Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

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

Thursday, August 23, 2018

New, crisp 100 dollar bill!

My dear daughter has sent me my last box of 25 books from Atlanta to Des Moines, where I will be reading this evening at a picnic in the park with a wonderful lesbian group.

I enter the tiny cargo office in a low red brick building where there’s a heavily bearded white male behind the counter staring intently at a computer and next to me another white male, balding and casually dressed but on the well-groomed side attempting to mail a small cage with a little $2000 dog (I learn later) to Birmingham.

He kinda glares at me and points out my “Death to Racism” and asks why? I respond with my normal “what would you like to happen to racism?” question and we’re off on a 45 minute discussion while I’m acutely aware I failed to turn down my veggie oil but sacrifice my glo plugs in favor of continuing our conversation.

He tells me he doesn’t think racism exists anymore. I tell him that’s because he’s white and male so of course he doesn’t want to think racism still exists.

When I’ve convinced him that racism exists, he asks me what I think we can do about it. I tell him I don’t think that’s the right question, as there are millions of things we “can” do about it. I think the question for him and all white people is what do we “want” to do about it? Once we decide we WANT to do something about racism, we’ll be able to listen up, speak up, act up.

I tell him he and most white people want to see the racist as the KKK’r or the nazi, when really all white people have benefited and continue to benefit from racism. It’s a legacy on our backs, as misogyny is a legacy on the backs of men.

I talk about my book, and how I break down these myths and lies and legacies.

Tom, he later tells me, is a christian who home schools his 7 children, is fiercely anti-war and thinks the military is the number one scourge of our nation. So we have huge common ground.

He starts to tell there’s a clear and concise formula in this country that allz people have to is to follow the formula and  they will make it. I stop him right there and challenge his formula theory as a myth and propaganda so he and white people will not see the racism and sexism driving that formula.

I site some statistics like for every $100 white people have, a Black person has $8. He listens, absorbing the details, and then points to Obama as an example of what happens when you follow the ‘formula’. “What about him?” he inquires. I tell him the system allows for one or two oppressed people to slip thru so that white people like us can point to him and say “Oh he made it, so can you!”

I tell him he wants to believe we all start out on a level playing field – another great myth of u.s.ofa. democracy. I tell him that even before a Black child is born, she is 8 times more likely to die in childbirth alone than a white child. Black and white children tend to begin kindergarten with the same academic abilities but by 2nd grade, Black children have already fallen behind – not because they’re stupid, less intelligent but because of teacher perception and how schools are funded in our country: by property taxes.

So then we get into who lends money to Black people to buy homes, redlining, and how Black womyn pay the highest mortgage rates in the country.

He leans toward me, lowering his voice, to tell me conspiratorially he hires Mexicans to work in his business. He invites “them” into his home, takes “them” out to a meal on occasion, he teaches them English on occasion as well.

I think he’s telling me that to take the racism out of his next statements.

Tom asks me if I thought Obama’s immigration policy is better than tRump’s. I say “You mean putting refugees from u.s. military aggression and horrific foreign policy fleeing to this country into jail and taking their children from them to be incarcerated into another jail states away?”

He tries to tell me that’s only happened to 24 children. I know he sees the challenge on my face but I merely ask him “If that was your children, or even one of your 7 children, taken from you and put into a jail somewhere, would you think 24 is an ‘only’ anything?”

I state unequivocally that putting refugees into jail is criminal and should NEVER happen.

Of course he then has to launch into the murder by one of those refugees Obama let in the country, of a beautiful, young white womon who went jogging over a month ago and disappeared, according to her white boyfriend who reported her missing, never returning from her jog.

I know exactly what he was talking about. Just a couple days ago, a Hispanic man confessed to the murder – a murder he doesn’t remember clearly but thinks he must have done. He’s a immigrant who has been in Iowa for four years allegedly. So this murder and his arrest have given the racist anti-immigrant faction in Iowa and probably around the country, lots of kindling for their burning hatred.

Instead of defending Obama’s immigration policy I ask him about the fact that from January 2018 until July 2018, 154 mass murders have been committed in this country: not ONE by a womon; nor ONE by a man of color; but ALL by white men.

The young bearded white man turns his hard eyes from the computer screen and interrupts us: “See,” he near shouts, “you are being racist, you are stirring up hatred against white people. People are just people and you are dividing us.”

I try to say if “people are people” how come the race and immigration status is coming into play with this recent murder? Which might turn out to be someone brown railroaded for this crime.

He is adamant in his ‘proof’ that I’m a racist, stirring up racism so I return my attention to Tom as I say the truth hurts, and ask him how come he doesn’t feel the same hatred toward all white men who have committed so many more crimes and promote the incarceration of white men?

Of course, he’s not going to do this. Instead he asks me what I mean by ‘mass’ murders. I tell him it’s when at least either three or four (I can’t remember exactly) people are killed at the same time by the same murderer. And I tell him over 70% of those murdered are womyn and children the murderer claimed to have loved: i.e. ‘domestic’ violence (I hate that ‘softening’ of male violence as well). He nods slowly.

The bearded white man behind the counter asks me impatiently why I am there. He grabs the paperwork and shoves the box across the country just at the same time Tom is asking “but what do you think I can do about all this?”

And I have the perfect opportunity to urge him to buy my book. I take the box outside before I’m ordered out of the place and open it in my truck.

Tom comes outside still carrying his cage with the tiny expensive fluffy white dog cowering in a corner, and says he wants to buy my book.

I tell him it’s $20 if he can afford it, or whatever he can afford. He pulls out a wad of bills bigger than a 2nd Ave Deli pastrami sandwich and starts riffling thru the 20 dollar bills. He finally reaches a bill he’s satisfied with and pulls out a hundred dollar bill to hand me. I’m thinking there’s no way he wants change after all those 20’s which he confirms: he wants to pay $100 for my book.

I’m delighted, to say the least, as I stick it quickly into my pocket, asking him to let me know what he thinks of my book when he assures me he’s going to read it immediately.

Standing on the hot pavement between our vehicles he tells me he’s a former meth and heroin addict who was saved by jesus christ. Then he starts, mildly but there anyway, urging me to accept jesus into my heart and god the creator.

I tell him with great sincerity I’m so happy for him that he was able to kick the drug habit, thinking of all the grown children of my chosen sistars who have not been able to kick this habit. I know he believes god came down, spoke to him, and entered him. Who am I to deny that in any way.

But who I am is someone who has escaped such addiction and doesn’t need this crutch in my life and so when he hugs me and bestows his blessing upon me asking his god to bless me and to reveal his love to me, keeping me safe as I travel, I have to bestow my own blessing on him, telling him may lesbians bless him and bring our magick close to his journey through life.