16 thoughts on “Sunday, May 29, 2022

  1. Xicano, I write a few sentences because my heart is hurting. This week, like too many, has been painful and I fear for our world and people. I share and appreciate your pain that you communicate with your usual passion and eloquence. Over the years I have learned from you, and I know you read and think about what others write as well. I beg for a few things. In many cultures, including may I say your own, ancestors are remembered and (often) revered. I think now about mine. It’s okay to say they were flawed humans, some very much so. Some were better, braver people than I can ever hope to be. You may choose to say they were “racists” and leave it at that. All I can ask is, please understand that I honor those who came before me, as you do. They, like humans of all colors, worked hard and loved and lived and sweated and washed up and laughed and made love and hurt and died. Maybe it being Decoration Day weekend (as I like to call it and the generations before me did), I’m thinking about hard work and sacrifice. Maybe, like many nurses, I’m just managing to hang on to my sanity and feel like I sacrifice and bleed every day, whatever prior “privilege” I can claim and acknowledge. I’m glad for this space where all opinions are heard and other writers do engage with one another and deserve to do so – so far I haven’t read any responses that I found particularly noxious or deserving of contempt; in fact I liked reading the back-and-forth which I found thought provoking, though granted I don’t always read the comments so I don’t always know what happens there. I have white skin; my Ancestry DNA test was white as they come, no fun surprises like on “Finding Your Roots”, that’s just how it is for me. I care and consider you a friend; I am good and I am flawed and carry DNA of those who were too, I have things to learn and (I think) to teach. As an old friend said, it’s my two cents, you don’t have to spend ’em if you don’t want to.

  2. Xicano: I understand and appreciate your posts, but do take exception to your proposition that law enforcement responding to the school shooting in Uvalde “did not value the lives of little brown children as much as they would have had those kids been white.” Whatever unwise or even downright bad decisions may have been made by the responding officers (whatever the color of their skin), there’s not one shred of evidence that those decisions were made, or lesser care taken, because of the color of the students’ skin. Were I in a spicier mood, I might even suggest that positing that argument — in effect, using the skin color of the tiny victims to expound a theory of racial oppression that extends even to the intentions of first responders — is as racist as anything you regularly decry. I don’t believe that’s your intention, but it could certainly be interpreted that way.

    1. Brendan, I’m not sure you and Xicano use the word “racist” in the same way. To understand the dynamics of racism one must look at social life from a structural perspective – how and why there are power differentials based on perceived racial or ethnic differences among social groups and how these power differentials embed themselves in institutions. If a mass shooting of mostly non-White kids receives an inadequate police response while other mass shootings receive different treatment (post Columbine), then one can say that structural racism MIGHT be a part of the problem, independent of the race/ethnicity of the police or their individual intentions, prejudice, or biases. I don’t know enough to weigh in on how structural racism may or may not have contributed to this tragedy, but sometimes we need to see events in a wide historical context to judge the power inequalities involved. In other words, because of the structural history of White supremacy (particularly as it relates to law enforcement in this country), it is quite possible that something is “racist” even without individuals intending their actions to be biased.

  3. Mr. Connors in New York: I enjoyed your piece on war correspondents. Very nicely done. I note that two, Ernie Pyle and Daniel Pearl, were killed on the job.

  4. All this being said, I’m sure some of my ancestors believed stupid shit. Some of my family members do, right now. That’s one of the reasons I quit Facebook.

  5. Roger

    Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) once said, “I can go for a couple of months on a good compliment.” When someone compliments me on my work, my reply is usually, “Thank you, I’m glad I was able to help.”

    Green Ink Iamb

    Another simple trick is to use a backing sheet when you type. On the backing sheet, draw a black line 1″ from the bottom of the sheet and a red line 1½” from the bottom. When you see the red line showing through your typing paper, you know you have ½” of typing space before you reach the black 1″ bottom margin. If you draw these line on both ends of both sides of your backing sheet, it won’t matter which way up or round the backing sheet is inserted, you’ll always have the red warning line and the black stop line at the bottom of the page.

    The poster with the sliding 1948 Royal QDL

    Imagination is one of those fun things to hold onto. Many great inventions came about as a result of applying imagination to a problem. I came up with the thought of how to stop my 1953 Smith-Corona Clipper sliding about on the desk. Buy a low cost ¼” thick yoga mat from Walmart, cut 14″ off one end and cut that in half. You now have two 12″ x 14″ typewriter pads. Round the corners off if you want, leave them square or cut the corners off at 45º to suite your preference.

    Martha G.

    “The pen is mightier than the sward” (The typewriter is mightier than the Tommy Gun!) Your page resonates with me in as much as credit is seldom given to those who are never seen, but without whom, the war may not be won. My grandfather was in the 8th Army responsible for “Mop-Up” in Italy after World War Two. The fighting was over, but there were still unexploded Ordnance to be defused or removed before rebuilding could begin.

    Alex H.

    I leave you with this quote from “Typewriter Mania and the Modern Writer” by Frederic S. Durbin.

    “We humans go through many computers in our lives, but in their lives, typewriters go through many of us.
    In that way, they’re like violins, like ancestral swords. So I use mine with honor and treat them with respect.
    I try to leave them in better condition than I met them. I am not their first user, nor will I be their last.”

  6. Hi, Skywatcher: Backing sheet with thick black and red Iines an inch and an inch-and-a-half from the bottom on both sides, top and bottom.. I wish I’d thought of that! But better late than never

  7. Rose, I used to apologize if my OTP offended anyone here. It was brought to my attention that I didn’t need to do that. I don’t really do that anymore. I write my outrage, and yes anger, at the racism I have and still experience almost daily either when I step outside my apartment or turn on the TV. I try not to allow the discomfort of white folks to cause me to keep that pain inside. That would not help my healing. The rot of racism would eat me from the inside as it consumes our society and public places and as I fear it will continue to do with little hope of change. But while I will not say I’m sorry for my page and my bashing of white supremacy, racism, inequality, injustice and classism my intention is not to hurt feelings. I am outraged and angered as all good people should be at what white supremacy has created here. There are white folks in my family now and probably have always been because I am not full blooded indigenous but that will not stop me and should not stop anyone from voicing our resistance to what they did and do here and around the globe and what they continue to do either blatantly or not so much but surely assisted by our complacency and the privilege it gets us. Rose do not think that my words are directed at you. They are directed at a condition that we perpetuate when we prefer comfort over the rights of the marginalized. When we would have the poor and those of color be silent because their voice disrupts the happy image of our country and our families past and present.
    Not saying that that is what you are trying to do. I cannot say that about all but oh well. I hope to continue to read you here.

  8. Before reading today’s comments I had typed up my mañana’s OTP. So yeah, more of me. I will not get offended if anyone scrolls on past me. I think I understand.
    Have a good evening gente. Don’t let the bad bugs bite.

  9. Roger, that is a great write up on compliments. It puts into words things I have experienced in the past but not really recognized so clearly. So, my compliments go to you! And with that, you know what to do….

  10. Yes I do, ! &?. Thank you very much. And I should also thank Skywatcher for his post. I like the Mark Twain quote.

  11. Brendan, Robert, good points. If we look at “how and why there are power differentials based on perceived racial or ethnic differences among social groups and how these power differentials embed themselves in institutions…” we need not look too far to see my metaphorical elephant in the room regarding race. Uvalde, is in close proximity to la frontera, the border, between Mexico and USA. The Uvalde local police at best have an ambivalent relationship to La Migra Border Police (ICE), and at least, a love/hate relationship with an edge of distrust by the Mexican American community that has lived there for many generations and yet, is continually perceived as a haven for illegal aliens.

    Regardless of the race of those involved or the intentions of the first responders, what made the local Uvalde police defer all action to La Migra Border Patrol (ICE)? I think that White supremacy is deeply embedded in the La Migra Border Patrol (ICE) institutional mission–and its militaristic power differential was preferred by local police, ingrained as it is, ironically even, and as it turned out, that bureaucratic indecisiveness and inaction led to massive slaughter.

    I also think that White supremacy fueled the massacre since websites of that ilk and related (anti-)social media attracted the shooter and radicalized him to the point of deliberate and pre-meditated violence as a remedy to his perceived powerlessness.

Leave a Reply