Monday, May 19, 2014
Sunday, May 18, 2014
returning to LFC a cross-cultural/national/soci0economic and somewhat sexualities focus
This is Cici here, i've had several pen names Sea Franklin, Sea Ganschow, Cindy Cummins and Cici Cummins so just so y'all know it's me one and the same. i had left this space and ventured deep into the actual world of living life. My anti-racism blog here (that's a dumb way to say it because it triggers so many dumb comments--but it also attracts the academic and the grass roots activist) That plus my trainings and listening projects with peers over the years did help me be conscious of my own privilege when i moved to Baja California del Sur not so long ago but nearing the close of the second season--which is decent. And most of all the actual friendships longterm and seeing what was sustainable and what wasn't while asking myself how can i be consistent as a white ally for example ... has changed my life and given me whole spheres of myself back.
i don't have many readers in my raw vegan /transitional blog who would normally seek out an anti-racism blog because they mostly--like i first thought when i began talking w/ POC about white racism--feel defensive and feel they have no racism tendencies or problems.
All i've been trying to point out in LFC over the years since its inception. (2004?) that institutionalized racism is extremely rampant and we are only as blind to it as we ourselves have digested that energy. i was taught that isolation and separation--anything that isn't complete zest for life and cooperation--was what looks like racism. It's easy to see that racism is a set of patterns based on unaware or aware depending biases combined with poor information.
Long story short i'm in a longterm domestic relationship with a Mexican-national man. He is a best friend and we have a soul mate past life karmic connection so we are very very close and that's very very easy. i do date and have long distance romantic friendships but those i don't spend a lot of time with normally. i keep to myself unless it is someone i trust and our life work dovetail especially. In A's case, he knows so much about plants, the desert, all the people here, seasons for things and the wildlife, the weather, he knows details so well.
It's hard in our society to talk publicly about relationships and that's even without bringing "the race card" (that was a joke) into it. When you do that you are wide open for hate mail. Been there done that. i was baffled that working to improve and build good relationships, longterm nonsexual friendships with families and farmers for example, across race, class, country lines. You actually get hate mail for discussing ways to heal the hurts of white racism. You get hate mail and one time i was considered a 'troll' on a live journal anti-racism page when i wrote a post stating that i knew how to end racism ... comments flocked in that i must be a farce.
nevermind that is how i met one of my best friends was via that discussion... we stay in touch to this day and every other year or more we have a few days of unabashed happiness.
it is awkward--but important both to model and to stay out of old patterns--to want to invite you to tell me all your identifications such as i would say i'm raised-protestant, raised-owning class, cis female, mom, white, business owner with employees, identify as queer but am not talking about why i am in that category as a straight cis female. Anyways when we name those labels we then can of course, transcend them. But on this plane there has been and still is, too much injustice to ignore that and even try to pretend that racism classism gender inequality, sexism or anti-Jewish oppression is done.
It isn't done. There just are many more people addressing bullying in all its forms these days and many more are still needed.
i loved receiving so much guidance and education in Portland Oregon from the specific panels of which i was in the audience: the Latina Women's panel especially stands out. But my first was on the PSU campus and was Native & Latina women's workshop w/ white allies and we were encouraged to reach out and find a regular session time white ally w/ Latina woman and so on. So i was a stay at home mom with a few part time job projects but i did have two parents in the home so i could get out for sessions. M. and i began counseling once or so a week for about an hour each way. We also brought in directions from the wider community and it was important to her--for whom i was likely the only white person in their whole life they'd spent personal time with--that i was attending the monthly support group called "White People Eliminating Racism" faithfully. i also went to a Sunday night class and had coaching / counselors who had worked longer and more broadly on this than i had so i would discharge with their support. This is based on my blog's premise which is discharging is a powerful dismantler of racist patterns and is an ultimately empowering method--natural too if not shut down, see discussion elsewhere--and our listening partnership was structured with rules of the road shared with us by Barbara Love.
So that was a few examples of how i have worked to be able to see these 'invisible' things such as my own privilege and the targeting of certain groups. Working through uncovering how my humanity had been messed with in the culture i grew up with in regards to race/class and such issues. The belief that only the good people get money and nice things had to be shattered.
Until next time ... look for me once a week on Sunday Sermons with Cici :))) (i just made that up don't know if i'll keep it.) And if you like vegan or just a cleansing reboot or if you have a skin problem that won't clear up or premature wrinkles pls look at my coaching options at www.rawprincess.org thank you so much. Yes, i'm back at LFC and it feels very awkward to want to write about the cultural and group identities such as being a white girl dating a man of color but also going across whole country lines anyways ... why? One last thought ...
I'm not posting a photo because i'm not going to romanticize anything here nor steal from it. That's the danger although even being in the conversation as a white woman i need to direct readers traffic over to the women of color lest thoste "taking-charge-of-everything" white people patterns take affect. (And not even realizing you're doing it or not even realizing that you can't control everything but acting as though you do which would be comical conceit were it not so tiring.)
And so when i first came to Mexico it was difficult for me as a white ally because if i only followed their lead, not much was happening at first. i waited several years and was always welcomed with open arms but like any relationship but especially with this: i was not a tourist and i was not Mexican but as time goes on there is much more or a settling into joy in this union me and the town here. Thank you.
PS Keep in mind i post fairly rough drafts because of my heavy work load and dyslexia / borderline autism, i need to put it up or i won't share it at all. These pages are my journal of my journey through being a white woman who grew up in the US, now living in Mexico for going on the completion of my second season.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
New Therapeutic Tool Could Help End Racism
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Note to teh Fans
It gave me an outlet. I followed Nancy's advice to create a platform and become an expert in one's field and it kind of pissed some people off.
I could have earned a master's degree with all the time and effort I put into all this but instead I have a blog and learned to overcome fear of pissing people off.
I still go on, I think.
My Fiance calls me Cindy and so do all my new friends in New York. I have way less guilt today (even though when I began LFC I would've claimed I had none then) and can laugh about how much I really don't give a rat's ass about much other than my life. And still, deeper down, there's a way that I am "too good for this world" (LOL a quote from a friend who told me this) and care waay too much.
Anyway, find my new blog with the url listeningforchange.blogspot.com
Hope this helps clear up any confusion to my multitudes of readers across the globe. Thank you all. *grins*
Editors Note: Rawprincess Studio and Skylight Massage are the two active sites at this time.
Friday, August 01, 2008
New Blog Site
"I feel like I have grown so much since I have known you in part due to our committment to one another's re-emergence."Thank you to those who have encouraged me to keep going. In order to end racism and be there for each other, the listening-exchange and emotional work is key.
I have decided, that of all the doors I have recently closed, the project between myself and M.-- and her encouragement as well as others, such as my son--is how I've decided to open the LFC blog at its own site--Listening for Change. Yay!
She doesn't want to stop our commitment and what we are trying to do, but says that she doesn't think that it will work if I quit having sessions (read cocounseling).
I am quitting cocounseling and my relationship with M will likely suffer, but, I think the blog is my outlet as I do the work through other venues. And, in part, in the spirit of Barack Obama's presidential campaign, and keeping the dream alive, I will continue to do my very best.
Feb 11, 2009 Editor's note: I think I changed this post once right after I wrote it, I said at first that I was not quitting cocounseling. Then I changed it said I was quitting cocounseling. I shouldn't really even be referring to cocounseling at all! Except now I'm changing the quitting to not quitting. :-) Yes, I've not quit it.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
This blog is now officially closed and finding bloomspace elsewhere.
Friday, May 02, 2008
My Barack Obama Blog
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Full Moon Morning Coffee
this morning... Hoorah we were on time!
I didn't have a showy Martin Luther King Jr Day--(and y'all know that's a good thing) but I did have visions of inspiration! Thanks in part to a blog post by minivercheevy.com linking back to Dr King's speech and some thoughts from that white guy. He says,
Go read it right now. It will only take five minutes of your time. With no exaggeration, I think it's your duty as an American --- we have a lot of work left to do.
As I watched the full moon setting in the west out my kitchen-sink window, my thought was of my coffee brewing and how good it would taste. Heck, I thought, why not post a crappy post which will only show it's been a long time since you've written! Yeah! And maybe I could even get criticized for what I say here?
I happened to stumble up this quote from the opening page of "Creating a Life Worth Living" by Carol Lloyd.
"There is a vitality. A life force, a quickening that is translated
through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all
time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will be lost. The
world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it
is. Nor how valuable it is, nor how it compares with other expressions.
It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to
keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate *you*. Keep the
channel open. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is
only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us
marching and makes us more alive."
--Martha Graham to Agnes De Mille
Oops well, he's mostly un-alive (quote: my bad) but his dream has not been lost ...
Reading that I thought of the post I link to above, which mentions that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was not the featured speaker at that civil rights march in 1963. There were other, at the time more well-known speakers. I thought of the amazing "I Have a Dream" speech--to me such stuff of which Graham speaks--which changed so many things that day. He kept the channel open, he expressed his truth and has impacted the world in marvelous marvelous ways.
I think Martin Luther King, Jr and his famous speech is an inspiration for all, to speak out, to put one foot in front of the other to end racism and all oppressions. I, for one, am grateful to him and wish to God the good ones don't all get taken so early like that!
Blessings to all those who are fighting the good fight and to anyone who doubts they can make a difference, do it anyway.
So I quoted two white people here instead of Dr King and I probably trivialized him ten times over without realizing it AND I'm a white woman who has the nerve to think she can build close long-term friendships across racial lines plus somehow teach other white people how to end their own oppressor patterns. And I'm sure I've left out several obvious reasons why I shouldn't dare call this blog Listening for Change. But ya know? That's okay.
Part of the problem with me is that I have tried to defend myself too much when I should just keep working. Just because this blog is called Listening For Change doesn't obligate me to listen to everyone around me. Dig, it's a tool. Not some kind of hoop I jump through.So, the moon may be setting but LFC needs to keep marching. At times with self-importance and mostly--so far--without anyone noticing but LFC (my dream) is not dead.
Sent from my T-Mobile Sidekick®
Monday, January 21, 2008
Tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Broadcast live on KBOO from Highland Center.
A Production of World Arts Foundation, Inc. A Non-Profit Organization
For program information and event schedule visit www.worldartsfoundationinc.org
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Genocide Cover-Up Recipes
Just in case things get real busy next week, I want to take a minute now--and each day really--to remember that this land belongs to Native Americans. And by living here I am actually benefitting from the genocide of Native Americans.
I went to a report back a few months ago from a workshop called Allies to Native Americans and the Native woman who led it (who asks not to be named due to fear of being visible) pointed out that even if racism ends today, it wouldn't affect Indians here because they are and have been targeted by genocide which is different than racism.
And she said that everyone here who wasn't orignally descended from the Indians who occupied this land before Columbus showed up, everyone benefits by genocide of Native peoples by living here. It was mentioned by the African-heritage speaker that possibly those who were brought here forceably don't agree with that statement but that it is definitely worth thinking about.
I don't actually know what the next step is after daily remembering and reminding whoever one is with that this land is Native American property. But I figure that if we keep remembering instead of forgetting that we are all benefitting from the genocide and attempted complete genocide of Indian folks, then there's a good chance we will be informed of what needs to happen next.
Along those lines, I was asked by my Shoshone-Bannock/Yaqui Indian counselor to ... meet and get close to as many Native Americans as you can ...
One of the first things she had me do was attend a Pow Wow. And shut up and quietly serve her and the other women lunch. I'm due for some more of that kind of personal growth.
So, some folks I've seen around town, KBOO specifically, are calling it Genocide Cover-up day and not Thanksgiving at all! I see the value in that.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
After two years of traveling ten times back and forth to Boulder Colorado from Portland, Oregon, I have received my certificate of completion of class hours from Colorado School of Energy Studies.
While there I received feedback on how I impacted those around me which I took as vital to digest and learn from towards my passion for eliminating racism. The insights staff shared with me will also serve me well in relationships with my children and in my professional practice, no doubt.
Perhaps blogging will take a higher priority once I finish the remaining homework assignments to finish with a 700-hour certificate. Meanwhile, one day at a time.
Respond to " Hammerfest" at Lents Park Saturday October 6.
For Immediate Release: 9/24/07
Contact: Ad-Hoc Committee Against Racism and Fascism, fight_them_back [at]
riseup [dot] net, 971.285.4688 (voicemail).
"Hammerskin Nation" Racists Will Meet with Opposition
People from All Backgrounds Unite Against White Supremacist Organizations
Portland, Oregon - The Hammerskin Nation, a neo-Nazi skinhead organization, aims
to attract hundreds of hardcore racists to the group's twentieth-anniversary
celebration, to be held October 5 - 7 of this year in the greater Portland area.
The Hammerskins, then known as the Confederate Hammerskins, began life in 1987
as a Dallas, TX gang specializing in violence against Jewish people and people
of color, sexual minorities, as well as activists. The Hammerskin Nation?a
masthead for Hammerskin racist skinhead crews?has since gone national, and later
international, with their bigoted agenda. The upcoming Hammerskin Nation event
in Oregon was planned in conjunction with Volksfront, a Portland-led white
supremacist group with links to Kenneth Mieske and Kyle Brewster, two of the
killers of Ethiopian immigrant Mulugeta Seraw in a 1988 racially charged crime.
Volksfront's short-lived musical division "Upfront Records" released a benefit
CD for Mieske in 2002, and Brewster had his parole revoked last year after his
association with Volksfront was revealed on the internet. The October Hammerskin
Nation gathering is currently being openly advertised on such Hitler-admiring
websites as stormfront.org
A community gathering and rally in response to the "Hammerfest" will take place
Saturday, October 6 from 1PM onwards. The gathering will be held in Lents Park,
on the corner of SE 92nd and Holgate. Further details plus speakers for the
event will be announced soon.
Founded this September, the Ad-Hoc Committee Against Racism and Fascism is
dedicated to monitoring and opposing white supremacist groupings in Portland and
beyond. As large neo-Nazi rallies have often been preceded by attacks on Jewish
people and people of color, sexual minorities, as well as activists, the Ad-Hoc
Committee wishes to work with community groups and people of good conscience who
want to respond to fascist mobilization. The Ad-Hoc Committee pledges to respond
to any racist provocations in the coming weeks. "We also promise to have a
better time than the Nazis," says one Committee member.
To obtain a chronology of recent white supremacist activity in the Pacific
Northwest, or for more information on anti-racist endeavors, please contact the
Ad-Hoc Committee: 971.285.4688 or fight_them_back [at] riseup [dot] net.
phone: 971.285.4688 (v.m.)
Our emergency petition to stop the crackdown on peaceful protesters in Burma is exploding, with nearly 500,000 signers from every nation of the world. But the situation in Burma remains desperate, with reports of hundreds of monks being massacred and tortured. Burma's rulers have also killed and expelled international journalists, cutting off global media coverage of their cruelty.
China is still the key - the country with the most power to halt the Burmese generals' reign of terror. We're delivering our message this week with a massive ad campaign in major newspapers, beginning Thursday with a full page ad in the Financial Times worldwide, and in the South China Morning Post. The strength of the ad comes from the number of petition signers listed – can we reach our goal of 1 million signatures this week? The link to sign the petition and view the ad is below, forward this email to all your friends and family!
China continues to provide key economic and military support to Burma's dictatorship, but it has been openly critical of the crackdown. Now we need the government to match words with actions. Our ad paints a powerful moment of choice for China in its relationship with the world – will it be a responsible and respected member of the global community, or will it be associated with tyranny and oppression?
People power, on the streets of Burma, and around the world, can triumph over tyranny. Our strength is in our numbers, spread the word!
With hope and determination,
Ricken, Paul, Ben, Graziela, Pascal, Galit and the whole Avaaz team.
For the best local reporting on the situation in Burma, try these links:
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Pro-human or Anti-racist?
She won't buy corporate products only things organic and sustainably produced--on a shoestring budget--and still manages to eat raw foods. She has these large earrings which go through her ears like I think of as African. She tones and chants and howls and walks everywhere. Also attends community concerts, etc etc. She also uses internet and public transportation ...
Tonight we were walking back from the co-op and a Native American guy on the street asked us for money. I said no but B.G. said if you're hungry come on and I'll buy you some food. So we all began walking together. He asked us, "Are you aborigines?" I laughed and said, "She is. I'm just a white girl." But B.G. said aborigines are from Australia ...
Later in the store, I walked past B.G. putting her hand over his heart area. He said his name is Arapahoe and that's all he would say. I heard her say earnestly, "... and then white people came and messed things up ..." as I was walking by. I enjoyed hearing someone like B.G. who is not specifically part of an "anti-racism activist" community relate to this Indian man and connect with him in what I think was a beautiful and sincere way.
I didn't think turning down his choice of ice cream or then suggesting that he visit his sister in Montana was something I would have done because it was "presumptuous" in my "cultural competency" training book. But I had to let go and step back and watch and see how he felt about her approach--not presume it myself. :) (I know, wierd huh.) His eyes were shining and I could see a heart connection was happening between us three, led by B.G.'s brilliance and love.
Outside, when we were parting ways he told us his sister's spiritual name. This is a story without a point. Only an everyday interaction. B.G. is a young adult who is pro-human. Last night she advocated that anything "anti" is full of conflict. The fact that I have joined the anti-racism movement has been highly confusing for me and yes, seemingly full of spite and competition.
She is used to no one listening to her because she is young she says. This is young people's oppression. I'm listening. It makes sense. To be pro-human liberation pro-something sounds right.
Monday, April 23, 2007
WonderBroads: World Change One Joke At a Time
"You'll Laugh! You'll Cry! You'll meet girls!"
I went to see WonderBroads "The Babes and Broads Who Broke the Rules", written and composed by Melinda E Pittman (dig the electric guitar) and Directed by Carolyne Haycraft.
When Lilith comes on stage, the whole world gets a little breathless. I mean, she is a big and powerful and beautiful and bold woman who commands the whole force field within a ten mile radius. She's got the kind of aura that punches out into the biosphere while dropping anchors down deep into the immediate earth. This is the woman that I believe many of us secretly wish we could be--and we can!
I knew it would be good but this was crazy good. Prolific and never boring, bold and funny and even tear-jerking at times. This play and the beautiful and sassy women in it, managed to remind me that being silent is never my soul's true north--even if I have to get beat up or arrested on occasion as many brave women before me have done.
What is freedom? Is it being yourself? Is it to stop worrying about what everyone else thinks and go after your vision? It could mean asking the right questions.
"We're living lives of quiet desperation." a line from the play which served as a call to action. Forty different stories of women's lives including a Ms America pageant with bell hooks winning first place ... Cameos of Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Gloria Steinem, Mother Jones (the woman, not the magazine)--I hadn't known that Planned Parenthood founder was a woman named Margaret Sanger or that the woman who worked tirelessly with Cesar Chavez to unionize California's farm workers, got beat up many times (was in emergency over 17 times and had her spleen ruptured) was Dolores Huerta.
There were a couple of personal moments for me. The character Sarah McMockman played by Kate Sanderson (uh, is she single?) says to Lilith at one point that she could never be like her i.e. powerful, pushy and "bad" because she'd rather not be alone ... she said "I couldn't be like you even if I knew I wasn't really free."
Of course that prompted a wondrous outrage from Lilith who is NOT alone (just because she left Adam, come on!) then a very heart-felt choked-up song, sang to her Love demonstrating that even the ferocious, precocious, take-no-prisoners tough broad WonderBroad herself is deeply human. (Being a fierce activist doesn't mean you don't get to sleep spooned-up with your sweetie at the end of the day.)
I had just had dinner with a friend in New York who I know full well is a human rights activist from way back and an amazing white ally to African-heritage folks. But she was talking about something she referred to as "reverse discrimination" and I, in a tired world-weary state, didn't interrupt that and argue with her. My point of view is that there IS NO SUCH THING and it has to do with a power imbalance. If I was hopeful and living my decision to not keep quiet I would have at least shared my point of view with her. But I didn't. Even my new boyfriend asked me why I didn't speak up. Watching this play gave me a spark under my butt. My girlfriend--of African and Native heritage--also was very firm with me that I need to keep blogging. Of my fears that white folks will call me fanatical and that black folks will call me phony. "Sea" she said, "that was so last year!"
I think it's a topic we all have to ask ourselves. Are we settling for a world and a life we don't really want because we think that to act and to push for what we want will be too hard? Would we rather be "comfortable" than really believe in our vision?
It was repeated several times throughout the play that "Well-behaved women rarely make history." So yes, Eleanor Roosevelt helped get us the vote--Use It--but also, protesting and possibly getting your ass arrested are not-to-be dismissed as viable modes de operanti.
Getting arrested was a theme,(er, or was it that Tracy Chatroom, played by Roslyn Farrington, back row left, likes bondage games? :))
I think each of us as women get to be proud, take ourselves seriously, and back each other up. What an awesome, brilliant work from someone deeply grounded in women's history of liberation. And Melinda E Pittman doesn't make the common mistake of being the "white" this-is-MY-movement feminist while forgetting it is women of color who are and need to be central leaders to the movement. She had a marvelous way of being completely powerful while backing her sisters as powerhouses as well.
Cast: Melinda E Pittman, Sharon Martini, Sarah Kennedy Adams, Kate Sanderson and Roslyn Farrington. Live Electric Music by Dan Linn, Stacy Davis and Aaron Linn was very cool.
April 27, 28 Through May 12 Weekends at 8pm. Matinee on the 29th.
For more information call 503-288-5181 or on the web at www.broadarts.org.
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Officer Gets Time for Emil Mann Shooting
Walder's lawyer still trying to say Walder's life was endangered just turns my stomache. Yeah, right. If you come in a place day after day hostile with these heavy prejudices and resentment that a people are using their own rightful land to hang out on, you're going to create some intense negative energy. But to say his life was in danger is disgusting.
A Bergen County grand jury indicted a New Jersey State Park Police officer yesterday on a charge of reckless manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a member of the Ramapough Mountain Indians last April that caused outrage among the tribe.
The officer, Chad Walder, 36, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted in the killing of Emil Mann, 45, of Monroe, N.Y., during a confrontation over the use of all-terrain vehicles on public land.
Mr. Mann was shot twice on April 1 during a birthday celebration, and died of his injuries nine days later.
The Ramapoughs, who make up a mountain community that straddles the New York border, often have picnics and ride vehicles in the woods near Ringwood State Park, where the officer was based. The shooting led Gov. Jon S. Corzine to form a special committee on Native American community affairs in August.
I had written a bit at the time about how being shot at my own birthday was the least of my worries even if I was drunken and shouting profanities ... this wouldn't be of pertinent interest to a blog on ending racism would it?
Editor's Note: And here is the Ramapough Website sent by same anonymous tipper. Blessings!
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Racism is a mind-fu*k psyche-out ...
White privilege is the soul rip-off which we participate in each day as white folks whether we like it or not, whether we can see it, admit to it or not. And the white have-nots among us have the privilege anyway, whether we're loaded or not.
So, the task is not so much to end the mind-fu*k though that is ultimately important. But to end the white privilege.
That's what I'm told by the higher ups, i.e. those who know because they are targeted by oppression due to the detail of the color of their skin being dark, or just having the "wrong" heritage.
They don't care so much that they're dealing with me -- a white mind-fu*ked blonde woman know-it-all -- they just care that they are fu*ked in society by racist structures in government and institutions.
So, don't have to work so hard to be "good" white folk as we do to speak up and keep putting foot down, get to back of line, check privilege at door, pull it out of the white knapsack of privilege.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Tea Truck Day Last Summer
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Trouble with Beta Blogspot
I can't get my links to copy into the html window. This has been a persistent problem which I see I've been having for months as evidenced by the number of draft posts sitting in my queue.
It must be time to locate a new blog medium. I've been eploring vox and others and hope to soon land on a permanent home.
Monday, January 15, 2007
So, that Martin guy day ...
White folks have to allow themselves to be shattered by their racism- not my accusation of racism.--Julian Johnson
What are we doing?
I'm serious, you tell me.
I honestly don't know what's going on.
Are we carrying on Martin Luther King, Jr's legacy? Is anyone besides folks of color concerned about racism?
And are we concerned enough to skip dessert in order to see that the work is carried out?
And what exactly would that mean?
I have an idea, a niche of what I can offer--and it's utilized to my almost full capacity. I'm saying that being a white ally to individuals while keeping the topic blasting away at my constituency is what I see my way to doing.
And that actually a notch back from that, just parenting decently is more than I can really do effectively. Parenting so that maybe my kids don't contribute to perpetuating racism would in itself be a miracle.
Some folks of color appreciate what I can do. Others think I'm phoney, have a messiah complex, conceited, etc.
I've learned (knock knock) to stop indulging in being crushed by their criticism.
As Maxjulian so astutely mentions (paraphrase) I need to be devastated by racism, not by his criticism of my racism!
*smiles, shakes head*
That's what true evolution looks like. He's so right!!!
Happy Birthday to the late Martin Luther King, Jr. That's right, spell it out. Abbreviating his name is about as useful as shit pie. Say the whole name. A black guy came into my black woman friend's home one day and said, "...yeah I turned right on MLK and blah blah..." She interrupted and kindly but firmly corrected her brother, "It's Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard." I never forgot that admonition.
Racism not only sucks
It kills day after day--
and sometimes slowly (both go on in Portland, Oregon.)
But always injustly and inhumanely.
The world we want
sure it begins within each of our hearts
I'm kinda good at lookin' at that ...
But those who see the big picture in a way I can't
have figured out that that doesn't
topple the scaffolding.
So we all best be reading the
recommended book list by some sharp folks over at ap_racism.
I've been told I need to keep reading bell hooks, gloria anzaldua, angela davis, and perhaps david roediger (because he explores whiteness, which I've been told in a confidential setting is work that many white people have to do -- you know, "turn the microscope" upon ourselves) and "go through the anger, denial, guilt, refusal, and eventual acceptance and rage at the system, then MAYBE..." I'll begin to get it sometime.
and ... Martin guy in the sky, blessings. Uh, that's Martin Luther King, Jr. or Dr. King to us.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Really! Yes, really!
I kid you not. I called off the divorce.
A wise man and woman were called at the crack of dawn by my meddling sister. The concern is me. The next of concern are my children ages 6 and 8. They sat me down. No words were minced.
Speaking of me, my nervous system has been jangled. And it’s not about my dead dad.
I study craniosacral therapy. By everyday terms I am an excellent therapist. Despite my inner demons, clients still think I’m magic. But by my own standards, I suck. Within the scene I’ve created, there are opposing forces within my being. What I mean is--a little background. Our bodies are largely water. You know the latest by Masaru Emoto, Messages From Water. Love makes these neat crystalline shapes, negativity makes a murky mess. Same with our bodies. Stress and trauma create a denser fluid body. The charge gets held since there’s no safety to discharge it.
I wouldn’t think much of it except my own body has densified over the past two months. I’m jangled as hell and I can’t hear more than two words of what you’re saying. I know your lips are moving. Coincidentally, these unusual changes inside are just as I’ve prepared to leave Will.
The universe is within each of us. We’re mostly too stressed and traumatized to grock that. Most of us don’t sense our own feet, seat or skin. There’s a place near the ceiling we hang out. The work I do settles all that. Brings the presence into our cells. Lets the trauma unravel,. Like a shook up pop bottle we don’t want to explode. Just let off a little fizz at a time. Gently. There on my table.
But as I said, who needs trauma work from a tightly wrapped goddess? I’m going for the best I can be. The best parent I can be. The best damn craniosacral therapist in all of Portland, Oregon. And my spine has to be aligned to do that.
So damn straight, don’t mess with me. The divorce is called off. My kids will have a shot at a good life. I’m playing with Will again. I’m his.
Monday, January 08, 2007
Friendships That End Racism, Forever ...
I'm a woman who has immersed herself in racism awareness and studying how to dismantle structures of racism both within society and within the individual. I've researched person to person how folks of color may heal from being targeted by destruction while we work together to end it. I've looked myself in the mirror and stood in front of groups with attention put on what privilege I grew up in and still enjoy.
I've been surprised, shocked, disgusted, saddened, and sickened by the hurts my fellow human beings endure.
I've been frightened, ashamed, angry and struck with grief by what my group--European-heritage folks have accomplished. The scope of the lies and how deeply they are injected is utterly mind boggling.
Despite the in-depth and hard work I've done on myself involving hours and hours of workshops and cathartic peer-counseling sessions focused specifically and ruthlessly on how I have participated in racism (while considering myself a well-intentioned white person) how I have and still do benefit by racism being held in place, I still am a student and utterly incompetent at ending the damn thing.
However, I'm available.
That appears to be the pivotal ingredient. Availability.
Because unfortunately, or fortunately I am available to create a world free of racism. So therefore I'm on the job. And I suppose I could also report that racism itself is end-able. Something based on lies and misunderstandings isn't based on fact or reality. So in that sense we're very lucky. We're simply exposing the truth and we're simply working toward a world based on reality.
The reality that there is one race, the human race. The reality that there is no superior or inferior subgroups within the human race. The reality that we are each one lovable, intelligent, born with full expectation of a loving and attentive connection with whoever is around us.
Isn't that cool?
When that goes wrong--and it has gone very wrong--it's not because there's something to all this racist talk. No, it's fear-based lies, confusion, greed and plain hopelessness; packed in on top of loneliness, hurt and the systematic shutting down of the natural healing process.
A process which restores clarity and living in the original intention of our energy field. This process frees up our minds, our inherent intelligence, ability to live in cooperation and harmony. It can and will empower each of us to see clearly what powerful action to take next in order to have the world we want. A world of racial justice, a world of social justice, a world where humans and all sentient life are honored and cared for.
As I said, I'm still completely incompetent to end this deal but I do know at least one thing. The natural healing process is one I see every young person who hasn't been tampered with go to use whenever they are hurting. And they take great leaps in lucidity, development and joy if given the opportunity to release tension without shame. If we weren't all told to stop crying and medicate ourselves my understanding is we'd use it still all through our lives. Yes, it's even moved me forward, changed my life as a white woman raised in the US with all the usual training as an agent of the oppression. I've little by little dismantled the training and am reversing it.
Not without the help of my friends--white, black, Jew, wealthy, poor, gay, straight--but nonetheless, it's what I know.
And in closing, I won't try to say I don't KNOW how to end racism just to make someone else feel more comfortable. Because I do. It's one person at a time. One session at a time. One interruption of a racist remark or action at a time. And one friendship you stick with through bitter and sweet at a time, forever, no matter what.
Sunday, December 31, 2006
... describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember.Rilke
How to end racism?
One argues it's not so important to end it within myself as to end it within the larger structures which truly are agents of oppression. This white young man says his friends of color would much prefer that.
Another argures, and my leaning, to end it as deeply and as thoroughly within my being as possible. Completely clean it out of myself. And in so doing this, I will have done the greatest service possible to the world. All the while taking pragmatic action, hacking off chunks of the oppression.
Somehow, self-help becomes world change.
Monday, December 25, 2006
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Time for letting people know I love them and hanging out with family. I'm grateful for my young ones and those who I'm close to.
Best wishes for this holiday season to you and yours and a happy new year.
Via Miniver Cheevy I found this David Bowie, Bing Crosby piece. I think the question is peace possible? Is on all our minds these days.
With Saturn going into Virgo in 2007, I think the people will hold Bush accountable and scrutinize our own racism more deeply.
That's my hope. That's my plan.