Tag Archives: racism

Celebrating MLK day by doing the laundry and trying to stay warm.

Hi readers.     Thanks for coming by for a read.

At 6 am the thermometer on my porch declared it was almost 20 degrees F.   And an hour later it dropped to around 10 degrees F.    So there you are.

I hope you are all having a merry little MLK day.    If you didn’t get all the presents you were wanting old MLK to bring, maybe the Valentine will give them to you, or the Easter Bunny.    Don’t give up hope.

So, it being a clear day full of sunshine I figured I’d go down to the laundromat to celebrate MLK.    Discovered sun or no sun, those sidewalks and parking lots are SLICK.  No, not slicker than greased owl droppings, but still slick enough to throw a man who was not sufficiently careful, or one who felt the need for a broken arm or hip.

But it was worth it.    I’m blessed with a load of clean laundry, all folded nicely, ready to go into the various hidey holes and drawer-like places here.    And while I was waiting for my dryer I stopped by Wendy’s for a Caesar salad.    Which I didn’t get one of because all their damned Romaine  lettuce was recalled.

So I had to settle for some other lousy salad that wasn’t worth the chewing it required.

But it was worth it anyway.    Because at the booth across from me I heard the most INTERESTING conversation!     It all began with a few remarks about MLK and the issue of whether racism in this country has improved since his time.   Mostly these folks figured it hasn’t.

But of course, they weren’t alive or adults to experience how it was when MLK was doing his work.   Everything seems to me to boil down to conjecture and personal experience.    Along with the manifestations of racism a person chooses to call by that title.

But I’ve digressed.    What struck me as most interesting was that the conversation drifted to something they were calling, ‘restitution’.     Evidently there’s either a plan in place, a program somewhere, or just a fond hope among a lot of people that we who are alive today are going to be compensated by someone sometime for bad things our ancestors experienced.

To me this sounds peachy, but somehow unlikely.    My personal ancestors, I know, experienced great hardships, deprivations, injustices and sometimes even rudeness.   I’ve always resented the fact nobody ever offered to pay me for all that stuff that happened to them.

But my impression listening to these people at Wendy’s was that they thought ‘restitution’ for things our ancestors suffered but we didn’t have to not only made sense, but was somewhere on an agenda and might happen.

Where do these ideas come from?     Is it because we’ve endured a system of inherited wealth and power all these generations after we ceased being aboriginals?   So if we can inherit wealth, we should also be compensated for the suffering dead people endured?

The world is a crazy place, and to me that definitely sounds like an idea not likely to come to pass, but stranger things have happened and still do.    After all, we do allow people to inherit power and wealth generation after generation.   Which probably would have sounded fairly crazy to aboriginals.

Thanks for the visit.

Old Jules

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Tough call, this Ferguson thing

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

The Internet’s buzzing with opinions about the original Ferguson, MO, incident, and the rioting afterward.  Everyone feels qualified at this stage to have an opinion.

I don’t have an opinion, but here it is.

I don’t like cops.  I think they are a gang of bullying thugs attracted to the job because of personality deficiencies.  I believe they see themselves as a ‘brotherhood [gang] and use phrases such as ‘authority figure’ to explain to themselves why nobody likes them.  But deep down they know why.  They demonstrate the truth of this most profoundly when one of them gets killed on the job.

However, under the current structure of this society it’s a job that satisfies a necessary need in society, probably marginally keeping things from going completely off the rails by other gangs of thugs taking over and doing even worse.

Such as the gang of thugs who are setting fire to homes and businesses in response to Ferguson, opportunistically running off with stolen booze, television sets, anything they can take and run.  Here’s what a couple of black men have to say about all that:

For beginners, the store camera just before he was killed proved to my satisfaction the dead youngster was a bullying thug and a thief.  If he’d run into you or run into me anywhere adversarial such as a dark alley he’d happily make us sorry some cop hadn’t offed him sometime earlier.  In a year or two when he went to prison [as he was certainly going to do] he’d have been big enough to be on the happy end of the raping of his cell mate.

So the issue isn’t whether the world is any better off or worse off with him dead.  I’m personally satisfied there are people all over the place he didn’t live to occupy who are being spared a lot of pain and heartache as a consequence of his demise.

So the issue is really not him getting killed.  Nobody would be rioting if he’d been one of the far more numerous black men being killed by other black men.  Nobody is lamenting those, partly because a huge percentage of them might be suspected without prejudice to have ‘needed killing’ in the same sense this one did.  Gangsters, street hoods, living and behaving in a way to invite getting shot in a war zone.

So the real issue is cops.  Police officers coldly and deliberately killing blacks, not all of them as needful of being killed as this one.  And getting by with it.

My opinion is that whenever a black kills a black it’s an equal offense to a black killing a cop, a cop killing a black, anyone else killing a cop or black.  It needs to stop.  Cops need to be thrown under the bus whenever they kill anyone and it’s not clearly self-defense [against an armed suspect].  Same as a black gets thrown under the bus the instant a cop dies.

And blacks need to belly up to the bar and take some responsibility for the way their kids are behaving out there on the streets.  Same as white people need to.  One of the ways they need to do that is to make certain the black folks getting shot are the right ones to eradicate all this street shooting.  Whether they are cops or gangsters.

But what the hell do I know.

Old Jules

When racism isn’t racism, bigotry isn’t bigotry

Hi readers.

Back during the bad old days of my hippy-dopesmokerism, during the throw-rocks-at-cops times, during the turbulence of the Vietnam War, this happened:

I was sitting on the steps of the University of Texas Student Union Building with two other Veterans Against the War, five self-proclaimed Black Panthers, two Viva La Raza types, and a handfull of white girlygirls not wearing bras.  Two of the girlygirls were paramours of a couple of the Panthers.  The subject of racism came up.

Keep in mind that all the Panthers and both Viva La Raza types were white-haters, though they indulged those two white guy among us by ignoring the fact we were white.  Indulged the girlygirls similarly.  And keep in mind the two Hispanics had no love for blacks, nor the blacks, any love for Hispanics.  Only the white girlygirls and we white Vets Against the War had felt no anti-black nor anti-Hispanic rage against the others of the group.

So tirades against whites became noisy, Hispanics and Panthers all in agreement, all making blanket statements proclaiming white bigotry.  Somewhere during that I asked, “You guys are lumping us all together because we’re white.  Isn’t that racism?  Is it different when you do it, as opposed to a white lumping you all together?”

Caused an uproar, general outrage and denial.  Universal even among the girlygirls, and one of the white guys.

Victims of racism can’t be racist!”  Repeated and re-phrased in numerous ways.  “Only whites can be racists because they have the power!”

Wellllllll.   Uhhhhh.

I suppose it’s probably consoling to a guy getting his ribs caved in by someone standing above him yelling, “You honky bastard!” to know he’s not the victim of bigotry and racism. 

Or my neighbor in Placitas, New Mexico, who, though an old unreconstructed hippy, couldn’t get the Hispanic guy who controlled irrigation water to open her gates to her orchard when her turn came because of his outspoken hatred of Anglos.  “My trees are dying because of what white-hating son of a bitch!”  Her old hippy too-much-sun face reddening.  “There’s nobody but other Hispanics I can appeal to!”

But at least it wasn’t racism.  At least it wasn’t bigotry she was a victim of.  Because bigotry and racism aren’t possible for people who don’t have the power.

Old Jules

Self-Doubt and Sincere Soul Searching [Eh?]

So what the hell was that all about?

I can see how Warren [or anyone else] might justifiably refer to me as an SOB.  I’ve no argument on that score.

But why a BIGOTED SOB? [The Mormon post comments]

Everything I said about Mormons was positive, and I could have said a lot of other positive things about them.  For instance, Howard Hughs trusted them, always hired Mormon bodyguards, caretakers and administrators.  Because they were honest, dedicated, hard working.

For that matter, Mormons also have legions of people researching and identifying their dead ancestors, baptizing them ex-post-facto to Mormonism so they won’t be doomed to hell.  PHDs in history could learn a lot from those uncredentialed Mormon researchers because they’re better and more accurate doing it than most PHDs I’ve ever come across.  When I’ve run up against a brick wall doing historical research I’ve frequently found help among Mormons doing genealogy.

Is that cool, or what?  When those researchers run out of relatives to be unknowingly baptized, likely someday one of them will find my name and make a Latter Day Saint of me without me having to do anything, even know it.  If they happen to be right, which I personally doubt, it’s still a win/win.  Cheap insurance. 

So Warren couldn’t possibly be calling me a bigot on behalf of Latter Day Saints.

Okay.  Maybe he was damning me because I said I didn’t trust Christians.  Or that I’d trust a Mormon more readily than I’d trust a Christian.  But the truth is, that opinion is just based on my personal experience. 

Some of my best friends have been Christians.  Sure, I dropped a lot of them off the list because they pestered me to death with their evangelizing, but I still thought of them as best friends.  And as such, I was able to recognize the human flaws they carried around with them, including a weakness for falsehood, many of them.  Along with a weakness for personal betrayal, abstractions over personal loyalty.  Doing things involving me ‘for my own good’. 

Maybe trusting members of one religion over another is lousy judgement, but I can’t see it as bigotry.

The only other thing in that post that might be construed as bigotry was my saying this king is a black white man.  But hell, that’s being said all over the web by black folks.  They’re calling him an ‘Oreo’ [black on the outside, white on the inside], an Uncle Tom.  All manner of things suggesting they don’t consider his decisions, demeanor, perspectives to be similar to their own.  Their self-stereotyping of their ethnic attitudes and opinions exclude his.  They believe he matches their stereotype of whites, more nearly.

So how can me calling him a black white man be a sign of bigotry?

Brings to mind the Hispanic wife of an Anglo friend of mine during the nineties.  They’d built a new house and were showing signs of affluence and the other Hispanic women of Socorro, New Mexico, whispered, shouted, sneered, snarled, “She’s trying to be white!”  “She’s pretending she’s white!”  Boycotted her beauty-shop business.

Crazy world we’re living in. 

I ain’t ‘trying to pretend to be black’, ain’t trying to ‘pretend to be a Mormon’, ain’t trying to ‘pretend to be a Christian’

Maybe that’s the problem.  I wonder which one Warren was trying to pretend to be.

Old Jules