Monday, May 08, 2006


Sea Change & Bloggers
Love Fest




Maxjulian wrote:
Sea,
This isn't directed at YOU :) but rather, those of us who claim to want to change things and the issues that aren't dealt with:


Sea's Blog: We actually do want to change things. What I hold out to you is that no one simply claims to want to change things--people actually are good and all that gets in the way of acting that out is where we've been hurt.

Why is the focus "illegal immigration" when we have an illegal President, an illegal government, a warmongering, military? My objection is that implicit in the marches is that SOMEBODY else is going to step in and solve the problem. A protest is designed to "demonstrate." Demonstrate to who? Who is the object that is being appealed to?


You answer that in your recent post. In that post you suggest everyone show up on the streets and decline work...
FS: How must a centuries long occupation be met? Look at it this way: the American Empire is overextended in Iraq and Afghanistan. It now contemplates hitting Iran. What if we upped the ante tactically in the States - Bring the War Home was the slogan in the 60's - what if the blacks, browns, reds, yellows, po'whites did what the Phillipine people did to get Marcos out of office? What if we did what the Bolivians did when they wanted to kick Bechtel out - a corporation that made it ILLEGAL for the people there to collect rainwater?! What if we did what the Cubans did to take back there country from American gangsters and corporations? Take to the streets, nationally, shut everything down, FUCK WORK until we put in the work of revolution so that the oppressor's house of cards comes crashing down? This man can't handles us AND Iraq and Afghanistan AND Iran. If we moved on them in a coordinated, fearless manner - we could win!"


I don't let my husband speak for me, nor I for him, but in this case he's time-challenged and type-writing-challenged :-) We were discussing your comment yesterday while driving over to a party. We both think that is where things are headed--mass walk-outs--and the scenarios you refer to are indeed inspiring and powerful.

As an aside, (I'm not gonna really go there right now) the thought is, that Bush would declare a state of national emergency, institute marshall law and throw us all in these new prisons he's building out in the desert. :-) I know there has been at least one effort to amend the constitution so that a president could serve an indefinite number of terms. Power grabbing goes desperate! What a thought, eh? Any thoughts on how to avoid that scenario?

Not to go into paranoid, fear-based inactivity (because, like I did last Monday, I'd be one to participate in your walk-out) but I still think that one-on-one organizing and relationship building is what needs to happen. Ending isolation and releasing the tension which holds oppressive thinking in place. Brownfemipower's description of the boring-but-necessary revolutionary makes sense to me.

BFP: ... a very dear organizing friend of mine (she organized WARN, worked with AIM, and is the co-founder of Incite!) tells this story often--she'll be working on a movement, and a bunch of gung ho kids will come in and tell her they are ready to die for the cause--at which point she will tell them, that's wonderful, thanks for coming--now are you willing to stuff some envelopes for a while? grassroots basebuilding (that is talking over and over again with people you hate, stuffing envelopes, organizing picnics, creating childcare co-ops, fixing public transportation so people can get to meetings, in short, creating a healthy community) is far too often dismissed by progressive/radicals as "boring" as "not fierce enough" as "women's work"---and yet nobody can understand why nobody's showing up for the rallies, much less the revolution.

BFP: the revolution is happening in other places--it's just not what people (ie males) think it should look like. read andy smiths "conquest: sexual violence and native american genocide". an excellent book and the basic foundation for how my ideas were formed.

FS: Will look for the book today. And yeah, the revolution takes stuffing envelopes and all that other boring shit. There are a lot of fakers and perpetrators out there who want to look revolutionary - I agree wholeheartedly and pray I'm not one of them.


Maxjulian aka FS: (Back to "Why is the focus not on the illegal president?")
I ask this because if you don't have a master or a superior, or a parent who will do it for you -- then you do it for yourself. You become the leader, the legislator, the police officer, the policy. And you arrest the "criminals" who are stealing your country blind.



Yes, and as you point out in the following paragraph not everyone is "there" yet. I don't think we can shame each other into being able to grow up. Yes, we can set limits and expectations but I think most people simply do not have SUPPORT. So, as I set limits and expectations for my fellow human beings, I also am putting into place support systems--listening centers--where people can set goals with each other. I beleive that the listening exchange is key to world change. Leadership development is crucial. When people feel powerless, that's a feeling not a fact. We can release those false feelings and think intelligently again. The listening exchange process is empowering and with practice becomes a mutual leadership development process.



Another snippet of this must read intelli-fest, love-fest between amazing and awesome bloggers:
FS: "Do we just love them until there is no ozone layer left and there's no water to drink and no air to breathe?"

BFP: this logic drives me insane. :-) it really does. because it reduces all the complicated shit that woc are doing to "peace love dope!" peace love dope is not a strategy. we have strategies, we are exchanging strategies, we are learning from other succesful movements, we are doing the shitty work of talking when nobody is listening, of drawing first one person than another into the movement--and yet all our complicated work can be boiled down to "just love them" and it will all go away. like "feminine" values are singularly about love. the christian right did the same thing before attacking iraq--belittled and laughed at peace people by asking over and over again, "what are we supposed to do, sit and have coffee and sing songs with saddamn?" what this logic is, is really a hidden way of calling somebody a fag or a pussy, imo. shaming a person/organization into shutting up with the one thing that's worse than death, being a fag.


I love this astute observation. And it's a difficult one to fight but totally possible. First of all, we can't be afraid to be called a fag anymore. I'm doing stuff that a lot of people--even activists think is nothing more than peace/love therapy. Not so. I see it as a doorway to people reclaiming their full intelligence and full power. That's why I listen. In the process I fall in love a million times over with how the core of us (as people) wants so much of the same things. Kinda like fallin' in love with fellow bloggers! :-) But ah, to continue ...

Brownfemipower says it well:

BFP:radical woc are demanding that we end this cycle and create viable alternatives--our alternatives are healthy communities that phase out the need for the government and incorporate community accountibility and transparency.

ps. max, baby, i (heart) you!!! :-)


Maxjulian says, (to Sea's Blog again)


The majority of folks - activists, lefties, progressives - are children who do not BELIEVE that they have the right to take their country back. Until WE believe, our marches will not be inspiration, but delusion, delusional. They will continue to raise then lower the spririts of people until even a march will be too much work. History is a good teacher of what real change means. Its unfortunate that so few have read and understood it.



It's hard for people to think about history when they can't think about it.

BTW, I've tried harshness to recruit folks to world-change. They ran.

That's why, a key reason why, I'm creating the Listening For Change center based on my thinking and my experience using the tools of United to End Racism and Parents Leadership Institute. LFC is a place where our innate powerfulness and connectedness to each other is flourishing. By telling our stories and releasing the tension we've been sitting on, we regain our ability to think and stand up against injustice.

It is our nature to be able to think easily and flexibly about this entire planet and figure out how to set things right here.


FS:...And, what is violence when our government prevents black voters from reaching the polls, erases their names from the books, denies people shelter and food when vast sums are available to KILL, KILL, KILL - on our dime. We need to not reproduce the oppression in our communities; AND we have to stop this greater violence that embalms us and makes us walking zombies.


Yes! If the "greater violence" embalms us and "makes us walking zombies" which I think it has--we need a program for undoing that. I'm suggesting that the program is one on one relationship building along with neighborhood, group relationship building. These relationships and listening exchanges create an un-numbing out place. I, for one, needed a year of someone listening to me ramble about seemingly trivial things before I began working on eliminating racism in earnest. If my listener's / co-counselors thought it was just a waste of time and they needed to "get on with the revolution" I would still be back there somewhere wondering what all the fuss is about.

A book I still haven't finished but which both Will and I recommend (he's read it several times) is The Morning Deluge: Mao Tsetung and the Chinese Revolution 1893-1954 by Han Suyin.

In closing, I enjoyed this beautiful and powerful picture of reality that is already being created and which is within the reach of us all by brownfemipower over at the liberation love fest akaMaxjulian's thefreeslave FS site. Tight. This is how it works!! (blows kisses)
BFP: i would disagree here that the world is not ready for revolution with "feminine" values. look at the native peoples throughout the world. look at the six nation peoples up in canada who are currently protesting and organizing to take back their own land. look at native peoples in latin america who are using community based strategies to take back *their* land. what these folks are doing is creating such community health that they are able to share strategies, organize with other tribes, and yes, challenge and confront oppressive structures with minimal violence, because they are acting not as one man, but as a whole community. read about how the six nations peoples have taught their children how to resist. kids are out protesting as much as grown men are. but they are doing this within a context that men are out front "protecting" those in the inner circle. but men aren't at a "higher" level than women, they are just as dependent upon women as women are on them. I think thier saying is something like this, "men's job is to protect the women and children, women's job is to protect the earth". so men protect women who in turn protect what gives men their life through food shelter and emotional nurturing.

FS: BEAUTIFUL

9 Comments:

Blogger Maxjulian said...

The truth is always harsh to those in denial.

12:21 AM PDT  
Blogger Sea's Blog said...

And being WITH someone as they feel the harshness is different than aiming it at them. (shake shake)

9:38 AM PDT  
Blogger Maxjulian said...

So, it is the responsibility of the oppressed to BE with the oppressor while they process what we tell them they are doing to us? The burden and energy it takes to find one's own black voice and speak truth is quite a load to bear; its not my job to be a mammy to a new generation of privileged whites.

11:01 AM PDT  
Blogger Sea's Blog said...

You're right. You get to choose whether or not to take that on. But it is a choice. And I'm not asking you to be anyone's mammy.

I'm not asking you to counsel white people. I did ask you once if you were prepared to do that--because the things you are saying will bring up feelings for white people--and at the time you thought you were...It's okay if you aren't ready to do that. You may never be. It has to make sense for your own liberation.

But someone's got to do it and I'm in line. You can show us how angry you are and I'll be there to counsel the white folks as they fall in the aisles. I told you how badly people feel about themselves gets in the way of being able to change. That's why I'm opening LFC. That's half the reason. I will actually first serve poc and raised poor folks. It is for healing from being targeted by oppression. The other half of the reason is to counsel the oppressors. We would never ever go along with racism if we hadn't already been put in "our place" as children.

But I am close to more than one black person who feels that moving one white person forward out of their racist conditioning is worth their time. No one mothered me, they listened and then they told me the truth about what racism does to them and their family.

I'm hoping that you can keep showing me how angry you are. I'm honored.

Essentially you've chosen to take on the white privileged of this generation. Your blog is written to that audience. We discussed that. Your goal has been to wake up white people. Correct?

You were ready to go back and facilitate with an organization that caters to white people's feelings. I don't advise it.

Don't attack me for counseling white people through and out of their racism.

Also, I'm not going to support you in irrational policies towards white people. I can listen to you put me down, that is my job. I consider that peer counseling. But I do expect you to turn around and counsel me like we did the other day. I won't mammy you. Why the f---k would I want to do that?

Love,
Sea

12:52 PM PDT  
Blogger Maxjulian said...

The words that I write cannot be "reduced" to merely 'anger', or "showing you how angry I am." That's an extremly reductive, stereotypical response of a white person to black powerful expression.

There's more in my words than anger; there's truth, there's wisdom and there's information that the average white person DOES NOT want to receive. Can not receive. I'm trying to reach the people, be they white or black or yellow or red, who can see that, feel that.

Also, I don't talk down to people; I seek to speak from the level I'm at and invite them aboard.

And I don't need a tool or a technique like RC to assist me in "listening" to people; probably neither do most folks of color.

I think its dangerous when people create idols that may be false, idols out of technique, or idols out of people. I've seen too many people become more enamored of proving the correctness of the technique, than continuing to grasp the truth they were seeking in the first place.

Its sad that whites would "fall" in hearing my words, but its wonderful that you are there to catch them. I'm not willing to catch them, as my people are falling. The only difference - they are falling dead, disproportionately diseased, jailed, etc. Nobody's there to catch them. I'd rather catch them, since they suffer more. And they suffer, BTW, at the hands of a system of Racism/White Supremacy, the same system that causes white folks to "fall" out at mere mention of the truth.

As for the "irrational policies" I advocate towards white people, I'd love to hear what that means.

1:31 PM PDT  
Blogger Sea's Blog said...

Hi Max,

Hope you're well today. I imagine you there loving your beautiful daughter. Such a good dad!

You wrote:
"The words that I write cannot be "reduced" to merely 'anger', or "showing you how angry I am." That's an extremly reductive, stereotypical response of a white person to black powerful expression."

Sea's Blog: First of all your words are powerful. Second of all we were talking about a specific thing, a place where you began aiming some stuff at me. I said I'm glad you're doing that.

You said:"There's more in my words than anger; there's truth, there's wisdom and there's information that the average white person DOES NOT want to receive. Can not receive. I'm trying to reach the people, be they white or black or yellow or red, who can see that, feel that."

I agree wholeheartedly that there is much more to your words than anger. I have been so happy ever since you came into my life. The fact that you are focused on ending racism and are here in Portland and are writing so openly about what you think is just busting open my heart! I was just blogging into space it seemed and then one day an email came and I found you were blogging too.

I've been thrilled to watch you and learn together with other bloggers how to develop our sites and blogrolls and html and etc its really fun. More importantly, I've gotten to read your writing and begin to get a picture of your vision and how YOU ARE creating it into reality. I want to make it clear that I want to be a part of that!

I agree that the truth, the wisdom and information which you share is something many many white people cannot hear and don't (seem to) want to. (I do operate upon the assumption that people are good and WANT things to go well for each other. That just gets way confused and covered up.)

I see that you are trying to reach the people. I'm glad that you have corrected me and that it's ALL people you are trying to reach not just white liberals. Cool.

When you say the average white person cannot receive it, I guess I see my niche as creating a more fertile ground amongst white people to be ABLE to hear and receive the information you bring. (In this way and also more direct ways I am an ally to poc).

You wrote:'Also, I don't talk down to people; I seek to speak from the level I'm at and invite them aboard. "

LOL, yes, I have a wee problem with classist responses. Hello! We were joking about that at breakfast the other day? Well, I don't think it makes sense for me to hide in the sand in shame. I'd rather DO something and SAY something which means I WILL MAKE MISTAKES! I will look foolish many times over and I'm so GLAD I've decided to speak up and reach out to people. It has made a vast difference in my life and those I'm close to that I'm working on ending the classism within myself (as well as the racism, etc etc). I'm pleased with myself and how good and smart I am and that is how I keep showing up to do this work. It's not an excuse for being a classist, racist idiot--which I'm not anyway most of the time--but it is an admission to where I struggle. Sorry for the many times I've probably already talked down to you. That's really hard for me to break that habit. Thanks for pointing it out. (Keep doing that, okay?)

Can I come onboard now? Where's the welcome wagon Max baby?

You then said,"And I don't need a tool or a technique like RC to assist me in "listening" to people; probably neither do most folks of color."

Well, golly, then you are probably thrilled that I have found a tool that you already use naturally. Happy for me?

"Probably neither do most folks of color"

Actually I agree with you, most humans don't need "tools" or "techniques"--it's our nature to listen well to each other. Too bad things aren't set up real well to actually do it. That's why I specifically have created listening situations. I mean, we wouldn't need books to remind us how to feel good and visualize the world we want (Thanks Hicks et al) if the oppression wasn't so heavy either. Is this really an argument we're having?

You wrote: "I think it's dangerous when people create idols that may be false, idols out of technique, or idols out of people. I've seen too many people become more enamored of proving the correctness of the technique, than continuing to grasp the truth they were seeking in the first place."

Yes, and does this relate to me somehow? Hell, yes, what you're saying makes sense. I'm with ya. Don't see the connection here.

And there's more! :-) You say: Its sad that whites would "fall" in hearing my words, but its wonderful that you are there to catch them."

Yeah, when I said "fall in the aisles" that was kinda a lighthearted way of talking--kinda like slang. I didn't think you'd then turn around and criticize me for saying it that way. JJ, Give me a break.

Max: "The burden and energy it takes to find one's own black voice and speak truth is quite a load to bear;..."

And it IS sad how many white folks (all born good) might have big feelings about what you say. That is GREAT that you're saying what you're saying. Because then people will have to DEAL WITH the truth you speak, and how hard it is to deal with it and such 'ike 'at.

Yes, I have what I feel is a responsibility but that can't be the reason I do it. Underneath that, it's my own reclaiming of my humanness--I get to have myself back. The self that capitolism, colonialism, white racism has tried to be-numb and robotize.

Allywork has a quote on their site something like, "If you've come to help me please go home. But if your liberation is somehow tied up with mine .. then, okay let's work together." That's why I want to be close to other white people and be an ally to ending racism within us as a group. And close to people of color because my liberation--getting my full humanity and the life and world I want--is tied up in black liberation. I may digress here but ... back to the conversation.

Earlier you wrote: "...its not my job to be a mammy to a new generation of privileged whites."

In a way, there actually ARE some similarities to parenting. Even though I'm not the "Mother" of folks in my constituency, it still requires patience. Like brownfemipower said regarding the revolution. It involves "talking to people you hate for hours and hours." I have big feelings about many white people and it's hard to listen, very hard sometimes, to the racist misinformation and classist confused shit that has been installed in their/our minds. But the more I've sat through my children's tantrums or times when they are up all night ill with the flu (like last night) it helps me see that mainly that is all that racism is--something sick that requires immediate attention. You don't have to agree with me. Sure, I'd like it A LOT if you'd back me. I'll work my butt off to try and win your confidence. But I can deal with my feelings if you decide I'm a foolish idiot who's dream is phoney bull shit.

Then, sweet Maxjulian said, "I'm not willing to catch them, as my people are falling. The only difference - they are falling dead, disproportionately diseased, jailed, etc. Nobody's there to catch them. I'd rather catch them, since they suffer more. And they suffer, BTW, at the hands of a system of Racism/White Supremacy, the same system that causes white folks to "fall" out at mere mention of the truth."

Hell, yes. Racism is deadly and it is real. I see it as the core of all that is messed up in the world as a whole. It is horrible, tragic, it sucks what is happening RIGHT NOW in Portland, as you point out. And also the key confusion for the violence and oppression worldwide that is now. I back you on that message. It does need to be a priority to support, "catch," back people of color. My center will and in my daily life I try to prioritize that as well. I'm just saying that PART OF my work is giving white people a hand where they are confused.

Yeah, I don't see myself as "catching" white people. And the reference to "falling" is a probably not the right word. When people hear the truth you speak and they haven't had a chance to have someone listen to them about all that gets in the way of hearing you, they (tongue-in-cheek expression) might be falling in the aisles ... A metaphor might be catching them. But, I actually am not trying to take on like "all" white people. I'm not supersea. I mean I am getting in touch with my power and my power to end all oppression ... and I kind of go one person at a time and build relationships.

I have allies who support me as a woman and a mom and agent for world change. They tell me I'm doing a good job which always surprises me. But they don't just blindly tell me I'm doing a good job without really taking the time to listen to me and think about me. They would still, a good ally, would still NOT say, "Oh, good job!" in doing something that didn't make sense. Which leads me to the next point ...

You asked: "As for the "irrational policies" I advocate towards white people, I'd love to hear what that means."

You haven't advocated any irrational policies towards white people that I'm aware of--I was mainly, in the spirit of being an ally to you, trying to get across that I am THINKING about you. I'm not just blindly supporting every word you say or "being seduced by" a "lullabye". I wanted you to know that I take being your friend and peer seriously--this is not a game where I just smile and say "Yes Max. Yes Max" all day long. I wanted you to know that I respect you enough that IF I thought something didn't make sense I wouldn't be afraid to argue with you about it. I think that's what people who are close to each other do sometimes. They, I think, sometimes need to roll up their sleeves and get in a shouting match. It clears the air and then people know they can count on each other to really be there, not just be some disappearing fluff. (Not that I think you are I'm just saying how I think arguing has its place in good, long term friendships and alliances.)

So, when I say I'm honored I don't mean to talk down ... sorry ... I just mean I'm happy (even though it's not easy) that this stuff is coming out in the open between you and I.

So you can know that when you have me as an ally that I'm sincere and not just afraid to ever question you. That's what I meant.

Also, I meant that I can listen to white people which I think--for me--is good personal policy because it leads to re-evaluation i.e. unraveling racism. If you tried to tell me not to listen to/counsel white people on their racism EVER I would not back that. And if you want a friend who never disagrees with you (which I don't think you do because we have a good friendship) then, well, FUCK you!

And could you like answer the phone soon?

10:04 AM PDT  
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