Thursday, October 11

Strange Fruit At My Breaking Point


I had a plan. I was gathering 200 factoids and tidbits about my self along with general witticisms and G trivia for this, my 200th post. Then I saw the news this morning. It was actually the words “Columbia University Teachers College” that got my attention, because that is where Papa G got his masters degree. For those of you who don’t know here is the story:
Professor Madonna Constantine arrived at work on Tuesday morning to find a noose hanging from the door to her office. Constantine is a professor of psychology and education at the renowned Teachers College. She also co-wrote a book “Addressing Racism: Facilitating Cultural Competence in Mental Health and Educational Settings”.
Instead of doing her work on Tuesday she spent the day focused on this violation. The NYPD Hate Crimes detectives were called in and plans were made to address the students and explain the presence of the police on campus. This morning Professor Constantine appeared on Good Morning America and what struck me was when she was asked how this made her feel (surely the most inane of questions) one of her answers was ‘embarrassed’. I felt a strange kinship with her in that moment. Can you understand that Minions? Can you understand what it is to be violated and angry and at the same time embarrassed, even though you know you shouldn’t be and that you did nothing wrong?
I am angry. At this moment I am fearsomely, violently angry. The scum who fashioned this noose meant for her to feel fear, shame and pain. This is exactly what the piece of shit wanted. I’m also tired; tired of people boiling everything down to the lowest and most base levels and targeting those who try to rise above.
I don’t care what his or her motives were. I don’t care what happened to make him that way. I wish that I could take all of my brothers and sisters of color away somewhere where they would be safe. Emotionally and physically.
I am an interracial American, educated and liberal minded- and I want to flee. I know that at some point later today I will calm down. I will see that we all need to make a stand against this together and I will remember that the violent actions and intentions of one do not speak for a group.
I’m tired of having to remember. I’m tired of the confederate flags and the “Never apologize for being white” bumper stickers. I’m tired of the nooses in the trees and on the doorknobs. I’m tired of Bill O’Reilly and the fucking Republican Party. I’m tired of having to deal with it every day. I’m tired of forgiving and I’m tired of educating. I’m tired of the fear and the strain. I’m tired of the little slights that I let go every day and I’m tired of waking up in the morning to some fresh new steaming pile of shit on the airwaves.
Papa G says “All you absolutely have to do in this life is stay Black and die”. Let me tell you that some days it’s a hell of a lot of work.

15 Comments:

Mayren said...

Amen. Just remember you're amazing and not many of your minions have actually seen you. We don't care - you are amazing.

*P.S.* I second the "fucking Republican Party" comment!

WNG said...

Thanks Mayren. I'm usually ok- but sometimes I just have to get it out.

*P.S.* let's pass a motion, shall we?

His Sinfulness said...

I am embarassed to be white, much of the time...

When things like this take place, I am always horrified, and at a loss for how to respond. It seems silly to say I'm sorry as I am not the perpetrator, but that's usually the first feeling I have. Then, I feel kind of sick to my stomach, and then in true, papal fury, I feel like finding those guilty and showing them the error of their ways by breaking their kneecaps...

Jay said...

Not long ago, about 3 weeks I think, somebody hung a noose outside of the black student center at the University of Maryland. Obviously, this noose thing isn't something that some people all independently thought of to bring back. This looks to me like people who all frequent white supremacist groups or message boards or whatever decided it would be funny to bring back the symbol of the noose. It's not.

As for your mention of the Confederate Flag, I agree. I grew up in the South and even have ancestors who fought for the Confederacy. But, that flag doesn't stand for me or anything I stand for. The flag itself is Anti-American also.

Jay said...

P.S. The noose at Maryland was put up a couple of days before a Maryland Football game played on a Thursday night on ESPN. ESPN talked about he noose, but kept saying it was hung outside "a school building". Mike Tirico (who is black) was the only ESPN person to mention that it was the black student center.

CNN and the Washington Post also only referred to the center as "a school building". I thought that was interesting that the media didn't want to say the noose was hung outside of the black student center. It says a lot about how our media approaches these incidents.

WNG said...

Honestly Pater, right now I'd hold your coat while you went to work on them, even though I'm basically a pacifist. You have nothing to be embarassed about.

That's what I don't get, Jay. All of this "The South Will Rise Again" crap. I live in the south and I think we're doing fine- just high enough. What- we should break the country apart again? And that would be a good thing? There's no way it isn't racist or ignorant, or both. I agree with you that it has to be a movement. What scares me is that if I am having such a visceral reaction to it how long will it be before there is violence that will make Jena look like Disneyland?

NoRegrets said...

Here's a quote I ran across - I'm writing a post tomorrow about Doris Lessing - this is from Prisons We Choose to Live Inside:
"This is a time when it is frightening to be alive, when it is hard to think of human beings as rational creatures. Everywhere we look we see brutality, stupidity, until it seems that there is nothing else to be seen but that - a descent into barbarism, everywhere, which we are unable to check. But I think that while it is true there is a general worsening, it is precisely because things are so frightening we become hypnotized, and do not notice - or if we notice, belittle - equally strong forces on the other side, the forces, in short, of reason, sanity and civilization..."

Mayren said...

I grew up my first 25 years in Texas. It's not as southern as Georgia but Redneck with the best of them. There are many chilled out parts who welcome all with open arms because well the majority of people are already non-caucasion.
There are of course bad places like Houston where each group has a nasty gang presence and there are killings in the streets daily.
---
The south will not rise again.
The confederate flag is only fun when watching The Dukes of Hazzard car - nothing else. It should be burned.

WNG said...

Noregrets- I love that quote- and will get right over to read your post! That describes exactly where I was yesterday- a place I haven't been before and don't want to go to again.

Mayren- My grandmother was thrown into prison in Massachsetts for marrying a black man in the late 30's. I have few illusions about the south- having grown up here myself- by I do believe there are personal and community choices. We chose what we will stand for and against. I'm trying to remember the pockets of hope all around the country, including the south.

Susan said...

I can't find your email address to send you questions. :| randomemomoments@gmail.com

email me your email address.

WNG said...

Yea! Questions!!!

NoRegrets said...

Oops, sorry, the post will come Monday likely. Lost steam yesterday...

WNG said...

No worries, no regrets :)

Susan said...

I found your email, G. I had it saved as "I am but a minion to her" lol

WNG said...

Well you all are - it's what brings the world together :)