Whiteness Means I am Smarter Than Who? (Trigger Warning)

I don’t know what made my brain connect the memory, perhaps it is because it is the least convinient time ever for me to go, “Oh… hey… institutionalized racism, fail on you Estancia New Mexico!” I swear, that town is the most ism fueled town I have ever seen. That is the town where I was burned at the stake, oh yeah, I am naming names now bitches. I should admit, my dear readers that I was angry before then. Between reading a crap ton of sexism about Zsa Zsa Gabour, my computer still acting up and so badly that I lost more data, more time, and had to reinstall things, and the rain… I woke up from my mad thinking it was six am, and suddenly this anger slammed into me. Likely I was triggered in my sleep but this anger was here first, not the idea, so my reaction may be disproportionate. Or not.

My revelation comes at the hands of my mother, I woke up and my first conscious thought was about the Gifted Program, a term I use lightly, and the special ed program. It was one shrouded in thunder like a horror movie revelation. Why were there no children of color in either program? Are you telling me that out of the majority of hispanic children there were no gifted kids? Wrong. Fail. Nope. This doesn’t seem factual, when some of the barbie doll white girls in my class were put back in regular cycles because they could not actually keep up with the school work and the gifted program was an at your own pace sort of class. Even the teacher, though she did a bang up job and did address racism, was the aryan dream. Well the first one we had was too but she was full of fail and was fired for being creepy, and has almost no bearing on my memories of the Gifted Program. Thunder Thunder.

I remember everyone they pulled out for IQ testing, and as an adult i know that the tests used were skewed not in my favor or in the favor of accuracy but these tests hailed from the days when white people tried to prove with science that black people and other “races” are just plain stupid. I am so glad that these tests failed but at the same turn there are more accurate assessments of a child’s needs and these tests were easily skewed. In fact, I remember clearly how angry the test assessor was that I passed the test and was deemed to be a genius. The twitching, the muttering with the principle who I clearly heard say, “Then we’ll have to deal with her and her mother, but you couldn’t just lie?” I asked what for, and that was it, I was stamped “Gifted but Troubled, beware the contents of this package”.

The thing is, they only TESTED THE WHITE KIDS. Each of us was taken one at a time, and it was announced on the PA. I won’t name their names, as these children did nothing to deserve being used as pawns for racism, but hello… the superintentendet was antisemitic, and clearly so, something I was aware of before the end of the first year of the gifted program. We were stuck in a windowless room our first year, with the teacher that was very much lost in her own illness both physical and mental, and mostly just futzed around. The cool part was when one of the boys’ fathers, who works at or worked at the time Sandia National Labs brought in a truckload of monitors, keyboards, and broken towers. Our job? Reprogram them, make them run then brand new XP, the Labs funded this, and set up the entire school district with an internet worthy network.

I was born for this. Though it was clear very rapidly my hands weren’t my mind was. I took over, and we split up into areas where we each excelled, I was the head programmer, and another person who was also less strong and agile helped me. We wiped hard drives, expanded ram, and essentially took several hundred computers, and mutated them into two hundred computers. Last time I asked, my brother and sister told me these are still the computers in use in that educational system. My teacher was fired, though possibly illegally I think there was more to it than I know. The next year we had windows and the teacher that I dream about often. Not sexually but as a guide.

She is still alive so I know this is just my imagination, but Miss S was the first teacher to teach me anything. I remember how surprised she was when for a project that required basic math, I asked for help. That was the first time I spoke in her class to say something productive, and the first time I asked for help. She had me stay in during lunch, and bought me pizza and we used pizza to get the problems solved. She then asked me if I wanted to type all of my assignments. Type? Really? I could use a format that didn’t send pain shooting through me and was so distracting that I could think my work through? I never said yes, instead I let out a squeak and ran away. All my assignments for all classes were then typed, printed, and I completed homework even in that year.

Yet still, all of my classmates were white. Not all of them turned out to be gifted, despite this test. I have had my IQ tested several times and with several tests, and I am left to wonder, why weren’t any of the hispanic students tested? Our future valedictorian was hispanic, and I think she was gifted. Sure she was mean to me, but everyone was and if you weren’t mean to me it was social suicide. I understand that as an adult, and maybe have forgiven some of the kids who confused me by being nice to me alone, but if someone else was around out and out cruel. I can think of several students, especially in English and Math, that didn’t even have to think about the work as they learned it, they more than excelled.

None of the hispanic kids in my class actually left that town. All of them are trapped in tendrils of what is institutionalized failure. I know that my mother probably didn’t see it as racism as she said “Now you don’t have to be with them” but I did think she meant the horrible hispanic children. There are a lot of racist moments in my family as we know and a lot of moments where my mother failed but she actually fought for the gifted program to exist, because it was what I needed. My older brother also could have benefited but by the time she won this fight he was gone. I don’t think she would have done it for just me, but maybe? Maybe.

I asked the then Superintendent about it, and the answer I had was, “Well you are just smarter than them.” Them again. How can you know without testing? How? It makes absolutely no sense. I knew I was smarter than most of my classmates but I had some doubts. Sure I was the smartest in the gifted program but as an adult I still cannot add or subtract without a great deal of struggle and even then I have to use a calculator to verify my results. I have been told that is Autism which is ableim when said, just like my white skin automatically makes me worthy of the funding for this test.

I have no doubts I am smart, not many do. In fact the general presumption people have when meeting me is that I have several degrees. I don’t have any, which bothers me, because I wonder… if I was hispanic, black, or a person who is of First Nations descent, wouldn’t they presume I worked at taco bell, or am faking disability for the benefits? Is this why no one was tested but the handful of white students, and some of those were bumped up for appearances?

The popular girls were actually thrust into this class, and only two could stick it out. I remember the two that did because they were nice to me even infront of others after a month in the class. I think they saw that there was more to me than the beligerant and mean student who targeted every weak point with military prescision. In fact it was those girls that gave me some good memories of school, in the very cliched hollywood way that things went down. They could keep up with the advanced work, and yet… again… with the boys the entire football team was tested, the head cheerleader and football guy, no idea his position but I know it was his thing and he banked his future on it. They came into the class and were lost with some very basic things, which in the test you had to have in order to be used. Reading. Writing.

I am not saying they cannot be gifted, but how can you take a test that is WRITTEN if you cannot read it? They certainly didn’t read the questions to me. Theyhanded me the test and said I had all afternoon to complete it. I didn’t need that much time, which lead to another argument, me having to retake the test because I had to have cheated… but… you have to be able to read to do it.

That bothered me then, though then I thought it was just their popularity that got them in. Now I think it was the whiteness of their skin. Would my mother have even managed to make federally mandated special education programs availible if she wasn’t white? I doubt it. I think on that town and how everyone with any power is white. The mayor? WhiteyMcwhiterton, the superintendant? Hispanic last name but she has gone off the deep end with the bleach and presented as white. She may still be the super but I don’t care enough to check. The principals? Only one was not white. The high school principle also used his whiteness to bully teenage girls into sex acts. The track coach? Same. His kid may not want me believing that but I knew the man, and I never trusted him alone because of his grabby hands. Sorry, no need to name names, a simple google search reveals all.

This town, this town so chock full of religious extremism, racism, and of course crime… more crime than I can believe… this town also has the worst educational record in the state that often is the worst or second to worst. No point in differentiating when you are last out of fifty, and this school is last out of however many my state has?

Now, there is something else that I remember. I wasn’t put back in the gifted program in Highschool but instead the special education program, which I was familiar with. There I found most of the white football players from the gifted program’s first year… and a lot of hispanic kids that did know the basics of reading, writing, and had no actual issues that I could see. They were just deemed less than. My reason for being dubbed inferior was having mental health issues, though I still had my freshman year made of awesome between winning a national computing award and being valentines princess (Prom Queen equivalent). Still, the kids from special ed that I knew in Middle School, some of whom I kept in contact with after the advent of becoming “Gifted” because hey, lets make a term othering and one that can cause the majority of students to feel bad too…

None of those kids were in these classes. They were in a third level class, where they had even less instruction than the special ed class. I think that they tried to rename it remedial everything but that was too little too late by the time theyear was most of the way through, and yes I did find humanity in some of my fellow students in that class and vice versa but it wasn’t the Breakfast club, it was an educationless room where we were passed ahead, without knowing or learning anything unless like me you read a book and surprise surprise, the others got curious so you ended up teaching them some reading skills and had a book club. It was short lived because I broke down again. However, it was a start. If I could teach kids I loathed and thought were no better than animals, why couldn’t the teachers?

The teachers at this school, with a few minor but fantastic exceptions, don’t care and don’t try. Actually that’s the educational format for this state before you get culled out usually by education and color, or being form out of state between the local community college with it’s basic courses and the university for the “more advanced”. Yeah. They said it that way for a few years there. I think they stopped but wowza.

So there it stands… my entire memory collective of these events. In a town where the population divvies up between white people who are inbred with each other (literally) and a few outsiders who you just don’t talk to if you are local because they aren’t part of the Cult of Estancia, the town with a catholic or baptist (and that one methodist ) church on EVERY CORNER. They have one bar, and at least ten churches I can think off off of the top of my head… then the rest are hispanic folks, a lot of them are not legal, though every student was here legally born in either Albuquerque or Estancia itself. Even the doctor was racist, and would treat people’s ailments with some sort of outdated “medicine” that killed a lot of people.

In a town of 90% color vs 10% Whiteness, why is it that almost all of the white children are in a special class? I wonder now if this is why that awesome teacher with the pizza (and a lot of other extra time spent teaching me things like advanced beading and how to focus even when angry) chose to teach us about the Nuremburg trials. She took history and made us reenact it. We had to work together to write a script, and every time I was triggered she would let me go for a walk as long as I came back. I was allowed to do what I had to in order to be okay with the work, and actually made more progress with my PTSD in her class than I ever had in an institution up to date. I played the roll of Herman Goerring, and we had the honor of performing our class play, which was actually ripped fairly much from trial transcripts, infront of holocaust survivors, one of whom presented evidence and reprised this actual event. Each survivor brought a piece of atrocity with them, and it stuck with most of us, these lamps of human skin, chairs with bone, and bits of humanity were all that the Nazis valued of people who weren’t like them. Infact, when these survivors thanked us for our portrayal (I even faked hanging myself) I was scared. I didn’t understand the waves of emotion, and I still cannot. I do know that the men and women that sat and watched children with great seriousness learning, and for some of us seeing when we held the actual items, such as a Nazi flag, the horrors that the impact was great, not great as in good but massive. Huge.

I remember many things about my teacher, including when she left. She left the school system when I went to high school, or as I oh so fondly remember it.. the land of no one cares because we’re almost done with you horrible children (except my computer sciences teacher who was known as an evil witch because she actually cared and had expectations the horror..) She left because they would not change the system. She told each of us goodbye and said, “There are things in your town that aren’t right. When you go elsewhere, people aren’t treated this way based on how they look but what they know or could learn. Keep that in mind, you aren’t the only smart people here.” I took this as a get out while you still can, and I still think that was a part of it. She wanted us to keep our minds open.

My teacher in her lesson on Nuremburg taught about not just the Jews but she taught about all of the other peoples targeted, she herself was of german descent, and as I said was the Aryan dream in appearance. I wonder if her teaching this was based on seeing the potential for the same crimes to occur, and feeling guilt because her family name is tied closely to the Nazis. I wonder… but all I can think of is… if I am the most successful by the traditional money money money standards, and also by my own out of these students what went wrong? I had the least amount of potential to succeed being that I was actually preparing to kill them all rather like a cartoon villain. What lead each of the smart women in my class to become pregnant and then housewives without fulfillment. I won’t say every housewife is unfulfilled but when I ended up back in that town a few years ago, it was clear that they wanted out. I even had one ask me why I wasn’t married and how I had managed to survive without a man. The outsiders were now insiders, married to someone else there, I think the fact that everyone in that town who remains has relations to someone else is a bit horrifying and someday I may write a horror movie based on the phenomenon… yet even with everyone there being mostly blood related, it was those deemed more than the others, because of last names bearing whiteness, skin, hair, in fact the entire gifted class had only one person without blonde hair in it, and one was me.

So… why was it that this old idea of whiteness being superior shaped the futures of children? How fair is it? Yes, my otherness nearly cost me the gifted program, but that is more proof isn’t it? They wanted the children with the “super good” label to be the ones who matched what they see on TV as superior. There was never consideration that the twins or their brother could have been smart. THere was never consideration that anyone excluding myself with a mental illness could be smart, or could be super frigging bored because there were a total of four teachers in my entire experience there that taught (though a few of them I had more than once). Why was it all of our teachers were white too…

The hell Estancia. How can a town that has such a rich history, one with so little whiteness, be so sick? Most of your white people are CRIMINALS. Most of your hispanics, at least while I was there, ran businesses,worked to make the town a better place. Sure, the serial killer that nearly got me there was a man of color but, he was the exception to the criminal scum there not the rule. Then again your town embraces criminals so why am I bothering to scold you? I just wish for the future children, those being educated now, that you weren’t run by racist scumbags. So glad I am out of there.

I will never cross your border again, I will never look back again, unless triggered like so. That is all you are to me you cesspool of a town, you are the worst years of my life. You contain my lack of recovery, a lack of love, and hatred. THe few exceptions stand out with gleaming clarity because they are EXCEPTIONS, and even those were tainted by my being other. Every moment in that town was a torture. Even the moments when I learned the most,s omeone was in pain at all times. How is that healthy? No being white doesn’t make you smarter. Neither does my autism. Just because you were forced to follow laws you have to find a way to sully the idea of smarts? Good frigging grief.

Trolls

I have been thinking about internet trolls lately. I think the internet trolls are likely the same people who I end up making angry in public for daring to exist. My blog is a relatively troll free zone, yet I write in a state of vulnerability, I write about social justice, and I write about many of the same things that are written about by other bloggers.

Am I being sheltered from the Trolls because I am a white woman? I noticed that Renee of Womanist Musings is constantly dealing with the trolls. They attack from all sides endlessly. Most of her guest posters end up with the trolls. Even when I do guest post there I have much fewer instances of what could be called trolling, and their venom is much less potent.

I am a member of minorities by being homosexual, by being disabled, and by being a woman. This does not seem to bring out the hateathon and although I do not WANT the trolls here I find myself wondering if this is another area where I cannot quite understand what they go through because I am sheltered.

I have been looking at the other blogs I read, and all of the blogs with persons of color have much more trolling than my little corner of the internet. Even blogs where you expect the gender trolls to come out and play are less busy than the blogs by people of color. I have decided a few things, and as I grasp for understanding have broken them down as follows.

1. A troll is a puppet of the patriarchial male white cis society.
2. Most trolls are men.
3. Most trolls are white.
4. Most trolls spend countless hours trying to silence people.

Why? I do not understand. I don’t think I can but, I have a challenge for you readers. When you witness Trolling how often is it based on color of skin before all else? The second thing Trolls target seem to be women. AS I said I have had a few trolls but I don’t bother posting most of what they have said, I decided quickly that I will just let them scream in the silence, and it has helped me to refrain from exhaustion but with the small amount of Trollshit on my blog, this is something that can be done. For others with a higher readership this is not possible.

Nor is it possible for anyone to not read the comments posted. I do not know how to stop the trolls but I must say I admire the writers that are trolled a great deal more. I admire the strength it takes in order to keep going. I don’t know that I could manage as well as Jaded16 and Renee do. I cannot stop thinking about this connection. I don’;t have all the words but I must say, I hope to always be a pillar of support for Renee and Jaded16, as well as anyone else that is right and works hard to share their views and change the world. I know sometimes I need support but, with extra trolling (about a million times more trolls per post than here) so do they. Anyone who has not read their blogs should. I am going to point you at my side bar, here or any other post because their links are everywhere here.

This is my way of showing support for those who are trolled. I cannot apologize for them because that is ineffectual. I will however offer my support in the ways I can. I admire your strength and appreciate the energy it takes to write when you know every word means someone is going to fling their poovlige at you in order to try and make you disappear so that their world can be free of anyone that disagrees with them. Keep fighting.

The Difference Between Politically Correct and Respect

I am contemplating my internalized racist self right now. You see, I feel shame for I did not know that Juneteenth was anything at all. Not only is this a holiday that should be NATIONAL, HUGE, and marked with celebration…. but yesterday there was whitewashing. I choose this term deliberately. In the fight between the racists and the victims of the racism I noted the same erasures and when an apology was made I was left to think… what is it that is different about being PC and actually respecting people and why is the latter so hard to find?

People make fun of being politically correct all the time. I have been called a member of the PC police because I will not let people discriminate against me. When I think of people being politically correct the image in my mind is of a white guy being snide about someone’s otherness. Other being of course not white or male. Usually he is complaining that he is not allowed to be racist, ableist, etc. Then he complains further that the target of his isms doesn’t have a sense of humor for being hurt, offended, or angry.

Politically correct is another way of saying that you are too good to respect humans. It makes it acceptable again for you to be racist if you say you are just not into being politically correct. It means you can make it about the other thems, whichever political party you do not agree with. Politically Correct means absolutely nothing in this world because if you are treating people like they are people out of not wanting to stick your foot in your mouth you are an Ist.

Yes, people who aim to actually respect the human beings around them still screw up from time to time. Some more than others. I am hardly free of that feeling like I swallowed a basket of live snakes, that moment when I know I screwed up and didn’t just step on someone’s toes but took part in Isms. I sometimes panic, sometimes I apologize, and sometimes I say nothing because I am afraid of the reply. The latter is something I try to extinguish but it is there. The urge to make it all better ignores the rights, feelings, and perceptions of people that your (or my) privilege victimises.

Sorry also doesn’t cut the pain down, it may prevent you from doing this again but in reality I have had many people who “don’t subscribe to the PC thing” or only are being nice because they fear concequences do more harm with an apology. Apologizing can even be used as a way to make it okay for you to do the same old behaviors over and over again.

So, are you Politically Correct?

For more information on Juneteenth please visit Womanist Musings at this link here.

Green Lantern’s First Flight Review

Green Lantern’s First Flight

Hal Jordan holding up his glowing power ring, glaring at the viewer through his green mask. Hal is a white man with brown hair.

I am an avid Green Lantern Fan. My DC comics reading goes Batman, Birds of Prey, Green Lantern. Darkest Night made me one happy fan girl. I finally sat down and watched First Flight. I am going to tell you now, I do not have anything really positive to say about the film. In fact I have several questions for the Warner Brothers.

  1. Have you ever cracked open a comic book in your life?
  2. Are you all really that sexist?
  3. Do you hire writers who also are unaware of source material and or don’t know how to put together a story?

I get it, this movie is for kids. I hate that excuse for poorly written slop. You know why? As a child my reaction was the same to poorly written slop. I am not going to bother seeing who acted in this slop, who wrote it, nor can anyone convince me that this film was worthy of my time.

My first complaint is the sexism.

Only two female characters speak and they are really treated as after thoughts. Carol Ferris is the ball buster, she was written as I perceive her in comics mostly, except there was no show of her softer side, her connection to Hal. Boodika was turned evil. REALLY NOW? REALLY? Not only was she poorly drawn and miscolored (as most of your aliens were) but she had to be evil? Sinestro had no side kick in the comics and that took away from his actual and abhorrently Hitler based evil.

Second point on the sexism. Abin Sur: “Find HIM.”

Do human males really have the only capacity for Will Power? Let me see… NO. I am always told I would be a ring bearer because of how much will I have. I know plenty of women with AMAZING will. I know plenty of people that would be Green Lantern Corps material. Most are women.

Third

Arisa looks terrified the entire time, has no lines, I am fine with the costume change but good lord… she is a Green Lantern. She has to be rather TOUGH.

Second:

Sinestro. This is where the crappy writing shows. It would’ve been passable writing otherwise, or maybe even fantastic writing. You see, Sinestro is written to be as obtuse as a brick wall. You can see he is the villain from the get go. Sinestro’s evil came from his oblivious lack of free thought. He was blind to any flaw with the Guardians, and wouldn’t talk about them ala Guy Gardner. Well he was more bitter than Guy would’ve been but calling them gnomes et al is a Gardner tactic. Sinestro was the perfect lantern, he was the one that set the bar before Hal Jordan outed his evil. A good Sinestro blindsides a new reader/viewer with his evil. You know, you could even make him likable to make it sting more. It is supposed to hurt. Instead I was bored with waiting for the villainy to start so the movie could be OVER.

Continuity Errors:

Lets just talk about the ones in the film. Obviously no film can be completely perfect when based on another medium. I didn’t expect perfect. Continuity errors include the whole yellow impurity, a vague mention of a green impurity and then the writers ignoring this and having EXPERIENCED Green Lanterns blasting at Yellow. Yellow being effect… there were more but this was the most cumbersome.

Lots of the voice acting was crappy, there were words that were mispronounced. Poozer was pronounced POSER repeatedly. This was just an element of bad acting. The voices were all awkward, jarring, though I admit the Hal Jordan voice was better than when David Boreanaz took the ring. Geesh.

Another element of this movie that sucks is that the Green Lanterns wait, even after rings are powered to act while Jordan gets his rear handed to him by Sinestro. Not only do I have to endure really poorly designed constructs (a construct is anything you imagine and it’s wads of light and clamps?!) but there is also the issue of these folks having Will. The entire corps is portrayed as if it lacks will. The guardians have names, which I guess makes them identifiable to kids? Not sure why but it was weird to hear the varying styles of names used.

The main writing issue however is again the Alien’s use of earth colloquialism. It is understandable in the comic after a time, as the Corps has been exposed to human idioms and therefore assimilation on both sides occurs. It is not okay in this film because not only does it destroy various character personalities (as does the abject cowardice portrayed) but further more even with a translation by the ring the phrasing wouldn’t BE with words used in slang it would be a grammatically perfect translation. I somehow doubt Sinestro’s world has gnomes.

Over all this was a waste of my time. This was a waste of your funding, and for anyone new to the Green Lanterns it is a waste of enticement. This film does not entice new fans, but instead drives existing fans away with it’s horribleness. A climactic laxer light show does not make up for an hour and some odd minutes of BAD WRITING. I wanted to see a creative construct. I wanted to see a good movie. I expected less. This was still below my basement level expectations.

It’s enough for me to give in and write out my comic character proposal to challenge Warner and DC’s blatant sexism. There was a moment in Green Arrow and Green Lantern’s team up book where Hal’s racism is called out. It looks like time for a girl to hand Guy, Hal, and Kyle’s butt’s to them on a platter of green glowing light.

Privileged

We live in a world of priviledge. White, Male, Able bodied, and sexual are merely a few. My awareness of my disability became a journey into the cryptic world of truth. This is a part of what has lead me to become a reporter for a local paper. The staff understand that due to my limitations I cannot always “do it” but in turn I understand they have questions about who I am. My questioning mind seeks information out, and I never stop analyzing. This means I also have some very high standards for my social interactions with people. I know what I like, and screw you if you cannot maintain a consistent approach.

Having a diverse friend base, this does at times cause internal friction though I have only told the people I am rejecting to go away. I resort to the screw you if I cannot get through to them with the concept that I am not their friend. This as an adult has occurred with two people repeatedly. Today I told my fiance about a woman, Cynthia McKinney who was kidnapped in a foreign country. He hadn’t heard about this. I admit since we rarely watch the TV this isn’t a surprising factor, though when I mentioned that not many others had, excluding the twitter users and bloggers none bothered to talk about her capture, he was floored.  He then said the most wonderful thing, for it filled my heart with joy that I live with a man who is aware of his privilege. “It’s disgusting. We have these rules, that allow people to do that crap and feel better. It’s a band aid over a slit throat that’s dirty, old, and infected. Sure, we think we’re fine but our body is dying.”

Our body is dying. I think on privilege often. Neither of us can ignore it. As a disabled woman, I run into privilege daily. If I leave the house it is there. Yesterday, I was told just how convenient my wheelchair is because it has a sunshade. In my brand new effort to not be Super Cripple, I said, “Absolutely, I only had to break my spine, become homeless, and develop an allergy to the sun in order to have this convenience. Want me to help you get one? I am sure I can find some way for you to become disabled.” I said it with a smile. The cold knife of sarcasm caused the cashier to falter, she looked down, and then I was invisible. She handed MY change to my fiance. He tried to correct her and pointed to me but she just set it down.

i made a choice to use the cutting words, yet this is not the first time that this same cashier has said this. She doesn’t seem to remember that she has done it, and I don’t need to be exposed to her ignorance each time. My fiance and i talked about it before I went home by myself, wanting the sun on my skin and knowing that the side walk was safe between the shopping center and the house.

He asked, “Are you okay?”

I replied with a frown, “Yeah, well no. I am so tired of that same behavior. I think I may write the store manager about it, though the other employees also do the same stuff.” Each time we go in, I have someone leaning on my chair, patting my head, and in general am treated like a child. This is a national chain, and my fiance having worked there knows that Walgreens prides itself on how it’s employees are given sensitivity training. With a higher than average rate of ableism in this store, I think the trainer was flawed.  Every time we go in, I am required to educate someone. It is a burden. I usually just need a cool drink to lower my body temperature so that I don’t faint. I may actually just want to get a candy bar. Why am I forced to deal with their ableism? I cannot do so in silence, or it will get worse, but it is exhausting.

He nodded, “Maybe you should offer to retrain them. For a fee.” I laughed but seriously am considering this. I also plan to detail for the management just how much we buy at their establishment. My fiance is lumped into a new category with me. Each time we are out he is given the pitying look by someone, and often has mostly older persons (yes, an entire generation of people oblivious to privilege exists) whisper to him how nice it is that he takes care of the wheelchair woman. Most actually say “Stupid cripple.”

Sometimes I relish his responses, how can I relish the pain and shock his refusal to blend in with other people causes? I think it’s the freedom it feels. I almost feel like I don’t have the right to do this and that is when I start super cripping. It’s a stolen moment of equality, a moment which by all rights is mine, but has been taken from me by the limited acknowledgment of generations before. My favorite response to a person doing this was actually a few days ago.  He was more frustrated than I was, it was July 3rd and we had to get food. Sprite was tucked up in my sun shade and was very miffed that we hadn’t gone home, but without food there would be consequences. All of the local stores were closing early.

I had just cursed someone out (I really said the”f” word) to get her to keep her hands off of me, and it took the threat of bodily harm via the Scooter to get her to step back. I was seething, then my person, my wonderful person comes and gets what we need off of that aisle. He doesn’t know it’s the same woman, as we are walking towards the next section she sidles up to him, I allow this because I am sure she’s about to tell him how evil I am. She says, “It’s so nice you can tolerate that thing.” Thing. Dehumanized in one sentence. He turns a bit red with rage, but she’s about my mother’s age, old enough that hitting her is worse somehow than hitting someone in our age group. He wanted to, it was there. We were both seething with exhausted frustration. “I mean, cripples are such burdens.”

I heard his response though I dropped back. In all honesty and openness I was considering how hard to ram her, and ifI should try to break her hip. I wouldn’t really but at times the visual is so wonderful. Imagination can be a great equalizer. He replied with anger, “She’s not a burden. If anything I am a burden to her. I don’t always pick up after myself, I sometimes expect her to do things she can’t and she does this with grace. She’s not a thing. That’s my wife.” He likes to call me his wife and I really do like it too. “My wife is a real lady, unlike you. She deals with people like you every day and she hasn’t killed any of them yet but she’d be within her rights.” Sometimes I want to and I usually share this with him, to let off the steam. “Another thing, if she’s a thing so are you! You have the privileged of a working body, it isn’t a right. You can be in a wheelchair like that.” Snapping his fingers he then sped up. I zipped past her, and rode beside him with great pride.

We talk about in this house often. There are no children to educate, it is merely something we both see. He has grown, as I have. In fact, he often tries to subvert is priviledge where he can. When he sees someone no matter who they are, having a bad day, he allows them in front of us in line (barring so low energy that this is a danger to my health). He does this to try and brighten their day and does this regardless of gratitude. Most of the time there is a grunt of anger or acknowledgment and that is it. He doesn’t stop. I note most often he does this for women, children, and persons who are most often ignored, allowing the men to wait. I am not sure if this is an expression of privilege but it is also the sort of person I would leave waiting, so if it is it is one we share. He is a joy to watch in the world. I often feel a separateness from most people but not with him.

How many white men who are so privileged to be in their 30s and still have a credit card from their parents usually see their privilege? How many white men usually can see it? In my experience it is the able bodied white man who fears this awareness above all. I know, too, that a requirement for being with the man I love, is this awareness.

I don’t talk about this often, but, some of the exploitation of the disabled that we see includes the cost of being disabled. It is very expensive, especially when the insurance companies don’t want to cover the cost of a wheelchair until you cannot leave your house, and then you still may not qualify for the one you actually need. if you need a bathchair, it is almost impossible to get a prescription for it, where we live. The cost increases as the economy makes money tighter.

What is my fiance doing to try and bring equality to the playing field? He is using his skills with repairing wheelchairs (he has repaired mine when the manufacturer failed) to try and help. He charges cost of parts, because we have to in order to eat, and a loaf of a specific gluten free bread or two dollars per hour, which has so far been used to buy a single loaf of gluten free bread. This fee is even negotiable. It is an expression of privilege that he CAN negotiate yet, it is also something that he wants to do to help people who may “lose their legs” and not be able to get their wheelchair repaired. I live with a man who knows his privilege. Yes, he is still learning about it but, the fact that he is willing to take that journey is by itself a fantastic thing that is the truest show of love he can offer me.

For more reading about privilege, I recommend checking out two places out of the thousands that you could check first. Start with a peak at http://www.womanist-musings.com/ followed up by http://thewhatifgirl.wordpress.com/. Renne, the proprietor of Womanist Musings is a wonderful writer, who has a life long experience with privilege. I find her writing more direct, and often much more clear about what privilege is. She also often reports on news you will not find elsewhere. The What if Girl has recently begun to discover her privilege and is exploring that. On top of this, she is also a fun read. I enjoy both of their blogs daily. You can find further resources at their sites, if you do not enjoy their writing specifically.

“Happy” Anniversary (Trigger Warning)

Yes, that says “Happy”. I am not sure this anniversary will ever be happy. I chose today to teach a class. I am trying to wind my brain down from the horrors that are the sound of fireworks. I spent the entire day in my room being cranky with myself. I got over that fairly early actually and enjoyed a mental vent session by reading a site called http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com . Eight hours later I am feeling almost normal and great for a stressful PTSD triggering day. This was the first fourth of July where I did not get sick from the smoke.

I am still feeling like the world is made of sand paper against my skin, but, I can control my snarkiness now. It’s in my head, and that has always been the case. I like to think that even Spock from Star Trek actually thought vindictive things up. “Vulcan Blood. I’ll show you McCoy!” If not, well, I am definately not a Vulcan or a Half Breed so it doesn’t matter. I am just human. That has been the theme for the week. I am just human. I am not Super Cripple, Amazing Woman, or even Functional. Just human. In preparing for the class I am to teach in nine hours, I realized I chose this day on purpose.

This is where I pause, and hide the triggering things, so you have to click a link today to get to the rest of the juicy details. Continue reading

Tracey Ullman Fail

So called comedians often use minorities for their humor. I never find this funny, and usually question why I bother trying to watch comedy shows after a certain point. Today I noticed the on-demand section for ShowTime had the “Tracey Ullman’s United States” section added. I started the first program, and right off the script starts with bashing illegal immigrants, Tracey Ullman, a white woman, in black face. It moves on to her mocking the Indian Culture, Islam, and Italians. She also mocks the very real medical ailment of Restless Leg Syndrome. It may sound funny, but, your legs burning all the time, unable to keep them still? Very problematic.

Instead of funny this show seems to show her hate. She makes fun of mostly ethnic groups, minorities, but makes fun of just enough white people to get away with her bigotry by the standards of those blind to their privilege. She makes fun of those from the south. She makes fun of everyone.

Hold up a mirror Tracey. Hold up a mirror to yourself and see just how sad you are. She goes with victim blaming, rape jokes, and does she see what this does to people? This isn’t funny. It is aggressively disgusting.

This may be old news, but, maybe someone will read this and will take notice. It is never funny to demean someone. It is never appropriate to put on black face. That was never funny. Ever. It is not appropriate to have your Indian Woman character sing her sentences in a mock Bollywood production while her life is threatened. It isn’t funny to play out acts of Xenophobia.

This show was supposed to be about America. Why then does any non white person have a thick accent that is usually unintelligible? Racism. Bigotry. Crap.

Not only is this show anti female, it is anti human. I will never watch another Tracey Ullman special. I can’t stand the stench of her tastelessness.

I am sure somewhere online you can find justifications for how she creates her characters to mock bigots. If the effect is more mocking of the minority, you have fail.

I felt this after one episode, I am trying a second.

More black face. More racial cliches. Showing a woman of color as toothless, uneducated, and irresponsible is NOT Funny. Mocking the Veterans of the Iraq war? Wrong. We need to support our soldiers even if we do not support the War itself. These individuals signed up with the intent to protect us.

Making fun of erectile dysfunction I can let pass, but wait… for many non elderly men Viagra has been an aid in achieving some of life’s more pleasurable aspects. It can help the disabled male perform, which can be psychologically freeing. Stating that elderly men who use Viagra will use it to sleep with whores is disrespectful to both sex workers and the elderly. Who has the right to judge the partner of another? Not me. Not you. Not Tracey Ullman.

Making fun of Poverty is inappropriate. Saying that a kid is “Shit at Math” is inappropriate. It doesn’t matter if parents say this all the time, a kid will believe it and will stop trying. It is important to encourage children, way to reinforce negatives.

Making fun of hard working individuals, those who have disabilities, making fun of those who are more naive about the world at large. None of this is funny. Doing this two episodes in a row? Mocking religion, not okay. No matter what religion it is. No matter how controversial you want to be, being a bigot is just not funny.

There is plenty of comedy without oppressing people. When the “funniest” stuff you do is antihuman, which this crap is… you are failing. When the non racist bits aren’t funny how do you get called a comedian?

I therefore give the elusive and rare Corkscrew of Justice to Tracey Ullman. You. FAIL.

Emotional Agony

So often, I find myself belittling my emotions. This is another practice from childhood, and it can defeat me. It sets me up for failure, infects my heart with discord, and leaves me acting as an Angry Cripple. It is a challenge to fight the urge to tell myself how little my pain matters.

recently I have been displaying some of the life long bits of my soul here, many of which bear bruises and scars. This is painful. There are over 100 posts that have been written but you will never see, because they hurt too deeply. Some have been rewritten, to remove the deepest secrets, hiding them.

I realize this is not something that is unique to me, and is instead very common especially with Women who have disabilities. A disability is anything that interferes with functions of daily living, and therefore I do count mental health issues as disabilities. Not all disabilities are so severe that you alter your life and build it around them, but, that does not mean your reactions to those “minor” disabilities have any less validity.

I am writing this post, because I have heard five times in the last two days, read it twice, and tried to deny a growing anger that these words cause this lovely statement, “Just looking at you, I realize how little my pain matters.” This is crap. This sort of thinking and self devaluement leads you down the path towards self hatred. Self hatred is usually just a mask for inner pain, layered with anger and other poisons. Stop it.

I know, my body is a very good example of what you do not want to live in. My body is not your body, and although my pain is epic to me, there is someone out there who has it worse. I can name names, I know of faces, and there are people who walk, that still have it worse than I do. My pain is equal to yours, not less, not more. Equality in Pain is a concept that I learned about when I met a girl in the mental health ward. I was actually addressing the issues of my sexual abuse, and, she tried to empathize, revealing why she was there.

To me, the reason, not revealed because of confidentiality and respect of this person, is small. It is insignificant in my estimation of abuse. To her, it was earth shattering. Her world exploded. It took me a lot longer than my stay in that facility to understand the concept offered there. What we experience shapes our views. I cannot show you what I see, but I can try and paint a picture for you.

There is no reason to compare experience. Identical Twins rarely share the same outlook in life, every person is as unique as a snowflake or a butterfly. None are identical, despite outward appearance. It is rude to devalue them or yourself based on your own experience. This brings us of course to racism, ableism, and sexism.

When you say that racism does not exist, it is not truth. It is perspective. You deny someone else’s experience and that wounds you both. You might not understand their anger at your words, and they might lose respect for you. They may not understand too a lack of experience. This does not justify your denial of racism, but, the caveat is that you can learn from the responses to such statements.

Equality is in my estimation impossible. I am an idealist however, and fight for the ideal. Someday, I might just be proven wrong. I do not remember the author though I think it was Vonnegut, but I once read a science fiction story where everyone was made equal by devices that made everyone see, hear, and think at equal levels. They even ate the same food, very bland, all people were the same. This world was horrible, everyone was in pain, tormented, and unable to function.

This was normal for those characters, until one could not be contained. He was above average, so far so that the devices could not contain him. He became violent, lashing out to try and wake the people up. It did not end well. I think of this story often when I forget why people are different.

I do not want to be just like you, and you definately do not want to be made physically equal to me. I would not wish this body on anyone. I also wouldn’t trade it for yours. I couldn’t function with another body or mind, this is what I know. Your pain is pain. Your anger is valid. Your tears, your joys, all of them have as much importance as mine.

I have said this outloud to people, before. Trying to make them stop. Sometimes people devalue their pain in an attempt to pity me. I need no pity. I am a brilliant star burning in the sky, and I know it. No person needs pity. Those who pity are merely blind to the simple fact that everyone is valid, necessary, and capable of something important.

Before you protest, stating that people with cognitive disorders cannot be productive in society, let me correct you. Autism counts as a cognitive disorder, though, it makes my world absolutely brilliant and colorful. I couldn’t trade up, just down. Downs Syndrome doesn’t make a person invalid. Every person with Downs I have met experiences more joy than I can comprehend. You point out that those in vegetative states do not add anything, and, I say bunk. What they did before their brains were injured counts. Every living person has a right to fair treatment, health care, and love.

Emotional equality too, prevents the need to debase someone, to be better than they are. It merely exists, as we do. I exist. You have the right to exist. I am angry for those who cannot see it. I mourn, for this knowlege is powerfully freeing. I dance with butterflies, I sing with the birds, I exist merely as I am and can be nothing else.

You are valid. Go love yourself.

Racism and Comics

I see it everywhere now, White Privilege. Comic books are extremely guilty of demonizing women and people of color. The Golden Age of Comics, overlapping the Second World War, had a bevy of white heroes. I cannot name any non white heroes off the top of my head, and the only female for those early years is of course the example of perfection and bondage, Wonder Woman.

I picked up a title without seeing the cover, I do this often, and I thought I had picked up another chapter of the Captain Marvel series with DC comics. Instead, I had picked up the Blue Marvel with Marvel comics. This short series deals with Jim Crow laws, racism, and the fears of white people. It does not justify for them, and although there are serious flaws, denials of privilege are actually addressed.

The Legend of the Blue Marvel introduces a super hero who uses Anti-Matter as the base of his power source, he is shadowed with a white man who was his friend, and becomes insane after gaining the same power, he wants equality so badly and cannot handle or cope with the challenges he sees his friend face. He decides genocide is the answer.

Genocide and Eugenics are a common theme in Marvel comics, the Xmen race allegory is even used just as that, with a pointed tip stabbing into the reader’s mind. The art is also beautiful. The Demonization of characters is given with an almost heavy hand to the white people, yet only as much as was with in the realm of reality. The Government commits shadowy acts, crimes against the Blue Marvel, out of fear of his skin color.

The comic spans time from the Sixties up until our current time, it references cultural change, and leaves a gaping awareness too in the change that is still needed. I was surprised with this title, and finished the five chapter series rapidly. The ending too leaves room for the Blue Marvel to either obtain his own Book or to return.

Rarely are guest characters in comics so well rounded, so human, and yet so superbly granted power. The most powerful man in the Marvel Verse is a man who was not born white. I see this as a huge change. Comic books are almost 100 years old, and although they have been wonderful additions to my life courtesy of my Sensei, there has been a lack in them.

I noticed it as a child, and even asked my Sensei why the men who looked kind of like him were always scary in the stories. He explained to me the concept of hate in a new way. “Sometimes, Little Lotus, people are afraid of difference. Difference is not bad, and hating it is. You must fight against being taught that I am bad because my eyes do not appear the same as yours. The world is a very bad place, but it is harder for those not born with white skin.”

Years later, I still grapple with the concepts that he taught me. I found out his name today. My mother was hospitalized for Pnumonia, and she will be fine, but going to visit her we began to talk. None of the topics were light, however, I learned that my Sensei’s name was Ben Chang. A part of me mourns that his name is Americanized, yet, I also understand the quest for acceptance in a country that is boiling with racism.

Comic books, just as the real world, have a long way to go. Change always needed, yet, now they are trying. The writers of The Blue Marvel Miniseries, Kevin Grevioux, has written many things I have read. I enjoyed Underworld, which too inspected race relations. He is an actor, and has even worked as a stunt man. I would expect that his personal relationship with prejudice, something he was born into by not being given white privilege, has inspired some of his amazing writing.

I am not certain how old the comic is, my copy has no dates on it, but it is also altered to help me surmount my visual disability. I will write more about that soon. Find a copy. I hope that the people at Marvel Comics put this out as a Trade Paperback soon. This creation is one of the best that has come under their umbrella since the inception of the company. Who knows, maybe they will  steal some of my loyalty from DC if they keep learning, educating, and of course the undeniable quality.

Chain Letters about White Privilege

I recieved a chain letter long ago, and it came around again. this chain letter is about White Privilege. It touts it as a good thing, it even lists examples of privilege. The person who forwarded it to me had a note at the top, stating they didn’t see the big deal. I do. I have discovered most of my favorite blogs that are about feminism are written by People of Color. I am also aware of my white privilege. I wasn’t always but, I must address this chain letter. The letter will be in red, my responses will be in black.

So very sad, but so very true. I am not a racist….I am an American. I am very proud of my ethnicity, as all should be in this melting pot we call our home. But if we are all “equal” why is it that these comments are so true today???

Just how are these statements true? Why do we need labels for each culture that has been added to this melting pot? (Insert required fondu joke here)

Something to think about. . .

This e-mail does contain wording that is meant to express an open opinion to a major problem in the USA . It is estimated that only 11% of those receiving this e-mail will read it all the way to the end. In addition, it is estimated that only 1% of non-white color will read this past this point and 99% will blow it away because of the title. It is a shame this sentiment exists when we tell the world that the USA is the best place to Live, Worship, Work, and Play.

Very bogus statistics. Any time you estimate a percentage without any numbers to work with, it is meant to cause a reaction. I see this with doctors even, trying to ignore rare diseases. It is only rare most of the time, due to a lack of acknowledgment. We tell the world the USA is the best place, but, we live here so of course we will try and seem tough and good. I often see the USA as a little kid throwing a tantrum. If I could immigrate to somewhere I would. Not every person in the USA worships either.

“WHITE ” Pride”

White Privilege.

This is great. I have been wondering about why Whites are racists, and no other race is…..

Plenty of other races are. Every human has the capacity to be racist.

Proud to be White

Michael Richards makes his point………….. Michael Richards better known as Kramer from TVs Seinfeld does make a good point.

He does?

This was his defense speech in court after making racial comments in his comedy act. He makes some very interesting points…

He verbally attacked a man in the audience based on race, because he was heckled. As a public performer I know better, as do most. There was no excuse for his outburst. He could have used any other word.

Someone finally said it. How many are actually paying attention to this? There are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, etc.

ETC? You want to label people, just to enhance your privilege. That is what I see from this.

And then there are just Americans. You pass me on the street and sneer in my direction. You call me ‘White boy,’ ‘Cracker,’ ‘Honkey,’ ‘Whitey,’ ‘Caveman’… and that’s OK.

No it is not okay. Every citizen of the United States is JUST an American. It is your own racism that is showing as you write this out. My friend who just became a citizen after immigrating is still JUST AN AMERICAN.

It is never acceptable to use racist terms against any person. I also do not know of Caveman being used against whites. I have heard it used against Persons of Color, predominantly those of African descent.

But when I call you, Kike, Towel head, Camel Jockey, Beaner, or Chink .. You call me a racist.

If you call someone those names, you are a racist. I am white too bub, you are being racist.

You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you…. so why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live?

Whites do a lot of racial profiling in order to further their white privilege. Ghettos are not the most dangerous places to live, in reality they are dangerous yes, but only due to the negligence, police profiling and poverty. You will now likely argue that poverty is a choice. I never chose to be disabled or poor, to have to fight for my right to buy cheese. Neither did they. It is much harder to get a job if you are not a white man. You have privilege. Deal with it.

You have the United Negro College Fund. You have Martin Luther King Day.

We have pretty much every other holiday on the map, and we white folk also have most other scholarships. We too share Martin Luther King JR day. Do you think that the entirety of Black History has no white men in it? Are you really going to claim that the Civil Rights movement had nothing to do with white folk? Some marched with our friends who happen to be of color.

You have Black History Month. You have Cesar Chavez Day.

We have White History Year.

You have Yom Hashoah. You have Ma’uled Al-Nabi.

Again, we have white history year.

You have the NAACP. You have BET… If we had WET (White Entertainment Television), we’d be racists. If we had a White Pride Day, you would call us racists.

We have White Pride year, we have ABC, NBC, HBO, CBS, and every other network out there for what we want. A lot of lily white people on my TV. Not all of them as talented as some of the folks on BET.

If we had White History Month, we’d be racists.

Again? Are you running out of ways to show your privilege? White history year. Every history class focuses on white white white history. I barely heard of the civil rights movement in school. I only learned it happened because one of my teachers happened to be a PoC. I am glad for that because my education would be even more incomplete.

If we had any organization for only whites to ‘advance’ OUR lives, we’d be racists.

The GOP comes to mind. As does Wall Street, oh wait, Harvard!

We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a Black Chamber of Commerce, and then we just have the plain Chamber of Commerce. Wonder who pays for that??

From what I recall, chambers of commerce sprang up out of a need. The local Hispan@ chamber of commerce came up because the white boys wouldn’t let the persons of hispanic descent in. We pay for it, because we also refuse to share.

A white woman could not be in the Miss Black American pageant, but any color can be in the Miss America pageant.

A disabled person cannot enter the Miss America pageant. It is inaccessible. Even white disabled people. I have no issue with Miss Latin@ America, Miss Black America, or even Miss Fat America. They all exist. If we limit ourselves to one choice for everything, it does not circumvent our privilege and continues the absolutely obvious racism.

If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships… You know we’d be racists.

We used to. Most Ivy League schools qualify. We are pretty darned racist.

There are over 60 openly proclaimed Black Colleges in the US . Yet if there were ‘White colleges’, that would be a racist college.

Did you forget about SEGREGATION? A lot of people get illegally denied access to education based on skin color. I am all for the underclassed, non white, or non male having a leg up. It’s called EQUALITY. You claim you want it but you are spewing racism.

In the Million Man March, you believed that you were marching for your race and rights. If we marched for our race and rights, you would call us racists.

A lot of different groups march for their rights. The disabled even do it. Do you really believe there were no non blacks in the Million Man March? What about the Suffragettes? These women were mostly white fighting for the right to vote. They marched. The White folk in this country already have their rights, it is not about taking from you. It is about making certain that everyone has an equal opportunity.

You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you’re not afraid to announce it. But when we announce our white pride, you call us racists.

I am proud of who I am, my ancestry is a part of that. This does not mean that as the ruling race, I have the right to expect those who have been dominated, abused, and beaten to not find pride in themselves when a large part of the American Culture is to try and devalue their race.

You rob us, carjack us, and shoot at us. But, when a white police officer shoots a black gang member or beats up a black drug dealer running from the law and posing a threat to society, you call him a racist.

The phrasing on this implies that only persons of color commit crimes. A lot of white people car jack, murder, and beat on one another. Violence with in race is often very high. This includes white people. Not every black person who is shot is guilty, in a gang, or a drug dealer on the run. Not all people of color are posing threats to society. Nor is every white cop going to racial profile. Do you deny that beating a person who is already in cuffs is appropriate? Denying the wrongs that happen does not make the rights apparent.

Why is it that only whites can be racists??

Delusion. If only white people could be racists then, the world would be very different.

There is nothing improper about this e-mail. Let’s see which of you are proud enough to send it on. I sadly don’t think many will.. That’s why we have LOST most of OUR RIGHTS in this country. We won’t stand up for ourselves!

We have lost most of our rights? Since when? Do you mean that enslaving other races is just fine? Do you mean that denying innocent victims is fine? What about segregation? It sure sounds like that is what you want. I am white. I am also aware that being white means I am automatically given more respect than a person of color. We white people have not lost our rights. This letter is a reaction to the fear of losing your power over another culture, race, or religion. There is a lot wrong with this letter, as you can see.

Why is it alright for us to stand up for our rights but if a group of women, disabled, persons of color, or even Gays, Lesbians, Transgendered Persons, or any mixture of the above do, your rights are suddenly going to vanish. Why is a culture and society advancing towards the elusive goal of equality so hard? Why do you see nothing wrong with trying to be aware of white privilege? I am a womanist. I am a white person. I have all my rights. Check under the couch for yours.

BE PROUD TO BE WHITE!

I would rather be proud to not be a bigot, I would rather be proud to be aware of my privilege, and I would rather be proud to look someone in the eye and see that they are a person not a threat.

It’s not a crime YET… but getting very close!

Congress, Most of Obama’s cabinet, and the Senate…. most of them are white. Why would they make it illegal to be white? Are you insane? I think you are.

It is estimated that ONLY 5% of those reaching this point in this e-mail, will pass it on.

It is estimated that ONLY 95% of people reading this letter and reaching this point have not deleted it because it is completely inappropriate, incorrect, and full of racist, white male patriarchial, and white privileged propaganda.

I do not understand the need to defend a racist action. This is the same as blaming the victim for being beaten, raped, or saying someone deserved to be murdered. What ever you believe, at times it is wise to question it. This can shake the foundations of your reality. It can also make you a better person.

I remember reading this letter several years ago. I was fresh into my legal adult status, and I felt things. Disgust mostly. I feared it was true, and realized upon a small bit of research that this was fake. I deleted it and asked the person who originally sent it to me to please go away and not talk to me anymore. My moment of realization caused some over reaction, but, I became aware of the Isms, the discrimination of others.

I had yet to taste it for myself. I post this here, and I welcome you to share THIS version of the letter, if you so desire.

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