All Steamed Up and On A Rampage

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October 8, 2020-

No, not me. I have actually not been as calm and clear-headed as I am today, for quite some time. Feeling part of a group that accomplished a sizeable amount of work, in two weeks’ time, has a lot to do with my own composure.

The news that at least thirteen men, one of whom doesn’t even live in Michigan, have been arrested in connection with a plot to kidnap that state’s governor, is a prime example of the frame of reference for the title of this post.

Riots and mayhem have been the province of both Far Right and Far Left groups, at various points in our nation’s history. Tulsa, Chicago and Hayneville, AL saw the former group exercise its muscle, in the mid-Twentieth Century. Los Angeles, New York and Washington, DC-among several other cities, saw upheavals from the latter group, in the 1960’s. It is a fair argument that the White attacks on Black Wall Street and the loud demands for continuance of racial segregation had much to do with setting the stage for the urban riots of the 1960s, ’70s and 1992. The earlier White rampages reinforced attitudes of intolerance and separation that, left alone, would have started to fade and gradually be replaced by more fair-minded attitudes, across racial lines.

Spending two weeks serving a primarily African-American populace certainly strengthened my own feelings of love and equanimity towards a woefully misunderstood community. I saw mostly a high level of patience and love coming from our clientele. When anger was expressed, I daresay it was justified. In every case, we were able to address and resolve the issue, not once sweeping it aside.

End of digression. I see a lot of people of European descent, and more than a few from other demographics, fulminating at what they perceive as a combination of the social order’s collapse and a witchhunt against the current president. He has been microanalyzed, as his last six precessors were, by the Mainstream Media, AND he is partially hoist of his own petard-as several of his predecessors also were.

None of the above facts will stop people, who are highly frustrated and feeling discounted, from acting out in an even more extreme manner. It may well not be just homegrown anarchists and paid foreign actors committing mayhem in the streets, come later in the Fall and through January.

This is why it is vital to take Joe Biden at his word, that he will be the President of supporter and opponent alike, should he win the election, next month. It is even more vital to insist that Donald Trump-and his potential replacement, Mike Pence, follow the same ethic. They could very well still be re-elected.It is vital that all life is honoured, by all four candidates.

It is also imperative that corporate interests, including medical research enterprises, refrain from manipulating women who seek empowerment (This means YOU, Planned Parenthood), stop lobbying against legitimate scientific research and start putting the needs of the people over reckless seeking of profits.

It is essential, also, that people see each other as one family-even if that means occasional squabbles and smoothing one another’s rough edges. I am from two large families and there are plenty of progressives, conservatives- and moderates, like me, in the mix. We have, for the most part, come to a consensus of love trumping ideology. If we can do this, so can many, if not most, other people.

It’s time to stop the rumble.

The Summer of the Rising Tides, Day 14: By Definition

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June 14,2020-

Today is Flag Day, when Americans pay respect to our national symbol of unity. It is Race Unity Day, when we, around the world, can honour and commit to following the practical aspects of achieving unity. It is, finally, the birthday of U.S.President Donald Trump. I give him that, and hope he has had a peaceful day of reflection and family time.

Having had a meaningful devotional and discussion, earlier this morning, on the Oneness of Mankind, and having watched a lovely two-hour presentation on Race Unity, I wish to consider how we might determine: What defines a person?

Does colour of skin define? It has certainly brought into being a unique culture, in a good many cases, over time. Is that not, however, largely because of segregation, as well the particulars of the place where people have found themselves? There are, however, people of every skin tone who do not adhere to the popular perception of the characteristics of their “racial ” group. Are they less than those who do fit that perception?

Does one’s sex define? There has been a dichotomy of roles, since the human race’s hunter-gatherer cultures. Men hunted,and women tended the home. There have, throughout history, been women who hunted and men who tended the hearth. Are either of these less than those who fit the mould?

Does one’s job define him/her? What about refinement/coarseness of speech? Is where someone lives a determinant? How about his/her philosophy of life/voting record? Is the chosen Faith, or lack thereof, a factor? Is openness, or secrecy, a defining moment?

The truth is, it is all of these, taken together, and none of them, taken alone or in a piecemeal group. Skin tone, in and of itself, means nothing. Every shade of melanin is beautiful. Cultural background is a baseline for expressing personality, in a good many cases. For others, it is a baseline of struggle for self-acceptance. Sex, and its legal offshoot, gender, are not a defining factor, in terms of what a person is capable of achieving. One’s job determines several things-financial status, time spent working/at leisure, and sometimes,neighbourhood. Philosophy and political stance may affect how one sees the roles of government and social institutions in personal and community life.

There are plenty of White progressives and conservative People of Colour. There are open-minded people, in every point on the political spectrum and there are, similarly, dogmatic people alongside them. There are loving souls in every religion and creed, and there are their doctrinaire fellows in faith. There are both loving and hard-nosed men and women, alike.

What defines me, is my totality-and that is always subject to change. What defines you, is likewise. None of us can control the other. It is the illusion of control that has allowed stereotyping, fear and the sense of “other” to take such deep root and to wreak such havoc.

A blessed Race Unity Day and Flag Day to all.

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