Howdy! Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Quite a while. Shame on me. Shame on my brain, more like. In times of stress it shuts down all non-essential services and leaves me with the ability to make pancakes, tie shoes, write in short paragraphs, and ignore the fact that I forgot to put money in the kids’ school lunch accounts. Damn brain.
I’m still emerging from the brain fog, but man, there has been SO much going on. People dying, famous and infamous people making shocking pronouncements – I mean, Brian Boitano gay? Whoda thunk it? And there was this kerfluffle about Santa and Jesus, peace be upon him (on Jesus, not the Santa dude, sorry big red-suited guy) being white (hint; they’re not). Then some guy with a beard who THANK GOD this time was not Muslim said something controversial. Everyone is yammering on about the gay thing but I’m more concerned with his insights on happy cotton-pickin’ black folk.
Now, I haven’t had my first cup of Nescafe yet (hubby is away on business and I’m too lazy to fire up my nifty vintage percolator just for one), so I might be a bit rambling and I might be a bit snarky, but y’all are grownups so here goes:
Paul Walker, an actor, died in a fiery crash. He was most famous for his role in the “Fast and Furious” franchise of movies. I was shocked at the manner of his death, and after I googled around a bit I learned that he was very active in charitable giving. Good on him. I noted his death on my Facebook page. Evidently, so did much of the rest of the world. The response from many Muslims was predictable: “How can y’all mourn the death of a KAAFIR when children are dying in Syria / Palestine / Sudan? Um, well, he was a human being, he died in kind of a tragic manner, so since he is familiar to millions of people, it seemed appropriate to note his passing. This in no way takes away from the deaths of children, Muslim or non-Muslim. It’s not like there is some limit on the amount of compassion my body produces in a day (well, except when the dang kids are getting on my last nerve and then one gets hurt jumping off the couch after I’ve told her a MILLION times not to to that) or that I lack the brain capacity to hold more than one idea in my head at a time. I mean, shoot, children are starving, why the hell are YOU warming up a cup of Ramen noodles? Can’t you just starve in solidarity, you glutton? Sounds silly, huh?
And Nelson Mandela died. Of course, if you looked at social media, you’d think it was Morgan Freeman who kicked off (again). Invictus was a movie, people. And just in case you are wondering, so was Deep Impact. Just in case you were unaware. So, Madiba passed away at a ripe old age and the world came to his funeral, and once again, some Muslims (a lot fewer than the anti-Paul Walker contingent) castigated their brothers and sisters for making note of his passing and – you faith traitors! – admiring his work at bringing down the Apartheid regime in South Africa. Because, of course, anytime a “kaafir” does something good, you should discount it. Remember that when you are in a car wreck and the only surgeon on duty who can reattach your butt to your broken body is a Hindu doctor from new Delhi. You’ll be fine with no butt, trust me.
What else? Oh, Santa is white? Megyn Kelly of Fox News said Santa is white and Jesus (peace be upon him) is white. Uh, yeah. You want to know my response to that? Go to Comedy Central and watch Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show”. He does it better than anyone. For the record: Santa was Greek, probably kinda swarthy, and Jesus (peace be upon him) was of a ruddy complexion, which we Muslims know because he is a Prophet in Islam and the final Prophet, Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, was informed of this by Allah and shared it with us. We do not, however, know his shoe – sandal? – size.
Last thing on the agenda because my coffee is cool enough to drink now and you don’t just leave coffee sitting, it’s disrespectful, even when it’s only Nescafe (I have not looked to see if Nescafe is on the Israel boycott list and I don’t care anyway because I’m actually drinking a generic version made by a different company but it’s easier to say Nescafe so no one flame me on this issue). Last thing on the agenda: Duck Dynasty, a show that I have never watched. Duck Dynasty, a show whose fame escaped me even though every time I walk through my local mega-department store I am surrounded by the bearded faces of the stars. Shirts, seats, jackets, hats, doggie sweaters, for God’s sake. The patriarch said that the Bible disapproves of homosexuality. He said a few other things as well and he got himself suspended from his own show. I’m sure he’s just crying into his beard right now, considering he is rich and doesn’t need the show to stoke his bank account, only his ego. He’ll survive.
Islam is clear on the fact that homosexuality is condemned and it is an issue I’ve remained silent on because when you get into a discussion about it, it quickly degenerates into a shouting match. I have kids; I don’t need any more noise in my life. So I won’t get into it. Cowardly? Maybe, but you gotta pick your battles.
Let’s talk about his other statement. You know, the one about sharecropping and picking cotton with happy blacks who were singing and joyful and not oppressed. Yeah, that second statement is getting a LOT less traction on the news. Let’s just state for the record that my dad grew up dirt poor in the South – Alabama and Florida. They were the kinda poor that meant the kids would go in the woods to shoot squirrels for the dinner pot poor. No indoor plumbing kinda poor. Sharecropper poor. And yes, they grew up with a certain attitude towards blacks. When you are almost low man on the social totem pole it’s important to have someone below you, so the ignorant poor whites used the blacks as their “at least I ain’t them”. It was the pervasive normal attitude and when you grow up believing that, it becomes imprinted on all the cells of your body and you only see what you want to see. That means that blacks are happy picking cotton and drinking from the creek instead of the water fountain. Yeah, you only have an outhouse (same as them) but you can go wherever you want without fear of lynching. At least you ain’t them. That’s how this Duck Dynasty guy grew up, and he never grew out of this attitude. I’m not excusing it – I have little patience for people who are content to live with their prejudices and never examine their beliefs. I’m saying, it is what it is.
I firmly believe that the old generation, the before and during the Civil Rights era group, has to simply die off. They cannot be changed (shy of a lightning bolt from the heavens). Our best bet right now is to marginalize them and then work on the younger generation, praying that the negative racist attitudes have not yet ossified. So I don’t worry about this guy too much – he’ll go the way of the dinosaurs. Maybe, just maybe we can talk some sense into that college freshman who wore blackface to his buddy’s Halloween party. Well, we have to try.
Have I missed anything? Oh, yeah, that story about a school shooting close to the location of a previous school shooting almost on the anniversary of another school shooting. The farce of Obamacare. The farce of the government shutdown. Guantanamo still not closed. American soldiers not yet out of Afghanistan. Iraq being blown up bit by bit every day. North Korea rattling its sabers. Shootings in Chicago. GMOs and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Sigh. I’m gonna need a lot more coffee.