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

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?

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

http://imaginepeacetower.com/

Women, Here’s a Time to Just Say Yes

Richard Branson quoteThis is my hope and wish for our next generation of women. All in the socialization.

A male friend once explained to me that this right here is the difference between men and women in the work force when faced with a step up.

Women feel dishonest if they take on something without being certain of all the steps, how it will unfold, if they can do it. They are not being good little girls. It’s scary and risky so it can’t be right.

Men know that, on the contrary, that is precisely the attitude required to ‘get somewhere’, ‘make yourself into something’, SUCCEED, discover and realize your potential.

All in the socialization. My wish for the current generation of young women and for all female children.