Category Archives: Politics

How A Judgemental Know-it-all Can Change Her Mind

Dear friends and family,

I wrote this Blah, Blah Blog yesterday.  This morning I read about the  new approach the prosecution is preparing for the impeachment of our former President.  I now think the trial is going to be a constructive and instructive history lesson for all Americans and frankly, for everyone in the world who is interested in “FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR ALL”.  So here’s what I’m going to do.  I am going to share what I wrote yesterday as a look into my own thought processes which normally are hidden and unfathomable even to me.  I’d like to think it shows with continued exploration and investigation,  I can be reached and even to the point of , dare I say it, changing my point of view.  I don’t know about you, but in the climate of today’s polarizations on almost everything, that is a really big deal. 

YESTERDAY’S THINKING AND WRITING:


A dear friend recently asked me if I was going to watch the televised impeachment trial.

I said I would not.

Not because I am not curious and concerned which I most certainly am.

My personal belief, after listening many times to his speech to the gathered mob in front of the White House on January 6th,  is that our former President is guilty of inciting a mob to attack the Capitol.  Also, my personal belief is that in counting the votes, it is most unlikely he will be found guilty.  I ask myself, “Myself, why do I want to put myself through the disappointment of once again watching as the course of justice moves along “party lines”.  And listening again to the rehashing of the lies, the same ‘ole-same ‘ole of no one listening to no one, which is utterly negative and depressing.”  And so I shall await the expected verdict as I finish reading the extraordinary autobiography of Frederick Douglass.

Like I said, it’s an old childhood coping mechanism I developed against disappointment.

Allow me to elucidate.

As a child in a very large family where I always felt like an alien, my first defense was, of course, I was adopted.  These were not my real parents.  And these were not my real siblings.   But my most favorite coping mechanism was my fantasy of being rescued. 

 

Many were the nights where I would go to the living room where the radio/phonograph was (no television at that time) and put on a record of classical music (it mattered not which… although I did tend towards Chopin and Johannes Strauss waltzes) and danced until I dropped or until someone in the family complained (a frequent occurrence).  The dancing was definitely a release but the dream that attended the dance was more important.  As I danced, my fantasy was that Cecil B. De Mille was walking by my house (in Boro Park, Brooklyn), heard the music, looked in through the windows to see me giving it my all, immediately  he went to my front door, My mother would answer. Mr. De Mille would give her his card and tell my mother that he needed me desperately for his next movie. Reluctantly and sometimes not so reluctantly she agreed, packed my ballet bag with my leotard, dancing shoes, and a package of Twinkies and I was off to Hollywood where I had always known I had belonged.  

Eventually, I had to come down from fantasy to reality, my parents still owned me and being number 7 of 8 meant my siblings claimed me for errands and punishments befitting my station which meant I had to affect my own escape when I was able… it took a while, but I did.   The best part of these childhood fantasies? They have moved with me. 

At 87 years of age that child is still alive and well in me and I’ve got some doozie headline fantasies to prove it:


TODAY:

That was yesterday’s mashed potatoes and tomorrow I hope the promise of a more vital prosecution is fulfilled. And just remember, if not… there are always reruns of All In the Family.

Love, Sally-Jane ❤️

P.S. Randy Rainbow did this fabulous political parody from the musical, Fiddler on the Roof. For me, this says it all! ENJOY!

P.P.S. Don’t let your blood pressure rise during the trial.  Here’s my remedy:

I Love a Mystery…

My Dear Friends and Family,

As some of you know, “I Love a Mystery”…

And even though I was very young back in 1944 (10 to be exact) I was old enough to remember a RADIO show by that name of which I was a devoted listener.  My passion for the mysteries of life, no less literature, started when I was very young. For the last 20 years, at least, I buy and read the good ones from all over the world. Pitting my puzzle-solving oriented brain against Holmes, Christie, Sayers, Highsmith, Penny, le Carre, Ross Macdonald, Markell, Hiassen, Crais, Mosely… to name just a few of the masters. Lately, David Ignatius has captured my imagination.

His genre of books is the political thriller in the land of the internet. I am computer challenged on every level. Without help from a very dear friend, I would never have been able to organize and send the Blah Blah Blog. (There’s a juicy self-deprecating remark just pulsing to be written which I will hasten to ignore.) So why would an internet driven mystery intrigue me?

I’m so glad you asked. Because David Ignatius is a journalist, editor and columnist for The Washington Post. I find his 11 novels to be edged with reportorial skills that give insight to the real and actual political workings of hot spots around the world (Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt, Russia; just to name a few) and no less detailed workings of the many Departments of the government of The United States.  Truly, in the most legitimate sense of the words, he has inside information.

So What?????

Well, ever since January 6th and watching as the President metaphorically, but really actually, yelled “FIRE!!” in a crowded theatre, prompting the frightening, illegal and unbelievable assault on the Capitol, I have been waiting for someone to unravel the mystery of how this horrific happening came to be.

The information we have received up to this date has been sparse, incomplete, and does not tell the whole story. To put it in today’s terms… it just doesn’t compute.

I am inspired to try my hand at writing a political thriller based on the events of January 6th.  Including that which preceded the happening and what follows. With your indulgence I am going to share with you my outline.  Forgive me if I seem to overstep the bounds of rational reasoning. Come to think of it, for the last four years that particular mental condition appears to be as contagious as the virus…

Here is my outline in 3 parts…

Part I  Phase I

January 2009
Palm Springs: A Gazillionaire meeting hosted at the palatial fortress of Manny Midas of the top ten Gazillionaires.
Topic:  “There’s a Black Man in the White House

The decision after everyone finally stopped blaming everyone for being asleep at the wheel was to fund an educational program that would train young men and women to promote the “Rich-As-Croesus-Old-White-Racists-Men” (RACOWRM) ideas of racial and economic division.

Their strategy was brilliant. DIVIDE AND CONQUER.

The old white racist men decided to endow a Rich-As-Croesus-Old-White-Racists-Men’s educational program in various colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Taught mostly by committed conservatives* of every stripe and occasional color, the programs offered what appeared to be an almost free education for those who qualified.  

Upon graduation, the sharper and by now completely committed conservatives were offered high paying positions in the Conservative Think Tanks around the country and public relations firms committed to radical ultra-conservative issues… formenting public opinion on issues such as gerrymandering, voting restrictions, immigration policies… They did this through organizing social media, creating many ultra-far-right-radical-conspiracy-theory individuals and groups.

*Point of clarity: There is no judgement on being a conservative by choice. However, there is a difference between being an Ultra Radical Anything where reason and logic exit the field, leaving no opportunity for dialogue.

RACOWRM danced the Scrooged Screw (a well-known Rich as Croesus Dance) at the success of their program and vowed to meet every year in Palm Springs to discover how else they could control various Government programs from their hot tubs in Hot Springs.

Part II Phase II

In 2012, the rich as Croesus old white racist men were assured by the pundits and by the amount of  money they spent that the black man in the White House was a one term President.

NOT!!

In January 2013, meeting again in Palm Springs, without dance or hot tubs, these RACOWRM decided it was no more Mr. Nice Guy time… the gloves were off.  

The momentous decision of that meeting was to search and find a missing President.  A missing Presidential candidate that would bring White Privilege back to power and center stage. Criteria was important.

Manny Midas, the richest of the RACOWRM, was a fan of a television show called The Apprentice. He enjoyed watching the host make a fool of himself and he made a lot of money as one of its sponsors.

For reasons we can only guess at, but shall never know, Manny fought for and won the lottery on finding the missing Presidential candidate.  Of course, it helped that this man came with his own base (literally and figuratively). His fans were addicted to his vulgar, intolerant, and mentally unstable character. Human nature at its worst.

From 2013 until 2016, the RACOWRM built their special candidate. It was like reading or watching a sequel to Mary Shelley’s 19th Century novel. (look it up)

Using their same principle of Divide and Conquer, the Ultra Conservative Think Tanks and public relations firms worked tirelessly through the use of algorithms (can anyone explain that to me?) and other modern techniques of social media on the internet to organize and develop the “Younger Not So Rich White Racist Men and Women”. They fed the YNSRWRMW the necessary information to make their chosen candidate irresistible.

Let’s face it. It was kind of  a miracle. To convince people that a bankrupt unsuccessful businessman in his 70’s who was a reality TV show host and who had never won an election or served in any public capacity, except as a Page 6 headline making President Clinton look like a member of the Puritan Party, would make the perfect President. The moon was definitely in retrograde because…

HE WON!!!

Against all the odds and evens and pollsters and punsters and everyone in the real world, he actually won!

Part III Phase III

I’m not sure, guys, whether to fast forward through the gathering storm of false news, the twitter and the tweeting, mind-boggling appointments, and too numerous to count declarations of “You’re Fired”, to get to 2020, but I think I shall…

It must be said that our Palm Springs group continued to meet and continued to pull strings on their creation and they were happy. They had a proven handle to control. If they wanted action of a certain kind, they primed the pump of his ego. His tweets were his method of governing. Leaving the real work of legislation and judicial review to their RACOWRM Worker Bees and the President’s family. His being “the greatest” worked miracles for their agenda. If he got out of line, they just let some of the air out of his ego balloon and woosh, he was back in line. The RACOWRM never veered from their original agenda – stoking the fires of racism. This election year was supposed to be a shoe-in. So many Democratic candidates, all fighting and blaming each other. A party in disarray. Definitely a shoe-in. 

And then an ill wind blew in from China.
Whoa!  Regroup time!

The RACOWRM were stymied. No matter how much money they threw at the virus – and they did throw money – conquering the rogue virus was beyond their control. And to add to this conflagration, another black man was murdered by a group of white police officers. George Floyd’s death by police should not have been any different than the thousands that came before, but (and that’s another story) it was. Combine the pandemic with the Black Lives Matter rebellion by blacks and whites and the playing field has been permanently altered.

Well Guys, he never got his MOJO back. Unfortunately for the RACOWRM, their creation was a man incapable of dealing with reality which means he cannot be called upon to cope in an emergency.   

He tried. He caught the virus to prove his super powers of recovery. However, no matter what he did, he never found the magic wand or pill to staunch the bleed.  So he lost the election.

He remembered what his best buddy Roy Cohn advised him, “NEVER ADMIT DEFEAT”.
Perfect advice for this situation. He didn’t lose. He won.
He was still the world’s greatest… victim.
They stole his election. “They” being anyone who knew he lost. 

Uh-oh!  The RACOWRM had to find a way to distance and disassociate from their creation. They were able to get their Ultra Conservative white worker bees to prime his pump again.

The plan was to stoke his ego to the bursting point. He needed to both implode and explode… a very difficult task. So when he lost the election his backers were set up to create chaos and dissonance and if push came to shove, which it usually does in these situations, violence.  This was easy to do. They simply had to convince him to ignore the election. Ignore the Pandemic. Ignore anything happening in the real world, which was fine with him because he would do that anyway.

But as his ego was being stoked, the various Younger Not So Rich White Racist Men and Women were being organized to follow their leader. They had had a dress rehearsal at Charlottesville which proved very successful. 

It was not difficult to get their creation to stand outside the White House on January 6th, a little puff of ego air, and do exactly what he and his family and his various white racist groups were programmed to do –  scream “FIRE!!” in a crowded theatre, aka “The White House”, followed by invasion, assault, and destruction of the Capitol of the United States of America, as they were bidden to do by their leader. And they didn’t have to work to get access. They were indeed invited in and escorted out.

Okay that’s as far as I got.
I’m waiting for the CIA, the FBI, the various intelligence agencies to suss it out.
So, what do you think? 
Do I wait? Or is this the craziest most ridiculous unbelievable plot that no publisher in the world would buy because it could never happen in this country?

Love, Sally-Jane

Update January 14:

I thought this post was a reasonable compilation of fact mixed with my over-the-the-wall, wild and vivid imagination about what I felt brought about the Capitol riots of January 6th. 
I clearly did not go far enough. 


There is now a call for investigation of claims that on the day before the pillage, Republican representatives and senators who had spread the lies of a fraudulent election, organized tours through the Capitol for the riot gang leaders from their different states. They allegedly pointed out points of interest like Pelosi’s office and various other chambers. 
Didn’t you think it was strange they knew exactly where to go? 
The Capitol is a mighty big building. I’ve been through it many times getting lost as I went. 

Without guidance????  Fuggetaboutit!!!!

Like I say, never say I told you so…

Love.  Sally Jane 

The Way Pete Souza Sees It Is the Way I See It

Criticizing and judging is no longer satisfying to me. What is satisfying is exemplifying what I as an American citizen and a human, empathetic, compassionate being have been missing. I could write reams about it, but it has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words.

So, why don’t I shut up and let you see what I mean…

Love, Sally-Jane

P.S. You can view the full documentary on your favorite streaming service.

I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA…

My Dear Friends and Family,

I challenge you to finish that pledge without going to your devices for the answer…

Why the challenge? Thank you for asking. God Forbid I should give you a
to-the-point answer.  Not my style.

Here is the circular path of my reasoning as I struggled to remember the words myself… and this after all the years of my generational elementary, junior and senior high school days of the daily rote repetition of the American pledge of allegiance. Certain phrases were embedded, but for what has been roiling around my brainball I needed to get it absolutely word perfect.

Let me begin with a metaphor of my experience since Election Day, November 3rd, 2020.

On that day, I went to my imaginary theatre to see my new play, The Mystery of The Pandemical-Electional Follies of 2020.

The first act was brilliant. Hero and Heroine unmercifully pursued by a psychotically narcisistic villain defeat that very villain. 

Hallelujah!!! I wondered why we need a second act. But, since the first act was soooo very satisfying I had to stay for the second.  

In the intermission I stood at my seat and along with my fellow audience members turned on my phone to check for messages and calls. We were all so in sync checking our devices, we looked like robots from a dystopian planet.

Suddenly,  stepping from behind the curtain is our hero and heroine announcing that a very technically complicated piece of machinery necessary to the continuation of the play has locked tight in place and will not move.  If we, the audience, will just have a little patience, the technical folk are working like crazy and as soon as they get it moving, we shall continue and all will be well.

With a sigh of relief from our protagonists’ assurances, we robots go back to our devices.

It is now November 22nd, 2020. I am tired. I am hungry. The charge is gone (and not just from my cell phone).  I believe that the hero and heroine will be reunited in my play and I can once more breathe free from the constant tension of waiting. And then I can go home, wake myself from my metaphor and plan for a better day.

But before I do, I want every elected official – Republican, Democrat, Independent – to start their day with the Pledge of Allegiance as a reminder of who they work for. And it ain’t a political party! It is… WE THE PEOPLE… who find these truths to be self evident… You don’t just work for a blue state or a red state in the Congress. YOU WORK FOR THESE UNITED STATES.

We know this country needs a great deal of work, but in the world of countries we are young and able and we have the tools if only politicians will use them for the good of all peoples. I do not care if you are an elected official or plain people like myself, if you find your vision is myopic and narrow for goodness sake get a pair of glasses. I’m going to organize a fund for a wider vision to include all humanity.  Please join me!

❤️ Love ~ Sally-Jane

P.S. This is so powerfully joyous. Such a reminder of how art is a powerful agent for  bringing us together. 

P.P.S. At a time of devastation (specifically, the catastrophic fire at Jacobs Pillow that destroyed their Doris Duke Theatre), art is the healer in hope as well as a reminder of the creative spirit that is the constant in human connection… Enjoy!

Virtual Pillow Views:Piano Music

Virtual Pillow Views:Piano Music
Virtual Pillow Views: Piano Music

It Worked!

My Dear Friends and Family,

No matter which political party, our citizens voted!

Hallelujah!

The largest number of voters EVER participated in the democratic process.  Whether you agreed or disagreed with their choice is irrelevant. The naysayers (and I confess at times I vacillated as one of them) proclaimed  the downfall of Democracy.

NOT YET!

Of course the division in the country exists to make life complicated and difficult. Just stop for one moment and think about it. Together we exercised our rights as citizens. No matter our differences, we stood on line together, we waited for hours together and in certain states and locations we kept our distances and were masked. In other locations not so much… but it didn’t matter. Either way we voted. There was not a single instance of violence or disruption throughout the country during this largest of voting turnouts.

For Miss Pollyanna here, I see a light.  If we can be together in one action, maybe in time together we can learn to hear what the “other side” is saying and find our way towards if not reconciliation, then perhaps agreeing to accept our disagreements.

As a wannabe 87 year old Talmudic Scholar said:

On the one hand a leopard cannot change its spots.

On the other hand a good spot remover can do wonders.

Right??? Of course, right!!!

♥️ Love, Sally-Jane

P.S. There is a gracious way to concede defeat:

I don’t want to hold public office if I need to scheme my way into the post.

Stacey Abrams, November 17, 2018

P.P.S. Have a good time watching this:

Antsy Voters Can’t Get Enough Of Biden Bashing Trump In Avengers Election Remake

Humanity v. Human Nature

OK, I give up! (almost)

Too many of my friends and relatives watched the debate last night!

WHY?

Was there any intelligent HUMAN who didn’t know which way the evening was going to go?

Didn’t you know you were tuning into a new version of The Apprentice?

I want to be clear, I never intended to watch, I do not watch reality TV shows. They have never appealed to me. I don’t enjoy watching my fellow  humans humiliated and belittled and shamed in front of millions of other humans. In my own life, I have experienced all of the above (thank goodness, not in front of millions). Why would I ever want to watch anyone go through such a negative, dehumanizing, and belittling experience? It never made sense to me. No, I don’t want a medal. This was my choice.  

What I do not understand is why was I one of the few who knew it was going to be a bloodbath for Democracy. If you had the slightest knowledge of either candidate, how could you think this debate could go anywhere else? And please, let me not give the debacle last night the title of “Debate”.  It was no debate…shouting match! personality clash!  forget issues and points of law!

Where in the aftermath is the compassion for both gladiators? The lion being starved and prodded within and without by forces who were determined to have a bloody spectacle. And the lamb, prodded by forces within and without who insisted the lion’s natural instincts for devouring his prey were tamable. Nero would have been proud. 

I for one hope there is not another one.

But if there is going to be another one… do yourself a favor so you can be prepared to understand the two candidates clearly. Watch PBS Frontline program Election 2020: Biden vs.Trump. It is an in-depth look into each of their lives. It may appear to be biased. Personally, I do not think it is. There is not a single human being, including the Pope, without yin and yang or as I prefer zits and warts. The program illustrates the zits and warts of each candidate. For me, it’s a personal choice of which zits and warts are acceptable.

In my world, I will hopefully choose humanity over human nature. In reality (God, I’m getting to hate that word!) I realize until I have been truly tested, I will never know what my choice would be. 

However, I do have brilliant role models who help me find my way. On my 80th birthday I asked a friend to find photo portraits of these role models to hang from the ceiling at the party. Here is just a partial list:

William Shakespeare, Sigmund Freud, George Gershwin, Ulysses S. Grant, Sandra Day O’Connor, Billie Holiday, Abraham Lincoln, Marlon Brando, Doris Lessing, Virginia Wolfe, Mary Wollstonecraft, Martin Luther King, Thomas Merton, FDR, Leonard Bernstein, Martha Graham, Charlie Chaplin, Maria Callas, Eleanor Roosevelt, Buster Keaton, Marilyn Heit Leibovitz, Georgia O’Keefe, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Albert Einstein, F.Scott Fitzgerald, Dianne, Lori, Pamela, Rainer Maria Rilke, Frederick Douglass Gustaf Mahler…

Not one of these beautiful people are without his or her zits and warts. However, everyone of them, when confronted in life – as we all are – chose their humanity over their human/animal nature. 

Who are your role models?

Love ~ Sally-Jane ❤️

P.S. VOTE!

Tom Toles Editorial Cartoon

Had enough?

My Dear Friend and Family –

I don’t need to say anything or to do anything.  I just ask you to open your heart, your soul, your mind and listen to Senator Amy Klobuchar. 

Love,  Sally -Jane

RBG… A Light Has Dimmed

My Dear Friends and Family, 

On Friday night, September 18th,  after returning home from a life affirming and joyous outdoor Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) celebration with seven others, a lovely mix of family and friends, a friend texted me about the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg.  I went into a tailspin (aka depression). 

What was my problem?  Her imminent death had been a foregone conclusion for years. Her heroic mission kept her alive beyond the miraculous. Her staying power was Herculean. Knowing what her demise would mean to Affordable Care, Roe v. Wade and so many other issues of humanity,  she left a request to the American people:   

“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

Mitch McConnell used the same rationale while Obama was President. But that was 15 minutes ago and he changed his mind… again.

All right!  All right!  From the moment I heard of her demise, I found myself wallowing in dark and dangerous thoughts.  

Always at these times, I go into a dialogue with myself. Here it is.

Me: (in fear of the future) OMG what am I going to do?  What’s going to happen now?  Is there going to be a Revolution…Civil War…do I have to join a gang of vigilantes.   Is America going the way of Job?  First the Pandemic, then the Election, now RBG!

I have to leave this country.  Where?  Where can I go?  Any country I want to go to doesn’t want Americans.

Me: (in the moment): Calm down. We have a lot of grieving to do.  Your fears are diminishing her story.  Who she was? What she accomplished.  Her strength and tenacity as a woman, a wife, a mother, a lawyer, a jurist and ultimately a role model for men and women. If you stay in this minute,  I promise, ultimately it will show you  how best to live in a world that throws the best curve balls ever.

I GO DOWN TO THE SHORE

I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall —
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice
Excuse me, I have work to do.

Mary Oliver

You know what?  This staying in the moment thing is really hard. If I stayed in the moment, felt the grief, felt the power of this petite woman’s life to change what had previously been thought impossible to change , yeah, right!!!  What is it about staying in the moment which I know is really the only way to live but, oh, my friends,  it is soooo difficult. 

I have spent a lifetime believing that to believe in God is to believe that all things are fair and there will be wonderful surprises.

The best surprises come out of not knowing!  I think there is a lesson in this.  

I have no idea what the fallout will be from this cataclysmic event. It doesn’t make any difference. Whatever happens we will always have RBG’s strength, tenacity and perseverance to keep up us in the light.

Love, Sally-Jane

How NOT to Choose a President

My Dear Friends and Family,

I had a recent unsettling experience… let me set the scene:

Two acquaintances on my porch for morning coffee and croissants. As we settle down and begin discussing the topic du jour… our various adventures in and around the pandemic and the election, eventually, in my own inimitable voice of authority, I bring up the wearing of masks.

“If only we had some Federal leadership that would create a national program for the wearing of masks and other safety issues that are necessary for our protection,” says I.


An Aside: 

Let’s face it, my friends, I am old enough – barely – to remember the Federal programs during World War II that were necessary to help us survive and help the war effort… ration books for food and gas, meatless days, paper and metal drives.

Oh, sure there were always people that didn’t join in that effort… and there were many Black Market organizations. But for the most part, most everyone came together as part of the civilian war effort.

People died in the war. People died in the pandemic.

End of the aside.


Expecting to have both guests nod heads in agreement, I was heartily disappointed. The female of the duo nodded. The male said, 

“I don’t think it’s fair to blame him. We are a country founded on States’ Rights and each state should have their own laws about how they want to handle the pandemic. I think, considering what he has to deal with, he is doing a very good job.”

Shock!  Dismay! Disbelief! 

I know a few people (and relatives, too) who think he is doing a good job.  However, I am not in close proximity with them. You might say we really have perfected long distance social distancing. This was the first time I was sitting near enough where I could see the whites of his eyes. I was struggling to be polite. But when he started quoting Fake News items I realized there could be no discussion.

I quickly looked at my watch, which I forgot to put on, and told them that I had forgotten I had an online class in a few minutes. You didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that time had just run out… the party was over.

They left. I was angry. But worse than that I was shocked. This man is a cultured, educated, sophisticated upper middle class white human male. How did this happen? I racked my brain.

And it finally came to me…

After a self-organized reading program of black non-fiction writers like Isabel Wilkerson and Carol Anderson, I realized they were right all along!  The white majority is disappearing. I had just been witness to an example of this fact. This white upper middle class man in fear of losing his white majority is going to vote for the man who will guarantee that majority against all odds. As time goes on the white majority will be no more. I am not rabble-rousing. Check the statistics (I can’t believe someone who hates statistics as much as I do is saying this).  

And before I let go of this bone, in 1970 you could substitute the silent majority of the Nixon era with the white majority of this era. And never forget it was this silent majority that allowed the wannabe tyrant Joseph McCarthy to flourish.

So alright already… What is this white majority that is being written about and exemplified in books, movies, television, podcasts, editorials, and just plain life? Obviously, I am going to have difficulty explaining it because I am so apparently part of it. I am of the white/caucasian persuasion. Black, white, brown, orange, purple… we are all part of this human condition… with differences. As part of the human condition/nature, consciously or unconsciously, we each strive to be better than someone else. A human animal popularity contest, if you will.

I know as the seventh of eight children I do not remember a day when I didn’t strive to be better than anyone of my brothers or sisters. My parents actually promoted that competition, thinking the competition would push us to excel in our various gifts, which personally I am happy to say it did, but they used it also as a control of a sometimes uncontrollable large family.  And because of my race, I could move more easily in the world.  And here is the big word that explains how I could do it:  

ASSIMILATE – that’s what I could do. 

I was acceptable… up to a point… being a Jew kept me back many times in my life and I can still recognize a slur when it happens… even in jokes… but basically, if I chose to I didn’t have to say I was Jewish and then I would always be acceptable because I could assimilate into this amorphous white majority.  See how easily it works???

If you are black, this is not possible. A black person is always black. Except of course, black people who look white and then they have to decide whether to pass which is another word for assimilation. So how did the white majority control the black population? During the centuries of black slavery this was easy. Blacks were property, not people. There was no white majority because in fact whites controlled everything and therefore, obviously it did not need to be stated.

It was after the Civil War with emancipation, voting rights, human rights, and civil rights, when whites, most obviously in the South and more subtly in the North, felt the thunder and fear of change.  

A brief dream time of Reconstruction was systematically squashed by the new Jim Crow laws of the south, created and enacted by the vanquished losers of the Civil War and legislators of the treasonable former Confederacy.

Ghettos, incarceration, proliferation of drugs, low service jobs, sharecropping (another version of slavery), limited and segregated housing and education, unequal voting and civil rights… all the negative control factors used by the white majority to control black lives.

Whites fear that black lives not only matter but that they will race ahead, leaving white lives in their dust. They certainly have done it in the world of sports and popular music.

Obama’s two-time win (accomplished without the white majority) put the white majority into a tailspin and is the most probable cause for the continued bitter (and what I personally consider un-American) politics of Republic Congressman, Senators and Judges – A black president in the White House? Never again!

The white majority is and will disappear. That’s a fact! The mix of nationalities which, to me has always been the backbone of America’s strength will now add a new strength in the form of mixed colors… HOORAY!

And let us not forget, the President’s National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders known as the Kerner Commission, headed by Governor Otto Kerner of Illinois, appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in July 1967 to uncover the causes of urban riots and to recommend solutions. The report, which declared that “our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white – separate and unequal,” and warned that unless drastic and costly remedies were undertaken at once, there would be a “continuing polarization of the American community and, ultimately, the destruction of basic democratic values.”

There is a slate up for election on November 3rd that exemplifies a necessary and overdue recognition of this reality.

My reckoning is that this person who came to my porch for coffee and an abrupt departure doesn’t even realize he is part of that fearful white majority. I am sorry for him. But I am happy that his partner will cancel out his vote. I worry about others who don’t have anyone to cancel out their vote. So I ask us all to do what we can to give us back a country with some basic civility and caring to help us heal.

I leave you with a 1998 quote by writer Octavia Butler (1947 – 2006) that I discovered in a recent article in BrainPickings, Octavia Butler on How (Not) to Choose Our Leaders

“Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought.

To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears.

To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool.

To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen.

To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies.

To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.”

Love, Sally-Jane

We the People… (Except Black People…)

My Dear Friends and Family,

A friend recently sent me a link to this article by George Conway in the Washington Post. To say I had a strong reaction is an understatement! I couldn’t understand how reading a list of his bona fides insanity and ridiculousness could possibly be worth my time. Between the pandemic news of the day and the election news of the day, we are taking a battering.

After my reply to her that there was no payoff for me in reading it, I picked up and started reading Isabel’s Wilkerson’s latest book, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

(You may recall my rave review of her book,The Warmth of  Other Suns in a previous blog.)

Well, my friends I had to interrupt my reading at Chapter 2 to write to you…

WE ALL NEED TO READ THIS BOOK! It reveals the truth of how the monster made it this far and what we all did or didn’t do to contribute to our current painful reality. It is from this painful acknowledgement that the solution can be found.

And if I didn’t believe there was a solution to the absurd and terrifying situation we are in, then I’d go out without a mask, touch my face, never wash my hands, go to school in Georgia and buy a Harley so I can join the South Dakota Bike Rally. 

So while I finish this book, I hope you’ll start it. Then, let’s tawk! 

Love, Sally-Jane

P.S.

P.P.S. And finally, amidst all this confusion someone speaks how we can understand and come together…