Today is the last day of school! I say this with mixed feelings — I’m glad my kids get to have the joy of summer vacation. To me, the greatest gift of summer is having so much time one can actually feel bored. Boredom led me to books and well…the result is clear. Of course, I can’t imagine being bored now. I miss being bored.
Today I was asked by one of my son’s teachers to provide a quote to justify a grant received for a field trip to Chinatown/International District in Seattle, to visit the setting for HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET by Jamie Ford. This is what I sent:
This is a cause dear to my heart. The basic fundamental truth: we need to know our history and recognize the horror, or we will repeat it. Especially now, with talk of building border walls and banning Muslims from emigrating, or rounding up Muslims and forcing them to live in new internment camps. As an author, I want to write books that are sexy and fun, but as an informed human, I include things like Indian Boarding Schools in the storyline for CONCRETE EVIDENCE. Because that really happened.
Stop for a moment and think about it: prior to WWII internment camps, we stole children from their homes and tried to erase their ethnic identity. And then we praised ourselves our humanitarianism in committing such an atrocity.
It’s scary how many Americans don’t know about the boarding schools. How many Americans were taught –as I was– that Manifest Destiny was GREAT! While it was really justification for racism that included the tenant of “killing the Indian and saving the man”.
This has been a hard week and one word hints at the pain and heartache: Orlando. I’m sick about this hate crime, about all hate crimes. All I want to do is look at kitten pictures on the web, but when I do that, nothing changes, so I donated money to the candidate who I believe can create the change I want to see, and I called my senators during the ground-breaking filibuster.
I have a lot of good things that are going on in my life, things that I could and should post here, but they can wait until next week’s recap, when I’ll return to being my lighthearted self. For now, here is a cat picture.