Not All Whites

Beqi Brinkhorst: “Yes, white people should take a backseat when discussing racism. Someone’s going to have to take a backseat, that’s how it works. Why WOULDN’T it be the section that isn’t the victim of the subject? By making your own hurt feelings (as a white person) the focus of the discussion, you are proving the point of racism, not fighting it.”

Me: What she said. We find it SO HARD to just not be the center and to have someone else’s concerns be THE focus. The end. The hurt feelings, the painstaking parsing, the “but not all whites”. As someone else wisely pointed out, Of COURSE ‘not all…’. That’s why we’re sitting here having this conversation together! The assumption is, that is understood, UNTIL you felt anxious and just HAD to derail the topic because a conversation on race cannot take place without that insertion. “Yes, there, there. Of course we know it’s not all whites.”

Doesn’t matter that POC spend 90% of the time carefully appearing not to notice and staying focused in a world that is filled with micro-aggressions towards them, and dealing with assumptions made about them. That’s different. White people’s hurt feelings must always be the priority if they are present. And that is just as it should be. But oh, it’s everyone ELSE that’s “too sensitive”. Sigh.

I’m Not Cynical

I’m not cynical. It’s the opposite. From time to time, when I give my take on a topic in the news, I receive a surprised, “You’re so cynical.” People getting to know me don’t expect it, because I AM so positive. They expect rays of sunshine and daisies to flow from my lips. Hey, sometimes they do!

As a child, no one was really protecting me or to what I was exposed. So in the poor section of Miami Beach, I saw many things and experienced many things, too. Most of all, I saw really wealthy people come to act out where no one knew them. ALOT.

And at the apartment, I lived with an intelligent and curious person who was so done with being a parent and was still an abuse survivor as well as overworked, distracted and beaten-down-by-patriarchy.

So I am not surprised by things in the news that others are debating whether to believe at all. And to me, it is a KINDNESS to speak the truth and not look away from it. It’s what we can do!

Rape and child abuse are HUGE in this country. Note: My only question re Cosby is: Who did he piss off? What deal did he try to get out of that it is now suddenly Cosby open season? Of course he did it. But to think it is so uncommon…that is the part. Which well-paid underling was steering these hopeful girls to Cosby? Same with Jerry Sandusky case – only it should be a wake-up call and not “now we got that bad guy”. How many underlings looked the other way? For how many years? How many faceless peers shared his “interest” in founding Second Mile children’s charity? What did they tell themselves? So sad.

But a villain is found and scapegoated, thrown to the wolves so the rest can continue in quiet. If this is news, sorry to wreck your high.

You think it stops because it’s unpleasant to you when you notice it?

I REALLY don’t get the “staying positive” thing!!!! It looks to me like doing your part to support business-as-usual. And yet we wonder at the Holocaust and those reprehensible slave-owners. “How could this go on for so long?”

I am not for sensationalism. I get no kick. Check this: I don’t even rent movies with violence and sadism in them! That leaves out wide swathes of popular culture, that I would otherwise enjoy, let me tell you.

How come we are so into it on the screen but it’s so “inappropriate” and “extremist” to stand up to it in real life??!!!

I have an idea. How about learning to feel elevated, liberated and kind and good when you recognize an unpleasant reality for the first time? I think anything OTHER than that is CYNICAL!! Because it’s not telling the truth when deep in you, you know. How do YOU define cynicism?

And you have to ask, who are you protecting? And why?

Anne Frank, Slavery, A Piece of God, the President, Choice

Anne Frank

Annelies Marie Frank was born 85 years ago today in Frankfurt, Germany. She would be one of the more than one million children who perished in the Holocaust, but her diary endures. On her birthday, learn more about Anne Frank, read some of her original writings, and help us pay tribute to her and all children who lost their lives during the Holocaust:
Photo: Anne Frank Stichting
Anne Frank would have been 85 today. We try to act like the most famous and horrific injustices and war crimes, such as the Holocaust and United States officially sanctioned African slave trade and culture are ANCIENT history.

In the case of the Holocaust, some survivors still exist. My father arrived here as a small boy, long before WW II, his parents escaping the Cossacks with the clothes on their backs. But I understand that much of my family that had found it’s way to Europe was lost to the Nazis.

Still, we have rampant memes and story lines, the incessant drumbeat, “all Jews come from money, stick together and are scheming to (or have) taken over the world.” Sadly, I know that these narratives are SO pervasive and convincing that odds are at least one person reading even my extremely progressive (“Hurry up, world, I got grandkids. It was supposed to be better by now!”) posts is actively struggling not to buy in.

Then some BORN into generations of American slavery passed away only recently and their 1st generation non-enslaved children and grandchildren still walk among us, suffering the effects of generations of systematically abused and abolished families and destroyed cultural heritage. The fruits of the efforts to find, restore, reclaim and rebuild are nothing short of stunning. But, still…

We all know the range of ways that we accept and face this or find ourselves being fed some flavor of the “that should have no effect on today, hey, X immigrant group were derided, discriminated against and denied employment too, we all came from somewhere”, whitewash.

In honor of little Anne Frank, who never got to do more in life, than write her hopes and insights (“I still believe people are really good at heart. “) into her diary, let’s resolve to speak out against corruption, torture, slavery and abuse, including of our Earth, still existing in today’s world instead of being part of an equally ongoing, unchanging it’s-not-so-bad, whitewash.

Our president is not a descendent of enslaved destroyed families. His mom had a fine start in life and he never knew his African academic father. He wrote an entire book about his efforts to piece together his paternal background and to understand the choices of this man.But still, his skin color is routinely pointed to as proof that “Everything is all better now. See?” As our President, he would be the first to look around and explain to you why that is not the case. We got work to do – not for the good of some of us, but for the good of all of us.

Still, we persist in dismissing our ANCIENT HISTORY. “How could THAT have happened?” “Oh it was long ago. That would never happen today.” Yes, it could and is. It’s always so complex. There are always so many factors. Money and power struggles are always involved.

Buddhism teaches the three poisons of avarice, anger and stupidity, from which all evil stems. All human beings have an inherent enlightened nature too, though – a piece of God or Spirit within, if you prefer. There is always a choice as to how our life force manifests moment to moment. Follow ingrained habits and tendencies? Or break free?

Today, I will try to love as if I honor and cherish the hopes and dreams of little Anne Frank. I am proud to live in a community where so many fight the good fight to support, restore, repair, build anew, where hope is very much alive and action is the name of the game.


Yoko Ono

Yoko Ono is an oft-misunderstood figure. In her 80’s, still performing, partnering, involved – she is a remarkable person and STILL way ahead of her time if you ask me.

Along with her performance art and her fearless outside -the- box activism, she has always had an engineer’s mind and that is what many fail to recognize.

There was a reason John Lennon worshipped her and that speaks well of him. She was doing her own thing and unaware of him when they met.

But all the world saw was “broke up the Beatles” (untrue), not pretty (ditto but who cares), “too outspoken” (really?).

Misogyny anyone?

Dear Friends
As all of us are devastated by the loss of so many lives of innocent children in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, I will be lighting IMAGINE PEACE TOWER on Thursday 7th August, hoping that such violence will stop immediately.
With deep sadness and love, yoko
Yoko Ono Lennon
1 August 2014

The Majority of Blind Men, the Elephant and Renisha McBride

Renisha McBride is the 19-year old woman who crashed her car on Nov, 2013, and was shot dead in the face while seeking help. After the accident, discombobulated (with a possible head injury), she found her way to Mr. Wafer’s house and knocked on the door in the wee hours. Speaking of narratives (pardon the pun), the Associated Press chose the following words to announce the success of the prosecution in the McBride murder case:

“Suburban homeowner convicted of second degree murder for killing woman who showed up drunk on porch.”

Okay, now just try to imagine a young white girl, all alone, coming from a night out, crashing, stumbling alone, a long way, finding a black neighborhood, finally – arriving on someone’s front step – disoriented and disheveled. A black man answers and ends the encounter by shooting her in the face.

With a tip of the hat (H/T) to and Robt. Jones, here are just a few of the reactions that parody the AP tweet.The hashtag generated was#apheadlines

U.S Ships refuse to get out of way of Japanese bombs causing a mess to form in Pearl Harbor #APHeadlines

Black people in Detroit participate in collective water fast to curve rising cost of living expenses #APHeadlines

Unfriendly Woman Causes Own Harassment by Not Responding to Stranger’s Compliment #APHeadlines

RT @AP: Overly Friendly New York City Police Hug Drug Dealing Man To Death #APHeadlines

Four little girls perish when gentlemen play with explosives in Birmingham building. #apheadlines


Too much of the time, as I walk through the world and what I see is described back to me by the media, and then I hear people defending these media portrayals, and I feel my face go awry like one of Picasso’s paintings with the eyes all on top of each other, nose askew. I’m all there, but upside down and jumbled. I was so thankful to read the article with the parody tweets. It set my head aright for a minute.The AP headline and the response to it makes the case better than I ever could as to why we need to insist on genuine respect and value for EVERYONE’S story lines. The scales tip just a little in the other direction and for some, the world is coming to an end, so sensitive are these folks to the slightest loss of comfort and standing, to not being the center, as God clearly intended. Mocking, degrading, dismissing this point as “political correctness” is falsehood of epic proportions. It’s the real “sin”. It prevents growth.

Truth is, most of these story lines STILL have not been expressed, spoken or written. There’s been no space for them to germinate, bubble up and display. No interest, really. Light-skinned folks have been sucking up all the air in the room

The white protagonist – always the hero, savior, villain, misunderstood, well-meaning, troubled, insane – but one thing for sure: ALWAYS the one of interest, always the one we are struggling to understand. Others? Cardboard cutouts, supporting characters at best, best friends, instigators – or triggers for the plot line of some poor victim, as in the case with the murder of a 19-yr old girl seeking help. Poor Mr. Wafer.

Could it be any more clear that we need EVERYONE’s help to see a more complete truth in this environment?


I am sure someone else has articulated this more gracefully, but we must ascribe value to our OWN lives. It is up to US to dignify ourselves. I’ve learned that, if nothing else.

I’m a music freak. All genres have artists that touch my soul and give me life. What dazzled me about the emergence of hiphop (not manufactured FrankenHiphop) was this: Here is the group of people that our society wants to HEAR from the LEAST. Society tried at every turn, to overwrite the true stories of young black men with its own narrative.

And what happens? Out of artistic hearts and the deep cellular roots of a tradition of oral history, bursts a form of music that centers on what? suppressed thoughts and words. Not “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”, but relating explicit truth to one another – society’s unwanted truth that will not be denied.

Mass media has twisted and co-opted it beyond recognition, and true artists have gone on to evolve it into something new. But not only my ass moved from those first old school jams. My musical heart was moved to tears of both laughter and sorrow. I am sorry for you if Рthrough exposure to top 40 rotation only and listening to what-other-people-said and 15 second snippets, Рyou missed it. #wonderoflifeforce #respecteachperson  #giftofart