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An Emoji For Migrants

While all of Europe digs deep to find homes and food and jobs and new shoes for the thousands of migrants desperately traversing the world today, I would simultaneously like to find an emoji to represent them here in America.  Because these folks need an image makeover perhaps more than anyone in recent history.

I’m hopeful the way to make these mostly educated, hard working, former homeowners seem more like educated, hard working, homeowners is with the right smiley face to represent them. Because showing the destitution these people face and the abuse they are suffering at the hands of human traffickers and the unceasing deaths occurring in their communities both where they are running from and on the road, is just not bringing any compassion.

Of course we could look at where or when exactly over the last year the word “migrant” became a synonym for “pest” or “leech” that must be expunged?  A quick Google search gives me the definition of migrant as “animals that migrate.”  Ah.  Maybe it’s because we are using a word that describes a perpetually homeless beast that keeps these war-worn families sub-human?

I’m aware that the one photograph, of one drowned child and his emotionally arrested father did make a temporary impact.  It’s not clear why this one parent and one child more so than the other two thousand migrants who have died just this year mostly escaping Syria had an effect – for a few days.  Or why it was so short lived.

And now one stolen passport in Paris has given all our Republican presidential candidates and even some of the elected governors in our MELTING POT of country permission to demonize victims of a world war.  Allowing them to refuse access to any refugees seeking asylum here while the rest of the world is taking in thousands.

Surely, an emoji will show our lawmakers that all people have needs.  Even those that can’t pay $500 a plate at a benefit in their homestate.  Because lets face it – Emoji’s are strangely powerful.  A friend of mine recently sent a tweet about how far her car was parked from her office with the Emoji of the dancing lady in red.  Showing me in color and posture – her hellish burden.  I’m sure the lady in this emoji is meant to be dancing – but she could be walking… on a Hungarian freeway if need be.   And then she can be texted again and again until DONALD TRUMP GOES AWAY.  Or at least until the pain of destitute humans sinks in, via smartphone.  I can tell you my friend got HUNDREDS OF LIKES AND RETWEETS about her walk to her car.  From her heated and fully catered office.  Emoji’s work.

Of course changing this animal name these terrified people are called in the press would probably help too.  Refugees still seems vaguely human, if not to be confused as the former friends of Lauren Hill.  Assylum seekers speaks to the fact that their lives are in mortal danger, which might produce a tad more empathy – outside of just Germany. But conflating issues of immigration, race, ethnicity, and asylum is dangerous because it would require policy and legislative change.  When half our American leaders are still unclear on vaccine facts, nine years after the debate broke out.  So there probably isn’t enough time to effect actual political change.

So I’m sticking with my emoji request.  And not a crying face one.  I’m talking about a drawing that portrays these souls as people with possibilities. Because if news images of white people swimming in the middle of the ocean, in all their clothes – with their children – and not a single possession from their former life available to them is not awakening America to this holocaust – it’s time to make an electronic cartoon that might save them.

SEEING RED

I feverishly want to discuss religion as it’s misinterpretations and manipulations brought me to every time I looked at the news in Paris last week. But since the information on the multiple catastrophes that began in Beruit and have come all the way to Southern California, are changing so rapidly I thought it best to focus on the heart of the extremism problem:  The Starbucks Coffee Cup.

Edging out of Compton

I saw an advanced screening of “Straight Outta Compton” in Los Angles recently. The film depicts the rise and fall and lasting effects of the rap group N.W.A, in both music and auto-biographical storytelling. The guests of this screening were invited personally for some connection to the music or movie (my husband works in the music business) and yet, there were twice as many VIPs there as seats.

An additional theater had to be cleaned, opened and filled to capacity while people like myself all waited over an hour to watch the movie, which was shocking because people in Los Angeles don’t wait an hour for anything. We might sit in traffic for that long — but that’s only because we’re physically trapped.

A Pause on the Way to Transgender Awareness

I’m thrilled that Caitlyn Jenner is on the cover of Vanity Fair’s July 2015 issue and that she looks astoundingly beautiful. Her increasingly brave choices are poised to do more good for the transgender movement than anyone elses in human history.  Her platform and message almost make 10 years of Kim Kardashian coverage actually worthwhile.

But I am concerned about putting it in the hands of VF, with vanity being the literal and meta name of their game. Historically, I am not usually a fan of even their other high­end covers since, with their level of access and recognition, they often seem to be the last one to see a trend, covering it only just before the lights go out on it for good.

Lame Duck 2014

Poor Mr. President.  Everyone is calling Barack animal names.  The nicest one of them being a duck.

Even if that is the case, is that really his fault?  I think that sentiment might be better to pin on the people most likely to be on vacation five times this year.  You know, those men and a few women, including the first African American woman ever – all of whom are also most likely to commit adultery or tax fraud while serving in government office.  (Which, in the nefarious circle of Washington politics, will most likely will happen over their large number of vacations.)

Joy And Humility Sitting In A Tree…

If you keep up with the news at all, this has not been the summer of love.  Not anywhere around the world.  And as Labor Day closed the season but not the heat in Ferguson, Ukraine, West Africa, Israel, Gaza, and Syria to name a few – I was feeling like a fraud.

I was laying in a shallow pool in sunny San Diego.  At Legoland to be exact.  A place where childhood dreams are made out of plastic. 

Iranian Publicist Throws a No-Hitter in NY

Iran has a new publicist and she is a fearless force beneath her Hijab.

Who else could have gotten the world’s most controlling and direct state – you know the government that openly admits they stone people to death for adultery, in public, as if its a sporting event to watch a woman who is buried up to her shoulders die slowly (where, incidentally, an adulterous man is only buried up to his waist and if he escapes – he is free to go) to come out smiling with the most insane PR statement of all time:

A Public Vs. Private Education

After visiting more than forty private schools in Los Angeles County over the last three years, I found the perfect school for my kids last spring.  In this Eden of all private education has to offer, Kindergarteners were broken into groups of 5 kids to 1 teacher and sat under fruit trees to learn reading at their own pace, without judgment.  This may not sound cataclysmic but seeing it happen actually made the annual tuition – which is more than all four years of my college education put together – seem worth it.  A sixth grader then showed me around the country club-esque grounds, pointing out the replicas of renaissance painter’s finest works and finishing with a better gardening lesson than any cable TV show ever has.  She finished her portion of my personal tour in the computer lab where she retrieved her personal laptop and showed me her “portfolio” of writing projects from first grade until today, organized by year and subject.  Which left me feeling a little intimidated by an eleven year old.

The New York Times – Room For Debate

Parents Pass the Bias Along to Their Kids

JUNE 13, 2013

Let’s blame it on the parents. Love is the last area where even educated and progressive parents can still openly teach prejudice at home – which is the only reason interracial marriage is still scandalous.

Few peers of any recent generation give much thought to friends dating outside of their race. However, far too many Americans who dare to love someone of a different racial or cultural background find they will still have to face something unpleasant – ranging from disappointment to being disowned – from those people they loved first, their mothers and fathers.

CliffsNotes on the Anti-Muslim Movie & Terrorist Attack For the Debate

This whole blasphemous-movie that may or may not have lead to the death of four Americans, has left me confused.  I heard about the film that denounced Mohammed, and the rioting across the globe because of it, but when and why did it become a terrorist attack?  I admit that Middle-East politics are generally confusing to me but the coverage of the unrest and the deaths has been so politicized, it all seems unclear. Which may only get worse in tonight’s presidential debate…

So here are the basic facts, sort of as they happened, before they become part of each candidates foreign policy agenda tonight. Or even if you don’t watch the debates and a babysitter mentions the film or the rioting at preschool pick up.  Because Mom’s may not have enough time to read a paper from cover to cover like a babysitter would (or be able to stay awake through it because we don’t sleep as much) but that doesn’t mean you should be be left in the dark.

Continue reading at babble.com…