Saturday, February 16, 2019

Come to Jesus

This phrase has often meant different things over time. This from the Urban Dictionary:
Originally an emotional experience that is life changing, it has evolved to mean a serious argument, one that better result in a change of action or else.

I have certainly used it in both its connotations and in turn this last year I have had several sit downs with myself to try to reconcile my issues regarding specifically race and religion living here in the center of the Bible Belt in the South which had one asked me a decade ago would I ever live in either or both I would have said: HELL TO THE NO.

This last week I spent another few days trying to search for name under the varying data collection services, MyLife, Spokeo, just to name a few.   I thought a year ago I had cleared up many sites but alas no they still exist and once again I have begun the exorcism to rid the negative energy that is out in the universe which is often beyond one's control.   True I have changed my name and moved and possess some semblance of privacy but we all know that we can never ever rid ourselves of the demons of our past.  Just ask the Governor of Virginia on that one or maybe ask Ryan Adams, R. Kelly, or anyone else of late who have found themselves a part of a microscope of life that apparently show that once a crime always a crime.    As for R. Kelly and Ryan Adams they have serious issues that seem to demand an intervention that may or may not include some time in the slammer. But again these are issues going back decades and no one did anything then so how will it change now?   But then again Bryan Singer whose name is still on the credits of Bohemian Rhapsody is now going to helm a camera again, the irony that it is Red Sonja a story about a survivor of sexual assault is not lost.   But the boys he harmed some did not survive and others are struggling to.  Maybe  Liam Neeson needs to go out and find confused drug addled Gay individuals or some Catholic Priests to wreck to even the score.  Imagine had Neeson confessed about a Priest raping him and his search to kill a Priest would have been received? Just a thought and a prayer.

Ah yes the thoughts and prayers that marked the commemoration of Parkland ended the week with another action of gun violence in Illinois.  That is another good way to do it, shoot and kill people. There is your National Emergency.

The other day on Public Radio I heard a discussion about the issues on how white people reconcile their feelings about race by apologizing and asking for forgiveness and with that it somehow means that we are acknowledging our racism and in turn avoiding what that means with regards to the bigger picture.  Then in turn I watched Bill Maher with John Legend and the outgoing Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emmanuel, talk about gun violence and prison reform. Here is what should have happened the two should be the only guests on the panel and then discuss how race and police and gun violence are hand in hand and that Chicago has a real problem with that all and what is the plan to resolve it.  Not.Going.To.Happen.

It is easy to be rich, to be famous and to have security in every sense of the word.  I could not believe what I saw on the show was Mr. Legend's video that depicted school scenes of gun violence and I was not sure that territory had already been marked by Childish Gambino's amazing , This is America, in a much better and deeper way.

I live in Nashville where I am afraid to take my garbage out at night as the violence perpetuated by teenagers, all faces of color, who are terrorizing our streets. They are threatening and killing people over car keys, over garbage, over sleights and drugs and whatever kids think when they are full of rage and have no outlet in which to direct in a healthy productive way.  Clearly the adults in their lives are already pulled tight and one parent had taken a her son to the Juvenile Center only to be released and a few days later he committed murder.  That says it all when it comes to handling the problems of the poor and black here in Nashville. For the record many of the kids who commit crimes are Latino and Kurdish they just don't get the play here as they are minorities within a minority but look into your own communities and ask yourself who are the poors and see if you know the faces that look like yours or not.

I can assure you I have talked all I plan to about race and my own issues and if that makes me a racist okay then, now what.  Here is where it all goes haywire and watching Bill Maher last night I realized that we just pick and pick apart anyone until we have no one left.  We never end the endless drama over mistakes made, apologies proffered and promises to never do it again until we do something again and it confirms that we we were right all along, you are a racist, a criminal, a dead beat or what have you.   One of the guests Maher made a point that all Black people go into every relationship with a white person distrusting them until they do what they promise.  Really?  Wow that must make it worse.  Imagine entering every single relationship where someone is different than you be that race, religion, gender or ethnicity where you do not trust them and when they do something that fails you and proves you right you do what? Kill them? Yourself?  Is Liam Neeson available for hire?

I then realized I do that when I walk into every single school here, I wait to be proved wrong. I see every kid and think here is another dangerous kid who is useless and just horrible.  I managed yesterday to see kids for a whopping 45 minutes and I was so happy to leave that I could not believe how lucky I was to end my week on that note.  Most of the kids did nothing and the few that did did not bother me or speak to me and I only spoke to them to tell them the instructions and then read the paper.  It was a perfect end to the week.   I had already forgotten where I was earlier in the week so I must be doing something right.

But again every day the news is filled with story after story about the state of Nashville Public Schools and lines are drawn, race cards tossed and the reality is that one blogger, Dad Gone Wild, finally changed his blog to be one that no longer takes comments and he simply writes his essays from a point of someone clearly exhausted that he has to continue to do as a such.  In Seattle we had the same and the one lone blogger who has remained doing so despite no longer living the city and having students in the schools feels compelled to write about them.  Since that time many other groups and activists have come and gone but the scandals and issues have not but at one point this should be an issue for the conventional mainstream press but alas no.  It does appear however that even in Nashville the shit and the fan are too much to ignore here and almost every network managed to cover some issue or another about the schools.  Yep its bad times here but did you know Amazon is coming?

No I have never done blackface, never raped anyone but I have been harmed by a boy of Muslim descent.  Do I hate Muslims no?  I have no energy to direct that much anger to a single group or faith.  But here in Nashville I do find myself looking at every Christian with either pity or dismissal, I look at faces of color and see nothing.  I don't see color I see nothing.  To be invisible is something I am familiar with as a woman over 50 I am pretty invisible.  I heard the endless discussion on Valentines Day with one of the experts, Dr. Pepper Schwartz, who was my Sociology Professor at the University of Washington in 1980, talking about intimacy and dating and how that is critical and my first thought: Wow I am old she must be a 100!    The stories about how people in my age are seeking intimacy and relationships was one I was familiar and as one nearly killed by such a quest I had decided that taking myself out of that loop was  a good plan.   The reality is that regardless of age that is one shared by many women and men as well.  I am so over MeToo I don't want to open another paper and hear about another man who has harmed someone while masking his drug addiction, fame addiction, and power that enabled this for decades.  So am I enabling and ignoring my sisters? Yes. Does that make me Misogynist?  No, no more in the way I dismiss the students as me being a Racist. Here is the deal,  did Liam actually just kill or beat up anyone of color?  No he expressed a time in his life that he allowed himself to be a racist and he did not act on it and he shared that he moved on but he understood race and rage.  Again imagine if it had been  Priest or a Gay Man?  We can do idiot things and be thought of as an idiot but then we learn to not be.  Or so we hope.  Did the Governor of Virginia show up at his Inauguration in a KKK hood with Blackface underneath?  No. But now is the time and the moment to make amends and what an opportunity to do so by actively engaging the Black community in which to do so.  Keep on keeping on there folks this is one opportunity that should not be lost. 

And then we could go deeper we could look at every single narrator and ask the same questions that consistently find fault. We have seen that of late with the new faces of Congress who have much to learn and in turn much to bring to the table. True when you arrive you are hopeful and you are scared and you turn to those whose experience and knowledge to guide and teach you.  And guess what you still fuck up.  But no we cannot forgive them and they must not be allowed to learn.  Wow how does that work exactly?  

The Mayor of Chicago is leaving but what has he done to change that dynamic. Nothing.  Proving that once again you do nothing you prove them right.  Chicago remains violent and divided.  The same for the public schools here what could have been truly a teachable moment has turned into a move the chairs on the Titanic and the only hope is that this Director leaves on his own record.  I doubt it as here in the Bible belt there are no Come to Jesus moments and we have learned that even when you do ask for support or forgiveness you will nor receive them.   Ask and you shall receive is a point of faith but apparently when it comes to having faith in those not like us we have none. Good to know.

Funny that I wanted to teach and love to learn and what I have learned is that I cannot teach not because I am unable but unwilling. There is the difference but at least I know that as I had my come to Jesus moment.  We all need some of those.

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