(Some things need to be read because they speak to today. This needs to be read because it speaks to forever. Read it! – promoted by piggieheart)
I get the feeling that mooncat is neither white nor black. I'd like to talk over a cup of Ethiopian Sadamo with mooncat. I don't even know if mooncat is male or female. maybe I've not been paying close attention. I have a tendency to do that.
I once arranged for two friends to me, accidentally on purpose. She has melanin, he has not, and they met 21 years ago today. They married on the anniversary of their meeting. He and she, separately asked, didn't I consider race? No, my answer. You both liked the Modern Jazz Quartet, Patsy Cline, Freddy Fender, and down in the alley blues. There were other personality traits I thought may mesh too, I said.
I spent thirty years in NYC riding a bicycle and was never hit by a car. In less than a decade in Huntsville, I have been hit twice. I told some friends with melanin and some without, and a half dozen of them asked, was the driver black or white. I didn't see the relevance, and said so. Several men asked me if the drivers were men or women. Most of the women listened, asked If I was alright, commented that those intersections and others were dangerous.
A friend of forty year I met in Greenwich Village visited me last year. He grew up in a predominately Irish, Italian, and mixed Catholic town on Long Island. His family, Irish Catholics, have never been south. We were in IHop for breakfast. The waitress came over, said, what can I get for you, sweetie. After she took our order and left, my friend said (paraphrase), she called a black man sweetie. No, I said, she addresses all old people, male and female, that way.
I call that activism, probably subconscious, to put me in the class of old people; she is particularly helpful and respectful to old folk.
I was probably not clear. Although most of the Americans living today are not guilty, there are some folk still living who are guilty of immoralities, and some of actual racially motivated crimes. Even though we may not be guilty, we do inherit through the political entity, United States of America, the influences, advantages (to some more than others. Not just race, the poor whites did not share in the largesse from cotton.), the wealth, and the corporate responsibility.
Even though I opposed the Vietnam war, I share America's responsibility. I remember that there were things I could have done and didn't. I joined the opposition and devoted more time a year after it began full bore. If I have begun earlier.
“I had always, correctly-enough, attributed the phrase to Stephen Decatur, naval hero, captain at age twenty-five, and one of the fathers of the US Navy. The phrase was spoken by Decatur as part of a warrior’s toast:
“Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong.”
The phrase is also central to a quote from Carl Shurz, Union Army General, later US Senator, and, still later, US Secretary of the Interior:
“My country; and my country is the great American Republic. My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”
“It seems obvious to me that General Shurz was consciously referring to the famous quote from Stephen Decatur, and that he intentionally used it to focus upon what he considered to be a concise definition of responsible patriotism.“
I believe that southerners should look at our past with the spirit in which General Shurz spoke. If we feel that way, we wouldn't feel that a march celebrating a civil rights march is divisive. Get out there join it. I believe that all the folk in Selma should have bar b qs that day. Celebrate it. Don't let the black folk have it as their own. It belongs to everyone. Don't wait to be invited. It's your party too. So party!
I used to call my son a zebra when he was a toddler and he'd say, no zeeb.
I used to put a blanket or sheet over me and chase him around the house. I was the vicious amoeba, and I'd engulf him and tickle him.
I am glad that my son grew up around two right wing hippie parents. But I wonder about political taxonomy sometimes, a majority of our friends were left wing and didn't mind us. I was a libertarian Republican and his mother is a Randian (Ayn Rand). She was randy too. She was right wing and drew cartoons for Rat, a radical left wing publication on the lower east side.
We were never doctrinaire. We explored.
I recently took an online political quiz. The results said that I was a left wing libertarian now. There is still the suspicion of government, but that simply means watch it closely. More people in public office and public life on the right were knowledgeable about politics. They would have never called President Obama a leftist; they use the distinctions with more precision than the idiots today.
I revisit one idea that many on the right don't understand or cynically misuse purposely.
Services are politically neutral. Health care run by the government is not socialist. Socialism is when the government of and by the people -democratic socialism- owns all businesses and services and property.
Slavery, a friend told me last Tuesday, a hard topic for southerners. The people in my family, our age, met veterans of the Confederacy when young and impressionable. They knew folk in the Klan. They knew folk who jeered, or spat on, or beat black folk. Some did it too. It is difficult to know that your ancestor fought – most didn't own slaves – in a war in which, though not the main reason, had an immoral sub text, slavery. When they see black people in daily life, they are reminded. Some our age didn't do any act to change the situation. They feel guilt.
I don't like to talk about race; I prefer to talk sex. Another problem we seem to want to avoid.
I would say that probably many, if not most of you do the daily activism. I don't mean all day every day. You gotta love, eat breakfast, mow the lawn with a push mower, play, sing, and other pleasures. Daily activism you don't have to search out, the opportunities are abundant in our lives.
I hate the damn Confederate flag. When used in historical reenactments it's history. When the Confederate flag is waved at sporting events, fourth of July parades, and flown above state houses it is an abomination. I want to kick the sit (sic) out of folk who do these.
Then I scold myself. I know how crazy you are because we are both human and feel the same range of emotions.
Hell I believe it's activism for good when I walk down the street and white folk don't beat me down.
I'll talk about my actual scars sometimes.