Good News Roundup
Today’s column will be the last Fight this Hate published in 2017. We’ve been fighting hate all year long, every week since Inauguration Day.
How are we doing? Most of us are battle weary; some of us are scarred. All of us are determined to continue the fight in 2018, right?
Let’s take a look at some wins:
Democrat Doug Jones won in Alabama, upsetting the favored Republican, the judge accused of assaulting women as young as fourteen. [Doug Jones isn’t perfect. He’s a win for Democrats.]
Women are coming forward by the thousands to out their abusers. In Hollywood, in politics, in the tech world, in business, in education, and in religious institutions. It is important to remember that women of color and Native American women suffer in greater numbers than white women, and it is more difficult for those women to come forward. Advocates and allies must fight for ALL women. Abusers are being fired from their powerful positions in record numbers. This is good news.
Anita Hill is chairing the anti-sexual harassment commission formed by top executives in Hollywood.
Attention is being paid to the outrageous acts of our police officers around the country. Much more work is necessary. When officers are charged and tried, we want to see more convictions, like that reported earlier in December. There are organizations dedicated to ending police brutality. Grass root organizations (Don’t Shoot, All of Us or None, e.g.) as well as official organizations (National Association Against Police Brutality, ACLU, e.g.) are working to this end.
Cities like New York are developing ways for accused to make bail. People who can’t afford bail are routinely held until their trial dates. Some big city District Attorneys are making a difference. The cities of Chicago, Houston, San Francisco have systems in place to recommend defendants be released on their own recognizance as the default in most misdemeanor cases. But even smaller cities are taking up bail reform, like the DA in Winnebago County, Wisconsin.
Climate change is a real science-based problem all over Earth. Here is an entire article regarding good news on this issue. We have so much work to do, it’s important to celebrate what good news there is.
World peace is what we all wish for and have not yet achieved. In the case of Israelis and Palestinians, one group has stepped forward to make a difference. Minds of Peace is being lauded for trying something new in peace negotiations: getting the two Middle Eastern communities to communicate.
A man has invented shoes that “grow,” in order to help shoe poor kids, after working with barefoot children in Kenya. Wearing shoes helps prevent soil-based diseases and infections. You can read about it here, and possibly donate to provide shoes.
Rats are saving elephants from hidden landmines on their migration routes by acting as bomb detectors in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. The rats are small enough that they don’t trigger the bombs, so no rats are harmed in this process. In a related note, Mozambique is declared the first nation to be freed of land mines!
The disfiguring tropical disease known as elephantiasis is on its way to being completely eradicated, thanks to help from President Jimmy Carter’s non-profit organization.
Finally: a moment of Zen as Baby Fiona the hippo and her mom Bibi play together under water. [If you haven’t followed Fiona’s progress from preemie baby last year up to her being weaned from the bottle in December, you might want to watch her channel on YouTube.]
Sandra de Helen, author of the lesbian thriller Till Darkness Comes also pens the Shirley Combs/Dr. Mary Watson series. She is a poet, journalist, and a playwright. Her plays have been produced in the Philippines, Ireland and Canada, Chicago, New York City, and in thirteen states. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Dramatists Guild. Her books are available online, at Another Read Through Bookstore in Portland, Oregon, and Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego. Samples of her work are available on her website.