Recap of My Week….thoughts

It seemed to be a week of tragic loss.  I had a friend pass away from cancer; his daughter posted the most loving last photos of him and her together that brought tears to my eyes.  But his suffering is over now, he’s no longer lingering in severe pain and hopefully he is at peace with his creator.

Then we had this horrible incident in Dallas that brought great loss to a community as well as to the families of the 5 murdered police officers.  All of this violence here really is out of control.  We have so much racial strife here at this time that it’s really sad and scary.  I don’t understand it one bit.  It’s such a redundant question: Why can’t we all get along? There is no real answer to it.  We just don’t seem to be able to do it.  And this war between the black population of this country and the law enforcement of it is just way out of control.  It feels like an “eye for an eye” sort of mentality has emerged, the police kill another black man and then a police officer or two are killed….over and over it’s happening.  Where does it stop?  How do we get to a point of peace?

I am not one to speak on racial issues really.  I grew up and live in a very white part of America. It’s impossible for me to imagine what it’s like to live in a more racially diverse area such as Atlanta, Baton Rouge or Texas.  Here the population is predominantly white.  We do have immigrants from various places who come to Maine from war torn lands far way, such as Somolia.  But they seem to stick together in pockets, separating themselves in many ways.  I don’t understand that either.  It’s just very foreign to me.

My experience with the melting pot of American culture was when I was in the Army.  There we had all different races and ethnicities, all different religions and kinds of people mixed together serving this country.  We all took the same oath and we all seemed to get along pretty well as far as I saw.   The color of someones’ skin never mattered to me.  People are people, regardless of their race or religion in my world.  I know I am jaded, I just don’t have the experience necessary to properly see the real problems.

It makes me sad and angry at the same time that we are in such a cycle of violence.  People are arguing and fighting about whose lives “matter” when in reality all lives should matter and be counted.  Rich, poor, black, white, whoever!!!  We all should matter.  And no life is more valuable or less valuable than any other.  At least that’s how I see it.

….It’s a cool and rainy day here today.  The afternoon sea breeze is just starting.  I have been cleaning out my house, de-junking, and getting ready for our park-wide yard sale next Saturday.  I hope to slim down the load a bit, get rid of things that I just don’t need, use or want anymore.  It feels good to clean through stuff, examine what I have and decide if I need it or not.  I’ve gone through all of the closets, where we hide things away, and organized them nicely once I was through cleaning out stuff that needs to go.  It seems like a meanial task, but it has to be done periodically.  This will be the 2nd yard sale I have participated in this season, the first was at my sister’s and I had to haul the stuff over there, this one is going to be right here at my place.  I plan to set up in front of my shed – which is where the bulk of stuff that I am getting rid of is currently being stored.

Once this yard sale is over I will donate what is left over to one of the local thrift shops, keeping the more valuable stuff to sell later.  Like the lawn mower and trimmer that I have that I don’t need any longer.  Who needs TWO lawn mowers???  And the trimmer is a gas powered Craftsman, very nice trimmer, but it’s so heavy.  I want to purchase a nice light weight battery powered one like my Mom has.  It will be so much easier to use.

After all of that is gone I am planning to build a nice work bench in the shed.  My shed is very large, like 8′ wide by 12′ long.  It needs a work bench and shelving to store my tools and hardware.  I bought some big hooks the other day for hanging my heavy duty extension cords and larger tools.

Here are some photos of my vegetable garden.  It’s really taken off and is growing very good.  My neighbor, Charlie, and I put it together between our two properties and we share in weeding and tending it.  I am looking forward to an abundance of tomatoes and squash, zuchini, basil and pumpkins!  As well as string beans – both green and yellow and bell peppers.  This year was kind of a trial run with it, next year we will have more in it and will organize it a bit better.  I think we wasted a lot of space in it this season as we didn’t really know what we were doing when we started planting things!  But it came out nice anyways and we will have plenty of fresh veggies!

I hope you are all having a safe and nice weekend.  Be kind to one another, it’s the only way to be!  Peace.  ~MB

 

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Author: MainelyButch

I am a pretty relaxed, proud, Butch and a native Mainer who enjoys reading, writing, blogging, vlogging and social interaction. I live in southern Maine, near the coast with my 2 small dogs and I hail from a very large, loving family that is historically rooted here. I write about my life, my experiences, living successfully with HIV, my YouTube experiences, and just about anything that piques my interest. This blog may contain profanity and sexual situations, and is not intended for younger audiences. Read at your own risk. At 54 I see life as just beginning a new chapter, and have decide this is the time that I need to write the stories that got me to this point. I believe we live our lives in chapters, changing, evolving and moving continuously with the times. I love to laugh, have discussions, debates and even the occasional nonsense conversation! I generally enjoy people, but not drama, hatred, ignorance or those who choose to feel they are somehow elite or superior to another simply due to their mere existence. I try to be very conscious of the health of the world around me - environmentally, socially, economically, and ethically. The people who are dear to me know me as having a tough exterior, filled with marshmallow and crunchy peanut butter. I continually strive to be the best I can be, especially to address life head on...always.

2 thoughts on “Recap of My Week….thoughts”

  1. Hi Mainely,

    Nice post – so much great thinking out loud – we all really need to share like this right now in year times, so I thank you for being so open.

    I do want to reply specifically to one thing – and I know I may open a while can-o-worms with this – but my hope is simply to shed light on something that can be hard for us white folks to understand – the issue of the use of the #blacklivesmatter slogan… I could recap, but here is the simplest explanation:

    By Kevin Roose
    This week, high-profile police killings of two black men—Alton Sterling of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile, who was killed in Falcon Heights, Minnesota—have renewed heated debates about police violence, and brought the Black Lives Matter movement back into the spotlight.

    Every time this happens, cries of “Black Lives Matter” tend to be met with the response “All Lives Matter.” Even presidential candidates have made this mistake—last year, Hillary Clinton said “All Lives Matter,” though she has since corrected herself. And lots of white people have expressed confusion about why it’s controversial to broaden the #BlackLivesMatter movement to include people of all races.

    The real issue is that, while strictly true, “All Lives Matter” is a tone-deaf slogan that distracts from the real problems black people in America face.

    The best explanation we’ve seen so far comes from Reddit, of all places. Last year, in an “Explain Like I’m 5” thread, user GeekAesthete explained, clearly and succinctly, why changing #BlackLivesMatter to #AllLivesMatter is an act of erasure that makes lots of people cringe.

    GeekAesthete explains:

    Imagine that you’re sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don’t get any. So you say “I should get my fair share.” And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, “everyone should get their fair share.” Now, that’s a wonderful sentiment — indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad’s smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn’t solve the problem that you still haven’t gotten any!

    The problem is that the statement “I should get my fair share” had an implicit “too” at the end: “I should get my fair share, too, just like everyone else.” But your dad’s response treated your statement as though you meant “only I should get my fair share”, which clearly was not your intention. As a result, his statement that “everyone should get their fair share,” while true, only served to ignore the problem you were trying to point out.

    That’s the situation of the “black lives matter” movement. Culture, laws, the arts, religion, and everyone else repeatedly suggest that all lives should matter. Clearly, that message already abounds in our society.
    Imagine that you’re sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don’t get any. So you say “I should get my fair share.” And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, “everyone should get their fair share.” Now, that’s a wonderful sentiment — indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad’s smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn’t solve the problem that you still haven’t gotten any!

    The problem is that the statement “I should get my fair share” had an implicit “too” at the end: “I should get my fair share, too, just like everyone else.” But your dad’s response treated your statement as though you meant “only I should get my fair share”, which clearly was not your intention. As a result, his statement that “everyone should get their fair share,” while true, only served to ignore the problem you were trying to point out.

    That’s the situation of the “black lives matter” movement. Culture, laws, the arts, religion, and everyone else repeatedly suggest that all lives should matter. Clearly, that message already abounds in our society.

    The problem is that, in practice, the world doesn’t work that way. You see the film Nightcrawler? You know the part where Renee Russo tells Jake Gyllenhal that she doesn’t want footage of a black or latino person dying, she wants news stories about affluent white people being killed? That’s not made up out of whole cloth — there is a news bias toward stories that the majority of the audience (who are white) can identify with. So when a young black man gets killed (prior to the recent police shootings), it’s generally not considered “news”, while a middle-aged white woman being killed is treated as news. And to a large degree, that is accurate — young black men are killed in significantly disproportionate numbers, which is why we don’t treat it as anything new. But the result is that, societally, we don’t pay as much attention to certain people’s deaths as we do to others. So, currently, we don’t treat all lives as though they matter equally.

    Just like asking dad for your fair share, the phrase “black lives matter” also has an implicit “too” at the end: it’s saying that black lives should also matter. But responding to this by saying “all lives matter” is willfully going back to ignoring the problem. It’s a way of dismissing the statement by falsely suggesting that it means “only black lives matter,” when that is obviously not the case. And so saying “all lives matter” as a direct response to “black lives matter” is essentially saying that we should just go back to ignoring the problem.

    Yep, there you go. Bookmark it, print it out, give it to your friends.

  2. It may not be going on in Maine, but in NYC the police have become over militarized, and they “police” i.e. “harrass” men of color for lots of non-violent quality of life issues, including sitting on stoops and hanging around. There was a very good piece on PBS Frontline recently called “Policing The Police” you can stream it for free. A journalist tagged along with a team from the Newark NJ PD and taped a bunch of “stop and frisks” and it is immediately clear from this style of policing why there is animosity towards the cops. No respect for constitutional rights that we take for granted (freedom of assembly and search and seizure).

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