Editor’s Note: The San Diego Free Press is five years old this week. This is one in a series of posts reflecting on the paths we’ve traveled.
By Ernie McCray
My journey in life has been down many a highway, leading me this way and that way. Mostly wonderful, though, I must say.
I could go on and on for days about the stops I’ve made in this voyage, about the human connections that have sat well in my soul: like my relationship with the San Diego Free Press, SDFP, which, by the way, is celebrating it’s fifth year of treating us San Diegans to an array of progressive news and views.
Propositions we can use.
I remember how the San Diego Free Press came to be, how we, at meetings of the OB Rag, with its major focus on Ocean Beach, thought about reaching out to all of San Diego.
Next thing I knew we were doing it, making both the OB Rag and SDFP significant role-players in my life’s journey.
When I was singing the blues after my wife passed away, at her own hands, I poured out my feelings at the Rag: what it was like pulling myself out a dark hole; the tears that fell like rain; the excruciating emotional pain; the questioning, in the middle of the suffering, of if I would ever be myself again.
And then there came moments when I could feel despair rolling off me like snowballs, rolling down a shallow hill, and I was fully alive again, dancing like Bo Jangles, with a beautiful Chicana on my arm – laying it all out in the San Diego Free Press. I’ve truly been blessed.
The beautiful people contributing to SDFP are particularly appealing to me as they embrace the spirit of our predecessor, the old underground San Diego Free Press that was founded at UCSD decades ago.
Those folks were fire-bombed and harassed and arrested; vandalized and scandalized; spied on by the FBI. We, thank goodness, haven’t had to deal with that but, like our counterpart of old, we’re on a mission of making sense of our world, looking at it with a left wing slant that, admittedly, is more honest than objective.
It’s in that regard that SDFP inspires hope in me. We contributing writers are just everyday people, grassroots activists who have a sense for what needs to be done and for what we need to raise hell about…
We like to take to the streets and then tell everybody about it. We live to go up against the madness and sadness that’s so rampant in our society and find truth and beauty and, to paraphrase one writer, “a progressive beat that can be danced to”….
Let something go down that smells funky in the barrio or the inner-city or in any community that is neglected and underserved – The San Diego Free Press will weigh in with a deep understanding of the gravity of the situation…
Let something surface that’s out of touch with history, everyone’s history, the people’s history – it will find its way to us….
If Border Patrol shines lights in the shadows on a hard working undocumented man or woman struggling to raise a family and survive, we will want to check it out as well as look into our nation’s lack of empathy for the homeless who are too frequently shunned, constantly seeking shelter and searching for acknowledgement as human beings….
Having stood on stage as an emcee and an actor and a poet, and a dancer or singer when I have had to be, I appreciate that SDFP recognizes the benefits of the arts and culture that get at who we are and how we think and gives us insights to what we could become….
Considering there have been so many times when I’ve gone “Hmmm” over something the government has done, I like that SDFP often exposes how the government is run as opposed to how it could be run….
Being a life long participant in struggles for freedom I am put at ease with how SDFP focuses on issues of equality for all people, no matter their color, or creed, or sexual identity….
As a human being who worships the very planet upon which we exist I can’t resist giving props to SDFP for seeking what I have forever sought: peace in a dangerous world, protection for the environment and a woman’s right to have control over her body, life for endangered species, relevant education for our children in their schools; an economy that works for all people….
To the San Diego Free Press, as it celebrates five years, I say Cheers! And I extend it thanks for its role in my personal journey, for including me in its quest to provide information that’s: pretty much BS free, so open and clear; a nice mix of topics; bite-sized; sometimes something we’ve never thought of before; designed to make us a little more hip.
May the next five years be the same. Because it’s been quite the trip.