Crimes against humanity

Tear gas, rubber bullets, martial law, curfews, civil unrest, racism, police brutality–exactly HOW many planets are in retrograde now?? ‘cos something’s going on and it’s beyond the plot of any science fiction story. We’re living in a neverending episode of the Twilight Zone.

Add to that list, Ebola, earthquakes, a possible supervolcano in Yellowstone, the pandemic, record unemployment, food lines…WTF.

What I find to be quite troublesome is the way #blacklivesmatter and the ensuing outrage about yet another senseless murder is the number of people in my little SoCal beach town that are right wing racists who hide behind their so-called “christian” facade. It’s absolutely DISGUSTING and there’s always just the tiniest little hint of anti-Semitism in their rants and comments. That orange puppet really brought out true colors in people, didnt he? The mask has slipped. It’s ugly and depressing, and I’ve lived here for 35 years.

This is a fun little graphic:

Image may contain: text that says 'Food for thought: The last time Saturn was in Aquarius was during the Rodney King Riots. The last time Pluto was in Capricorn was during the American Revolution. Neptune was in Pisces when Rome fell. We have all 3 right now.'

I haven’t yet attended a march or a gathering, but I probably will. We need to do something, stand up, show up,  become part of what’s happening and not allow hatred to continue.

We are not the enemy.

 

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor
A couple old songs that are way too relevant.

 

It’s not protest. It’s rebellion.

IMG_9325This is what it is: “the action or process of resisting authority, control, or convention.”

In 1773 it took a bunch of angry white boys (many of them dressed as Native Americans) destroying shipments of goods and burning down a city to begin the process toward ending tyranny and oppression. It was called The Boston Tea Party and was the precursor to a certain revolution and the beginning of a new country. Somehow “we” forgot that and decided tyranny and oppression were okay for some people – we “forgot” it for 200+ years, in fact.

A phoenix can’t rise without ashes.

I know what it means to protest in order to express an objection to what someone has said or done.

I do a lot of protesting. I protested against the use of animals in labs. I protest to honor the animals that die so people can wear their fur. I protest against factory farms. I protest in favor of being a vegan.

I protest against puppy mills, animal abuse, the killing of wolves and coyotes–I protested to save my lagoon against being raped and pillaged by a rich developer–I protest for my right to choose what to do with my own body–yeah, I know what it means to protest.

I speak up –and out– A LOT.

But I’m really sick of white people thinking that the lives people of color are less valuable. At this point, if I was any other color than what I am, I would be BEYOND angry.

Angry for the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. And before that, let’s not forget Trayvon Martin, etc, etc. etc.

THIS is a rebellion.

It’s an old story that needs a new ending.

I lived in Detroit during the riots in the late sixties. I remember my mom and dad talking about the National Guard and how disgusted they were that conversations and circumstances had so egregiously broken down that there was no way to convey change OTHER than riot and rebellion. Chitchat hadn’t worked. Racism is pervasive. All Trump did was bring it out in the open. It’s always been there. Ugly and malevolent, a symptom of a deeper malady in our society.

(That’s when we moved to Cali, which caused me to lose interest in becoming a doctor and much more focused on my tan and beautiful surfer boys, but that’s another story.)

I have a friend who graduated from high school in Louisiana in the nineties and she told me her prom was SEGREGATED. I could not believe this type of behavior still exists. It’s a different world down there, down south. According to her, not much has changed since the days of slavery and lynchings. That’s why she left, she said.

My mom lived down south too. She hated it. As the daughter of a rabbi (my grandfather), she experienced her own share of racism and anti-Semitism, and was vilified not only for having black friends, but for standing up for and with them when they were refused service. She told me she actually saw signage that said “For Whites Only”. Her stories of that disgusting inequality stuck with me; maybe why I’m such a rebel.

I also used to live in La Mesa, where the crowds were hit with rubber bullets and pepper spray. I thought about joining the rebellion, but didn’t. That doesn’t mean I won’t the next time.

We have an obligation to join the rebellions and stop police and the government from targeting and killing people of color. We have an obligation to show up and speak up, and when possible, record the atrocities. 

Justice.

Like Michelle Obama said, “…it’s up to all of us–Black, white, everyone—no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out.”

Here’s the whole statement from Michelle Obama:

“Like so many of you, I’m pained by these recent tragedies. And I’m exhausted by a heartbreak that never seems to stop. Right now it’s George, Breonna, and Ahmaud. Before that it was Eric, Sandra, and Michael. It just goes on, and on, and on. Race and racism is a reality that so many of us grow up learning to just deal with. But if we ever hope to move past it, it can’t just be on people of color to deal with it. It’s up to all of us—Black, white, everyone—no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out. It starts with self-examination and listening to those whose lives are different from our own. It ends with justice, compassion, and empathy that manifests in our lives and on our streets. I pray we all have the strength for that journey, just as I pray for the souls and the families of those who were taken from us.”

Targeting people just because of the color of their skin is immoral. Sometimes there’s no other way to effect moral change than with a NONpeaceful response when no one seems to listen to the words.

Power to the people.

 

 

A Slice of Covert Racism

On a recent flight back home, I was sitting in my usual choice of an aisle seat mostly because I don’t like to crawl over strange legs when I need to use the restroom.

An older (older than me) woman crawled over me to take the window seat.

A young man was escorted to his seat directly across from me by a flight attendant who commented on his height and asked him how old he was as he was flying as an unaccompanied minor.

He was nine-years-old and about six feet tall.

Just a little boy in a man sized body.

I could feel his embarrassment as he was singled out for his height and I’m sure has had to endure a zillion comments about it.

He was very quiet, but seemed a little scared, so I chatted with him a bit, and he was very sweet. His dad was picking him up and he would be starting school in San Diego. He began to open up and just as I suspected, he was a little boy who didn’t really know how to deal with the fact that he looked like he was in high school.

The older woman next to me said, in a very heavy southern accent, “I should get his autograph now, he’s going to be famous.”

I didn’t respond to her right away because I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt or maybe I had misinterpreted what she was alluding to, but she repeated herself loud enough for the young man to hear, and I felt that I needed to do something.

I said, “What are you saying? That because he’s tall, his only life path is basketball?”

She looked at me and said, “Well, he’s tall…” and then her voice and thought faded.

I replied loud enough for anyone to hear, “Maybe he’s going to be a doctor. Or a professor. Or an artist or a writer. Just because someone has a physical trait doesn’t mean it’s a life sentence. He can and should do whatever touches his heart.”

The woman had so much ingrained covert racism built into her that she didn’t really know what to say, but a few minutes later she told me that she thought about it and agreed with me, so then we had a pleasant rest of the flight.

Did I change her?

Probably not, but the grateful smile I received from a nine-year-old made my day.

(And did I really need to mention that he was a six foot tall African American nine-year-old child or did you figure that out for yourselves?)

And then I saw this photo of Trump serving fast food to the Clemson team.
More covert or not so covert racism. Love Reggie Bush’s tweet.