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  • Ray was always a sight, even as a huge baby with a baritone voice and perfect chocolate skin. She didn't recognize any of the new admirers. We watched as she whimpered missing her grandmother while our side of the family chuckled at her size. We all looked on silently considering all of the power this eight month old had arrived with; such presence. To each of us she represented a part of our worry but mostly our dreams. Would her strength and striking blackness turn away the ignorant or invite onslaught and intolerance? Would her African and Native American heritage be celebrated, or just another reason to fear the diaspora?

    My sweet, chocolate baby became a towering basketball shero, hitting 6'2" by the time she was 13. Ray's eventual disinterest in males was in part the way she was born, in her words. Upon discovery of this perceived blasphemy she was brutally assaulted by her father when he discovered she was not interested in being 'straight'.

    The sorrow I still feel is beyond any clever political tit for tat about human rights thrown around and publicly disregarded by many during charged elections. I wonder has anyone seen a human after an assault let alone a young person or a minor, or had to themselves sit through and describe physical crimes and relive them in hopes of justice? What would they do with the realization the paper or report following crimes against children are sometimes all that happens.

    I do know our world isn't promised, nor is our freedom, no matter who the governing force is. I am hopeful the majority rule in this recent re-election may send a message to parents or criminals with the faulty thinking that is 'ok' to brutalize children or our young who are different than the status quo or feel safer with the same sex. The battle of intolerance, our battle is still here at our doorstep. All human beings must take a stand against physical abuse. You cannot beat the gay off of anyone, or the black, or the woman. We came the way we are. We offer heart, soul, insight, love and the ability to expand the collective intelligence given the opportunity to be embraced.

    Auntie loves you, Ray.
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