Sunday, July 14, 2013

just my ideas on race

whew! hotter than hades this summer...and i don't mean just the weather...the simmering pot of racism has finally bubbled over and spilled all over the stove...no, america doesn't believe in 'melting pots' more of a vanilla milkshake...

i am white...let's be honest, i resemble casper's girlfriend i am that white...i grew up in rural places and i didn't mix it up a lot...there really weren't many folks of color in my community in upstate new york and when i lived in rural florida- well, the people of color 'knew their place' and were consigned to shacks on the other side of town over the railroad tracks...the town fathers decided to throw the anti segregationists a bone and our middle school was built 'in the black section' of town and we were bused over every day so i actually got to see where the black folks lived...i lived in a trailer home so i figured their homes looked quite a bit like mine...

my father's mother's family was native american....but he grew up poor white american and his whole family- with the exception of his youngest sister- served in the armed forces...my father can't stand republicans...the entire rest of his family were republicans...go figure...

i say this because we have an opportunity...let's lay our cards out on the table...white people don't like people of color because

1) they fear them
2) they feel that they are inferior

what other reasons are there?  isn't that what it boils down to?  'but i am not a racist' most white folks claim- perhaps not but we white folks have to start by understanding a few things- and i am by no means an expert these things have occurred to me over a lifetime (so far) of learning and listening

white folks have 'white privilege' - yes, yes we do...our whole culture was set up to favor white males...now, that doesn't make all white males racist but like it or not- the culture still favors white males

it also favors white females over people of color in general although we ladies have our work cut out for us in the civil liberties department

white people 'don't get' black culture...well, we aren't meant to- it's their culture...we have spent centuries excluding them from ours...white people need to understand that WE excluded people of color from the mainstream white culture...we really can't get our knickers in a twist over that...

white folks believe that people of color are lazy welfare moochers...they should 'get a job' and 'speak english' and whatnot...well, since the pecking order is white men, white women, people of color....guess who generally don't get hired? guess who has to find other means of supporting themselves?

people of color should behave as 'normal' families and get married and settle down and raise kids...they should stop getting put in jail and having kids all over the place...yep...probably more stable for them but many of them do...surprise! many people of color work multiple jobs just to make ends meet and care for their kids and most of the folks taking advantage of our social services are poor white folks predominately in the south...again, that white prism to look through...

i was re-reading parts of 'league of the iroquois' by lewis henry morgan and as i read the passages that were written in the 1850's, i realized how that mentality still resonates with many in america today...the idea that anyone other than white folks are 'savages' who aren't as smart or innovative or 'good' as white folks...white folks have attempted to obliterate native cultures, african cultures and latino cultures on this continent and force them to assimilate to what? consumerism? capitalism? wanton resource taking?

the issue isn't so much with the overt racists in this country...the issue is with the many of us who aren't honest about how we feel about people of color and why...why is it that most of the people i have seen throughout my facebook world who were in favor of the recent zimmerman acquittal have been white? why is it that white folks still deny that there is racial profiling and incarceration of many more black and hispanic folks than white? why do we feel safe when we see white cops beating up on minority folks? why do we lock our doors in our cars when we see a black man walking down the street assuming he's going to pick our car to jack?

why don't we assume he's walking on his way to work or at the very least- why would we assume he would want to harm us- of all other people? those are the questions we have to ask ourselves because the reality is- white folks are becoming the minority around the globe and we should be asking ourselves- do we want to be treated the way that we treat others? we won't always have guns and bombs to 'keep us safe'...and isn't it easier to get to know each other as people- to pool the resources we have left and to realize that we are all the same underneath the skin? 100% human beings?

Thursday, July 04, 2013

what are we celebrating again?

ahhh....july 4th...national day off from work so drink beer and blow shit up day! really, why else would americans 'celebrate' our "independence"? the united states of white america celebrates with flag waving and cookouts and copious amounts of beer and fireworks...but many do not...if you take a look- a hard look at what we are 'celebrating'...it becomes less of a feel good event...i suspect that's why most americans prefer not to...

my father's mother and her family were seneca from the iroquois nation...this united states of white america we live in was taken from them by white folks through deception and force...now, i don't know if the native peoples would have seemed so noble to me had things worked out differently- but coming on the heels of the recent civil rights loss for people of color and women in this country...i think i may continue to believe it to be better...

this country was built on a foundation of rich, white privilege and on the suffering of indigenous peoples and people of color- blacks, hispanics, asians....it was built on the backs of poor people for the benefit of the few and that continues to this day- and more and more of us are clearing the fog to see it...

it's uncomfortable...

i am happy that the lgbt folks are making strides but as i continue to see liberties we have taken for granted slip away...i am more acutely aware than ever that america has no real reason to celebrate our independence from tyranny...when i see the rich, white men of the republican party blatantly disregarding the will of their constituents and the corporately purchased 'representatives' of the democratic party mutely standing by to protect their own best interests...i wonder- what tyranny are we independent from?

how can we celebrate our 'independence day' when we have allowed the same type of people to take over our american government that we rose up against in britain?  i realize that i am looked at as a killjoy at best and a tinfoil hat wearer derogatorily....but if i am going to fly any flag- it will be this one...



Thursday, June 20, 2013

bunnies and foxes and deer, oh my!

yeah- so i would like to remind any readers left out there about my extreme dislike of summer...i hate it...it's too warm; there are too many bugs; it's way too noisy with cars, motorcycles, kids and lawn care....did i mention the noise?

different crop of bunnies this year but they still like the clover in the yard and my father still makes friends with them...he still hates the grackles and bluejays but i have cut way down on their numbers by switching feeds...unfortunately, the squirrels and chipmunks also enjoy the sunflower seeds- so we need to move the feeder...mr. or ms. fox is back on the scene scaring the innocent bunnies and my father stands guard to scare it away...

oh, yes, the deer...they like to use my yard as a superhighway- cutting through on their way from somewhere to somewhere else...and a couple of nights ago i saw a doe so big i could probably have slipped a saddle on her and gone for a ride...did not put much of a garden in this year...not because of the wildlife but because of the time constraints and weather...

i currently have potatoes, onions and garlic with some peas coming...tomatoes and peppers still in flats and no squash in yet....

most of my summer has so far been spent in cleaning and painting my downstairs apartment for the old one...my tenants moved out in april and he came back from wintering in florida with his sister- in may...he's in good spirits and as good of health as can be expected from someone who abused himself for 60+ years but he can't do stairs very well and i have a split level...we are working on selling the properties...this has been a big adjustment in a short time but he'll roll with the punches or not...it needs to happen...

his new apartment has a quiet backyard with a little flower garden he can work on if he wants and we can put his feeders out- there are already lots of birds...it has a little porch he can sit in winter or summer and my mom and sister are upstairs...i really don't like dealing with getting old...it totally stinks...

no bunnies, foxes or deer in the new yard...but life could be worse...not everyone gets a second chance with life or with rebuilding burned bridges...and he has had both...