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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

So Your Child Is Bi-Racial Also

By the time I hit Pennsylvania, I feel euphoric – I’ve gotten 33 yeah’s to 2 nays and only 1 fuck u – and all in a supposed swing-state no less!!! I decide to treat myself to a motel this evening. I pull into the cutest Motel 6 I’ve seen: rows of little cabin-like rooms around a pool and lots of trees and open grassy areas. I am outside of Youngstown which is in the beginning of some ‘mountain’ range I believe! Maybe the Alleghany? Pretty, hilly eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, Amish country!
While I’m in the parking lot, before I even get out of the truck, several guests and employees wave and give me the high-signs, peace signs, and fists in the air. Again, I’m greatly relieved this is a racially-diverse place.
I back my truck into the space in front of my door, hop down and meet Greg standing there grinning at me. He’s an older man, probably early 60’s, and he tells me he agrees with EVERYTHING I have written on my truck. He proceeds to tell me he’s from Spokane Washington, where a lot of his neighbors aren’t too friendly. He tells me stories of how his lawn signs have been damaged, stolen, defaced but he keeps putting them out. he tells me how there are other democrats in his neighborhood but they are silent and scared – I get a vision of ghosts tiptoeing behind and thru the streets and trees.
Greg is an amazing human being. He speaks personally of everything from racial hatred behind the bombing to accepting his brother’s homosexuality early in life to greed and envy of most americans. He is Chicana originally from Arizona. He speaks in that slow, sure tone, that lovely subtle inflection on end syllables or middle words, of some Indigenous People. He talks about how his daughter, a single mother, is making it in the world. As he speaks of both his granddaughter and her mom, his whole being glows with a tenderness of love and pride. He can’t understand how hateful white people in Spokane are towards them, for his granddaughter is half African-american. He tells of the white men friends, once his neighbors and fishing buddies, once probably seeing him as a white man, had to be left behind after he began hearing their true feelings and thoughts about their racial superiority. He recounted conversations with  them, and others, that he’s confronted over the years – confronted not like I tend to do, in anger, rage, and hostility – but with  a softness, an incredulous that is filled with so much sincere perplexity I can’t see how anyone would not pause and reexamine whatever they just put out. He pulls out pictures of his daughter and granddaughter. I pull out a picture of my ‘child’, 34 years old and he nods knowingly: “Oh, so your child is bi-racial also’.
I think I have taught him that word, bi-racial. he had been referring to his granddaughter as Black or African American, as I used to do also when Tessie and I both were young and isolated. I think he’s happy with bi-racial rolling off his tongue and I sense his desire to hurry back give it to the 8 year old who calls him grandpa. She wanted to come with him on this trip, he confesses, but he didn’t think s(he) could handle it!
So there’s hope for Washington with Greg and his family living there!