LET AMERICA BE AMERICA AGAIN

Please, open your heart and feel each word.

“When I was five years old, my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I wrote down “happy.”They told me I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – Langston Hughes

LET AMERICA BE AMERICA AGAIN

Langston Hughes – 1902 – 1967

Let america be america again.

Let it be the dream it used to be.

Let it be the pioneer on the plain

Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed-

Let it be that great strong land of love

Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme

That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty

Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,

But opportunity is real, and life is free,

Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,

Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?

And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,

I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.

I am the red man driven from the land,

I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek-

And finding only the same old stupid plan

Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,

Tangled in that ancient endless chain

Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!

Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!

Of work the men! Of take the pay!

Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.

I am the worker sold to the machine.

I am the Negro, servant to you all.

I am the people, humble, hungry, mean-

Hungry yet today despite the dream.

Beaten yet today-O, Pioneers!

I am the man who never got ahead,

The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream

In the Old World while still a serf of kings,

Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,

That even yet its mighty daring sings

In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned

That’s made America the land it has become.

O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas

In search of what I meant to be my home-

For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,

And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,

And torn from Black Africa\s strand I came

To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?

Surely not me? The millions on relief today?

The millions shot down when we strike?

The millions who have nothing for our pay?

For all the dreams we’ve dreamed

And all the songs we’ve sung

And all the hopes we’ve held

And all the flags we’ve hung,

The millions who have nothing for our pay-

Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again-

The land that never has been yet-

And yet must be-the land where every man is free

The land that’s mine- the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s ME-

Who made America,

Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,

Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,

Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose-

The steel of freedom does not stain.

From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,

We must take back our land again,

America!

O, yes,

I say it plain,

America never was America to me

And yet I swear this oath-

America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,

The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,

We the people must redeem

The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.

The mountains and the endless plain-

All, all the stretch of these great green states-

And make America again!

*******

Bisous,

Léa

I can’t breathe – T.B.P.I.K.

I find it both criminal and heartbreaking that over five years have gone by since I first shared this post and that things have exploded into the current state of affairs. My son is relieved that I’m so far away as he knows I would be on the frontlines with the protesters. We are long past due for the pendulum to swing and this time to go in the direction that is needed. Let it swing for love, understanding and compassion. 

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

“Parents and schools should place great emphasis on the idea that it is all right to be different. Racism and all the other ‘isms’ grow from primitive tribalism, the instinctive hostility against those of another tribe, race, religion, nationality, class, or whatever. You are a lucky child if your parents taught you to accept diversity.”     – Roger Ebert

“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”  –  Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird (Character – Scout)

 

“The Holocaust illustrates the consequences of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping on a society. It forces us to examine the responsibilities of citizenship and confront the powerful ramifications of indifference and inaction.” – Tim Holden

                                                                                *

 

                                                                           T.B.P.I.K.

 

Yes, that is how

They do it

All of them

The black people I know

They put on their pants

First one leg and then

The other

They hold down jobs – frequently

More than one – to survive

Blacks often are paid less

They eat, sleep, and shop

Cooking meals for family

Inviting friends in

Taking a hot dish

To someone whose been ill

They work in hospitals, search and

Rescue, give to charity,

Donate blood – you may have

It in you now

In a crisis – do you refuse?

They are expected to remain calm

As one more is profiled

Gunned down, targeted

Until the scapegoat paradigm

Chooses to target someone else

Momentarily

They read books, write poems

Dream dreams, large and small

They reach out their hands

In pain and in friendship

THE BLACK PEOPLE I KNOW

 

 

Bisous et solidarité,

Léa

United

Dark Matter

You could just pretend
it’s a united country.
That has worked for you for years.

You could tell yourself everything
from the ice cream truck to the singer at the ball game
was singing our song.

You could admire the colors in the flag
without ever conjuring the words
“bleeding out,” “erasure,” or “suffocation.”

You could stay home just long enough
to claim it’s a hardship not to work
at the job you whine about seven days a week

but you’ll do it for your family
and your country — and what
are your neighbors’ names, anyway?

You could watch the gunners and bombers
and sigh about how the country’s fallen so far
and never even think of bounties placed on scalps,

a Klansman serving in the Senate for decades,
murderers laughing at their trials while in the courtroom,
everyone forgetting all of that happened

because that’s what “united” means.
United in memory loss. United…

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Lies, lives lost and more blood… America’s legacy will be?

Children in cages never have a nice day.

“The government is literally taking kids away from their parents and leaving them in inappropriate conditions. If a parent left a child in a cage with no supervision with other 5-year-olds, they’d be held accountable.” – Michelle Brane, director of migrant rights at the Women’s Refugee Commission

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Photo by Bess Hamiti from Pexels

“We will take America without firing a shot…….We will BURY YOU! We can’t expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism. We do not have to invade the United States, we will destroy you from within.” – Nikita Khrushchev

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually, they will            believe it.” – Adolf Hitler

“The man is the only animal that can remain on good terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.”  – Samuel Butler

History keeps repeating itself.

 

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Photo by it’s me neosiam from Pexels

 

How many more innocents must die at the hands of this fascist regime? The survivors will be forever scarred. America can no longer call itself the home of the brave. Brave people do not behave like this. They look to help and to heal. What do you see as the future for such a country? Kidnapping, bigotry and child abuse on a grand scale, is this to be the nation’s legacy?

Bisous,

Léa

 

 

Oppose Racism — charles french words reading and writing

Charles, thank you for saying what shouldn’t need to be said. Unfortunately, the malignancy is rampant and fueled by the swamp.

 

(https://pixabay.com) No matter the political party to which you might belong, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum, racism is completely unacceptable in the United States of America. Donald Trump, who has a history of racist tweets and behavior recently attacked Congressman Elijah Cummings in a way that can only be racist. “As […]

via Oppose Racism — charles french words reading and writing

Wednesday’s Words to Ponder…

                             “It’s no good going on living in the ashes of a dead happiness.”                                          – Nevile Shute, A Town Called Alice

“She looked at him in wonder. “Do people think of me like that? I only did what anybody could have.” “That’s as it may be,” he replied. “The fact is, that you did it.”  – Nevile Shut, A Town Called Alice

“Like some infernal monster, a war can go on killing people  for a long time after it’s all over.”  – Nevile Shut

nevil-shute-plaque
Mike Kirby, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69376924

 

Nevil Shute, born Nevil Shute Norway on 17 January, 1899 in a suburb of London. He was an aeronautical engineer, aviator and a writer. He spent the later part of his life in Australia where he died on 12 January 1960.

Graduating from Oxford in 1922, he attended the Woolwich Royal Military Academy, but was prevented from joining the Royal Flying Corps due to stuttering. However, he did serve as an infantryman in WWI.

In 1931, he set up his own company, Aircraft Construction Company (Airspeed Ltd.) The most famous production of his company was the horsa glider, Horsa. It was one of the battle horses of the Normandy Landing.

By 1944, he was already an established author. Due to this, he sent as a war correspondent during the Normandy landings and again in Burma. By 1948 he flew his own plane to Australia. On his return he looked around himself and felt that the United Kindom was in a decline. A decision was made to emigrate and he moved his family to a farm in Australia. He died there in 1960. 

Many of his novels have been adapted into films. I am hoping to find a film based on the one I just finished reading, Pied Piper, as it has the potential to be an excellent film.  

The actress, Geraldine Fitzgerald (1913 – 2005), was a cousin of Mr. Shute.

 

Bisous,

Léa

Wednesday’s Words to Ponder

“An arrogant person considers himself perfect. It is the main prejudice of arrogance. This hinders the main task of a person in life – become a better person.” – Leo Tolstoy

“Everyone is thinking about changing the world, but no one is thinking of changing.” – Leo Tolstoy

“Patriotism in its simplest, clearest, and most indubitable meaning is nothing but an instrument for the attainment of the government’s ambitious and mercenary aims, and a renunciation of human dignity, common sense, and conscience by the governed, and a slavish submission to those who hold power. That is what is really preached wherever patriotism is championed. Patriotism is slavery.”    – Leo Tolstoy

Born Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy in Tula Province, Russia 1828 – 1910

Leo Tolstoy was an exceptionally gifted writer. Among his most famous works are War and Peace (1869), Anna Karenina (1877). His novels and short stories offer a window into the lives of the Russian people during the reign of the tsars. War and Peace remains one of his greatest novels and took ten years to complete. With an eye on realism and historical accuracy he paints a vivid picture of the social classes during the Russian invasion of the troops of Napoleon in 1812.

 

Bisous,

Léa

Solitude of a Night in Prague

If you are not familiar with the work of Randall Collis, please do yourself a favor and read through this post.

Global Sojourns Photography

I’ve never welcomed the darkness as much as tonight. The isolation clears my head; this solitude of nothingness, paraphrasing the philosophy of the Dao de Jing, …holds everything.

Such silence is rare here on the streets of one of Europe’s oldest cities, where in the daytime each passing second arrives quicker than the last. At this hour, however, time essentially stands still.

The shadow of night creeps through my body, its blackness cloaking my soul to reveal a calmness lacking the past few months.  The lights, blinding during the day, become relief at this hour.  An hour of perception.  An hour of contrast, of paradox.

All encasing a world I seldom visit; deep into the night where elegance and vulgarity sit side-by-side on a curb, fused together through their unique naïveté by the darkness that surrounds.

The grace and coarseness of their melody illuminates who I was, who…

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Secret #Dumfries by Mary Smith and Photographer Keith Kirk — Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

Delighted to feature another of Mary Smith’s local history books… Secret Dumfries in collaboration with photographer Keith Kirk. About Secret Dumfries Dumfries, in south-west Scotland, has a long history, much of it well recorded. However, as with most places there are more than a few secrets hidden away. First referred to as the Queen of […]

via Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – Secret #Dumfries by Mary Smith and Photographer Keith Kirk — Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life