Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

summer_in_TX

(2,703 posts)
Wed Jun 28, 2017, 12:01 AM Jun 2017

Hi everyone.

Thanks for welcoming me to DU and for providing this forum for news and discussion.

About me. I'm the daughter of two Austin progressives, and on my mom's side come from several generations of liberals. Her grandparents hosted Eugene Debs on a swing he made through Austin. Her uncle (my great-uncle) was a noted humorist with a syndicated radio show based in NYC in the 50s until he was added to the blacklist. He became a lifelong activist for the First Amendment after he finally prevailed in his lawsuit that helped break the back of McCarthyism. Mom volunteered in her first political campaign at the age of 13. At 18 she decided to sell her beloved hand-tooled leather saddle with her name tooled on the back to finance a trip to the 1948 Democratic National Convention in Philly where she was a Henry Wallace supporter. My dad was a union activist (in Texas!), but after being blacklisted for trying to organize the printing company he worked for then, he started his own printing company so he could earn a living in Austin. He knew Mom would never marry him if he didn't stay in South Austin. His printshop had one of the only union labels in the state of Texas so pretty much all the Democratic candidates for office (in the days when Texas was a one-party state) got their political printing done there.

Mom was remarkable. She subscribed to and read The Congressional Quarterly and fought for social justice her entire life with civility and facts. (We put that on her headstone when she passed away a few years ago.) Dad's pretty remarkable too. At almost 91 he still moderates a weekly gathering of Yeller Dawg Democrats. He was a staunch Bernie guy (in fact several of us were), but he and all five of his adult children (I'm the eldest) voted for Hillary.

In their home every night the conversation was about politics. Some families talked sports. Not ours. Their hero was Martin Luther King Jr. We went to marches, rallies, and demonstrations growing up (I heard Cesar Chavez in person at one of them), and have continued our activism as adults. Our family boycotted grapes and lettuce for years until working conditions improved and our parents opposed US involvement in Vietnam from the time Kennedy sent a handful of military advisors to the country.

As you can probably tell, I'm a proud liberal. I care very deeply about this country, its promise of liberty and justice for all (especially the marginalized and despised), and the dream of a more perfect union.

The rise of hyper-partisan conservative talk radio and media consolidation efforts, as well as the lies that got us in to Iraq, triggered a new level of my own activism. Deepening interest in media issues led me to go back for a masters degree in media and mass communication about the time I retired after 31 years of teaching.

I took a detour for the last several years into nonprofit work and stepped away from all political activities for a few years. I live in a conservative Texas town, and for the nonprofit to be accepted and supported by the community, as its public face it seemed important to be nonpartisan.

But the election of a venal, crass, paranoid xenophobe bent on destroying all consumer and environmental protections, who is running the country as a kleptocracy for the benefit of himself and his family and friends means none of us can sit on the sidelines. Being quiet in this time is impossible for any daughter of my mom's, not to mention being immoral.

One other thing about me. I'm an adult convert to Christianity. Martin Luther King's faith powered his lifelong work for social justice and equality in the face of danger and obstacles, and mine informs my work although I can't claim to have faced danger or obstacles like those he did. (His words, writings, and actions inspired me as a teen.) Few things upset me more than how the actual nature of Christ is defamed and mis-represented by so-called Christians who distort and ignore his example and teachings on poverty and justice and excoriating those who would harden their hearts or turn their backs on those sick, outcast, naked or in prison. For many years I was very prejudiced towards Christians and Christianity and the last thing I expected to be was one. The fake followers were all I could see for a long time. I thought all Christians were narrow-minded, hate-filled, judgmental prudes. I completely get why many in this forum distrust and despise all religion and especially Christianity. I felt that way myself for a very long time. But I've been transformed by a life of faith in ways that are significant. It's part of who I am now and, along with a lifetime of thinking about what is involved in restoring our country to a vigorous, healthy democracy, is very much a part of what grounds my thinking and understanding.

So there you have the nutshell version of who I am. Glad to be here.

41 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Hi everyone. (Original Post) summer_in_TX Jun 2017 OP
What a great legacy your family left. Laffy Kat Jun 2017 #1
Welcome! radical noodle Jun 2017 #2
Thanks for the great introduction. Welcome to DU! catbyte Jun 2017 #3
'Allo, 'allo! Remarkable background! sprinkleeninow Jun 2017 #4
Welcome to DU. beveeheart Jun 2017 #5
Welcome! spicysista Jun 2017 #6
Welcome stopwastingmymoney Jun 2017 #7
Welcome to DU! KT2000 Jun 2017 #8
Hi summer_in_TX! calimary Jun 2017 #9
Wonderful story .....Thank yo for sharing ..... LenaBaby61 Jun 2017 #10
I feel like I know your parents Wawannabe Jun 2017 #11
Beam! summer_in_TX Jun 2017 #13
So many Bible passages struck me summer_in_TX Jun 2017 #12
Welcome to DU, summer_in_TX! Rhiannon12866 Jun 2017 #14
Welcome to DU, summer_in_TX... Raster Jun 2017 #15
Welcome! If the media is a major interest for you, I recommend... Buckeye_Democrat Jun 2017 #16
Thanks! summer_in_TX Jul 2017 #38
Welcome, Summer_in_Texas, you are as refreshing as rain in July. TexasProgresive Jun 2017 #17
Great reminders of wonderful, proud Texans. summer_in_TX Jul 2017 #35
Welcome! Heartstrings Jun 2017 #18
Welcome to DU. hamsterjill Jun 2017 #19
Like that quote! summer_in_TX Jul 2017 #39
Add my voice of welcome to the others! DFW Jun 2017 #20
Welcome! northoftheborder Jun 2017 #21
Thank you summer_in_TX Jul 2017 #41
Glad to have you here! ailsagirl Jun 2017 #22
Welcome, welcome, welcome to DU and the Lounge rurallib Jun 2017 #23
Yep, and they're terrific. summer_in_TX Jul 2017 #36
Welcome and thanks for sharing some of your rich history here! Lyricalinklines Jun 2017 #24
Welcome to DU TexasTowelie Jun 2017 #25
Oh thanks! summer_in_TX Jul 2017 #40
Welcome to DU. Doreen Jun 2017 #26
Welcome to DU. Fellow Texan here. argyl Jul 2017 #27
Glad you're here! redwitch Jul 2017 #28
Welcome to DU , summer_in_TX! femmocrat Jul 2017 #29
Welcome! joet67 Jul 2017 #30
And welcome to DU, summer_in_TX... VOX Jul 2017 #31
Welcome--you found the right place. panader0 Jul 2017 #32
Welcome to DU. I am an Episcopalian for the same reasons you discuss and they accept my Gay daughter Demsrule86 Jul 2017 #33
Thank you! summer_in_TX Jul 2017 #37
Welcome! Aristus Jul 2017 #34

sprinkleeninow

(20,211 posts)
4. 'Allo, 'allo! Remarkable background!
Wed Jun 28, 2017, 12:37 AM
Jun 2017

Born of and raised by Democratic parents, they instilled in me those ideologies. They were 'people' people.

They are no longer with us, but would be proud of all of 'us' joined together of one mind and one accord in fighting for the cause of good.

Peace be unto you...
-sprink

calimary

(81,085 posts)
9. Hi summer_in_TX!
Wed Jun 28, 2017, 01:11 AM
Jun 2017

I saw you weigh in on another thread but it's most interesting to learn more about you! Thanks so much for sharing your story and your perspective.

I'm a lifelong Catholic and almost a lifelong Californian. What I learned about Christ in Catholic school tells me almost nobody understands His message anymore. Nobody in politics, anyway. I've started quoting from Matthew 25:35-45 more and more during this dark and menacing time. That's the New Testament passage about "whatever you do to the least of these." And when I look at the modern GOP through that lens, I see nothing but apostasy and flat-out heresy. God DOESN'T want you to be rich. His Son even told the rich young man flat-out to go sell all his belongings and give the money to the poor if the rich kid wanted to follow Him. So this "prosperity gospel" crap that so many in this country cling to means they've run off to follow the snake oil salesmen and the carnival barkers with their freak shows - and by George if they didn't put one of those weasels into the White House. With a LOT of help from Vladimir Putin.

I cannot support OR acknowledge, OR view as legitimate, a so-called "president" who was installed in OUR White House by a hostile foreign power. Just can't do it. trump is not my president. He won't be my president, ever. I guess I just really don't have one right now. But we here DO have DU. And that, and the solidarity therein, both provide a good and much-needed coping mechanism, at least. This place very much helped get me through bush/cheney.

Wawannabe

(5,631 posts)
11. I feel like I know your parents
Wed Jun 28, 2017, 01:54 AM
Jun 2017

And I don't. Such a heartfelt testimony to them and to the life of a Christian.

Adult convert myself.

Nice to "meet" you!

summer_in_TX

(2,703 posts)
12. So many Bible passages struck me
Wed Jun 28, 2017, 02:14 AM
Jun 2017

as more aligned with Democratic values than with those of Republicans when I really began reading it. Matthew 25:35-45 for sure. That was a pleasant surprise. There's a consistent theme in both the old and new testament of treating the oppressed, poor, immigrants, children, widows, the crippled and hurting with compassion, healing, justice, summed up in "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

And definitely no prosperity gospel.

MLK was deeply grounded in the scriptures about oppression and justice and he was able to make the case that oppression damages the oppressor as much or more than the ones who they oppressed because it damages their soul, as does injustice. I was still a couple of decades from becoming a Christian but that made sense and spoke to me.

A gifted prophet, MLK.

Rhiannon12866

(204,621 posts)
14. Welcome to DU, summer_in_TX!
Wed Jun 28, 2017, 02:48 AM
Jun 2017

Wow! That's an impressive pedigree! Thanks so much for sharing with us. It's great to have you with us!

Buckeye_Democrat

(14,852 posts)
16. Welcome! If the media is a major interest for you, I recommend...
Wed Jun 28, 2017, 06:56 AM
Jun 2017

... that you read "Manufacturing Consent" by Noam Chomsky if you haven't done it already.

Edit: Whether anyone agrees with his ultimate political ideals or not, Chomsky is still a scientist who backs up his claims with facts. What makes him especially educational is that much of what he shares rarely gets mentioned elsewhere. It can almost seem like Illuminati-type kookiness except what he shares is substantiated and real! It just don't get much attention in our educational systems and elsewhere.

TexasProgresive

(12,154 posts)
17. Welcome, Summer_in_Texas, you are as refreshing as rain in July.
Wed Jun 28, 2017, 07:13 AM
Jun 2017

I would like to encourage you to stay with DU. Some tend to lash out against us Texans because of the fool foisted upon the country by KKKarl Rove. Everyone seems to forget the great Texans that led the nation well some as politicians others as great communicators and some as both. Here's a short list: the LBJs (Lyndon, Lady Bird, Lynda Bird and Luci), Sheila Jackson Lee, John Henry Faulk, Bill Moyers, Kika de la Garza, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Jim Hightower and Sissy Farenthold, like Bill Moyers, Molly Ivins might not be born in Texas are the very epitome of the Texas spirit.

I am proud to be a Texan. I am not so proud of those I know that have let hatred rule their hearts and are yet Texans. I was taught that the very name of our state means friend. It is sad that many have forgotten to live that legacy. And yes Christian Texans can and are liberal and progressive.

Thank you for your family and your lifelong work to serve.

summer_in_TX

(2,703 posts)
35. Great reminders of wonderful, proud Texans.
Mon Jul 3, 2017, 11:37 PM
Jul 2017

I was blessed to be related to one of those you mention and to know several of the others in person. What a wonderful legacy.

Thanks for the welcome!

hamsterjill

(15,220 posts)
19. Welcome to DU.
Wed Jun 28, 2017, 04:46 PM
Jun 2017

From a fellow Texan, and a fellow Christian who feels the same way you do about "so-called Christians who distort and ignore His examples and teachings on poverty and justice".

In the words of Dr. Rev. William Barber, II - "I have concerns about those who say so little about what Christ said so much, and those that say so much about what Christ said so little". (Bad paraphrase, but I think I have it generally correct.)

Look forward to having you on DU.

DFW

(54,268 posts)
20. Add my voice of welcome to the others!
Wed Jun 28, 2017, 05:20 PM
Jun 2017

Things CAN get contentious, sometimes even nasty, but that is (at least nowadays!) more the exception than the rule. Look for what interests you, ignore what upsets you, and participate, and you should find a lot of kindred spirits here.

northoftheborder

(7,569 posts)
21. Welcome!
Wed Jun 28, 2017, 06:31 PM
Jun 2017

From another Texan who spent most of my life in Austin, bet I can figure out who you are! You came from some of the good ole "yellow dogs".

rurallib

(62,373 posts)
23. Welcome, welcome, welcome to DU and the Lounge
Wed Jun 28, 2017, 09:39 PM
Jun 2017

I didn;t see anything about pets. Got any to keep you sane?

summer_in_TX

(2,703 posts)
36. Yep, and they're terrific.
Mon Jul 3, 2017, 11:45 PM
Jul 2017

Two dogs, Buddy and Izzy. I saw a meme about dogs that I keep remembering: What did we ever do to deserve dogs? They make us laugh and are the best companions.

VOX

(22,976 posts)
31. And welcome to DU, summer_in_TX...
Sun Jul 2, 2017, 05:39 PM
Jul 2017

Thank you for the terrific introduction. Looking forward to your posts!

panader0

(25,816 posts)
32. Welcome--you found the right place.
Mon Jul 3, 2017, 01:19 PM
Jul 2017

In two months I will have been here 12 years. I needed a place like
this when I found it, and DU has saved my sanity more than once.

summer_in_TX

(2,703 posts)
37. Thank you!
Mon Jul 3, 2017, 11:56 PM
Jul 2017

We hang out each week with six wonderful Episcopalian friends (and good liberals) and are proud of what your denomination has done. We are working within ours on that transformation.

Christ accepted all those who were despised and rejected, afflicting the comfortable (and smug) and comforting the afflicted.

Latest Discussions»The DU Lounge»Hi everyone.