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Saturday, July 4, 2020

How I'm Spending My Fourth of July

Happy Independence Day, Everyone! Today's a day I'm taking off to do some me things and also to do some good. With gatherings discouraged and Covid becoming more of a problem than not, we'll be staying home and doing some reflecting of what this day should mean.

If you're also looking for ways to finish out your weekend, I've got some ideas for you. Yesterday we spent some time watching Hamilton on Disney+ (I've been waiting for the perfect time to subscribe, and this was it). We had watched a bootleg recording right when the pandemic and stay-at-home started, which was actually very good, and I was glad I was able to see both, because I saw things in that recording than in this official recording, but this sound was much better and I could see facial expressions.

I'll also be watching some other things that feature POC and give me a bit of a history lesson (I say bit, because even large things in our history only seem to be a drop in the bucket). Some things you might want to view:
  • Just Mercy (iTunes, Amazon Prime, Vudu, FandangoNow, OnDemand)
  • Selma (iTunes, FandangoNow)
  • Antwone Fisher (FandangoNow)
  • The Hate U Give (iTunes, Amazon Prime, FandangoNow)
  • Strong Island (Netflix, YouTube)

“We’ll never be free until we end slavery.” -Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton

I'll be donating more to Black Lives Matter and other social justice organizations. If you can, here are some to choose from:
If you don't have money to donate, you can still make a difference by playing games and streaming music. Check out the links on BLM Carrd.

I wanted to help the protesters and people who are fighting the best way they know how, so I donated money to Philando Castile's cousin who owns a vegan restaurant in Minneapolis and hands out free meals to protesters. VegNews has a great article and link to the restaurant where you can donate on Paypal. Make sure you send it as a gift, so he gets the full amount of your donation.

    We didn't forget about LGBT folx during Pride Month, plus we're always fighting for their equality as well. If you'd like to focus some of your money that way, here are some wonderful organizations:
    I encourage you to learn more Black and LGBTQ history, because we have been severely mislead by whitewashed and cis-gendered history books. I realized all my education ended in this manner "...and then the Civil Rights' movement happened and everyone was equal with voting rights, etc." or "...and then slavery ended!" Nobody thought to tell us all the gory details that happened after that, because racism and modern slavery are still being fought against. 

    If you have children, now's the perfect time to fill in some gaps of their education. Create a book "club" where you each buy a different book, read it and talk about it with your family/kids, then pass it on to another family, until you've read all the books, and you haven't spent a fortune on them. At the end, you can pass them on to others to spread the knowledge.

    I'd also like to end with this, because I'm hearing so many people crying about statues being pulled down, removed by the city, or vandalized. I never once learned anything from a statue that I remembered after I walked away. Also, books and museums exist for us to learn history. In fact, if these statues were removed and we replaced them with tiny historical libraries/museums, I think we'd learn a lot more. 

    I hope everyone had a great 4th and doing their best to stay happy and healthy. Remember, we're still in a pandemic. Wear a mask to keep others safe, wash your hands, and keep your parties small and physically distanced or online. We already have been banned from the UK and Europe, and several states have quarantine orders for visitors, so if you want to travel anytime soon, we need to do our best to get our numbers under control and prove that we care about everyone, not just that we can go eat in a restaurant.

    How are you spending your weekend?

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