Tag Archives: racism

French Fridays Book Review: Ne Lâche pas Ma Main, Racism vs. Health Care, and Empathy

Can racism be diminished by building Social Empathy, do you think?

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, perhaps.

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

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

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

French Fridays, and One Lesson from Lupin, Ch. 10 (P2e5) about Authority

 

                 Fun with Languages Friday  (mostly in English this week!): Lupin #10 !

  The lesson in this last episode:   The police are not always corrupt or incompetent.  No authorities are either bad nor good, but must be judged individually, based upon their actions, as should we all.

     Like Ganimard, in the original stories, Guédira is reasonably intelligent, reasonably competent, and a good man, who wants to do the right thing.   

       French Fridays with Lupin, Omar Sy style, presents the last episode of Part 2, and the incredible finale:

 
 
    La musique va parfaitment avec le drame !
    The concert is perfectly matched to the action!
Lupin10
 
   Et, en fin, les polices ne sont ni incompetents ni corrumpus !  Merci !!
   And, at last, police who are neither incompetent nor on the take!  Thank you!!
 
 
  Il a, en fin, fait tomber Pellegrini  !!    He has finally brought down Pellegrini!!
 
   Or at least, so it seems…

 

       
 
 

Chapter 9 aka Part 2, episode 4, was last week.

I look forward to Part 3 (if I have access to Netflix, still…) and to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how language learning may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a book, story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

 

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Click here to read, if you like:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows,  Lupin, or Money Heist

Holistic High School Lessons,

     Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira

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

Debt Remission for Justice in Repairing Black History?

The judicial system considered most of my ancestors to be legal property. As a descendant of slaves, 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.


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

1. interest free, egalitarian equitable structure
2. interconnect various communities
3. since a person can donate time and 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 long term structural fairness is also needed.


(from 2012…)
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 both 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 Item   in support of freedom for all that you can take right now:

 Write a blog post or tweet that discusses racism, connecting what you can see of the history of debt to that racism.

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Click here to read, if you like:

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

 

Beauty as a liability

       While most people I meet are a bit more tactful, one person I met in 2012 back in DC, from Europe, remarked upon seeing me that “God must have made mixed race people more beautiful so they wouldn’t be rejected.”   Once I got over the shock of her lack of manners, as we hadn’t even introduced ourselves, I tried to explain to her that I am not mixed, but Black, aka African American, these days, although it says “Colored” on my birth certificate.  She refused to hear that, insisting that I could not possibly be Black, insisting that I could be from Greece, or Italy, or any part of the Mediterranean, like her.  I chalked it up to her culture, and turned the subject to her publications, which then took up the rest of our meeting (no, she never asked me about my works).  So, I wrote this poem as I pondered that meeting, and wondered how we could ever build a world that can work to the benefit of us all.

This is in a page of my Ideas Notebook that missed this poem in the corner, being covered by a sticky note (page 5…).

Beauty

A blessing, and not a curse?

Really the head, and not the tail?

Has G-d made us the in-betweens, the rejected,

beautiful for a good reason, not for our torment?

Not for us to languish in ironic solitude

Cut off by the miserable jealousy of the “pure bloods?”

Can this beauty really bring peace,

and not death?

 

    I find at least some solace in hoping that the work we all post on our blogs may make it out, eventually, to show how cooperation and long term empathetic thinking may change our society to one of kindness.

Action Questions:

1.) What, do you imagine, can we do to eliminate prejudice from our society?

2.) How would you share this idea?

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how we can build empathy in our society today

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

*****************

Click here to read, if you like:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows,  Lupin, or Money Heist

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira

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

 

French Fridays, and One Lesson Lupin, Ch. 8 Teaches us about Black History

 

                 Fun with Languages Friday  (Spoilers left untranslated !): Lupin #8 (P2e3) !

French Fridays with Lupin, Omar Sy style!

   This episode should be called “Inter-generational Revenge… “

 

    Lesson:  Racism matters, and history matters: repair your damage…

Why would he allow Juliet to play with him like that when he knows she’s a player? 

 

 
Oui, il vise la fille.   …  Yup, he’s targeting the girl.
 
And I suppose there’s no better way to get a teenager to do something then to prohibit the teenager from doing it.

 

Lupin8

But he can’t actually be doing this for her reasons.
 
Et en visant la fille parce que le père a visé son fils il va la faire croire qu’il est tout prêt il est prêt à tout pour elle pour qu’elle soit prête à tout pour lui.
 
And he is not obsessed with her father, her father is an outright racist.
Oh, so he had to gain her confidence in order to get her to talk to her mother, who knows where the bodies are and they get her to tell the police where the bodies are.
 
Yup, all that for a coffee!
 
I wonder if she knows yet that her father has been stealing from her foundation.
 
I love how they keep going back to that same Pier on the Seine where he was being treated badly by the kids the loosest kids and now you see that racism being not exactly undone but partly in this kiss at that same place.  Very well done.
 
        
 
 
 

Chapter 7 aka Part 2, episode 2,  was last week, and then

        Part 2, ep. 4 , aka Ch. 9,  will post next week.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how language learning may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

 

***************** 

Click here to read, if you like:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows, or Lupin

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira

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

Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations.

This is an old post not about Black History, specifically, but very much a part of our history:

Languages are not only made of the words that we speak, but also, and perhaps more importantly, they are made of the ways that we think, and languages also shape the ways that we think. From ways that grammar places action, object, and subject of a sentence, to ways that the articles and forms of negation which exist, or do not exist in a given language, accustom us to listening for different inflections, 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.

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Click here to read, if you like:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows,  Lupin, or Money Heist (soon)

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira

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

French Fridays, & Two Lessons Lupin, Ch. 7, Teaches About Trust

     French Fridays with Lupin, Omar Sy style!

  (all in English this week, but listening,  and using the CCs for the Hard of Hearing to catch ‘swallowed’ words, is excellent practice for learning a language…)

   This episode, p2e2, should be called “When not to trust authority… ”

 

 
        Wow, 

   So,

       1.)  Assàne is right not to trust even a good-hearted police officer under the command of a bad one.

     2.)  He is also right to have a backup hiding place, even at the home of his son’s mother.

     We see that the police officer being given orders by the commissioner who is completely on the taken in the hands of the really evil bad guy, makes Assàne right: They are either all incompetent or directly or indirectly on the take. Because even our good guy fan of Lupin police officer who’s  has rescued the kid, still has no choice but to obey the order of his commissioner, who is in the employee of the filthy rich lying manipulative abusive scumbag.
LupinChp7
 
     Soon, poor Raul is caught in the middle of all this, rescued by the police officer who then has to turn him over to the bad guy, who also has a backup plan for when Assàne manages to get Raul free.
 
     Great scenario, and extremely good, if sad, commentary on our society. Racism is alive and well, and so is classism. And how do you root out corruption??
 
 
 

Chapter 6 aka Part 2, episode 1, was the first episode in Part 2. 

Next Friday, Chptr 8, aka Part 2, ep 3,  will post.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how language learning may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

 

***************** 

Click here to read, if you like:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows, or Lupin episodes

Holistic High School Lessons,

Thoughtful Readers, if you are on Twitter, please consider following   #Project Do Better  on Twitter.

Shira

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

Sundown Towns Epiphany: Job Preserves for The Quality?

       This just hit me: call me an idiot, but trying to explain to someone who grew up in a Sundown Town that this still affects us today was frustrating, partly because he refused to ack the fact that this not only deprived folks like me of another place to stay, but also, more pertinently to his ability to get a bank teller job while in high school, his ability to stay overnight in that town meant that he alone, and other white people alone, could work that evening shift in the bank to finish high school.  Forget the other factors involved, and there are many, the mere fact of living there and shutting out an entire and larger class of people from being there after dark meant that only whites would have those jobs.  Makes it a lot easier when you have so much less competition, huh?

  Not to mention that the lack of public transit means that only The Better Classes, as they used to say, and those with cars, to boot, would have access to these jobs.  Multiply that by a lot of towns, and you get a lot of places shutting out PoC, and keeping lots of jobs for themselves.  That kept, and still keeps, opportunity to themselves too, since changing a law does not magically change circumstances, and excuses abound not to give a job to someone who doesn’t look right to you, especially if you think you are above any sort of prejudice.  Clearly, ignorance is still bliss.

  Oh, I’m sorry, I’ve made a mistake:  these aren’t preserves for The Quality.  The most elite don’t need jobs.  But they do need people who are dependent upon them for their own jobs.  And they need people, whole groups of people, who feel that the way things are now is the way things ought to be, because this racism and segregation is gone, and now there is unlimited opportunity for all.  Except that a quick look at the people sleeping “in their comfort zones” on the streets will show that all may not be well in the Land of the Free.  But then again, maybe that’s what Prozac is for?

  Enjoy, Jill!

   We can really Do Better!

Action Prompts:

1.)  Share your thoughts on how we Human Beings might start to build a more fully inclusive society for all of us, and how knowing our history could help that process.

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

***************** 

Click here to read, if you like:

Science Fiction/Fantasy Shows,  Lupin, or Money Heist

Holistic High School Lessons,

Shira

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Continue reading Sundown Towns Epiphany: Job Preserves for The Quality?

Ann and Anna, Part 17, and Passing…

         In my serial Ann & Anna,  Parts 17,  reprinted below, and in part 16 (Power), as well as the foreshadowing in earlier parts, which post on  Sundays, the theme of Passing, as in Black folks passing for White, comes to the forefront of the story.  A reader asked me about this topic, and I thought it might be interesting  for other readers, as well:

 

      ”   Can Willow pass?

Well, she certainly does not believe so, but Anna, and little Tilly, clearly think that she can.

Remember, passing is more than about just how light your skin is (and how ‘kinky’ your hair is, which is always how Mexicans can tell I’m Black…)

Passing is an interesting and delicate thing: it really depends on the eye of the beholder.

I, personally, cannot pass at all in most of DC, MD, NY/NJ, and certainly not in any of VA.

But, here in California, people (especially Jewish people and the occasional Mexican) are constantly shocked to find out that I am Black. Not so for Puerto Ricans, however.

Likewise, on the census records for my 5xs gr. grandfather Miles Manzilla, Sr: he goes from MU to W, over the course of about 4 or 5 censuses in OH.

And Sally Hemings, interestingly enough, is actually listed as W on the last census I saw for her!! I was shocked, and still wonder if I saw that wrong, but since Madison, her son, described her as “an Octoroon” (which Annette Gordon Reed points out was technically incorrect, but visually the way people described one so light skinned, back then, before the term “High Yellow” became impolite, I suppose), it makes sense.
Also, in the Federal City, constables were empowered to decide whether a person was considered to be Colored for the curfew and other Black Code related issues.

So, what I meant to say was that yes, given the right conditions and the right persons around her, Willow *can* pass, if she has enough audacity to make it work.
This reminds me of the celebrated court case in (SC??) which a man was accused of passing, and it dragged on until a prominent (White) man simply marched himself up to the docket, shook the defendant’s hand, and walked back out of the court room. The case was dismissed at that point, since no self-respecting White man would ever shake hands in public with a Negro. That settled the man’s status as being White.

Likewise, there is a story of two enslaved women escaping up the river from New Orleans, with one posing as the other’s Body Servant (aka Lady’s maid).   dalmany_28slave_belonging_to_mr._dalman29_met_dp357008

Which brings me to Body Servants: they were the personal valet or maid of a usually rather wealthy slave owner, who could afford to have a slave for no other purpose than to attend to his/her own needs constantly. Their status was well above that of field hands, house slaves, or even cooks.

Having a personal maid on attendance at all times, rather than shared from other duties, would mark Willow as a wealthy lady, and make it much more difficult to question her status, as would having that maid be dark-skinned enough to contrast with Willow’s light skin. Besides the skin color issue, there is Tilly’s acting ability: she knows how to make Willow look like a stern lady accustomed to command, and that is what it takes to pull off this charade, upon which three or more lives will now depend. “Joe,” of course is the final feather in Willow’s cap, at this point, as a driver completes the picture of a Southern Belle at whom no one will even cast a questioning glance.

If our Willow can play her part, that is…

 

     Just as I cleared my throat of that last word, Mrs. H. tilted her head, as if waiting to speak.  She’d not had a moment since entering the room to make known the reason for her presence.  We had just dined, and she normally busied herself downstairs at this time.  She wore an expression of worry upon her face that augured nothing good.

“That is an excellent reading, Willow, in so short a time of study.”

Her words were kind, but her voice was uncertain.  She looked at Anna with expectancy.

Anna merely smiled, and nodded again toward Tilly.  The child inched closer to me, looked up with a wicked grin, and proclaimed:

 

“I am to be your Body Servant, Miss Willow.”

 

“Certainly not!”

 

Mrs. H. finally understood.

 

“It is the best, indeed the only, way for us to proceed, Mrs. H.”  Anna lifted her head, her eyes level with those of the doctor’s wife.

 

My mouth must surely have fallen open, for never had I seen a Negro, slave or free, openly contradict a white person!  As the two women looked sternly at one another, the doctor strode into the room.

“I fear Anna is correct.  It must be so, for they must leave us.  Tonight.”    

       This is the continuation scene in my historical fiction series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that this series will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools.

  Part 16 (Power) was last Sunday, and Part 18 will be next Sunday.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this story may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.  It is my personal contribution to Project Do Better.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts.

***************** 

Click here to read, if you like:

Narrative and Prose Nonfiction,     

or Holistic High School Lessons,

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

short narrative nonfiction: “I Shouldn’t Exist?”

      …  Memories of visiting mid 1970’s NYC from NJ…

     We were in one of those tunnels, smelling the stink of the city.  Was this the Lincoln, or the Holland?  I could hear Suzanna calling the gas station owner a putz, again, over the cough of her little VW’s engine.   I thought I’d seen a flash of blue light for a second, but then the engine stuttered.  I hoped we wouldn’t break down.   She’d said that he watered down his gas to make more money.  How did they put water in the gasoline, anyway?  Wasn’t it all closed up somewhere?    I turned to Suzanna.  She knew so many interesting things, and never told me to stop asking questions.  

She wouldn’t look at me.

     My stomach started to get upset, the way it did with other people, when they got mad.  But I’d never seen Suzanna mad at me, even when I peaked in her room at the Wonder Woman poster she was saving for my seventh birthday.

“Look.”

     Her voice was wrong, not hers.  I tried to look over at her, but I couldn’t move.  What did I do?     It was like …   Why were we pulling over?

     Suzanna looked up at the rear view mirror, at something behind us.  When she turned back, leaning to look me in the eyes, her face wore a mask of fright.

     “Alright, that cop is going to think you’re my daughter.”  

     She looked at me in a weird way.  Like I scared her, and went on,

“So he’s going to think that I’m dating a Black guy.  So don’t go making any of your smart alec remarks.”

     She turned back to her window, working the hand crank and pushing on it to finish rolling the window down.  Just then, a big white man with a very pink face appeared in her window, looking over at me, then back at her.

     It was that same look I’d seen every time a kid was about to beat me up.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Shira

Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how this story may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a story, post or tweet that uses those 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 at least for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

-we can learn from the past Stayed on Freedom’s Call for free,

        by Teaching and Learning (Lesson Plans offline) in the present, to

                     We can  Do Better: a Vision of a Better World to create a kinder future

 

Peace    

Shira Destinie A. Jones, MPhil, MAT, BSCS

the year, 2021 CE = year 12021 HE

( 5 month GED lesson 17 of 67 plans…),

  Ranger M.’s Babylon 5 review posts, because story inspires learning.  There is also my historical series  Ann&Anna.  I  hope that these stories will move you to learn more ways to help use our history to build new tools….

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.

Please leave a review, if you can, on the GoodReads page.

Shira 

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