Whytest

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(or listen here)

Do you ever hear something that enters the depths of your ears like the smoothest yellowist not-too-sweet gently warmed custard? Murmur of poems. yummmmy

I would like to be pentagoning or decahedroning back, but I can only ever figure out the circle back to poets.

"To rest is to give up on the already exhausted will as the prime motivator of endeavor, with its endless outward need to reward itself through established goals."  -David Whyte (poet writer human)

I got sucked into the massive mind muck again last night. I climbed out enough to play with SonHerisme a bit and then drowned myself in list making. It’s the opposite of rest, but it is distracting enough to at least get my breath and carry on with the things that need doing before collapsing into bed. Missed my shower though. I hate this grief process. I know its necessary and I am meant to feel it and embrace it to move forward to the blessings that are just around the corner waiting for me (blah blah platitudes blah). For today, I cannot stand myself and I am letting that be.

PIVOT

Our tiny town had a unity march again yesterday. Before anyone gets their panties in a wad, unity is a good thing. Promoting unity in a culture built on and institutionally conditioned to be racist, is a good thing. Acknowledging that a marginalized disproportionately targeted group of people are worthy of humane consideration and treatment is a GOOD THING. It’s a good thing for all of us. Despite my understanding of herd mentality, I truly struggle to accept the reality of inhumane frenzy thoughts, words, and actions with the increase in access to information and community that we have had for many decades. This struggle of mine is an indication of my whiteness. I recognize that I am privileged to be able to step back to even ask the, “why,” rather than fighting against being trampled on.

We all know that the welfare momma is a false trope - yes?  
We all know that the storming of the US borders by criminal Central/South Americans is a false trope - yes?  
We all know that humans, regardless of any biases, deserve to be treated humanely - yes?  
We all know that access to food, water, shelter, healthcare (including basic necessities health care), education, and purpose for all humans benefits all of our survival - yes? 
We all know that marginalizing people is destructive for all of us - yes?
We all know that we live on an over abundant planet with an over abundance of creative humans - yes?
We all know that by sharing our resources increases all of our wealth - yes? 
It isn't a pie.  It isn't a zero sum game.
Unless we make it a pie and zero sum game, and then we ALL LOSE no matter where you stand.

During a conversation about the unity march and SonHerisme’s latest read and school discussions on being anti-racist, MotherHerisme insisted she has never been a racist. She doesn’t see people’s color (ummmmm….). As long as people are nice and work hard, that’s what matters to her (ummmmm…). She even ate dinner with a black family when she was in school (ummmmm…). She just doesn’t want to have to give her money away to people who don’t deserve it because she and my father worked hard for their money (ummbrainglitchmmmm…).

My mouth popped opened and this is what came out: MotherHerisme, we all want to see ourselves as good, kind people, and as individuals, most of the time, all of us are.

The reality is that you were raised in an openly racist home and that you are a racist by your words, actions, participation in and endorsement of racist institutions (examples like STILL BEING associated with the Republican Party and others).  
You absolutely can see that my skin is lighter and that XXXX's skin is darker - you can see the color of people's skin and it influences your opinion of people (examples like assuming the darker skinned people taking up a parking spot you want are just going to be clogging up the aisles in COSTCO because they bring in all of their extended family so maybe COSTCO should have a time for people without extended family, while you are getting ready to bring two carloads of family in to shop with you). 
EVERYONE WORKS HARD - EVERYONE. Who is not working hard?!!?  Who has met someone who is not working hard?  I bet if you have it is a white privileged teen - everyone else is working hard.  Actually, even that privileged teen is working hard, even if it's internally, they are working hard. WTfreakingH does "working hard," even mean? You and daddy worked harder than the single mom with three crappy minimum-wage jobs who has no retirement or savings because she has been constantly struggling to raise her child and survive? Who isn't working hard?  Who doesn't deserve to eat, have clean water, go to the Dr? Who exactly are you talking about?
The mid 1950's in Montgomery, Alabama - what do you think would happen to that black family if they refused to be kind to you, to bring you into their home or to feed you?
Again with the divide between worthy and unworthy humans - who isn't working hard?  Is it me that you're talking about?  Because we do have family members who describe me this way. Is it me, and then SonHerisme, that do not deserve humane treatment? Who is it exactly that is deserving of being treated inhumanely?  

Context – my parents have always worked hard and are also products of the cultural normative thoughts and behaviors of their time in history.

FatherHerisme was raised in extreme poverty, losing both parents at a very young age. He was raised by his older sister who quit school and got married so that she could take care of my father and he wouldn’t be sent away. She tried to also keep their three sisters, but the two youngest were taken by their father (different father than the older children) and the sister closest in age to her, ran off and got married when she was in 8th grade. Welcome to Kentucky in the 1950’s. A local librarian gave my father a job as a shelver when he was in High School because that’s where he was always hanging out. This librarian also paid for my father to apply for college and to take his entrance exams. My father attended a prestigious private engineering school with scholarships and Army funding (he served for some years after college), and spent his entire successful career as a chemical engineer with the same company.

MotherHerisme was raised in a military family (Army then Airforce) where her ambitious father became a Colonel and head of the ROTC program at a large southern university. Growing up she lived in California, Virginia, Japan, Alabama, France, and very briefly in Ohio. She met, got pregnant and married my father when she was working as a secretary in the Pentagon. FatherHerisme was temporarily at Fort Belvoir for specialized training while stationed in Germany. She was 19, he was 24. A rushed January wedding in Germany followed by the April arrival of my sister. ParentsHerisme raised three children, lived in Ohio (USA), Germany, and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They are both always themselves and insanely photogenic. I am lucky to still have them and to know them.

Also, I am not woke. I am just me and am a product of the cultural normative thoughts and behaviors of my time in history. Free to be you and me, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers – all of the people showing us the ways of unity, consideration, healthy boundaries and acceptance. In my smaller than a grain of teensy crushed glorious stardust glass particle sand moment of this particular lifetime, I am trying to guide the humans in my wee circle towards recognizing the infinite circle as they can. Anti-racist, pro-unity, pro-acceptance and healthy boundaries. Many days I am failing. I’ll just keep going until I cannot.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Have you found yourself Yankovic-ing songs?

It’s not the pale you that incites me, that scares and so frights me. Oh no, it’s just the whiteness of you. (sing to the tune of the soulful Norah Jones, Nearness of You – jippity jolly good funnesses).

Nuance of Curious Choice Words

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There are words and phrases which are so delectably delicious that I want to say them over and over and over again, like the best wine (no headache after), or not-too-rich lighter than air smother than silk spoonful of chocolate mousse, or that steaming bowl of savory mushroom soup on a frigid day…  you know, taaaaaaaysteee tasty.

 

I want to be in a situation, in a conversation somewhere, maybe in a train station, or better yet on the bench in Gallery 56 West Building NGA-DC, and say to my bench neighbor, “That is just the nuance of curious choice words, isn’t it?”

Nuance of curious choice words

Wow

Now, THAT is a phrase worth repeating.

 

There are other words that leave a disgusting film of rotten bumpy gut taste in my mouth too.  Like, “Donald,” (apologies to Mr. -the-Duck), and, “Trump.”

There is nothing nuanced about him or people who support or are otherwise silent about him.

DT says what he means.  What he means is that he is entitled to grab women and kiss them or fondle their vaginal areas without their permission.  What he means is that he sees a 10-year-old girl as a future masturbatory object to penetrate.  What he means is that countries other than his racial ideal are shitholes.  What he means is that if he could get away with it, he would act on his sexual attraction to his own daughter (without her permission obvs).  What he means is that he wants to build a wall so that no one who isn’t up to his standards of existence has the opportunities he has had.  What he means is that anyone who is not a fat old white bigot racist misogynist hateful fear-filled man with substantial financial resources is not worthy of any consideration of humanity.

 

DT is not nuanced.

Disliking him has nothing to do with politics.

 

In democracy, politics are nuanced, disputable, debatable. 

 

Nothing about DT represents democracy.

He is not a nuanced debatable entity.  He is an inhumane disgusting oaf with too much connection.

He is not the first with power in this country to be this way (McCarthy much? Hello, $20 Jackson).  He is the first with so much instant connection and global influence.

 

We are in a disgusting and shameful moment in our history, again.

We will rise and overcome this, again.

 

An adult in my home began shaming 9-year-old SonHerisme for reciting all of the presidents (momma brag!) and ending with his comment that he wished Mr Obama was still president because he is afraid of DT.

 

The adult responded angrily that Mr. Obama and his wife walked and held hands with the devil because Mr. Obama had tugged on his pants inappropriately during the National Anthem once and bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia.  And also because Bill Clinton couldn’t keep his pants zipped (bc completely relevant – NOT).  This adult eventually dissolved into tears as I repeatedly told them to stop shaming SonHerisme (who is 9), and to stop trying to place inhumane behavior in the same category as the nuances of politics.

For example:

Political Parties in a Democracy – politics

Apartheid – inhumane

There is no discussion to be had.  Inhumane views, bigoted views, racist views, misogynist views plainly spoken are NOT EVER nuanced politics.

Even a 9-year-old understands the nonsensical inhumanity of it.  Some of his friends are immigrant families.  Some of his friends have been directly affected by the emboldened racism promoted by DT.  Some of his friends have relatives who, until last year, have been able to visit their U.S. families each year, and are now no longer permitted.

A 9-year-old cannot comprehend why international deals fall through, why our education system is a blundering tumble of a mess, why our infrastructure is breaking, etc.  because these are all fallouts of nuanced politics.

A 9-year-old understands meanness to others just for being others.

 

This is real.  No embellishment.

If it is happening in my house, I know that it is happening in other people’s homes.  I’m calling it out here in a truthful and honest way.  We need to keep talking about this.  We need to keep ourselves from falling into the lull of the everyday so that we can rise and overcome this shameful moment.

 

Grasp onto a future of mutually respectful humanity cooperating and working within the messiness of us.

 

 

Should I have seen
Should I have heard
Maybe a nuance of curious choice words
There were no signs
At least none I could see
No warning from you
Then out of the blue a fait accompli ~ Benny Andersson

 

No one can resist a good Swedish Folk Song from this century.  NO ONE

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo