Reblogged on WordPress.com
Natalie, till I die I will never forget your words. A garden is the closest we can come to Creation. You touched my heart. Hugs, Barbara
My extravagance is my garden –
it’s the first thing I look at
every morning when I wake up.
It gives me so much pleasure.
According to Margaret Atwood, “Gardening is not a rational act.” And though I like to think of myself as a fairly rational person most of the time, I’m given from time to time, like most folks, to a little irrationality especially in the garden. So here goes today’s saga about my most recent fall from rational grace, as it were. The only thing I needed at the nursery was a bag of planting mix, but as always I wanted to stroll up and down the rows and rows of flowers before making my purchase. The first thing that caught my eye was this amazing white clematis with its chocolate colored anthers. As I stood admiring it, I kept saying to myself, “No, Natalie, you…
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“The soul of a country is all of the people”. Yes, and you have said it very well. Blessings to Croatia and to all those who suffered from genocide and to those who fled for their lives. Hugs, Barbara
There is a repugnant movement by a group of “cultural workers”, so-called “the Culturals 2016”, that’s placing justice for all victims at further peril, gaining some ground in Croatia around this time of commemorating the anniversaries of the WWII murders and Holocaust at Jasenovac (late-April) and of the mass murders and exterminations that occurred at Bleiburg and Way of the Cross immediately and months after WWII (mid-May). The Culturals 2016 or this group of a hundred or so people such as artists, writers, actors…call themselves “the soul of Croatian culture” and, as such, they want Croatia’s Minister for culture, Zlatko Hasanbegovic, out!
It’s beyond my decency and common sense to accept the fact that a couple of hundred artists, actors or writers are the soul of the culture of any nation, let alone Croatia. The soul of the culture is all the people of a…
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I have two stories to tell you. They are not politically correct. They are however true stories. But I must tell them, because I walk my talk, and my talk is that there are bad people who get into …
I have two stories to tell you. They are not politically correct. They are however true stories. But I must tell them, because I walk my talk, and my talk is that there are bad people who get into power and that power turns them into ego-maniacs.
I love beauty, art, children, peace, music and photography. We can’t always just see the beauty. We need to be aware of the ugly and evil also. As my grandfather told me when I was nine…we can’t let it happen again. My grandfather was a Croatian immigrant who I loved and respected beyond words. He was the best man I have ever met in my sixty-five years. He wasn’t perfect, but he was bigger than life in my mind. He died when I was twenty two and I never forget anything he taught me.
Yesterday, I reblogged a superior post about black slavery. Many who are my age know that the KKK is an organization which hides behind white sheets and commits unspeakable crimes. I have known we must speak of them so these crimes won’t happen again. I had never, however, seen so much Black misery, torture, and sheer meanness in my life in once place. Some of the medical experiments I knew about from classes in nursing school. Blacks and convicts were used for many government experiments.
I had never heard about taking Black babies out to the swamps and bayous and using them for bait to catch alligators. I was horrified and sickened physically.
Human slavery has existed since the dawn of civilizations. It is by no means a civilized act. War captives were often kept as slaves for the rest of their lives. Have you ever watched the movie The Gladiator, with Russell Crowe? Does the longevity of this practice mean it is acceptable? Absolutely not. Prostitution has been around at least as long as slavery and it is also wrong. But that is another blog.
Slavery is alive and well today, and going by the name Human Trafficking. This time Caucasian people, especially women and children, are being taken and sold into work slavery or sexual slavery. Caucasians are not the only people being kidnapped and sold. It changes but it remains the same. One human being owning the body, mind and soul of at least one other human being.
In America, in the slaveholding days, Caucasian people thumped their bibles and declared that God wanted Black people to be slaves. That they were created to be animals to work endlessly and to reproduce to make the Massa richer than he all ready was. So they filled their mouths with self-righteousness and beat, worked, starved and tortured their slaves. I think it made them feel like big men. Alpha men, in charge because all they could see was given to them by God.
So American slaves had to endure illiteracy, beatings, working in cotton, cane and tobacco fields from sun up to sun down. I can’t get the images out of my mind of thousands of men, women and children working under the Southern sun picking the crops.
I can’t stop seeing the pictures of men and women lynched for some perceived law they violated. Public executions, castrations, and many other tortures I will not discuss here.
But the Alligator babies is what kept me up all night. A baby, a human life thrown into the bayous as if it were a worm on a hook. Mothers were made to watch. The baby was thrown into the water and an alligator would practically swallow it whole. Then they would catch the alligator. Sick beyond belief.
In Europe, during the Holocaust, the Nazis would skeet shoot. They would throw Jewish babies high into the air and an officer would shoot at the baby. If he got the bullet into the belly button, it was considered a bullseye. These mothers were also made to watch. And many were shot after they did watch.
Jews were not the only victims of the irrational fear Hitler had of “others”. Other victims included Gypsies, the mentally and physically disabled, the Poles, and Communists. The Gypsies were thought of as dogs, so they were not even kept in the same barracks as the Jews. In the camps, there was regular dehumanization. Often prisoners had no clothes to wear. The Nazis took whatever possessions they managed to bring with them. Food was so very scarce. Many of the detainees looked like walking skeletons with skin over the bones. Sick prisoners were often thrown into graves they dug before they were even dead.
When Yugoslavia broke from the Soviet Union, Serbia, Croatia and other Baltic Countries could no longer understand how to live without Communism. My grandfather fled Croatia before the Communists came. Eastern Europe is now a ravaged area when Communism broke the spirits of the people. They have gone through intense genocide and each country tried to eliminate the other countries which made up Communist Yugoslavia. Croatia remains in such flux that the country takes a step forward and two steps back. They are working hard though, to create the country that they want to be proud citizens of.
Rwanda and other war-torn countries are a hot mess, as the kids say. Dictators come to power and kill the millions of citizens who followed the previous leader. Human trafficking happens in these countries too. Children are captured and made into soldiers and made to kill. Women and girls are sold as sex slaves. Many women and girls are just raped and/or gang raped. Remember rape has everything to do with power and control.
Once a female is raped, no one in her village or her home wants her. They are now dirty and are considered untouchable. Their villages turn their backs upon them. They are now as low as an animal.
This litany of woes of the human experience is sickening and devastating. The UN must, in short order, bring war criminals to justice as was done after the Holocaust. There must be justice for victims and an understanding that all crimes will be punished by the International Court at The Hague.
As people who live on this planet, and have not suffered these atrocities, we must demand justice for those who can no longer speak for themselves. We must not look away, because this evil cannot be allowed to continue. We must care. We must take care of ourselves emotionally but we must not look away. In America, having a President of color, whom I respect greatly, has really shown that racism is alive and well in the United States of America. We must address each incident of bigotry and hatred with justice and no tolerance of the evil which resides here.
Yes, I believe in speaking “politically correct” language. Not because it is fashionable, or because it offends to not do so, but because using the language so often derided as “politically correct” shows respect for those spoken to and about. Caucasians in power must deliver justice with an even hand. Our local governments and police forces must serve all of their citizens, not just the Caucasians. If an officer commits a crime, he or she must pay the penalty which should be swift.
So for Tamir Rice, Eric Gardner, Michael Brown and the hundreds of young black men who have been sacrificed to bigotry and racism, I say, I promise, we will not forget you and what you suffered.
I have not shown pictures here that would be the most graphic. These from wars are bad enough but please understand these photographs are the easiest to handle. What do we do? If there is a racist bigot within you, excise it. Write to the UN in defense of those who are being used as weapons of war. Write and donate to UNICEF to help get children out of war torn countries. Treat the Black people you meet like you would treat anyone else. Get to know them. Enjoy them and let them get to know you. Stand up for Black Lives Matter. Don’t believe everything a government tells you. Think for yourself and question. If candidates talk about rounding up Muslims, this is racism and bigotry. Speak your truth and don’t vote for bigotry.