Here is a link that goes to a Face Book Post of an eyewitness account of the weekend’s racist events
and now it all melts
under falling skies
it’s the shining blood of stars
dropping and everything
spinning and melting
down under just
touch of that stricken star’s
living draining dying
and I wait
hope for morning
but know it in my bones
that everything’s sadly
melting, falling so fast
in slow motion away
swirling down to
“…now it is hidden from your eyes” (Luke 19:42)
Can you feel it
bouncing off steel beams
ricocheting off raw stone,
the sound of gunfire
off in the distance
grim and getting closer
in cold grey shuffling
it’s the sound
broken relationships bloody
gutted in the streets
and played out
before our eyes
horrified and haunted
we weep tears of disbelief
to the cold deaf earth
we sweep bodies like trash
into the yearning yawning earth
and yet we still will not
in this season
in this time
and Byrds sing
it’s not too late
but we have chosen
we have sung the zombie songs
and joined the charnel choirs
of the living dead because
we lacked the simple courage
to be the dead living…dead living!
we have chosen fear
we are drunk on distrust
we rave raw in revenge
we are sickened because
we ate only anger
and no one leads
no one guides
to whom shall we go?
who shall save us
We shed another’s blood
when we run out of answers.
They shed Their own pure blood
as Their one and only answer.
We kill, buried in despair.
They rise, giving us hope…
but will we open up our hearts
and see Them shining in our brother,
hear Them singing in our sister
irregardless of skin color
or religion, creed, or dolor?
Or will we just sink away
and slink away and dwell behind
those naked fig leaves and all truth
hidden from our eyes?
It is not pretty
It is not comforting
for I rub our noses in it,
is too much for me
and horror, hate is
all I see this day
go to the parades,
the barbeques, the picnics…
go to family and friends
and fireworks and fun…
with these words
stuck in your craw and
mashed down in your marrow,
and know that this is
the truth of where we are come,
where we have been led because
we will not lead and now we stand
on precipices and drunk upon our past
and deluded in our dreams of futures
that are just not real.
I am glad for our constitution
one of the major leaps
towards true liberty
in world history…
but omg just baby steps
and not a signal that we have
arrived and can stop walking…
we must see how insidious
we have been taught
to play the fiddle
to scenes of horror
that would warm
the cold dead bones
of Nero his ownself.
from the trappings
and tentacles that croon
to your swooning soul and seek
to pull you down into an addict’s
wet-dreamy tragic death
and make good your escape
while there is still a crack of time,
a sliver of hope milky moony white
and weakly glowing still
in this crashing night…
for it will break indeed
in tsunamis of terror
not brought here
from foreign lands
but homegrown in
these places we did not
attend to carefully
upon your bed,
whisper a prayer
and ask that you be
just delivered of a sliver
of that silver privilege,
slippery that squirms away
and wriggles fierce to live like that
insatiable chest burster of Alien…
PLEASE DELIVER US TO TRUE LIBERTY
and do not rest until
all can breathe until
all can breathe
Take the things you learn from this and apply them to other areas…and you will be able to see that you have met the enemy…
“This stress includes individual experiences of prejudice or discrimination, such as family rejection, harassment, bullying, violence, and victimization. Increasingly recognized as an aspect of minority stress is “institutional discrimination” resulting from laws and public policies that create inequities or omit LGBT people from benefits and protections afforded others.
“Individual and institutional discrimination have been found to be associated with social isolation, low self-esteem, negative sexual/gender identity, and depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders.
“These negative outcomes, rather than minority sexual orientation or gender identity per se, appear to be the key risk factors for LGBT suicidal ideation and behavior.”
I am sharing this truly scintillating essay, and the pull quote above is the core for me.
I just wanna say that I was raised white, though thru my father there is a truly multi-cultural heritage biologically and racially…but I was…raised white. Fortunately for me, I was never inculcated with racist bull shit, to the point that in college in the 80s I had a dear friend literally shock me when he told me I was the least racist person he had ever met…and yes, I did hear and note his use of the word “least”…which said volumes to me but in a language that I could not decipher or understand.
Well…since coming to terms with myself and understanding my gender journey, my life has changed in shattering ways, stunning and transcendent ways…but most importantly of all I was delivered from the ocean at last…
and became aware of so much that I never knew, could never see, even as a fish in the sea has no clue that it is in the sea.
I understand the comment of my friend now…”least racist”.
I wish I had the words and ways to let my friends, acquaintances and loved ones who are subject to that which they are subject to for the absolute worst and most insignificant of reasons KNOW that I get it now…
Oh, I will NEVER get it for the reason that they are made subject, anymore than any cis-gender person will ever “get it” in any way other than developing a deep and sincere sympathy and resolute commitment to love and live that love…
But I do get it now, the persecution, the othering, the abuse, the hatred and the fucking demonic unreasoning irrational stupidity of those besotted and drunk on the luck of the draw and the fate of biology.
My friends, and you know who you are…this post is for you…may I always find the joy I have found in solidarity with you and the love of your deep suns of being that shine undefeated and undefeatable! May I always have the heart, the eyes to see and to be inspired time and again with your indomitable spirit, will, but most of all your LOVE which just fucking never quits, CAN never quit.
You have no idea, the moments you have dragged me thru…you bearing the hate directed at you due to skin and me bearing the hate directed at me due to a variation on skin but essentially a common thing we walk in…times I was on the way out, and I would read sumfin, hear sumfin, think of sumfin…and be inspired and lifted up in your heart of hearts.
Now? I can at least have the means to find the remaining privilege I have and divest myself of it intentionally…it doesn’t always go, it is stuck to my skin color…but at last it is not stuck to me.
I regret only that it took as long as it did for my understanding and seeing eyes to catch up to what my heart must have known for my friend to tell me what he told me. We intersect…and for the rest of my days on earth I am expanding that intersection with every ounce of love, faith, hope, grace and mercy that is mine.
To the rest of my friends: please take it in faith that your privilege is there, is stuck to you, and is a legacy that you can use if you will but set your heart in a frame of humility and ask that your eyes be opened…hopefully you will gain insight without experiencing it being ripped away…but if that is what it takes, it is better that this occur rather than go thru your life blind while thinking you see.
oh america, alas for me
once blind but now, alas!
I see…what I could not see before
safely ensconced behind my placid doorof hallels, proverbs, judgements
assumed and (not) asked and answered
while Perry Mason spoke for me
Paul Drake got me off
Della Street hid me safe.
oh america, you hid from me
your bloody dungeons, grisly gore
your carrion teeth hungry for more
I weep in agony, I never saw that side
of you, rapacious, avarice-infected, ravenous
writhing in flaming hatred and strife
sirens screaming and bullconner bullhorns
in the tramping of jackboots and protests for freedom
I hear the desperate pleading for life and liberty
their chains rattle like thunder
but america, you hear only dice
rolling on your green table
of gambling and greed and
just be oh so niceI wish I could just rip myself
straight outta me, tear that
born and bred into ease
from my arteries, and my
narcissistic “I’m so vain”
from my veins and be fresh
be free…oh america…alas for you and me
as I watch our best, our brightest
still chained in our simpering
lobs of “be nice, calm down, be polite”
lobotomized and safe in facebook internments
prisoners in consumer kraalsand poetic deftness flees me
abandons me in this hour of my need
oh grace deliver me from selfish greed!
oh Mama let me run to truth so clean with godspeed
I lose mastery in the horror of this hour
alas, oh america, I lament for me
alas…I lament for thee
and do not know if you will find the courage
to face yourself in the mirror of your victims
the ones you killed and ate and burped
and called it good.
oh america, oh america
God have mercy on thee
and trip you up and toss you down
and take from you that gory crown
of racism, racism racism racism
from sea to shining sea and in betweenmay God remove that hood that blinds
you to brotherhood, to good, to kind
give you eyes to see (oh god let me see)
give you ears to hear (oh god let me hear)
give you a heart at last and courage
to look at what you’ve done and left undone
I will conquer myself.
I will dig up the pride…I will take a crowbar
and pry out the broken
|—||Anne Sexton – from The Civil War|
Constance: there is a lot of this sort of talk running around these days…WASP types complaining about racism. This article addresses that sort of thinking and does it very well.
If you think that anyone can be a racist, you are likely missing the point being driven at regarding a system in which racism is endemic and deeply rooted so badly as to be like a cancer riddling an entire body.
But what troubles me most in all of this is that we are so invested in proving that people of Color are “more racist” than we are or that we’re not racist, we are more upset by allegations that we might be racist than about the very real ways that racism plays out in the society around us.
I see my fellow White people so wrapped up in defending the idea that systemic racism doesn’t exist that we are unable to empathize with the real pain caused to people of Color by racism, both interpersonal and systemic.
For goodness sake, even the McKinney police admitted Eric Casebolt was out of line in assaulting a young Black girl for legally observing his actions, yet White people in my life were trying so hard to explain how the officer was in the right and how this “isn’t racial.”
All of this leaves me wondering about the roots of our defensiveness to admitting that racism is alive and well.
Why are we so resistant to acknowledging the countless examples of our racial privilege?
Past Lady Liberty, looming silent still
thru slant snow, icy, cold,
frozen feet firmly planted
atop the broken chains
of captives loosed, unbound.
Past her seeming sightless eyes
fixed on an end unseen (as yet)
by mortal eye, and unfelt by
frozen human hearts transfixed,
addicted to poisonous demon draughts,
dolorous naughts of racism,
I fly steady on…I fly.
My breath a billows sucking air
frozen cold in sips so sharp
in hurty breaths constricted, choked,
and exhalations honk their way
from my leaping, working chest
tugging me on towards Her Light,
into Liberty’s coming sun.
Follow…follow past frozen
Liberty so stark and solitary
standing witness silent
but never mute!
Follow me bravely
and let your frozen breath
be transformed into
HONKS of freedom
to the ones enslaved
still by fear and hatred.
I fly on, true.
I fly on.
on my way in, fresh from the country,
to Great Jerusalem, the Holy City
to celebrate Passover, thinking of freedom
and feasts and those deep songs,
ah those deep songs, the deep songs of Zion…
singing of our God’s core act in our history
when our sins were placed on that innocent lamb
and we huddled safe ‘neath that thick crusty blood
drying over our heads on the lintel…
and dripping down over us…
But I didn’t know what this day held for me!
A burden offensive I did not deserve,
A shame I did not seek to bear for myself!
I was suddenly thrust in the middle of angry men
and wailing women rushing to Golgotha,
the place of the Skull and such sinister lack!
I was seized from the crowd! What the fuck!
Take your hands from me!
Who are these crowds and who is this crushed Man?!?
Lynch mob? A Riot? What! A crucifixion!?
Take that crossbeam off my back and unhand me!
Why do you hurt and defile me with this offense?
Oh…cus my skin is black. That’s it…again
Black and dishonored, blatant offensive
and reeking with less than, no station in your sight
you burden me with this beam meant for that broken king
staggering there right in front of my eyes
so bloody, so beaten, such shame and affront!
I reject your hate burden and wash my hands clean!
But the soldiers and swords at my neck said otherwise,
and I walked behind the condemned shameful shamble
who clearly was cursed and would hang from this tree,
dishonored by Rome, so repugnant to me…
and then back we went, outside the city walls
climbing that desolate hillside so distant!
Wrong place, wrong time, how did I get here,
walking behind this weak beaten Jesus
and my beautiful Passover torn from my hands
in stark interruption and shadows of crosses?
There I walked, behind him and lost in my thoughts
and I ate the dirt gritty outside that great city.
Then Jesus stopped, His chest heaving in agony
and dripping blood, He turned to the women
who mourned there and wailed, and He spoke to them
something so strange and unusual, mayhap just farcical
In this absurd tableau, in this mockery here
of the beautiful Passover there!
“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me;
weep for yourselves and for your children.
For the time will come when you will say,
‘Blessed are the barren women,
the wombs that never bore
and the breasts that never nursed!
They will say to the mountains,
“Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”‘
For if men do these things when the tree is green,
what will happen when it is dry?”
I recognized these lines as the words of a prophet
and spoken of old by our God Who would show heart
with love that would not quit or come to an end…
and then Jesus walked on, up that hill on that path
to the place of the skull where they stripped Him stark naked
and took His piece and mine, and nailed them together
and propped that cross in the sky and nailed Him there to die…
and me, stood there, dumbly
looking on stupidly
this rank act so coarse
and bloody and final
Then I was shoved to the ground and they kicked at me,
told me my work here was done and it wasn’t
my problem or burden to bear, it was all on His shoulders
so get out of here! But I stayed, and I saw how His red Blood ran ragged
and dripped from those beams, His and mine there united
I heard Him cry out to His Father in Heaven,
I wondered if that was Our God of Passover???
I saw Him speak to a criminal there right beside Him
He told this man Paradise waited! He spoke to His mother,
He suffered in agony, said He was THIRSTY, so thirsty for comfort!
“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do”
and then they mocked and called Him King of the Jews!
Then He gave up the ghost to the Hands of His Father
And that lamb then, this Lamb now, merged one with the Other!
Now, these years later and older (and younger)
I think of the words of a poet disturbing
the beginning is often the end, and I think of that Cross
such a stumbling block to every toe of the living and dead,
and the Man who had hung there, and died,
and the earthquake that followed and the curtain of Presence
was torn from the Top to the bottom (just like my heart).
Twisting inside me, entwined there in red and white
lamb and Lamb, Passover and that odd “Pass-Under”
knitted together and stuck in my craw
in the echoes and memories of that long walk
that I took, there behind Him, and His piece and mine
and the stories of death conquered, stones rolled away
and a risen sun dawning on Risen Lord Laughing!!
I was on my way somewhere else…
the cross, this shocking interruption
on that day, on that red death day…
and so it remains now
and forever more.
“The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood-
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.” T. S. Eliot
Similarities between Blake Brockington and Leelah Alcorn
1. They wore both Transgender.
2, They were both rejected by their families. (Blake was in fostercare because his family kicked him out)
3. Their ages. (Blake had just turned 18, and Leelah was 17 turning 18)
4. They both commited suicide.
So explain to me why this well known Transgender activist, Blake Brockington, who raised thousands for charity and became the first black transgender homecoming king is getting almost no media attention. Leelah Alcorn trended across Twitter and Tumblr—even got her own Wikipedia page and article in People magazine.
This is by no means a comparison or a contest for opression. But Blake Brockington deserves the same memorial Leelah Alcorn was given— if not more. Three thousand to three hundred and sixty four( and that is including articles about him winning @ HOCO) .
The only clear difference between them is his race. Preserve this young man’s life.
REST IN POWER KING, BLAKE BROCKINGTON.
Constance, the above is a quoted passage that I found today…I think it is worth noting the first four points as the only important thing…and then it is worth noting that race was a huge significant factor in this disparaging difference as the only factor! Both and. Not either or!
Fight off issue fatigue, and keep passionate about freedom and life.
Another very well written and informative explanation of privilege…please check it out. If you, as I once was , are blind to the ways your skin color or your gender status or your monetary status give you special access to good things and special protection from bad things, then take it from me in faith who once was as you but now can see…
…the consideration of these persuasive words is essential for anyone who desires to live the best expression of justice, mercy and humility that they can.
And as always, I am grateful and humbled that you come here and spend your time!
I encourage you all to read this. It is beautifully and powerfully written.