OH; and Erie, PA, as it happened, the marches and protests I participated in were peaceful.

 

 

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

 

As my readers know, I am a pacifist.  I believe in Peace, not war.  What does war get us?  Nothing.

I had a conversation last night with a very dear friend, and we were discussing Freddie Gray’s murder, and the protests that were beginning, at that time, to turn violent.  He made me realize that what Martin Luther King, Jr. said back in the 60’s, continues to be true:  If people are not heard; if their words and peaceful protests are not met with understanding and action, with changes for the betterment of all peoples, then there will be violence, there will be bloodshed.

This has been a very difficult time for me, because I do not believe in violence; and yet, I know that if people continue to go unheard, unheeded and undervalued by their city governments, state governments, federal government, there will be repercussions.

My friend is starting a list — he has found, so far, at least 1 young man has been killed by police everyday in the past year.  Not just black men, but hispanic men, asian men, white men; muslim men, Christian men, Jewish men.  Men from all races, religions and creeds.  It surprised and shocked me that so many young men are dying at the hands of our own police, here in the United States.

 

 

Black Lives are Important to America

Black Lives are Important to America

 

 

It is difficult to comprehend that the police have gotten to a place where they feel they have the right to take a life because they run away, or because they mouth off.  It has been a while since the police have been seen in such a bad light, but the time is here again, when police departments across the nation are losing the confidence of the citizens whom they are supposed to “serve and protect”.

My concept of “serve and protect” is to be able to maturely come to a valid assessment of a situation and to react to that situation with the best of your ability for what is within the law and what is in the best interests of the community.

I live in a suburb of Cleveland, OH, as many of you know, and a short time ago, we had a 12-year-old boy, Tamir Rice, who was playing in a park.  Someone called in a 911 call to say that there was someone acting suspiciously in the park.  A police cruiser was sent to the scene and the two officers killed this child because he was playing with a toy gun.

My heart breaks for this child and his family.  His death is something that they will never recover from, completely.

The arrival of the police and the fatal shots were videoed by a by-stander, and so much was found wrong with the behavior of the police officers, that even in my idealism, I can find no excuse for such terrible behavior.  They shot Tamir within 12 seconds of arriving on the scene.  There was no discussion, no evaluation, no attempt to diffuse the situation.  There was only immediate, permanent death.

 

 

Peaceful protests show that people want to be heard.

Peaceful protests show that people want to be heard.

 

 

In Baltimore, the protests have become violent and unfortunately no one listened to the people during the peaceful protests which occurred first.  I read a quote once that it takes war to bring about change.

I understand why this was said, but I have to believe that if we just listen to what people are saying, to their honest, peaceful words for peace and change, we can solve this together with all Americans equally voicing their opinions.

 

 

UnnecessaryViolence1Unheard people will resort to violence

 

If the unheard voices do not become heard, we could end up in a revolution within our shores, or another civil war; not state against state, not north against south, but the poor against the privileged, and the disenfranchised against those with power.

I have 9 grandchildren.  I do not want them to have to live through a civil war, or a revolution.

Right now, the majority of the protesters are black and they are protesting the unnecessary death of Freddie Gray.

 

 

Anger erupts as people feel they have no other options for their anger.

Anger erupts as people feel they have no other options for their anger.

 

 

If police tactics and brutality do not end, there will be protests among every racial, religious and other disenfranchised group in America.  This is never going to go away without Justice; police officers must be held accountable and responsible for their bad choices, and for the murder of people they are supposed to protect.

I want to say how badly I feel for all the young lives which have been taken for no good reason.  I want to say the police are brutalizing American citizens and should be punished for their crimes against the citizens of the United States.

In general, I believe that the police will be given the amount of respect that they give to the people they are attempting to arrest, but even if they are not, it is not right to kill those people.

My message, therefore, to community leaders across this country — to police commissioners and their officers — is to Stop Killing Young People.

If we forget the importance and sacredness of life, then we will become the barbarians that human beings once were.

Black Lives Matter.

Hispanic Lives Matter.

Asian Lives Matter.

Native American Lives Matter.

European Lives Matter.

Middle-Eastern Lives Matter.

Muslim Lives Matter.

Christian Lives Matter.

Jewish Lives Matter.

LGBT Lives Matter.

Straight Lives Matter.

Criminal’s Lives Matter.

Police’s Lives Matter.

ALL LIVES MATTER.

We need to start acting like it.

Life is Important


A few days ago, I posted a piece about ISIS deliberately impregnated a nine year old girl. This little girl experienced rape and trauma to her little body. Today, ISIS is surrounding another Iraqi city. I want to thank you all for your comments on my initial post. Please add your prayers to your comments.

 

There are many people in the world who have lost their respect for human life. All life is created by Divinity. All life, human or otherwise, is precious and does not deserve ill-treatment. Impregnating a woman or a girl is power and control. It is humiliating the female and wanting her family to shun her. This is a way to destroy the life of the female and to devastate her family. It also raises a new generation that would be damaged emotionally by the circumstances of their lives and families.

 

Now that ISIS is surrounding another Iraqi city, the city may collapse. If it does, there are thousands of lives at risk. Men and women captured and tortured and possibly killed as so many others have been. Women and girls raped or gang raped. Why? Because they are different, they call their God a different name.

 

Yet, down through history, the different names of a Divine Being have separated human beings from each other. These Divine Names are the reason for wars, atrocities, rapes, and mass murders. Hundreds of humans have died throughout the centuries because civilizations and countries have at times lost their respect for human life. WWII is one example. Millions of people were killed because of who they were but also because of who and what they weren’t.

 

For people to rape and impregnate children, there is a disconnect between their minds and their emotions. Many are psychopaths and feel no emotion. Not just people in ISIS but even some American citizens. The elderly have no use or meaning to these people and neither do women of any age. A world where life has no meaning is a terrifying and devastating place for us to be in.

 

Life is important. It has meaning that many don’t want to acknowledge. The meaning of life carries us to kindness, compassion, love and joy. These attributes carry us to peace. A lack of these attributes carries us to war. What is war good for?  NOTHING.

If Death Were a Woman


This poem grabbed me.  I wasn’t thinking about Death, but the beauty of the words — the possibility of it — captured my imagination today.

We all will face Death, one day — some of us sooner than others — but how we face it, how we accept it or fight it, can be as important as how we live on the way there.

Death is scary.  It isn’t something I want to do, any time soon — I have grandchildren to watch grow up, great-grandchildren to welcome many years from now — but when it comes, it would be nice to think it would be like this poem.  Nice to think that those I’ve loved and lost were welcomed to the Other Side in so gentle and beautiful a fashion.

Namaste,

Barbara

 

 

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If Death Were a Woman

–Ellen Kort

I’d want her to come for me smelling of cinnamon

wearing bright cotton      purple maybe       hot pink

 

a red bandana in her hair          She’d bring

good coffee         papaya juice       bouquet of sea grass

 

saltine crackers and a lottery ticket      We’d dip

our fingers into moist pouches of lady’s slippers

 

crouch down to see how cabbage feel when wind

bumps against them in the garden     We’d walk

 

through Martin’s woods      find the old house

its crumbling foundation strung with honeysuckle vines

 

and in the front yard     a surprise     jonquils

turning the air yellow     glistening and ripe

 

still blooming for a gardener long gone

We’d head for the beach wearing strings of shells

 

around our left ankles     laugh at their ticking

sounds     the measured beat that comes with dancing

 

on hard-packed sand     the applause of ocean and gulls

She’d play ocarina songs to a moon almost full

 

and I’d sing off-key     We’d glide and swoop

become confetti of leaf fall     all wings

 

floating on small whirlwinds     never once dreading

the heart-silenced drop     And when it was time

 

she would not bathe me     Instead we’d scrub the porch

pour leftover water on flowers     stand a long time

 

in sun and silence     then      holding hands

we’d post for pictures     in the last light

 

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Rest in Peace Kayla


 

The White House and Kayla Mueller’s family have verified her death while a captive of ISIL. She was a beautiful humanitarian and along with the other captive who have been murdered, May They All Rest in Peace in the beauty and love of God. May they be blessed and their families comforted. They are brave beyond understanding.

Nameste

 

The delicate beauty of God's world. Butterflies are so fragile and beautiful.

The delicate beauty of God’s world. Butterflies are so fragile and beautiful. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

This is Domestic Violence


Some days, we all need some humor. I have over a foot of snow here. So you get humor!!!

Deadly shooting in Georgia with children among victims

Flowers and teddy bears lay on the street outside the home of a shooting scene where authorities say five people are dead, including the gunman, in Douglasville, Ga. on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015. DAVID GOLDMAN, AP

Last Updated Feb 7, 2015 9:44 PM EST

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. — At least five people, including children, were killed in a shooting west of Atlanta Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

Lt. Glenn Daniel of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said a man came to a house and shot his ex-wife and several children.

CBS affiliate WGCL-TV in Atlanta reported the shooting happened on Willow Tree Circle in the Amber Forest subdivision. Daniel said officers received a 911 reporting the gunfire at 3 p.m.

Daniel said that some neighbors apparently heard or saw the shooting and came outside to assist the victims until rescuers arrived. Some victims appeared to have been shot inside the residence while others were apparently shot outside.

A seven-year-old child was one of the people killed, WGCL reported. Daniel told the station two children were among the wounded. The youngest victim was described as a toddler.

The shooter is believed to have died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Daniel said. Police were still working Saturday to identify the victims and confirm their relationships, he said.

“I’ve never seen this many victims in one shooting in my 38-year career,” Chief Deputy Stan Copeland told WGCL.

Daniel said he did not immediately know when the couple divorced or whether the family had prior contact with police.

“I’ve been in law enforcement out here 20 years and this is the worst I’ve ever seen,” Daniel said.

Investigators have not released the names of the suspect or the victims because their family members have not yet been notified. The motive of the shooting was not immediately clear.

Investigators obtained a warrant to enter the home, now surrounded by crime scene tape, on Saturday so they could collect and examine evidence from the crime scene.

“It’s just shocking. As a parent, you don’t want to think that a mother would lose her child,” neighbor Geraldine Price told WGCL. “It’s just shocking all together and it’s sad.”

“It’s very devastating,” said Shelton Price. “Nothing ever really happens here.”

Kenya Beyah, who lives about four doors down from the home where the shooting began, left flowers at the scene Saturday evening. She didn’t know the family but said she saw kids playing outside from time to time, she said.

Gun violence in America


5-year-old boy finds gun, shoots baby brother in head

The Sexism Behind Abuse


Many different ways have been devised for keeping women subordinated to men in patriarchal societies. Footbinding was used by the Chinese to cripple women for over a thousand years. Purdah, is the Muslim practice of secluding women from contact with men outside of the immediate family. Muslim women are to this day, are prisoners in their own homes. Clitoridectomy, the excision of the clitoris, is still practiced on millions of young, pre-puberty girls today in Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq,  Guinea and Ethiopia.

 

Violence against women in the form of battering in the home and rape in and outside of the home is a major issue for societies to address and stop. Violence against women has happened so often for millennia. Yet women continue to leave in fear for their lives.

 

Women in Japan, Netherlands, France, Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, USA and Germany began to stand up for their human rights as women in the 1970’s. There has been much done to stop the battering but we have not ended violence against women.

 

As women, we demand that governments recognize the existence and extent of this problem in almost every society. We demand safety for ourselves and our children. I began work in Domestic Violence in the seventies, and here in America women continue to be killed, to face daily violence, to lose their self-respect and their hope. It is very difficult to find the courage to leave an abuser when he has twisted your actions and words to manipulate and control you.

 

Whether the abuser is male or female, the penalty for Domestic Violence must be increased. The perpetrator must be more severely punished.

 

Rape is the other type of violence against women that must be stopped. Rape has nothing to do with sex. It is constructed by a man’s need to have power and control over a woman. Men in sexist societies are surrounded by sexist views and attitudes which they use to validate their actions against women.

 

Male violence against towards women can not be eradicated without also eradicating the unequal power relationships between the sexes. Many sociologists feel that the traditional family need to be changed. Equality within domestic relationships is very important if we are to completely eradicate violence in families. This includes violence against children.

 

Spanking children is abuse. Slapping them is abuse. In addition, it teaches them that at the basic level, violence is the way to deal with problems and/or behaviors we are not comfortable with. This is why abuse is found in dysfunctional families. It is passed on from one generation to another. Children in violent homes, learn how to abuse and how to be a victim. No one should be a victim, ever.

 

I must also speak to teenage girls. There is nothing you can do that means your boyfriend has the right to abuse, hit, batter, slap or kick you. It is his issue and not yours. Talk to your guidance counselor or doctor or your parents.

“Love is never meant to hurt. It should never leave red marks, bruises, or broken bones.”  — Barbara Mattio

 

 

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The first time you are beaten is the time you should leave. Abusers do kill women.

The first time you are beaten is the time you should leave. Abusers do kill women.

 

 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.