The Easy Lie

Posted by Fe Bongolan


Fe Bongolan counters Donald Trump’s cynical, xenophobic assertion that “We need a big and beautiful wall” (to keep out Syrian refugees) the best way she knows how: by coming together with people of various backgrounds to create beautiful, passionate, multi-cultural music together. You can choose not to play the fear game.

“Nothing spoils tomorrow more surely than fear of it.” — Len Wallick

Never were more truer words said than what our colleague Len Wallick wrote in his Friday column. From the Mayor of Roanoke, Virginia to the 47 Congressional Democrats who broke against the president and voted with Republicans to place a moratorium on accepting a modest number of Syrian refugees — 10,000 women and children — we have become prey to the easy lie, denying a safer and more hopeful tomorrow for people escaping the terror of war.

It’s easy enough to get people who are only given a certain set of facts to believe a lie. Check out Donald Trump’s tweet: “Eight Syrians were just caught on the southern border trying to get into the U.S. ISIS maybe? I told you so. WE NEED A BIG & BEAUTIFUL WALL!”

What his 130-character summation does not tell you is that members of two Syrian families presented themselves to authorities at the Department of Homeland Security at the Southern Border. The women and children were taken to a family residential center while the men were transferred to a detention center, DHS said.

But because of our terror of ISIS, Syrians, Muslims, and the ghost of 9-11, our minds cannot absorb facts, and so when a lie is repeated, again and again, in various forms and variations, the surface gloss of an innuendo-loaded statement becomes solid evidence. See how easy and dangerous that is?

But we’re not only failing these war refugees. By the very truths that we hold dear, by the very foundation upon which this country was built, we’re failing ourselves. As best said in an editorial in The Cincinnati Enquirer:

The selective nature of the proposed moratorium — targeting refugees from only one country — is also troubling because there’s no confirmed, direct link between Syrian refugees and the Paris attacks. All the suspects identified so far hailed from France or Belgium. The call to block Syrian refugees is being made despite the evidence, not because of it. […]

Our refugee resettlement program — yes, even for Syrians — represents a core American value, one that reflects and continues our identity as a melting pot. We are a country founded and fueled by immigrants. We are a nation powered by the proposition that we value oppressed people — of all colors and creeds — who seek shelter.

I began last weekend heartsick with the familiar ring of politics ginning up people’s fears. When will we ever learn? It wasn’t helpful that the Republican presidential candidates used the refugee moratorium to rev up even more xenophobia on the stump, winning the news cycle in tandem with their Congressional compatriots. All we need right now is another fear-based political campaign to hoist a demagogue into the White House.

I have been tired of this since 2003, as are most of the people in my community in the San Francisco Bay Area. Yes I know we’re not middle America, and by all measures the view of us — correct or not — is that we are crypto-liberal extremists too willing to sell the country out to the Communists. Whatever. But throwing my shoe at a CNN news reporter on television was not going to help. Neither was yelling at the car radio on my commute home. My anger was nourished by the fear.

I tried to put my mind’s focus on other things this weekend: going to a play on Friday; and on Saturday, catering for the artists at the International Body Music mini-fest at Berkeley’s traditional music institution, Freight and Salvage.

There were forty artists, all “hyphen-Americans” representing various cultures — African-American, Mexican-American, Eastern European-American, and East Indian-American — representatives of the society that we have become. Pieces of our American multi-ethnic fabric. It was an evening of percussive, jazz, dance and traditional music all done without instruments.

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illuminate your heart, feed your soul, help love conquer fear: sign up for Planet Waves’ Reader Level membership (tell your friends!) for web access to all articles; or get email delivery plus Eric’s SMS astrology service and more with a Core Community membership.

After our pre-show meal everyone circled up to be together before curtain. The house was packed. As the Festival’s co-director Evie Ladin said: “The world is in a shit storm right now, and the people out there need us to lift them up.”

People were looking for the same kind of relief I was from the last week’s xenophobia and each and every one of the artists stepped up. No one held anything back.

The finale was a gathering of all artists from their various ethnic traditions leading the audience out of the auditorium into the lobby for a wide open celebration of clapping, stomping and chanting for the audience and the artists. There was nothing but smiles in that lobby. The show was medicine.

Looking back now, this show was a living snapshot of what our core American values are and what the Cincinnati Examiner editorial referred to: inclusion and appreciation of the differences and similarities of our human experience on this planet. We’re all in one country that is a part of this one world.

I told my best friend Rhodessa about the show. As of right now she is flying east for Thanksgiving to visit her family in Georgia. Before she left to get on the plane, she said to me the same thing Evie said: “The world is in an uproar. Time now to give our friends, family and community our best and with love.”

We have so much to be thankful for: we’re safe, definitely food-secure, and we have a community of friends and family to help us shoulder our burdens and re-assure us with love and support. For us, the only war going on right now is for our minds and hearts to believe in a fear that could not only spoil, but end tomorrow. Even with that we can choose not to play.

When we open our mouths to pray in thanks this week, let’s work to open minds and hearts as well — ours and others. Love, fear and lies don’t mix. Love cannot exist with lies and fear cannot exist with love. Love conquers them both. Easily.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Posted in Columnist, Fe-911 on | 7 comments
Fe Bongolan

About Fe Bongolan

Planet Waves writer Fe Bongolan lives in Oakland, California. Her column, "Fe-911," has been featured on Planet Waves since 2008. As an actor and dramaturge, Fe is a core member of Cultural Odyssey's "The Medea Project -- Theater for Incarcerated Women," producing work that empowers the voices of all women in trouble, from ex-offenders, women with HIV-AIDS, to young girls and women at risk. A Planet Waves fan from almost the beginning of Eric's astrology career, Fe is a public sector employee who describes herself as a "mystical public servant." When it comes to art, culture and politics, she loves reading between the lines.

7 thoughts on “The Easy Lie

  1. Barbara Koehler

    I share your feelings Fe, and the appalling lies he continues to tell. . . “thousands and thousands of people in Jersey City cheered when the (Twin Towers) buildings came down” is his latest lie. It is sobering to realize – but we must realize – that so many Americans are so gullible (and frightened).

    Our faith in this country and our faith that a better world is coming is being sorely tested in these Neptunian days (daze). I want to share something. The U.S. Sibly Neptune (22 Virgo 25) has a Sabian Symbol of A LION TAMER DISPLAYS HIS SKILL AND CHARACTER. Dane Rudhyar says “Implied in any successful process of taming and training is RESOLUTENESS and PATIENCE.”

    That is what is being tested. . our resoluteness and patience. I cling to the belief that come January we will be rewarded for hanging in there. Look at the full moon chart for January 23, 2016, and you will see a plethora of optimism. Leading the list is the Jupiter at 22+ Virgo and the North Node at 22+ Virgo, the same degree as the U.S. Neptune. A new cycle is starting between trans. Jupiter and U.S. Neptune (lasting 12 years), and the trans. NN is giving its blessing to the union. Be here now. We know what Jupiter means (expansion, good luck, generosity, foreigners) and we know what Virgo means (caregiving, service, humility, healing, getting all the details in order) and first and foremost, Neptune is the highest form of love and compassion.

    Transiting Neptune of course is pulling all the strings in this picture: he makes a quindecile (pronounced quin-deh-chee’-leh in Italian) to trans. Jupiter, a passionate aspect per Noel Tyl, “a burning point of focus”.

    Trans. Neptune is also making a biquintile to the Full Leo Moon (a tendency to want to improve or transform existing conditions” per F. Sakoian and L. Acker in their book The Minor Aspects).

    Trans. Neptune maintains a novile aspect with trans. Uranus, like a trine only more subtle and is effective on a higher level of consciousness than what the average human operates from.

    Trans. Neptune maintains a septile with Pluto (exact in March) which creates the irrational behavior we are witnessing, but also provides a fork (choice) in the road of destiny.

    And what about trans. Saturn? He is a little past his exact square with trans. Neptune at this Full Moon, but he will be back. In the meantime he will have just moved a degree away from the U.S. Sibly chart ascendant (a real downer) and will the be at 13+ Sagittarius and making a trine to trans. Vesta at 13+ Aries (who is only 3 degrees away from transiting Uranus, who is associated with Prometheus who stole the flame). Saturn within orb of a trine with Uranus!!! Trans. Vesta will be square the U.S. Sun (and opposite the U.S. Saturn) and Vesta keeps the flame burning, just like the Statue of Liberty symbolizes.

    The January 23 Full Moon holds 2 conjunctions; Mercury retrograde and Pluto in Capricorn and Mars and Juno in Scorpio, each set of 2 will be starting new cycles. These cycles are not long but we will be studying them for meaning and purpose. We know that Juno supports the disenfranchised, and we know what Mars, Pluto and Mercury symbolize – if you want to get an early start on imagining how they will support this collective (outer planet) nudge up the evolutionary ladder.

    I think eventually (but not so very long from now) we will be proud to be Americans. In some small way we will look back and thank the Donald Trumps and all the other clowns who tried to use fear tactics to further their own plans. At this moment asteroid Alice (think Alice in Wonderland) is conjunct the U.S. Juno at 20+ Libra who opposes U.S. Chiron at 20+ Aries. This too shall pass. We must not become discouraged because of the stories we are hearing now. . they are illusions.

    I would also note that the progressed U.S. Saturn and the progressed U.S. Hades are both at 3+ Scorpio and both are retrograde. The Full Moon at 3+ Leo (opposite Sun at 3+ Aquarius) squares (T-squares) the U.S. progressed Saturn-Hades, which might be part of what we are seeing with this fear and selfishness exhibited by our fellow Americans.

  2. LizzyLizzy

    in fact, your article has truly fired me up, dear Fe. On the way to work this morning – started to think seriously about organizing a fundraising event that has just been hovering on the edges of my mind until now. There’s an amazing centre for refugees in my city – which provides them with food, shelter, legal aid, counselling – that’s totally run by volunteers, and fills in a huge gap left by local government. I have friends and acquaintances who could help me to get something really good going, with live music etc , to raise money for this centre. Just a seed for now – but something good might come of it… Thank you, Fe. I feel beter already.

  3. LizzyLizzy

    Bless you, dear Fe! Just read that there was a police blitz at the centre today – post Paris attacks/preparations for Pope jubilee year, and that it’s in danger of being closed down altogether.

    1. Fe BongolanFe Bongolan Post author


      The best thing we can do is to stay calm and resolute. Turkey shoots down a Russian plane. Donald Trumps says “thousands celebrated the fall of the Twin Towers in Jersey City”. Lies, violence, the threat of war looms. We are better than this. We are much better than this. This is fear trying to ramp it up. Time to call for cooler heads and peaceful outcomes.

      Time to refer back to what B Koehler said in her comment above:

      “That is what is being tested. . our resoluteness and patience. I cling to the belief that come January we will be rewarded for hanging in there. Look at the full moon chart for January 23, 2016, and you will see a plethora of optimism.”

  4. LizzyLizzy

    Yes – thank you, once again, dear Fe – for your support and wise words. And for quoting from be’s great comment.
    And thank you, be! Also for this, “We must not become discouraged because of the stories we are hearing now. . they are illusions.”

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