REPARATIONS in America: What WE WHITE folks can do now.

Seriously, WE do not have to wait on Congress to do anything about reparations.  There is much we WHITE peeps can do right now….I mean Right NOW!

Take a look at these links for example:

http://comingtothetable.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/CTTT-Reparations-Guide-June-19-2019.pdf

https://www.americamagazine.org/arts-culture/2018/11/28/my-ancestor-owned-41-slaves-what-do-i-owe-their-descendants

Step No. 1 is to open our fucking eyes and minds, ok!  Stop being defensive every time the subject of racism and/or reparations is brought up.  “Well, it’s not my problem, I didn’t live “back in those days,” or we immigrated from Europe long after the Civil War period, so my family is not accountable:  such typical feelings and responses.  All wrong.  Just like those “newcomer” IMMIGRANTS from Europe benefited and their progeny continue to benefit from A) the labor, sweat, blood and lives that African Americans gave to this land; B) having a leg up on most black people in this country who were told to bring yourselves up “by your bootstraps” when they had no fucking boots to start with, by virtue of capital accumulation, education, housing and you name it, we collectively – white people – not only carry the PRIVILEGE  that goes with our whiteness in this land, but carry the burden of DEBT that we have never begin to pay for that privilege!

I doubt seriously that there ever will be found an amount monetarily that would even come close to repaying black people in this country (or the rest of the African diaspora).  What is the price for the millions of deaths in the Middle Passage, the centuries of lynchings and beatings to death, the mothers dying in childbirth after being raped by their “owners,” deaths in the fields slaving in the heat and disease infested plantations, or all the black men and women treated like sub-humans through the last two centuries, even to this day, with cops being allowed to choke black men to death for selling single cigarettes.  Then there is the matter of blighted neighborhoods, guns run in by white nationalists to encourage desperate black youths to kill and shoot at will, the terrible inequities in income, savings, and hell, on and on.

But the issue must be addressed and STUDIED within Congress, and right now good ol’ boy Mitch is determined to block that Bill.  POX ON HIM.

But, we can begin to do SOMETHING, in spite of  Senator Mitch McConnell, who had a great-great-grandfather who owned 14 slaves. (I myself had a G-G-G who owned 50 slaves, and probably other distant kin who also were slavers.  Yes, I bear the guilt they should have carried, and am committed to doing all I can to be an advocate for reparations.)

So I urge all readers, especially whites, to get on board.  Read the documents I linked above.  The time is long, long overdue for action!  We all can do SOMETHING!

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The fascinating subject of human communication.

I am fascinated with how our means and modes of communication have evolved even within my Boomer lifetime.  “Kilroy was here” predated the Smiley face by roughly ten years, but literally spread around the world during WW2 and afterward.  There is a story behind “Kilroy,” but rather than get into that, I just want to use it as an example of the human need to express one’s individuality with some form of symbols, including “mere” writing.  I am a prime example of this, writing this blog that is my mental salvation.  I can say what I want to – since I live in the USA – since my father and the rest of the “Greatest Generation” saved civilization.  And, I truly miss those days when people actually wrote letters and put them in the mail.  There was nothing like getting a sweet, perfume-scented letter from my distant girlfriend when I was in the military.  Today, with “Skype” and all, I suppose that is “better,” but it’s like the difference between reading a book and seeing the movie of the book’s story.  Really.

Over my childhood, I carved my name into a number of trees, usually in the soft bark of persimmon trees.  Also during my boyhood I saw carvings in large rocks done by someone else a generation before me; and, then decades later I saw carvings done by First Peoples in rocks in New Mexico.  Similar impressions as we know are to be found all over the world, expressions of the human condition from distant human beginnings.

Then, let’s not forget the tags of those who spread graffiti (often done by youth   succumbing to that very basic human need to, as I stated above, “express one’s individuality,” to assert one’s very existence.

And, then came emojis.  And they just keep coming and coming.  I use them often, slap my face!  I am told “kids” even can communicate with just emojis……well, I guess.

But what really is amazing to me, is how social media has just taken over.  The ability to express ourselves instantly around the world, with a few words, art, symbols and photographs, real-time video, “facetime” and all, has given those who have access to the internet unlimited potential of individual expression.  With this unlimited potential comes the relentless motivation of so many of us, especially the younger generations, to fill that potential with constant injections of their “individuality.”  It’s like every young person with a smart phone wants to constantly be on their own soap box, shouting “whatever” to the whole world.  If aliens are monitoring all our electronic signals, certainly they have to be scratching their heads (with their long skinny, fifteen fingers!). Maybe our youth need to practice periods of abstinence from their phones?? In some cultures long periods of silence between one person speaking and another “answering” is perfectly normal.  But in our Western society it seems we must constantly be chattering.

Do we need to declare one hour each year to be an hour of silence?  I think so.  To reflect on our individuality, and how we might best conserve and apply that person who is “self.”

This is America now.

This is not alternative fact.  This is a young father and daughter who sought asylum on our shore.  Why was he so desperate to cross the Rio Grande like this.  Because he knew that staying in El Salvador was likely a death sentence, either by bullet, or by having NO future.  He did what thousands are having to do, leave their homeland to survive.  Any father or loving mother who could, would.  People all over the world have and do migrate away from evil.  Desperation, the instinct to survive, fear, flight, yearning for relief and something better for his family.

Why did he and his precious 23 month old child have to die like this?

Why?

Why?

Why?

WE KNOW WHY.

This is America now.

Our $20.00 Bill.

Yes, it’s definitely time for a new face on our $20 bill, and the gears were in motion for our own African American Warrior Queen, Harriet Tubman, to appear on new generation bills next year.  And then along came “that which holds the Oval Office – BMT (Bottomless Moral Turpitude),” who shared his feelings, that the Queen is only worthy of being on a $2 bill, not a Twenty.  BMT is very fond of Andrew Jackson, the current face of the bill.  Jackson, likely a distant cousin of mine, who was an anti-abolitionist and forced all First Americans out of the southeast to “Indian Territory,” one of the sorriest moments (of many) of this land.  Personally I would love to see that white guy buried once and for all.

Think about this.  Non-Hispanic whites in this country account for only 62.5% of the population, and yet ALL our money has nothing but “OWG” (old white guy) faces.  We old white guys need to start loosening our grip on a lot of things in this nation, including the faces on our currency.  The fine print on our money should remind us: “E pluribus Unum” – out of many, one.  While the original intended meaning had to do with the uniting of the original 13 colonies of this land, it now must endure with a new meaning: “out of many colors, one human nation.”

While there is now an investigation into the delay, no doubt we won’t see the incomparable Harriet next year.  But we will see her, no doubt!

“The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.” – Acts 28:2

The photograph is of a scene at one of America’s Statue of Liberty “satellites,” commonly called detention centers, better called “hell holes.”  I was unable to find a photograph that might better reflect the truly horrid conditions the children who continue to be separated from parents or from non-family adults (no doubt often for reasons of the children’s safety).  However, right today there are first hand reports of children detained and living in squalor, with very young children taking care of toddlers, without diapers, without toothbrushes or paste, without soap nor any of the personal hygiene items that the average free person feels are necessities.  Children are also reportedly suffering with flu and other diseases, with little to no attention (until it’s too late).

How can this be in America?  Why do concerned politicians not highlight this more than just talking about it on the news shows?  They should be picketing these facilities in the very least!  And how is it BMT (Bottomless Moral Turpitude) guy in the Oval Office can shift billions around without Congress approval to waste it on “big, beautiful walls” and not be able to spend money – even out of his own accounts? – to give toothpaste and diapers to these kids?  And where is our big corporations that got all the tax breaks, who can sponsor racing cars, sports and everything, and they can’t donate what is needed to give these children basic sanitation.

America remember:  all these kids will remember – when they grow up, just how they were treated and by who.  All things come in a circle.

And America, study the history of Central America, and maybe you will come to understand that American companies were the primary cause of the present problems there.  Have you not heard of “banana republics?”  Yes, it all comes full circle, so beware.

Redtails in the morning, Nazis take warning.

Even though much publicity and media have rightly recognized the valor and accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen, I continue to be in awe of these young black aviators of WW2 who lit up the skies with the flashes of their machine guns and exploding Luftwaffe aircraft, and raked German defense lines on the ground as the Allies drove the Germans northward through Italy to final surrender.

Last evening I watched a film titled “Hart’s War,” which was both unsettling, yet revealing.  I won’t give any spoilers, except to say the setting is a German POW camp, filled with American soldiers, all white –  until two captured Tuskegee aviators are brought in.  The film revealed just how deep the gulf was between whites, especially from the south, and blacks in the military.  The military was just a part of the larger racist society of that time (not to say America is still not racist in so many ways).

I had the pleasure of shaking the hand of one of the last Tuskegee airmen just a few years ago, and tried to tell him in a few seconds that my father was a bomber pilot and that he recalled being escorted by the Tuskegee airmen fighters.  I don’t think the old gentleman really caught what I was trying to say, and other people were waiting to shake his hand, so I couldn’t say also, “Thank you for keeping my father safer.”

The P-51 Mustangs in the caption photo are planes preserved from the WW2 era, painted with red tails that was the “calling card” of the Tuskegee, 332nd Fighter Group, based in the southeastern coastal area of Italy.  From there theses brave fighter jocks flew many missions covering bombers flying out of the “USS Corsica” (the island of Corsica), and later from bases in Italy, as the 12th Air Force plastered the Nazis, cutting supply lines, hitting fuel dumps, taking out major gun emplacement, knocking out flak artillery, and mowing down German troops with frags.

My father flew 70 missions as a B-25 pilot, doing all of the above, and many of his Wing went down, a number captured, a number murdered by Germans shooting them as they dropped in their parachutes after their plane was hit by flak, and some murdered by the Nazi SS.  The Redtails I know were his cover on a number of missions, and were it not for that, I may not myself be here writing this, for he might have also made the ultimate sacrifice.

Now, it must be understood, that these valiant fighter jocks were doing their duty, in spite of the fact that back home in April, 1945, others of the Tuskegee group who were still training for air combat, could not enter and partake at an officers club in the Midwest.  Over 100 of these black officers attempted to enter the club and were ultimately arrested.  Due to outside protest, the Army dropped charges against most, but some were not cleared until the 1990’s!

But, in spite of all this, you can bet that not one Redtail pilot hesitated to push his gun button when he saw an ME-109 sliding in to target one of our bombers full of white men of the same age, many of whom would not even eat at the same table with him.

Think about that.

This is Bolton’s and Pompeo’s “Collateral Damage”

On the evening of June 20, 2019, President “BMT” (bottomless moral turpitude) had planes in the air ready to strike Iran.  I guess there is an angel that stung him, prompting him to recall the strike.

The people that will unfortunately die in any strike and assuredly the following war, will be like the caption photo, of a young lady in Tehran (who I do not know….her photo was available on “Unsplash” ).  So is this the kind of person we are willing to send our tax dollars to turn to carbon, explode her body and scatter her parts across the streets?

Iran is Persia, one of the oldest civilizations on Earth, and one of the proudest.  I got to know a few when matriculating in my undergrad days at UT Austin, where at that time, the Shah was still ruling, and many students, and military men, were studying here in the USA.  I became best friends with one guy, who was married to his Iranian bride, a princess of the former dynasty.  They became my best man and maid of honor when I married my late wife in 1971.

Although they split later, and his wife remained in the US and he returned to Tehran.  He is highly educated, the son of a scholar, and went on to found his own business, and travel a large part of the world – except the US, as he could never get a visa again.  I have never seen him since 1972.  But God was willing, and he and I have been able every few years to have a phone call and “catch up” a little.  I last spoke with him January 1st of this year, as he called to wish me Happy NY.  You see many Iranians know much about America, and never bought into the “death to America” slogan of the radicals.  Most Iranians would love to have a peaceful relationship with the US, but they are captives of the extremists.

The question is, are we also captives of the extremists?  What percentage of Americans want a real war with Iran?  Probably many want to once again show “we can’t be pushed around,” but most of those are also the ones who gave no blood or misery to the still ongoing wars running close to 20 years now.  I remember the mass hysteria of those who wanted to attack Iraq, and how they cursed and spit on us anti-war protestors, when all we wanted to do was prevent what we KNEW would happen, and it has.

So now America, what are we? Have we not learned? Do we understand also that a war with Iran will be one we will NEVER win, but in the process may destroy the nation of Iran and turn them into another Syria?  Iranians, including the majority of peaceful, educated Persians, will turn against us if they haven’t already, and the fight with Iran will be one to the death of untold numbers on both sides, as Iranians will fight to the death, every last one, just like Americans would if our homeland was attacked.  Iran is not Afghanistan or Iraq, so we best figure out now if we are captives of his majesty BMT and his neo-cons, or if we want a world that seeks true peace.