lastcivilizedwoman

Dr. King is Dead…

February 7, 2016
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mlk statue

“out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope”

and something very strange is going on…

Black people are being judged by the color of their skin…

not the content of their character…

It’s why so many black people are being murdered…

and all of us are targets in this 21st century…

 

 

 

 

 

who’s going to save us now?

in prison

 

 


it’s black history month in STL…

February 7, 2016
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Sister_Slave

Because I’m brown-skinned, people keep insisting that I’m uneducated, unemotional and inarticulate. The reality is most likely I’m better educated, more caring and articulate than pretty much everyone I’ve run into.

This same problem exists among my own people. The fair-skinned people make the same assumptions that the white people do and my own people, fair-skinned, my hue and darker assume that the only thing I’m good for is to be passed around like so much dead meat. For the most part, all of them ignore me, until I get angry, not because I’m a black woman (and stereotypically angry), but because I’ve figured out I’m being ignored. I consider this to be very insulting.

The women suspect me because I don’t have children. The men suspect me because I don’t have children.

The women don’t know how to be gracious and welcoming and the men don’t know how to be kind and considerate.

Too many people want to stick their head in the sand and keep it there. Too many are afraid to break away and do something different.

Despite my appearance, I very much have feelings and desire to be listened to, loved and cared for just like anyone else. I also don’t want to have to “fit in” in order to be accepted.

What’s pissing me off is that most of the people I’ve run into here in STL behave this way and none of them have an understanding of how narrow-minded, racist and bigoted this is. Pretty sad state of affairs.

in prison


is the nigger inside…

January 2, 2016
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SERIOUSLYWhat is a nigger? It’s certainly not me because I wasn’t brought up to think of myself that way, nor do I think anyone else is either.

For  the past 20-plus years I’ve lived in STL, I didn’t pay much attention to people’s behavior or thinking.  I did wonder from time to time why white people seemed to stare or be rude or careless or tried to race-walk me up or down stairs or to front doors of places I wanted to enter. There was also this attitude of not listening whenever I had an opinion about a topic of conversation. As if nothing I could say would be of any importance.

It took me that long to realize that the reason they behaved that way was because they were mentally calling me names!  Specifically, the word “nigger” and because they thought that way, I was expected to act that way.

Luckily, where I was born, raised, and lived, no one ever taught me to think of myself that way or to think of anyone else that way. “Nigger” and all its’ variations were words that was never heard in my home. That’s why it took me so long to figure this out.  The closest I ever came to be called a nigger was when this very nice southern lady in Atlanta, GA, called me a “colored gal”. I never spoke to her again.

The other problem is all black people have a nasty habit of thinking of themselves as “niggers” in a group think mentality. They think it when they see other black people and talk to each other in the same way they think. A fellow “nigger”.

White people think of black people as “niggers” and this thinking comes out in the way they behave toward people of color.

The best example I can use is when a white person thinks a black person is “out of place” as determined by the expression on the white person’s face or closed body language when this happens. In my world, this happens when I speak to a white person in what I think is a normal manner to do something or need something and he or she reacts in a “how dare you” manner. It’s very subtle and hard to catch if you don’t know what to look for.

the second someone thinks “nigger”, it starts oozing out of their pores. It appears in that person’s expression, their body language and the tone of their conversation.

Black folks also have a nasty habit of thinking this way. It always appears when there are two or more black people working together. The best example of this is when one black person trains another and one or both of them, spend way too much time trying to one-up each other instead of spending the time to get to know one another and learn. I see this at my job all the time and again, it took me a long time to figure out why there seemed to be this weird dynamic that would happen each time I tried to engage with my black coworkers. I even had a black coworker try to bad-mouth me to our supervisor for something that one other person I work with was doing the same thing I tried to teach my coworker to do. The other person was a white female.

This is a behavior that desperately needs to be “unlearned”!!

It’s a form of lynching and the only purpose it serves is to perpetuate divisiveness. Someone is always trying to get over by climbing over on someone else’s back/talents. After a while, you grow eyes in the back of your head and stop engaging with people you don’t know. I hate living like this!

If you judge a book by its’ cover, you’ll miss the whole story!

It’s like the line that Sidney Poitier spoke in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” where he told his dad that he thinks of himself as a “colored” man and Sidney’s character stated he “thinks of himself as a man”.

This is the place that black people need to get to here in STL and very likely in the entire country. We have a couple of generations that are walking around feeling very left out and it may be up to us “old-heads” to grab them by the hand (or the neck) and teach them how to speak up for themselves and go for what they want without guns, drugs, or cussing…


on being michael brown jr.

November 30, 2014
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one white cop.

one young black man.

one with a gun.

one with his fists.

Darren Wilson.

Michael Brown, Jr.

 

In the shortened version of this story, the white cop did not sustain enough damage to justify killing an unarmed black man.  If he looked like Rodney King or Reginald Denny, I would be able to understand his shooting this young man to protect himself from being beaten to death. Looking at the pictures that were taken of him at “hospital”, left me shaking my head in wonder.

In the long, drawn out version told to the alleged Grand Jury, this officer feared for his life at the hands of a big, black teenager. There’s a possibility that this young man generally used his substantial size to bully and coerce others into doing his bidding. His parents said he was a gentle giant, but the video of him picking on the smaller adult in the store he took the cigarillos from, you can extrapolate that this young man did know he was big and burly and could get what he wanted by using his size to do so.

By the way, the cop was well-coached by his lawyers. He had to tell his story as straight-faced, unemotional and neutral-voiced as possible in order to be credible, even if he was lying through his teeth.

In the next version (mine), you have to wonder if the white cop was thinking with his primal brain when he kept pulling the trigger because Brown Jr. just wouldn’t stop coming and Wilson knew that if he just kept shooting, he could make this big-ass bear-child stop walking towards him with murder in his eyes. In my version, the question arises “was Wilson afraid or was he playing target practice with this young man?” In my version, I would also include the question of why Wilson couldn’t take a couple of punches from this unarmed black man and if he did take  couple of punches, why isn’t he walking around with at least one black eye, some knuckle-shaped purple-black bruises, a broken or dislocated jaw or a thoroughly damaged ear? If he was afraid for his life, does that mean that the slaps he probably got from Brown did, at least, dislocate his jaw? To me, that much damage might justify this officer shooting this unarmed black man to death.

The pictures I’ve seen of Wilson, there’s not enough facial damage done to warrant shooting Brown to death. The grand jury should have found probable cause to indict, based on the evidence. There should also be questions as to why Wilson was “walking” shots up this young man’s body. Was it target-practice? A well-placed couple of shots to the knees or femur would have gone a long way towards putting this young man down and preserving his life, extra “witnesses” be damned.

The question this so-called Grand Jury didn’t ask: why didn’t Wilson shoot to disable (a knee cap, femur or ankle) instead of taking the life? Was he thinking with his primal brain (kill the threat/or run like hell) or with his logical brain (play target practice on the n-word and make him suffer).

It appears to me that cops are no longer attempting to disable or maim, they are killing young black men, even if the circumstances don’t warrant it. They are not being trained to recognize when the primal brain is trying to take over to end a confrontation at all costs, instead of the logical brain which would calculate where to put a bullet to stop or slow further mayhem from happening. I would rather see an alive human being, missing an arm or leg rather than see a human being lying in the street unarmed and dead.

Some time in the not too-distant future, we’re going to find out that the 3 black jurors probably caved in to the 9 white jurors. Blacks here in MO are notoriously afraid of white people for absolutely no good reason. The blacks here keep giving whites some sort of power over what they say and do and always seem to be acquiescing to them, even to the detriment of their own opinions, ideas and lifestyles.

I think it’s way past time for black people to “stand their ground” and demand to be treated and given the same privileges as the white people in Missouri currently enjoy. There is economic opportunity everywhere in this state if everyone would realize the only color that matters is the color of your money.

It’s time for Black folks to stop ”stepping off the sidewalk” and “getting out of the way” and to demand respect, fair treatment and equal rights from whites in Missouri.

A leader is needed who’ll tell it like it is and confront the issues that are holding race relations in the state of Missouri hostage.

Black people here are living and working as if it is still the 1950s and Jim Crow is alive and well. The only place it’s okay to sit up front is on the bus or the MetroLink and only in a seat by yourself, because a white person will not sit next to you.

Missouri needs a governor who is not suffering from “tunnel” vision when it comes to what is really going on among both groups of his constituents. Missouri needs politicians who are aware and not afraid to confront and speak about what is holding this state and its’ people back from becoming an important player in the world market.

Missouri really needs to stop trying to keep the world off its’ doorstep and allow real progress to be had both in education, economics and racial equality, access to information and genuine communication. If MO wants to be a player in the world market, its’ leaders need to stop controlling “outsiders” access to creating businesses and come up with a plan to properly educate all  of its’ citizens.

MO needs a leader that is willing to welcome business ventures from outside the state that would help the state to grow and truly enter the 21st century global market.  It needs to have leaders who are non-exclusive in who they will deal with or communicate with in this current global environment.

When will MO become “the state that’s too busy to hate”

and invite the world to its’ front door?


on being afraid and the end of white privilege

July 5, 2014
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Most black people I’ve met here in STL are afraid. Living here makes black people afraid to live, to learn, to be good to each other or to leave. I’m not afraid and that makes me suspect and feared. I am suspect because I am not susceptible to the spirit-numbing, soul-robbing, mind-game-playing, gaslight tactics people do to each other here in the state of Missouri.

Two different jobs, I had supervisors tell me I should go work someplace else. One of them actually got me fired from my job because he couldn’t obfuscate me into being someone I didn’t want to be. The other one, instead of talking to me like an adult, kept threatening to write me up, insisting that I didn’t belong on “her” team. She ultimately had to give me a review (written by someone else) that probably made her want to gag, because I didn’t do what she was trying to mind-fuck me into doing. The only reason I’m still at my job is because I was able to transfer away before she was able to come up with a trumped-up cause to fire me.

But, back to my task at hand: black people I have met here and became friends with have all said the same thing, “they are afraid to go anywhere that they don’t already know someone.” They worry that if they don’t know someone in a different city, they run the risk of being hurt, robbed or worse. For some reason, these folks here believe the rest of the world “is out to get them” if they venture past the borders of the state of Missouri.

I stopped being friends with two women because they were afraid. I invited both of them to celebrate birthdays in Las Vegas and both of them wanted to know why I wanted to leave STL to have a birthday party. Neither of them wanted to leave the city because they were afraid.

It took me a while to figure out what was really going on.

I’m not from STL, so I’m not susceptible to the fearfulness that has been fed black folks here from the cradle to the grave. It’s why the city school system is unaccredited and why at least four generations of blacks (and some whites) here are ill-spoken, illiterate. humiliated and afraid, even the ones who consider themselves middle and upper-class. There are several generations of black folks who are cut-out, left-out, shut-out, locked-out, locked up and put-out. The young people, as in every revolutionary generation, have risen up and are demanding an end to the status quo of “white privilege”.

STL Blacks carry on with a lot of uncle tom, handkerchief-head, shuck and jive performing and will turn on each other in a heartbeat, especially if they think it will curry favor with the folks they think are running things here. They don’t think for themselves because they believe doing so will get them in trouble. Every question begins with “what would the white folks do?” Blacks here won’t think for themselves and they can’t take care of each other because of this.

It may have taken the Michael Brown shooting in August to start the STL revolution. It is now the beginning of the end of “white privilege” with the several shootings of black men in the last 2.5 months. Unfortunately, it also means that innocents will be victimized until the situation is changed.

None of the people I deal with, including my closest friend, have a clue on how to present themselves as equals. The one thing I’ve noticed is that white people here, if they can’t get you to defer to, obey them or step aside, they will either ignore what you say and do or they will do everything they can to ostracize you or even race you up the sidewalk to get in the front door of the closest grocery store first. None of them know how to talk to or behave with a black person who is well- or better-educated and speaks good English. Their belief system is that we are dirty, stupid animals and incapable of behaving in a civilized manner and uplift ourselves from a state of poverty and ignorance.

It is really great that Reverend Al, Brother Jesse, Martin Jr, Father Dick and Dr. Cornell have come to town to help folks stand up for themselves. Even though they are on the right track with the non-violent pop-up protests, none of them have come up with the right speech or the right phrase to set this town on proverbial “fire”! None of them have seen what is really going on in STL!!

From my point of view, it appears that all of the police departments in the metro area have signed on to maintain the current culture of “white privilege.” A culture that is designed to keep people of colour “in their place” and maintaining a way of life where non-whites aren’t allowed to fully participate in the economic and educational riches of this region. Blacks and whites here don’t like each other, because both groups have been fed with mother’s milk not to like or to talk to each other in any meaningful way.

“White privilege” is so well entrenched in the MO culture that no one seems to realize this is the crux of the unrest. It is the reason that so much misinformation in the Michael Brown case has been released, which is designed to discredit the current protests and demands being made. This is also the reason for the violence-prone “renegade demonstrations” that pop up from time to time at high-visibility venues like the Dome, Busch and SLU.

The entrenched “privilege” regime is afraid and trying to wait until the depths of winter, to release the non-indictment of officer Darren Wilson, hoping it will postpone a riot such as the ones in LA in the early-90s with the Rodney King police beating verdict.

It’s more like “Forsyth Stays White!”, the cry that was heard in late 1987 in Georgia. There is a concerted effort to keep the white privilege power base in STL metro intact, but without the overt racism that got Cumming, GA in so much trouble.

Blacks and whites here see each other as the “enemy”, not as someone to share economic wealth, educational opportunities, governmental and political equality with.

It is time for an end to “white privilege” in metro STL…

 

 


black history redux!

March 3, 2014
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back o my headMany thanks to Shukree Hassan Tilghman, a 29-year-old African-American filmmaker, who goes on a cross-country campaign to end Black History Month, for inspiring me to go on this journey with him. http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/more-than-a-month/

follow this blog,  (or until I get bored), you will see stories and information, past and present, pertaining solely to black people and their many accomplishments and contributions to modern society.

Nate Robinson is not the first non-tall professional basketball player to win a slam-dunk contest. It is Spud Webb, who played for the Atlanta Hawks. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spud_Webb

Ralph Ellison wrote a scathing novel “Invisible Man” in 1952. http://www.biography.com/people/ralph-ellison-9286702 that, while not “21st century” material, it speaks much about the current condition of black men in STL.

bell hooks, born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, wrote “Ain’t I a Woman?: Black Women and Feminism“. In a class with Angela Davis, I consider bell to be a premier black feminist writer with an honest opinion about black women and feminism, which, in my opinion has not been thoroughly visited by black women, especially here in STL. Unfortunately, there are still human beings who believe their only value is in how many babies they can make, how much money they can get for making babies and which man they can trick into marrying them for said babies and the “lifestyle” improvement that comes with making said babies for said man married to him or not.

and then there’s the STL homeless situationhttp://www.stlmag.com/St-Louis-Magazine/January-2014/No-shelter/, an article on the perspective of one man fighting a fight that may not be winnable, simply because these people are either too beaten down or too lazy to do or be otherwise. the problem may, in itself, be self-perpetuating also because of one man.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Octavia_E._Butler — this country’s first black female science fiction writer. all who follow, stand in her shadow.

 


thought for the day

January 18, 2014
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shut up! sometimes the best way to be heard is to stop talking.


double nickels and a full moon

January 15, 2014
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buttery moon 2014this evening, I watched a bright, butter yellow moon rise slowly over the tree tops while sitting on the train home this evening. I counted myself very fortunate to be able to sit still for 35 minutes and experience the phenomenon of that moon. I’ve seen that moon before, but never quite the way I saw it tonight.

at first I wasn’t sure what it was, it looked like something was on fire, because the top of it was barely seen through the tree-tops and it took 5 minutes to reveal itself  that bright, butter yellow orb that took its’ sweet time to appear in the distance.

i could blink and miss some aspect of that rising moon, so much so that it seemed as if the moon was frog- leaping into the sky should I look away.

i’m glad i got to see that moon rise. i count is a blessing and a privilege that i could sit still long enough to enjoy and appreciate it.

such a simple pleasure in this fast-paced world where everyone seems to be looking down (phone/ipad/laptop/notebook) at something in their laps these days.

i hope to see many more.

55mphfor the uninformed, double nickels means 55, which the age i will be in the spring. to me, this number is just as momentous as age 40 or 50 for that matter. it means that i am 5 years away from being 60 and that much closer to a retirement that i am not prepared for, neither emotionally nor fiscally. i, like many others, unfortunately dropped a lot of money into the stock market, relying solely on this as the way to secure my retirement future. bad idea. two years before i turned 50, half of the money i had saved was gone in the nuclear blast that was the housing market debacle. sucked away into a black hole.

sadly, this did not come to pass. to add insult to injury, two years after i turned 50, i was fired from my job. no severance, no golden parachute, nothing. i then made the mistake of assuming that my skills would put me back into the job market within a couple of months and ran around having some fun. it actually took 18 months and by that time, i had lived through the remaining money from my 401k. so much for the plans of worms and women.

i count myself foolish for believing the lie that the stock market would be the means towards my independence and comfort in my dotage.

i’m still grateful for having seen that moon.


Self-Hatred 2013

September 28, 2013
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People in STL hate themselves and each other so much that they think watching one black man beat another black man up is a form of entertainment. I stood on a street corner waiting for a bus one afternoon and actually watched this happen. It makes me want to go out and buy a car, just so I won’t have to see crap like this. It also makes me wonder how long it will be before someone brings a gun to the bus stop and we all end up on the 6pm news. It’s an open-air market for drug dealers and the clock is ticking on a drug deal gone bad. I am seriously beginning to hate this place that I am living in.


Burns hot and fast

March 10, 2013
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movies and TV teaches us how to have grand passions and lofty goals and massive dreams and flaming love. TV doesn’t show us how to just be ourselves with each other and relax in our own skins. It doesn’t allow us to be comfortable with each other and let passion be a simmer and not a roar. It teaches that love is an all-consuming inferno, burns hard and fast and then dies of boredom, instead of letting it take us on journeys of discovery of life together.

Even some of the books we read don’t teach moderation; of how to spend a quiet time, not gazing soulfully into each other’s eyes, but just letting the silence between envelope, caress and bind us, not in chaos and drama, but in soft, quiet joy and small conversations. We’re afraid to relax, because everything around us tells us we must go go go! It tells us to demand, not ask or counsel; to require, not negotiate. We don’t counsel; we criticize or correct. We cajole instead of caress.

Men and women spend their entire lives chasing each other around, not wanting to ‘die alone’, which is a dumb concept. No one can “die” with someone, even if they kill themselves at the same time. We die in our own skin, if we are lucky, surrounded by people who want our passing to be peaceful and joyous, in the midst of “leaving this world”.

We don’t tell each other our secrets and desires, we tell each other stories, not about the real us, but what we think the other person wants to hear.

If you are looking for a life partner, that person should be someone who wants to HELP. It is not someone who tells you you’re upposed to take care of them. Your life partner should be someone who wants to work with you to achieve your separate and common goals and dreams. You don’t grow apart, you always grow together and support each other through bad and good times.

It’s not about how much money and things you can give to keep that person with you or what you can get from someone because you’re too lazy to stand on your own two feet.

Be your own person and bring your best to your relationships and expect the other person to do the same.


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