Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Do Trayvon's Imperfections Mean He Doesn't Deserve Justice?

Has your perception of Trayvon Martin changed recently? Did the pictures of him with a grill in his mouth, the knowledge that he was suspended for having a plastic baggie w/trace amounts of marijuana make you think of him as a “thug”? It turns out that he’s bigger than he looked in the earliest released pictures of him, does that make you think differently of what happened the night that he died?

I think one of the questions we have to ask ourselves is, “Does a person need to be completely innocent in order to deserve justice?” I sure hope not, otherwise I’m SOL if something bad happens to me. We play a dangerous game when we decide someone isn’t worthy of receiving justice – or even due process to begin with – because of things they’ve done in their past (no matter how recent that past is). Where do we draw the line with this sort of reasoning, and who makes that decision?

Does Trayvon’s suspension, or his grill, or what he said on Facebook/Twitter change what happened the night he died? Does it change the fact that he was unarmed? Does it change the fact that he was breaking no laws by walking through a residential neighborhood? Does it change the fact that the police dispatcher advised Zimmerman not to approach Trayvon, but he did so anyway? Does it change the fact that the police still haven’t arrested Zimmerman?

No, these things haven’t caused facts to change. They have, however, changed some people’s minds about whether Trayvon deserves justice. While this is unfortunate, it’s also pretty normal. We feel sympathetic to people when we identify with them, and we tend to have less sympathy when we perceive them as being “bad” or “other” in some way. What “bad” means is subjective and different for every person.

Natalee Holloway was drunk the night she was killed. Was she bad? Did she not deserve justice?

I knew a guy who was killed by accident when his friend was messing around with a gun. This was at a party where teens were drinking underage (i.e. illegally). He was not nice to me and was a bit of a bully. Was he bad? Did he not deserve justice?

JFK cheated on his wife. Was he bad? Did he not deserve justice?

A person might scare us, they might look like something we can’t stand. They may be a jerk or promiscuous or dishonest or obnoxious. They may be involved in something illegal. They may make their living by stirring up drama and conflict. That does not mean they should be afforded any less a chance at justice than anyone else.

Whatever Trayvon was involved in, whomever he was, does not change the fact that his death did not need to happen and was not deserved. If a week ago, you believed that what happened to Trayvon was unfair and that justice must be served, then you should believe that now. It was not Trayvon’s responsibility to us to be perfect and living up to our personal standards of “good”. Rather, it is our responsibility to Trayvon – and imperfect people everywhere – to uphold legal and ethical standards of justice. You may like and identify with Trayvon less, but that doesn’t mean he deserved to die.

Why does my blog have a new name?

See, I wanted to switch web hosting companies and assumed letting my account expire would be fine - I'd just find a new company to host my blog. I didn't do enough homework & it turns out that by letting my account expire, the Web Hosting Company That Shall Not Be Named now owns my old blog URL. If I want it back I have to pay them serious cash, and I'm not going to do that. I could wait another month & see if they sell it at auction or if they just let it go so I can snatch it back up again, but I'm impatient.

So, for now, this blog is called Thirsty Babies again. Yes, again - if you're new around these parts, this was the blog's original title. If you can tell me where the name comes from, you get eleventy billion cool points.

Anyway - if you need to update your rss feeds & all that, please do.

Friday, March 16, 2012

My 2011 Donation to Emergency Fund

Every year I set aside a portion of my Etsy shop earnings to donate to an organization that is doing great things for our world. I also like to tell my followers about that organization. In the last few months I haven’t talked about this much but if you were around my blog earlier, you’d know that in 2011, the organization I chose to donate to was the Emergency Fund, based here in Chicago.

The Emergency Fund helps low income Chicago area individuals and families who are struggling with a crisis or life change. EF helps these people get money for the small things that most of us take for granted, things that nonetheless make a huge difference to others. EF doesn’t just help them get money and resources they make it easy to do so. I wrote about my own family’s experience with crisis and how difficult it was for us to get the resources we needed. We were fortunate to have family and friends who were beyond generous. Without them, I don’t know what we’d have done, because the service orgs I went to either had no resources or had near-impossible hoops for me to jump through in order to receive help.

After contacting the Emergency Fund about donating to them this past year (it’s a good idea to get an org’s permission before attaching their name to your personal work, like an Etsy shop donation), I got to know a few of the employees and was able to attend a couple events. I went to their annual reception and got to meet people who work at the partner agencies where EF disburses their funds. I got to hear the stories of people who have been helped by EF, and the stories of people who have been touched by their involvement with EF. I was also invited to go to one of the partner agencies on a site visit. We went to Inspiration Corporation, an organization that helps homeless individuals find housing, job training and resources to get off the street.

I’m excited to share that I’ve just made my annual donation to the Emergency Fund! It’s not much in the grand scheme of things, but it’s my small part, and I know it will be used to help someone. Maybe it will buy a monthly bus pass so someone can look for a job or get their sick child to their specialist appointments. Maybe it will help pay an electricity bill, or help with groceries. Maybe it will help pay for a night in a hotel for someone who went through a situation like my family did.

Presentation1 I’ve decided that instead of looking for a new organization for 2012, I’m going to continue to support the Emergency Fund this year. They’re doing big and exciting things to help those in need and I want to be a part of that!

THANK YOU to all who have supported my Etsy endeavors in any way – this donation is yours, too!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Meme

1. If not (Chicago), I would live: All the places I think I might want to live, I haven’t been to. So I’m just guessing based on other people’s accounts. Austin, TX. San Diego, CA. Wine country, northern Cali. A horse ranch in Colorado, Texas, Montana . . . a small house near a stream/lake/river/ocean, anywhere. One of the gorgeous, slow-moving cities on the coas in the South – Charleston or Savannah or someplace like that. NYC – ok, I’ve been there. I would want to live there if I had no kids. But – I love Chicago! I think I could be happy here forever.
This . . .
or this

2. My dream holiday would be: A big family skiing vacation at Christmas in a gigantic, awesome cabin. Enough time that we don’t have to be stressed about travel, enough space that we don’t want to kill each other (until at least the last day).

3. Current obsessions:
Jason Mraz

Container veggie gardens

Repurposing clothing 
Spider Solitaire (it’s more fun than the original!)
4. I channel my childhood self when I: am outside. It’s minor, but I walk on grass, cross the street wherever, climb stuff, get wet, get dirty. It’s fun. I like to ride my bike a lot & not be restricted by where sidewalks & streets say I should ride.

5. If I had to be outdoors all day I would: Well, I do plan on doing that as soon as the weather permits. I will be on my back patio & futzing around in my yard. I’ll have music, food, stuff to read, a place to sit, dirt to dig in, kids to watch as they play in the field behind our house. I may also bring my sewing machine out there, because dude, why not?!

6. My favorite quality in a person is: I have two answers. I don’t want to be in a relationship with a person who is unkind. So being a nice person is most important. But what I appreciate most & connect most with is a good sense of humor.

7. I am terrified of: I don’t have any over-the-top fears I can think of. I don’t like it when people pretend to strangle me or when my kids are climbing on me & they choke me a bit. I don’t remember any traumatic experience with this but I freak out a little if someone has their hands on my neck in any capacity. Now, other body parts, like lips? Go to town!

(Don’t do this shit to me!!)
8. My dream car: Either a cool muscle car from the 60s or 70s, a rugged SUV (think International Scout), or a 60s-80s pickup. I like plain, rugged, dude cars.

9. My cocktail of choice is: Margarita! I love fruity drinks and this one is the best. I’ll take it any style but my favorite is the frozen swirl Margarita at On The Border.

10. My beauty product of choice: I don’t wear this anymore because it’s too expensive, but I used to live & die by Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. It looks super dark but when you put it on, it’s just a lip tint, lip gloss.
Perfect for every skin tone.   (now I use no products I like enough to endorse. I don’t really care about beauty products).
11. My friends and I like to: Get drinks, have laughs. Sing songs, dance around. We like it casual.
12. As a teenager I was totally into: The Beastie Boys. So much so that when I went to my 10 year reunion, everyone kept asking about them, referring to them. I’d forgotten this was such a part of my identity back then.

13. I tend to splurge on: Nothing. I have a hard time spending a lot of money on anything that isn’t a bill. I buy inexpensive stuff, mostly.

Wanna play?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I want to be, I am, Will I ever be?



I want to see the best in people, I want this to be my default perspective

I like to be a badass. Sometimes I want to be badder than I am. Sometimes I need to chill the fuck out.

I want to stand up and scream and yell for the underdog. Sometimes I am that underdog. Sometimes I’m not and I need to remember that.


I want to be gentle, slow-moving, thoughtful. I want the energy I give to be towards something worthwhile. I want to be purposeful and conscious of who I am, how I am.

I want to throw caution to the wind and HAVE FUN. I want to sing on the street and drink a little too much and have silly conversations online and get pedicures and look at celebrity magazines and be weightless.

I want to be you. I don’t want to be you.



Quick-witted, sharp, strong, assertive, powerful, influential

Focused, efficient

Loose, wild, take me as I am

I want to remember I can be all these things even if they aren’t all at the surface constantly. I don’t have to just pick one.

I don’t have to just pick one.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Political Polarization - A Poll

Political Poll Time! I'd love if you'd answer any/all of these questions in whatever detail you see fit. Remember to be respectful of those who think differently than you, thanks. :)

Political Polarization

Q1: Do you believe the U.S. has become more or less politically polarized in recent yrs (decades)? Or are things the same?

Q2: Do you think there are any issues or causes that have benefited from political polarization? If so, which ones?

Q3: Have you played a part in impacting political polarization? Did your part increase or decrease polarization?

Q4: Do you feel you bear any responsibility for impacting political polarization?

Q5: Do you have any ideas for impacting political polarization?

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