Wednesday, July 17, 2013

some reading for you while I am away...

These pieces made it into my life last week, in the middle of the stress of trying to figure out if I would be starting my exams, or not, on the 26th ... still not a done deal... hanging in there, blowing in the wind.

I am not the only one that thought that the announcement about moving up the canonization of two former popes was hokey.  This woman wonders why Mother Theresa wasn't fast-tracked.

Ugh...I am not even sure where to begin with this story.  As I was listening to Geo's brother talk about the situation ... and reading the quote: "proud to be American,' I thought, he should have altered it to read, "proud to be a *white* American" because only white Americans can be proud when their kin get off for killing unarmed teenagers.   I was also struck by the defense lawyers talking about Geo's *safety* and the brother worrying about how Geo would have to look over his shoulder the rest of his life. It seems to me that 1) those who encounter Geo (and his kind -- crazy racist wanna-be cops with guns) who need to fear for their safety.  2) If he was worried about his safety, maybe he shouldn't have been following and provoking innocent people and then shooting them with guns.  3) Isn't this (fear for safety) what this case was all about?  Geo's fear is what caused and escalated the situation -- and now we are supposed to *worry* about him?  Yeah... not happening.  And, even worse is the implication that black folks are the violent people ... even though it is the black parents who are going home without their son ... it was the black youth that was murdered for walking in a neighborhood with a hoodie on.  I very much appreciated Ben Jealous putting this acquittal into perspective with some other judgments in the recent past:  several years for killing a dog, several years for shooting above a crowd ... I would add to that one:  several years for crossing the street against traffic with your child.  Even Johannes Mehserle served time in jail for killing Oscar Grant ... perhaps not commensurate to his crime, but he was found *guilty*... we live in a crazy, racist world that has some serious blinders on...

Oh ... on racism, that one that we don't admit to ... there is Johnny Depp and Tonto.  On the one hand, let me say that of course the depiction of Tonto is racist ... the character is racist.  This is also related to the issue that the character's clothing, speech, mannerism, etc are all fictionalized as is the native-ness of the character.  The character was created to embody all of the racist qualities that typify the stereotype of Native Americans. To expect that Tonto be anything else than that is, well, tonto... ridiculous.  I don't believe Depp is *part* Native American, and I don't care [everybody is entitled to their very own fantasy heritage, I guess].  I believe he cares about his movie doing well, and I don't care about that either.  Personally, I am waiting for the movie to hit the dollar theater.  On the other hand, there are some real world issues having to do with real, live Native Americans that one can be outraged about ... heck, you could try to do something about it, too.  Outrage is great for blogs, not so great for real life.  So, get a life or get busy doing something. I take these folks at their word when they say, it would be nice if he cares, but let's just solve the problem.

My favorite beach in Oxnard ... and the first beach in the county to give access to those in wheelchairs.

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