Renowrites blog!

Author of YA novel "Enlightenment" available March 2019!

MLK Holiday

On January 3rd, 1986, the first MLK Holiday was national recognized in the United States. The MLK Holiday has only been in our consciousness for 33 years. Only since 1986. At that time, only 27 states and Washington DC recognized the third Monday of January as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The state of Arizona did not recognize the holiday until 1992. South Carolina was the last state to recognize MLK Day as a paid holiday. This happened in the year 2000. Today in 2019, all 50 states and U.S. territories recognize MLK Day as a holiday.

It is my opinion we’ve come quite a ways since the bill was introduced in 1983. This is a people’s holiday, a holiday to recognize with a man’s message of peace and hope, a holiday to recognize that race is not the determining factor in a person’s character or fate.

This photo of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States from 2008-2016, reminds me that America and the world is slowly getting past the marginal attitudes of the past. Slowly…very slowly…

Slowly…we prod along…slowly.

Here’s to Martin Luther King, Jr…a man ahead of his time.


Can you guess where this chocolate mold is displayed?

Filed under: politics, Writing

DACA Phaseout is UnAmerican

What is American? This is a question I’ve asked myself many times over my lifetime. My writing has a distinct American slant.

If you ask this question to a classroom full of high school or college students, I would expect a diverse set of answers. Emotional answers. Answers stemming from one’s own personal American experience.  History books teach us about the wins and losses of America’s past. It’s primarily a European-based history, a history I don’t discount or take for granted, yet a history that downplays the American contributions of minorities.

As a Filipino American, American is not apple pie, but leche flan. Baseball, basketball and football, three sports I grew up playing, played a big part of my youth as I went home to a Filipino household.  America to me was not just the blue-eyed blonde or brown-eyed brunette, but also includes the black-haired and darker-skinned Native American, Filipino, Chinese, Korean, Hispanic and African American. You see, my version of America is truly mine.

In my life, I’ve experienced a welcoming America, an America that welcomes me for who I am. Yet we are an America with honest trepidations about the future. I’ve found that regardless of our different perspectives and beliefs, there is more commonality than differences socked away at our core. It is our shared belief in the common goodness of man that keeps us “United.” I am a proud American citizen who believes in our country’s core values.

This is why it’s important DACA shouldn’t be phased out. It is truly unAmerican. The kids of immigrants who have lived honest, American lives. Through no fault of their own, a phaseout of DACA puts them at risk of being exported like food items and inanimate objects America manufactures and ships out to other countries for profit. Thanks, but no thanks. We’ve had enough of you.

This is not the America I want to know.

Mr. President — these are human beings, people who cannot be treated so unfairly. They should not be deported for having dreams. It is simply unAmerican. 

But my words fall short of truly expressing how I feel. But Number 44 said it best on Tuesday September 5, 2017. These are words I stand behind.

“What makes us American is not a question of what we look like, or where our names come from, or the way we pray. What makes us American is our fidelity to a set of ideals – that all of us are created equal; that all of us deserve the chance to make of our lives what we will; that all of us share an obligation to stand up, speak out, and secure our most cherished values for the next generation. That’s how America has traveled this far. That’s how, if we keep at it, we will ultimately reach that more perfect union.”

Filed under: politics, , ,