my mother's family lived in the black/poor side of universally perceived of as upscale newton- an area later raised to put in the mass pike. my grandfather was a cop, the only man on the force who willingly had a black partner, a man, the only black on the force at the time, who along with his family were often guests in our home in defiance of 1940's/1950's american conventions. few black or white people at the time had actually had members of another race in their homes, let alone at their dinner tables. my family is not pioneering or unusual. they were not civil rights crusaders of any sort. they were poor, of meger education, but had spent generations in poverty in close approximation, i feel, with african americans in similar circumstances. it's my suspicion, unproven, that, besides the inter marriages in the 50's and 60's, there may have been earlier blood relations formed, perhaps in nova scotia , hence their living in areas that were predominantly black. dna will prove that, i suppose, one way or the other- not that it matters. it will neither make of me a better nor worse person. i will not be more or less attuned to bigotry or more able to detect it lurking surreptitiously in others. your ancestors are you. hating part of yourself because of skin color is patently absurd and ultimately a well spring of loathing for yourself and those with whom you may share a portion of your racial heritage. race hatred always evolves from one's own feelings of inferiority. using this hatred and self loathing as a means to power isn't Change- it's standard operating procedure with an ancient, near eternal history. people will do whatever vile despicable thing, like turning on their white mother, or inflaming racial hatred ( see kristellnacht: http://frank.mtsu.edu/~baustin/knacht.html ) for personal power over other humans. we must always stand against corruption and manipulation of this sort because it represents, no matter where on the scale of intensity, an attack on every standard of liberty and democracy we claim to value in this country. if hatred is perpetual, an unavoidable aspect of life on earth with selfish, violent beings, the truth is eternal. the egyptians thought that truth was the one thing like Isis, the mother of all the gods and goddesses- the oldest, most sacred ideal that can neither be destroyed nor ultimately ignored. seek Her out. stand for Her uncompromisingly. ignore Her at your peril. admit when you have failed Her. don't let anyone get away with abjuring Her.
" We must at last recognize the lie is a more potent weapon, skillfully wielded, than the bare and simple truth, as Adolph Hitler once so forcefully declared and has since demonstrated. For the lie can be molded to match the ' will to believe'; the truth is made of less malleable stuff."-" The Devil and the Jews", Joshua Trachtenberg
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices."— Voltaire
as a result of my upbringing, i have always been perturbed at any race based hatred no matter from which color it derived. clearly, i am about as white as they come physically but that still doesn't disqualify me from being outraged at injustice and bigotry of any sort. hence my current horror that a man who for 20 years faithfully followed race based hatred in the form of an alleged church would even be considered by any political party for the office of president. if a caucasian had belonged to a racially devisive and radical organization promoting race hatred-like the KKK-there's no way in hell he'd have a chance at being nominated for dog catcher . that our society would allow someone because of their skin color to entertain notions of racial inferiority and superiority without censure, with, in fact, encouragement especially concerning antisemitism and Israel, shows how very dishonest and morally corrupt we have collectively become. and also how full of hatred for ourselves we are, as a people, in a country that has done more through the years for the very concepts of democracy, freedom and human equality and dignity than any african, arab, asian or european nation.
obama's skin color and ethnicity( he's actually half white and the other half isn't african but of primarily arabic origin, people of middle eastern descent have always been considered caucasian racially.) do not bother me. it's the manipulation of facts, the lies and the smearing of "white" americans as a means to power that does along with the strong taint of antisemitism that clings to him from his church and political connections in chicago-associations he refuses to honestly and directly address. that an explanation wasn't demanded of a man running for presidency shows how very broken our ' free press' is. good fruit never comes from the poisoned tree now matter how cute it is and how well it can read a teleprompter. that one of his first acts in the mythical office of president elect was to send someone to make the happy change noises at those who want to destroy the jews is profoundly disturbing. anyone whose political agenda involves mentioning jews specifically- well - we all know where that leads. if we let anything happen to israel we will be the willing executioners and just as morally culpable as germany ,1939.
i was particularly disturbed by His Lordship, King Barry, claiming that the man who in fact freed the slaves in the united states- and was murdered for doing so- abraham lincoln (Republican, illinois), wasn't such a great liberator after all but just another stupid bumbling racist cracker. while it's currently oh so au currant to view lincoln negatively through 20th century eyes via 20th century mores and fashions-a fraudulent, completely unfair pursuit that only fascists and communists, not real historians, generally indulge in with no shame- the facts are that, personally, lincoln believed that all men should be free and that slavery was a moral wrong and he IS responsible for ending slavery in the united states for whatever reason one may opt to ascribe to him. when he was elected, slavery was legal. when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, slavery was legally ended. like all of us- including saint obama- abraham lincoln was a flawed human being having many of the prejudices of many men of his time . unlike obama, he was a self made, self taught man raising from southern poverty to the office of president . he was a very controversial, divisive, hated political figure. he faced the dissolution of the united states of america, the destruction of an entire country. against incredible odds that no other president has had to face before or since, he not only saved the union but freed african americans from the evil of slavery. what the fuck else was he suppose to have done to deserve some respect and acknowledgment? bomb federal buildings and kill civilians like william ayers? spew the feel bad ideology of self serving revisionist black liberation theology racism- the clarion call of victimhood and self disempowerment- like many of obama's political and , even more frightening, moral mentors ( the rev. wright, louis 'fuck those demon jews' farrahkan)? how about mau mauing money out of large corporations for his own pocket like the great liberator jesse jackson? spew misogyny and racial hatred and support torturing, murdering tyrants as long as their skin is black like one of michelle obama's heros, stokely carmichael?
"The first great man that I talked with in the United States freely who in no single instance reminded me of the difference between himself and myself, of the difference of color."-frederick douglass on abraham lincoln.
it is Veteran's Day and this still is part of my electronic day of the dead altar. William is the grandfather of my mother's father. they called him 'grandpa medals' because he was a decorated civil war hero. he ran away from home at the age of 14 to fight in the war. the proudest day of his life was when he shook the hand of the man he called ' the great liberator', abraham lincoln. william was proud of his service to this country and i'm proud of him- he was only a child when he willingly risked his life for the preservation of the Union and the promise of freedom for us all. for, in the end ,despite the sorrow and anguish the civil war was the heir to and author of, no matter for what personal or less than altruistic reasons william may have fled into the arms of war, the outcome was a country making good on the promise of human freedom and liberty and living up to its founding principles. if there are no people like william, who offer to fight and perhaps die for democratic governance that preserves individual, not the collective's, liberties, there would be no civil rights and no freedom of religion and speech and no right for us to live our lives as we wish to-without interference from a capricious king or lord or an equally capricious social and economic set of enslavements. william reminds me that there really are things worth fighting for, things worth speaking out against and that the color of someone's skin has nothing to do with how we should assess their character or whether we should elect them president. we strive to do the right thing, to know the right thing which is always the Truth. we fight against our failings and prejudices and know that real hope and true change always lies in the truth not in lies no matter how pretty and self aggrandizing and no matter how good they may make us feel. we will never escape the tragedies of our individual pasts and the historical past if we do not embrace forgiveness and redemption and stop blaming people collectively for circumstances they were alive to neither support nor rectify. wallowing in punishing others based on their perceived race is why murderers like oj simpson are set free- a profound injustice based in misogyny and the deranged, irrational and immature politics of race revenge. many white people( most of them for religious reasons, most of them being christians) at the time thought of slavery as a great wrong, an evil. it is because of them and their dedication to a cause that was based in truth that it ended in our country. they rose above to higher ground. if we cannot honestly acknowledge our advancements in justice but rather roll around for selfish purpose in real, old or mendaciously constructed projections of injustice it will be ruinous .
thank you william for your sacrifice. you are not forgotten. or, are you?