Thursday, February 02, 2006



First, let us Honor Coretta Scott King, my Mom, your Mom and all of our Aunts, Grandmothers, Godmothers and other women in our lives who managed the struggle with dignity and grace. They made it seem so effortless, that I believe we have forgotten, in some instances, that the struggle still exists and we are responsible for moving it forward.

I am so very tired of decisions being made with not enough input from people who look like me. I am "sick and tired of being sick and tired"!! We are not committing enough of our time, energy and money to the politics of this country. OUCH! That word POLITICS is like a dirty word to many of us and so we don't participate in the process. Oh sure, we vote, particularly in Presidential elections. But afterwards, we are about trying to manage our days and wondering why gas prices are so high, and health care is so not affordable to many and how the scenes of sisters begging to be heard after Katrina, will remain in our heads forever. Oh, their plight could never be me, right?? LEARN THE LESSONS!! Sure, we donated lots of money, but do we really want to continue to leave POLITICS to people who have very little input from us? We must begin to raise our voices and speak to those issues that directly impact us. IT IS NOT ENOUGH JUST TO VOTE, ANYMORE!!! Decisions are being made EVERYDAY, about the quality of our lives and we are not holding the decision makers accountable. We have to do more and we have to begin today.

And so, let's begin the dialogue of what we can do individually and collectively. I encourage you to respond to my thoughts, as well as share these thoughts with your sister friends. I encourage you to continue to gather and laugh loudly, but also include this subject in your conversation.

My comittment to you is that I will regularly share with you all that I learn so that we can create a process. A process that will enable each of us to participate at some level, so that we can provide input to the decision makers!!!!! In the coming weeks, we will discuss the critical elections coming in the fall and what we can do before the vote.....AND.....after the vote! And if this message is sending you over the edge, let me know and I will remove you from my list.

Allow God to Bless you.....

Rita Ricks

I admired Coretta Scott King for many things, but first among them was her willingness to speak up and speak out about discrimination in all its forms, including discrimination based on sexual orientation. Here's what she said about proposals to amend the constitution to define marriage, as reportd on March 24, 2004 in USA Today:

The widow of Martin Luther King Jr. called gay marriage a civil rights issue, denouncing a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban it.

Constitutional amendments should be used to expand freedom, not restrict it, Coretta Scott King said Tuesday.

"Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union," she said. "A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages."

Coretta Scott King was a brave woman, willing to speak publicly on an issue that remains controversial in many communities, black and white.

I hope that we can honor her memory by adding our voices to hers in opposing discrimination in any form, and, particularly, standing up against the proposed amendment to the Virginia bill of rights that would deny all unmarried couples (gay and straight) any legal recognition of their relationships.

Claire Gastanaga
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