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KEEP LOOKING UP

Cartoon Used by Permission: 228305 Some Pig by Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune, UT

THE NATIONAL CONSCIOUSNESS POST—MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR TRIBUTE

By Eleanor Tomczyk (Satirical Columnist)

8:41 p.m. Saturday, January 18, 2020

As the nation prepares to celebrate the birthday of one of our greatest heroes, the Washington Post-Ipsos poll was just released that states 8 out of 10 African Americans (83% of those polled) blame President Trump for the inordinate increase in racism in our country, and 65% say it is a bad time to be Black.  Our newspaper wanted to follow up on these jarring statistics in the shadow of the celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday.  We were able to get in touch with quite a few WWMD clubs across the nation to interview them about their reaction to the Post-Ipsos poll.  Usually a secretive club (I learned about them just several days ago through a friend of a friend), they were very transparent with me as a reporter because they felt that so much of what Dr. King worked for is being destroyed and all good people need to come out—front and center—and do the right thing.  What follows is a conference call interview with one particular club in Virginia.  It best encapsulates fears of African-Americans from sea to shining sea during these post-Obama years.

REPORTER:   First of all, I want to thank you for doing this interview on such short notice. I understand that you are a group of African-American septuagenarians who meet together on a regular basis to pray for our country.  Maxine Reynolds, my research notes indicate that you are the President of this local chapter.  Can you give me an overview of what you stand for?  For instance, what does WWMD mean?

MAXINE:      Yes, I am, and welcome! Good to have you here, my friend.  WWMD stands for “What would Martin do?”  We started meeting on an informal basis right after President Trump asked the Black community “what do you have to lose by voting for me?”  We were so alarmed after 8% of the Black community did vote for him, that those of us who still had our common sense intact said a collective “Oh Shit!” and formed this club.  We did so to illuminate what Dr. King lived and died for before the country got consumed by Trump’s hatred.  Our fears regarding the damage Trump could do were really underscored when the tikki-torch, Confederate flag waving White Supremacists murdered that sweet young protester, and Trump didn’t disparage them but declared that there were “good people on both sides.”

Cartoon Used by Permission: 228472 Trucking in Hate by Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune, UT

REPORTER:  Why did 8% of African-Americans vote for Trump? Surely they are not that gullible as a race.

BARBARA:  Barbara Wakefield speaking.  I’m the VP of our local chapter of WWMD.  No, we’re the least gullible of America’s people.  In fact, given our history, Black folks are very sharp politically.  I suspect 8% voted for Trump because they always voted Republican and couldn’t bring themselves to vote as a Democrat (we are not monolithic, you know), or they just downright hated Hilary.  You surprised?  You think White Republicans are the only ones who can’t stand the Clintons? 

MAXINE:  As an African-American, I voted for Hilary, but I have to tell you, I held my nose when I did it.

REPORTER:  Interesting… how many members in your group?  How many nationwide? Are they all in their seventies?  Charles, you’re head of the membership drive, can you field my questions?

CHARLES:  Sure.  In the beginning, the group was made up of those who were part of the Civil Rights Movement and marched with Martin back in the day.  We’re the generation that gained the most from Dr. King’s sacrifice and courage.  We’re the ones who first got college educations in our families, first to become captains of our industries, and the first group of Black folks that lived better than our parents. As to membership, we had a hard time in the beginning getting people to join.  A lot of our folks got lulled to sleep by the election of our first Black president.  We were so busy patting ourselves on the back that we swallowed the lie that racism was dead now that a Black man was in the Oval Office.  What we didn’t realize was that the racism was just in hiding underneath the veneer of a polite society, and the sight of a Black family in the White House made a large percentage of White America’s blood boil.  By the time Trump came along and started his birther nonsense to discredit the legitimacy of President Obama, he whipped the haters into full White Supremacist frothy hysteria.

Cartoon Used by Permission: 92443 Birther Reality COLOR by Monte Wolverton, Cagle Cartoons

REPORTER:  Of late, I’ve heard that you’ve had a membership surge and most of the new members to the WWMD club have been White.  Do you think the birther issue woke them up to the danger of the eroding of Dr. King’s movement?

GEORGE:  I can speak to that since I’m White and a new member. First of all, not all White people are racist. That really burns my cookies when people lump all White people together.  We are not a monolithic group either.  The way I figure it, only about 30% of us adhere to that racist BS.  Most of us suffer from the sin of cluelessness.  We figure if it hasn’t or isn’t happening to us than other people are fine also.  We are clueless as to the daily racial sufferings (especially the micro aggressions) that Black people go through.  I can drive by a Confederate flag, and I might not like it but it doesn’t affect me on a visceral level. I might even buy the bullshit that the flag represents my White neighbor’s heritage.  On the other hand, my Black friends (notice I have more than one Black friend, thank you very much) tell me they get violently ill when they see that “in your face” marker of White Supremacy because it definitely represents their heritage—one of bondage, brutality, chains, and lynchings.  I don’t want my grandchildren to inherit a Trump world and ideology that hurts people.  I want them to love all races and be aware of what causes others pain.  I joined after the debacle in Charlottesville, the wide-scale voter suppression in the Black communities in 2018, the growing revelations of police brutality, and the awareness of the growing income and educational disparity in the Black community.

Cartoon Used by Permission: 212482 Voter Suppression by Steve Sack The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, MN

MARY ANN:  I’m White and a Born-Again Christian.  I joined WWMD because I realized much too late that Trump was the leader of a cult and he had sucked out the soul and the brains of so many of my family and friends.  The more Trump’s immoral character showed itself, the more my friends and relatives turned a blind eye and started imbibing the hate talk-radio rhetoric of the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones.  Many of them wear the bracelets WWJD (“What would Jesus do?”), but by the way they worship at the feet of the Liar-in-Chief, the answer is:  Jesus would do absolutely nothing in response to Trump’s blatant immorality, and therefore neither will I.   When the Christian Trumpers anointed him as the “Chosen One,” I joined WWMD to save my soul and find a place that honored good character, truth, and integrity before it was too late to find it in the public square or at the church altar. 

Cartoon Used by Permission: 208900 MLK by Milt Priggee Oak Harbor, WA

REPORTER:  Well, that’s a fascinating twist.  Are there other White Christians in the room who can elaborate on that?

AMBER:  Yes, I can.  My name is Amber.  I grew up in Evangelical Christianity.  My parents were part of the Jesus Movement, and I thought I could ride out the stupidity of Trump idolatry when it hit our Pentecostal/Charismatic church.  I figured the Church would wake up sooner or later and get back to enacting WWJD.  But the more I waited, the more I noticed our collective soul and any intelligence we may have had slip-sliding away.  I belonged to one of those mega churches who I now suspect support Trump because they lust after his money, the men lust after his fake-tit wife, and the women lust after the fake-tit wife’s glamorous life. 

Anyway, I had halfway divorced my parents and had one foot out the door when I heard a woman on a “Christian” radio program who had called in to protest the fact that Michelle Obama had been named the most admired woman in the world for the second time in a row.  The woman was apoplectic over what she perceived was a miscarriage of justice. She falsely accused Barack Obama of being a pedophile (in cahoots with the Clintons) and both the Obamas of being money launderers (because how else could they possibly have such nice stuff).  The “Christian” prayer warrior proceeded to pray that God the Father would reveal the true identity of Michelle (who she knows for certain is a man whose name is Michael and Michelle secretly has a penis), and that God would further reveal that the Obama children are not theirs but Barack’s best friend (apparently, the kids are on loan to promote the ruse that the Obamas are a heterosexual, loving, Christian family).  The woman could not understand how her fake-tit goddess (Melania Trump) could be overlooked by the world for a man in drag (i.e. Michelle Obama) when Melania is so beautiful, classy, and speaks seven languages.  It seems the Jesus lover forgot about Melania’s butt-naked pictures that are all over the Internet and that she’s done nothing significant except plagiarize Michelle Obamas speech when she first came on the scene, and express to the world her callousness and disdain when visiting the traumatized children at the border.*

I screamed, “I’M OUT!” and I haven’t looked back.

Cartoon Used by Permission: 212191 Melania fashion statements by Dave Granlund PoliticalCartoons. com

REPORTER:  Unfortunately, I know that conspiracy theory.*   It’s been bouncing around Right-wing talk radio for years, and Trump’s base believes it hook, line, and sinker.  The racism is mindboggling, but if so-called Christians can’t do what Jesus taught them to do, how can emulating Dr. King help you get beyond the anger and fear these types of conspiracy theories must engender?  I mean, Dr. King said that he wanted African-Americans to be judged on their character.  Who has demonstrated more outstanding character than the Obamas?  Yet, when the haters can’t find any blemish in their character, they make up stuff.

MAXINE:  Please… that crap doesn’t have anything to do with Jesus and he ain’t listenin’ to their idiotic prayers.  My visceral reaction is to pummel this woman and everyone like her.  But if I did that, my heart would turn to stone and I’d become as stupid as that woman.  Martin (and Jesus—the God who Martin loved and served) would tell us to not embrace hatred but to love our enemies.  So I pray for people like her.  It ain’t easy, but I do it anyway.

BARBARA:  I think loving the Trump supporters is a tall order.  I’m just not there yet.  What I can do and am doing to recoup Dr. King’s legacy is that I’m dispensing kindness to each and every person I meet along the way.  Whether it’s a genuine smile to a stranger, helping someone in need, writing a note of encouragement or just not returning evil for evil—I know I’ve done something significant to push back the hatred that divides us as a country.  Every time I hear of some hateful racist story against my people, I make an extra effort to be kind to those I know and don’t know.  Maybe someday I’ll be like Martin and Jesus, for that matter, and learn to look into the darkness, fear not, and see the love emanating from my heart illuminating the dark hearts of the haters.  That’s what Martin would do.

Cartoon Used by Permission: 205175 Keep Looking Up by Jeff Koterba, Omaha World Herald, NE

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ABOUT KINDNESS

“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”—Stephen Grellet

“I make mistakes daily, letting generalizations creep into my thoughts and negatively affect my behavior. These mistakes have taught me that the first step to successfully choosing kindness is being more mindful about it, letting go of impatience and intolerance along the way.”—Daniel Lubetzky

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.”—Og Mandino

ALL QUOTES COURTESY OF BRAINYQUOTES.COM

Cartoon Used by Permission: 189869 MLK statue COLOR by Dave Granlund, Politicalcartoons.com

*The conspiracy story and the prayer that was spoken is true and the author of this blog vomited her lunch when she heard it. In fact, she’s still vomiting…

Eleanor Tomczyk is an author and a humorist who is an award-winning voice-over performer.  In 2011, she created the blog, “How the Hell Did I End Up Here” which features mostly satirical posts that have thousands of readers around the world—although she was recently banned in Pakistan (for real!).  Tomczyk’s three books were featured in a recent book festival:  “Monsters’ Throwdown,” “Fleeing Oz,” and “The Fetus Chronicles—Podcasts to my Miseducated Self.”  Currently in her 70s and living life like it is freakin’ golden, she is a consummate storyteller and much sought-after motivational speaker.  If you don’t believe me, just ask her!

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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PUTTING MY BODY WHERE MY MOUTH IS

“STOP THE RAIDS AND DEPORTATION.

IMMIGRANT LABOR BUILT THIS NATION!”

***

“NO TRUMP.

NO KKK.

NO FASCIST USA!”

“DO YOU SING IN A CHOIR—CAUSE IF YOU DO, YOU’RE OUT OF TUNE!” shouted the cane-leaning old White man in a MAGA hat at the protesting Democrats, of which I was one.

“OH REALLY! IS THAT ALL YOU’VE GOT, OLD MAN”—THERE’S THREE OF YOU, AND HUNDREDS OF US!” I screamed back across the political and moral abyss that divided us. (I don’t know why I answered with that particular quip, but the phrase popped out of my mouth before I knew what I was saying—two septuagenarians shouting smack against each other—one White, one Black.  If the stakes weren’t so high—the soul of our country—I would have keeled over in laughter at the absurdity of two old farts verbally going at each other and bought the old man a drink after all was said and done.)

Author at Democrats’ Protest of Trump/Jamestown Beach 2019||Photo Credit: Eleanor Tomczyk

“GO BACK TO WHERE YOU CAME FROM YOU FUCKIN’ ASSHOLES,” yelled a Trump supporter from a pick-up truck as he whizzed past us.  All I could think to yell back at the ass of the truck of the foul-mouthed Trumpster was “YOU…YOU…YOU KISS YOUR MOTHER WITH THAT MOUTH?”

Looks like I’m going to have to up my game in the retort department if I’m going to continue in this public protest battle against stupidity, lies, racism, and craziness.  Just sayin’.

This week was a start though.  I’ve been protesting and resisting Trump via my blog since the first moment he came down the escalator in Trump Tower, but this week I got to join with others and tell this President to go back to the sewer in New York from which he sprung.

It felt good.  Encouraging.  The First Amendment at work—the first of many steps to bring this aberration down in 2020.  It was Democracy in action.

Democrats Protest Trump/Jamestown Beach 2019||Photo Credit: Elizabeth Wiley

I almost didn’t attend this protest.  I mean, for Pete’s sake, I’m an old woman.  I got no business putting myself in those types of volatile situations. (What if I had a stroke?) Besides, the temperature was supposed to be in the high 90’s, no bathrooms would be provided AT ALL within the protest area (which meant I couldn’t drink any water), and due to the high level of security for #45, we would be confined to a specific area until the buses returned to pick us up.  (What if I peed on myself and three other protesters? OMG!)  But I went anyway. (When I got home, I tried to write a blog about the experience, but I promptly fell asleep on top of my open laptop and slept that way the rest of the day until my husband came home from work. Looks like I need to go into training before the next protest.)

Democrats Protest Trump/Jamestown Beach 2019||Photo Credit: Eleanor Tomczyk

It was a conversation I had with an octogenarian Trump supporter in my Canasta group that really pushed me into action.  I had been toying with the idea of going but probably could have been easily talked out of it (due to my age and unpredictability of potential violence) when a cute little eighty year old learned that a couple of us were interested in attending the protest against #45 when he came to town.  I’ve always thought of this woman as adorable and kindhearted.  She is an ardent church goer, a tireless volunteer for the down-trodden, says “gee-williker-wiz” (instead of “oh, shit!” when she’s frustrated) and “gosh-darn-tootin’” (instead of “hot damn” when she’s won the lottery), and I’d be willing to bet butter doesn’t melt in her mouth—and her shit doesn’t stink.  But then she said the magic words that drop kicked me into the protest: “Oh no!  I just knew something like this would happen when the President came to speak! Why can’t you just support our President? He’s doing a great job.  The economy is fabulous, my taxes have gone down—I just need to understand why you dislike him so! I mean, I wish he’d stop tweeting, but other than that, look at all the good he’s done!”   

That is when I knew my sweet little octogenarian and others like her would be our country’s downfall because she was not horrified by the words and antics of Satan himselfone Donald J. Trump.

Democrats Protest Trump/Jamestown Beach 2019||Photo Credit: Eleanor Tomczyk

Our local newspaper reported some of Trump’s speech to the Jamestown General Assembly that caught my attention:

“In August 1619, the first enslaved Africans in the English colonies arrived in Virginia. It was the beginning of a barbaric trade in human lives. Today, we honor, we remember every sacred soul who suffered the horrors of slavery and the anguish of bondage. More than 150 years later, at America’s founding, our Declaration of Independence recognized the immortal truth that all men are created equal.

Yet, it would ultimately take a civil war, 85 years after that document was signed, to abolish the evil of slavery. It would take more than another century for our nation in the words of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to live out the true meaning of its creed and extend the blessings of freedom to all Americans.

In the face of grave oppression and grave injustice, African-Americans have built, strengthened, inspired, uplifted, protected, defended, and sustained our nation from its very earliest days…”

Two hours after returning from Jamestown where he gave his scripted speech on the history and virtues of African-Americans, Trump admitted that he’d pulled the previous racist attacks against the Congresswomen of Color, Cummings, and Baltimore out of his buttjust because! (Trump to reporters about racist statements: “I have no strategy. There’s zero strategy. It’s very simple.”)  In other words, it is even worse than I thoughthis racism is cynical, calculated, and cold, and he was just reading a script at Jamestown.

Democrats Protest Trump/Jamestown Beach 2019||Photo Credit: Eleanor Tomczyk

It’s too bad Trump’s tweets, actions, and rallies speak of a different reality than his staged teleprompter speech at the Ceremony Commemorating the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown Colony.  If his words in front of the Assembly were matched by his actions, I would not have felt compelled to gather with 349 other people on a hot July day to protest his sorry-ass and would have stayed home to binge watch the final season of “Orange is the New Black” while sipping mimosas.  Since I know that speech was not written by Trump nor does it reflect his true feelings (“by their fruits you shall know them,” the Bible says), looks like I’m going to have to stock up on Geritol (which was extinct but somehow made a miraculous comeback) to help sustain me for the long protest marches ahead to 2020.

Until then I’ll keep fighting this battle for the Left side—the humane side—because right now, they are the only political group that seems to have a clear understanding of the evil in our midst cultivating darkness in our countrymen’s hearts and minds.  And that includes sweet, little old ladies who would rather go to their graves saying “Gosh darnit, gheez, son-of-a-gun” with blinders on their eyes rather than open their eyes and call a racist, lying, abusive, cheater of a President the son-of-a-bitch that he is and vote him out of office in 2020.  It’s up to those who can see the truth to keep protesting, to keep trying to wake up our sweet friends, neighbors, and relatives to the truth before it is too late.

Democrats Protest Trump/Jamestown Beach 2019||Photo Credit: Eleanor Tomczyk

WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR’S LIFE AMONG WHITE CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVES FOR 45+ YEARS AND THE INSIGHTS GAINED:  Check out “Fleeing Oz”—on sale now at Amazon!

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WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at http://www.eleanortomczyk.com

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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I’M BLACK AND I DON’T LIKE BLACK HISTORY MONTH

Do you know what I discovered the other day?  It’s Black History Month!  It snuck up on me because I have mixed feelings about this month.  I suppose I should be happy for some part of the calendar to shine a national spotlight on something that gets short shrift in our school textbooks and our public square conversations. Besides paying lip service to our nation’s sojourn into slavery’s immorality and to the same laundry list of Black, long-suffering heroes (King, Parks, Lewis, Marshall, The Little Rock Nine, to name a few), I wouldn’t mind the annual February tribute to Black history if it pushed us deeper into having a more substantive conversation about race in America.

I wish Black history would simply be American History–told with searing honesty so that profound conversations could ensue and an even deeper understanding could emerge to confront what is needed to really see how much damage the stain of slavery and the subsequent Jim Crow Laws did to our collective souls and how that stain still runs painfully deep.  White people need to be healed from the damage of all that immoral racial DNA as much as Black folks do who were the victims of it.  Instead, many White people hope and declare that racism is over (“After all, I voted for Obama!”), and most Black people limp along—permanently scarred—hoping to just go along to get along.  I almost skipped acknowledging and blogging about Black History Month this year until my state (Virginia) went insane during the last few weeks over my governor’s college yearbook blackface photos coupled with a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) costume.  

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, PoliticalCartoons.com/Cagle Cartoons

Not that “woke” White Virginians shouldn’t have reacted negatively to these mocking, degrading “darkology” photos, but they should not have been surprised.  According to Rhae Lynn Barnes (assistant professor of American cultural history at Princeton University) who has written the forthcoming book Darkology: When the American Dream Wore Blackface, “Blackface is as American as the ruling class.” Ms. Barnes says that blackface has been used by every White group in Virginia from the KKK (“used blackface in raids to confuse victims”), to the United Daughters of the Confederacy, to the Charlottesville Elks to ridicule Black American soldiers in 1924, to our southern colleges and universities until as recently as 2002.  She has studied “darkology” and minstrel shows for at least a decade and claims that nearly every city and town in America is guilty of participating in blackface which started in New York City, believe it or not.  (Minstrel—“minstrelsy”—shows started a couple hundred years ago and were performed by White people who darkened their skin with shoe polish and cork. The performances were always of an exaggerated depiction of Black people as lazy, stupid, bumbling, over-sexed, and, more significantly, in need of being led and governed by a superior race because they were too ignorant to manage life on their own.  The performances were always meant to demean, degrade, and disdain the African-American male, especially.)

What blew me away was Rhae Lynn Barnes’ article in the Washington Post* which cited an example of an obituary of a 94 year old White man from Charlottesville whose obit celebrated his 64-year membership in the Lions Club—you know, that lovely service group of mostly old White men who collect used eyeglasses to send to poor countries.  The obit boasted of the old man’s participation in the club’s Minstrel Show every year (according to Ms. Barnes, until 1974, the Charlottesville Lion’s Club Minstrel show was part of the city’s travel brochure).  The obituary was written in April 2017—just a few months before the White Nationalists’ march, mayhem, and murder in Charlottesville by Confederate flag carrying White Supremacists who had traded in their white sheets and burning crosses for khaki pants and tikki-torches.  At the end of the old man’s obituary was a single line that said there would be a celebration of his life at an Episcopal Church in Keswick, VA. (Say what?!)

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star, Tucson, AZ/Cagle

Something bothered me about this obituary and the blackface conversations that weren’t being had.  If the truth be known, it wasn’t that my governor and others (more surfacing every day) had been outed for wearing blackface that disturbed me as much as the fact that we weren’t getting to the root of why something so egregious as a racist Jim Crow tool could be done so nonchalantly as recently as 1984 that the participants did it and summarily forgot about it—that it was sanctioned by their educational institutions.  (“Hey, it was all in good fun, right? I’m not a racist—I have tons of Black friends and associates, and I believe in Jesus! Besides, I’m a Democrat and I voted for Obama!”)

Then I saw a picture during my research, and the answer became clear to me as the noon day sun why the Governor of Virginia and a 94-year-old Lion’s Club member from the local Episcopal Church can put on blackface and be tone-deaf  as to why that was not cool, not funny, not Christlike and extremely hurtful to African-Americans:

KKK thought to be in Portland, OR 1920/Photographer unknown/Public Domain

This craziness is in their spiritual DNA!  Jesus plus the Ku Klux Klan?!  Hello!  Well that says it all.  The deep discussions we need to have about race can’t be had until we recognize how much systematic racism is ingrained in White Christianity and how that coupling has made so much of the hateful antics against African-Americans “okay” in such a way that its tentacles are intertwined with the Gospel of Christ. 

The picture above was taken in 1920.  It is thought to be in a church in Portland, Oregon.  Six years before this picture was taken a White Methodist minister (William Joseph Simmons), restarted the Ku Klux Klan that Ulysses S. Grant had earlier disbanded.  On the top of Stone Mountain in Georgia Minister Simmons declared himself the Imperial Wizard and proclaimed:  “The angels that have anxiously watched the reformation from its beginnings must have hovered about Stone Mountain and shouted hosannas to the highest heavens.” 

By the time the photo was taken of the local Klan in a church in Oregon, 5 million White men belonged to the KKK and had infiltrated churches all across America—some being so bold as to wear their “uniforms of terror” while they sang in church choirs or sat in church pews.  Many Protestant ministers (strictly Protestant because the KKK hated Catholics and Jews as much as Black people) were either sympathetic toward the KKK or were members.  If men running around in hooded sheets and wearing blackface had been the extent of the Klan’s evil, we could have chalked it up to bad taste and might have been able to racially heal in America.  But their deeds, which were sanctioned by many White Christian churches, were demonic and murderous across the nation.  For example, in 1921 approximately 3,200 Klansmen lived in Oklahoma (2,000 of them in Tulsa) which became the backdrop of the worst massacre of African-Americans in our history.  This brutal terrorist act happened in a city that boasted of copious Christian churches as part of its reputation and stability.

Tulsa Race Massacre 1921 Wikipedia/Public Domain

On May 31, 1921, 35 blocks of an all-Black residential and business area, known as “the Negro Wall Street” because it was so prosperous, was burned to the ground by the jealous White citizens of Tulsa.  Approximately 10,000 Blacks had settled in the area due to the land rush at the time and established very vibrant and strong middle and upper class existences on valuable oil-rich land.  It was a model community.  They had doctors, lawyers, teachers, and bankers. They owned fine jewels and fur coats, pianos, beautiful houses, and delicately carved furniture.  Greenwood, as it was called, had everything a thriving town would want, including Dr. A.C. Jackson, “the most able Negro surgeon in America” as cited by the Mayo brothers. 

In 1921, private planes bombed Greenwood from the air with turpentine balls while hundreds of White men gunned down anyone who tried to escape their homes and businesses, including Dr. A.C. Jackson as he ascended his office steps with his hands up in surrender.  300 people died, 1,200 homes were looted and subsequently burned to the ground while thousands of Greenwood’s citizens were imprisoned without recourse.  It was reported (although never proven) that witnesses saw hundreds of bodies thrown into the river and mass graves.  For years afterwards, Black Greenwood citizens would see their jewelry around the necks of White residents in and about town (I wonder if any of that stolen jewelry was worn to church with their Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes?) while the Klan distributed post cards across the country with pictures of the destruction as proof of their ability to maintain White rule and dominance.  The loss was the equivalent of $30 million in damage in today’s currency according to Brandon Weber of The Progressive.

Greenwood Residents picking through burned homes/Photo: Public Domain

No White person was ever charged or held responsible for the Tulsa massacre. Many of the bodies were never found.  Until recently, Oklahoma buried the story and refused to acknowledge it.

The excuse for the terrorist attack: A well-known shoe shine boy (Dick Rowland) who was stationed outside a Tulsa department store on the White side of town—well-known and liked by the White residents—needed to use the only restroom available for Blacks which was on the top floor of the store.  He ran into the elevator which was operated by a White woman (Sara Page).  For some reason Ms. Page screamed (Rowland stepped on her toe or he stumbled and grabbed her arm—some even say they might have been lovers, but no one ever knew the reason for the scream except that it wasn’t rape as was later accused).  Page’s scream frightened Rowland and he fled.  A White person heard the scream, saw Rowland running away, and assumed the worst.  The shoeshine boy was later exonerated, but the destruction and massacre was blamed on the Black citizens of Greenwood and they were never compensated.

Of all my research of this horrific moment in Black history, which, as I said, is still considered the worst massacre of African-Americans, I have never, ever read that the White Evangelical churches in Oklahoma took responsibility for the bedfellows they made with the Ku Klux Klan which probably undergirded their participation in Greenwood’s demise.   I have found no record of any White Tulsa citizens coming to the aid of their African-American neighbors when they and their livelihood were being destroyed.

Courtesy of HBCU.org

***

ELEANOR’S SELAH (“AHA” MOMENT)

I am discovering of late that until we comprehend how much of America’s racism has been fostered and cloaked in the Gospel of Christ, it will be impossible to get to the root of our national sin and systemically kill this tree because it is in the bloodstream of White Christian America, and unfortunately a month every year is just not going to cut it.  Racism is a spiritual entity in our midst which permeates everything in our country from the church pew to the college campus to the White House.  Let’s not stop at rooting out old yearbooks and apologizing for long forgotten blackface pages—let’s move on down the road and deeper into the forests of our Evangelical churches’ histories, and really rid ourselves of our national sin of racism.

On that note, we are not totally without hope. In April 2018, Pastor Jim Wallis (President of Sojourners) and the National Council of Churches led a rally marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Its major focus was to “Confess to Confront Racism: Confessing the Church’s Complicity in Practicing, Promoting, and Profiting from White Privilege and Racial Division.”  As Pastor Wallis said in Sojourners blog commentary:

“Let me say this as clearly as I can: Our original sin of white racism and the way it not just lingers but continues to evolve is literally throwing away imago dei — the image of God — and it happens over and over again each and every day. Let me quote a colleague, Professor Fr. Bryan Massingale from Fordham University, who says, ‘When I ask my white students if they have ever heard racism named or preached as a sin from their pulpits growing up in their churches — their answer is almost always NO.’ That says it all and that’s what we have to change. If we do, the changes could be enormous, with the fruits of repentance literally undergirding the substance of social change.”

AMEN AND AMEN!

Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star, Tucson, AZ, Cagle

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE

“Without confession to the sin of white racism, white supremacy, white privilege, people who call themselves white Christians will never be free.”@jimwallis

***

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR?  Check out her website at www.eleanortomczyk.com

THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

***

REFERENCES

https://sojo.net/articles/50th-anniversary-dr-kings-assassination-confessing-churchs-complicity-racial-division

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/04/08/the-preacher-who-used-christianity-to-revive-the-ku-klux-klan/?utm_term=.288cd6c159d2

https://www.splcenter.org/20170925/hate-god%E2%80%99s-name

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2018/09/28/feature/they-was-killing-black-people/?utm_term=.aa2289ca731e

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/yes-politicians-wore-blackface-it-used-to-be-all-american-fun/2019/02/08/821b268c-2b0d-11e9-b011-d8500644dc98_story.html?utm_term=.b8c4ef93b92d

*https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/02/02/troubling-history-behind-ralph-northams-blackface-klan-photo/?utm_term=.7f468406793c

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on February 10, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

WHEN ELLIE MET JACKIE

Do you know what I discovered this week? This weekend I will be celebrating my 38th wedding anniversary and my sixty-ninth birthday. (When I say “weekend,” that is not a slip of the tongue—I plan to party for three days straight!) I am so thrilled to have something else to think about other than Donald Trump.  He is turning out to be such a consummate liar, grand manipulator, and narcissistic, racist muckraker that I can barely breathe.  I am convinced he is a very mentally unstable person, and I can’t help wondering if God has quit his day job because the more King Trump/Bannon reigns the more I feel as if we’re slip-sliding into Hell as a country.  One of the things I’m going to do during my birthday weekend is see Wonder Woman, and boy would I love to be her for just one day, and be left alone with Trump.  Me and my truth-telling lasso would do some serious damage against Herr Trump.

Wonder Woman RJ Matson Roll Call

Cartoon used by permission: RJ Matson Roll Call

Of all the things that Trump has done that upsets me the most is how he has been like a pied piper to the racist elements in our culture.  I was feeling pretty sad this week about that until I ran across the most amazing article in the NY Times by Sheryll Cashin about how “interracial love is saving America.”* WHAT?  She has this premise that even though it looks as if our country is sinking into a racist quagmire, interracial couples are “chipping away at White supremacy” in a way that makes you want to stand up and cheer.  Cashin cites how Thomas Jefferson stressed with great emphasis that interracial sex and marriage should never be allowed because it would “stain” the White race since he considered the Negro to be “inferior in mind and form.”  (I have two words for you Thomas Jefferson—you hypocritical dog, you:  Sally Hemings—slave and mother of six of your children.)  Ms. Chashin states that it was love that overturned the miscegenation laws in America in 1967 (Loving vs. Virginia), and now at least “one quarter of Americans have a close relative in an interracial marriage,” and when polled, “91% of respondents said that interracial marriage was a change for the better or didn’t matter at all.”  Boy, we’ve come a long way, Baby, from our forefathers’ days!

INTERRACIAL COUPLE HOLDING HANDS ofcommonsense dot me

Interracial Hands: http://www.ofcommonsense.me

Suddenly it dawned on me: I am part of the “salvation” of our nation—me and my man (WW—“White and Wonderful”)!  Hot damn!  And since our 38th anniversary is coming up this weekend, I thought I’d meditate on our love story and share the hope I feel with my readers that no matter how things look now—the killing of innocent Blacks, Muslims, Hindis, Latinos, and Asians—we are never going back to the days of our ignorant forefathers.  Interracial love and understanding is here to stay, and it is growing.

Below is a snippet of our love story of hope.  Enjoy!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Ellie and Jackie”/Photo Credit: William Clarke

******

WHEN ELLIE MET JACKIE

(A Story of Interracial Love)

Forty-five years ago, a Black girl from the inner city of Cleveland and a White boy from the sheltered suburb of a New England town bumped into each other in a hippie commune in the early 70’s.  Those were heady times and full of experimentation, but just because their paths crossed didn’t mean they should have been attracted to each other.   Most of the White people the girl had known (except for an occasional student in college and a couple of teachers along the way) were ones she feared or hated because of their cruel and horrid treatment to her.  In fact, the girl was often heard to say to anyone who would listen about her views on interracial dating that:  “There ain’t nothin’ no White man can do for me, Chil’!”  The boy grew up in an all-White neighborhood, and even though there were a couple of Black kids in his school, the only Black person who ever came to his house was the mailman, which the family dog continuously chased and tried to bite because the dog “didn’t like Black people,” or so the story goes.  (The dog never chased anybody else—just the poor Black postman.)

The girl belonged to a theater club in her hippie commune, and one day she snuck into the dark hallway of the balcony of the theater during auditions.  She wasn’t in a position to see the actors who were auditioning but she could hear their voices.  When a booming voice that sounded like the voice of God and resonated like James Earl Jones filled the auditorium, the girl’s heart skipped a beat.  She had never heard such a mellifluous voice.  The girl instantly knew that only a Black man could have a voice like that, and in a community that had no Black men but scores of White men, she scurried as fast as she could to see what fine Black male specimen encased that heavenly voice.

our skin color doesn't define us

Stock Photo: Google

The boy’s white skin wasn’t the only thing to surprise the girl.  When she introduced herself to him, she discovered that his name was “Jackie.”

“What kind of name is that?” she said.

“It’s a New England nickname for John,” he said.  The girl looked into his gorgeous blue eyes and almost lost her breath when he spoke to her.

“Well, my name is Eleanor although some people call me ‘Ellie’ which I really don’t like because REALLY—do I look like an ‘Ellie ‘cause seriously would anyone have called Eleanor Roosevelt ‘Ellie’ to her face and that is really who I’m named after at least that is what I’ve been told but then again my mother was crazy and my name could be Diana for all I know…” she said in one breathless run-on sentence.  (The girl was blushing but since she was a golden mocha color, the boy did not notice.  I don’t think the boy ever figured out when the girl was blushing.)

The boy laughed—a deep ground-swell of a laugh that the girl remembered thinking was of a timbre that Santa Claus would kill for.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Ellie and Jackie”/Photo Credit: E. Tomczyk

The boy won the audition into the theater club, but the girl was too petrified to talk to him after their initial meeting.  So she had her girlfriend invite him to a dinner party in which the girl would be present as well.

The girl thought the boy was arrogant as Hell.

The boy thought the girl was argumentative and pushy.

The girl said, “I hope we see each other again.”

The boy said, “Sure, I’ll give you a call.”

Weeks went by, but the boy never called the girl.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Ellie and Jackie”–14th Anniversary/Photo Credit: E. Tomczyk

The more the boy ignored the girl, the more she pined for him.

“I can’t believe he said he’d call, but I haven’t even heard a peep,” the girl said to her girlfriends one day.

“Do you like him?” asked one of the girlfriends.

“I don’t know… I just thought there was a spark there,” the girl mournfully replied.

“Then why don’t you call him and ask him out on a date.  This is the 70s, Girl!  You don’t have to wait for him.”

That is what the girl did.  She called the boy.  It turned out that his car was broken down and he had no money.  All he had was a beat-up company truck. He wanted to arrange a date where he picked her up in style and took her to a fancy restaurant.

The girl said, she didn’t give a damn about riding in a truck just so long as it didn’t leave them stranded on the road, and as to a fancy meal, if he could boil water, he could invite her over for dinner for a couple boiled eggs.

He made “Shrimp Wiggle.”  (Can of shrimp, can of Campbell’s mushroom soup, and a can of peas on toast.) All the girl could think was, “Oh, Lord Jesus, if this is how White people eat, then no wonder they don’t have any rhythm!”

The girl ate the Shrimp Wiggle and loved it because that night they talked for twelve straight hours.  As the girl’s roommates wondered whether they should file a missing person’s report, the boy and the girl spoke about their fears, their abuses, their rejections, their pain, their scars, their ambitions, their likes, their dreams, and their goals.  They looked into each other’s souls and they loved what they saw.

The next morning when the boy took the girl back to her apartment, they both knew they had met the love of their lives and that one day they would spend the rest of their lives together.  The End.

Anniversary Couple

“Ellie and Jackie”: Happily Married for 38 Years

******

ELEANOR’S “SELAH” (“AHA”) MOMENT

I am discovering that my man and I are pushing back bigotry and racism one interracial love at a time.  There once was a time when neither of us could have imagined our life together.  Now that we have lived the reality, we know that “perfect love casts out all fears.”

Oh, and Happy Birthday to me.  (The girl and the boy married on the girl’s birthday in 1979.)  I gave myself the greatest birthday gift a girl could ever get:  the love of a very, very good man!

***

               QUOTES TO CHEW ON

“I have never had the least apprehension that I or my friends would marry Negroes if there was no law to keep them from it, but as Judge Douglas and his friends seem to be in great apprehension that they might, if there were no law to keep them from it, I give him the most solemn pledge that I will to the very last stand by the law of this State, which forbids the marrying of white people with Negroes.”Abraham Lincoln, The so-called “Great Emancipator” (1858)

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay, and red, and placed them on separate continents, and but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend the races to mix.”—Virginia trial court Judge Leon Bazile, who heard the case of Richard and Mildred Loving in 1965 and ruled against their interracial marriage.

“Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not to marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”—The 1967 Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Loving v. Virginia

“The secret to a happy marriage is if you can be at peace with someone within four walls, if you are content because the one you love is near to you, either upstairs or downstairs, or in the same room, and you feel that warmth that you don’t find very often, then that is what love is all about.”—Bruce Forsyth

***

WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT “ELLIE AND JACKIE”?  CHECK OUT THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK:  “THE FETUS CHRONICLES: PODCASTS FROM MY MISEDUCATED SELF” ON AMAZON!

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR? CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE: www.eleanortomczyk.com

Birthday Anniversary Celebration 

REFERENCES

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/03/opinion/sunday/how-interracial-love-is-saving-america.html?mabReward=ACTM_TC4&recp=7&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&region=CColumn&module=Recommendation&src=rechp&WT.nav=RecEngine *

http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/05/18/528939766/five-fold-increase-in-interracial-marriages-50-years-after-they-became-legal

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

WAKE UP, RIGHTEOUS WHITE FOLKS!

Do you know what I discovered since returning from Thanksgiving festivities? Fidel Castro died. I threw a party to celebrate. I was eleven years old when Castro seized control of Cuba “in the name of its people,” and, although the worst he ever did to me was instill a debilitating fear that the holes in my dirty underwear would be seen and mocked by my classmates while scampering under my school desk before the Soviet nuclear bombs roared out of Cuba and dropped on my head, he screwed up the lives of millions of his fellow Cubans something fierce, and they may never recover. While I appreciate the few moral decisions he managed to get right in his lifetime (backed Mandela and opposed Apartheid, and provided health care for his poorest people along with an education system for all Cubans—albeit, propaganda-laden), his horrific, murderous sins, lies, and torture earned him a primo place in Hell.

castro-destination-steve-sack-the-minneapolis-star-tribune

Cartoon used by permission: Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

Thinking about Castro—especially as various people have been soft pedaling his legacy this week—I am forced to think about despots in general. I tend to dwell on the things that obsess me—like despots and the damage they can cause—and when I obsess, I dream. The other night I dreamt that I couldn’t sleep because of all the crazy leaders since the beginning of time who have not treated their people with equity, respect, and dignity—who have royally screwed up their countries when they became the president, the king, or the despot. And in that dream, I thought of Trump, and then I thought of his Chief Strategist (Steve Bannon), and the more than the 800 reported racial incidents since the election, and I went in search of a White man to tell my sorrows to … but, alas alack, he was asleep—so I woke him up, anyway (in my dream, that is)—hoping that he would help me out.

president-trump-bob-englehart-caglecartoons

Cartoon used by permission: Bob Englehart, Caglecartoons

[Leaning over my husband’s sleeping body, I tried to pry open one of eyelids.]

ME:        Psst. Wake up! Are you asleep?

HIM:      Yes.

ME:        Are you sure you’re asleep?

HIM:      Yes.

ME:        Hum, would you like a little roll in the hay, old man?

HIM:      Ah, yeah!

ME:        So, you are awake.

HIM:      You tricked me!

ME:        Yes, I did. Because I need to see if you’re still my husband of 38 years, or if you’ve been snatched by a Trumpet spirit.  I think something awful has been happening to a lot of the White people in our country, and I need to make sure you’re safe. Open your eyes so that I can see if there are any demons inside of you. Hum … You seem okay. Now that you’re awake, can I tell you what I need help with?

HIM:      Do I have a choice?

ME:        Of course not. Did you know that according to the Southern Poverty Law Center there have been over 900 reports of harassment or intimidation in every state except four in the past several weeks, and in most of the attacks, Trump’s name has been invoked? And our President-elect hasn’t done a damn thing about it. Trump can tweet about everything else at three a.m., but he has been very passive about this crap done in his name. One of the incidents that sent chills down my spine is the one I read in Ebony today. Listen to this:

“A White Massachusetts man received a letter warning him not to bring Black friends into the community from someone saying it has ‘zero tolerance for Black people’ and that ‘we have reclaimed our country back by selecting Trump.’ Another letter he received read: ‘We have just cleared the White House of niggers! Do not bring niggers in our neighborhood… We will kill them.”

ME:        This shit is popping up all over the place—not just against Blacks, but against Muslims, Latinos, women, Asians, and Gays and Lesbians—all in Trump’s name! Right after the election, I saw a copy of an anonymous note left to a Muslim teacher that she better take off her head-wrap because it wasn’t allowed anymore now that Trump was President, and that she should “tie” it around her neck and “hang yourself with it.”

 hate-groups-adam-zyglis-the-buffalo-news

Cartoon used by permission: Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News

HIM:      Well, I didn’t vote for Trump and neither did any of the White people we consider our friends. Why did you wake me up? I’m not guilty and neither are they. Also, you’re a smart person, and I know that you know that all White people who voted for Trump were not racially motivated.

ME:        Of course, but I have a feeling that all the racists who voted did vote for Trump! His election seems to have given them a free “get-out-of-jail” pass. And how do we know that the White people who say they voted for Hillary did just that? What if there were millions of White people who were going to vote for Hillary, but once they got in the voting booth, they voted for Trump instead, which is why we’re in this mess? What if this is like The Invasion of the Body Snatchers? I’m beginning to be suspicious of every White person I meet—wondering if they are secretly going to say or do something racist to me. I passed some little ol’ shriveled-up, monkey-faced White lady in the grocery store the other day—she looked to be about eighty years old. When I smiled, she didn’t smile back at me—just kind of scowled at me. I got very suspicious and started to wonder (as I tasted the grapes to see which ones were sweet), whether she was a secret “Trumpet” who resented my very presence amongst the fruits and vegetables, which is why she was giving me the stink eye.

stink-eye-meme

HIM:      She probably was wondering whether she should call a manager to report the crazy lady on aisle two gorging on grapes she hadn’t paid for who was giving her the evil eye. How many times have I told you that tasting grapes before you buy them to see if they are sweet is not kosher?

ME:        And how many times have I told you that when grapes cost $6.00 a pound, they will not have the privilege of entering my grocery cart unless they can prove their sweetness value before I leave the grocery store—besides I only ate two (one green and one red). The grocery stores would help us all out if they simply put up signs that said: “Sweet grapes” or “Sour as Hell Grapes,” then a person would know which grapes to avoid. WAIT A MINUTE! Maybe that’s what we ought to do with all the American citizens if we want to let minorities and vulnerable people know where the safe spaces are—like we labeled the buildings during the Cold War to let our citizens know where we could take shelter when the bombs started droppng. Maybe we should all wear pins on our lapels that say “I Am My Brother’s Keeper—you’re Safe with Me,” or “Fuck You! Only White, Straight, and Christians Wanted Here—Go Back to Where You Came From.”

HIM:      Oy—both those pins would have to be the size of sandwich boards with all that wording! But okay, I get it—I do. I’m concerned as well, but weren’t you one of the bloggers that said you’d pray for the new President and give him a chance?

ME:        Yes, I said I’d pray for him to do the right thing. But he’s not doing the right thing. All this bad shit is happening to people caused by the rats that Trump’s rhetoric flushed out of the sewers (Alt-rightists, KKK, generic racists, xenophobes, and homophobes). In the meantime, we have a President-elect who has surrounded himself with some, at the very least, cynical actors and at the very worst, hardcore racists. All this while Trump retweets his “facts” from conspiracy websites which push fake news and foster lies as click-bate headlines. I saw an interview with Trump supporters the other day who were shown that something he had said and tweeted was a lie (“millions of votes had been cast by illegal aliens, or Trump would he would have won the popular vote”), and with the facts right in front of them, they still refused to believe that President-elect Trump had lied. Truth has now become what a person wants it to be.

post-truth-patrick-chappatte-le-temps-switzerland

Cartoon used by permission: Patrick Chappatte Le Temps Switzerland

HIM:      Well, that’s just vile.

ME:        Yes, it is, and if people don’t speak up, we are what Clive Irving calls, “silent complicity in that vileness.”

HIM:      So what do you want me to do?

ME:        Sound the alarm! (I secretly think all you White people know each other, anyway—just joking!) Tell White folks to stop being so gullible. I can almost feel them slipping into a somnolent state that things can’t possibly be as bad as the media say because Trump saved 1,000 Carrier jobs (they fail to note that he lost 2,000 Carrier jobs and gave Carrier a bribe of $7M in taxpayer money). Tell all the White people you know, and they should tell all the ones they know, and so on, to raise up armies of brotherly love. Be vigilant. If you care about the character of our country, start bombarding Trump’s website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts with demands for him to make a major prime-time speech against the racism being done in his name. When good White folks see racial, homophobic, or xenophobic incidents, they should intervene—not turn a blind eye. Film it, post it on Facebook, and shame the perpetrators—then come to the defense of your friends and neighbors being abused by letting them know that for every one person that is doing the hating, there are fifty people who won’t stand for that hatred. At the very least: tell White folks to SMILE at people who don’t look like them! It’s a human’s first signal to another that they are entering a “safe space.” Be as kind as possible to everyone you meet!

HIM:      I’ll go you one better: why don’t we all (no matter what the creed, color, or race) make it a New Year’s resolution to become our brother’s keeper—no matter who we voted for. We can push back any darkness brought into existence by Trump if all good-hearted people (of which there are more of in America than haters) treat others like they wish to be treated and make a concerted effort to stand up to evil in their spheres of influence.

ME:        Excellent suggestion! In the meantime, in the morning, I want you to take me to buy a gun.

HIM:      WHAT!?!

ME:        Since Trump’s election, gun ownership has gone up dramatically in Black communities because we are scared to death about Trump’s actions and inactions. We’ve seen this shit before—it’s called the Jim Crow Era. Next time I go into the fruits and veggies, I’m gonna be packin’ heat!

HIM:      Oh, for God’s sake . . . I can see it now: Shoot out in aisle two—old Black Woman and Old White woman gun each other down in between the grapes and the kumquats because both perceived the other to be a threat. Go back to sleep, Woman. You had me at “we are our brother’s keeper,” and you lost me at “packin’ heat”!

giving-trump-a-chance-wolverton-cagle-cartoons

Cartoon used by permission: Wolverton, Cagle Cartoons

***

ELEANOR’S “SELAH” (AHA MOMENT)

I am discovering that I am not going back to the way things were in the 50s when I could not live where I wanted, dine where I wanted, shop where I wanted, be educated where I wanted, or walk down a street without being harassed about being in the “wrong neighborhood.” Wherever I wish to live today is the right neighborhood for me.

I am sure that my gay brothers and sisters will not go back into the closet, and my Muslim and Latino friends will not return to a land where they may have been born but left to enjoy the freedom of living in America.

In case you haven’t noticed, what is happening in America is happening all over the Western world: a brand of right-wing nationalism with all its racist tentacles is popping up in every election.   All righteous Americans need to fight this with every breath in our bodies or we will cease to be an exceptional nation—a shining city on a hill—we will be a footnote in the history books detailing the destruction a despotic leader can do to a country when its citizens engage in groupthink due to fake news, post truths, and cold hearts.

fake-news-i-nate-beeler-the-columbus-dispatch

Cartoon used by permission: Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch

***

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES REGARDING BEING “OUR BROTHER’S KEEPERS” AND OUR PRESIDENT-ELECT

“Today we know that World War II began not in 1939 or 1941 but in the 1920’s and 1930’s when those who should have known better persuaded themselves that they were not their brother’s keeper.”—Hubert H. Humphrey

***

“Because deceit was one of Fidel Castro’s greatest talents, and gullibility is one of the world’s greatest frailties. A genius at myth-making, Castro relied on the human thirst for myths and heroes. His lies were beautiful, and so appealing.”—Carlos Eire, an author and the T.L. Riggs Professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University

***

seath-mcfarlane-tweet

Seth McFarlane Twitter Account

***

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR? Check out www.eleanortomczyk.com

WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS? Monsters’ Throwdown and Fleeing Oz are both on sale at Amazon (Paperback and Kindle).

***

REFERENCES

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/castro-was-a-false-liberator/2016/11/30/ebf9be1c-b718-11e6-b8df-600bd9d38a02_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-d%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/fidel-castros-revolution-succeeded-but-his-promises-evaporated/article33057887/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-post-truth-world-of-the-trump-administration-is-scarier-than-you-think/2016/12/02/ebda952a-b897-11e6-b994-f45a208f7a73_story.html?hpid=hp_rhp-top-table-main_sullivan-345pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/28/the-only-crimes-on-the-rise-in-donald-trump-s-hometown-are-hate-crimes.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2016/11/14/after-trumps-win-some-minorities-feel-unsafe-now-thousands-want-to-protect-them/?tid=a_inl

http://www.salon.com/2016/12/03/fake-news-a-fake-president-and-a-fake-country-welcome-to-america-land-of-no-context/

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on December 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , ,

AMERICANS: WE BE “CRAY-CRAY”

Do you know what I discovered this week? The term “cray-cray.”

CRAY-CRAY: Stemming from the term ‘crazy,’ when referring to someone as ‘cray-cray,’ signifies their craziness to a whole other level.

The ultimate second power of crazy.

This person can either be insane in the brain.

Or simply, TOO DOWN—to the point where it’s not even cool anymore.”—Urban Dictionary

I have no idea whether anyone uses this expression anymore. I called Baby-girl (the harbinger of all things that are culturally au courant to keep her mother from bringing shame on the family name), but I was unable to get a hold of her.  Therefore, I am going to use the word anyway because I came across all sorts of mess in America this week that can only be defined as “the ultimate second power of crazy.”

Cray Cray No One Meme

***

There were so many over-the-top “cray-cray” stories in the news this week that I fantasized about holding a contest to choose a Miss or Mr. America Cray-Cray. Imagine, if you will, a pageant for the Cray-Cray Award of the week—taken straight from the headlines. Every American would be eligible for it—all you’d have to do is something outlandishly stupid. Once the king or queen was crowned, we could send them on a national tour for a year as a roving example of being an exception to American Exceptionalism. Maybe after a few gazillion of these tours, we Americans would start to get the point that we are not just all about ourselves, but that we are our brothers’ keepers, and to be exceptional we must embody humility, integrity, and brotherly love.

***

THE FIRST (SOON TO BECOME WEEKLY) AMERICAN CRAY-CRAY PAGEANT

HOST: THE DALAI MAMA (ALTER EGO OF E. TOMCZYK, THE WRITER)

DM:       Welcome one and all to the first weekly “American Cray-Cray” pageant. First off, let me clarify that y’all couldn’t have picked a better host because I’ve been cray-cray since day one. My mama was cray-cray, and so was her mama before her. Let’s just say, I knows my cray-cray when I sees it, and although I try to keep it under control, but by the grace of God go I.

Well, without further ado, let us proceed. Our first contestant that was brought to us by this week’s news is Mr. Police Department (a.k.a. Mr. Po-Po) from Ferguson, Missouri. His talent is racism married with strong-arming and police brutality.

Ferguson Rick McKee  The Augusta Chronicle

Used by Permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle

DM:       Mr. Po-Po of Ferguson, the stakes are pretty high this week. What makes you confident that you can take first prize in our American Cray-Cray pageant?

PO:        Hey, call us by our street name: The Ganstas of Ferguson. We are exceptional Americans because if “you be Black,” you will be twice as likely to be fined, locked up, and have the key to your cell thrown away (unless you can come up with triple the charge to get your sorry-ass out of jail). What we are most proud of is the Justice Department was able to prove that since 2012, we have made more money (exceeding our departmental budget) than expected because of the funding provided from locking you people up and charging you for the privilege of doing so. Not to mention, we have the best racist emails in police department history (that really ought to count for something). I really like the one that depicts Obama as a chimp and Michelle Obama naked from the waist up dancing like an African Zulu at her graduation (Photo shopping her head on a National Geo pic was awesome!). God, I love our department’s sense of humor. You’ve got to see the email joke about a man trying to put his dogs on welfare because they were mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no clue who their daddies are—simply priceless! On the other hand, we have a real heart for justice. Oh yes, we do! If someone like your White husband lived within our boundaries, and he got a parking or traffic ticket, the Justice Department showed ample proof that we would treat him like the true American he is and quickly make that sucker go away because we give exceptional service to people who look like us. Just ask any White person in town—especially if they are our friends and relatives. I deserve to win the Mr. American Cray-Cray crown just for showing favoritism to our White citizens.

DM:       Boy, you better be glad I know Jesus because I’d take that racist Billy club of yours and beat the cray-cray shit out of you. Now, go on over there and get out of my sight. I’m gonna need a shower in bleach after that interview. (Help me, Jesus!)

dwigh -schrute meme generator

DM:       Our next contestant is the elitist dating website: beautifulpeople.com. Her talent is being a hater. She takes a dollop of disdain, mixes it with contempt, and stirs in an ocean of rejection. Ms. Beautifulpeople.com, why do you think you should win the American Cray-Cray crown this week? You’re not even an American company; you’re from Denmark. You foreigners are always coming over here trying to steal our jobs.

BP:         No, we are not Americans, that’s true. But Americans use our website more than any other country. We currently have 1,457 USA members. And Americans take us much more seriously than France or Australia for instance. We have stringent rules about beauty compliance. In order to be able to join our website, the rest of the beautiful members must vote you in:

1) Beautiful______

2) Hmmmm, OK_______

3) No________

4) Absolutely not_______

BP:         I can tell you right now that you’d never make it, kiddo—so stay married. Plus, you’re much too old, and we don’t accept that many Black people.

DM:       Thanks for nothing, Biotch. I can see that your talent is shallowness as well. Why do you think you deserve to win the crown for Ms. American Cray-Cray?

BP:         Because we’re the best at making people feel like crap! Not only that, we massively purge people from our website if they don’t keep up to par with our beauty standards. We just purged 3,000 people for getting fat (not really fat you understand cause we don’t do fat people, but slightly chubby), and we’ve rejected 8 million people for being “ugly” since our launch in 2003. It’s so awesome to see people’s reactions. An American girl, Tawnie B., got kicked off for being too plain, too flat chested, and too nondescript. She went under the surgeon’s knife, here, there, and everywhere and came back with a vengeance. She’s our star client. She has a new nose, a sculpted chin, blue contact lenses, a pair of breasts that are the size of large cantaloupes (hers formerly looked like kiwis), blond hair extensions, and a 10 pound weight loss (although the cantaloupes added 7 pounds, but we let that slide for the good of the cause). You should see her now—looks like a human Barbie doll! She loves our website and is our biggest champion for keeping up our strict standards.

Online Dating Dan Pizarro

Cartoonist: Dan Piraro http://www.bizarro.com

DM:       Lord have mercy—Heaven, help us! Child, get back in line. Next!

Mr. Bill O’Reilly from Fox News—come to the front of the stage, please.

BO:        Here I am front and center, Dalai Mama. What a pleasure. You know that I was the Mr. Olympia winner in 1965 in NYC, don’t you? I was as big as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno at one time. Arnold won the title seven times through the years, and I won it six times. I would have tied with Gov. Schwarzenegger, but I had to cover the war in Viet Nam, and go on to win the Purple Heart for saving my platoon during a typhoon.

DM:       Bullshit, O’Reilly. I got your number—had it for a long time. I don’t need to ask you why you think you deserve the American Cray-Cray crown. I’ve been following the news. It is very obvious. You’ve been lying through your teeth regarding just about everything. And you really tried to crucify Brian Williams for exaggerating just a few things. You, the star of Fox News. Do you know if I had a dollar for every time a Christian told me that the only media they watch is Bill O’Reilly on Fox News because Fox News is “fair and balanced” and tells the truth, I’d be a very rich woman? And you’re nasty, too! Did you actually tell a reporter he was in “your kill zone” because he exposed your copious lies?   And did you really tell a New York Times reporter that you would come after her with “everything I’ve got,” if her follow-up story did not please you? By the way, did anybody ever tell you that you’re a horrid individual? Go on back in line, you nasty-ass blowhard.

Bill OReilly David Fitzsimmons The Arizona Star

Used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

DM:       And now, who are you? Your name’s not on the line-up list.

ME:        Dalai, don’t your recognize me? It’s ET—your alter ego, and the author of this blog and the book Monsters’ Throwdown.

DM:       Oh, hey Girlfriend. I’m so overwrought that I didn’t recognize you. What you doin’ in this pageant?

ME:        I decided to enter the pageant for the Cray-Cray crown because I am losing my mind. I think I deserve the cray-cray recognition. I’m trying to finish my second book, put my house up for sale now that WW has announced his retirement, and move and buy a new house in a completely different town all before May or I fall apart—whichever comes first. I’m on the final chapter of my book (Fleeing Oz), we’ve denuded the house of all personality so that potential buyers can “see themselves living in it with their shit,” and I am sorting through a gazillion houses in our new town—hoping to make the right decision—all while trying to launch a book. This is our last home purchase. It’s got to be fabulous with great neighbors. The next time I move after this move, it will be to roll into an old folks’ home or my grave. I must be cray-cray to have willingly put all this pressure on my shoulders in such a short time frame. What was I thinking?

DM:       No, you’re not cray-cray. You’re “shib cray,” which means you’re bat-shit crazy, Girlfriend! Ha!

ME:        Maybe you’re right. Although I think that title should be reserved for the two American women from Los Angeles who are in line behind me. [Whispering] They were caught carving their initials in the Coliseum in Rome the other day and taking selfies of the damage. Can you believe it? Now that is “shib cray.”

DM:       Yep, I think you might be right, my friend. Well, since I’m the only judge of this pathetic pageant, let’s end this nightmare and go get a drink.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

The 3rd place winner of the American Cray-Cray pageant is: LA women who defaced Coliseum

The runner up is: Bill O’Reilly of Fox News (although he’ll probably lie and say he took 1st place)

And the winner is (drum roll, please): Mr. Po-Po of Ferguson, Missouri ‘cause nobody believes the shit they did to the citizens of Ferguson could be happening in America in the year 2015 (being the exceptional country that we are).

DM:       Good night everybody, safe travels, and stay tuned for next week’s American Cray-Cray pageant. We already have a front runner who recently trampled all over our American ideals:

SAE Milt Priggee www miltpriggee com

Cartoon Used by Permission: SAE | Milt Priggee, http://www.miltpriggee.com

DM:       The SAE fraternity of the University of Oklahoma is proud to announce that they believe their well-rehearsed racist chant (see below) on a party bus with tuxedo-clad white brothers and their cocktail-clad dates should cinch first place. Judge for yourselves, and let’s all hope we can get their parents to attend the pageant. They will be so proud—for surely it must have been their upbringing that made these White boys act so horribly and without a shred of sensitivity or compassion.

“There will never be a nigger SAE. There will never be a nigger SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he will never sign with me. There will never be a nigger SAE.”

DM:      Cheers, my fellow citizens!  Here’s to American Exceptionalism! 

***

I am discovering that we Americans really love to think of ourselves as extraordinary—American Exceptionalism, I think the Republicans call it. But we are all a little cray-cray and need to keep ourselves under control. I actually believe that my rags to riches life, as portrayed in my memoir (Monsters’ Throwdown), couldn’t have happened in any other country than America, and that is exceptional. (What would have been cray-cray on my part is if I hadn’t showed up for the opportunities presented, and walked through the doors kicked open by those heroes who went before me.) What we have provided as a nation regarding opportunities, education, democracy, freedom, and human rights is damn exceptional, except when it isn’t. Our nation’s exceptionalism gets flushed down the toilet the minute we allow bigotry, selfishness, lying, manipulation, arrogance, hatred, greed, apathy, laziness, and the desire to trample upon the love of our fellowman for our own personal, self-centered gains to own us. When that happens—we’re no longer exceptional, we’re all just “shib cray—bat-shit crazy!”

Exceptionalism is the perception that a country, society, institution, movement, or time period is ‘exceptional’ (i.e., unusual or extraordinary) in some way and thus does not need to conform to normal rules or general principles.”—Wikipedia

“Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.”—Dennis Prager

“If everyone were clothed with integrity, if every heart were just, frank, kindly, the other virtues would be well-nigh useless.”—Moliere

Author Going Cray Cray Boo Tomczyk

Evidence of Author finally losing it after hearing about Ferguson Po-Po and the SAE from U of O!—Meme by “Boo Tomczyk”

***

WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK (Monsters’ Throwdown)? BUY NOW AT AMAZON!

LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR? CHECK OUT www.eleanortomczyk.com

REFERENCES

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2980740/Elitist-dating-website-beautiful-people-ditches-THREE-THOUSAND-users-piled-pounds-aged-gracelessly-500-Britons.html

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/03/The-Gangsters-Of-Ferguson/386893/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2015/03/09/ex-fox-newser-tells-cnn-that-oreilly-has-lied-so-many-times/?hpid=z5

http://www.salon.com/2015/03/09/bill_oreillys_sick_pathology_why_his_systematic_lying_is_even_worse_than_reported/

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/09/travel/tourists-arrested-rome-colosseum/index.html

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/10/oklahoma-s-racist-frat-is-very-not-ok.html

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on March 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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LIVING LIKE YOU’RE DYING

Do you know what I discovered about life this week? I don’t want to live past 89. IMHO, just like nothing good happens after midnight—nothing good happens after 89 years old either. The body takes a significant and rapid decline toward the check-out point in your 90s, and basically you’re just biding time on some slow-moving treadmill toward the exit sign. This thought process started when the heroine (my mentor) in my memoir, Monsters’ Throwdown, called me this week and said: “Hello Darling! I hope your book is selling well, because I just discovered I’m going to outlive my money. I never expected to live this long; I sure hope you can help.”   Helping my mentor in the latter stages of her life is not an issue—I owe her my life. But it got me thinking about my own journey. About how much time might be left on the clock, and if given the opportunity would I use the remaining time properly. I’ve got a couple of decades before I reach her perch.

My main problem is I am at a loss with how to navigate that Zen-like state needed to traverse the next twenty years or so. My mentor has always been able to do so with much grace (think of her as a cross between Maya Angelou and Eleanor Roosevelt). She is the definition of inner peace. But I am not there yet. From time to time, I can be like a tilt-a-whirl ride that has broken off its bearings in mid-tilt and spun off into outer space.

Inner peace

Animal Memes—quickmeme.com

It was with these thoughts rolling around in my heart and mind (mixed with a glass of mulled wine to ward off this freakin’ cold) that I went to bed last night thinking about living a wiser life—perhaps to dream. In my dream I entered a castle in the sky with a sign over the entrance that said: “Enter here, all ye who seek inner peace.” When I came across a large reception area, I went in, sat down, and picked up a booklet entitled, “7 Highly Effective Steps to Inner Peace.” When I opened the pamphlet, there was the definition of inner peace on the left and seven steps to achieve it on the right.

“Inner peace (or peace of mind) refers to a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress. Being ‘at peace’ is considered by many to be healthy (homeostasis) and the opposite of being stressed or anxious.”Wikipedia—the Free Encyclopedia

*

SEVEN STEPS TO INNER PEACE

Release anger

Face your fears/Trust God

Choose wise companions/kick to the curb those that piss you off

Forgive

Let go of worry and things you can’t control/Live in the now

Cherish love

Embrace gratitude on daily basis

As I sat there trying to fully digest this information, a stunningly beautiful brown-skinned woman engulfed in a luminescent aura glided into the room and stood in front of me. Her age was nonspecific, but she looked a great deal like Lena Horne when she played Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz.

Lena as Glinda the Good Witch The Wiz

Lena Horne as Glinda the Good Witch (The Wiz) Universal Pictures

ME:        Oh, my God, has anyone ever told you that you are a perfect doppelgänger for Glinda the Good Witch?

REST:     Yeah, I get that a lot. My name is Rest, and I’m really just your garden variety guardian angel. Why are you here? Is it to complain about the historic freeze that has engulfed your country? Because if you are, I don’t want to hear it. I am not responsible, and I’m tired of hearing you humans whine about something neither you nor I can control. My powers exist only in a limited capacity.

Praying for Snow

ME:        No, but now that you mention it—I HATE THIS WEATHER! Talk about taking away any inner peace a body could muster. I’m fucking freezing to death.

REST:     Well, look at the bright side—at least you don’t live in Boston, so let it go my friend and purchase an electric blanket! If I’ve learned anything about things you can’t control, you just have to shake ‘em off.

ME:        That’s fine for you to say. You live in Heaven—in Perfectionville. Try living on Earth sometime and see how taxing it is. We bitches be crazy, and because of that craziness, I have real issues that block my ability to garner inner peace. I want my next couple of decades to be stellar. I don’t want anything to knock me for a loop.

REST:     Okay, I’ll play along for a while. What else robs your inner peace?

ME:        Fear of the unpredictable—the unknown. Haven’t you noticed how at any moment, at any time, you can be attacked by unseen forces (viruses, bacterial infections, ISIS, Ebola, home invaders, muggers, nasty-ass ex-friends on Facebook, getting killed for walking while Black, or much, much worse)? A couple of years ago, I got parasites from eating sushi, and I had them forever before I even knew they had moved in and set up shop in my gut. It was so disgusting. By the time I realized what was going on, three generations of them had been born and established colonies. If I can get parasites without knowing it, what else can get me?

REST:     Hmm, fear of the unknown? I say shake it off! Deal with it if it comes upon you, but otherwise just ignore it. Why worry about something that you can’t see and can’t control. Poo-poo occurs baby. That’s life, and worrying about it will not keep the worms at bay. Now, you could stop eating sushi. Personally, I don’t touch the stuff because what self-respecting Black person eats raw fish?

Peace of Mind memeinternet dot com

ME:        You really aren’t helping. Are you making fun of me?

REST:     No, dear. But if you want to live the next couple of decades in inner peace with your surroundings, you must have a sense of humor. There is still so much you don’t know as a human that could kill you. Why worry about it? What else robs you of a quiet spirit?

ME:        Anxiety over the resurgence of racism in the world to such a degree that we have another Holocaust or we roll back into another Jim Crow-type era and my kids are robbed of their liberty. Anxiety over terrorism washing up on our shores again. (Did you hear about the threats against the Mall of America? That’s where one of my kid’s lives.)  And, oh, my God, our inability to let go of the worship of guns. That keeps me awake every other night. Recently, three beautiful Muslim students got assassinated in their home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina by their neighbor, and we’re calling it everything except what the problem truly is: our obsession with guns!

Guns Chapel Hill John Cole ncpolicywatch com

Used by permission: John Cole ncpolicywatch.com, Cagle Cartoons

REST:     Yeah, I hear you. You people really are nuts about the gun thing, aren’t you? Personally, I don’t see the fascination. And it doesn’t look like it is going to get solved anytime soon—possibly not even in your lifetime given the American proclivities.

ME:        But if it doesn’t get solved in my lifetime, then when?

REST:     Your children will have to solve it, I guess. I don’t mean yours alone, but the baby-boomers’ children in general.

ME:        That, my dear Angel of Rest is unacceptable. And don’t you dare tell me to “shake it off or let it go,” or I’ll pummel your ass. I can’t let this go. I worry about my grandson growing up in a land where guns are so prevalent. I worry about my grandson, period! I’m frightened for his future as a young Black man in a land that has incarcerated more black youths than were enslaved on Southern plantations at the beginning of the Civil War. Did you know the modern American “for profit” prison system is being called the “New Slavery?”

While I’m on the subject, I am also dealing with anger issues. I’m angry that I spent 40 plus years in a conservative wing of Christianity that has become the back-bone of the Tea Party and is the force of racism coursing through the Republican Party. I’m angry that when people make racist attacks against our President, question his faith, and question his love for our country, that so few of the politicians and ministers who claim to be “Christians” stand up against the defamation of a good man. They don’t have to agree with his policies, but that doesn’t have to underscore their racist beliefs that our President—our first Black President—is the Anti-Christ and is leading us toward Armageddon. According to them, everything—from this nationwide freeze to the Seattle Seahawks losing the Super Bowl—is Barack Obama’s fault. Sometimes I am so ashamed to be a Christian, I could just scream. In fact, I’m seriously thinking of becoming a Buddhist who loves Jesus.

Giuliani start John Cole The Scranton Times-Tribune

Used by permission: John Cole, The Scranton-Times Tribune, Cagle Cartoons

REST:     Babe, I hope this doesn’t sound racist, but I think a Black Republican is an oxymoron. In any case, you’ve really got to tear up what that jerk Giuliani said—flush it down the toilet, and truly shake it off. Even in the angelic world we know that ol’ Rudy is just jealous (it’s eating him into oblivion) that he lost to the Black man in 2008. Rudy thought he deserved the presidency—after all, he was the only one so profoundly affected by 9-11—the rest of you were merely onlookers. The Angelic Corps often shake our heads at his irrelevance and stupidity.

Anyway, my child, I have an exercise that may help you find inner peace over the next two decades. (As to when you will actually check out for your own “Homecoming,” that is between you and God.)

Imagine that you are dying tomorrow. Of all the fears, anxieties, and worries you’ve told me about, which of them is out of your control, which of them is not a possibility of happening within the next 24 hours, which of them is something that is out of your sphere of influence and must be left to the next generation to handle, and which of them should you join with others to fight the good fight today. In all of it, embrace a spirit of gratitude, and thank the good Lord for all that you have in spite of all the Rudy Giuliani Neanderthals and ugliness in the world. May I suggest a book that might help? It is called The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I haven’t read it myself, but I was watching Oprah the other day, and she highly recommended it for Nervous Nellies like you.

ME:        I suppose I should thank you, my Glinda the Good Witch doppelgänger. That’s good advice. Speaking of books, I’m almost finished with my second book that deals with escaping Right-wing Christianity and becoming a born-again liberal. It’s called Fleeing Oz. I think once I get that book out there this spring, I’ll be able to “fight the good fight” with my writing. I want it to be to the demolition of the bigotry and intolerance of Right-wing Christianity what Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin was to the abolition of slavery—only done with humor.

REST:     Seems like a good idea to me. Remember, through it all: Live as if you were dying tomorrow, Sweet pea! Because we’re only guaranteed “now.” Gotta run. I hear it’s going to snow again tonight. I think I’ll head on down to Puerto Rico.  St. Peter tells me that it’s going to be sunny and 85 degrees all week. See you when you finally cross over, kiddo.  Good luck!

February 21, 2015

Used by permission: Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News, Cagle Cartoons

***

“I think it’s nice to age gracefully. OK, you lose the youth, a certain stamina and dewy glow, but what you gain on the inside as a human being is wonderful: the wisdom, the acceptance and the peace of mind. It’s a fair exchange.”Cherie Lunghi

“Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.”—Pope Paul VI

“Love and peace of mind do protect us. They allow us to overcome the problems that life hands us. They teach us to survive… to live now… to have the courage to confront each day.”—Bernie Siegel

“We are bombarded on all sides by a vast number of messages we don’t want or need. More information is generated in a single day than we can absorb in a lifetime. To fully enjoy life, all of us must find our own breathing space and peace of mind.”—James E. Faust

Quotations courtesy of www.brainyquote.com

***

WANT TO READ THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOK (Monsters’ Throwdown)? BUY NOW AT AMAZON!

LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR? CHECK OUT www.eleanortomczyk.com

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eleanor Tomczyk and “How the Hell Did I End Up Here?” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on February 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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