Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Rabbis March on Washington

I've been thinking of other examples of civil protest since the Zimmerman trial’s verdict.  How they were perceived at the time, and if they were welcomed by all the members of the group they were fighting for.  An incident I feel would be interesting to compare was the 1943 March of the Rabbis in Washington D.C

“Make way for the rabbis.” It was probably the first time the station master at Washington, D.C.'s Union Station had shouted these words. But the crowd before him was unlike any ever seen in the nation's capital. Four hundred rabbis converged on Union Station two days before Yom Kippur, 1943, in a stirring display of unity to rescue Jews from Nazi extermination.
 The march was the brainchild of 33-year-old Hillel Kook (b. 1910), a Jerusalem-born nephew of Abraham Isaac Kook, former chief rabbi of Palestine, who arrived in the United States in 1940. For reasons known only to him, once here, Kook took the Americanized name Peter Bergson. Purchasing full-page ads in American newspapers criticizing British limitations on the number of Jews who could emigrate to Palestine, then under British rule, and pleading for Allied action to rescue European Jewry, Bergson and his associates known as the Bergson Group - used the mass media to rouse public interest and influence the Roosevelt administration to intervene against Hitler. Most provocatively, Bergson called for the formation of an international Jewish army, which would fight under Allied auspices to liberate European Jewry.
 Gaining access to the Orthodox rabbinical leadership was no simple task for the uninitiated. The elders of the Orthodox community in the 1940s were mostly European-born Talmudic scholars who spoke little English and were generally unfamiliar with the political ways of the New World to which they had emigrated. Few were accustomed to receiving national press coverage. But Bergson and his associates used their fluent Yiddish and Bergson's family connections to win the trust of rabbis in the Hasidic and general Orthodox communities. 
Jewish Virtual Library

 It states that Peter Bergson didn’t reveal the reasons for his name change, but I have to wonder if it was a form of code switching a topic we’re talking about now.  It is notable that he sought support for his initiatives within the immigrant class of Jewry at the time in that there was a tension happening that is similar to what is going on in the greater conversation on race around Trayvon Martin.    People among the more established portion of American Jews held great apprehension that the efforts to fight for increased Jewish immigration would ignite greater anti Semitism in America.  In an analogous way we are facing arguments today that discussing racism is the catalyst for racism.

Friday, July 19, 2013

President Obama's Recent Race Speech Colors Purple: A Call for Truth and Reconciliation

There’s a scene from The Color Purple that immediately jumped in my mind after hearing President Obama’s most recent discussion on race.  The family Suge Avery and her boyfriend are sitting around the table, and Mister insults Miss Celie just one time too often.  She grabs a knife, curses him, and declares her independence. 

It wasn’t Miss Celie I’m feeling right now, although President Obama played the role, I’m feeling Ms. Sophia.

Ms. Sophia had her face scared and her spirit broken from a completely unjust interaction with a racist criminal justice system.  Remember it?  The White lady wanted to pet her child, and she had the nerve to speak out against it, got attacked defended herself and was beaten down in the street?

That’s exactly how I and a great many Black people felt in the aftermath of the Zimmerman trial’s verdict.

President Obama spoke the kind of truth that Black America needed to hear to go forward, and for that I will forever treasure the two votes I cast for him.  .  Ms. Sophia was able to wake up from the slumber the abuse had placed her.  She was able to be herself again.

I’d like to add a call for action.

We are currently in the midst of celebrating the life and times of the Madiba.  I like President Obama came to political activism struggling against our nation’s support of South Africa.  I would like to propose a tool the South African people used to great effect, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission except an American one.

The most appealing aspect of this idea to me is that of Truth.  We would have stakeholders from say, not just Native peoples, but the issues of a Native person from the plains and from Alaska.  We would have not just Asians, but Japanese to speak of internment, Chinese to speak of their experiences in America’s cities.  We should have stake holders for everyone to write in an event where all of American history is discussed.

We can discuss the individual experience of every wave of immigration we have been blessed with and finally expose any painful myths laying underneath like how Italian people are seen as mafia dons, or just anything.

I’ve always felt that our reconstruction after the civil war was designed to reconcile Northern White people with their Southern brothers.  I call on a reconciliation of the entire American family. 

The soul searching the President called for in his speech will by our history uncover nasty things, but the only way to get forgiveness is to ask for it, even if it regards something you were not personally responsible for.  The only way for anyone to grant forgiveness is to feel as if the offense is recognized and forgiveness is sought.

We can do this.

Oh yes, Miss Sophia feeling better now I’m home now.  

Namaste friends

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Trayvon Martin and My Old Doctor

I am desolate.  

I've been trying for the last few days to put out something anything about the Trayvon Martin case, but I couldn't get past my 5 MFer rule.  That means no publish if I use 5 MFers in a paragraph.  

I hope I can someday speak of going forward, but unfortunately today is not that day.
I just kicked this out in the last half an hour, and since it didn't have any MRers in it, I thought I'd share.

A couple of months ago I had to fire my doctor.  To be honest it wasn’t the doctor he struck me as a compassionate person, and I and my family liked going to him.  However when I went to my last appointment the receptionist threw me out of their office because she feared violence from me. 

I had set a rather normal appointment to have my blood drawn for my annual fasting blood sugar.  Black folks and the sugar is a real issue you know.  The night before I also had a real problem with my tooth and my face looked like Popeye and I was in pain going to the dentist after I had my draw.

When I got there the receptionist told me she had forgotten the nurse who did the work had unexpectedly left 2 weeks before and she had neglected to call any patients.  I most calmly as a person who hadn’t eaten for 16 hours and had a blinding toothache asked why was I in her office at 7 a.m. and what was I supposed to do?

Rather than getting an answer I was profiled.  I had every right to be angry just like Trayvon Martin had every right to walk home from the store, I had every right to demand apologia and good customer service, and although I did, it was in no way angry.  Yet the receptionist an older Latina lady who if she didn’t speak and expose her accent would be considered White found me a threat and asked me to leave.

I had to fire my doctor.  There is no way I would submit myself for care to people who would fear a 50 year old grandfather, and never even consider me like a patient.  The receptionist never even asked me how I was doing so I could have said crappy.

Today I think I might have to fire my country.  Today I have come to the inescapable conclusion that a black child who is murdered may not be treated as a victim.  I live in a country where a party can elect people and consider them Presidential candidates that hire unabashed neo confederates, and their sons who freely adopt the persona  N1ggerkiller not be considered a racist.

I live in a country where we as Black people have been cowed from even naming the phenomenon RACISM that oppresses us, and even in liberal environs it is more damaging to accuse anyone or anything of racism than racism itself. 

I had to fire my doctor.  I didn’t even tell him personally why.  I had a conversation with the office manager where she told me she had spoken to the receptionist’s co-workers and I was indeed scary, and after that I wasn’t interested in continuing any relationship with the doctor, so I found another one.

Now I’m wondering if I should start looking for another country.

Namaste Friends

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Mini Rant on The NSA/Glenn Greenwald Grift

I wrote this as a stream of consciousness on Twitter, and I decided it needed to be together.

The President of the United States proposed we change our fear soaked war footing, instead a grifter decided we'd talk on a 5 year old story. Yes there is a reason why ending the perpetual war state and all the money attached to it got quieted by a BS Greenwald story. Greenwald who is the same dude who supported W's national security program. It's because the MSM and Greenwald are part of the racist 1% elite of Koch. Same successful tactics the Dudebros ran to depress 2010 turnout, so my question is why people and places home of failure have voice. The tactic of COINTELPRO is to promote a rat to a voice of authority within your movement then let the rat loose. That's why a man with no degrees got 122K jobs with hooked into the racist 1% network defense contractors. What do the Tea Party right and the DudeBro used to be Republican now "progressive" left? have in common? Both can call PBO Hitler. I just wish it were more slick, something new. It is pissing me off the same tired CON that's been run on America for 40 years.

They've re-hatched Jim Crow and a rat done probed my sister Nell, and Whitey's scared of drones.