Wednesday, September 6, 2017

"He Wasn't Cruel"

He wasn’t cruel—
         But he owned her
Possessed her body
         (not her soul-for she had none)
She was a toy for his whims
         A reward dangled before his sons
He demeaned her through his subjugation
         Degraded her
                  Kept her impotent and isolated
Took her hope and sold it to the highest bidder

He wasn’t cruel—
         But he denied her the power of choice
Stripped her to the bones of despair
         Controlled her mind
                  Consumed her life

         He wasn’t cruel

Copyright 2017 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

“What’s in a Name?”

         I unexpectedly found myself deep in the morass of racism last night when one of my in-laws posted a Wikipedia link about Robert E. Lee. She proclaimed that one of our local high schools bearing the general’s name shouldn’t have its name changed.
        Her argument was that Lee fought honorably for “states’ rights.” When I and another family member pointed out that he led secession from the United States to protect the immoral act of slavery, she countered that he struggled with the issue and felt states’ rights to allow citizens to own slaves superseded the rights of those slaves. She rationalized that slavery wasn’t even the main issue, but that economics drove the states to draw up their declarations. Then she added the statement that she’d read somewhere that Lee wasn’t cruel to his slaves.
         Think about this.
         In the year 2017, someone I know has stated that states should have had the right to maintain the institution of slavery.
         My brain went bat-shit crazy! Fortunately, the other person in our Facebook exchange began attaching very accurate sites with concrete evidence—the actual Declaration of Secession for each Confederate state. Every single state either referred to slavery directly, or inferred to the institution by mentioning “property.”
         I’ve read tons of complaints recently about the “negativity” that overwhelms social media; and how people want their feed to be positive and up-beat. I’ve had a rule over the years that I don’t go onto someone’s page and pick fights, but when I saw that pile of shit last night I realized I cannot and will not stay silent.
         To be truthful, until now I’ve never given much thought to the names of any of our local high schools, but honest reflection tells me that our Robert E. Lee High School should have borne the name of someone like Grant. These Confederate leaders fought for a dishonorable and immoral cause—and they lost.
         The proliferation of tributes to these men suggests agreement with their beliefs by those of us who’ve allowed this practice to continue. The time to correct this misconception is now. The mindset that these men heroically fought for a noble cause needs to be countered with diligence and fortitude. 

Copyright 2017 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

"This Week Sucks"

I've lost my "voice" this time around. You know me. I pull together thoughts and words and blog about it. This time, I feel like anything I say is inadequate. I've always wanted to live my life true to my belief that our world can change. It can be better.
Right now, I feel grief. This new wave of racism, so obviously condoned by too many people, killed something within me.
Then the other day, I learned of the suicide of a friend bound with me through Huntington's disease. The all-sacrificing role of a caregiver can pull you into dark places as you helplessly watch someone you love battle and lose to a terminal illness. You get thrown back into living only because of her death. Some caregivers dive into advocacy. I work, partly to fill the hours of the days left open after my mother died. My friend, who spent years in caring for his beloved wife, withdrew into his grief until . . .

And so, this week sucks.

Copyright 2017 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Sunday, August 13, 2017

"His Way"

pseudo intellectualism     
demanding attention with parasitic tenacity    
irrational and illogical    
he vomits     
spewing intolerance and injustice under the guise of patriotism    
he infects and incites    
taking pleasure in belittling    
priding himself on accomplishments borne by breaking others    
he kills    
in the hearts of those he can’t love    
demeaning those who need because he cannot give    

 Copyright 2012 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman