Riley Speaks

"all i have is a voice" ~ w.h. auden


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“We All Sleep Under the Same Stars” – Life in a hateful world

It seems like every week there’s a new instance of violence being used to get to their end goal. This used to be the sort of thing I would hear about happening in the United States – a country far bigger and much more populated than tiny old New Zealand. Now it’s everywhere. People are angry. It was brimming at the surface for a while, but with the United States electing Haters ‘R’ Us’s front man Donald Trombone, the rest of the world has slowly undone and become a much more violent place. It’s like the election of Trombone saw the acceptance for hate. People went “oh well if a sexual assaulter, racist, fascist, bigot can rise to power then that must be okay for me to do!” And since then people have taken every opportunity to be cruel and unkind in a effort to get their way.

It makes me so mad. It’s so simple, yet some people act like world peace is the most complicated thing in the world. Billionaire’s with enough money to feed nations in famine refuse to do so and sit on their wealth as a throne. It goes to waste – if it were food it would be the vegetables I swore I was going to eat but never did and eventually they rotted. Billions. A couple of million would make no dent in their riches, but would feed a nation out of hunger. But because they are greedy and believe they earned it all they refuse. Did they earn it all? Maybe. But only because members of the world brought into their product, or gimmick, or whatever it was. You rep what you sow – you cannot get without giving in return. It’s that simple. People want to be rich to flaunt off their wealth – most teenagers I know what to be rich to afford a house, and then tip underpaid waiters and workers 100$ bills. They want to give because they know how it is to get. It drives me mad and that’s the reason this has taken so long to write because each time I start I get worked up into a state of pure frustration. It. Is. That. Simple. Don’t be greedy, be kind, and help out your neighbour. If there was no greed, there would be no fight for power, there would be no cruel methods of gaining ears to listen.

I was watching a documentary on the Sandy Hook Masacre shooting, and one of the things mentioned in there was from the Indianapolis NRA National Convention in April of 2014. I believe it was Wayne LaPierre speaking to the crowds and he said “When you are out there on your own, the surest way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.” This opinion was met with cheers and applause – after all it is a pro-gun convention. But the reality is that if there wasn’t a gun for the ‘bad guy’ to have, the ‘good guy’ wouldn’t need one either. If everyone was able to co-exist and not fight for power, for hatred, and for greed then no one would need protection. He shot down that school because no one listened. Because rich billionaires and humans decided they didn’t have to be kind. But it is our job upon entering this earth that we are kind. It’s the signed contract we have each been given just to gain our first breath. Then as we get older, we think that we deserve the world. We think we are owed things because we hold a privilege. We think because  we went to an Ivy League College we deserve the best jobs, that because we are white we are held above black people and when we are not we demand retribution. When a woman dismisses our advances we kill her because we were taught that we were entitled to a woman no matter how she felt. It warms my heart to see parents today teaching their children about privilege and how you are not owed anything. I hope I get to see the future where these kids are on the path to world peace and living among another.

As humans we are naturally greedy, we want to have it all. But to survive on this planet we cannot afford to be greedy and full of hatred. We have to be kind and caring. We have to take it back to the books that we preach from day in and day out – we use these books to proclaim our anti-gay marriage stance, to proclaim why muslims are terrorists; but what about the fundamentals of these books? Above all else, I believe no matter what God you believe in, the most crucial statement these Gods want us to note is that of love. Each God was about love. Love to it’s followers, and love to it’s sinners too. Embrace those that have wronged you and lead them to love. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. The words may change as the religions do, but the meaning is there. Treat others how you want to be treated.


I am so sorry this is a jumbled mess, as I said earlier I get so mad and angry that people can be so cruel and so unbelievably stupid. It’s so simple and they make it so complicated. Also don’t 
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I’ll Pee on Your Face if That Makes It Better – Trump is an a**hole.

I wish the title weren’t so vulgar and angry but I’m tired. I’m sick and tired of hearing about what other human right the dickwad has taken away each day. I’m so goddamned tired of the hate he breads by making things “legal” or “illegal”. It is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever witnessed and I own two cats that are dumb as heck. I can’t believe that someone can be so cruel…so full of hate. I’ve learned today that he is a far worse human being than I ever imagined anyone to be – even the devil himself wouldn’t be this cruel.

In May of 2016, Barack Obama – then US President Obama (please come back!) – administration made federal guidelines that allowed transgender students to use the bathroom of their chosen identity. Obama let these students be who they were, he realised that nothing made a difference where the person pees. No one wants to pee in public any way.

If transgender youth can be attacked for being who they are why can’t I hit a nazi (no I will not capitalise that, autocorrect) or a white boy wearing a “make america great again” hat? It’s the same deal – except one of these three groups isn’t hurting anyone. I would be more terrified to pee in a bathroom with a trump supporter in it than a transgender person. Why? Transgender people aren’t killing, spreading, and promoting hate. They aren’t taking away humans rights and woman’s rights. They aren’t pulling apart families and sending people – living breathing humans – back into war zones. They just wanna get rid of the goddamned water they drank earlier for f*cks sake.

His whole ploy was to create jobs. That was his focus and his main goal if elected. You want to know what jobs he’s created? Hospitals will see more fight related injuries among transgender, black, mexican, latino, hispanic, muslim, islamic, lesbian, gay, and other minority groups being beaten by bullies. The hospital walls will see more suicide attempts because of bullying. I bet his supporters didn’t think these were the jobs he meant. Wake up Bob, he doesn’t give a shit about you and your suburban family with soccer on the weekends. He has an agenda and you were simply a pawn that will be sacrificed among the play. Hurry up – wake up and realise this, then join the resistance.

And yet people STILL stand by it. They still support him and wear their hats and shirts and crap not even made in the USA as if it were something to be proud of – a badge of honour. I hope you still feel pride when your neighbour weeps for their dead child because you wouldn’t let her pee in the girls toilet. Or when your boss comes to work beaten and bruised because they had the ‘audacity’ to be black. Or Muslim. Or a woman. Or gay. I hope you still feel pride when your own child looks at you with eyes full of innocence and trust as you spread hate and pain. I hope you still feel so goddamned proud when you are standing among a mass grave. Because, at this rate, you inevitably will. I hope you still feel proud when he screws you over. He never cared about you I just wish you could have seen that before November.

Is this my most aggressive and vulgar post yet? Yes. Will it be my last? God I hope so. But at the rate this presidency is progressing…this is as tame as it will ever be again. I am mad, and I am not going to be sorry for it. I have every right to be angry. These kids, people, and humans deserve more than what they have. They are supposed to be protected. My heart aches when I think of all those that fought so hard to get where we are, Rosa Parks, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Martin Luther King Jr, and so many more seeing the hell that has become the US. My heart aches when I know how alone these transgender youth may feel seeing trump supporters yelling slurs and ready for a fight. My heart aches because I cannot hide them all in my home and give them the acceptance and love they deserve. I am broken, and tired, and exhausted of feeling the same pain each day as I see the world trump is creating. But I am not going to stop. We are not going to stop.

“Nevertheless, she persisted”


If you are a transgender student, or even just a transgender human being existing in this hateful world, please know you are not alone. Please know that there are people on your side and fighting for you. Do not give up. You deserve to live and you deserve to be given human rights. I am so sorry for the way this has gone down, but it’s not nearly over. We will fight for your rights once again and we will make sure you are loved and treated with the respect and dignity every human deserves.


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We Are All Immigrants.

On the 27th of January, american president Trump made a law that refused entry to the United States from seven countries if they were not 100% american residents. The law was created as part of his attempts to stop immigrants from coming into America. It resulted in many people that had been citizens of America being denied entry back into the states.

The law was a direct attack on the Muslim faith and those that are Muslim. All seven countries have Muslim as it’s predominant religion. The idea is that stopping immigrants, specifically Muslims, will decrease the amount of terrorist attacks within the United States. What it does not take into account is that no terrorist attacks have been made by Muslim people. All seven countries that are denied entry have never killed ANY american citizens.

The idea that he can only keep certain religions out is very dictatorial. And what makes Muslim’s the target for this ban? Who got to decide that? Why not Christians? Do you know how many Christians have killed american citizens? A lot. Dylan Roof – a mass murderer and perpetrator of the Charleston shooting – was a “devout christian”. Jim David Adkisson was a christian too, he shot at innocent children. Timothy McVeigh, the notorious Oklahoma City bomber, was a christian. And yet a Muslim has never killed any american citizens…

I am devastated by the idea that the president believes he can dictate what religion is good and what religion is bad when he is denying the fact that his own religion is “worse” in terms of killings. I am devastated by the fact that many people were held up in airports for hours on end and refused entry back to the place they call home. Where their children and husband live, where their life is. My heart breaks for those that were put into that position for no reason other than pure hatred and greed of power.

But the real message of this is not my pain and anger over a certain man. It is to remind us all that we are all immigrants. We have all come and sought refuge or home in another country that was not ours. I am an immigrant. I am a European living in a Maori country. My people (Europeans) migrated to New Zealand from Europe. That makes me an immigrant in my own homeland. Humble yourself. Realise that everyone has migrated from somewhere else. We are all immigrants. It’s what makes our countries so great. It’s what allows cultures to adapt, and people to be more diverse. It’s important. Immigrants are important.

Please, it’s so important that you show love and appreciation to these people that are targeted by the new president. It’s beyond important. They have seen enough hate and felt enough pain. Show them that the world is not all bad, that there is still some good left. Don’t let hate win. Be the light in the dark. Love one another and be kind to your neighbour. It really is that simple, but we forget. We forget how easy it is to say “hey look man, I am proud you practice your religion even when you have every reason to be discouraged.” We don’t say enough the kind thoughts we think. So do it. If you think something nice, say it. Even if you think it sounds silly, or cheesy, or boring – it matters. It may be the only good thing they hear that day. Be kind and spread love not hate.

 


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Heartache upon heartache – 2016 was a year from hell.

2016…what could have been a good, progressive year was not. Come July we thought “well, this HAS to be it. Only good from here.” We were wrong. It seemed just when you thoughtalan-kurdi people couldn’t become any more hateful and resentful they did. 2016 proved that so many people still hold hate so near and dear to their hearts. It showed that many people place their own privilege above saving lives – let’s vote for less tax, not someone that supports LGBTQ+ and pro-choice movements. It was a fight from the beginning.

But one thing I am so glad 2016 has brought us, is the undying truth that there is a fight for justice and solidarity in people. Finally people are no longer sitting idly by watching and hoping someone will do something. They are the doers. They are getting involved and helping and making a better tomorrow for ourselves and our future generations. We are asking “why” – a question that seems to have been left by the way side for far too long. Why are black lives being treated like a nuisance not the carefully crafted God created people they are? Why are woman being told to wear more, and men not told to stop being a vicious animal? Why are kids being bombed and killed? Why. Why. Why.

There is so much about 2016 that makes me mad, makes me upset, and makes me cry. The obvious one is the election of the U.S. Watching so much hope disappear from myself and millions of others too was devastating. The U.S could have had their first woman brian-snyder-tagpresident, they could have had someone that was going to fight for them – not fight against them. And they blew it. The world watched in awe (as did Hillary supporters) while the votes seemed to become a horror film no one paid to watch. It all seemed useless. It wasn’t just Trump’s policy’s. But the fact that so many people supported them. They said “hey, it doesn’t matter if woman can safely have an abortion as long as I can pay less tax”, they shouted “heck yeah, if Donald can assault woman so can I!” The most horrible picture I have ever seen is the photo of men as the results were announced. The pursubway-therapy-wall-union-square-subway-station-governor-andrew-cuomo-nyc-028e hatred they held towards woman was evident, I knew that they were cheering for all the wrong ways they would treat any woman that crossed their path. It crushed me.But I followed the journey of many families in NYC and saw as they still held these values, they still held hope. And that gave me hope. That it wasn’t the end. Maybe it would take longer to get where we’re going, but we would get there. No one was going to give up.

If I could say one thing to 2016, it would be “fuck you.” Fuck you for all that you put us through. For the kids in Aleppo (and their families), for the families of the victims of the Orlando club shooting. Fuck you for the deaths of so many talented people – we didn’t deserve this. Fuck you 2016, for forcing Standing Rock to be a thing of protest not hope. People shouldn’t have to fight for their right to survive. Fuck you for still not allowing Flint to have clean water – even though it’s been two years. Fuck you for being such a hardass. It wasn’t fair. We didn’t deserve any of this.

2017 – the year of progress. The year we will move passed all that was 2016. We will not forget it. We will not dismiss the way we felt. But we will not linger in the turmoil. We will build new homes, build new relationships – we will build a stronger, better future. We have strength and we have hope, we cannot give in to 2016.

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2016 – The year of fuckery

It’s only turning to August and already this year has seen some of the harshest news reports in the decade. Bomb attacks, mass shootings, racial attacks, presidential election, and that’s just a few. We are plagued with nothing but horror whenever we try keep ourselves updated with the world news. With social media at the core of all we do, it’s impossible not to scroll down your whatever-timeline and not see someone talking about some harsh reality someone somewhere is fighting.

My heart aches whenever I hear the news of another life lost at the hands of someone else. How can someone justify taking another persons life? How do you justify that you are the decider of someone else’s fate?

I honestly don’t ever see myself bringing kids into this world for the sole reason that I don’t know how long this planet is going to be livable. I can’t wait for the news that a new planet has been found inhabitable…I also know we as humans will destroy it yet again.

People are hungry for power and money, not love and peace. People want aggression because they’re told it solves everything. Some people are willing to destroy everything we have in an attempt to have their way of life lived. People are so against other’s beliefs that they refuse to allow them to have them.

We are all on this earth together and although water may divide us, we all see the same stars and the same moon and sun. It’s beyond stupid that we are allowing our pride to get in the way of what could be the best co-living arrangement ever. We fight with other countries to the point that we’re bombing them for no reason other than our own beliefs. We refuse to acknowledge differences of culture and try to erase any inheritance of our own just to fit the mold that someone – who, I do not know – has decided is the best.

Our world is slowly falling apart and all I can do is sit and watch while baby boomers make rash decisions and demand power. Power is nothing if we’re all dead, if we’re all at war. Power is nothing in the grand scheme of things.