For millennia, women have been sacrificing their own hopes, wishes, dreams and bodies — to preserve life and to build a better life for their family. Sometimes … often … they sacrificed everything to make sure their children survived. Anything any of us might have wished to do while young, was stamped out, stamped down, forced into a mold and given an image to live up to: wife, daughter, sister, mother. Teacher. Nurse.
Most people know, I think, what it is to be a good mother, good friend, good sister, good wife, good daughter.
Anyone who wants to be a leader should know what that means, too. Right now, we have far too few good leaders and far, far too many bad ones.
The best leaders have little interest in themselves and their own opinions in the absence of other thoughts, and every interest in the well-being of others. They think, not on their momentary desires, not about a title, not about fame, and not about money. They think about what’s really important and they think in the long term. They think in potentialities. They seek to uplift and encourage. Inspire and motivate.
They are perhaps, like Gandhi, a small, frail man in loincloth and sandals. Or Christ, a small, frail man in loincloth and sandals. Or Buddha, a small, frail man in loincloth and sandals. Or Martin Luther King, Jr., a small man, perhaps not so frail, in a preacher’s suit and tie, standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial addressing hundreds of thousands, calling forth a dream in the midst of the real world in which we live, a world which, for far too many, is a nightmare.
In this nightmare world, a woman like Madeleine Albright is praised, an equivocator able to justify any action according to her own ever-changing, momentary need for attention and validation.
This sick world says that young women like Brittany are “weak” because they won’t accept the murderous, duplicitous brutality that our “leaders” try to tell us is good, right, essential, needful.
I say that young women like Brittany, my daughter, students and all the other young women I have gotten to know while supporting Bernie Sanders, and now, as a Green Party member, are strong. They are realistic — they see the many overwhelming problems we have — and they care equally about themselves and others.
You can’t care about others unless you care about yourself first. You cannot effectively love others and treat them with respect unless you love your own self, and respect your own self — first.
Caring for one’s self and respecting one’s self has little in common with a relentless drive for personal power and money at the expense of anyone else and everything else.
Read those words of Madeleine Albright’s from the news interview, if you like. Just read slowly, word by word.
Mrs. Albright equivocates killing people at a remote distance for benefits she isn’t even able to voice. “It’s a gray area; there are so many of them.”
So, you tell Brittany she is to admire or “understand” something like this simply because Albright is the first female to have achieved the privilege of drone bombing children on behalf of the morally and spiritually decrepit leadership of this nation.
I was stunned the other day to realize that the 13th Amendment not only does not outlaw slavery, it specifically excepts unpaid prison labor, today a highly lucrative business for private prison companies and exploitive state governments.
I say I was stunned because despite the fact my brother died of AIDS in a prison halfway house, I really never associated the police, probation and prosecutors I had known and worked with over the years as “slave owners” or “slavery.” But every black person knew and knows they could be put back to work for someone else for free in the literal chains of Parchman Farm, a place I’ve seen with my own eyes. Parchman and countless others, from New York State to Southern California.
The U.S. has 2.2 million adults incarcerated at present and another 4.7 million on probation or parole. That is 5 to 7 times the rate per hundred thousand of any other nation. The reason isn’t a desire for lower crime or anything but that 13th Amendment which cleverly gave those desiring wealth at the expense of others’ labor an easy replacement for their “Peculiar Institution.” The almighty dollar and incarcerated slave labor. Hillary Clinton said this herself in speeches. Her answer to it?
She didn’t, wouldn’t, and couldn’t have an answer. It was just something she said to differentiate herself from her opponent at the time.
Clinton unselfconsciously wrote her real opinion (just as Madeleine Albright said there was a “special place in Hell” ha ha ha !! they all thought it was so funny ! ! for women who wouldn’t do what she wanted) in her famous book It Takes a Village. Some people think no one ever read that book despite its “bestseller” status in the 90s; others think that times have simply changed to the point that this eye-popping endorsement of slave labor is now shocking to snotty upper class whites, and it wasn’t in the 90s.
It’s so funny to read these matter-of-fact statements, because one of those clients Hillary had defended was a 41-year-old man who brutally raped and nearly killed a 12-year-old girl. The girl survived and is now an adult woman of about my age. Her life was permanently scarred by what the man did to her.
Ha ha ha, it turns out that man did do the crime but passed the lie detector test! Ha ha ha ha ha.
A lot of times when we look at leadership training programs, they say a “good sense of humor” is one of the most crucial qualifications.
Well, so here, let me tell ya. I was goodlooking enough to be engaged to marry a young guy who was going to inherit the ConocoPhillips oil fortune. I was smart enough to get a full four-year scholarship ride to one of America’s most expensive, prestigious private women’s colleges. And, I’ve been successful in each of my three chosen careers, as much as is humanly possible. I’m not a “failed writer” or a “bad college teacher” or an “ineffective fundraiser” —
But those things aren’t how I judge my life. I judge my life by what kind of friend I have been, what kind of partner and wife, and most especially how I have fulfilled my duties as a mother. Like my own mother before me, I would have gladly given my life so my child might live.
I look back and now realize I said no to John and married a poor, honest man not because I was stupid, but because the most important thing to me was to live free by my own values. I would have rather had an honest, decent life than any amount of money, fame — or power.
See, I don’t think the ability to do the things Madeleine Albright did — bombings and sanctions that starve and destroy — is “power.” I think it’s at-best, confusion. At worst, it’s a mentally-weak person telling herself that killing children somehow accomplishes anything good for the world, talking as fast as she can, washing her hands raw over and over like Lady Macbeth.
I don’t think taking bags of money that ends up killing others or destroying their chance at a decent life represents “power” or “leadership.” I think it just represents greed, hypocrisy and callousness.
I did the best I could with what I had and I am not ashamed of it. The reason I didn’t take one of those jobs, and instead worked to help homeless families or help women start and grow their businesses, or helped students learn and grow or wrote books that would uplift others, not denigrate them, terrify them, and above all, did not pander to the accepted narrative —
Is because like the majority of the 7 billion people on this earth, I am a human being who does not think I’m “better than” everyone else, and “especially suited to leadership” — even “born to lead”. I do think we are all equal under God and we should be under man’s law as well.
This way of thinking is what needs to end. It doesn’t matter whether the dictator wears a dress and lipstick or a general’s uniform, or goes by the name of “Warren Buffett.” We are fighting the same war today as has been fought over and over again.
And will continue to be fought over and over again until the last person who thinks they have all the answers, man or woman, understands
That no one has “all the answers,” but most especially —
Nothing good or right or lasting or true was ever built at the point of a gun, or with a chain around someone’s ankle or with the soft slavery of credit cards, home loans, consumerism, the endless drumbeat of our worth is what those who pretend they have power say of us, not coming from inside our own selves.
One of our friends consistently uses this quote from a very wise lady, a real lady, whom I believe did better the world for others and who did sacrifice selflessly —
These women you say are such heroes and role models have nothing in common with me. Nor do they have much in common with anyone else except the other members of this, particularly wretched, diseased crop of a world ruling class.
Too weak-minded to take any risks of any type, forever trapped in a cycle of greed, lies and endless “gray areas” of no morality whatsoever.
Just because someone’s face is on television 24–7 doesn’t make them a “leader.” Just because a person was a minority or female who received an official designation of “success” from the media doesn’t mean they fit any actual, concrete, real-world success.
Above all, being in today’s politics is almost more of a damnation than any praise or commendation. What type of person can say that drone bombing hundreds of little children is any type of achievement?
It’s a coward’s way, first of all, and second of all, how can anyone say these actions are any better than Hitler’s Germany, sending little children to showers to be gassed out of sight? Or sanctions that starve hundreds of thousands, and perhaps even millions, are “acceptable” and “effective.”
This evil is only made possible by the endless lie machine that tells us we should serve the inchoate bottomless maw of financial greed, physical laziness, spiritual emptiness, and complete moral decrepitude represented by our “leadership” at present.
I am glad I did the best I could as a mother and continue to do so, and I’m glad I’ve worked hard as a teacher. I’m glad I’ve never put my name to any type of writing I’m not proud of, and I’m glad I was able to have a small glimpse, during my lifetime, of a better world and a happy future for all of our children.
It sure as hell is not going to come through a credit card, a hospital bill, a drone bomb or more and more of the endless, ceaseless, jabbering nonsense and lies urging us to war, urging us to death, urging us to hate.
Love ourselves first, and then we gain the ability to love and care for others as well as the world in which we live.
Dealing death isn’t strength: it’s weakness. Telling lies isn’t strength either. Only an abuser lies to their family members and friends. Only a cheater tries to rob others or manipulate them into slave-like labor. Nothing good has ever, ever come of anything like that.
People responded to Bernie Sanders because he spoke plainly and simply and had a care for the entire nation. He said, “Not me, Us.” That is why they cared about him and that is why his message will continue to grow and thrive.
I know exactly what type of woman does and says as Hillary Clinton has said and done. I turned my back on that 30 years ago and I will never, ever turn back. It is a lot easier for today’s young women to see that just having a title doesn’t necessarily mean anything good and that “actions speak louder than words.”