Harlow’s High-class Woman

He watched her with her friends. They were laughing and having lunch at a swanky restaurant.  He was on his way to back to the youth shelter following his lunch break.  He stood there to see if she would notice him.  She suddenly turned and saw him.  The smile vanished from her face.  Their eyes met and held for several minutes before she turned away.  Her friends had noticed him too and they were probably asking who he was but she shrugged.  Soon they were talking and laughing again as before.

Hurt and angry, he walked away.  Last night she was all over him but now that she was with her friends, she acted like she didn’t even know him.  It served him right for getting involved with a high-class woman.

They met a couple of months ago at a charitable event.  She showed up alone wearing a black sequenced evening dress which flattered her gorgeous figure.  He went up to her and at first she looked a bit put off but by the end of the night, she had warmed up to him.  The following night they went for dinner to an Italian restaurant and over pasta and wine, they got to know each other.  He learned that she was an only child who grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood and went to ivy league schools.  She worked as a Brand Communications Manager at a Telecommunications company.  The job paid extremely well and she loved it.

After dinner, they went to her place, a luxurious penthouse overlooking Central Park for a nightcap.   He stood behind her as they looked out the window.   Unable to resist, he pulled her against him and buried his face in her hair.  It and she smelled really good.  She didn’t pull away.  Encouraged, he turned her around and cupping her face between his hands, he lowered his head and kissed her.  Her eager response excited him and his mouth hungrily devoured hers, eliciting a moan from her.  As they exchanged kisses, he picked her up and carried her over to the sofa where they ended up making love.  He spent the night and left the next morning after breakfast.

They saw each other regularly after that night but they never went to the places she and her friends went to and he never met any of them.  She met his friends.  His best friend, Joe told him, “She’s different from the women you usually go out with.  She’s classy.”

There were times when he wondered why she was going out with him.  He didn’t think he was the kind of guy she would be interested in.  Granted, they were great together in bed but he wanted more than just a physical relationship with her.  Last night when they were at his place, munching on Nachos while watching Sunday Night Football, he realized that he had fallen in love with her.  He wanted to tell her but something held him.  Was it fear, doubt?  He still wasn’t sure how she felt about him and it bothered him that she hadn’t introduced him to any of her friends.  Was she afraid of what they would think?

It was clear from her behavior just now that she was ashamed of him.  Why else wouldn’t she invite him to join the group?  He had planned to take her skating at Wollman Rink and afterwards, huddle together as they sipped hot chocolate.  Well, he wasn’t going to bother.  Instead, he would watch Breaking Bad.  What a dismal prospect but it was better than nothing.   When he got back to the shelter, he pushed all thoughts of her out of his mind and got busy.

It was after seven that evening when he finally let himself into his apartment.  He was hungry but was too lazy to cook so he ordered pizza.  After taking a quick shower, he turned on the television.  The doorbell rang.  Thinking it was the pizza delivery guy, he grabbed his wallet.  He peered through the keyhole and stiffened when he saw her standing there.  Taking a deep breath, he opened the door, his expression guarded.  He saw her eyes travel over his tee shirt and jeans. “I wasn’t expecting company,” he said.  “I was planning on having a quiet evening.”

black_women_hairstyles_11“May I come in?”

“Sure.”  He stepped aside so that she could enter.  After closing the door, he leaned against it, arms folded.  “So, what brings you over here?”

“I wanted to see you.”

“You saw me earlier today when you were with your friends.”

“I’m sorry…”

“Sorry that your friends saw me or sorry that you didn’t introduce me to them?”

“Harlow, I haven’t been completely honest with you.”

“I’m listening.”

“I didn’t tell you about Malik.”

His expression darkened.  “Who the devil is Malik?”

“He’s the guy I was dating when you and I met.  The friends you saw me with know him.  I didn’t want them to know about you.  That’s why I didn’t introduce you to them.  I didn’t want them to say anything to Malik before I got a chance to speak to him.”

“Are you here to break up with me, Lorraine?”

“No!” she cried.  “Breaking up with you is the last thing I want to do.”

“What about Malik?”

“I broke up with him.”

“You did?”

“Yes.  I couldn’t continue dating him when I’m in love with you.  It wouldn’t be fair to him and–” the rest of her words were smothered under his lips.  She put her arms around his neck and pressed against him.

Several minutes later, he raised his head, his face flushed, to gaze down at her.  “Today when you looked at me and then turned away, I was hurt.  I thought that it was because you were embarrassed.  You didn’t want your friends to know about me.”

“Do you know what they said when they saw you?  They said, ‘whoever that guy is, he’s real cute.’  And I agreed with them.  And one of them said, ‘it’s too bad you’re already in a relationship.'”

“So, you think I’m real cute?”

“Yes.”  She reached up and to pull his head down towards hers when the doorbell rang.

“It’s the pizza I ordered.”

“What kind did you order?”

“The Sicilian.”

“Hmmm.  My favorite.  I’ll go rustle up a salad to go with it.”  She reached up and kissed him before heading for the kitchen.

He watched her go, grinning.  This night had turned out better than he had planned.  And it was the first of many nights together for the rest of their lives.

 

Sources: NarcityCentral Park

God, the Restorer

adult blur bouquet boy

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

He remembered the day he proposed to her as if it happened just yesterday.  She was waiting for him on the train tracks where they met one fine summer day.  As he approached, holding the wild flowers behind his back, she turned and smiled that smile that melted his heart.  She looked beautiful in the sundress and her hair fell in thick, dark tresses down her back.

Slowly, his heart racing, he walked over to her.  Still holding the flowers behind his back, he leaned down and kissed her.  Then, he held out the flowers. “Happy birthday, Emily Rose.”

Her eyes lit up and she took them.  “Thank you,” she exclaimed, reaching up to kiss him in delight.  She breathed in the sweet, fresh fragrance of the flowers.  “They are beautiful.”

“I have something else for you,” he said.  He reached into his back pants pocket and kneeling down on the dry leaves in between the tracks, he produced a red, velvet box and opened it.  He saw her eyes widen.  “Emily Rose, I have loved you since we were children but that love changed to what it is now.  You are the love of my life–my soulmate.  You are my heaven on earth.  When I look at you, I am amazed not only because you are the most beautiful girl I know but because everything I have ever wanted or dreamed is right in front of me.  When I look at you, I believe that God really loves me because He blessed me with you.  I want to spend the rest of my life loving and taking care of you.  Emily Rose Carter, will you make me the happiest man on the planet by saying that you will marry me?”

Emily was crying now.  In between sobs, she managed to gasp, “Yes, I will marry you.”

After he slipped the ring on her finger, he stood up and picking her up, he swung her around, making her laugh before setting her back down on her feet.  He cupped her face and kissed her for several minutes.  “Let’s celebrate over dinner,” he murmured after raising his head to gaze down into her radiant, tear streaked face.  She nodded and they walked, arms wrapped around each other to their favorite eatery.  It was a balmy afternoon.

Over dinner, they planned the wedding which they wanted to take place as soon as possible.  They didn’t want a long engagement.  They decided to have a fall wedding which was about three months away.  Arrangements were made for a vintage country wedding in a church hall.  The weeks went by quickly and the day which seemed a long way off was nigh.  Then, the unthinkable happened…

Emily and her roommate, Rita were driving home from Emily’s bridal shower when a car ran a red light and slammed into the passenger-side of the car.  Emily died at the scene but Rose was taken to the hospital in critical condition.  When he heard the news, he was devastated, inconsolable and he lashed out at God.  Emily was only twenty-five–in the prime of her life and looking forward to their future together.  How could God have allowed this tragedy to happen?

It was the first day of Fall, just a couple of days before what would have been their wedding ceremony, was Emily’s funeral instead.  He sat there, stone faced still bitter but no longer angry with God.  He had reached the place where he could seek God in prayer and ask him to help him with his anger.

After the funeral, he went home where he remained until the next day when he forced himself to get up and go to work.  He went through the day like an automaton, trying to keep it together but a couple of times, he had to go to the washroom and pull himself together as waves of emotions swept over him.  He missed her so much.  How was he going to function without her?  Her beautiful, expressive face filled his thoughts and her winsome smile tugged at his heart strings, making him ache for her.

It was during one of these meltdown moments that he decided that he had to leave New York and move to another state where he wouldn’t be reminded everyday of his loss.  It took months for him to get everything sorted out and before he left for Seattle, he visited Emily’s grave where he left fresh wild flowers.

Moving to Seattle was the best decision he made, although, it still took five years for him to recover from his grief.  Teaching at the university, going to church and making new friends helped tremendously.  His friends invited him out to different venues and he went.  It was better than being cooped up in his apartment.  However, he made it clear to them that he didn’t want to get fixed up with anyone.  The idea of dating didn’t appeal to him.  He was quite content to be single.

They say love finds you when you’re not looking.  And it did one afternoon when he was walking in the park.   It was a pleasant day.  The sun was high in the cloudless sky and there was a slight breeze.  He went to the lawn flanked by trees and sat on the bench.  There was a group of young people playing Frisbee and he watched them.  They seemed to be having a great time.

The Frisbee landed close to where he was sitting and one of the young women ran over to get it.  She looked to be about twenty or twenty-one–attractive with long chestnut hair which streamed behind her as she ran towards him.  She was dressed in a white tee shirt and denim shorts, exposing long defined legs.  It was obvious that she worked out.

She stooped down and picked up the Frisbee.  When she straightened up, she paused.  For several minutes she just stood there, staring at him, making him uncomfortable and then, she approached him, an inquiring look on her face.  When she stood in front of him, she asked, “Daniel Miller?”

He nodded.  “Yes.  Have we met before?” This close, she looked vaguely familiar now.

She nodded.  “Yes.  We met at my brother’s barbecue.”

“What’s your brother’s name?”

“Mark Brown.  I’m his sister, Cheryl.”  Just then her friends started yelling and waving.

“Oh, yes.  I remember now.  You were in charge of the bean darts.”

She laughed.  “Yes, I was.  And you got the highest score.”

“I got lots of practice from throwing darts.  Um, I think your friends are trying to get your attention.”  They were yelling and waving.

She looked over at them and then back at him.  “I’ll be right back,” she said before bounding off.

He watched as she gave the Frisbee to one of the guys, say something to the group before walking away.  It seemed that Cheryl would rather talk to him than continue playing Frisbee with her friends and for some reason which he couldn’t quite understand, that pleased him immensely.  When she sat down, he asked, “Are you attending university?”

“Yes, Seattle Pacific University.”

“How long have you been attending there?”

“This coming semester will be my second year.”

“What are you studying?”

“Applied Human Biology.  I’ve always wanted to find out how the human body works and why it works the way it does.  Plus, I’m thinking of doing a therapy doctoral degree program after I graduate.”

“It sounds like you have your future well planned.”

“Yes, as far as my academic future is concerned.  When it comes to my personal life, well, that’s a different story.   What about you?  What line of work are you in?”

“I’m a director of Communications and Marketing at Companier.”

“You’re from New York,” she remarked suddenly, startling him.  “Sorry, don’t mean to be nosy.  It’s just that I recognize the accent.”

“You’re right.  I’m from New York.  I moved here to Seattle almost six years ago.”

“How do you like it here?”

“I like its natural beauty, mild winters and the people.  I have more friends here than I know what to do with.”

She smiled.  “All very good reasons,” she said.  “And I heard that it’s cheaper living here than in New York and other cities.”

He smiled.  “That’s true.”

“Are you doing anything later?” she asked.

He shook his head.

“My friends and I are going to the Amusement Center to play their Ultimate Real Life Escape Games.   This is my first time.  It’s supposed to be a lot of fun.  You get to solve real puzzles.  Afterwards, we’ll grab a bite to eat.  Why don’t you come with us?”

The idea of hanging out with a group of university students, most of them probably ten years his junior, didn’t appeal to him but he wanted to see her again.  He enjoyed talking with her.  She was so easygoing and he felt completely relaxed with her.   “All right,” he said.

She looked pleased.  “Great.  We’ll be there for seven.  I’ll wait outside for you.”

“I’ll be there.”

They talked for a while longer and then she returned to her friends.  Shortly afterwards, they left the park.  As he watched them go, he felt a flutter of excitement in his stomach when he thought about seeing her again that evening.

True to her word she was waiting for him and he couldn’t prevent the smile from spreading across his face as he quickly closed the distance between them.  She looked great in a floral top and jeans complete with low heel sandals.  Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail, making her look even younger.  Her face lit up when she saw him and grabbing his hand, she took him inside to meet her friends.  They turned out to be a rather nice bunch and he enjoyed interacting with them.

There were two games and they chose the Bourne Mission.  The object of the game was to recover the documents and get out of the abandoned bunker undetected. No one should know you were ever here and if you got caught, there was no rescue mission.  They had a blast even though they fell short of completing the mission.  They made plans to try the Bio-Hazard Room the next time.  They went to a family run Greek restaurant nearby where they enjoyed generous portions of delicious food.  Lively conversation and laughter flowed late into the night.

Daniel offered to take Cheryl home and she readily accepted.  On the way over to her apartment building, they talked animatedly about different things and by the time he walked her to her door, they had arranged to see each other the following day.  It was a beautiful sunny day so they decided to go to Woodland Park Zoo where they spent the entire day.  They bought food from the food truck and then went for a walk in the Rose Garden.  They lingered at the Reflecting Pool and Sculptural Fountain.  It was sunset by the time they left.

As they stood outside of her apartment, he knew that he was ready to be in a relationship again.  “Have dinner with me tomorrow,” he said and she nodded.  He gently brushed her cheek with his knuckles before he walked away.  They began dating.

One evening, they took the ferry to Whidbey Island where they planned to have dinner.  As they stood on the Deception Pass Bridge as it ran suspended over the swirling water, Daniel turned to Cheryl.  He cupped her face between his hands and gazed down into her face.  “Before meeting you, I never thought that I could ever fall in love again,” he said huskily.  “We may not be each other’s first love but I want to be your last and forever love.”

Tears sprang to her eyes.  “You are my first love,” she told him.  “And my last and forever.”

“I love you, Cheryl,” he whispered.

“I love you too, Daniel.”

He smiled slightly before he lowered his head and kissed her. When their lips touched, he felt a fire stir deep inside him.  He felt alive again.  He had heard about people feeling fireworks when they kissed that special someone but when he kissed Cheryl, her lips set his whole heart on fire.

That night over dinner, he asked her to marry him.  Five months later, they got married in the Woodland Rose Garden witnessed by family and friends.  As he gazed into her shining eyes as they danced their first dance, thinking how true the words, God wants to restore everything that’s been stolen from your life. He wants to heal every hurt and every pain.  It took five years but God had restored his life and now he was experiencing love and inexpressible joy once again.  Very few people could say that they were twice blessed but he was–first with Emily Rose and now with Cheryl.

 

Image by © Jamie Grill/Corbis

 

Sources:  Seattle Pacific University; The University of Western Australia; Lake Union Movers; City-Data; Livestrong; NameLix; Trip Advisor; Flee Escape; Woodland Rose Park; The Culture Trip; CBS Seattle; Feels Like Home

In the Spotlight

Notes to Women is thrilled to feature In The Spotlight, Julie Marshall, Canadian Spokesperson for the United Nations World Food Programme.

NTW:  Tell us a little bit about yourself.  

Julie:  My job involves briefing the media, raising the profile of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the issue of global hunger within Canada, creating and promoting educational material for universities and schools,producing fundraising, awareness and advertising campaigns, working with our Canadian Ambassador Against Hunger, George Stroumboulopoulos and creating communications material for our private sector partners within Canada.

NTW:  How long have you been with World Food Programme?

Julie:  I have been working in a communications role with WFP for over 9 years.

NTW:  What made you become a part of the organization? 

Julie:  I knew of WFP’s outstanding reputation as the world’s largest humanitarian agency, and I really like the fact that their administrative costs are one of the lowest in the non-profit sector – 90% of donations go directly to WFP operations. 

NTW:  WFP covers a wide range of areas in its fight to combat hunger, is there an area of particular interest for you?

Julie:  I have to say I enjoy visiting WFP school meals programmes.  WFP supplies nutritious school meals to over 18 million children every year.  A meal at school acts as a magnet to get children into the classroom, especially in regions where girls are not encouraged to attend school. Providing a daily nutritious meal and in some cases a take home ration to children helps to keep them in school giving them hope for a brighter future.  I have also seen how buying food locally, benefits local farmers and the whole community and really enhances the sustainability of our programmes.

Julie Marshall

Photo:  Julie at a WFP school meals operation in Honduras.

NTW:  WFP’s vision is a world where every man, woman and child always has access to food in order to have an active and healthy life.  What is your vision?

Julie:  A child’s future should start with zero hunger.  WFP is working to create a world where no one is hungry, freeing children from the effects of undernutrition and helping them achieve their true potential. Every day, thousands of kids die because of hunger. But they don’t have to, because the world produces enough food for everyone. 

NTW:  It is said that empowering women is the first step towards Zero Hunger.  In Ecuador, this seems to be a challenge.  Rural women are illiterate, they earn less than urban women, they work 23 hours more than men, they have suffered some form of gender violence.  The statistics when it comes to abuse among girls in Ecuador are very disturbing.  78 percent suffer from abuse at home, 42% from severe abuse and girls ages between 10 and 15 years have been victims of gender violence, especially sexual abuse. How would WFP help these women and girls who are battling not only hunger but illiteracy, low wages, disproportionate working hours and gender abuse?

Julie:   I visited WFP school meals operations in Ecuador in 2014 and quickly learnt how these meals helped get kids into school, but also helped to support many women in the community. 

I visited a school in the remote community of Pimampiro, where some children walk for hours to school.  When they arrive they are hungry and tired.  The nutritious breakfast of juice and a granola bar and a lunch of rice, vegetables and lentils help them learn and play.  Some of the vegetables are grown, with the help of WFP, in their school vegetable garden and the rest are purchased by WFP from the local small farmers associations, which are run and organized mostly by women.  These associations work closely with WFP and the local government to deliver fresh vegetables to the school every week.  WFP has helped establish farmer’s associations and community gardens  across the region in order to increase the financial and food security of small-holder farmers.

Nancy, a 25 year old, single mom is the president of the local small farmers association in Otavalo, who supply fresh vegetables to the local schools.  Nancy explained to me how WFP and the local government helped to formalize their association, diversified their crops, encouraged women to participate and how working together they now receive a fair market price for their produce.  These women now have a steady income and a standing in the community.

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Photo:  Nancy in vegetable garden

NTW:  Somalia has chronically high malnutrition rates, in fact, one in eight children under five is acutely malnourished.  Please tell us about the nutrition programmes WFP has set up to treat and prevent this problem which is prevalent among young women, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.

Julie:  WFP supports food assistance operations to the most vulnerable people, and at the same time is working to help build resilience in the country. We have development operations designed to help hungry people help themselves; emergency operations that provide food to prevent hunger and malnutrition and relief and recovery operations that assist in stabilizing food security and the rebuilding after emergencies. 

The Mother and Child Health and Nutrition (MCHN) Programme in Somalia helps to prevent malnutrition in children under the age of 2 years. We focus on the first 1,000 days of life (from conception to age 2) because this is the window of opportunity for preventing irreversible damages to a child’s growth and mental development due to poor nutrition. Pregnant and nursing women are therefore also targeted to ensure a good start in life for their children. The women, irrespective of their nutritional status, receive daily supplements of fortified blended food to complement a generally poor diet. In Somalia, the programme is implemented through functional Maternal & Child Health clinics to ensure that women and children receive nutritional support as well as health interventions necessary for healthy growth: immunization, de-worming, treatment of diarrhea and other common illnesses, ante-natal and post-natal medical check-ups, etc. Pregnant or nursing women stay in the programme until delivery and/or when the child reaches 6 months, while children can remain in the programme until they reach 24 months of age.

NTW:  As we all know, education is one way to empower girls in countries where girls don’t have access to it for any number of reasons.  In Somalia, the enrollment rates for primary school-aged children are among the lowest where out of 42% of those who are in school, only 36% are girls..  Share with us what WFP is doing to boost the enrolment rates.

Julie:  WFP school meals encourage children, especially girls, to attend classes, enrollment goes up, attendance is consistently high and with a full tummy both girls and boys can concentrate on their work.  In Somaliland, Puntland and the Central regions, we encourage the attendance of older girls by providing them with a take-home family ration of vegetable oil when the girls attend school regularly.  Keeping them in school longer gives them a better and healthier start to life.

NTW:  In Somalia, unemployment among young people aged 14 to 29 years is one of the highest at 67%.  Tell us about WFP’s Food for Training programmes.

Julie:  Poverty-stricken communities hit by floods or droughts are too busy looking for food to rebuild infrastructure vital for redevelopment.  WFP finds out why a community is hungry and works with the community to rebuild their infrastructure – so they no longer need outside help.  WFP provides food or in some cases cash, in exchange for work making it possible for the poor and hungry to take the first steps out of the hunger trap. 

In Somalia, WFP implemented Food-for-Assets activities for over 12,000 people in Luuq, Dolow and Belethawa.  Through this programme WFP provides food rations to support self-help initiatives, such as building water harvesting structures and canal irrigation. The programme helps meet the immediate food needs of hungry people, as well as preventing communities from resorting to harmful coping strategies, such as selling assets and livestock during an emergency.

NTW:  What changes do you hope to see by the end of this year?

Julie:  A number of our major operations are in conflict areas.  In these areas I hope to see open access to besieged and hard to reach areas in conflict situations, allowing WFP and the whole humanitarian community continued access to all people in need of humanitarian assistance.  Also, Sustainable and predictable funding is needed to ensure that WFP assistance continues, not just in major crisis like Syria, but in seemingly forgotten emergencies were people are still in need but not in the media.

NTW:  What has been your biggest challenge working at WFP?  What has been your biggest achievement?

Julie:  One of the most satisfying parts of my job has been to see the Canadian public becoming more and more engaged in the issue of global hunger and the work of WFP over the years.  It can be challenging to raise funds for a humanitarian crisis that’s been going on for a number of years, like the Syrian conflict, but Canadians and the Canadian Government (who are consistently among our top 3 donors) continue to come through and support our work.

NTW:  Julie, it has been a pleasure talking to you.  Thank you for sharing the work that you are doing through the World Food Programme, the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide.  I hope this interview will encourage people to get more involved in the fight against hunger.
Julie:  It was a pleasure talking with you.  Anyone can help WFP, just go to wfp.org to find out more about our work or download the#ShareTheMeal app on your smartphone, and .50 cents will provide Syrian children, their mothers and mums-to-be with vital nutrition with a simple tap on their phones.

Huma Abedin

Who is Huma Abedin?  She has been dubbed “The Good Wife”.  Why?  She is standing by her husband Anthony Weiner in spite of new revelations about his online communications with a twenty-something woman.  As we all know Anthony Weiner was involved in the Twitter Photo scandal in June 2011, bringing unwanted media attention on his wife.

On Tuesday, July 23, 2013, Huma spoke at a press conference making it clear that she was going to remain committed to her marriage and supportive of her husband who is currently running in the New York City mayoral race.

Huma was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan. When she was two years old, her family moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Both her parents were educators. Her father, Syed Zainul Abedin, was born in India in 1928, was an alumnus of Aligarh Muslim University, and later received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He died in 1993. Her Pakistani mother, Saleha Mahmood Abedin, also received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and is currently an associate professor of sociology at Dar Al-Hekma College in Jeddah.  Huma returned to the United States to attend George Washington University.

Huma began working as an intern for the White House in 1996 and was assigned to Hillary Rodham Clinton and is currently a director working on the transition team of Mrs. Clinton. She served as traveling chief of staff and “body woman” for Clinton during Clinton’s campaign for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 presidential election.

In 2010 Huma was included in Time’s “40 under 40”, a list of a “new generation of civic leaders” and “rising stars of American politics”.  Clinton had high praises for her, stating in a speech, “I only have one daughter. But if I had a second daughter, it would [be] Huma.”

Huma is not a stranger to unwanted attention.  Her Muslim faith came under attack on June 13, 2012 when allegations about her were raised by Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Congressman Trent Franks (R-Arizona), Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Congressman Tom Rooney (R-Florida), and Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (R-Georgia) who sent a letter to the Deputy Inspector General of the Department of State, Harold W. Geisel, requesting an investigation into the influence of anyone associated with the Muslim Brotherhood on State Department policy, citing a study by the Center for Security Policy, a principal proponent of Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy theories, that said that Abedin “has three family members–her late father, her mother and her brother–connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations”.

Republicans John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Ed Rollins defended Abedin against these allegations. John McCain stated, “These allegations about Huma and the report from which they are drawn are nothing less than an unwarranted and unfounded attack on an honorable woman, a dedicated American and a loyal public servant… The letter and the report offer not one instance of an action, a decision or a public position that Huma has taken while at the State Department that would lend credence to the charge that she is promoting anti-American activities within our government… These attacks on Huma have no logic, no basis and no merit. And they need to stop now.”  Speaker of the House John Boehner was right when he said that these accusations about Huma were “pretty dangerous” because she and her family were place under police protection when they were threatened by a New Jersey man as result of this controversy.

Huma married Anthony on July 10, 2010.  A year later she was subjected to his social media scandal.  Prior to their marriage Anthony had revealed his online relationships to her.  According to Anthony, when Huma learned of the new revelations, she “was very unhappy, she was very disappointed, and she told me as much.  And she also told me that she loved me and we’re going to get through this.”

Notes to Women salutes this honorable woman, dedicated mother and loyal wife.  We wish her all the best and hope that Anthony will do whatever he needs to do to preserve his marriage.

 

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Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huma_Abedin

Irene Morgan

Before Rosa Parks, there was Irene Morgan.

One muggy July morning in 1944, Irene Morgan, a young Seventh-day Adventist woman boarded a bus to Baltimore for a check-up following a miscarriage. About an hour or so out of Gloucester, a white couple boarded. The bus driver ordered Morgan and her seatmate to move. Morgan refused and prevented the woman next to her from giving up her seat, telling her to stay put. The woman was holding a baby. Faced with two passengers who refused to be intimidated the driver headed to the county jail.

A sheriff’s deputy came on board with a warrant for Morgan’s arrest. Morgan ripped the warrant and threw it out of the window, declaring that she hadn’t done anything wrong. The deputy grabbed her by the arm to pull her off the bus. Morgan kicked him in a very bad place because he had dared to touch her. Another deputy boarded the bus and was trying to put his hands on her to drag her off but she clawed at him, ripping his shirt. He threatened to use his nightstick, but that didn’t scare Morgan. She retorted, “We’ll whip each other.”

Morgan was fighting back because like the other passengers, she had paid her money and was sitting where she was supposed to sit. She wasn’t going to take this kind of treatment from anyone. She was dragged off the bus and thrown in jail. Her mother arrived an hour later and posted a hefty $500 bail to get her out of jail.

Morgan went to court where she pleaded guilty to the charge of resisting arrest and was fined $100 but she refused to plead guilty to violating Virginia’s segregation law. Her attorney argued that segregation laws unfairly impeded interstate commerce. He purposely did not make the moral argument that segregation laws were unfair under the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal protection. His reasoning was that the Supreme Court wasn’t ready to take that argument. The case was significant in that what he and the defence were trying to do was break down segregation. Morgan was found guilty and fined $10.

Her arrest and $10 fine were appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court by a young NAACP lawyer named Thurgood Marshall. Thurgood Marshall was the first African American Supreme Court justice. He was also the main lawyer in the case of Brown vs The Board of Education. His appeal resulted in a landmark 1946 decision striking down Jim Crow segregation in interstate transportation. She inspired the first Freedom Ride in 1947, when 16 civil rights activists rode buses and trains through the South to test the law enunciated in Morgan v. Virginia. However, although the case was front-page news and Greyhound immediately ordered its drivers not to enforce segregation, change did not come overnight.

Morgan never heard the appeals argued on her behalf by the two NAACP lawyers: Marshall and William Hastie, the dean of Howard Law School, which was at the center of the civil rights struggle.

Morgan finally got the recognition that had eluded her for so long although that is not what she was after. Her friends and family say that her whole life was about doing right and good. Over the past five decades, Morgan has led a quiet but extraordinary life. For many years she ran her own business. She won a scholarship in a radio contest. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications. She was awarded a master’s degree in Urban Studies at the age of 73.

She has continued to inspire her family. In Baltimore, she passed out petitions demanding an end to school segregation without letting anyone know who she was. She wrote to the Pope seeking his intervention in the case of a Haitian whose children had been barred from parochial school. She rescued a neighbourhood boy from a burning building. Every Thanksgiving she invites two homeless residents over for dinner and laundry.

Irene Morgan was a freedom fighter a nation nearly forgot but her story is a testimony of how God chose to use a young mother to shape the history of blacks in America. She was a woman who fought to right a wrong. She was a woman who said no to segregation, which in the South of 1944 was a bold and dangerous thing to do. She had defied the law because it was unjust. She was a woman who was fighting for her religious rights because in Christ there was no distinction between the races. She was fighting for her human rights because she was an upstanding citizen who was paying for a public service like everybody else and who deserved to be treated with dignity.

Like David, Irene Morgan faced her Goliath—the system. And like Moses, she delivered her people from bondage—segregation.

As Irene Morgan faced the ugliness of bigotry, one can almost imagine these words going through her mind, “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me” (Psalm 138:7)

Irene Morgan remains a private woman, reserved and modest in an age when neither attribute is valued much. When Howard University wanted to award her an honorary doctorate, she declined, saying, “Oh, no, I didn’t earn it.”

The town where she had got on the bus was to honour her with a day called “A Homecoming for Irene Morgan”. Four scholarships were  to be established in her name.

In 2000 Morgan, who by then was in her 80s, was honored by Gloucester County, Virginia during its 350th anniversary celebration. In 2001, President Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Citizens Medal.

Morgan died on August 10, 2007, in Gloucester County at her daughter’s home. She was 90 years old.  Today we celebrate this woman who was an important predecessor to Rosa Parks in the successful fight to overturn segregation laws in the United States (Wikipedia).

“When something’s wrong, it’s wrong. It needs to be corrected.”

Irene Morgan