Curbing Male Violence

Have you ever noticed that people always talk about the number of women who were raped each year, rather than the number of men who were rapists each year? Why is that? I think it’s because, whether we care to admit it or not, there’s a twisted bias in the world that if women get raped, they’ve somehow asked for it. When it comes to violence against women, it’s the women who get to “own” the crime as well as the statistics.

It has been ever thus. Women are expected to limit their freedoms to curb male violence. If you don’t want to get assaulted, ladies, you should avoid going out at night. You shouldn’t be in that parking garage. You shouldn’t dress like that. Don’t take male-oriented jobs. Don’t draw attention to yourself. Be quiet. Never travel alone.

I genuinely believe that more is not done to curb male violence precisely because that violence helps keep us women in our place. I’d call it a disgusting trend, but a trend implies that change occasionally happens. This is more aptly described as a disgusting culture.

Sadly, the focus on the victim rather than the perpetrator isn’t going to change if we sit back and wait for the men to make the changes. Women need to speak out to adjust the focus to the ones committing the crimes. We need to raise our boys to understand that violence is never okay. I also wish more women would take self defense classes. We are not, nor do we ever have to be, helpless.

And yes, I know that men are raped, too, and that most men are not violent. But every woman I know has been the victim of some form of violence, abuse, or harrassment or another, so you do the math. It’s time to claim our freedoms and make these criminals sweat.

To show you how pervasive the culture of having women own victimhood really is, I must confess that I almost included a picture of a woman as a victim here, rather than one taking charge. Shame on me.

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Seattle’s Weird Cold War Relic

58 years ago, the City of Seattle completed a project that is unique to this city, as so many things tend to be. It was a nuclear fallout shelter beneath Interstate 5 in the Ravenna neighborhood. It was pretty much obsolete from the minute it was finished, as people had by then realized that surviving a large scale nuclear attack was highly unlikely. Rather than let it sit empty and admit what a massive waste of money the shelter was, it became a Department of Licensing office from 1963-1977.

The room was 3000 square feet, and designed to hold 200 people. The bathrooms and decontamination showers had such narrow doors that only the most svelte of citizens could enter, and for such a large crowd there were only 3 toilets. The showers for that same crowd were serviced by one 40 gallon hot water tank. No kitchen was provided, and the instructions for the shelter suggested that people should warm canned food (which they were expected to provide themselves), in their armpits.

There were books, games and recreational equipment provided by the Red Cross. The space was also equipped with folding metal chairs, collapsible bunks and insulated paper blankets. In addition, there were escape hatches, an escape tunnel, a generator, and an air filtration system.

In case of emergency, the first 200 people to arrive would be allowed in. Everyone else would be locked out. (What could possibly go wrong?) There were additional plans, which would have been impossible to execute, to evacuate the rest of the residents of Seattle east of the Cascade Mountains.

After 1977, this place became a storage facility for WSDOT records and used furniture. Eventually it was all but abandoned except for the occasional homeless person. But even the homeless didn’t favor it, because the room is freezing cold most of the time. (Every Department of Licensing employee had to huddle around a space heater, which meant the electricity bills when it was an office were obscene.)

Check out this interesting article to see some oddly fascinating photos of this cold, lifeless, uncomfortable looking space, and reflect upon the fact that at one time in our history we were so completely terrified of utter annihilation that this silly plan seemed like a viable option.

Like this quirky little blog? Then you’ll love this book!

Questions for a Conspiracy Theorist

The other day I was chatting with an acquaintance of mine. He’s very gregarious and therefore quick to start up conversations. He’s a pleasant man, the kind of person that makes you grin, but in truth we don’t have that much in common. Mostly we stick to safe topics, such as the weather.

But on this day, it turned out that the weather wasn’t as safe a topic as one would hope. He said, “Well, you know that all those tornadoes that are being kicked up out East are because they’re seeding the clouds over California to make it rain, don’t you?”

True confession: I’m not particularly quick on the uptake. I kind of blinked at him for a few seconds. I mean, what does one say when hit with such a loony concept? It’s probably best that I am a little slow in these instances, because the first thing out of my mouth would otherwise be, “You don’t really believe that, do you?”

I could easily disabuse him of this belief if he were willing to listen, which I’m sure he wouldn’t be, and if I had the energy, which I’m sure I don’t possess. I could just pepper him with the following statements and questions until he was left realizing he didn’t have a retort.

  • What are they seeding the clouds with? Because it sure isn’t working. California is dry as a freakin’ bone.
  • California consists of 163,696 square miles. How much of that stuff do they use, where do they store it, who supplies it, and how have we overlooked the hundreds of planes flying back and forth in a grid pattern to distribute the stuff?
  • If you are referring to “chemtrails”, see, also, my blog post entitled, “Debunking Chemtrails.” And besides, contrails are in sloppy, messy patterns over well-established flight paths, so these wouldn’t equally distribute this substance, whatever it’s supposed to be, and it would interfere with commercial flights, so private passengers would get awfully cranky.
  • The whole problem with having a drought is that there are very few clouds to be had, so where are the clouds coming from that they are seeding?
  • And who is “they”?
  • How do the chemicals in the West wake up the tornadoes in the East? Do they use Twitter?
  • And how are the hundreds of people it would take to pull off this little caper, the pilots, the materials producers, the distributors, the logistics personnel, the air traffic control people, the accountants, the support staff, and so on and so forth, able to keep it a secret when three people can’t keep most secrets?
  • Where are the Smart Phone pictures?
  • And if this project is causing so many weather disasters and not producing rain for California, why don’t they just stop?
  • And why is it a secret?
  • Isn’t it much more likely that it’s all of us doing our own horrible part with our disastrous carbon footprints trampling the planet (especially the major industries who are the very ones paying a great deal of money to prop up your conspiracy theory), who are the cause of the weather problems? Hmmm?
  • And even if global climate change caused by man didn’t exist, despite the fact that 95 percent of the world’s scientists say it does, why would you resist the urge to take care of the only planet we have, just in case?

But you know, while I was blinking at this guy, I suddenly felt tired. Nope. Nope. I couldn’t. I just didn’t have the energy. Because some people, as nice as they may be, just have no grounding in science, education, and critical thinking to grasp reality.

So instead, I just stammered and said, “Erm… well… California could certainly use the rain…”

And we both went on our merry ways, his way comprised of utter fantasy, and mine, at that moment, full of frustration and disappointment and shock.

Like the way my weird mind works? Then you’ll enjoy my book!

What Will the New Normal Look Like?

I’ve heard much chatter of late as to what the world will be like once we’ve finally developed herd immunity from COVID-19. Some people seem to think everything will revert back to the way it was when we were all more naïve about viruses, their transmission, and their impact. I don’t see that as a possibility. First of all, sorry to say, but COVID-19 will never be completely eradicated. And other pandemics are sure to follow sooner or later.

So this gives me the opportunity to make some predictions about our new normal. I’m sure I’ll look back on this blog post someday and either laugh at my foolishness or think, “Dang, you’re good!” (That’s one of the drawbacks of blogging. There’s nowhere to hide from your past idiocy. But sometimes you also get to say “I told you so!”)

The reason I’m fairly certain that we will not return to days of yore is that when my boss suggested that we’ll all probably be vaccinated by the end of the month and should therefore be able to revert back to our old shift-change-in-a-teeny-tiny-little-room habit, I had a visceral reaction. Panic, if I’m honest.

First of all, due to HIPAA, we’ll never know for sure if everyone has been vaccinated. Second, as of this writing, the scientists are not yet certain that vaccinated people cannot still be carriers of COVID, and even they say that these vaccines are not 100% effective. The news changes daily, but until I have more reassurance than that, I don’t feel like marinating in my coworkers aerosol, thankyouverymuch.

The smallest lesson from this is that a lot of us are going to find it hard to unmask. I’m struggling with the concept, and I HATE wearing a mask. I’m tired of my glasses fogging, and I feel claustrophobic. But I do it because I know that it has been the safest, most responsible thing to do. It will be difficult for me to gauge when that safety and responsibility is no longer needed.

We’ve all been changed in various negative and positive ways by this past year. We’ve slowed down. We’ve isolated ourselves a lot more. Many of us have worked from home. We’ve all learned that it is possible to do these things. Some of us have liked it, and some of us have not. I suspect that a certain percentage of those who don’t like it will find that they like it a lot more when it becomes voluntary, and they’ll adopt a sort of hybrid lifestyle.

I suspect a lot of people who have been telecommuting will resist going back to the office 5 days a week. That, and businesses will have learned that there’s a lot less overhead to pay when you don’t have to maintain as much office space. And, surprise! The work still seems to be getting done.

On the real estate front, many people who have been allowed to telecommute have sold their houses in the big cities and have moved… well, anywhere they’ve wanted to move. A lot of people have gone rural. It’s going to be really hard to persuade them to come back. (It’s sort of the opposite of, “How will you keep them down on the farm, now that they’ve seen ‘Paree’?”)

And now that I’m more aware of virus vectors, I don’t see myself ever being as comfortable going to large concert venues again. Don’t get me wrong. I miss live performances. I just don’t miss sharing my airspace with a thousand strangers.

I’ll never get used to being crammed into a crowded elevator or subway again. When people cough, I’ll feel a flashing red alert inside my head. I doubt I’ll ever enjoy long air flights again. (But then, they’ve been going down hill since the 80’s, anyway.)

Now, when I forget my mask, I don’t get very far. I feel naked and exposed and vulnerable. I’m horrified. I turn right back around and I get it. I think it will take more than a minute for me to get past that feeling.

I suspect that this virus has changed us in ways that we have yet to see. Personally, I’ve enjoyed not having a single solitary cold all year long. I wouldn’t mind continuing to wear a mask in more crowded places if I could stay on that path.

I suspect, at a bare minimum, a certain percentage of us will continue to wear masks, at least some of the time. I also suspect that those of us who do are going to get bullied for it by various factions. But we are living in a different world now, and that’s just a hard fact.

These are my predictions. What do you think? In any event, time will tell.

Like this quirky little blog? Then you’ll love this book!

Oh No You Don’t

I just read an article entitled, “Georgia Bill Would Criminalize Giving Water to Voters Waiting in Long Lines.” It brought me right back to standing in line to vote in Florida, year after year, in the blistering heat, on black pavement, for hours. It was brutal. I’ve gotten spoiled here in Washington State, where I can vote by mail.

Here’s the thing that I will never understand about politicians and voter suppression. If you push for these dirty tricks, you are saying, loud and clear, that you believe that the only way you can win an election is by cheating. That’s not a good look.

You have so many weapons in your voter suppression arsenal. Limiting hours at voting locations. Preventing voting by mail. Gerrymandering your district. Claiming that your tactics are only to prevent voter fraud, which has been proven time and time again to be virtually nonexistent. Requiring extensive paperwork in order to get a Voter ID. Prohibiting former felons from voting. Making the polls difficult to find or get to. And the list goes on and on and on. And on.

Yes, I get it. You’re hungry for power, and you’re willing to obtain that power by any means necessary. But the more people you alienate from the voting process, the fewer people who will want to vote for your party. What does it feel like, to shoot yourself in the foot like that?

Put roadblocks between me and the voting booth? Oh, hell no. That motivates me. I’ll crawl naked through ground glass to vote if I have to. Especially if it means I get to vote against someone who is promoting voter suppression laws. Make it as hard as you want to. I’ll still find a way to vote, and I’ll help others be able to vote, too.

Nothing will stop me from demonstrating my patriotism by voting. By trying to stop me, all you’re doing is pissing me off. And you won’t like me when I’m pissed off.

A big thanks to StoryCorps for inspiring this blog and my first book.

This Has Got to Stop

I just read this article in The Washington Post and it shook me to my core.

The place is Lubbock, Texas. It’s 9 a.m. One usually doesn’t expect anything nefarious to happen at 9 a.m.

That’s how the 11 Texas National Guard soldiers felt as they left the armory in three vans that morning. They were transporting coronavirus vaccine to the town of Matador, 80 miles away. They were unarmed. Why on earth should it be otherwise?

Unfortunately, they failed to take into account the increasingly obvious fact that there are a lot of insane and/or stupid people in this country, and many of them carry guns. Especially in red states.

One such stupid and/or insane person is Larry Harris, 66, from Arizona. It seems that he started following the National Guardsmen almost immediately after they left the compound. He came charging down the highway after them, and tried to run them off the road. He then swerved into oncoming traffic, and ordered these 11 guys, some of them barely into adulthood, out of their vans at gunpoint.

Fortunately the police arrived quickly. Even more fortunately, none of the trained soldiers or officers used guns themselves. Things could have ended a lot worse for Nutjob Harris. He’s lucky he isn’t a POC.

Harris told the police that he thought that the convoy was transporting a kidnapped woman and child. And he was pissed. He decided to take matters into his own hands.

I find this story to be a bit idiotic. Yes, the vans were unmarked, but he saw them leaving a National Guard Armory. The guys in the vans were all in uniform, and he saw them stop for coffee, waiting patiently while they did so. And it doesn’t take three vans to abduct a woman and child.

This was a mental case who was armed with the false courage that only a weapon can give you. He wanted to be a vigilante. He wanted to be a hero. And he put countless numbers of lives at risk. The soldiers. The police, the people in the oncoming traffic. All the people who were scheduled to get vaccines that might not have gotten them due to his recklessness.

The situation is still under investigation, but I hope they throw his butt under the jail.

All this gun idiocy has got to stop. Yes, we have the second amendment. But there is nowhere in its wording that says you get to use it to run national guardsmen off the road. It also says nothing about storming the capitol building, just based on the encouragement of one pathetic Cheeto-colored man who is trying to use you to maintain power, and to hell with democracy.

The second amendment also doesn’t mention that people should have the right to bear more powerful weapons than this bozo did. The types of assault weapons that exist today weren’t even imagined in 1791 when it was written. These weapons serve one purpose: to kill vast number of human beings quickly and efficiently. You don’t use an AR-15 to hunt for food, if you are a self-respecting hunter. The average person should have no more right to own an assault weapon than he or she does to own lawn darts or landmines or surface to air missiles. That’s not an infringement on freedom. That’s common freakin’ sense.

Background checks, too, are not an infringement on your rights. Those National Guardsmen had been background checked. I guarantee it. If you can’t pass a background check, you shouldn’t have a gun in the first place. I’m sorry if you feel that preventing some loony-tune from killing innocent children and total random strangers is an inconvenience to your building up your arsenal. I suspect you’ll survive. If you were a responsible person who cared about the wider world, you wouldn’t have to be told this.

I’m grateful that none of the Texas National Guardsmen were hurt during this insanity. I’m grateful that we have people like them delivering vaccines where they need to go. And as for Nutjob Harris, if there had been background checks before he bought his handgun, maybe this situation could have been prevented, just as so many situations could be prevented if we had rational gun laws on the books.

Ninety percent of Americans feel the way I do about this subject. It’s only the obscene money that the NRA throws at politicians that prevents legislation from passing. I encourage everyone to stop voting for politicians who are bought and paid for by the NRA. They’re easy to spot. They’re the ones refusing to vote on legislation that would protect our children from mass slaughter.

And before I end this rant, let me send out a hail and hardy Fuck You to the NRA. I’m glad you are circling the drain through your own malfeasance. Your greed doesn’t get to come before even a single human life.

Like this quirky little blog? Then you’ll love this book!

He Had a Bad Day?

I just read an article entitled “Outrage After Georgia Cop Suggests Atlanta Mass Shooter Acted Because He Had a ‘Bad Day’”, and it has thrown me into a recurring fit that is brought on when people in this country refuse to see violent white males for what they are.

No, I am not saying that all white males are violent. Far from it. But when one is violent in this country, such as this guy who killed 8 people, by virtue of being white he’s not called a domestic terrorist. No. He’s not even called a nut job. He’s called, at worst, misunderstood or frustrated or both.

If a black guy or a Muslim had killed those people, there would have been riots in the streets, calling for the guy’s head on a pike. There would have been racial backlash of epic proportions. Heads would roll.

Instead, this guy, who apparently has shown no remorse whatsoever, is given a free pass because he had a bad day. Poor guy. Give him a break. It was only 8 people, and 6 of them were Asian women, so they don’t really count. (Insert sound of my head exploding here.)

For all our sakes, I hope no one ever short sheets his bed, or he might blow up a freakin’ building. Because, you know, bad day…

End of rant.

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Uncounted: The History and Impact of Voter Supression

Recently I attended a zoom seminar presented by Humanities Washington, along with KUOW, KPBX and Northwest Public Broadcasting. The speaker’s panel consisted of Angelique M. Davis, professor of political science at Seattle University; Representative Debra Lekanoff, 40th Legislative District; Josué Estrada, University of Washington doctoral candidate in history; and Terry Anne Scott, director of African American Studies at Hood College. It was moderated by Johann Neem, professor of history at Western Washington University.

Here was the introduction to the discussion:

This year, 160 bills have been introduced in 33 states that would restrict voting—four times as many as during the same period in 2020.

American democracy is often spoken of in lofty language, but between the lines is a more troubling story of exclusion and discrimination. Historically, voter suppression has taken many forms, including limiting eligibility to white male landowners, Jim Crow-era methods like poll taxes and literacy tests, and modern-day disinformation campaigns. The conspiracy theory about a stolen election in 2020 is proving useful to bolster support for another round of restrictions.

Yet the American story is also one of progress, including women’s suffrage and the Voting Rights Act. This will be a discussion that explores the forces that push and pull on our right to vote. How does our past impede our future, both nationally and in Washington? What does modern-day voter suppression look like? Though Washington’s mail-in voting system is considered a nationwide model, what problems remain in our state? Where can we find hope? And how can we simply ensure that every vote—and every voter—counts?

What follows are the notes I took during the fascinating seminar. They are a little disjointed, but they’ll give you an idea of some of the points that were being made.

There are many ways to increase voter access. Some can be as simple as including prepaid postage. Others more complex, like making sure the polls are wheelchair accessible, and extending the hours at polling places. Here in Washington state, we have mail in ballots and ballot boxes for those who don’t want to use the mail. But even in this state, there were no ballot boxes on Native American reservations until 2016. In fact, Native Americans did not get the right to vote until 1962, 168 years after our constitution was written.

In this day and age, most people do not want to be viewed as racist, so voter suppression tactics have become more subtle. Instead of blatantly coming out and saying that the goal is to disempower people of color, or that they want to govern without the input of others, they are now using the big lie that there is voter fraud that must be dealt with. This modified message achieves the same results.

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, “it is still more likely for an American to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud either through in-person voting or with mail ballots.”

Voter fraud should not be used as an excuse to prevent people from voting. If anything, the more people who vote, the more likely any miniscule amount of fraud would be watered down. The people have a right to speak. Every one of us.

Preventing former felons from voting is a direct attack on low income people and people of color. People in this category who want to vote are demonstrating that they want to be productive and participating members of society. This should be encouraged.

Why do so many poor people buy into the importance of suppressing votes? Because there is a psychology of white privilege and white entitlement in this country that tells them that their way of life is dependent upon the suffering of others. If minorities get to vote and influence election outcomes, they’ll overtake and pass these people, is the current thinking. But that’s absurd, because when democracy is suppressed, we all suffer the results.

Another tactic that is being used at the present is drumming into people’s heads that the system is broken, which causes some to not even participate in the voting process. THAT is what truly breaks the system.

We need to create a culture in our families and communities that voting is your power. We need to encourage that attitude at every opportunity. We need to remind people that many have died to give you the right to vote, and it is therefore our responsibility to exercise that right.

We need to closely examine our racial and social contract to understand who we consider human. Humans, by definition, should be able to vote if they’re living in a democracy. People who don’t speak the language but are still citizens are humans. People who have served their time for committing a crime are human. Indigenous people are human. Poor people are human. Women are human. People that don’t look like you are human.

When the question and answer period came about, I asked, “How do we break through the ‘I only listen to one news source’ echo chamber to allow facts about voter suppression to be heard?”

This got a lot of interesting responses. One person said that we need to advocate for voting. Another said we need to have those uncomfortable conversations, and that requires that we be informed, and know what the underlying intent is to various voter suppression laws. Speak up. Spread the word.

State Representative Lekanoff had some encouraging news for Washington state. We’re about to go through the process of redistricting, and for the first time ever, there are multiple members of the board who are people of color. I suspect a lot of lines are going to be redrawn. That makes me really happy.

I once called this country a democratic experiment, and several of my more conservative cousins were infuriated. But I still maintain that this is an experiment. It can be tampered with. It can fail or succeed. Without vigilance, it can be circumvented, as is becoming increasingly obvious. It takes all of us, actively participating, continually, to ensure that this experiment is a success.

Please vote, and engage in political protest. Participate in this experiment. Thanks.

The ultimate form of recycling: Buy my book, read it, and then donate it to your local public library or your neighborhood little free library!

My Interpretation of ProLife

The other day I was watching Biden’s speech on the one-year anniversary of the declaration of this pandemic. It was streaming live on Facebook, and as per usual, the comments were going by so quickly that I couldn’t keep up with them. I did note that some were really supportive, but a lot were from a hostile, angry, lunatic fringe. I decided to focus mainly on the speech.

I struggled to understand why what Biden was saying in this instance was so divisive. The man was talking about his plans, moving forward, to battle this pandemic, and said we all needed to work together for this to be a success. He hoped that the vaccine rollout would continue to be even faster than he first anticipated, and he prayed for those who have lost loved ones. He encouraged us to keep wearing masks and socially distancing, and hoped everything would be more normal by the 4th of July.

After hearing that speech, I felt compelled to throw in a comment of my own, so I typed:

“So nice to hear calm, reasonable, and reassuring words. We’re not out of the woods yet, but progress is being made.”

The comment did get a lot of likes, and also a few laughs, which confused me. Did they think I was joking, or was that their rude way of saying that they thought what I said was a joke? Whatever. Concentrating as I was on what was being said by the president, I didn’t notice the responses to my comment until long after the comment ability had been discontinued.

One guy chimed in:

“bet you do like being told what you are and aren’t allowed to do…..speak for yourself”

A second guy responded:

“uhmmm she is speaking for herself”

To which the first guy replied:

“lol…touche….hoping nobody would see that…bad wording….”

Reading this, I thought, “Why would you assume, based on my comment, that I like being told what I am and am not allowed to do? What prompted you to respond to my positive, yet relatively generic statement? That’s really weird.”

But like I said, comments where turned off by this point, so I kind of had to let it go.

Only I couldn’t. I lost sleep over it, even though it was rather trivial. The only way I was able to get any rest was by telling myself that I do, indeed, have a voice, and a forum on which to express myself. I’d be blogging about it in the morning.

So here’s the response I’d dearly love to give this guy:

I think it’s safe to say we can both agree that nobody likes being told what to do. But here’s where we part company: I most definitely do like being advised by scientists, experts, and leaders on what the best practices are to keep my community safe and healthy.

I was raised not to be selfish. I instinctively try to work toward the common good at every turn. Wearing masks sucks, yes, but I feel that the need not to kill anyone supersedes my desire not to have my glasses fog up every time I exhale.

I also stop at red lights, so as not to kill myself or anyone else. I wear seatbelts. I don’t shout “fire” in a crowded theater. I don’t storm capitol buildings or try to overthrow duly elected presidents. I don’t cause riots, I don’t wave guns around in public places, I do my best to keep the environment safe for future generations, and I pay my taxes so that others can be helped in times of need. I also don’t tug on superman’s cape, because I’m just that considerate. If this pandemic has a silver lining at all, it’s that it has given us a visual indication of who is considerate and who is not.

My point is that when choosing to do things, I don’t think merely of myself and how the thing might inconvenience me. I think about the wider world. I think of consequences and how others will be impacted. I think of friends and family, young and old, people yet to be born, and total strangers, even those I suspect I wouldn’t like or agree with. That’s what you do when you’re truly pro-life. You look at the big picture, not just your very narrow, selfish agenda.

Hoo. Thanks for listening. I feel cleansed.

Enjoy my random musings? Then you’ll love my book!

Mid-Month Marvels: Life After Hate

A recurring theme in this blog is the celebration of people and/or organizations that have a positive impact on their communities. What they do is not easy, but it’s inspirational, and we don’t hear enough about them. So I’ve decided to commit to singing their praises at least once a month. I’m calling it Mid-Month Marvels. If you have any suggestions for the focus of this monthly spotlight, let me know in the comments below!

It seems that now, more than ever, a lot of people are walking around full of the type of hate and anger that leads to violence. This often stems from fear for their futures, alienation, uncertainty, trauma, shame and/or abuse. But violence has never solved anything. If anything, it perpetuates more hate, anger, and violence.

“Research shows that many violent extremists become disillusioned with the so-called ‘movement’”, according to the organization called Life After Hate, which was founded by former extremists in an effort to turn the tide. Their website states that “Life After Hate is committed to helping people leave the violent far-right to connect with humanity and lead compassionate lives. Our vision is a world that allows people to change and contribute to society without violence. Our primary goal is to interrupt violence committed in the name of ideological or religious beliefs. We do this through education, interventions, academic research, and outreach.”

Here’s an organization that does not pass judgment. They just offer a path forward. They offer insight and advice. They help you let go and break free.

Constant hate or anger has got to be exhausting after a while. If you want to find another way, if you want to move on with your life but don’t know how, or you have a family member who is heading down a violent path and you don’t know what to do, this organization is for you.

For more information, check out this PSA, and also this story of one family transformed. After that, reach out to them at, or call 612-888-EXIT (3948).

Please join me in supporting Life After Hate. No judgment. Just help. We could all use a little of that from time to time.

A big thanks to StoryCorps for inspiring this blog and my first book.