Will The American South Ever Remember Its Brutal Antebellum History?

I don’t normally reblog. I found this post from The Raven Report haunting and well worth the time to read.

The Raven Report

13-xpSTATUE1-master768*Sidenote: While The Raven Report does not typically offer commentary on the details of history, this current rise in white supremacist activity and Southern recalcitrance regarding the issue of black lives demands attention. As someone recently said, “If you ignore the problem, you are part of the problem.” And so, we would like to do our part in promoting the notion of equity among people, regardless of their race, creed, or gender. Thank you for being involved. Let’s make history.

With so much talk in the news about Charlottesville, Virginia and the recent race riot they endured, it’s worth considering what all the fuss is about. The Virginia controversy has centered specifically on a statue of the Confederacy’s top general, Robert E. Lee, who appears larger than life as he sternly surveys the landscape before him—a landscape plowed, planted, and reaped by the hands of African slaves. In many…

View original post 3,260 more words

Charlottesville Riots

Here in the United States, white supremacists came to Charlottesville, Virginia to rally around their cause.  In the violence that happened during the event, one woman was killed and many injured.  I personally know no one who supports the cause of the white supremacists.  In my circle of friends and acquaintances many of expressed horror and disgust over the actions of the white supremacists.  People are saddened that these nasty individuals are considered a representation of the United States.

As we grieve and are saddened by the events, I have questions.  If we really want people to be on equal footing, what small things are we doing on a daily basis to help achieve this.

I live in a very liberal university town.  My children attend/attended public schools.  I attended private schools growing up.  So perhaps I was a bit naive, but I thought the public school system represented equality of opportunity.  I thought everyone from the superintendent to the school board members to the principals to the classroom teachers were on board with this concept.  I was very wrong.  In my community those from disadvantaged backgrounds have little voice in the system.  Many parents who have kids in the public school system want a system where the rich get richer, and their kids are separated from those they considered the lowest of society.

I’m always surprised that we are horrified by the events of Charlottesville, but we turn a blind eye to other, smaller forms of prejudice.  If we want things to get better, we all have a role to play.  That means getting involved in local politics and state politics as well on a national level.  It means showing kindness to everyone.

Something I will never understand having recently traveled to another part of the country.  What jerks still make and sell Confederate flags?  Who the heck would dress their kid in a tshirt with a Confederate flag.

Summer Snippets…The Graveyard of Old Hurts

Circumstances have dictated that I must spend more time with my sister and my mom. Being around family means that old disagreements and painful memories come back to the surface.

It is okay to examine these old hurts for a time.  It gets dangerous for me though when they start to consume my thoughts.  Memories I thought were long dead come back to life to haunt me.

When those old memories haunt me, it is easy for my depression to sneak in and cast a dark cloud over everything.

I know for now I must say goodbye to the graveyard.  Time to get back amongst the living.

Nemesis

I wrote previously of my nemesis at work in this post.  I had thought she quit, but it turns out she only left for a leave of absence.  She is returning back to work soon, how lovely.  She likes to find fault with others, always making little snipes about something petty.  I compared her to Frank Burns, a character from the sitcom M*A*S*H.  Frank Burns was a surgeon who was often critical of others, but was also a hypocrite who couldn’t see his own faults or the big picture of what it meant to be an Army doctor during the Korean War.

She’s a pest, that fly that won’t stop buzzing in your ear.

I like to think I maintain a professional demeanor most of the time.  I lost it with her though.  I told her people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.  She didn’t get it.

Oh well, I think I know how to handle her now.  I won’t let her get me rattled again.

Pool

As a kid I spent many hours at the local pool.  It costs 50 cents to get in.  I’d either walk there or ride my bike.  Funny how memory works, I can even remember some of the swimsuits I had.  There was a beautiful patterned suit with varying shades of green. Then there was one inspired by the American flag.

I took swim lessons there.  They lined us all up in the shallow end and barked instructions at us.  Lessons were in the morning.  Then I might turn around and go back again in the afternoon just to hang out.

Shimmering turquoise blue water, always welcoming.  I worked on trying to do a somersault off the diving board.  I would see how long I could swim along the bottom. I’d race against my companions.

When I needed a break from the water I’d work on my tan.  I was a serious tanner back in the day.

The pool, the water, the sunshine.  My summer sanctuary.

Morning

Morning.  I have never been one of those people who can pop out of bed at the first buzz of the alarm.  The earlier I must get up, the more planning I must do.  I set my alarm to plan for several pushes to the snooze alarm.  Ideally I have time to sit and wake up some more, but sometimes that just ends up in more dilly dallying in the quest to awaken and join the world.

Over the years I have worked all sorts of hours as a nurse.  If I am working an earlier shift, I think it works out best for me to plan as much as I can the night before.  I even try to economize my steps to not wander around the house like the half awake person I am. I have my outfit planned the night before, everything is right where I can find it so I don’t have to go searching.

The morning shower gets me going.  I have to have a morning shower.  I am not one of those people who can shower the night before.  My day won’t go right if I am too rushed to miss this essential part of the day.  Plus my hair will look greasy if I don’t wash it. Sometimes in the winter months I will skip the hair washing part..not so in the hot summer.

If I have coffee, it has to be before I brush my teeth.  Earlier hours will mean a simple breakfast.

Even though the getting out of bed part can be painful, there is something rewarding about getting up early and having a head start on the day.

Tea Cup

She saw the tea cup decorated with red roses in the antique shop and she knew she had to buy it.  She was sure her grandmother had a tea cup identical to it. She had always loved that tea cup.  Whatever had happened to it?

It was funny how a simple tea cup made her think about her grandmother for the rest of the day.  She had regrets that she had never tried to get to know her grandmother better, for now it was too late.  The tea cup was a symbol of her grandmother’s struggles, of a hard life.  Her life had so many more opportunities and physical comfort  compared to that of her grandmother.

She was never quite sure what to say to her grandmother, after all they didn’t seem to have much in common.  Now she wondered, what part of my grandmother is in me? There was the faintest hint of her grandmother’s bone structure in her face.

The tea cup was always on display, one of her grandmother’s treasured items in her small house.  Grandmother kept her house neat, and took good care of everything she had.

Grandmother was a “little old lady” presumably delicate. However she’d lived a much harder life than her granddaughter.  Her parents had come from the old world. Grandmother dropped out of school at an early age to begin working.  She’d worked on and off throughout her adult life, out of economic necessity.  Those memes about fifties housewives, they’d never quite applied to her.

She found a treasured place for the tea cup with red roses.  Every time she looked at it she would smile just a little bit and think of her grandmother.

The Seedy Side of Town

Everywhere she goes she always can connect with the seedy side of town.  In her hometown it is the dividing line where old money sits across the street from the very poor.  Nestled nearby is a “charming” historical district with many bars.

In the seedy side of town the golden rule does not apply.  The predatory and the opportunistic easily find the most damaged of society.  Sometimes it is hard to tell the predator from the prey.

In the dim light of night she looks attractive.  If you look closer though you can see her smudged mascara, dirty fingernails and unwashed clothes, and you might turn away.

She mostly seeks her own type, those who cannot say no to another beer.  She seeks validation and affirmation that she is still something.  She doesn’t care the price she pays as long as she gets her fix for the night.

Not content to sit at home and fall asleep after one too many drinks, she comes alive in the night.  For just one more night she can tell a sympathetic stranger her tales of woe.

In the hot blinding daylight of summer, life is just too harsh to face.  Better to sit in the dark air conditioned bar where no one cares if she is sober or drunk.

Summer Snippets..Suitcase

She snooped in the suitcases, looking for clues.  Clues about the owner of the suitcases.

She found neon colored bras and sparkly panties galore, enough to make a stripper jealous.  All brands outside of the snooper’s price range.

Bottle caps and receipts for the liquor store.

A planner with many entries, of tasks never accomplished.

Overdue bills and credit card receipts.

Potions and eye shadows, enough for a year, not just a short trip.

Bottles of pills with no labels.  Not Motrin or Tylenol best she could tell.

She stopped snooping, more bewildered than ever.  Clearly over the years the gap had become ever wider, and she wasn’t sure she would ever understand the owner of the suitcases.