Let’s see what they do! It’s shaping up! They are discussing failed training practices, they fired the manager. Pressure for a while longer til situation solidifies.

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I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.                       

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
The time comes when silence is betrayal. That time has come for us today… …some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak.  

 

~ Martin Luther King, Jr. 

 

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I comment on frustration with unnoticed systemic racism, LGBT antagonism, anti-Muslim or anti-Dreamer/immigration structures. My comments are not directed at those who fall into these categories.

The comments are aimed towards those without much personal experience, living in primarily vanilla environments, watching too much mainstream fear-mongering news. I comment regularly, in order to provide a window into a world that some people I know only experience through misleading media stereotypes. Agree with me or not, I hope to provoke fresh thought and consideration. From time to time, in real life, I receive encouragement to continue from a variety of directions.

I am an outlier. My demographic is first generation, Romanian-Russian, poor, self-taught, Buddhist with “mixed race” family.  I’m chuckling.  I share some of my thoughts and feelings.

 

If may write, “Don’t bother staying friends with me if you don’t boycott Starbucks after this.” I am not aiming this at people who currently make a living at Starbucks, or any individual in particular. And honestly, I don’t know what I would really do if I saw a friend at Starbucks. I can’t help but take people one at a time. And each POC must do what they feel is best in relation to racism. No advice.

 

In other words, I didn’t mean “Don’t bother staying friends with me if you don’t boycott Starbucks.” any more than I would mean, “Oh, I am gonna kill him.” if my husband forgot a necessary chore.

 

I WILL boycott Starbucks until I am satisfied with their response. This incident hit me hard. My son and my daughter-in-law have spent many many days in and outside Philadelphia working on projects or theses, or waiting to meet someone for a business meeting.  This TERRIFIED me. I have one son. What if he wasn’t able to be perfectly quiet in the face of such treatment? What if the friend doesn’t show up? This could be any day of any week. C’mon, now.

 

Who can afford to go to Fourbucks, anyway? But for real, I do think there is a toolbox that we use to deal with corporations and boycotts are one of the few meaningful ways the public can express disapproval.

 

For good or for ill, I couldn’t shun or be mean, regardless. Express my thoughts and emotions? Yes. But I take people one at a time, as they appear in front of me and I strive to battle any preconceptions based on appearance, accent, etc –  much to the frustrations of some of my friends who see things more cut and dried. Always have been this way and probably always will.
From time to time, I use my FB page to help more sheltered people to understand what it might FEEL like to be a parent of a person of color, a Muslim, or Dreamer or someone who identifies as LGBT. I know from personal experience, that not everyone is so “lucky” as these two young men. Some people lose life savings, years of their lives, or their very lives.  Every day.

I will never stop making this case. I want more people who are considered “white” to do the same. I do. That’s real.

 

When terrible injustices become public, some goodhearted white folks have the view that it has nothing to do with them. I’ve been face to face with them and they assume my understanding. I confront that right then.

 

Consciously, or not they know well that their children might come to harm by making a mistake, but certainly not for a pack of candy or pencils being mistaken for guns, or for defending themselves, if attacked, or for changing lanes and failing to signal, or for being big and dark-skinned and scaring an unconsciously racist teacher, or for being lost and asking someone for help, or yes, for dressing to match their gender and being harassed and then murdered.
They don’t have to worry that someday someone will appear at their home and inform them that their high school-aged son died by accidentally rolling himself up in a gym mat while looking for his sneaker and that they will never ever see justice and the entire world will forget while they live on.
 I could go back each year, and list incidents that have happened that year that I know my white friends would just plain not believe. Or they would think there must be more to it. (shoulder shrug)  Truly different worlds. So I will never quiet myself until that stops.

 

Breathe. Sit Down. Listen.

If a person of color opens up to you about their experiences, they have a level of trust in you as an individual. There is no need to put yourself at the center and offer anecdotes to show how YOU are “not like that”. Also, there is no quicker way to derail your friend’s point.

And if you don’t see color, there is no need to balance the scales with the “not all whites”, “not all men”, “not all police officers”, sentiments when activists initiate discussions about systemic oppression. We all live in the same society and are surrounded by mainstream news media. The greater society has, does and will make that point to all of us every day without your help.

For real, it’s HARD to realize when the reason we are squirming is because for once, whether or not our feelings will be hurt is not the central most important thing in any conversation. It stops feeling right somehow! What we ARE used to, is feeling benevolent because we are engaged in the conversation, at all.

As non-POC, nothing prepares us for having to suppress our own natural tendency to take offense. To learn how to do that, we need only ask a member of any oppressed group. To keep a job, be a customer, walk down the street, live life, lesson the chances of getting thrown in jail for nothing – for them, it is a necessary skill.

Ask:

How on earth do you avoid getting offended all the time with:
**Assumptions made about your opinions, because you are a member of this or that group?
**Assumptions made about your interests, because you are a member of this or that group?
**Ignorant questions asked of you?
**Generalizations made in your presence?

They might agree to school you. Or better yet, do your own research.

Point is: We aren’t used to it. It’s hard to realize how quickly we rise to our own defense when the conversation does not have straight, white society at the center. Our peace is disturbed. Stop it. Step down a peg. Take a seat.

 

Why White People Shouldn’t Impose Their Feelings Into Conversations on Race

The link below brings to mind another reason why.the gap between the lower and middle class grows wider each year. Who can COUNT ON an additional $3,000 EACH year, “on average”? Some reading these words will think its no big deal, while for others, such a safety net would be a dream come true.

My hero was my first mother-in-law. I was waking up early to pray, taking two buses to get my kid to daycare and then going to work, taking the grocery cart on the bus, and feeling like I had alot on me, while she, with 8 children, worked, woke up at 4:30 to iron and plan breakfast and lunch, and went and got her diploma at some point during all this – cooking big Sunday dinners for all of us to come back to, without a complaint. We all crowded onto the chairs, stairs and every available space. All her kids turned out better than fine, each one with a faithful fine heart, and brag-worthy loving kids of their own – a family that stayed together and takes care of that mom now without a thought – because that’s what you do.
Yet, so many recipients of the financial safety net largesse assume, WITHOUT QUESTION, that they are at the very least, on a level playing field with their colleagues – colleagues like my Ms. Geneva, or the single parent with the special needs children, or the night school attendees, paying their own way by working.
The corresponding secret held close by those financial have-nots, is the deep-seated frustration at those who can’t see. It’s not the inequality that creates the resentment, really. It’s that the help with the rent, car and home repairs, down payment on the house, preferential treatment when applying for jobs, housing etc, freedom from student debt – these add up to unacknowledged (or outright denied) privilege. This refusal to expand one’s world view, this lack of perspective is what causes the resentment.
Openly expressed gratitude and appreciation, towards parents, by their adult children, would create happier families.
Offering of genuine respect by those same adult children, toward peers who struggle and achieve, year after year, without such aid – these would go a long way toward creating less divided and repressed atmosphere among peers. #1stworldproblems #rudetonotice #dontaskdonttell #tabootopics

Secret of Many Urban 20-Somethings

Find Out the Truth

Our mind and your concerns are managed, when they fall in an area that threatens the powerful. It takes concerted effort to break out and get a more accurate picture. I will give you an example.

Those who favor healthcare as a right, outvoted others by at least a few million. So naturally, there are huge movements to save healthcare.

Yesterday, as an opening shot, there were rallies – big rallies. I know it did not come up on my news, but What came up on my news was this headline: “Trump Promises ‘Insurance for Everybody’ as Health Law Replacement”. What comes up on my news is that it is bound to happen and already in progress.

I knew of the rallies so I searched for them specifically. With a little trouble, I did find many articles. They were carefully crafted headlines that minimized the scope of the resistance. Most telling, was that most of THOSE articles had photo coverage limited to close-ups of Bernie hunched over the podium, or of two people walking holding up a sign.

So a person whose online profile clearly favors healthcare as a right, who thinks THAT is where my taxes should be going, not to war, like me – I get a very skewed picture. It is a demoralizing picture that misleads me as to what is going on. Here, after a long search, is a decent article.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-bernie-sanders-michigan-healthcare-rally-20170115-story.html

 

Get involved, find out what is going on. There IS hope.

Oregon’s Bundy Brothers? No Charges

National Guard? Tanks? Fire hoses? Burning the building down? I don’t wish this. I practice and believe in non-violence.

But when authorities kill the innocent or execute those guilty of the pettiest of property crimes, this is what peaceful protesters face…No one cares if ‘Hands up don’t shoot’ or ‘I can’t breathe.’..in a country where the right to peacefully protest is guaranteed, as is the right to survive and have a fair trial.

Are there FBI plants breaking through barriers, inciting this situation to tip over? Unnecessary. It HAS tipped over. But no one used it as an excuse for public executions.

Public schools are closed! Townspeople are FURIOUS. Violent bullies upset over the effects of property laws have staged an unlawful armed takeover of an area that serves all. Closed it until further notice.

Take all the time you need, folks.

These bullies have stepped right past you and the legislative process and they have their own army.

Your anger is not being encouraged. The airwaves aren’t FILLED with fear-mongering about the violence spreading to other cities – even though THAT THREAT IS REAL. How about the inconvenience to the non-protesting citizens, the tax dollars wasted on this?

This is not brought to a speedy end. We are settling in.

You don’t have to explain why to me. I live here too.

I am trying to get you to notice two aspects.

1. Social engineering at work. How we perceive events in our world (or don’t) is managed and steered. Question where your attention is directed.
2. Why anyone who loves ALL people understands the reason that the slogan is BLACKlivesmatter.

For me to concern myself with the cause of these men, I would have to know that me and mine have the right to protest over not loss of land, but loss of life….and that our lives would be protected and our situation viewed in proper perspective – and not fear-of-a-black-planet perspective, either.

I am not even saying I disagree with how this is being handled. I just wish I could count on the same care being given to my concerns.

So, whose life do you NOT mess with?
Ah. We see. And who brings the real threat of a lawless society?

Precious Traditions

This beautiful educational minute starts out with the words “It’s important to carry on your traditions and your culture.” That type of sentiment always puts me through a change. I know a novel-worthy anecdote about how my father’s side got to this country and my mom’s side was first generation Romanian-Russian. Her mom never even learned to speak English and her dad was not someone I would brag on – more an instructive tale of what happens when people are unwillingly uprooted. Everyone is not an “I can do it. I WILL do it!” success story. Some people get affected and don’t really recover. I was not given the opportunity to know much about my cultural heritage – although some of it seeped in from who my parents and older brothers and sisters WERE – their predilections. I received no training and for most of my childhood, lived with one determined, unique woman. She was completely alienated from this culture and that of her parents. In the absence of a tribe, I claimed humanity as my family. I was equal opportunity. I continue to do my own work, and to love and fight for all.

It’s Noticeable.

Am I not supposed to notice?

It’s late December of 2016. One fine day, a series of seemingly coordinated riots happened in malls across the country. These were not racially motivated – garden-variety vandalism – bored kids making trouble. Mall was shut down.

In Kentucky, there were over 2000 youths. No one was arrested. Not one person.

When I know full well that an 8-yr old black kid was involved in a one-on-one fistfight on the school playground, the school felt the need to call the police. He got suspended and taken to the police station – all before parents were notified. Am I not supposed to notice the difference in treatment?

Am I not supposed to notice that children of color are handled as adults?

A 12-yr old black boy was playing by himself in a park outside. He scared some woman looking out a 2nd floor window from down the street. He had something in his hand – a toy, a bb gun? She was too far away to identify. But she was not to far away to feel personally threatened. ‘I’d better do something.’ she thought. She called 911, the police arrived and within 2 seconds the boy lay dead.
0 hr. 0 min. 2 seconds.
On film. Unarmed. No time to ask him anything. Later, experts were to conclude his hands were in his pockets and not reaching for anything, as the police claimed.

Drove up, got out and opened fire.
No indictments. No charges. The end, in more ways than one.

Some of you reading this, will not be able to help looking to excuse, defend and understand the perpetrators of these crimes against youth. If this is you, you are asleep. You are brainwashed. You are the reason I distrust and name our injustice system for what it is.

Your sincere and kindhearted fear, your trust in our society as it is, it’s why I fear for boys and girls, teenagers and men and women of color.

Tamir Rice, we speak your name.

But hey, I’m happy these 2000 rioting youth were given the benefit of the doubt and treated humanely. It’s how it ought be and how it is for some people I know. But it’s not that way for others.

Tamir Rice, we speak your name.

I promise never to stop noticing.