“Black” and “White”

Abused by a man. And I am granted sympathy and empathy. Abused by a man of African ancestry. But I am granted no sympathy or empathy. Suddenly we are “black” and “white”. I represent the reason the man has had a hard life. While I never personally did anything to harm this man or anyone of African decent, I represent a long history of oppression and have benefited from it. Wether this benefit was willful or not is irrelevant. I recognize the double standard that says this man can abuse me, but I could not him. Not that I would want to. Now I begin to approach all people of African decent with caution. I understand our contrasting colors of skin grant them the right to be abusive. “Black” people who have not been abusive toward me in the past are viewed as safe. But “black” people I’ve yet to establish a safe history with would be justified in being abusive. I’m told I am their social enemy. Suddenly, I see the world in “black” and “white”, polar opposites. We were once brothers. But the word “brother” has been viewed as a racial slur. So now, I try to only call people of European decent “brother”. We are not people with different colored skin. We are “black” people and “white” people. And those who aim to divide us have succeeded. If I try to bridge the divide, I am view as one who is just trying to be a “white savior”. I want to help only so that I will be revered by the less fortunate “black” people. And if I don’t try to help bridge the gap, I am willingly taking advantage of this “racist” system. There is no winning here. But maybe it’s time for someone else to win. The arbitrary shade of a person’s skin is enough to make us blind to the fact that the only color that really matters is green.

But no. I recognize the aim to divide. I recognize the double-standard as arbitrary. I refuse to buy in to the idea that we are inherently different. I am not responsible for the oppression of people of African dissent. I’ve always had nothing but love in my heart. I know I tend to benefit from a system that only sees skin deep. But division isn’t the answer. Those of us who only see skin deep propitiate this system. I refuse to be part of it. One’s skin color should not grant him/her the right to anything. This includes income, but also participation in social clubs. This division benefits none of us. We are brothers and sisters. We are in this together.

Si Roma

Si roma
An attraction deeper than the shape of skin that raises toy soldiers to attention
A connection overflowing from the dopamine receptors of the brain
A reason to feel pain, a reason to ache for the possession
of ones obsession. A reason to bleed until one is bloodless, knowing for the first time how the word “red” does not do it justice.
It’s just this when we try to hold it. It burns when we mold it and never quite fits
It never quite fills and yet somehow spills over and over
Breaking ventricles, inspiring the firing of a heart made of clay
Until one day after bowing and breaking so many times heart ache means awaking
Shaking loose powdered brick left from so many attacks
This aortic valve decorated by cracks
It beats now more slowly and has a weakened frame
And is still home to Rome all the same
But now Roma can flow freely through
We always knew. Open eyes. Open heart. Open mind.
We are one.
Every color. Every sweet sound. Every symptom of beauty.
Floating on forever into our own conscious oblivion.
Words relative to these bodies cannot begin to describe the life, the whole divinity infinitely wrapping us in tears of elation that fall from the sky to which we may be blind but have never been strangers. And with this prayer, “Si Roma”, we awake to a world of no fear, no pain, only the game. And it is time to run. Blue 3 smell of gun powder floats in the air. And palpitations sustain this trivial venture of pain and pleasure.

Fear vs Wisdom

1944 Warsaw, Poland – The sounds of German bombs hitting down surround the bomb shelter. Is it the product of wisdom or fear to remain in the shelter? In such a case, perhaps it is wise to be fearful. At the same time, fear and love work in opposition. In the presence of love, no fear is necessary. War comes out of fear. But love has the power to cause war to cease. We spend so much of our lives attempting to avoid pain. But pain is a gift. Pain tells us when there is something wrong. It hurts when a German bomb blows off my legs because my legs are important to survival. It is a part of our nature to strive to survive. We tend to fear that which we don’t understand and, as a race, we have yet to provide any concrete evidence of what happens to our consciousness after our bodies die. Is it wise to cling to life, as many of us do? The illusion that we do not have enough resources to sustain the human race could inspire us to conclude that death may be the wisest option, means to the greater good, for many of us. But this illusion is the product of fear. Ironically, power creates fear. With nothing to lose, we may feel more inclined to take greater risks. But possessions tie us to these bodies, to these lives.

I once theorized to a loved one that fear was responsible for the anti-Muslim sentiment in our country. She told me a proposal to keep Muslims out of the United States was the product of wisdom. Perhaps staying in a bomb shelter during a European Theatre bombing may be the product of wisdom. Either choice would likely not result in the loss of life other than my own. Now refusing Syrian refugees as a result of negative stereotypes of the statistically most common religious adherence in the area is not only the product of fear; It is unwise. Wisdom may be defined as “a : accumulated philosophical or scientific learning : knowledge
b : ability to discern inner qualities and relationships : insight
c : good sense : judgment” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wisdom)

Fear may be defined as “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.” (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/fear) By nature, fear is painful. When actions inspired by the fear cause pain to others, this fear may be especially painful to us. Empathy is a natural function of the human brain. Love inspires empathy, while fear may require us to shut ourselves off from it. The survival of the human race is a product of wisdom. To care for each other is wise and loving. In many cases, wisdom and love are one in the same.

In order for fear to be a wise avoidance of pain, we must first have reason to believe the pain we are avoiding is stronger than the pain caused by the fear. Second, we must know the pain we are attempting to avoid is a strong likelihood.

Perhaps instead of clinging to our idea of what is wise, we may want to act out of wisdom and love. True wisdom is adaptable. Wisdom may inspire us to empathize and see all sides of an issue. Love recognizes we should look out for each other. Fear may tell me that riding my bicycle barefoot with no shirt on may cause scrapes and bruises. It has in the past. But true wisdom may tell me it is worth the risk. Fear only has the power we give it. When we refuse to be afraid, we can rise above and love unconditionally.

Star Child

Be subjective
Be be subjective
We’re screaming in here
Is anyone listening?
Is anyone hearing?
Echoes whisper “Shhh, we’re trying to sleep.”
Vindication
Renewal
Redeemed
Feel good
Feel God
Finally to a place where we can say “Fuck feeling fucked”
Sin with a grin
We are holey
We have guts
Echoes whisper “Keep them inside.”
New life
Star child

Dream 07/22/17

He prays to all of the gods, naming each one between mechanical ripping noises, like tape being pulled off of itself: “…rip rip Yahweh, rip rip God” Inside his head, the demons require us to help him name them “…rip rip Orion, rip rip O’Bryon,” Then the task comes to me “…rip rip… Steve…”

Miss Take

Anyone who bothers to look up may see a storm is coming
The river runs low and mother aches to give rain
Bucket by bucket collapse the river’s shape
Violent gushes blur the lines, making mud of a canyon
This place where we used to find drink
This space that threatened to spill our blood
Paint spills into the streets
Entitlement vs need
When disease isn’t pretty
The walking dead cry more
We know
Walls shake
We know
Hands ache
We know
Brother, Mother, Lover, Other
We pray we won’t miss take
Hold tight
A single boat on the river capsizes
Tread lightly
In mother we trust

You Know What’s Gay?

Do you guys know what is so gay?
Loving people unconditionally.
That is just so gay.
You know what else?
Trying to be the change we want to see in our world.
That is about the gayest thing ever.
You know what else is super gay?
Recognizing that words only have the power we give them and attempting to give new power to words traditionally used to express perspectives of hate.
I mean that is just super gay.

Id E O C

We smile at each other with excitement. We’ve gotten the signal. It is time to run.

Screaming gibberish, bouncing off walls, pulling posters off the walls and throwing them into the air.

Just run. Smile and run.

I’m not gonna cry. We’re part of the sky.

Hunger pangs

We are gods

16

Holy fodder

Grandeur E

Id E O C

Castile and Yanez

21:05:40 Officer: “…license and registration?”
21:05:49 Driver hands document to officer
21:05:54 Driver: “I have to tell you, I do have a firearm…”
21:05:56 Officer: “Don’t reach for it.”
21:05:57 Officer: “Don’t pull it out.”
21:05:59 Officer: Draws weapon “Don’t pull it out!”
21:06:00 Officer: Begins firing into car

Now, without a shot of what was going on in the car, I can’t say for certain what exactly happened. Here is what npr.org says was said during the exchange:
(http://www.npr.org/2017/06/21/533764381/philando-castile-traffic-stop-shooting-footage-released)
CASTILE: Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a…

YANEZ: OK.

CASTILE: …Firearm on me.

YANEZ: OK, don’t reach for it then.

CASTILE: I’m reaching for…

YANEZ: Don’t pull it out.

CASTILE: I’m not pulling it out.

YANEZ: Don’t pull it out.

NELSON: He fired seven times.
It has been said the officer stopped the vehicle as a result of the fact that the driver resembled a suspect in a recent robbery “just ’cause of the wide-set nose”. But the officer said to Castile the reason he stopped him was non-working brake-light. Either way, there was more going on in this exchange than may be documented in text. Here is what I see. The officer is nervous. For all he knows, he is right to be scared. Castile reveals that he has a firearm. The officer says, “OK, don’t reach for it then.”, but is really saying, “Stop reaching for whatever it is you are reaching for. I suspect is your gun.” The transcript on the nor Website would seem to suggest Castile continued to reach for something: “I’m reaching for…” Don’t pull it out.”, the officer says. Although his words say, “Don’t pull out your firearm.”, they are meant to say “Stop what you are doing.” At this point, according to the officer’s testimony, he felt Castile had a firearm in his right hand and was seconds away from pulling the trigger. The officer said one more time, “Don’t pull it out.” and began firing into the car a second later… Effective communication on the officer’s part could have avoided this. Understanding what was meant by the officer on Castile’s part could have avoided this. They both were at fault. The officer’s fault cost him his job. Castile’s fault cost him his life. It doesn’t exactly seem balanced; Does it? It especially seems unbalanced when we consider the fact that the officer was in a position of authority. And really, is the responsibility of a citizen to read between the lines, to attempt to really understand what is meant when an officer gives an order? Still, if I were going to shoot a cop in this situation, I’d probably continue telling him/her I wasn’t reaching for my firearm until I pulled the trigger.

It has been said the color of the driver’s skin played a role in this travesty. That is, that the officer may have felt less threatened if the driver where of European descent – that the officer was quicker on the draw because the driver was of African descent. The officer seemed to express great distress over discharging his firearm. This leads me to believe this was not consciously racially motivated. If, in fact, the officer experienced a greater sense of fear as a result of the color of the driver’s skin and more readily drew his weapon and fired because of this fear, we may look to the racial divide in our country for an explanation. Many young people would seem quick to adhere to this separation, this idea of us and them. This pits us against each other from an early age. I know I’ve experienced attitudes of disrespect from some people with dark skin apparently only because of the difference in our skin color. In my experience, this attitude usually comes from some younger males of African descent. This disrespect is righteous and justified if I represent to them the idea of “white” men. I am the reason they don’t make as much as “white” men. I am the reason they are unproportionately arrested and jailed. I am the reason they are shot by police.

Likewise, if I were a “white” officer, I may feel justified in being quicker on the draw when it comes to a suspect of African descent. I recognize the racial divide in our country and understand he may see me as a threat. As unbiased as I may try to be, I want to go home to see my kids tonight and this job is dangerous. If someone views me as an enemy, it may serve our interest to keep them arm’s length. So arm’s length begets arm’s length, fear begets fear, and violence begets violence.

I would give my life to cause the people of our society to wake up. Fear of each other does nothing but cause tension and get us killed. If I ruled the world, I would keep the people fighting so they couldn’t see who was really causing them trouble. Open your eyes. Fear is the enemy. Love will set us free. Revolution is evolution. Division is just noise pollution. Like a horse shaking off flies, we will take back control when we are ready to give up the fear.