“In September 2006, a group of African American high school students in Jena, Louisiana, asked the school for permission to sit beneath a ‘whites only’ shade tree. There was an unwritten rule that blacks couldn’t sit beneath the tree. The school said they didn’t care where students sat. The next day, students arrived at school to see three nooses (in school colors) hanging from the tree.” The students responsible were barely reprimanded, and the event has become a tipping point.
Dreadful to think that a sharply racist double-standard could still dominate justice in the south. How do these things survive the future? How do people close their eyes against their species? Makes me wonder what other bigotries are prevailing. What does a hateful judge think when a beautiful, African-American woman walks past, (a far more enchanting darkness than the stain of his wretchedly abusive decisions), in a summer blouse knotted tighter under her breasts than the fingers she later clasps praying in the court for her son’s sentence. Is he too prejudiced to find her attractive, even in the secret spaces of his discrimination?
Possibly I’m going at this from a poorly chosen direction as male concepts of women are, on many levels, likely far more difficult to shift than those on race, (biological hard-wiring’s probably against me here), but please forgive my poor example. These indecent hold-overs upset me, fog my thinking. It would be a sweet drink of water to know that such fanaticism might be chalked up only to ignorance instead of choice. Growing up in Canada, we deride each other for dogmatism, not for race. After wandering the worse areas of L.A. and seeing first-hand what such social violence does to people, I feel the prejudiced are ogres to be made visible, wrestled with, humiliated, embarrassed, and destroyed.
Nightmares plagued sleep segues into picking up an unfamiliar cat and pressing my face into its fur. I don’t know this place, I can feel it. If someone were to touch me, my body would attack, defensive. I feel unsafe, I’m tense. The cat purrs and butts my head. I remember having a cat. She’s dead. This is not my home. My dreams are of dying, of threat. The last time I slept somewhere I didn’t know, it managed to be familiar. The last time there were ghosts protecting me. Long swathes of text that lettered the walls with palliative assumptions.
I’ve got a hot rant in my flesh this month. It’s nasty edged, serrated with every hurtful bit of self-hating truth that my life can dredge up. The only pity is that now I’m finally feeling something, I’ve no-one to shout at. I don’t understand how I could put it here in any way that would translate. I have to hit myself with this, I have to watch someone wince as I throw a chair across a room. Maybe this is youth catching up with me. That teen-period of angst that I thought I had mysteriously missed or had passed by the time I was ten without notice. I would like to suspect that it’s more the cumulative effect of everything that’s been happening in the past month.