africa

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USA for USA

Published June 22, 2013 by Sandee

When the World Trade Towers were bombed I was devastated because of the thousands of people who were murdered.  We had never experienced anything like this here.  I didn’t eat for a week.  Part of the landscape of my backyard had been destroyed.  Even all the way up from where I was in Harlem that morning, I could see black clouds surrounding the towers.

Later that day, going back to uptown Manhattan where I lived, I trudged by foot for a few miles with hordes of people, because there was no public transportation.  We were surrounded by The National Guard and their automatic weapons.  The air was tight.  When and where would the other shoe drop?  The towers were destroyed and thousands of people on the island had been killed.  We weren’t ‘safe’ here anymore.

I had become attached to the iconic image of the towers as part of the island that I grew up on.  Shortly after, on a flight coming into New York, looking at lower Manhattan and the absence of the towers, I turned away and squinted to keep back tears.

“How dare those motherfuckers come here and blow up the World Trade Towers!”  My father had said.  It was disorienting for me to feel so angry in agreement, since the World Trade Towers represented big business, dirty dealings and everything opposed to what I was about.  (And in some circles, there is still debate on exactly who those ‘motherfuckers’ are.)

On the night of September 11th, hearing the people chant USA, USA! outside my window,  I experienced a shiver of adrenaline and felt further impassioned in my love for my country.

How could I not be in love?  As a child of this country, I was weaned on the ideal fueling trail blazers and freedom fighters for almost every conceivable cause.  I have roots in the south here, and my ancestors were slaves.  I am proud of my people for their resilience and ingenuity with this adversity.  While I am also proud of my African roots, today, as part of the black race, I share a national identity that begins here, in the United States of America.

Despite the fall-out because of the history of slavery, and problems arising from the coming together of all of the different types of people here for freedom, with this country’s history and fortitude, I believe that we have the power to transform ourselves into the leaders in even greater areas.

I don’t usually make comparisons between what it used to be like in this country, and how much better it used to be, because I am black and have segregation and slavery in the past.  But also I don’t look at ‘now’ as necessarily good or bad in comparison to any previous time, because life is just all a process.

Perhaps part of the process began with the surge of people moving from continent to continent with technology so that we could get to the point we are now, merged more closely together.  The United States has been the pioneer in thought and technology in the past.  With this dynamic history, and with more effective communication between the people all over the world, I believe we could develop an even greater ideal to supplant the materialism that has dominated our culture.

I know this is weird but okay, now, this song, well, yes — I’ve always loved it because of the genre —  most people know I’m a hardcore fan.  I like this song despite some of the implications, plus, I was just a huge fool of a fan of Peter Steele.  He was young when he wrote this, so, factor that in — ha!  My appreciation of this song has probably to do with the weird-ass eclectic tastes I developed here as an American — it’s kind of the same way I love that song Sweet Home Alabama:

“Racism…Everywhere” continued…

Published June 11, 2013 by Sandee

I want to thank Meizac for writing that great post on The Outlier Collective entitled Texas and Racism…Everywhere.  I thought I would respond but it turned out to be a post-sized comment.  So I decided to write my own thoughts — somewhat — in that vein.

I’m very conscious as a black woman, so my response to some of the injustices that occur under our political and economic structure might seem detached – at times.  In a sense I’m thinking, “What do you expect?”  I never strived to become a prototype for this system, or an imitation white person.   My standard of beauty even differs, while I do appreciate beauty in all cultures.  My pride in my African roots and respect for the remnants of those African cultures gives me the strength to deny a victim mentality, because I know that the western slant on the world is not concrete.

I don’t wear my ideology on my sleeve but I’ve taken action, and have been outspoken and have participated in marches etc. to protest crimes committed against black people and against Africa.  But overall I don’t see how any of these ‘injustices’ will go away under a world economic system that demands cutthroat competition for resources and money.  It must have scapegoats — reprobates and ‘genetically inferior’ people, so that they can be cut out of the competition with ‘justification’.  It’s built into the system.  The system wouldn’t work without these ideas.  While a degree of xenophobia might be natural (part of the reason I rarely use the word racism – it’s become a canned phrase for the most part – but I do use it when it’s so fucking obvious), something we have inside us from ‘the old days’ so that we could protect ourselves against other tribes, it’s used in the United States and elsewhere to effect policy and propaganda.

It’s hilarious that western countries have trampled all over the natural institutions in Africa and elsewhere, then go back like superman to save the day, making these people look more helpless and pathetic than ever, while they were doing just fine before Europe ever got there.  This is where we can get rid of the notion of white people being more capable of ‘handling’ (‘handling’:  therein lies the problem) their environment.

I believe that there are other ways to view the world, ways that we could adopt from dismissed tribes in Africa and other areas that had been trampled by the machine.  Our view of our world and ideologies can be shifted.  Maybe with the merging of the world in cyber-space the mutual respect can be more easily accomplished.  I respect all cultures, but I mean, how advanced is this society really?  More than half of us are on antidepressants – why?  Shit! and there’s more, but that’s another post.

This system may be the best that we could do for now and it’s great that Meizac and other people help to build awareness of some of the outright hypocrisies that exist.  These are the seeds that some of our young people need to help us to build something better than this.  For now we’re all brainwashed, black people as well, which is understandable — striving to keep up with the dominant culture without seeing the truth.  But we’re all in the struggle together — haha!  — who the hell really knows what we’re doing here?  We can learn from each other and teach each other without having a victim mentality or a mentality of superiority.

Okay, Bye Bye Now Gus!

Published May 15, 2012 by Sandee

Ahahahahaaa!   Why?  Why!?  Without fail, when I take the bus to see my sister and I’m one of three black folks on it —  and of course, I want not to be sitting next to anyone — one of the only three black people chooses to sit next to me!

You see I used to be ‘mature,’ magnanimous, civic minded.  I used to say, ‘Why, I won’t rest my bag in this seat next to mine like those other meany selfish selfies.  If someone wants to sit next to me they’re more than welcome.  By golly, they’ve paid their fare just as I, and they deserve to feel welcome here.’

That was before a big ‘ol fat black lady sat next to me three years ago.  After four hours with my bus buddy, I had no circulation in my right arm, leg and ass cheek.  Fuck that shit no more!  Thenceforth, I act like one of the meany selfish selfies.  But do you think this old black guy on my bus to MA this time gave a flying fuck?  No.  “Can I sit here next to you?”  He says.  So I rolled my eyes and lifted my passenger repelling baggage and let the old buzzard sit.  Do you know what he said to me?  First of all one of my rules is never to talk to plane, bus, train, or boat mates as the energy is uselessly spent unless they’re offering me a job making lots and lots of money.  He says to me, “Hi, how are you?”  Motherfuck!   Of course my answer was, “Arrrhggghh.”  He was a nightmare, twitching and rubbing up against my arm and such.  At some point he starts humming “Somewhere Over the Rainbow!”

The bus made a stop for us to get food.  I got me some, he got him some then we come back to our seats.  I finished eating and he looks at me and says, “It’s good after eating, you seem more awake now.”  “Yeah,” I said frowning.  He leans forward and peers over the seat in front of his and giggles then.   He had an African accent (I’m sorry but I can’t distinguish region — he sounded like my brother-in-law who’s from Uganda — sue me!)  “She’s so small.”  I’m thinking, that’s funny, his saying that about a fellow passenger — I was beginning to like him.  “Who?”  I ask.  “The bus, it starts to move but I don’t see anyone driving.”  “Ohhhhh, the bus driver is small, you mean?”   “Mmm hmm,” he said nodding.   Now this got me laughing, hard.  We became bus buddies — yay!

He told me he was from Sierra Leone, he was 63, married with two children and that he lived in Worcester.  I found out also that he would be taking the Metro Boston Rail after getting off of the bus.  “Me too — what do you know,” I said.  Needless to say after saying bye bye now nice talking to you Gus, I ditched the shit out of him — he was old and had fifty million bags — not hard to do.  I’d done enough to talk as much as I did on the bus with him — riding the train with him into Worcester would’ve been pushing it!