The Election Is Over. The Nation’s Rifts Remain.

Posted On Nov 20 2020 by

first_imgThat is, when people used to go to church. Before the coronavirus.“I just don’t think it’s ever going to be the same,” Ms. Graham, 65, said. “Because I felt like it was beyond political. It was personal.”On the other side of Pennsylvania, 300 miles to the east in Monroe County, a cellphone salesman named Austin Garone said he was exhausted by the thought of telling an ex-girlfriend which way he had voted. By Sunday morning, a semblance of serenity had returned to Maplewood. Mr. Kurland, a digital designer and a musician whose garage loudspeakers had rocked his neighborhood, mowed the lawn. His wife, Ms. Kumar, a psychologist, walked the family’s two black Labradors.That the president of the United States was tweeting again about a stolen election did not perturb them. They had already danced for joy in their driveway.Contributing reporting were Mike Baker from Seattle; Campbell Robertson from Mercer County, Pa.; Sabrina Tavernise from Monroe County, Pa.; and Will Wright from Louisville, Ky. The sounds of something unleashed — banging pots, honking horns, primal shouts — burst from all directions in Maplewood, N.J. And as another Queen song boomed from the muscular loudspeakers in his garage, Zack Kurland stood at the edge of his driveway, arms raised like Rocky.We are the championsWe are the championsHis wife, Neena Kumar, came running and leapt into his arms. News had just arrived that Joseph R. Biden Jr. had been declared the winner of the presidential election of 2020, and now the two were twirling in an impromptu public dance of triumph.- Advertisement – It has been a hard four years for Ms. Graham, with various political disagreements, including with sons who went from supporting Mr. Obama to supporting Mr. Trump. Especially difficult was the brutal mocking of Democrats — in other words, people like her — on social media by members of her church. Their disdain was so vitriolic that she had trouble attending Sunday services. These small moments reflect the sizable fissure in the collective American psyche that Mr. Biden sought to begin closing in his speech on Saturday night. With a stand of American flags behind him, he said the time had come to restore the nation’s soul; to embrace the first three words of the Constitution: “We the people.”Mr. Biden knows from experience how difficult such simple sentiments are to attain. Another historic moment not long ago — the 2008 election of the country’s first Black president, Barack Obama, with Mr. Biden as his vice president — also prompted dancing in the streets. And it, too, was framed as a moment of healing unification. The feeling did not last. MAPLEWOOD, N.J. — A late-morning stillness had settled over a November Saturday in a cozy blanket of suburban serenity. Suddenly, at stadium-level blast, there came the shattering rock ’n’ roll roar of victory:We will, we will rock youWe will, we will rock you- Advertisement – “Whether certain of my family members will elect to not attend certain events because my husband and I are there — that’s possible,” she said. But Mr. Biden still recognized a need to sound the call, once again, for the nation to come together. “It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric,” he said. “To lower the temperature. To see each other again. To listen to each other again.”His words seemed directed as much to the individual American as to the nation at large, as if to recognize the gaping rifts created over the four tumultuous years since Mr. Trump was elected. Friendships have fractured. Workplace relationships have cooled. Family gatherings have been altered by fears that a request to pass the salt might somehow lead to a political brawl.In Trump-solid Mercer County, Pa., a retired special education teacher named Beverly Graham, a Democrat, celebrated the big news on Saturday by pouring a glass of honey whiskey. She drank it in quiet toast, then tackled the chore of cleaning the bathrooms. – Advertisement –center_img Updated Nov. 8, 2020, 8:15 p.m. ET The moment evoked an iconic American image: a World War II sailor spontaneously kissing a woman in a nurse’s uniform in Times Square after the news of victory in Europe. Only instead of V-E Day, this was V-B Day: Victory for Biden. But not everyone was dancing. Triumph in a foreign war unifies a country; triumph in an election has the lurking potential to further divide. And by Sunday morning, some of the celebration and grieving had melted away to expose a difficult question for divided families and a divided nation:Now what?- Advertisement – Mr. Garone ultimately decided that the president had not done so. But he is not volunteering that he voted for Mr. Trump in 2020.“If she asks, I’ll tell her,” he said. “But if not, I won’t mention it.”And in Louisville, Ky., a lawyer named Dustin Meek said that she had spent considerable time trying to navigate the political schism between herself, a self-described progressive Democrat, and her family in her Trump-supporting hometown of Ashland, 190 miles to the east.“We’ll start out the evening saying, OK, no discussion of politics,” Ms. Meek, 54, said. “But inevitably, a joke will be thrown, or something will come up and people will poke, and honestly, I have to say, it has strained the relationships.”“It’s hard,” she added.She and her family members cannot seem to even agree on what constitutes “fact,” she said. They follow right-wing news websites, while she favors more traditional news sources that Mr. Trump has encouraged his followers to distrust.Ms. Meek expressed hope that the less inflammatory rhetoric of a new president would ease things. And she said that she would not allow politics to get in the way of attending future family gatherings. They had broken up in 2016 over politics, mostly, after he voted for Mr. Trump — a choice, he said, she found incomprehensible. This time around, she had been calling, texting and sending long Facebook missives, all to persuade him not to vote for Mr. Trump again.“People just hate Trump so much,” Mr. Garone, 26, said. “It’s an emotional reaction and they lose their sense of reason.”He said he had told his ex-girlfriend, still a close friend, that he would not vote for Mr. Trump if she could demonstrate that he had infringed upon her rights as a bisexual woman. True, a record number of more than 75 million Americans had voted for Mr. Biden, the Democratic challenger, and his running mate, Kamala Harris, the first woman elected as vice president. Also true was that more than 71 million others now had to grapple with the concept that their candidate — Donald J. Trump, the Republican incumbent — would most likely be branded by his own worst epithet: loser. If Trump loyalists were honking their horns at all on Saturday, it was probably to clear rejoicing Biden supporters from the streets. And the only hope being offered by their leader was a vow to challenge in the courts what he asserted, without evidence, was a fraudulent election.By refusing, for now, to publicly accept the election results, Mr. Trump was all but inviting dance-interrupting discord. And some accepted his invitation.Trump supporters held “Stop the Steal” rallies outside state capitols across the country, though their cries of electoral corruption sometimes came as news of Mr. Biden’s declared victory was lighting up smartphones everywhere.In Sacramento, Calif., videos captured confrontations that devolved into physical assaults; some in the scrum wore the black-and-yellow polo shirts often associated with the Proud Boys, a far-right, pro-Trump group not unfamiliar with violence. Another video, from Salem, Ore, showed a man in Proud Boys apparel discharging what appeared to be pepper spray, after which a crowd battered a vehicle with fists and a baseball bat.last_img read more


Unity Day Flashback…

Posted On Sep 26 2020 by

first_img 253 Views   5 comments Share Sharing is caring! Share EducationNewsTertiary Unity Day Flashback… by: – March 28, 2011center_img Tweet The night came to a slow start, an hour behind schedule, the group set up some last minute details for a prompt start at 6:30 p.m. The National Anthem was sung by Klarens Affana who has a beautiful voice. Ms. Clementine KOA Affana, student body president, gave a brief history of how it all began:“The idea of a Unity Day was first conceived 3 years ago, when 2 former All saints’ students named Farah and Kaeshika, were brainstorming ideas on how to make student life more entertaining and to create new events at school. They initially thought of an Indian dance show, where all Indian girls would wear their traditional clothes and perform traditional dances. They then brought their idea to the SBC president at that time, Mr. Reginald Azor, who, with his vice president, Mr. Michael Obasogie; decided to expand the idea into a general talent show. This talent show included singing and dancing to different kinds of music. It was therefore a way for students to unite and to share their cultures through art and self expression. Hence, they named the event Unity Day, the day where all students come together and share their cultures.”Furthermore, she mentioned the 20 nations represented within the school, these include: Cameroon, Nigeria, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Cananda, USA, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, China, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, India, Italy, Czech Republic, Spain, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom, Dominica, Haiti, St. Vincent, Trinidad, St. Thomas and Guadeloupe.The First section which is the talent show had ten acts in all here is an overview of the performances:1.        Marie & Fallon sang in a native language, Tamayo from a movie called Gola.2.        Jasmine & Emanuel with a Haitian dance to the song; ‘Are you ready?’3.        Dr. Fiaz did an Indian role with the help of Dharack, then a rendition of Mark Anthony’ Speech in Julius Caesar.4.        Kiran did two songs one she dedicated to the lives lost in Japan (Arms of An Angel), the other was a mash up to her friends and mother (Killing me Softly and Bring me back to Life) Accompanied by keyboardist: Samuel.5.        Dance called Caribbean Wildness which had a medley of background music: (Artist?) -Sour , Tasha P-Woman time, Rihanna –  Rude Boy.6.        Marie & Samuel did a song he wrote, Dynamite, then a mash up of Katy Perry- Firework and Bruno Mars- Grenade.7.        Dance by Naija Boys to a medley of African Music.8.        Professor Neila did a folk song Tamal.9.        Mona recited her two poems: ‘Would you be mine?’ and ‘Abused’.10.        Dance by African Queens; Marie, Pamela, Clementine and Joy to a medley of African music and in the end ‘Waka Waka’ by Shakira.Dr. Morebise announced the winners and distributed prizes for the 1st and 2nd place in singing and dancing.Singers: 1st place – Marie & Samuel                 2nd place -Neila who gave it to a student next in place KieranDancers: 1st place – African Queens                   2nd place – Kamil GirlsThe next event was the fashion show which displayed a cornucopia of cultural outfits both Eastern and Western. The most eye-catching was the traditional wear from Africa and India.The event officially ended around 9 p.m. This is when the food was served buffet style outside the auditorium.      Dishes served were:•        From Nigeria: Jollof Rice, Pepper soup with goat meat.•        From India and Sri Lanka: Beans curry, chicken curry.•        From Latin America: Empanadas•        From the Caribbean: Baked Macaroni Pie•        Chicken pasta•        Vegetarian pastaThere is no doubt that the efforts of the student body council will not go unappreciated. This compromises of: Clementine KOA Affana (president), Marie Pascale Tsala Affana and Masuma Khawaja (events coordinators), Zubair Khan (treasurer) and Kiran Ansari (secretary).Special Thanks From the SBC President goes out to all the performers (dancers, singers, actors, fashion show models), the technical support, the Master of Ceremonies ( MC) and the decorators. Special thanks to Dhaarak Desai, Kirandeep Sidhu, Erol Agha, Syed Shahzad Saqib and Anushan Vilaramajan for their support in the decoration and preparation of the event, as well as their assistance in cleaning after the event.Comments about the event:SBC President:  Unity day is getting better and better every semester. The excitement and joy of all students awaiting this “end of semester event” is what drives us to give our very best in the preparations, and their satisfaction at the end of the night is our reward. We are thankful for their faithful participation and their support.Dr Raj: ‘Always fun, every semester it rotates, new and creative.’Da Vibes Columnist: Overall, the event was well-organized. However, timing was a bit of a problem. The event was too lengthy, some performances dragged on. Other than that it was a spirit uplifting and inspiring show. Kudos to all the performers and organizers, you know how to have fun.By: Da Vibes Columnist        Jerlyn Williams Sharelast_img read more


Mary E. Bruns, 53

Posted On Sep 23 2020 by

first_imgMary E. Bruns, 53, lost her fight to cancer on April 21, 2020 in her home, in Greensburg, IN. Mary was born on March 17, 1967, in Greensburg, IN. She was the daughter of Paul and Margaret (Hodapp) Geis. She was a 1985 graduate of North Decatur High School. Mary worked at Verizon and Don Bruns and Sons. There she met her life-long partner, Paul B. Bruns. They were married on September 9, 1989. She later worked at Bruns Gutzwiller Inc. until 2015. She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Through the years, Mary brought joy to so many lives. She had such a sweet, down to earth personality that rubbed off on those around her. In the past few years, she was able to do lots of traveling. These included going out west, as well as visiting Nashville, TN; Cancun, Mexico; Myrtle Beach, SC; and Washington D.C., VI. Mary’s greatest joy in life was simply spending time with her family. She is survived by her husband, Paul B. Bruns; children, Aaron (Nora) Bruns, and Stephanie (Tanner) Volz; grandchild, Charlie Volz; and brother, Phil (Cindy) Geis, all of Greensburg. She was preceded in death by her parents. A private graveside service will be held for the immediate family at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to Our Hospice of Southeastern Indiana and St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Porter-Oliger-Pearson Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements. Online condolences can be made to the family at www.popfuneralhome.comlast_img read more