by (and kudos to) Well Strung
#Hillary2016 has my vote
by (and kudos to) Well Strung
#Hillary2016 has my vote
Harriet stands up to security in Denver 2008 at MSNBC-TV’s stage. Photo © by Lady Boomer NYC 2008
On Tuesday, October 8, 2013, we lost Harriet Christian, a lifelong and outspoken champion of equal rights. I came to know her after her honest outburst at the Democratic National Convention’s Rules and Bylaws Committee was captured on video and picked up by major media outlets. Hundreds of us had traveled to DC to picket and protest the committee’s slanted meeting that would decide the fate of millions of citizens’ votes in Michigan and Florida.
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton kept her name on those states’ ballots, whereas Dem party and media darlings Obama and (that guy who used to make the women swoon), John Edwards (who?), had removed their names from those ballots. As Harold Ickes said, although Hillary won those states, The Party, “hijacked” the votes–and later the election–by strong-arming delegates to switch their votes from Hillary–to whom they were pledged–to Obama.
Harriet wasn’t having any of it and courageously protested from the peanut gallery during the RBC meeting and outside in the lobby after being tossed out of the meeting. This meeting’s decision created the spontaneous citizens’ uprising, which immediately spawned the PUMA (Party Unity, My Ass) Movement. Lifelong Democrats, we had become Democratic Party refugees, saying we didn’t leave the party, the party left us.
We PUMAs had a pre-Denver convention in DC to plan our protest and media strategy, and in Denver, our headquarters and events were a hub for protests at the Democratic National Convention. There was lots of pre-convention press about the Dems plans to outfit cops on horseback in riot gear to control protestors by herding them into fenced cages and also by lobbing shit bombs (you heard me).
After all, Hillary Clinton had won the Democratic primary vote, and the party, basically, abandoned her. You may not have known or remembered this, but the language, tone, and accusations were brutal, sexist, and misogynistic. The media laughed at her when she cried, decried her for showing cleavage (eek, a Prez with breasts!), and slammed her for deftly answering debate questions. Tucker Carlson said he’d cross his legs when she walked by, and Keith Olbermann said someone should take her into a back room and only the man come back out. Hillary bloggers received death threats. Her Party made her withdraw from the race although she’d won it. It was shameful. Those were just a few tidbits of many, many more horrible references. That year, 2008, I, finally, became an ardent feminist.
Harriet entered our Denver HQ like gangbusters, the media lightening rod that she was, and she knew it too. This was her/our time, and she was in her element. She lifted everyone’s spirits.
Harriet arrives at PUMA HQ in Denver, site of 2008 Democratic Presidential Convention
We then marched to the big outdoor MSNBC TV booth, where Hillary slammers Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann held court. When pressured by security to take the Hillary for President sign down and move out of the way, Harriet wouldn’t budge. She won.
Harriet’s dear friend Deborah Schutt captures Harriet on cam
Harriet was not afraid. She spoke truth to power. I met her at a PUMA gathering/party in NYC at the home of her dear friends, Liz and Deborah, when she was there with her partner, Van. Turns out, I had captured a pic of Harriet and Van before I even knew them, when we attended a Hillary rally in February 2008 at Hunter College. It was a heady time, and we were ardent!
My friends before I knew them: Hillary’s Hunter College rally–Harriet with her big hair (upper R), Van (to her L), Deborah Schutt (on phone cam), Liz Wiseman (in glasses)
After Harriet spoke out and got so much media attention, she was continually slammed by Obama supporters, who called her a racist for standing up for a woman, instead of stepping aside, “for a black man” as she put it. She well knew the history of America when suffragettes had deferred finally getting the right for women to vote, which had been imminent, in order to let black men go first–and she wasn’t having it happen again. It’s a shame that it had to be a choice–both times–and that women were relegated to last in line. Why couldn’t both be advanced?
Harriet battled cancer, but, still, she never gave up, and she worked up until a couple of weeks before she passed. I was delighted to be invited and attend her 2011 Christmas party and saw her a year ago when she hosted an Obama/Romney presidential debate party at a pub. I’d sent her my poem after Van died and when I learned Harriet had cancer, we spoke on the phone. I offered to do a healing session on her, so she could relax into her body, and, although it wasn’t her way, she began warming to the idea. “Interesting. I’ll think about it.” I knew she wouldn’t take me up on it, but I could tell, when I saw her at the debate party, that it had touched her. I thought she was getting better, but her death came suddenly, and as a shock to all.
I know you’re still raising a ruckus, Harriet. I’m honored to have known you and to have been touched by your strength and good-natured feistiness. Keep on, sister!
Heard on CNN about Obama’s strategy: if we can’t get the British, then go to Congress.
Horrendous deaths and a horrible dilemma. So much bigger regionally than a waffling president’s red line. We’re broke. People are suffering. Inhumanity abounds. There are forty-five million refugees worldwide. How could more bombing be the answer? We never talk anymore. Yoko: Imagine peace.
Geraldine Ferraro died today at 75 years old. We lost her way too young. What a champion she was – especially for women. She will be missed. I miss her already. Rest in peace, Geraldine, and thank you for all your hard work and service to our country.
Addendum: Here’s a NYT video interview where Geraldine talks about her life. It’s an historical rather than a controversial piece.
I published this post on May 30, 2008, comprised of the video Part 1 up top and Part 2 below, under the title of Geraldine on Greta: Tells It Like It Is:
Finally, Geraldine Ferraro is back! After being race-baited by the Obama campaign for saying that a majority of Black people were voting for him, being shamed off the air, going underground, writing articles, and fielding calls from Obamabots who published her number, she speaks for the many people who called to complain about the state of this sorry Democratic Primary process. On the May 29, 2008 10pm edition of FOX News show On The Record, Greta Van Susteren interviews Ferraro who discusses Hillary’s poor treatment by what I’m afraid have now become the usual suspects. Van Susteren seems to be one of the few talk show hosts who is giving Hillary supporters a voice. Isn’t that what Obama gets in the media every single day? Here’s the video in two parts. Enjoy, take a deep breath and cheer for the dedication, stamina, and forthrightness of one of our women leaders with the courage to stand up and tell it like it is.
Here’s former Presidential VP Candidate Ferraro’s op-ed piece in the May 30, 2008 Boston Globe.
–March 16, 2011
ABC Eyewitness News has just reported Hillary Clinton said today that she won’t run for President in 2016. If Obama wins in 2012, she will not stay on as Secretary of State, nor does she have interest in being Vice President. She is very happy in her current position and looks forward to the next two years of working at the State Department.
Addendum: HRC’s statements are from a stellar sit down interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer during her visit to Egypt. In answer to Blitzer’s questions, she also stated that she does not want to be Secretary of Defense. Her empathetic and serious expressions of concern about the nuclear threat in Japan were delivered much more eloquently than the president’s cool, monotonic, prepared statements.
Clinton was ebullient in characterizing her good fortune to represent the US and President Obama in helping solve international problems on the world stage at this time in history.
Addendum.1: (continued from Wolf Blitzer’s interview)
Libya: SOS Clinton said she thinks Obama is doing the right thing in not taking unilateral action on Libya. Paraphrasing the SOS: We have a lot of problems around the world that need resolution (she named several countries, but I couldn’t type that fast–she’s so smart), but they must be authorized by the international community.
Japan: It’s minute by minute, but we’re currently not recommending that U.S. personnel leave the country. Based on the feedback she’s getting from the experts, there was a lot of confusion as there would be in any disaster of this magnitude. “I mean if you’re hit first by an earthquake then a tsunami [….]”
That’s our girl!
Stuck MTA bus, slid to to wrong side of 79th Street @ 1st and 2nd Avenues in the blizzard. Photo 2010 by Lady Boomer NYC
CBS-2 TV News, covering the NY area, reported that sanitation workers who should have been at their posts cleaning up after the blizzard were discovered to have been doing just the opposite. Instead of plowing the streets, it’s alleged that workers were hanging out for hours inside a lunch spot or using the equipment to drive down roads without really clearing them.
The blizzard crippled Manhattan, and especially the boroughs. Streets in Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx remained uncleared for a week since the storm struck on December 26, 2010. (I’d source it for you, but so far the report’s so fresh that it’s not yet on the CBS local station’s website that reported it.
We’ll see. This could become a criminal investigation. A number of deaths have occurred because ambulances were unable to get to those in need. Until now, the department of sanitation has said that it was unable to clear the roads due to abandoned cars. Some residents and borough elected officials have blamed Mayor Bloomberg for slow response and it looks like the mayor is trying to defend his record by getting to the bottom of these rumors.
It’s been reported in days since the blizzard that some supervisors told some workers to stand down because they were angry at the city and/or Bloomberg for various concessions they had to make in contract negotiations. NYC is launching an investigation into the “stand down” rumors.
I’ll get you a source when I can. I have to run out! Happy New Year!
Mu Sochua, 2005 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee for her work in Cambodian human trafficking awareness
I got a disturbing email from VITAL VOICES.org (Invest in Women. Improve the World) this evening about a tireless champion of human rights in Cambodia. Mu Sochua was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for her work to stop human trafficking in Cambodia and Thailand, and has worked with Vital Voices over the years – and they just found out that the ruling party is moving to have her thrown in prison because of the threat she poses to their base of corrupt power.
I met this woman last fall and she’s a remarkable and inspiring leader. We can’t sit silently by while they shut her away. I’ve posted an action diary on Alegre’s Corner and I’m hoping you’ll make some calls and spread the word. I’m not sure if our phone calls or posts on the Vital Voices blog will help, but it’s the least we can do as women’s rights advocates, and (in many cases) supporters of Hillary and her work on behalf of women and girls over the years.
I hope you’ll read my post and help spread the word within your own networks and circle of friends. It doesn’t sound like we have much time to make a difference – but if we generate some heat around this maybe we might help Mu Sochua remain free to continue her life-saving work in Cambodia.