Senator Elizabeth Warren’s punishment on the Senate floor serves as a symbol to a larger problem in our society: The Silencing of Women. Senator Warren is one of the most powerful and outspoken voices in our country, yet even she has been silenced at the hands of men who do not wish to hear her truth. Not only her truth, but also the voice of another iconic woman, Coretta Scott King. Make no mistake, women are constantly forced to take back seats to male opinion and ego. In my medical school classes, I often counted how many times my male counterparts (in some cases, myself included) would speak before our female colleagues uttered a word. Moments like this happened more often than I can remember. We have created a society in which our women and young girls often feel unsafe, less smart, and unworthy. Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reaffirmed that message when he silenced two women who attempted to speak against the unjust and blatant racist practices of Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions.
Endorsing Donald Trump is like dating that person all your friends and family despise. Your relatives are always wondering, “What the heck is this crazy boyfriend going to say or do next?” The statements or actions are so perplexing you convince yourself that the person is a professional troll. However, your family loves you and respects you, so they tolerate the person.
He’s like that one guy at a party who thinks it’s cool to be a bully, but instead of feeling scared, people feel pity more than anything. Instead of averting their eyes in fear, everyone is confused at how someone with his world views functions in the 21st century, let alone campaigns for President of the United States.
You know those relationships that keep giving you reasons to say “F**k this, I’m out!”? Reasons where the person constantly berates you.
They tell you things like:
You’re a rapist. You’re a terrorist. You’re a woman, and it’s disgusting that you menstruate. You don’t fit the social construct of what beauty is. You should be in the kitchen where you belong. Your son died fighting for America, but his sacrifice was nothing compared to my sacrifice to save America. Or even worse, they admit to sexual assault, yet dub it as “locker room talk.”
Instead of inspiring you to be a better version of yourself, he constantly degrades you. The “words” eat at your psyche and morale until you start to believe you are worthless and need someone like him to save you.
You do not need him to save you!
Instead of taking an objective stance, or listening to reasonable advice from friends who love and care about you, you keep going back to this scumbag. How many asinine things does this man…wait, no. I can’t give him the decency of calling him a man. That would imply he stands up for what is right, holds himself to a higher standard, respects women, and has the decency to apologize when he’s clearly, well at least to sane people, done or said something egregious. How many things does this…thing have to say in order for you to wake up and say, “BOY, BYE!”
Yes, in relationships disagreements exist, but they should not create an environment that insults or denigrates the fabric of your identity. In an oddly successful attempt to win the most coveted office on our planet, he has appealed to all the things that Make America Terrible. He is an abuser. He is a vitriolic demagogue preying not only on the insecurities of one partner with a dependent personality, but also his narcissism is parasitically gnawing on the brains of millions. And, like so many infections that go untreated, they fester until they kill. Donald trump is your abuser, and he is killing you America!
Abusers have so much power over their victims because they strategically try to isolate them. As human beings, we put up walls because of fear and insecurity. Donald Trump does not want to build a wall to protect you. He is building a wall to have more power to manipulate you and separate you from the reality that he is using you. He will be sitting on the iron throne while you drown in your fear, doubt, and ignorance.
Abusers financially exploit their victims by controlling the money in a relationship. How many times has Trump tried to exploit you? Was it the Trump Taj Mahal? Was it Trump Castle? Was it Trump Plaza and Hotel? Was it Trump Hotels Casino and Resorts? Was it Trump Entertainment Resorts? Was it that time he told you to attend his “university,” but you found it was like that time you repeatedly wasted $1 to get the “I Love You” teddy bear with the three-pronged metal thing, but instead it kept responding “try again.”
Donald Trump whispers sweet nothings like “Make America Great Again”, “I alone can fix it” and “Believe me” in your ear. In a relationship, if you have to tell someone to believe you, it’s usually not a good sign. Donald Trump does not love you, and if your relationship was “great” once, it was likely homogenous, segregated, lacked civil rights for people of color, was racist, bigoted, assassinated MLK Jr, JFK, didn’t allow interracial marriage, lynched African-Americans, allowed Jim Crow, interned Japanese-Americans, didn’t like black people counting your money…
Sorry I got carried away, but you get the idea.
This person further abuses you by minimizing, denying and blaming. He does not take responsibility for the words that sputter from his lips; and quite frankly, he does not care. When called out on his senseless verbiage, he often states his words were taken out of context or that he was misunderstood. He jumps at the chance to irrationally blame others instead of maturely seeking solutions. If solutions are offered, they’re usually nondescript or simple-minded.
This being colludes with other’s who are equally as dangerous, if not worse to society than he is. His running mate Mike Pence’s stance on matters related to civil rights, healthcare equity, education, and the environment, is deplorable.
I cannot force you to leave the grips of this vampire. He has revealed his true identity repeatedly. If you want someone who is openly racist, bigoted, and a sexual predator representing your country, it shows me we have a lot of work to do as a society. If you have chosen this organism as your candidate, you still have time to get out of this relationship. It is not too late.
With that said, I will never blame the victim. So many times, we tell the rape victim she should have worn a longer dress or should not have gotten drunk at that party. So many times we’ve asked, “But what did she do wrong?” Or we repugnantly state “We don’t know the whole story. She must have enticed him.”
You are not wrong, you are voicing your opinion, and I respect that. What I cannot respect are the values Donald Trump embodies. No other presidential candidate in history would be able to say or do the things he has and have a chance of becoming president of the United States.
The most disheartening component of his campaign is that he thrives on all things anti- American. American is a land of diversity. No other country on earth can contest our diversity of ideas, race, culture, and freedom. Unfortunately, it is that same freedom that has allowed him, and people like him to thrive. It is time for us to stand up against his white male privilege, narcissistic personality, and abusive tendencies. We have to stand against him. We have to boycott him. We have to organize. We have to vote!
The Executions Will Be Televised
We’ve been forced to record our experiences of being mistreated.
Our executions are being televised as if we are fish out of water.
Our Gills gasp for air, Garnering ephemeral yet sequential hashtags.
While Scott remains free only to be seen as,
the Hero in America.
We are white-hot, but not white.
Results being, we are not right.
Our lamentations are like hot air on cold blue hearts,
While our hearts disappear with each beat run.
Being black in American is like a re-run.
Afraid to die is why we run.
We aspire, but our past h(a)unts us.
The mentality of brave slaves with allostatic loads so heavy,
Yet you drop doubt into us like Katrina’s levees.
A flood of tears, became a trail of fears,
to a promise land of milk and honey, or death
poisoned grapes of wrath, flowing from cathartic steins into a beck
You are not being mistreated,
It’s all in your head.
But don’t be too free,
Or you’ll end up dead
We voice our fears of being killed.
“Just comply,” you say.
I’ve been compliant for centuries
You’re getting it twisted like Freddie Gray
My only choice is my voice, but you take it away.
If I get too free, I’m told to behave.
If I get too free, Now I’m DeRay.
If I get too free, I’m MLK.
If I get too free, I’m Oscar Grant.
If I get too free, I’m Sandra Bland.
If I get too free, I am you
If I am like you,
That means we’re equals.
But in reality, this is slavery as a sequel.
If our black perspectives are unjustified is all you gather
This inability to empathize with us, is why BLACK LIVES MATTER!
While sitting here prepping for my pediatrics preceptor visit, I came across this video(below) shared by my brother Marvin L. Mills II. The lack of diversity in the writer’s room allows stereotypes, err racism, to thrive. This not only applies to film and television; but also, it pertains to medicine. I am grateful to be at one of the most- if not THE most- diverse medical schools in the country. Diversity is not just a matter of socially constructed concepts like race and gender. It is found in different opinions, ideas, belief systems, and life experiences. When all of these concepts come to the table, the menu caters to a nourishing sustenance that alters schemas into a much more palatable and tolerant form. Whether are not the invitations to the table exist, is often the crux of the matter, as systemic ideologies and institutionalized barriers deprive the “carte du jour” of the opportunity for diverse satiety. When the “token” representative is the only one at the table, it is burdensome, yet this person often serves as an icebreaker to a glacier that is an entendre. On one hand this person has a story to tell, which is much more than surface deep. Secondly, others perceive this token at face value or the top of the glacier as one riddled with notions entrenched by stereotypes, media, fear, judgement, and prejudice. The challenge is then for this person to break through the mold of years of prescription, survive, and hopefully create a lane for those who follow to run in, while also contributing to the tolerance of their present audience. In a way, this cycle has taken shape, as evidenced by the Civil Rights Movement, the first biracial (black) president, interracial marriage, and the exhaustive list that can follow. However, the need for concepts like #blacklivesmatter, #icantbreath or the existence unequal pay for women, the lack of diversity in higher education, or republican candidates who I refuse to name, shows us that still have some work to do!
This is the stuff that moves me. This stuff keeps me up at night, yet it is the same thing that helps me sleep, knowing that there is goodness and beauty in the world. Goodness, beauty, worth, dignity, and love lives in each of us. Paulo Freire says that “Without a minimum of hope, we cannot so much as start the struggle.” And as this poet, Raimundo Arruda Sobrinho says, “Hope is the heaviest weight a man can carry. It is the bane of the idealist.” Both quotes are true. In order to have hope, you most hope. When you have it, maintaining it is often the hardest thing, especially if you’ve been homeless for nearly half your life.
Yesterday was Workout Wednesday, and so many first year medical students came! We had our largest group so far with over 20 participants. Usually I try to anticipate how many people will show up, but I was not prepared for such a large group. Nonetheless, we made it work, and we all had a tough, but awesome workout (see below)!
This was the first full week of classes for the new first year medical students, so I want to thank all of them for taking time out of their busy schedules to join us for WW. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture to show you what an amazing group we had yesterday, so if anyone took pictures feel free to post them in the comments or send them over to me.
I did anticipate that there would be more first year medical students than we’ve ever had, so in honor of them I named this workout: MS1!
5 Rounds for Veterans
3 Rounds for Beginners
-Squat Jumps (modification-body squats)10
-Crossover lunges (modification-regular lunges) 20 (10 each leg)
-Alternating planks (modification-alternating on knees) 20 (10 each set)
-V-ups 10 (modification-crunches)