The Un-Birthday Party

 

You’ve seen/read Alice in Wonderland, where nothing makes sense, and the inhabitants are happy about it. Welcome to America. Every summer, we throw our own un-birthday party.

 

The Fourth of July is almost here. It will be the most telling one we’ve had to date. What are you celebrating? Freedom? Independence? How proud you are to be an American? Beer & Fireworks and you don’t have to care? It must be nice to be you. To be someone who doesn’t care.

The idea of Independence Day is in and of itself an example of white privilege and blindness. I’m not suggesting anyone not celebrate or enjoy themselves. But realize, you are celebrating white people white-peopling while ignoring the harm they bring to others.

The rest of us will eat burgers and watch the light displays, but we won’t be celebrating America’s Freedom. The fact is, we don’t have as much to celebrate as you do. 

The fourth of July was never for black people anyway. We weren’t included in that whole,  Americans are now free, thing. And now, we have an onslaught of angry white people who will do anything to get us back into submission or, failing that, killed. (Calling the police on an eight-year-old selling water or a twelve-year-old mowing the grass is exactly what it is. No justification necessary.) Please excuse us, but celebrating America’s freedom amid a racial war to keep us from freedom and equality sounds like a horse-shit plan. But, you go ahead; eat your hotdog and pretend it’s fair.

By the way, it wasn’t freedom for the Indigenous people either. For them, America is the opposite of what it claims to be. 

Now, we’ve got the border crises. Separating families, kidnapping children, punishing those in need because…feeding supremacy makes certain types of people happy. Shouting Freedom for America while America denies freedom to others is hypocrisy beyond my personal endurance, but for those who don’t mind waving flags while abusing children, have at it.

Let’s not forget the Muslim ban. I guess for some, nothing says freedom like locking brown people out. 

Then there is the question of Patriotism, Nationalism, and Christianity. All these are used to justify racism, xenophobia, and plain ‘ol hate.  While some people put on the red, white, & blue as a badge of assholery, the rest of us are trying to make it stand for something a little bit better.

We currently live in two Americas. There is the white privilege America where everything fits into a whitewashed box and anyone who doesn’t is the enemy. An America where hate for others is the order of the day. That is what’s Wednesday’s party is about.

And then there is the America of accountability. Where truth is truth and doing what’s right is always the goal. An America whose patriots demand she live up to her name. Those who live in that place know the fourth of July is just another un-birthday. We’ll come to the party, but we won’t linger because we have real work to do.

Advertisements

You Knew

There is an old story about a little girl and a half-frozen snake. The snake begs her to help him get warm but she is leery. He pleads until finally she has pity on the poor creature and tucks him inside her coat to get his blood circulating. As soon as the reptile’s body thawed, he thanked the little girl and bit her.

She cries out, “Why did you bite me? I saved your life?”

To which, the snake replied, “You knew what I was when you picked me up.”

Every day there’s something . Some controversy. Something racial. Something religious. Something cultural. Something political. Something. It’s tiring. It’s overwhelming. It’s too much to deal with and process. You almost have to ignore it to gain any peace. You don’t understand why people are so obsessed with everything and you can’t think about it anymore. You have to ‘tune it out’ and focus on the ‘positive’.

I think that’s bullshit.

Yup. That’s right. I didn’t use the initials. I didn’t find a nice, clean, polite word. I called it what it is. Bullshit.

In my opinion, you’re not tired and overwhelmed by much stuff happening. You’re tired and overwhelmed from having to face the truth. From all sides, from all angles with no escape.

To be clear, I’m not talking about people who are worn down by all the hate and bigotry that’s put on them—that is tiring. Nobody deserves to be victimized by other people’s judgments. But, victimization is different from cause and effect. It’s different from getting what’s yours. If you have participated in creating this divided environment (silence is agreement, btw) you’ve earned the backlash, twenty-four/seven, non-stop. You don’t get to opt out of what you’ve sown now that reaping season is here.

You don’t like this never-ending Trump-circus? You knew what he was when you picked him up, but you were too busy collecting a prize to care. He is your sin to own, you don’t get to be tired now. You want to rest? Close that pandora’s box you flung open.  And, if by chance you are happy with him, then, hate is your thing and you’re not tired at all.

Are you fed-up with the videos showing the unfair treatment of people of color? Can’t handle the proof that negative white privilege is a thing? You knew what it was when you embraced the idea that some people were less than, and you should be the judge of who is better than whom. The race card is a game you invented. One, you can’t win.

Feeling like your brand of Christianity is under attack? Couldn’t have anything to do with all the attacking you’ve done in the name religion? Nooooo… You knew it was control when you dialed it up. News flash: It’s not persecution when people don’t let you run their lives. And, speaking of lives, you’re not pro-life. You’re pro-supremacy.

Sick of hearing about gun control? Control your guns… and your gun users. You want rules… for other people, not anything you need to follow. But, no amount of pretending the government wants your toys is going to wash away the stain of irresponsibility.

Wiped out by the NFL controversy? That controversy you created by changing the narrative of a real issue to one of deflection and control? The one, where the objective is to create division and to silence people of color. You knew what it was when you created it. It’s the same act you’ve been pulling since you got here.

Overwhelmed and confused about the illegal immigration situation? No, you’re not. Separating families is an old go-to. Something supremacy-people have been doing to other races since… always. You don’t want America to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. You made it into the land of the greedy and the home of the cowards.

You are afraid of everybody and everything and every circumstance you can’t control. You actually need guns and racism and religious rigidity because your idea of prosperity means poverty for everyone else. Your idea of freedom means slavery for everyone else. Your idea of truth is a lie to everyone else. Your idea of life means death for everyone else.

But, nobody is playing by your rules anymore, We’re not staying on your plantation. We’re not leaving it either. We’re burning it down. When you intentionally make other people’s lives hell, you get to live in hell.

You knew what every item of hate was when you picked it up. You’re tired because that supremacy-snake is biting you. Hopefully in the ass.

What They Can’t Have

Fourteen-year-old Brennan Walker almost lost his life for having the nerve to ask for help. That’s all. Pure hatred and projected fear, put it in a man’s heart to shoot at a black person for ringing the doorbell.

Nope. This is not an isolated incident.

Nope. This is not a fluke.

Nope. This is not out of the ordinary.

What’s out of the ordinary is (thank God the safety was still on) Brennan is alive, and (thank God for porch surveillance) Jeffery Zeigler is being charged. I, personally wish his wife would get charged too, as it was her racist rant that caused this to happen.

During his interview, Brennan made the comment, his mom says, he doesn’t look his age.

This pisses me off to the core of my being. Not that his mom told him that. That misunderstanding is a common ideology ingrained in people of color. Black moms and dads have to go above and beyond to instill caution in their kids because black children are prey.

Moving beyond trying to get along and be acceptable, by who’s standard, does he not look his age? Uhhh… that would be the white-stereotyping-judgmental-standard, of course. White equals young and innocent, black equals old and dangerous. No matter, their age, height, weight, dress, or situation, black children are assumed to be something not normal.

The only reason for that is to make it okay to hate.

It’s time to stop. Our children don’t need the burden of justifying other people’s hatred.  As if their height, or strength, or beauty is some sort of freakish anomaly that makes white people afraid. No. The height, and strength, and beauty of a black child is part of the package that makes him or her a king or a queen. A proud, strong, beautiful member of a royal people— not subject to anyone’s down-putting judgments.

Brennan doesn’t need to be self-conscious about his looks. He looks his age. He looks exactly the way God made him. It’s not up for debate. The idea that weak and puny is the only way a black person can be acceptable and safe is bullshit. Fourteen-year-olds can’t be tall and strong and healthy? WTH?? White comfort is not on the agenda. White perceptions aren’t the rule. And, nobody asked for your racist judgments anyway. So, why don’t you take your assessments of black folks— black children in particular, and file it under: Yet, Another False Narrative You Can’t Push Anymore.

The sick, sad, truth behind it all is, it doesn’t actually matter what Brennan or any child of color looks like; those who hate will hate us anyway. The Zeiglers hated him before he stepped foot on their porch. Regardless of how meek, or humble, or how accommodating we are trained to be, they are going to see a problem. But, it’s not the height, or the strength, or the beauty that causes the outrage and fear. That’s just an excuse. The problem is and always has been the black skin.

They hate what they can’t have.

White History Month

Can we get a white history month, please?

I don’t mean so we can look at pictures of the forty-three presidents who came before President Obama. I mean so white kids can learn where George Washington really got his teeth. (Hint: They weren’t wooden.)

We don’t need to spotlight the signing of the Declaration of Independence -that’s just history. We do, however, need to spotlight the Second Amendment is about arming slave patrols.

We do need to teach the real reason we celebrate Thanksgiving.

And, just because someone uses the Confederate flag as a symbol of their heritage, doesn’t change the fact that it is a symbol of a would-be nation founded on the love of slavery.

We need a white history month so white children can understand the logic that thinks it’s okay to trade the lives and freedoms of others (Immigrants or poor people for example) for objects (walls, tax breaks, and whatnot) is the same logic that stole land from people and people from their land. We need to teach them exactly what supremacy is so they may learn to do better.

Because of the lack of factual real-life education, we live in a society of fragile, privileged, angry white people who cannot cope with reality. They have been taught everything begins with them – if it doesn’t, erase the history and make it begin with them. They have been taught American equals white -white thinking, white acting, white looking, etc. Anything outside the white assumption is somehow bad or wrong. And speaking of assumptions, they frequently confuse assumption with fact. Their understanding is the only understanding to be had; their opinions are the only opinions that matter; and, they are the final judge in any given situation.

They need to be untaught.

But, not at our expense.

We don’t need the temper tantrums. The racism. The lashing out. The jealousy. The hate.

Which is why we’re not tolerating it. We are lighting up hypocrisy and blowing up supremacy.  We are torching fragility and killing the use of privilege for negative purposes.

Offended at the idea that Black Lives actually Matter? Who gives a damn?

Mad because NFL players take a knee for injustice? Good.

Scared of Muslims and people from the hood? Wakanda Forever.

There is a reason beyond their trauma, the kids from Parkland are resonating with so many of us. There is a reason a high number of sexual assault incidents are being exposed. There is a reason we say: Wakanda Forever (besides the obvious: white people can’t shut us down or steal our joy). There is a reason every ideal with its roots in supremacy is under attack.

Because we’re done. We are putting truth ahead of everything.

We need white children, who are a part of our future, and innocent of hate, to never get there. We don’t need them trying to resurrect the ignorance of their history. They don’t need to grow up learning lies. They don’t need to find out the hard way, equality and human dignity is a thing beyond their control.

If we committed a block of time to teach them (to teach everyone) things like:

Retaliating against a black president with a racist president is not a good plan.

Imposing upon or denying the rights of others is a bad idea.

Altering facts and whitewashing history is a terrible thing to do.

Etc…etc…etc…

There is so much to be learned from white history that when put to proper use, we, as a nation, might actually have a shot at forming that ‘more perfect union’ the Constitution’s writers wanted.

Besides, unlearning is hard. Many allies have had to go above and beyond to get there. They’ve had swallow bitter pills. They’ve had to go against family and friends, and be accountable on behalf of others. Of course, they come out fighting on the other side, but why make it necessary in the first place?

In minority neighborhoods, we teach our children historic truths so they can maneuver through the lies white society has perpetuated against us. Wouldn’t it be great if white people taught their children historic truths too? Even if it was only for a month.

Your Roots Are Showing

How is that time travel thing working out for you?

You know, when you wanted to go back to a time when America was ‘great.’ You were done with community, and democracy, and growth, and equality. You just wanted racist nostalgia.

So you let the KKK  and white nationalist crawl out from under their rocks. You went full-throttle on the supremacy-moves (Blue lives matter; football players can’t kneel, racists and sex offenders running for office. Now, you’re pushing for slavery again. Make no mistake, trading the lives and freedom of other people-in this case, the Dreamers- for an object (the wall) is the same formula that had the cotton industry booming in the 1700’s. Doing anything to control other people’s lives and freedom is a form slavery.

Taking away health care for children and now, wanting to substitute food stamps for canned/boxed goods – like you did to the Indigenous People you shoved on reservations must give you warm fuzzies. You’re trying hard to own a plantation, aren’t you?

If by MAGA you meant hate-filled chaos, congratulations. You got it. Sure, you had to sink very low and abandon human decency. You embraced hypocrisy. Turned your political party into a circus. You bought and sold lies as if you don’t know what they are. (Locker room talk; Mexico is going to pay for the wall; biggest inauguration ever; I’ll reveal my taxes; fake news; very fine people; sons of bitches…) You’ve even thrown in a few of your own (Russia meddling doesn’t matter; kneeling is disrespectful; confefe is secret code…)

Of course, no one expects you to actually accept responsibility for anything you’ve done. (It’s Muslims; it’s Blacks, it’s the media, It’s the Liberals, it’s the Deep State…) It’s everything but the truth.

That’s okay, the rest of us know the truth.

It’s not all White people it’s you. They don’t like your racist’s ways any more than the rest of us.

It’s not all Christians -it’s you. True Christianity is a religion of love and has nothing to do with  the crap you push.

It’s not all Conservatives – it’s you. Their belief in family values isn’t limited to your portion of the population.

Hiding behind those labels won’t improve your reputation one iota.

You know what else we know? This is all about you and your self-hate and insecurities. You have nothing, and you’ve done nothing. Your claim to fame is supremacy. You can only make yourself (substitute America so it sounds good) great by seeing others as less than. You have to hate in order to hide the truth. If you compete on equal terms, you might lose. You might be wrong. You might not be better than anyone else.

You could save yourself a lot of heartache, lies, and Jesus-claiming if you owned the reality and moved on.

The rest of us have.

Back in your good ‘ol days, you had the power. That’s gone. Exposed. Nothing you have thought, said, or done concerning equality has been correct. We know it, you know it, and thanks to social media, the entire world knows it.

So while you’re traveling back in time, looking for moments you can hug, why not go back to the moment you thought you were going to win and just quit?

The Best of Us

Bad things happen to everybody; it’s called life.  When they happen to someone who is so good he borders on angelic, it makes your blood boil. But when that person calmly and courageously takes it all in stride with no anger, resentment or reflection on their wounds or trouble, it makes you humble and appreciative.

Today, I am appreciative. I am appreciative my husband is alive.

My mom’s apartment is in a well-to-do neighborhood where everybody knows everybody. My aunt & uncle own the building and have lived on that street since 1968. The area is well-lit and many of the houses have surveillance. (Unfortunately, the one that would have helped us was not recording.)

About three months ago, the house next door was burglarized. It was an anomaly, as the last criminal incident near my aunt’s apartment building happened twenty years ago.

One notable plus/minus to my aunt’s house is a well-known and busy street just a few blocks over. Sometimes prostitutes discreetly and not so discreetly apply their trade. When the police are out and about, a client may have to drive around the corner to negotiate the terms of service -that’s the minus. The plus is when the police are out and about, they frequently drive through.

All that is to say: of all the inner city locations Matt has gone to (and he’s been in some dangerous spots), this neighborhood was among the safest.

Until last night. On his way home from work, Matt stopped to pick up my mother for her Christmas visit. Before he got out of the car, he replied to a text.

Three minutes changed our night.

A band of wanderers spotted him. Ten guys of varying age. The car was running while he texted. I speculate they tagged him as a John. (A John wouldn’t know anyone on the block; would take a while to get help; and depending on his personal life and/or career, might not want to involve the authorities at all.) They surrounded him, grabbed the door, and demanded he get out. Matt thought they may have been armed. He didn’t see a weapon but ten on one means you comply. As he was getting out, one man sucker-punched him. A second guy stole the car, and the rest took off.

Because he was at my mother’s house, he was able to get help right away. They called the police, then they called me. I was able to block his cards. The thieves threw his phone away (A Good Samaritan found and returned it), but his wallet, keys, everything else is gone.

The rest of his night consisted of reports, medics, a trip to the police station, and my family in varying states of hysterics and outrage.

My uncle is in his eighties, He is recovering from major surgery. He was out of his bed, questioning the neighbors – if those guys came from the area, he would know.

My brother works with Matt. He took over the job-related details.

Our daughter waited up and our son-in-law was prepared to leave his job and drive two states over to pick Matt up.

I drive the speed limit… All the time… Unless my husband has been attacked.

The family was on full alert because Matt is the very best of us. When you attack the very best of us, the rest of us can’t sit still.

Until Matt speaks.

The entire night, Matt remained calm. Forgiving. Upbeat even. He did not despair.

His eye was bleeding and swollen shut. – He didn’t utter a complaint.

His car, his belongings, and his identity was stolen. – He shrugged off the amount of work before us.

He hasn’t said a thing about the perpetrators other than praying for them. (No, he didn’t mention to the police that he’s a priest. He does nothing to bring attention to himself. Even when he is the center of attention.)

He did have the nerve to blame himself, once. “I wasn’t paying attention. I thought they were kids playing around. The next time, I’m out like that, I won’t linger…” (Not to worry, I nipped that in the bud.)

The lack of focus on his attackers is a big deal. Although the attack doesn’t appear to racially motivated, this could have been a billboard moment for white-privilege if he wanted to use it. Black people attacking white people for no reason is a great excuse for racism and supremacy. Since it actually happened, he would be justified in feeling that way.

But Matt is the best of us.

According to him: Some people did a bad thing. Hopefully, it will all work out. And, thank God it wasn’t worse.

How can you not be humbled and appreciative of someone like that?

The Shooting Sickness

If you want to say the mass shootings aren’t a gun issue, okay. What is it? What exactly is this mental health problem that seems to be running rampant amongst white men with guns?

A – We know it’s mostly a white disease (Sickle Cell is mostly a black disease. It happens.) People of color indulging in similar activities are almost always given a different diagnoses: thugs, extremists, terrorists, whatever.

B – We know this illness in undetectable by mental health experts and is not questioned on firearm registration forms. In fact, it’s not even considered an illness until after the shooter is identified as white. No matter what he does, how he lives, or how many guns he collects, it’s not an illness — it’s not anything —until accountability is required.

C – We know this sickness is isolated from any ideology or group trait that would reflect poorly on the white population. Regardless of what they watch, who they follow, or how many Bibles they own, a white shooter can in no way have been influenced by his teachings or environment.

It’s just an ambiguous, unexamined, mental health problem.

So what is the name of this mental health issue? What is this mysterious disease that makes white people react violently with hatred and evil; want to devalue life; and wield power over the weak, innocent, and/or unsuspecting? What illness is it whose current treatment is to create more of the same: more white people toting guns, deciding who lives and who dies. Certainly, a mental health problem such as this would have a name (otherwise people might think it was a deflection).

Fortunately, a name does exist. It is a well-documented phenomenon known as Supremacy.

A – Supremacy is not a large black or brown problem. Black and brown people lack the necessary power a race needs to suppress others (you can’t have supremacy without power). White men commit the highest number of mass shootings because according to US history, out of all the races, the white race has the vaguest understanding of the word: consequence. When you believe white=might=right, there is no limit to the boundaries that get ignored.

B – Mental health experts and firearm registration forms don’t detect supremacy because a large portion of white Americans refuse to acknowledge there is a troubling trend in their midst. Many won’t admit supremacy still exists.

C – White-privilege is not merely an ideology or group trait. It is an intricate aspect of their character. Privilege doesn’t influence the white environment, it is the white environment. So, no, it doesn’t matter what they watch who they follow, or how many Bibles they own. They don’t  get indoctrinated into white privilege — they are infected with it. They carry it with them where ever they go.

(**Note** That ever-growing list of sexual predators is a result of the supremacy-sickness too.)

Because self-evaluation is the leading technique white people apply when determining supremacy (followed closely by having a black friend) the illness continues to go unchecked.

But, wait. There is a cure! Along with thoughts and prayers for the victims, there is something to be offered that can stop the flow of hate.

It’s a little pill called truth. It’s not easy to swallow, but it is a veritable wonder-drug. And, while, it can be habit-forming, it is readily available and more affordable than a cup of coffee.

Many, many white people have already partaken with amazing, life-changing results. Not only are they not interested in perpetrating heinous crimes against humanity, they have no desire to suppress others at all: not in their workplaces, not in their neighborhoods, not even at football games.

Keeping to the daily recommendation of vitamin-truth dismantles the ‘Us vs. Them’ mentality because it removes the heart-warts caused by the unnatural fear of others. VT flushes the system of the assumption of a superior race and allows the body a healthy intake of empathy for non-white issues. The healing properties of the truth-pill can reverse the negative effects of privilege to such a degree that white-privilege can actually be used as a force for good.

In fact, none of the symptoms associated with the previously unnamed ‘mental health problem’ remain after exposure and acceptance of the Truth-cure.

So, maybe, white people, if you don’t think the problem with mass shootings is gun-related, you might want to acknowledge that it is supremacy-related and you may want to start dosing up on some truth.