Lyrics Post: “Alexander Hamilton”

[Aaron Burr:]
How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a
Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten
Spot in the Caribbean by providence, impoverished, in squalor
Grow up to be a hero and a scholar?

[John Laurens:]
The ten-dollar Founding Father without a father
Got a lot farther by working a lot harder
By being a lot smarter
By being a self-starter
By fourteen, they placed him in charge of a trading charter

[Thomas Jefferson:]
And every day while slaves were being slaughtered and carted
Away across the waves, he struggled and kept his guard up
Inside, he was longing for something to be a part of
The brother was ready to beg, steal, borrow, or barter

[James Madison:]
Then a hurricane came, and devastation reigned
Our man saw his future drip, dripping down the drain
Put a pencil to his temple, connected it to his brain
And he wrote his first refrain, a testament to his pain

[Burr:]
Well, the word got around, they said, “This kid is insane, man.”
Took up a collection just to send him to the mainland
“Get your education, don’t forget from whence you came, and
The world’s gonna know your name. What’s your name, man?”

[Alexander Hamilton:]
Alexander Hamilton
My name is Alexander Hamilton
And there’s a million things I haven’t done
But just you wait, just you wait…

[Eliza Hamilton:]
When he was ten his father split, full of it, debt-ridden
Two years later, see Alex and his mother bed-ridden
Half-dead sittin’ in their own sick, the scent thick

[Full Company except Hamilton (whispering):]
And Alex got better but his mother went quick

[George Washington (Company):]
Moved in with a cousin, the cousin committed suicide
Left him with nothin’ but ruined pride, something new inside
A voice saying, “Alex, you gotta fend for yourself.”
He started retreatin’ and readin’ every treatise on the shelf

[Burr (Company):]
There would’ve been nothin’ left to do
For someone less astute
He would’ve been dead or destitute
Without a cent of restitution
Started workin’, clerkin’ for his late mother’s landlord
Tradin’ sugar cane and rum and all the things he can’t afford
Scammin’ for every book he can get his hands on
Plannin’ for the future see him now as he stands on (ooh…)
The bow of a ship headed for a new land
In New York you can be a new man

[Company (Hamilton):]
In New York you can (just you wait) be a new man
In New York you can (just you wait) be a new man
In New York you can be a new man
[Women:] In New York
[Men:] New York
[Hamilton:] Just you wait!

[Company:]
Alexander Hamilton (Alexander Hamilton)
We are waiting in the wings for you (waiting in the wings for you)
You could never back down
You never learned to take your time!
Oh, Alexander Hamilton (Alexander Hamilton)
When America sings for you
Will they know what you overcame?
Will they know you rewrote the game?
The world will never be the same, oh

[Burr:]
The ship is in the harbor now
See if you can spot him ([Men:] Just you wait)
Another immigrant
Comin’ up from the bottom ([Company:] Just you wait)
His enemies destroyed his rep
America forgot him

[Mulligan/Madison and Lafayette/Jefferson:]
We fought with him

[Laurens/Philip:]
Me? I died for him

[Washington:]
Me? I trusted him

[Eliza and Angelica and Peggy/Maria:]
Me? I loved him

[Burr:]
And me? I’m the damn fool that shot him

[Company:]
There’s a million things I haven’t done
But just you wait!

[Burr:]
What’s your name, man?

[Company:]
Alexander Hamilton!

HamilFilm

Soon a treat, soon we’ll have the chance to meet that amazing cast, mostly the original cast, of HAMILTON.

The story, the songs, the message, the meaning, the timelessness of it all, soon to arrive.

Five years running on the stage, several stages, many. And now coming on the screen, more access to more people. More people to listen and think and know and understand:

“It’s not a moment, it’s a movement.”

Was then. Is now. IS NOW. The revolution is now. IS NOW.

“I am Not Worthy to Have You Under my Roof”

These words from the centurion in Capernaum speaking to Jesus give some pause. “I am Not Worthy to Have You Under my Roof.” Should we think we are not worthy?

In the account from the Book of Matthew it seems to say that the soldier leader was more being humble and deferring before Jesus. The centurion’s servant was deathly sick; and so he asked that Jesus heal him. The centurion believe Jesus could help.

And this faith the centurion displayed, even though he wasn’t a traditional believer, even though he had great earthly power, Jesus praised that faith.

I think this is the core message Matthew is conveying: be humble; have faith; believe honestly, in whatever manner you are able. I think this is what we are called to each day.

Let it be so for each of us, each day. We are in fact worthy; in fact, by being humble, we model the very attitude Jesus praised. Have faith, believe, and you are, worthy.

Amen AMEN.

Ref: Matthew 8:5

In Honor of Juneteenth, A Reading

So this particular day, the 19 of June, is Juneteenth; and thus, a reading the words of the Emancipation Proclamation.

MICHEL MARTIN: By the president of the United States of America, a proclamation, whereas on the 22 day of September in the Year of Our Lord 1862,
a proclamation was issued by the president of the United States, containing, among other things, the following – to wit…

NOEL KING: That on the first day of January in the year of our Lord 1863, all persons held as slaves within any state or designated part of a state, the people
whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thence forward and forever free.

SAM SANDERS: And the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain
the freedom of such persons and will do no act or acts to repress such persons or any of them and any efforts they make for their actual freedom.

RODNEY CARMICHAEL: That the executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation designate the states and parts of states,
if any, in which the people thereof respectively shall then be in rebellion against the United States.

JUANA SUMMERS: And the fact that any state or the people thereof shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States
by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such state shall have participated shall, in the absence of strong
countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such state and the people thereof are not, then, in rebellion against the United States.

DWANE BROWN: Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, president of the United States, by virtue of the power vested as commander in chief, of the Army and
Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States and as a fit and necessary war measure for
suppressing said rebellion…

AUDIE CORNISH: …Due on this first day of January in the year of our Lord 1863 and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the
full period of 100 days from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the states and parts of states wherein the people thereof respectively are this
day in rebellion against the United States the following, to wit…

TONYA MOSLEY: Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana – except for the parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension,
Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin and Orleans, including the city of New Orleans – Mississippi, Alabama…

BRAKKTON BOOKER: …Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia – except the 48 counties designated as West Virginia and also the
counties of Berkley, Accomack, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth – and which excepted
parts are, for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

KORVA COLEMAN: And by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated
states and parts of states are and henceforward shall be free.

GENE DEMBY: And that the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain
the freedom of said persons.

CHERYL CORLEY: And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defense, and I recommend
to them that in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

ERIC DEGGANS: And I further declare and make known that such persons of suitable condition will be received into the armed service of the United States to
garrison forts, positions, stations and other places and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

AYESHA RASCOE: And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the
considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

WALTER RAY WATSON: In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be fixed. Done at the city of Washington,
this first day of January in the year of our Lord 1863 and of the independence of the United States of America the 87th.

By the president, Abraham Lincoln.

The reading of the Emancipation Proclamation to commemorate Juneteenth today, also known as Emancipation Day or Black Independence Day.

“FREE AT LAST”, Oh, I’m free at last, free at last.

To listen to the reading — well worth it — check it out via the following link.

https://www.npr.org/2020/06/19/880754393/celebrating-juneteenth-a-reading-of-the-emancipation-proclamation

Running To Stand Still

An old song by the band, U2, an oldie but a goodie, as they say.

Sometimes we feel that way, we’re going as fast as we can to keep up, but only just staying in the same place.

Sometimes we do the best we can and it falls short; sometimes it’s chronically short; sometimes it’s terminally so. Terminally so.

And it is in the crucible, this struggle, this place is the very fountain source of grit; to persevere even though it is hard; to carry on because you know it’s the right thing to do, striving for improvement, striving, ever striving,

Ever striving.

GOOD.

Elevate

I listened to Dave Chappelle’s piece, “8:46”, recently on Youtube. It’s a stand-up he did on 6 June 2020. The main topic is the murder of George Floyd.

8 minutes and 46 seconds is the amount of time the police officer knelt on George Floyd’s neck during the arrest. Floyd died as a result of that treatment. I didn’t know the exact amount of time; but I’d seen clips of the video, heard some of the audio.

It was homicide caught on video and images otherwise.

As result of this murder, there have been protests in the streets of cities across the United States, and around the world. Protests and the fallout otherwise, including legislation to address the underlying shortcomings in society continue more than two weeks now.

Floyd was the latest in a long, long list of unarmed African-Americans that have died at the hands of police.

It’s long past time for change. It’s long past time for meaningful, permanent reforms in our American society where ALL people have equal opportunity, and equal protections.

My wise wife said to me recently when we were talking about all this, that the very helpful way white people like me can support this moment is to elevate those whose voices haven’t been heard. Or those voices that need to be heard more loudly, steadily, insistently.

And so let me elevate those that need to be heard. Those who have the expert insight, the genuine experiences that should guide us in this moment, this movement.

That’s the world, that’s the country, that’s the community I want my kids to grow up in: a world more equitable of opportunity AND protections.

I will elevate any voice that can move us in that direction. Let it be so.

#BlackLivesMatter

#BrownLivesMatter

8:46

Guest Post: “What If”

It’s exciting and humbling to realize you’re in good company, that people around you are strong and insightful and awesome.

I’ve had that experience now twice this week with classmates from high school.

The following passage was shared by Ms. Hala Teixeira via social media recently in response to recent events and protests against racism and police brutality.

Hala’s words ring true. They are powerful. Another valuable perspective that needs to be shared.

“I have been pretty silent with my posts the past couple weeks and part of that is because I worry about what the right thing is to say. I’m so shocked at the things that have happened and amazed at how many people are speaking out and being examples for change. I am proud of my daughters who have been sharing information and trying to educate and bring to light all the unjust things going on in our country.

Im proud to be working for a great company that has been supporting everyone and are recognizing the issues and addressing them. We had a call today with over 200 people where it was an open forum to talk about a how we felt and our experiences. Even though only about 10% of the people spoke, their stories and experiences were very powerful to me. It helped me put into perspective what is happening and why we need to speak up.

One thing I realized is that many people have examples of a time that something happened to you that seemed racist, or you got scared of a situation with a police officer or something happened to you where you felt discriminated or profiled.

I even have a couple examples in my 50+years, like feeling racism when I say I am Arab…growing up I heard jokes about having a camel in my backyard or oil wells or asking if my parents dress a certain way and of course mocking the accent (I was born in the US and didn’t have an accent btw). I hesitated to say I’m Palestinian especially when I was younger because I felt an even stronger stereotype than if I just said I’m Arab or Lebaneese.

I have felt fear when I was pulled over for speeding or driving in the car pool lane…its scary but not necessarily because I was afraid for what the cop would do to me but more because I was caught doing something I was not supposed to be doing. Kinda like the feeling when your parent gets mad at you for doing something wrong. I have felt fear when police came to our house because someone driving by said Eddy and his little pickup matched a guy that stole beer from the 7-11. They questioned him at the front door and asked if we had beer inside and he said we did because we were having a birthday party for our daughter that weekend…they questioned why we needed beer at a kids birthday. Fortunately they left and nothing further happened with that but that is something I will never forget. What if…

All these examples are so real to me but I realize that they are just a couple things I have faced in my lifetime. I can’t imagine having these feelings all the time. I dont live fearful for what might happen to me everyday but when I hear and see stories where someone is pulled over and is pulled out of their car and mistreated or someone stops and questions you because you look like someone or racially discriminated against…It just makes me so sad. People deal with this on a daily basis for no reason. It’s awful, it’s not fair, its not right and things need to change.

We all have experiences that scare us but when you dont face them daily, or face fear daily then you are privileged. Everyone deserves this priviledge.

Educate yourself, help where you can, donate, support, speak up and educate others and dont be scared to voice how you feel. Always show love to anyone you encounter. Everyone deserves respect.

This is the only way things will change.

❤✌✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿”

Yes, Hala, YES.

Let’s those insights sink in. Let them resonate. Let them light the fire within you to stand up. Elevate the voices long silent. Too long silent.

CHANGE IS NEEDED.

Guest Post: “I Get It.”

Sharing some thoughts from an old high school classmate. His name is Eric Curtis.

Another classmate pointed me to a few recent posts Eric made on social media in response to the recent protests over police murders of unarmed African-Americans, and against underlying racism that still persists in the United States. When I read Eric’s words, I thought two things immediately:

1/ I agree with him.

2/ I can’t put words together any better than he does on the subject of a white person’s evolving perspective on racism.

And so, here’s what he wrote:

“I get it.

I use to say that I wasn’t racist, because I did my best to not allow race to influence my thoughts about another person.

I became comfortable with the level of racism around me because it didn’t directly affect me or my family.

In my community, racism wasn’t particularly violent, although I was often aware that I was less likely to be harassed than people who look different than I do.
I had an unspoken agreement with racism – “If you don’t mess with me, I won’t mess with you.”

My sheltered life allowed me to pretend that racism was getting better throughout the country.

All it took was Trump’s campaign in 2016 to help the people who embrace racism to begin to feel more comfortable and their racism approved.
Somehow, these last 4 years, although agitated with renewed flourishing of racism throughout the country, I didn’t have the bandwidth
to turn toward a positive impact in relationship with racism.

The blatant public execution of an innocent man pushed me and apparently hundreds of thousands of others to the point of critical mass.
Although racism still has little direct affect on my life, I can no longer pretend to “not be racist”. I had to choose to be anti racist.

So I get it. Millions of people can say “I’m not racist.”, and be comfortable enough with that.

But to pretend that our country isn’t being overcome by racism, led by Trump’s empowerment lead active racists out of their dark holes,
is to choose to close one’s eyes to reality. That has always been an indirect support of racism.

I have been that passive racist.”

[jeff’s addition]:

Me too. My old high school friend Eric speaks humbly and powerfully from our shared, white perspective. This perspective is valuable to a degree, since we white people have the power.

I’ve heard people of color (and otherwise) say now, “If you’re not anti-racist, then you’re part of the problem.”

I agree with that.

I’ve also heard it said that we white people need to amplify the expert voices of people of color that have suffered so long under racism.

I agree with that too.

Thank you, Eric, for sharing your perspective. Much respect and gratitude to you, my friend.

And stay tuned for more posts / insights from people of color, the true experts on how we can dismantle racism in these United States.

If you want to check out more of Eric’s writing, see his blog:

https://compassionwholeness.wordpress.com/

Hot Seat

A couple warm days, over 90 F, here where we live. In my garage office, the fan gives just enough breeze to mediate the heat, but still it’s a little rough.

The warm days will cool end of week though, and it will be a little more bearable.

But in America right now, there’s a different kind of heat we can’t see the end to; in the world right now we’re coping with a pandemic that spans the globe.

Politics and protests, COVID and other diseases wash over the world, how to cope?

I’m not sure, quite frankly. But I know we have to; we have to cope and work to make it safer and better, our lives, together. We have to find new ways to fix old problems, and new ones too.

We’ll get out of the hot seat eventually.

Mean time?

Patience, Fortitude, Grit.

Well applied each day.