Tag Archives: racism

Minbari Mondays, Infection, and Purity?

This is the continuation of our fictional letter (reviewing each film and episode of Babylon 5) that I receive each week from Ranger Mayann.

Here is her sixth report:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa, Greetings from Tuzanor:

In this sixth report, still in your Earth year 2258, the second year of operation of the station, the only ambassador to be seen in this incident is one from the distant past of a dead world: an ambassador who is built to bring destruction.

As Mr. Garibaldi informed the human reporter, working for your news agency called InterStellar Network News, or ISN, how to navigate the station, Dr. Franklin was being offered an adventure by an old professor of his, while the esteemed professor’s subordinate was murdering a customs officer in one of the station’s docking bays.

The doctor showed what you humans call grouchy behavior both to Garibaldi and to his old professor.  Perhaps you humans could benefit from our Minbari meditation training?

The doctor, for some reason, missed signs that even one of my people would have noticed. It was clear from his arrival that the doctor’s old professor was lying.  Was it not also clear, that the professor was using the doctors own vice, his ego, to manipulate him?  Why do you Humans allow this?

I must admit that I am also mystified about the Martian war machine wanting to discuss the common cold: were not your Martian colonists also resistant to the human rhinoviruses?

Dr. Franklin, to his credit, questioned the motives of an Earth-based corporation, IPX, the one that financed the dubious adventure to which he was being invited, but yet again, the doctor allowed his suspicions to be talked away by his blustery old teacher.

Coming back to another Earth-based corporation, this one a network for news reporting,  ISN, we see Mr. Garibaldi attempting to save face for the commander, by talking around the commander’s delay in meeting with the reporter.  He informed the reporter how, after walking many miles through a desert, he became close friends with Commander Sinclair, but met only with a shameful attempt on her part to make Garibaldi lose face.  Such stories are what we Minbari treasure above all, to learn more about the history of Sinclair…

Commander Sinclair and Garibaldi were then forced to confront the professor regarding an artifact found on the dead planet from which it had been taken. Fortunately, they were less willing to be deceived than the doctor.  

As with Lt. Commander Ivanova, a word of warning from Commander Sinclair goes far.  But, his warning applied implicitly to the professor, without Sinclair having to say the words. Again, showing the wisdom which would later make up much wisdom from our world, the wisdom from which we would learn. Except, perhaps, for his early habit of performing duties which could have been delegated to his security personnel.

But then, the commander had to do that which only one of his wisdom could do: to convince a living machine that purity does not exist except in mathematics. You Humans would take a very long time to be able to learn that lesson from Satai Delenn.

In the end, the commander was successful, and the doctor had to confront his old professor, who tried, yet again, to stain the honor of your doctor, this time unwilling to be manipulated by his old teacher.

And Garibaldi risked their friendship to be honest with Commander Sinclair. True to his growing wisdom, the commander overcame his pride to thank his old friend Garibaldi.

Doctor Franklin, in reflecting on the problem of killing in the name of purity, was reminded of the words of Santayana by Lt. Commander Ivanova. Both the mistakes of the past and the survival in the future, of a species are connected to pride, ego, and purity not of flesh, but of motives.

From the city of  Tuzanor, on Minbar

Earth year 2278,

Anla’Shok Mayann

  Addendum to Ranger Mayann’s report, by Shira:  This episode introduces us to some big movers and shakers in the B5 Universe, like ISN, and IPX.  I have always loved the play on CNN and on the large multi-national corporations that throw so much financial muscle around and force nation-states to bid for factories by giving out tax breaks.  That said, this was one of my least favorite episodes, with the exception of 1.)  the great Ivanova quote:

“Don’t. You’re too young to experience that much pain.”

and 2.) The Big Question, facing humanity about space. 

While I still find some moments in this episode to be cring-worthy, mainly that climactic scene with the over-acting of Commander Sinclair, I find that I like this episode much better now that I have gone back to look at it from Ranger Mayann’s perspective.  I also liked seeing the reference to H.G. Wells a bit better, this viewing around, though it suddenly strikes me that in that year, Mars is a human colony, so the reference to “the common cold” should no longer work, since a Martian war machine would now most likely be a battered old transport loaded with human colonists from Mars trying to escape oppression, if human history is any guide. 

The thing that has always troubled me, most likely, about this episode is that it touches a nerve for me.  As a kid, I was constantly being accosted by other kids, Black and White, asking me if I was “mixed” or “half and half” and even in college, about my folks not “keeping my bloodline pure.”  Ridiculous, of course, in the mouth of any of us here in the US, considering that every Black American has had ancestors from both Africa, probably from Europe, and often also from this very continent, especially for those of us whose ancestors arrived earliest.  Skin color is not a good indicator of ancestry, as one Black man found out the hard way: he deemed himself ‘pure’ until a DNA test showed that his either grandfather or great grandfather had been white! 

Heck, even the Puerto Rican girls in my Woodbridge, VA  Middle School didn’t see any common ground with me: they decided that it was imperative to follow me as I walked down the street, yell stupidities at me, and start a fight because I was ignoring them.  They both seemed to get a shock when I actually hit one of them back.  One sister stared at me in bewilderment as the other pulled out her makeup mirror to check her face! Meanwhile, I continued on my way to pick up my little step-brother from his baby-sitter.  By the time we got home, there was a large crowd of unhappy people, mostly Puerto Ricans, and the remaining one or two white, waiting on my front lawn.  None of us were what anyone would have called “pure” blooded, but this didn’t seem to matter to anyone, that day. 

“No one is pure. None of us”

Very true, but I doubt that those who need to hear that truth watch Babylon 5.

That was part 6 of Ranger Mayann’s letter on the history of the Babylon Project.  It can be seen from another point of view by watching the Babylon 5 Season 1, Episode 4: Infection, which I certainly recommend.

Ranger Mayann’s fifth report, from last week, can be read here.

-Shira

Action Items:

1.)  Share your thoughts on race and purity, if you will.

2.) Share your thoughts on how we Human Beings might start to build a more fully inclusive society for all of us, and how something like Babylon 5 could help that process.

4.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses these thoughts.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind?

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GoodReads button:

Nih sakh sh’lekk, sleem wa.

ShiraDest

March, 2021 CE = March 12021 HE

(The previous lesson 67/67 , and the most recent lesson 1/67…)

Stayed on Freedom’s Call
(free: https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…)
includes two ‘imagination-rich’ walking tours, with songs, of Washington, DC. New interviews and research are woven into stories of old struggles shared by both the Jewish and African-American communities in the capital city.

Shared histories are explored from a new perspective of cultural parallels and parallel institution-building which brought the two communities together culturally and historically.

Free copies are available at https://archive.org/details/StayedOnF…

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Freedom for All Fridays on the New Year, and opportunity for all?

Well, opportunity if you were born in the upper working to middle classes, anyway…

Notice who had the BMW (Bike/Metro/Walk) vs. whose access to folks with wheels got those resource advantages moving, wittingly or unwittingly…

I’ve been mulling over some conversations with a person, white, grew up with a housekeeper, left home at 16 to work 3 p/t jobs to finish the last year of high school to avoid physical abuse at home.   But who had rides to and from each of those jobs, and an apartment whose deposit was paid by the school principal. What a pal.  And in a Sundown Town.  So this is a bootstraps story?  Ok, those are pretty strong bootstraps.

But this is not an up from the Projects story, growing up with all sorts of violence and CSA, where physical abuse was the norm, and dodging drug dealers was also the norm.  Getting a job at 16 was not possible in 1984 DC for someone living in Anacostia, and getting an apartment at all, let alone rides to and from school or work, was out of the question.  For the kid from the Sundown Town, getting out was difficult, but for the kid from projects, getting out was a minor miracle.

Yet, “if one person can do it, so can anyone else.”

One of these things is not like the other, right?

 

Racism, especially the currently ingrained systemic racism of the US, is entirely based on the teachings of slavery, which most in this country still receive in the home and in the media, wittingly or not.
Meditating on an issue of unack’d or self-hidden racism/prejudice: And maybe it’s that this landlord grew up and lived most of his 70 years in a Sundown Town in Southern CA, but he refuses to see the lack of opportunity for most … not only Black folks, but even for most working class white folks. He insists that “if even one person did it, then anyone can do it” as if he, a financial coach, has never heard of an outlier… (especially when he uses me as an example of escaping poverty, and I really feel used, having gotten DC’s appointment to Annapolis before our only Rep. even had a vote in The House…).
He has no clue what it’s like to be called “part of the Talented Tenth,” and the weight of expectation that carries, nor that only 1/10 make it out of the projects after surviving certain childhood traumas.

So, it turns out that 1.) transportation (and affordable and safe mass transit, at that) makes a huge difference, and 2.) our received ideas are harder to draw out than I’d hoped.  More on my continuing striving with hidden racism next week, friends:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of freedom for all that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different sources to translate the word “racial justice” into your favorite language.

2.) Share your thoughts on #1 with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Write a blog post or tweet that discusses racism, tells a good story, or just makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

2021 CE, which is 12021 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Freedom Fridays on the New Year, and a talk handout on debt remission for justice?

The judicial system considered most of my ancestors to be legal property. As the descendant of slaves who are often presumed to have had less difficulty than others, due to our light complexion, I look at various ways to handle inter-generational wealth, or the lack thereof, and I wonder how to adjust our need for Truth, Reconciliation and restitution to take into account the realities of the various levels of access to resources that different groups of people had (or didn’t have). Racism had its effects, and debt-build up did too, for all poor people.

The ability to build up wealth and pass that on to one’s children requires a fair judicial system that allows one to both build and keep wealth, and then to keep that wealth within a family group safely. Unlike, say, Tulsa, OK in 1921, or many other cases of murder for Black wealth. In studying the book of Deuteronomy, ch. 15, I noticed that the Bible also has much to say about helping people build and keep their wealth.

First, a fair judicial system is a must.

Second, debts cannot be allowed to build up too far for too long.

From a class I taught in DC, in 2012.  (pdf DCBM20AugustReehClass here…)

Shira Jones, DC Beit Midrash, DC JCC, 20 August 2012, Parashat Shoftim
Community is built pillar by pillar, and one of those pillars, as we see this week in this
week´s Parashah, Parashat Shoftim, is having a judiciary system which is fair and
impartial, handing down rules which are applied equally under law, yet expansive enough
to make exemptions when necessary (for instance, in the 6th aliyah, where newlyweds,
conscientious objectors and other young men are excused from going to war).
1
4
2
3
▪ Na’aseh ve Nishmah: {Laws = formal rules; Minhagim = informal
norms} Shoftim
▪ Rewards and consequences of unity and cooperation vs. separation from
the community: {holding the mountain over our heads} Shavuot
▪ Consensus based buy in from all of the people: {Every Jewish Neshamah
was there}
▪ Intergenerational endurance: {“Na’aseh ve Nishmah”} Parashat Re´eh
Some sources of each of the four pillars where discussed in last year´s Shavuot class,
notes for which are available upon request. We will focus today on the 4th pillar, from
Parashat Re´eh, that of Intergenerational endurance.
One major prerequisite for building lasting community is solving the problem of
short-term insolvency, and also preventing long-term building up of, as the Etz Haim
commentary on this parashah puts it, “a permanent underclass” of impoverished members
of the community. The Biblical mechanism for this is a regular Remission of Debt,
which is commanded Dvarim ch. 15.
Every seven years loans are forgiven
Loans, we learned earlier in Bahar, Lev. 25, must be made interest free to fellow Jews
An interesting repetition in Devarim 15:8 -openly open your hand to him
Why the redundancy? There are two sides to giving a loan
1. Short term financial help
2. long term community responsibility to
a. help the person make a sustainable living
b. create equitable structures that prevent neediness
Loan forgiveness and lending are short term solutions
Structural equity is the long term solution
Time Banking is one example of part of that long term solution
1. interest free, egalitarian equitable structure
2. interconnect various communities
3. since a person can donate time adn withdraw that time later, it gives along term
incentive for each person to contribute to the community and have that time valued and
recognized by the community.
4. over time this strengthens individuals and communities
Thus lending is short term, while Time Banks is part of Teachng a man to fish and
feeding him for a lifetime.
Community and the building of community solidly at the center of Jewish practice.
Chodesh Tov L´Elul, and Gamar Chatima Tovah, posted Teach !   ShiraDest, 8 March, 12016 HE,
Shira Destinie Jones, Mphil, DC “Community Cooperation” Singing Tour Guide

So, it turns out that 1.) debt forgiveness is an old idea, and 2.) a fair judicial system is related to debt, both short and long-term, and all three need to be considered together as part of an inter-related justice system.  Today, the criminal justice system adds to the debt of many people who were incarcerated rather than educated, and even more people, White and Black, suffer from lack of learning via default judgements on Expired Debts (debts past their Statutes of Limitations, or SoL), and medical or health-care related debt (another reason that Europe has higher upward mobility than the USA).

More on my continuing striving with justice, both judicial and economic, next time:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of freedom for all that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different sources to translate the word “Justice” into your favorite language.

2.) Share your thoughts on #1 with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Write a blog post or tweet that discusses racism, tells a good story, or just makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

2021 CE, which is 12021 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

French Fridays, review/révu: Ne Lâche pas Ma Main -racism vs. Health Care

This is the review of a book I read in 2015, set on the French island (in the Indian Ocean) of la Réunion. The English is first, and then the French.

This book showed me how reading novels can build both empathy and understanding as part of new knowledge placed in context.

Ne lâche pas ma mainNe lâche pas ma main by Michel Bussi

Busssi shows us a world within another world ; that of people of color and the prejudices which the tourists do not see. He describes the island so well that you feel as if you were there, and finishes with a final word so moving it demands thought, and even an immediate re-read. (Also may go well with Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, many thanks to Ruth for her review.

Shira HoloceneHuman Era Destinie
24 August, 12015 HE

BUSSI nous montre le monde dans un autre monde, celle de gens de couleur et les préjuges invisibles aux touristes. Il décrit l’île si bien qu’on se sent la-ba même, et fini la dernier mot si jaillissant qu’on ne peut pas s’arrêter de y penser, et même le relire tout de suite.

24,8,12 015 èH( ère Holocène ou ère Humaine)
ShiraDest

View all my reviews

 

I really hope that this book is available in English, for those who cannot read it in French.  Please read it, and share!

   Salût !  

Action Items in support of empathy that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different sources to check out this book (the Open Library, for example),

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how you like this book, after reading, or while reading it,

4.) Write a blog post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

 

ShiraDest

NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

November, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Spanish Sundays, Words, and societal health

Thank you, Ms. Bechdel!  The words we use, especially about groups with less power in society, matter, and must become more fully inclusive for the health all of us: 

While watching El Ministerio del Tiempo with me, a friend commented that it was already passing the Bechdel test for sexism in films/TV shows in the first 20 minutes of the first episode, and then explained that the test also applies to racism in the media.  The importance of this is not just to hit political correctness marks, but to show the impact that words have on both our personal and our cultural development.

After watching the recent electoral campaign, I am more convinced than ever that we as a society need to learn how to think critically, to investigate fully, and above all, to put ourselves in the histories and shoes of the other (see the #SafetyPin movement…).  We need to learn to speak and think Non-Violently, and to think and act inclusively.  Not just for ourselves, but for our posterity.

If there is still a  habitable planet in another hundred years for our posterity, that is.  Even if not, who would want the coming generations to live in fear and aggression in what is left of humanity’s time on this earth?

Read, Write, Dream, Teach !

ShiraDest
November 9th, 12016 HE

I later learned that But, they had to be two named ladies, discussing something important…

Action Items:

1.) Tell us about a show you enjoy watching that passes the B. test, and at what point you see that it passes the test.

2.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that references that moment in the show (or a similar moment), tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. If you write a book, once published, please consider donating to your local public library.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GR button:

 Nos vemos!  

ShiraDest

December, 2020 CE = December 12020 HE

(The previous lesson 4/67 published since this post, and the most recent lesson 5/67…)

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Freedom Fridays and a talk handout on debt remission for justice?

The judicial system considered most of my ancestors to be legal property. As the descendant of slaves who are often presumed to have had less difficulty than others, due to our light complexion, I look at various ways to handle inter-generational wealth, or the lack thereof, and I wonder how to adjust our need for Truth, Reconciliation and restitution to take into account the realities of the various levels of access to resources that different groups of people had (or didn’t have). Racism had its effects, and debt-build up did too, for all poor people.

The ability to build up wealth and pass that on to one’s children requires a fair judicial system that allows one to both build and keep wealth, and then to keep that wealth within a family group safely. Unlike, say, Tulsa, OK in 1921, or many other cases of murder for Black wealth. In studying the book of Deuteronomy, ch. 15, I noticed that the Bible also has much to say about helping people build and keep their wealth.

First, a fair judicial system is a must.

Second, debts cannot be allowed to build up to far for too long.

From a class I taught in DC, in 2012.  (pdf DCBM20AugustReehClass here…)

Shira Jones, DC Beit Midrash, DC JCC, 20 August 2012, Parashat Shoftim
Community is built pillar by pillar, and one of those pillars, as we see this week in this
week´s Parashah, Parashat Shoftim, is having a judiciary system which is fair and
impartial, handing down rules which are applied equally under law, yet expansive enough
to make exemptions when necessary (for instance, in the 6th aliyah, where newlyweds,
conscientious objectors and other young men are excused from going to war).
1
4
2
3
▪ Na’aseh ve Nishmah: {Laws = formal rules; Minhagim = informal
norms} Shoftim
▪ Rewards and consequences of unity and cooperation vs. separation from
the community: {holding the mountain over our heads} Shavuot
▪ Consensus based buy in from all of the people: {Every Jewish Neshamah
was there}
▪ Intergenerational endurance: {“Na’aseh ve Nishmah”} Parashat Re´eh
Some sources of each of the four pillars where discussed in last year´s Shavuot class,
notes for which are available upon request. We will focus today on the 4th pillar, from
Parashat Re´eh, that of Intergenerational endurance.
One major prerequisite for building lasting community is solving the problem of
short-term insolvency, and also preventing long-term building up of, as the Etz Haim
commentary on this parashah puts it, “a permanent underclass” of impoverished members
of the community. The Biblical mechanism for this is a regular Remission of Debt,
which is commanded Dvarim ch. 15.
Every seven years loans are forgiven
Loans, we learned earlier in Bahar, Lev. 25, must be made interest free to fellow Jews
An interesting repetition in Devarim 15:8 -openly open your hand to him
Why the redundancy? There are two sides to giving a loan
1. Short term financial help
2. long term community responsibility to
a. help the person make a sustainable living
b. create equitable structures that prevent neediness
Loan forgiveness and lending are short term solutions
Structural equity is the long term solution
Time Banking is one example of part of that long term solution
1. interest free, egalitarian equitable structure
2. interconnect various communities
3. since a person can donate time adn withdraw that time later, it gives along term
incentive for each person to contribute to the community and have that time valued and
recognized by the community.
4. over time this strengthens individuals and communities
Thus lending is short term, while Time Banks is part of Teachng a man to fish and
feeding him for a lifetime.
Community and the building of community solidly at the center of Jewish practice.
Chodesh Tov L´Elul, and Gamar Chatima Tovah, posted Teach !   ShiraDest, 8 March, 12016 HE,
Shira Destinie Jones, Mphil, DC “Community Cooperation” Singing Tour Guide

So, it turns out that 1.) debt forgiveness is an old idea, and 2.) a fair judicial system is related to debt, both short and long-term, and all three need to be considered together as part of an inter-related justice system.  Today, the criminal justice system adds to the debt of many people who were incarcerated rather than educated, and even more people, White and Black, suffer from lack of learning via default judgements on Expired Debts (debts past their Statutes of Limitations, or SoL), and medical or health-care related debt (another reason that Europe has higher upward mobility than the USA).

More on my continuing striving with justice, both judicial and economic, next time:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of freedom for all that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different sources to translate the word “Never Again” into your favorite language.

2.) Share your thoughts on #1 with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Write a blog post or tweet that discusses racism, tells a good story, or just makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

Preptober (October, Prep for NaNoWriMo!)

2020 CE, which is 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Freedom for All Fridays and opportunity for all?

Well, opportunity if you were born in the upper working to middle classes, anyway…

Notice who had the BMW (Bike/Metro/Walk) vs. whose access to folks with wheels got those resource advantages moving, wittingly or unwittingly…

I’ve been mulling over some conversations with a person, white, grew up with a housekeeper, left home at 16 to work 3 p/t jobs to finish the last year of high school to avoid physical abuse at home.   But who had rides to and from each of those jobs, and an apartment whose deposit was paid by the school principal. What a pal.  And in a Sundown Town.  So this is a bootstraps story?  Ok, those are pretty strong bootstraps.

But this is not an up from the Projects story, growing up with all sorts of violence and CSA, where physical abuse was the norm, and dodging drug dealers was also the norm.  Getting a job at 16 was not possible in 1984 DC for someone living in Anacostia, and getting an apartment at all, let alone rides to and from school or work, was out of the question.  For the kid from the Sundown Town, getting out was difficult, but for the kid from projects, getting out was a minor miracle.

Yet, “if one person can do it, so can anyone else.”

One of these things is not like the other, right?

 

Racism, especially the currently ingrained systemic racism of the US, is entirely based on the teachings of slavery, which most in this country still receive in the home and in the media, wittingly or not.
Meditating on an issue of unack’d or self-hidden racism/prejudice: And maybe it’s that this landlord grew up and lived most of his 70 years in a Sundown Town in Southern CA, but he refuses to see the lack of opportunity for most … not only Black folks, but even for most working class white folks. He insists that “if even one person did it, then anyone can do it” as if he, a financial coach, has never heard of an outlier… (especially when he uses me as an example of escaping poverty, and I really feel used, having gotten DC’s appointment to Annapolis before our only Rep. even had a vote in The House…).
He has no clue what it’s like to be called “part of the Talented Tenth,” and the weight of expectation that carries, nor that only 1/10 make it out of the projects after surviving certain childhood traumas.

 

So, it turns out that 1.) transportation (and affordable and safe mass transit, at that) makes a huge difference, and 2.) our received ideas are harder to draw out than I’d hoped.  More on my continuing striving with hidden racism next week, friends:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of freedom for all that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different sources to translate the word “Never Again” into your favorite language.

2.) Share your thoughts on #1 with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Write a blog post or tweet that discusses racism, tells a good story, or just makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

Preptober (October, Prep for NaNoWriMo!)

2020 CE, which is 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Thoughtful Thursdays and racism, mentioning Dr. King’s Basic Income, in passing, and a Town Hall Link

It’s quarter to 5 P.T., so please watch the long-scheduled Biden Town Hall, and then read this post (I’d love to hear your comments on both, please…)

This reference to the Basic or Citizen’s Income, as Dr. King called for it in 1968, is from his last book.

Here is where I am in wondering about some ideas I wrote up a while ago regarding community and safety:

Economic Democracy, which as Dr. King pointed out, is the only true means of both riot prevention and thus of lasting social stability, requires a high level of cooperation.
Preventing torture and senseless killings, such as that of Travon Williams and others, depends on the existence and maintenance of respect and trust within and between communities such that that can then cooperate effectively to prevent the dehumanization and hate crimes which ultimately result from lack of understanding and cooperative interaction between individuals and communities

So, it turns out that my reluctance to mention racism as an overt factor, possibly because I keep getting told that I don’t look Black enough, by non-Southern White people, to be Black, and that I’m too “high yellow” to be Black by fellow Black folks, yet called a Nigger (1981 VA) or told that “the races don’t mix” (1994 Baltimore), or that people wouldn’t want people like myself on their property (1995 Baltimore) by white southerners. So, not to bring up the Tragic Misunderstood Mullata (or Quadroon/Octaroon, in my case), I hate to say it but I have to say it: racism is involved here, in our dehumanizing of others, specifically of Black folks in the USA. People claim not to be racist or prejudiced, but say things like “los negros si son flojos” (Black people really are lazy), or that there is plenty of opportunity, they just don’t want to work: until I speak up and say, I am Black. Then I am often told to “contain myself,” or that I am simply imagining things.  Interesting how that works.  More on my continuing striving with community and not (intentionally, anyway) passing for White, next week, friends:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) List four ways that you see racism affecting the world today.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

October, 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Moody Mondays, and your own story as motivation to work for Justice for All?

Everyone has a story.

Everyone also has some motive for what one does in life, quite likely shaped in some way by previous life experiences, every one of whose is unique.

Racism started my quest, but as I learned that racism is merely a tool used to divide all of us to more easily rule, I looked to our legal structures for the change needed to keep all of us safe in equal measure.

Here is where much of my motivation for doing my part to change the world comes from:

 

Injustice Essay, UDC´s David C. Clarke Antioch School of Law

I must admit to finding this essay one of the most unsettling and emotionally difficult to write pieces in my writing career. While there are certainly more cutting incidents and more superficially significant incidents which I have experienced in my forty two years, I have chosen to share this event for two reasons. First, this incident strikes me as an example of the subtle damage done by fear, bias, and the perceptions and uses of power in the absence of mutual trust and full voice in decision-making processes. Second, this particular instance seems to have set in my consciousness a deep understanding of the need for cooperation not only between oppressed communities, but also of the need for each of us to understand the stories and ways of communicating of other people.

I was about seven years of age, a fair-skinned girl of African-American descent, riding through the Lincoln or the Holland tunnel in a car driven by a young Jewish woman, who happened to be both my mother´s roommate, and my defacto babysitter most of the time. As we came to the entrance of the tunnel, a pall of fear came over her face. We were being pulled over by a police officer, a barrel-chested white man, who appeared both unhappy and menacing as he got out of his car. Although I did not comprehend the issue at the time, she certainly felt that being pulled over was an injustice to her on the part of the police officer. She turned to me, the fear palpable in her voice, and said

“now look, this cop will think you are my daughter, and that means he will think that I am dating a black guy, so keep your mouth shut and don´t make any Smart Alec remarks.”

By that age, based on the treatment I regularly received from my classmates in school who took me for a mixed race child, I was well aware that interracial relationships of any kind were unacceptable, even in the New Jersey of 1976. I found myself as full of fear as my visibly nervous guardian. All I could do was to sit and watch, mouth clamped firmly shut, as the officer approached.

To this day, I have no recollection of the events after her fateful words to me, but I will always retain the memory of the chilling effect those words had on me, as I realized that not only my schoolmates, but even adults whom I would never meet, hated me for my mere appearance. I came to admire the courage and patience of this young Jewish woman who took the time to introduce me to both her culture and even to my own, as we listened alternately to Jewish music and to records by African musicians. She emphasized that I should learn about both my own heritage and about the heritages of others. She opened to me a world of possibility, while reminding me that I must always be cognizant of my own origins, and that no person´s origins were without both pain and responsibility. The damage of both self-hatred and discrimination caused by fear of and bias against those who appear to be different from ourselves can best be overcome through inclusive sharing of stories. That kind of openness between communities can create space for cooperative communication. Out of this process can emerge new and creative applications of shared power which enable all parties to safely contribute to building structures which both protect the dignity of all members of society and enable each person to rise to his or her full potential. These processes require high levels of both mutual trust and mutual respect which allow for the differences in power levels to be negotiated in participatory venues which deliberately include the voices of all who are affected by such decision-making processes. This inclusion both requires and generates cooperation between individuals and communities as first stories, and then problems, and then potential solutions, are shared and debated. While solutions must begin in the community, sometimes the end result of such discussion must be finalized in the legal system via reformulation of the legal codes, discovery of already existing codes, as in the case of DC´s “Lost Laws”, or simply providing voice for those who cannot make themselves heard. All of these processes require a sense of shared values and mutual respect. As citizens of a democracy, “we the people” must work together “to form a more perfect union” where the interests of all are protected and promoted equally.

Fear and distrust are most effectively dispelled by building upon our shared values, emphasizing the egalitarian ethos upon which our founding documents are based, and working to make those ideals a practical reality. Cooperative understanding of stories and concerns is a key part of the process needed to banish hatred and bias on the road to building full participation and voice for all. To paraphrase a song we sang frequently in school, our origins carry both a patient faith that the difficult past can be overcome, and a roll-up-your-sleeves type of hope that the present brings us ever more opportunities to repair this pain-filled world. As I reflect upon this incident, there is no way in which I could or even would have responded differently at that time, but I carry forward from thence a fervent faith and hope that through cooperation between communities we can help to lift every voice so that all are clearly heard. Through the kind of legal training provided at the UDC David Clarke School of Law, I hope to serve as a more effective facilitator of both short-term and long-term cooperative empowerment.

(re-reading this essay, it occurs to me that it showed my interest in history and Cultural Change/Cooperation (sociology?) more than Law, which is actually an Adversarial System in our society…)

(Shira) Destinie Jones

Read, Write, Run, Teach !

ShiraDest
18 February, 12016 HE

 

So, it turns out that I guess I have to agree with the saying that everyone has a story worth hearing is true: each story motivates some action, does it not?  More on my continuing striving with life next week, friends:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different reasons to tell your story.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

4.) Write a blog post or tweet that tells part of your story, tells a different good story, or just makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

October, 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Language learning Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations: a short history

A very short recap, since I posted a similar article recently:

We came, we spoke, we suffered.

Languages shape the ways that we think.  Grammar places action, object, and subject of a sentence, the articles and forms of negation differently in every language.   Languages accustom us to listening for different inflections, so learning more than one family of languages teaches us that communication involves more than just words, it involves gestures. Some gestures, like tilting the head, are physical, and other gestures, like opening the hand, are both physical and spiritual. The spiritual gesture being made by one city hearkens back to the language of the Bible: Patach, tiftach… Open, you shall open (your hand)…

Ashville, NC, has voted to make a start toward reparations for slavery…

In the Abrahamic cultures of the western world, the entire basis of justice is contained in these reiterated verses of a book seen as foundational to many, and used as the basis of conversation between many people in the western world. These verses, the open hand always followed by the release from debt and servitude, say in the richest and plainest of language, that slaves are to be released not empty-handed, after seven years, but with sustenance. Now, one city is looking at how these values were overlooked for far longer than that. This gesture may not go far enough, but it is a very promising start, in terms of the needed assumption of responsibility for the systemic issues which continue to plague the Black community of the USA for the many years since “slavery ended” on paper, but not in fact. May this step stir other cities, states, and nations to continue this process, and move all of us toward learning the languages of Mutual Respect, Truth, and Reconciliation.

Action Items:

1.)   Read and share a book on why the Black Community is still “The last hired and first fired.”

2.)   Read and share the statistics on generational wealth comparisons between Black and White communities in the US.

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4:
1. #libraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !


#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19
ShiraDest

August, 12020 HE