Stuart Carlson, @ carlsontoons.com
HOWARD WOLPE, EX-CONGRESSMAN WHO PUSHED FOR ’86 ANTI-APARTHEID ACT
Published: October 29, 2011
Howard E. Wolpe, a former congressman who played a crucial role in passing legislation that imposed economic sanctions on South Africa in the 1980s, helping to bring an end to apartheid while overcoming two vetoes by President Ronald Reagan, died Tuesday at his home in Saugatuck, Mich. He was 71.
His cousin Bruce Wolpe said the cause had not been determined.
Mr. Wolpe, a Democrat, represented the Third Congressional District in southwestern Michigan for 14 years, starting in 1978. He was chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Africa from 1982 to 1992. That placed him at the forefront of America’s policy response to the growing domestic movement pressuring South Africa’s government to end more than half a century of white supremacist rule.
He was a primary sponsor of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, which imposed sanctions against American companies doing business in South Africa. Among its provisions, it called for government pension plans to withdraw their investments from corporations doing billions of dollars of business there.
That was too blunt for the White House. “President Reagan saw South Africa as an important ally against expansion of Soviet influence, and he was a very pro-business president,” Steve McDonald, director of the Africa program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, said on Friday. “He wanted to use what he called ‘constructive engagement’ with the government to bring an end to apartheid.”
Mr. Reagan twice vetoed versions of the law. Though the second draft was weaker, in Mr. Wolpe’s opinion, he led the effort to marshal the bipartisan support needed in both the House and Senate to overturn the second veto.
From the House floor on Aug. 1, 1985, he declared: “The white minority regime will abandon apartheid, and will agree to enter into negotiations with the credible black leadership of the majority of the population, only at that point when it concludes that it has more to lose than to gain by attempting to hold on to apartheid.”
Mr. Wolpe retained his concern for Africa well after he retired from Congress in 1992. In a statement on Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that “as special envoy to Africa’s Great Lakes Region under President Clinton, he supported peace talks that helped bring an end to longstanding civil wars in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.”
Howard Eliot Wolpe was born in Los Angeles on Nov. 3, 1939, the only child of Arthur and Zelda Wolpe. He graduated from Reed College in Oregon and went on the earn a doctorate in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Soon after, he began teaching at Western Michigan University. He was later a professor at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.
Before entering Congress, Mr. Wolpe served in the Michigan House of Representatives. He ran for governor in 1994 but lost to the incumbent, John Engler.
Mr. Wolpe’s first marriage, to Celia Jeanene Taylor, ended in divorce. He is survived by his wife, Julianne Fletcher, and a son from his first marriage, Michael.
Apartheid ended in 1994. Among the conditions for lifting sanctions in the legislation championed by Mr. Wolpe was that the South African government release Nelson Mandela from prison.
“One of the first calls that Mandela made when he was finally released in 1990,” Mr. McDonald said, “was to Howard Wolpe to thank him for playing the role he did in passing the law.”
JAMES HILLMAN, THERAPIST IN MEN’S MOVEMENT
Published: October 27, 2011
James Hillman, a charismatic therapist and best-selling author whose theories about the psyche helped revive interest in the ideas of Carl Jung, animating the so-called men’s movement in the 1990s and stirring the pop-cultural air, died on Thursday at his home in Thompson, Conn. He was 85.
The cause was complications of bone cancer, his wife, Margot McLean-Hillman, said.
Part scholar, part mystic and part performance artist in his popular lectures, Mr. Hillman began making waves from the day he became the director of studies at the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich in 1959.
Mr. Hillman followed his mentor’s lead in taking aim at the assumptions behind standard psychotherapies, including Freudian analysis, arguing that the best clues for understanding the human mind lay in myth and imagination, not in standard psychological or medical concepts.
His 1964 book, “Suicide and the Soul,” challenged therapists to view thoughts of death not as symptoms to be cured but more as philosophical longings to be explored and understood. A later book, “Re-Visioning Psychology,” argued that psychology’s narrow focus on pathology served only to amplify feelings of anxiety and depression.
Feelings like those, he said, are rooted not in how one was treated as a child or in some chemical imbalance but in culture, in social interactions, in human nature and its churning imagination. For Mr. Hillman, a person’s demons really were demons, and the best course was to accept and understand them. To try to banish them, he said, was only to ask for more trouble.
He might advise a parent trying to manage, say, a mentally troubled son to begin by “stop trying to change him.”
By the time he returned to the United States in 1970s, Mr. Hillman had adapted Jungian ideas into a model he called archetypal psychology, rooted in the aesthetic imagination. It was irresistible for many artists, poets, and musicians. The actress Helen Hunt, the composer and performer Meredith Monk, the actor Mark Rylance and John Densmore, the drummer for the Doors, were among his adherents, drawn in part by his force of personality, at once playful and commanding, generous and cunning.
“For all his Saturnine and Martial defense of psyche in our scientifically defined cosmos,” Mr. Rylance wrote in a statement, “he is the most jovial person to sit with.”
In the late 1980s, Mr. Hillman and two friends, the poet Robert Bly and the writer and storyteller Michael J. Meade, began leading conferences exploring male archetypes in myths, fairy tales and poems.
The gatherings struck a chord, particularly with middle-aged men — Mr. Bly’s book “Iron John” became a best-seller — and by the early 1990s there were thousands of such men’s workshops and retreats across the country, many complete with drumming, sweat lodges and shout-outs to the ancient ancestors.
“I don’t know what to say about James,” Mr. Bly said in an e-mail. “You could say, ‘James threw enormous parties for the spirits.’ ”
In 1997, at age 70, Mr. Hillman became a best-selling author himself when “The Soul’s Code” reached the New York Times list. He appeared on “Oprah.”
“He was in the tradition — or maybe the nontradition — of Alan Watts: a psychologist, thinker and lay philosopher who took concepts from a variety of sources and melded them into his own, particular idiosyncratic take,” said Wade E. Pickren, chairman of psychology at Pace University in New York and editor of the journal History of Psychology.
“I think psychology is prone to and also needs people like Hillman who think outside the box,” Professor Pickren said. “Sometimes he’s following his own idiosyncrasies, but sometimes his observations make us all pause and reconsider.”
James Hillman, the third of four children of Julian Hillman, a hotelier, and his wife, Madeleine, was born on April 12, 1926, in a room at one of his father’s properties, the Breakers Hotel in Atlantic City. His mother ran an accessory shop.
After high school, James attended the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University for two years before joining the Navy’s Hospital Corps in 1944. He studied English literature in Paris at the Sorbonne and graduated with honors from Trinity College in Dublin with a degree in mental and moral science.
But it was when he moved to Zurich and enrolled at the C. G. Jung Institute, in 1953, that his imagination took flight. After 10 years as the director of studies there, he zigzagged between Europe and the United States, writing, giving lectures, editing a Jungian journal and, in 1978, landing at the University of Dallas as graduate dean. There he helped found the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture.
He wrote more than 20 books and was a sought-after speaker, often drawing a full house, delivering the Terry lectures at Yale and others at Harvard and Princeton, and appearing regularly in Switzerland, Italy and India, as well as at annual symposiums at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, Calif., which houses his papers.
Once, early in his career, an editor rejected one of his manuscripts, saying it would “set psychology back 300 years,” according to Dick Russell, who is writing a two-volume biography, “The Life and Ideas of James Hillman,” due out next year. “He just loved hearing that,” Mr. Russell said, “because that’s exactly what he wanted to do.”
Mr. Hillman was married three times. Besides his wife, Ms. McLean-Hillman, an artist, he is survived by four children from his first marriage: Julia Hillman of Woodstock, Conn.; Carola Hillman of St. Gallen, Switzerland; Susanne Hillman of Zurich; and Laurence Hillman of St. Louis; as well as two sisters, Sue Becker and Sybil Pike, and a brother, Joel.
“Some people in desperation have turned to witchcraft, magic and occultism, to drugs and madness, anything to rekindle imagination and find a world ensouled,” Mr. Hillman wrote in 1976. “But these reactions are not enough. What is needed is a revisioning, a fundamental shift of perspective out of that soulless predicament we call modern consciousness.”
ESO / L. Calçada
Bulletin at a Glance
October 27, 2011 | It’s been nearly a year since the dwarf planet Eris passed directly in front of a star and, in doing so, gave observers the measurements they needed to deduce its diameter. It turns out that Eris and Pluto are almost exactly the same size — and yet different in many ways. > read more
October 25, 2011 | It was never going to be an “extinction-level” threat to Earth, but skygazers had hoped that Comet Elenin (C/2010 X1) would put on a decent show in October’s predawn skies. In the end, however, it just went “poof”. > read more
October 24, 2011 | Some deceptively youthful stars may find their fountains of youth in material they grab off other stars. > read more
S&T: Lauren Darby
October 28, 2011 | With the return to Standard Time for North America and Europe, northern stargazers can catch some of the evening’s offerings before dinnertime. Venus and Jupiter are planetary bookends at sunset, with Venus lurking low in the western twilight just as the King of Planets rises in the east. > read more
May 31, 2011 | Uranus and Neptune are easy to find with the aid of the charts in this article. > read more
September 8, 2011 | The two brightest asteroids are in fine view for binoculars or a telescope. Here are instructions and charts to find them. > read more
September 23, 2011 | The “King of Planets,” which will dominate the evening sky from late 2011 through early 2012, is a captivating sight no matter how you look at it. > read more
September 28, 2011 | The extraordinary variable star Mira is expected to peak in early October, 2011. > read more
September 1, 2011 | Comet C/2009 P1 Garradd is shining at 7th or maybe even 6th magnitude as it traverses southeastern Hercules. > read more
Sky & Telescope diagram
October 28, 2011 | Jupiter is at an unusually close opposition, as big as you’ll ever see it. Venus and Mercury show themselves together briefly after sunset. And Comet Garradd shines on. > read more
December 2011 S&T
October 26, 2011 | Sky & Telescope‘s December 2011 issue is now available to digital subscribers. > read more
April 14, 2011 | Want to gaze at the Milky Way all night or peer into the eyepiece of a 12-inch telescope? Escape the city lights and head for the nearest big amateur nighttime gathering. > read more
Today’s B-movie is that science fiction classic The Giant Claw.
Released June, 1957, and produced by Clover Productions (through Columbia Pictures), the film stars Jeff Morrow and Mara Corday. The film was directed by Fred F. Sears.
The film has been derided for its poor special effects and a monster that resembled a puppet/marionette. Jeff Morrow, along with Ms. Corday and the other actors, did not know what the monster looked like until they saw it in a film premiere. Story has it that Mr. Morrow saw a screening of the film, and every time the monster came on-screen, the audience laughed. He was so embarrassed that he sneaked out of the theater.
Seventeen million years old, from some God-forsaken anti-matter galaxy out in space, the giant Chicken/Vulture/Road Runner/Thanksgiving Turkey monster, that is bigger than a battleship, has come to wreak havoc, destruction, and humongous bird droppings on humankind.
There is panic from Broadway to Bombay!
Why did it come here?
What does it want?
Why is it wasting every human being it sees?
Hydrogen bombs, atom bombs. Nothing can stop it.
And it’s bigger than a battleship!
See the Giant Claw lay waste to the Empire State Building and the United Nations Building.
See it terrorize and savage a cast of defenseless thousands.
Watch in horror as it picks up a locomotive as if it is a toy train…wait a minute…it is a toy train.
Scream in agony as the Giant Claw annihilates flying jets.
Run as horror darkens the sky and screen.
Will stalwart electronics engineer/pilot Mitch McAfee and mathematician Sally Caldwell be able to save the world?
Fear the Claw.
You have been warned.
Okay, Tracey McMillan not Terry McMillan.
This is Tracey McMillan:
She is suffering from psychosis.
This is Terry MacMillan:
She is a well-known author.
Just want to get that clear with those of you about to read the following article.
Akiba Solomon, of Colorlines, gave an excellent critique of an upcoming ABC/Dreamworks sitcom based on the Black woman-hating manifesto of Tracey McMillan. Ms. Solomon hits all the right notes in deconstructing this woman’s profaning the humanity of Black women. The article from Ms. Solomon is posted in its entirety. My comments are added in boldface.
ABC to Turn Tracy McMillan’s Single Ladies-Hating Manifesto Into Sitcom
Thursday, October 27 2011, 9:01 AM EST
I’m having heart palpitations. They could be due to the soil-black bodega coffee I just drank. Or maybe my blood pressure is on high because I just read that ABC is basing a sitcom on “Why You’re Not Married”, TV writer and author Tracy McMillan’s woman-bashing, click-bait manifesto published on Huffington Post this past winter. Billed as a “brutally honest look at love,” the DreamWorks-backed ensemble comedy will likely follow the release of McMillan’s elegantly titled second book, “Why You’re Not Married…Yet: How To Stop Acting Like a Bitch And Start Getting Hitched.”
When McMillan’s editorial first appeared on HuffPo back in February, I made a point to skip it. While I am a never-married woman in my mid 30s who sometimes yearns for a husband, I didn’t understand how a three-times divorced “Mad Men” writer could intuit anything about my romantic life. But after learning that a black woman piece had crossed over to TV, I figured I should check it out.
I regret that decision.
To start, McMillan, the daughter of a black pimp and a white prostitute who abandoned her as a child, believes that “the problem is not men, it’s you. Because the fact is—if whatever you’re doing right now was going to get you married, you’d already have a ring on it.”
After setting up heterosexual female singlehood as a problem, she offers the following helpful observations about unmarried women. I’ve excerpted them at length to deny the piece traffic and inserted some wise, warm Maya Angelou-worthy responses:
McMillan says: “You’re a Bitch.”
Here’s what I mean by bitch. I mean you’re angry. You probably don’t think you’re angry. You think you’re super smart, or if you’ve been to a lot of therapy, that you’re setting boundaries. But the truth is you’re pissed…. And it’s scaring men off. The deal is: most men just want to marry someone who is nice to them. I am the mother of a 13-year-old boy, which is like living with the single-cell protozoa version of a husband. Here’s what my son wants out of life: macaroni and cheese, a video game, and Kim Kardashian.
I say: Yawn. The idea that single women are inherently angry is as cutting-edge as “The Taming of the Shrew.” Also: I got your bitch.
[And most women want to marry someone who is nice to them. Many women desire a man who is patient, kind, considerate and a good listener. A man who does not talk down, talk against, nor talk at a woman as if she has no right to exist in this world. Many women want a man who treats them with respect, not contempt.]
McMillan says: “You’re Shallow.”
When it comes to choosing a husband, only one thing really, truly matters: character. So it stands to reason that a man’s character should be at the top of the list of things you are looking for, right? But if you’re not married, I already know it isn’t. Because if you were looking for a man of character, you would have found one by now…. Instead, you are looking for someone tall. Or rich. Or someone who knows what an Eames chair is. Unfortunately, this is not the thinking of a wife. This is the thinking of a teenaged girl. And men of character do not want to marry teenaged girls.
I say: Nothing. Because Racialicious editor Latoya Peterson already covered this in a recent Guardian op-ed. Peterson’s piece addressed the “Why Black Women Cain’t Get a Man” cottage industry led by Steve Harvey and “Nightline,” but I think her points about desire, compatibility and timing are universal.
[There are women who want a man who has character. You will see his character in how he treats all women: his mother, his sisters, his aunts, his daughters. How he treats other women not related to him, says a lot about him. How he treats a waitress who waits on him, how he treats the checker girl at the grocery. How he treats women of all races and ethnicities--goes a long way towards saying a great deal about his character.
"Because if you were looking for a man of character, you would have found one by now…. "
No. You will not have found "one by now". There is no set in stone time limit on when a woman finds the right man for her. Some women are not ready to involve a man in their life when they are in their twenties; some women are ready for a man when they are older. I will echo Ms. Solomon----it is about timing, compatibility, and desire--and those are universal.]
McMillan says: “You’re a Slut.”
Hooking up with some guy in a hot tub on a rooftop is fine for the ladies of “Jersey Shore”—but they’re not trying to get married. You are. Which means, unfortunately, that if you’re having sex outside committed relationships, you will have to stop. Why? Because past a certain age, casual sex is like recreational heroin—it doesn’t stay recreational for long. That’s due in part to this thing called oxytocin—a bonding hormone that is released when a woman a) nurses her baby and b) has an orgasm—that will totally mess up your casual-sex game.
I say: Is it 1842? Do hot tubs, rooftops and sex outside of betrothal really make women “sluts”? And at the risk of splitting hairs, I have to point out that all sex doesn’t lead to orgasms and oxytocin wears off.
[Here we go, the old "Women who have sex are sluts." So, if women are not to have sex, and are to remain chaste, then should that not hold as well for men? How can a woman be the only one doing wrong, but, the man who has sex with her is not wrong just as well?
"b) has an orgasm—that will totally mess up your casual-sex game."
Orgasm for who? Certainly not the woman.
I agree with Ms. Solomon: all sex does not lead to orgasms.
Unless you are a man.
There are various sexual positions (of which I need not point out to any adults reading my post). Many of those positions do not lead to orgasm for women.
Unless it is foreplay followed with oral sex---or the woman is on top, those would be the only two known ways that guarantee a woman an orgasm.]
McMillan says: “You’re a Liar.”
It usually goes something like this: you meet a guy who is cute and likes you, but he’s not really available for a relationship. You know if you tell him the truth—that you’re ready for marriage—he will stop calling. Usually that day. And you don’t want that. So you just tell him how perfect this is because you only want to have sex for fun!… About 10 minutes later, the oxytocin kicks in. You start wanting more. But you don’t tell him that. That’s your secret—just between you and 22,000 of your closest girlfriends.
I say: You need more people. In my experience, men don’t stop calling because you’re ready for marriage and they’re not. Actually, I’ve found that most assume you want to marry them, even if you don’t. Know why they believe this? Because male-supremacist writing like McMillan’s promotes the idea that women are desperate, clueless, marriage-obsessed, casserole-baking sperm receptacles. In a backhanded way, it also reinforces the idea that men are childlike automatons who barely like women and only care about sex. Men should be offended.
[I agree with Ms. Solomon. A woman needs more people in her circle of relationships. Too many times women get married and it is as if their lives end. They had lives before they married, so goes the same for single women. Activities, hobbies, and surrounding herself with positive uplifting people gives a woman a fulfilling and productive life. Something which many Black women are already doing.
"You know if you tell him the truth—that you’re ready for marriage—he will stop calling."
Hell, men can have sex with a woman and stop calling, and your point is what?
Many woman are not interested in marrying the first man who says "Hello" to them that morning. Some women simply want a companion to share life's joys and sorrows with. That companion can be a good friend. Not many women can say they have a man as a good friend. (Or a woman as a good friend). But, just to make sure that everyone reading my words understands when I say friend, I mean friend, not acquaintances.
As for the myth that all women hunger for a man's marriage proposal, it is insulting to men. It paints a picture of men as penis-obsessed robotas, who can think no farther than the next climax and hot meal.
McMillan says: “You’re Selfish.”
If you’re not married, chances are you think a lot about you…. Howevs, a good wife, even a halfway decent one, does not spend most of her day thinking about herself. She has too much s**t to do, especially after having kids. This is why you see a lot of celebrity women getting husbands after they adopt…. After a year or two of thinking about someone other than herself, suddenly, Brad Pitt or Harrison Ford comes along and decides to significantly other her. Which is also to say—if what you really want is a baby, go get you one. Your husband will be along shortly. Motherhood has a way of weeding out the lotharios.
I say: That’s original. No, really. I’ve never heard someone float adoptive motherhood as a cure for selfishness and a way to attract a husband. I’m also intrigued by the idea of motherhood-as-lie-detector. Because players don’t dog out single moms. Ever.
[What Ms. Solomon said. That truly is original. Since when have women with young children turned men on? News to me.
And this insane remark:
"Which is also to say—if what you really want is a baby, go get you one. Your husband will be along shortly. Motherhood has a way of weeding out the lotharios."
All I can say is: WTF?
Have a baby, and all the men will come running, eh?
So, Ms. Tracey McMillan, how do you explain women with children who do not have men in their lives---as in the so-called fathers of these children?
You also advocate child abuse, Tracey McMillan. To exhort women or men to have children just for the sake of a hot date or marriage is sickening beyond belief.]
McMillan says: “You’re Not Good Enough.”
Oh, I don’t think that. You do. I can tell because you’re not looking for a partner who is your equal. No, you want someone better than you are: better looking, better family, better job. Here is what you need to know: You are enough right this minute. Period. Not understanding this is a major obstacle to getting married, since women who don’t know their own worth make terrible wives.
I say: Empowerment-asshole alert! After calling single women bitches, sluts, liars and shallow, throwing in “you are enough right this minute” rings quite false. It’s like slapping somebody upside the head with a tube sock full of nickels then giving her an aspirin for the pain.
[Any woman looking for a man in her life would be out of her mind not to want a man who can add substance to her life.
Steel sharpens steel.
A woman empowers herself when she surrounds herself with those who give her good values, information, honesty, loyalty, respect, support, trust, and share interests.
As for this:
"You are enough right this minute."
Damn, woman. Women are not enough, too little, too much. Make up your damned mind.
No. No one is enough for this minute. Living is a growing and learning experience, right up until the day you die. No mature woman should accept what was alright for her as a child. As an adult, a grown woman has the right to expand and enlarge her life. Methinks you, Ms. Other McMillan have a very big problem with women empowering themselves.]
In closing: I’m looking forward to the forthcoming “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” movie starring Chris Brown more than the “Why You’re Not Married” show. I hope McMillan enjoys her 15 minutes.
["Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man".
I don't think so.
Too much garbage-in, garbage-out TV shows have turned too many in this nation into idiots.]
It will not surprise me when (not if) this hot mess of a show premieres and skyrockets in the ratings.
Some TV viewers in America hunger after the lowest common denominator, and sitcoms like this always do well in pouring forth the vomit that some Americans have looked forward to like a heroin junkie seeking their next fix.
Controversy surrounding racist Halloween costumes have become a routine part of the holiday on college campuses. Jorge Rivas reports on a group of Ohio University students that decided to get in front of the problem this year—and they’re making a national sensation doing so.
The city’s first Asian-American mayor ordered raids on Oakland’s Occupiers. Roberto Lovato reports from the scene, where questions swirled about race and power in the 21st century.
Walmart Can’t Lead Us Out of the Food Desert
Efforts to get affordable healthy foods into deprived communities are finally spreading around the country. Unfortunately, legislators have focused on courting corporate supermarkets rather than supporting local alternatives that would be truly healthy.
300 Colorado Homeowners Close Their Accounts at Wells Fargo
On Tuesday, 300 members of the Colorado Progressive Coalition divested from the state’s largest bank.
Counties Defy Feds, Vow Not to Detain Immigrants on ICE’s Behalf
Both Santa Clara County and Washington, D.C. are finding ways around the federal government’s Secure Communities deportation program.
Why Los Angeles Police Can’t Ticket Students on Their Way to School
Observers say that black and Latino students were ticketed most often. Now, advocates are searching for policies that actually work.
FBI Uses Maps to Track Muslims and Fight Fake Crime
Warrantless surveillance of Muslim communities continues, now with high-tech tools.
ICE Agent During Search: ‘The Warrant is Coming Out of My Balls’
The ACLU alleges that ICE’s tactics are growing dirtier by the day.
A San Luis Obispo County Superior Court judge let stand hate crime charges against four defendants accused of burning a cross outside of a black woman’s Arroyo Grande home.
Defense lawyers argued the hate crime allegations should be dropped because, in this case, the cross burning was symbolic speech. The cross was burned March 18 at the site where the father of one of the defendants was killed by a sheriff’s deputy 17 years before.
Jeremiah Hernandez, Jason Kahn, Sara Matheny, and William Soto face arson, conspiracy, and hate crime charges.
Superior Court Judge Jacquelyn Duffy rejected the defense motion, saying First Amendment protections didn’t apply in this case. The next court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 2.
Any time you burn anything on a person’s property, against their will or to harm and threaten that person or persons, that is arson, a felony under state law. Per California’s Penal Code, Chapter 1, Arson:
(a) “Structure” means any building, or commercial or public tent,
bridge, tunnel, or powerplant.
(b) “Forest land” means any brush covered land, cut-over land,
forest, grasslands, or woods.
(c) “Property” means real property or personal property, other
than a structure or forest land.
(d) “Inhabited” means currently being used for dwelling purposes
whether occupied or not. “Inhabited structure” and “inhabited
property” do not include the real property on which an inhabited
structure or an inhabited property is located.
(e) “Maliciously” imports a wish to vex, defraud, annoy, or injure
another person, or an intent to do a wrongful act, established
either by proof or presumption of law.
(f) “Recklessly” means a person is aware of and consciously
disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that his or her act
will set fire to, burn, or cause to burn a structure, forest land, or
property. The risk shall be of such nature and degree that disregard
thereof constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct
that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. A person who
creates such a risk but is unaware thereof solely by reason of
voluntary intoxication also acts recklessly with respect thereto.
451. A person is guilty of arson when he or she willfully and
maliciously sets fire to or burns or causes to be burned or who aids,
counsels, or procures the burning of, any structure, forest land, or
As for the following:
“Defense lawyers argued the hate crime allegations should be dropped because, in this case, the cross burning was symbolic speech.”
It is symbolic, alright.
Cross burning anywhere on the property of a Black citizen is meant to invoke racist hate, no matter how the criminals try to spin it.
As for what the defendant’s attorneys tried to do in court, I would refer them to the following court case decision:
Cross burning has a long history in America, and there never has been, nor ever will be anything that will erase its vicious history of racial intimidation, domination, and hatred.
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
—Edgar Allen Poe
Say the words and thoughts of contrasting images come to mind.
Noun: White colour or pigment; Adjective: of the color of milk or fresh snow, due to the reflection of all visible rays of light; the opposite of black
-free from color; free from spot or blemish; marked by upright fairness; favourable; fortunate.
As social constructs of a racist society, whiteness and blackness are the polar extremes of each other. As terms used to shore up and maintain white hegemony, white control, and white privilege, both terms feed on fear, hate, cruelty, greed, and defilement of people’s humanity.
Illustration By Felix Sockwell
Whiteness, as a social construct, is fluid and mutable. It exists because of the positive values assigned to it, even in the face of all the destruction that whiteness has caused in the lives of all Americans.
Blackness, as a social construct, is seen as immutable. It exists as a negative against which the so-called positive of whiteness measures and sets itself against.
Whiteness is considered the norm, the normal, while blackness is seen as the antithesis, the anti-neighbor, the anti-citizen, the aberration against the constructed value and beauty of whiteness.
Were it not for the institutionalized and socialized attitudes that constitute both whiteness and blackness, there would be no need for anti-racists, for conventions on the disparity of environmental and economic racism that plagues the Black community as a direct result of decades of neo-slavery effects of segregation.
Were it not for the worship of whiteness, the wages of whiteness, the possessiveness of whiteness, the habitus of whiteness, the race massacres, the racial ethnic cleansings of Blacks during the nadir of 1890-1940, the stranglehold that whiteness has on America would have ceased to exist. Were it not for the line drawn in the sand towards immigrants to “Join us, or die,” many ethnic Whites and non-Blacks would not have gladly gone over to the dark side of whiteness, at the expense of their fellow Black citizens.
Were it not for the vilification of black people, blackness would not be the poster child for slums, ghettos, low and menial wages, sub-standard and unequal education, and an immense wealth gap as wide as the Grand Canyon.
Whiteness must be destroyed. But, in doing so, blackness must be destroyed as well.
For you cannot have blackness without whiteness, and you cannot have whiteness without blackness.
The possessiveness of whiteness formulated the ‘white race’ which was never a normal nor a natural entity, but is instead a social category constructed and maintained since the late 1600s.
This white race is a private club, which bestows upon those who lobby to be welcomed into it, privileges and certain immunities in return for obedience in upholding its main canon: the disparagement of the humanity of America’s Black citizens. This obedience must be maintained at all costs. Those who adhere to these rules need not be vociferous advocates, publicly or privately, for white supremacy, but, it is expected that they will defer to and remain silent in the presence of racial hatred, while seeing the acts of racism committed by others.
The possessiveness of whiteness requires the need to maintain white racial solidarity at all times in the form of a mental straight jacket of conformity which imposes a strangling and suffocating vise on all Whites, especially when the subject of race is brought up, or any issue remotely touching on race. Membership in the White Club of Whiteness hinges on the assumption that those who look white (no matter whatever their trepidations, reservations, fears, or attacks of having a conscious that there is something profoundly wrong with hating their fellow human beings) will remain steadfastly loyal to the upholding and maintenance of whiteness—-even if it brings about their own physical, psychological, moral and spiritual demise.
Whiteness and Blackness.
They exists as the opposite sides of a coin, a Janus-faced monster that has torn this nation apart time after time, and nearly destroyed it.
And it is still destroying America.
You cannot deconstruct one without deconstructing the other.
As long as the Empathy Gap continues, whiteness and blackness will prevail. As long as there is no overall kindness, understanding and consideration towards the humanity of all Americans, figure on whiteness and blackness never going away.
As long as the silence and acquiescence to whiteness continues, the destruction it causes will not end. As long as immigrants, non-Blacks, and some Blacks, continue to be silent in the face of degradation and defilement of the humanity of Black people, through the bowing to, the giving in to whiteness, they will themselves also degrade and defile their own humanity for the mess of porridge known as whiteness.
As long as the status of Honorary White dangles in front of the non-Blacks who look to either side with Blacks on one side, and Whites on the other, with those non-Blacks joining ranks against Black citizens and deeming Blacks as social pariahs, no matter how decent the Black person may be, whiteness will continue.
As long as Whites refuse to give up their white privilege, whiteness will continue. As long as Whites refuse to let go of the bloodsucking incubus and succubus of whiteness, racism and whiteness will stay in this nation.
As long as racism reigns supreme in these United States, as long as the lies of race, the so-called purity of whiteness, the so-called debasement of blackness continues to grip this nation with its deadly vulture talons—this country will never see the end of whiteness and blackness.
The day when Whites cease to be white and the day that Blacks can finally cease to be black is the day when all Americans can simply just be Americans who happen to be White, Black, Asian, Native American, Arab, or Latino.
Towards the end of whiteness and blackness.
It will be many years in coming.
But, I ain’t holding my breath waiting for it to happen.
Maybe in 10,000 to 15,000 years.
But, not in my lifetime.
“Nothing can describe the withering horror of this. You feel lost, sick at heart before such unmasked hatred, not so much because it threatens you as because it shows humans in such an inhuman light. You see a kind of insanity, something so obscene the very obscenity of it (rather than its threat) terrifies you. It was so new I could not take my eyes from the man’s face. I felt like saying: “What in God’s name are you doing to yourself?”
This month marks the 50TH Anniversary of the publishing of the bestseller Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin.
This new edition, published by Wings Press in San Antonio, Texas, with a foreword by Studs Terkel, chronicles the story of Mr. Griffin, a White journalist who dyed his skin black and set off on a journey of discovering the stunted segregated lives of Black people, the mindsets of White people against Blacks, the American South–and himself.
After contacting the Black-owned magazine Sepia, about his plans to travel as a Black man in the South, the magazine agreed to run a series of articles about his experiences. On October 28, 1959, John Howard Griffin underwent his transformation. While under a doctor’s care and supervision, Mr. Griffin took the drug Oxsoralen to darken his skin, as he sat under a sunlamp, and ground stain into his flesh to further darken and even out the skin tone. After seven days of this darkening process, Mr. Griffin set out on November 7, 1959 through the states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
He traveled on foot, by bus, and hitched car rides. He lived in the segregated Black sections of town, staying at Black-only hotels, eating at Black-run cafes, and traveled with Black women and men.
After seven days of hitchhiking, fending off venomous graphically intimate sexual questions from racist White men who stopped to give him a ride, Mr. Griffin took comfort in staying with an impoverished Black sharecropper family. The little children kissed him, wished him a good night, and he laid down on the floor, but, he was unable to sleep. The children of the family humbled him so much that in the night as they slept, he crept out of the house to cry tears at the cruelty dealt them by racism and segregation:
“I felt again the Negro children’s soft lips against mine, so like the feel of my own children’s good-night kisses. I saw again their large eyes, guileless, not yet aware that doors into wonderlands of security, opportunity and hope were closed to them.”
Born June 16, 1920, in Dallas, Texas, and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, Mr. Griffin, who joined the French underground resistance during the German occupation of France, helped smuggle Jewish children out of Paris, and into England where they would be safe. In 1940, he returned to America, enlisted in the Army Air Corps. In 1945, while on the Pacific island of Morotai, he had a concussion from an explosion that impaired his vision. Upon returning to Mansfield, Texas to his family’s farm, a doctor declared him legally blind.
Over the next ten years, he married, started a family, and began to write books. Over the course of several weeks, his sight returned. But, the idea for his book, Black Like Me, occurred to him while he was still blind.
In 1960, after Mr. Griffin had returned to Mansfield, Sepia magazine began publishing portions of his book. News of his passing as a Black man spread throughout Mansfield. Time magazine wrote an article about him. Mike Wallace interviewed him on national TV.
Angry Whites in Mansfield burned him in effigy. His family was driven into exile in Mexico. There is where Mr. Griffin wrote his book, Black Like Me in 1961. But, through it all, he continued to speak of his journey as a Black man. In 1964, while standing by the road in Mississippi with a flat tire, he saw a car slowing down. Because of his speaking about his experiences, he was followed as many Civil Rights workers often were followed in the South. Thinking that they were going to help him, they instead drug him away from his car, beat him with chains, and left him for dead. It took Mr. Griffin five months to recover from this attack. He was 44 at the time.
He spent his remaining years lecturing about his experiences as a Black man. In his lectures he always stated, “I don’t speak for Black people, I speak for myself.” But, it was in facing his own racism that he grew as a fellow brother to Black women and men. In the beginning of his book, when he sees his black face staring back at him in the mirror he realizes the gravity about the decision he has made, and it stuns him:
“In the flood of light against white tile, the face and shoulders of a stranger–a fierce, bald, very dark Negro–glared at me from the glass. He in no way resembled me. The transformation was total and shocking. I had expected to see myself disguised, but this was something else. I was imprisoned in the flesh of an utter stranger, an unsympathetic one with whom I felt no kinship.”
The book was made into a movie in 1964, starring the late James Whitmore, a film which I still own on Laserdisc. To this day, to me the movie still has a surrealism to it that puts it right up there with some of Salvador Dali’s most famous artwork.
The film can be found at the Forgotten Cinema website for $14.95 on DVD.
But, Mr. Griffin came to grips with the contempt and animosity towards the man who faced him in the mirror–the Black man in the mirror. He had realized his unbiased intellectualism, but he also realized that inward he was a racist, and that he had to come to grips with that dichotomy. While on his journey, most revealing to Mr. Griffin was in how he was treated by Blacks and Whites, when he switched back and forth between different identities. He would notice the reserved and the negative reactions he received from Blacks who saw him when he was a White man, and the cruel, contemptuous reactions from Whites—the “hate stare”, who saw him when they thought he was a Black man–people, who just days, or hours before, had treated him kindly when they thought he was a member of their race.
Rest at pale evening. . . .
A tall slim tree. . . .
Night coming tenderly
Black like me.
from “Dream Variation”
On September 9, 1980, Mr. Griffin died of a heart attack and complications from diabetes. He was 60 years old. His widow, Elizabeth (who remarried, marrying Griffin’s longtime friend and biographer, Roberto Bonazzi, author of the afterword of the 50TH Anniversary edition), died in 1983. Their four children still live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
John Howard Griffin’s monumental work is still taught in some high schools across America.
The importance of his book addressed the fact that if you grew up White in the South you had to face up to this racism and the destruction caused by the worship of whiteness, and that if you truly wanted to see an end to the destruction that whiteness caused in both the lives of Blacks and Whites, that you, as a young White person had to set about on the path towards eradicating it from your mind, your life, and in your daily interactions with your fellow Black citizens.
With the so-called browning of America and the changing racial demographics in the U.S. population, comes the rise in interracial marriages and the increasing births of multiracial children.
Many would think that since post-Loving vs.Virginia, that the animosity that mixed-race families face is a thing of the past, and that, at least where marriage and the raising of children is concerned, antipathy towards these unions truly are in a post-racial America. But, nothing could be further from the truth.
As the following New York Times “Race Remixed” series article attests, mixed-race families still face derision and disrespect from complete strangers who deem it their right to insult and belittle the parents of children who are visibly different looking from their parents.
FOR MIXED FAMILY, OLD RACIAL TENSIONS REMAIN PART OF LIFE
Just a Family: A multiracial family gathers to talk about being mixed race in America.
By SUSAN SAULNY
Published: October 12, 2011
TOMS RIVER, N.J. — “How come she’s so white and you’re so dark?”
When they are alone, the Greenwoods strive to be colorblind, but outside their home it is another story. More Photos »
The question tore through Heather Greenwood as she was about to check out at a store here one afternoon this summer. Her brown hands were pushing the shopping cart that held her babbling toddler, Noelle, all platinum curls, fair skin and ice-blue eyes.
The woman behind Mrs. Greenwood, who was white, asked once she realized, by the way they were talking, that they were mother and child. “It’s just not possible,” she charged indignantly. “You’re so…dark!”
It was not the first time someone had demanded an explanation from Mrs. Greenwood about her biological daughter, but it was among the more aggressive. Shaken almost to tears, she wanted to flee, to shield her little one from this kind of talk. But after quickly paying the cashier, she managed a reply. “How come?” she said. “Because that’s the way God made us.”
The Greenwood family tree, emblematic of a growing number of American bloodlines, has roots on many continents. Its mix of races — by marriage, adoption and other close relationships — can be challenging to track, sometimes confusing even for the family itself.
For starters: Mrs. Greenwood, 37, is the daughter of a black father and a white mother. She was adopted into a white family as a child. Mrs. Greenwood married a white man with whom she has two daughters. Her son from a previous relationship is half Costa Rican. She also has a half brother who is white, and siblings in her adoptive family who are biracial, among a host of other close relatives — one from as far away as South Korea.
The population of mixed-race Americans like Mrs. Greenwood and her children is growing quickly, driven largely by immigration and intermarriage. One in seven new marriages is between spouses of different races or ethnicities, for example. And among American children, the multiracial population has increased almost 50 percent, to 4.2 million, since 2000.
But the experiences of mixed-race Americans can be vastly different. Many mixed-race youths say they feel wider acceptance than past generations, particularly on college campuses and in pop culture. Extensive interviews and days spent with the Greenwoods show that, when they are alone, the family strives to be colorblind. But what they face outside their home is another story. People seem to notice nothing but race. Strangers gawk. Make rude and racist comments. Tell offensive jokes. Ask impolite questions.
The Greenwoods’ experiences offer a telling glimpse into contemporary race relations, according to sociologists and members of other mixed-race families.
It is a life of small but relentless reminders that old tensions about race remain, said Mrs. Greenwood, a homemaker with training in social work.
“People confront you, and it’s not once in a while, it’s all the time,” she said. “Each time is like a little paper cut, and you might think, ‘Well, that’s not a big deal.’ But imagine a lifetime of that. It hurts.”
Jenifer L. Bratter, an associate sociology professor at Rice University who has studied multiracialism, said that as long as race continued to affect where people live, how much money they make and how they are treated, then multiracial families would be met with double-takes. “Unless we solve those issues of inequality in other areas, interracial families are going to be questioned about why they’d cross that line,” she said.
According to Census data, interracial couples have a slightly higher divorce rate than same-race couples — perhaps, sociologists say, because of the heightened stress in their lives as they buck enduring norms. And children in mixed families face the challenge of navigating questions about their identities.
“If we could just go about whatever we’re doing and not be asked anything about our family’s colors,” Mrs. Greenwood said, “that would be a dream.”
A Family’s Story
The colors that strangers find so intriguing when they see the Greenwood family are the result of two generations of intermixing.
Their story begins with Mrs. Greenwood’s adoptive parents, Dolores and Edward Dragan, of Slovak and Polish descent, veterans of Woodstock and the March on Washington, who always knew they wanted to adopt. They were drawn to children who were hardest to place in permanent homes. In the early 1970s, those children were mixed race.
A Family Tree of Many Colors
Articles in this series explore the growing number of mixed-race Americans.
Mrs. Dragan, a retired art teacher, remembers telling her adoption agency that she and her husband, then a principal, would take “any child, any color,” at a time when most people like themselves were looking for healthy white infants.
They adopted two mixed-race children within two years. The family seemed complete until Mr. Dragan came home from school one day and joked to his wife, “I’m in love with another woman.” It was the sprightly 6-year-old Heather, a student. She had been living with foster parents and was up for adoption.
“Holy cow, she just brought the energy into our home,” Mrs. Dragan recalled of their early days together in Flemington, N.J.
As the children grew, the Dragans tried to infuse their world with African-American culture. There were family trips to museums in Washington, as well as beauty salons in Philadelphia, where Mrs. Dragan learned black hairstyling skills.
However, the children were not particularly interested, and do not remember race being a big part of their identities when they were younger. “We were happy to be whoever we thought we were at that time,” Mrs. Greenwood said.
But as she moved into adulthood, she began to identify herself as a black woman of mixed heritage. She also felt more of a connection with whites and Latinos, and had a son, Silas Aguilar, now 18, with a Costa Rican boyfriend. She later married Aaron Greenwood, a computer network engineer who is a descendant of Quakers. A few years ago, they bought a split-level ranch house in Toms River and started a bigger family.
The shoulder shrugs about being mixed race within the family are in stark contrast to insults outside the home — too many for the Dragans and the Greenwoods to recount.
But some still sting more than others. On one occasion, a boy on the school bus called young Heather a nigger, and she had no idea what the word meant, so Mrs. Dragan, now 69, got the question over homework one night: “Mom, what’s a nigger?”
Once, on a beach chair at a resort in Florida years ago, a white woman sunning herself next to Mrs. Dragan bemoaned the fact that black children were running around the pool. “Isn’t it awful?” Mrs. Dragan recalled the woman confiding to her.
Within minutes, Mrs. Dragan, ever feisty despite her reserved appearance, had her brood by her side. “I’d like to introduce you to my children,” she told the woman. Awkward silence ensued.
“You know what? She deserved it,” Mrs. Dragan recalled during an interview at her home in Lambertville, N.J. “I figured, why miss an opportunity to embarrass someone if they needed it?”
Sometimes, the racism directed toward the Dragans seemed similar to what a single-race minority family might experience.
When the children were still young, a real estate agent in Flemington warned prospective buyers in her neighborhood about the Dragan household, saying that “there are black people living there, and I feel it’s my duty to let you know.” The people bought the house anyway, and later told the Dragans about the incident, once they had become friends.
“We weren’t blind to the reality of racism,” Mr. Dragan explained, “yet when you get into a situation where it’s your family, it really takes on a different dimension.”
Mrs. Dragan said her life came to revolve around shielding the children: “I was always on my A-game. My antennas were always up. I was aware all the time.”
Fast-forward 30 years, and Mrs. Dragan sees her daughter, Mrs. Greenwood, going through similar episodes with her own children — all because mother and child are not the same color.
“She gets the same stares I got when I was a young mother in the supermarket, with three African-American kids hanging off the cart,” said Mrs. Dragan, whose wisps of blond hair frame a fair-skinned face.
“You sort of put it out of your mind once your children are grown and you think, I just want to relax, that part’s over for now,” she continued. “But I’ve gotten a little more agitated lately.”
She does not like what she is hearing from her daughter these days. A typical story: On the boardwalk at the shore over the summer, Noelle scampered toward the carousel, her parents in tow. Even at 21 months, Noelle is a regular customer, so the ride operator, Risa Ierra, felt free to have a little fun.
“You know this little one isn’t really theirs, right?” Ms. Ierra joked to the other people in line. “Must have been switched at the hospital.”
Since Mr. and Mrs. Greenwood are friendly with her, they said later that they were not offended. But the exchange was typical of remarks Mrs. Greenwood hears often, even from people who seem well-meaning.
“‘Oh my God! Are they yours? Or are you their nanny?’” she said she was often asked. (By contrast, her mother, Mrs. Dragan, was often asked if she was hosting inner-city children as part of a charitable effort.)
“That’s the most common thing I get,” Mrs. Greenwood said of the nanny question. “But I don’t want to go there. I don’t want to justify me being their mother to strangers.”
Humor and Strength
The family has always used humor to cope, but sometimes that is not enough.
When the Dragan children were young, for instance, the family stopped at a restaurant near Disney World and people seemed to drop their forks when they walked in. “Yes, it’s true!” one of the Dragan children yelled. “These folks aren’t from around here!”
At least the family laughed, if no one else did.
Of the constant confrontations, Mrs. Dragan said: “I don’t always feel successful. I feel like I could have thrown my hands up a number of times, with the kids and other people.”
Often, she found the energy to fight. “Other times,” she said, “I locked myself in the house.”
The Dragans concede that at times they felt a strain on their relationship. “There is a lot of stress when people are looking at you and scrutinizing and judging,” Mr. Dragan said. “You might not hear it but you feel it. We felt it. That is stressful for a marriage. You do have to help and reinforce each other. Humor has really gotten us through a lot of heartache.”
Mrs. Greenwood uses the same strategy. She likes T-shirts with messages. She has one that she wears on St. Patrick’s Day: “This is what Irish looks like,” it says, a reference to her biological mother’s lineage. She is thinking about having one made that says, “Yes, I’m the mom.”
Mrs. Greenwood is not ready to have a conversation about race with Sophia, now 7. But Sophia is starting to notice the stares, the jokes, the questions. Mrs. Greenwood feels as though the world is forcing race into her home, which has been a respite from race ever since she was a little girl herself.
“I actually don’t know what to tell Sophia and Noelle when they start asking me, ‘Am I black?’ ” she said.
“If they look in the mirror or to society, they’re not going to be black,” she said, worried about what sort of internal conflicts this might cause.
“I’m afraid she’s going to start questioning who she is, and she shouldn’t have to,” Mrs. Greenwood added.
Mr. Greenwood has already tried something. “I’ve told Sophia that she is a perfect mix of her mommy and daddy,” he said, “but we’re going to have to talk more.”
Silas, Mrs. Greenwood’s half-Latino son from a previous relationship, started to ask race questions around age 7.
“I went up to my mom and said, ‘What am I?’ ” Silas recalled. “And, ‘What are you? Are we the same thing?’ I was just shooting questions. It was like a brain mash. I looked at my family and thought, ‘What is going on here?’ I was just lost. But after a really long explanation, I eventually understood.”
He paused, adding later, “I think my little sisters will be fine.”
Race is not something Silas says he spends a lot of time worrying about. He learned long ago about the family tree, and that he is part black, that his grandmother is Slovakian, his cousin is Asian, and so on — and hardly any of that matters to him.
“Barriers are breaking down,” he said.
For the moment, the matter seems simple enough for Sophia, too. She responds confidently when asked what race she is. “Tan!” says the second-grade student. “Can’t you tell by just looking?”
What intrusive and rude people never understand is that the mixing of blood is as old as America and the world. Black Americans of today are not truly black, but, instead, are a mixture of African and European blood, and in some cases, combined with Asian, Latino, and Native American blood lines.
Many people have no concept nor understanding of Mendel’s Law of Genetics, which explains why some children may look lighter than dark parents, darker than light parents, as well as siblings of different colors in the same family.
The article also does not address some very pertinent questions, questions I asked when I posted previous articles by the New York Times on the emerging numbers of interracial families in America, most notably, the state of Mississippi:
-What are the racial backgrounds of the mixed couple? (Father/Mother)—White-Black? Black-White? Latino-Black? Native American-Black? Asian-White? White-Asian?
It matters very much what the racial makeup is of the couple, for this will be an indication in how the racist hierarchy works in America: White on top; Asian, next (“Honorary White/Model Minority”); Latino (“illegal immigrant” as well as the next “Honorary White”); Arab (the “perpetual terrorist”, as well as the buffer “Honorary White”); Native American (stuck away and forgotten on some “Indian reservation”); and Black Americans, who through centuries of facing anti-Black racist hate from every American poisoned by the worship of whiteness, in the castigating of their basic humanity (“Black, evil,” “White, good”; black, the pariahs of American society).
-Where a family lives is very important. Do they live in a racially diverse neighborhood that comes as close to mirroring the racial demographics of America? Do they live in a city/town that has large degrees of racial dissimilarity? Do they live in rural Appalachia? Suburban New York? West Texas? If living in these places, would they receive more, or less, rude and disgraceful treatment?
-What are the income levels of these mixed couples? Are they upper class with high incomes enabling them to live in neighborhoods like Houston, Texas’s River Oaks or California’s Beverly Hills or Marin County? Are they of poor economic means, living in a blighted urban neighborhood? How would they be treated due to their economic class?
-What is the educational level of these couples? How would this affect how people treat them? Are these couples college educated? Post graduate educated? High school educated? Community college educated?
As for the politically incorrect term called Colorblind–there is no such thing. For a person to say, “I don’t see your color,” is a degrading insult. To not see a person’s color or race is to erase that person’s humanity. Their life experiences. Their being. To utter such a statement is no better than saying, “I do not see gender.” It is on the same level, as it negates that there is a woman or man standing before you, with all the history that comes from being a woman or man in this nation and in this world, just like it would negate the history that comes from being a person of color in this nation and in this world.
“Mrs. Greenwood uses the same strategy. She likes T-shirts with messages. She has one that she wears on St. Patrick’s Day: “This is what Irish looks like,” it says, a reference to her biological mother’s lineage. She is thinking about having one made that says, “Yes, I’m the mom.”
For Mrs. Greenwood, if push comes to shove, here is something that will really put the hateful, contemptuous and vulgar masses in their place.