Do Your Part.

Recently, as a white woman with countless privileges that I have, admittedly, always taken for granted, I’ve obviously been deeply pondering where my place is in all of the chaos and suffering that my fellow human beings are (and always have been) enduring as a result of their’ heritage. I am not playing the “black friends card” when I say that several of my best and most deeply cherished friends on this Earth are Black; it’s a truth of mine that I have always had with me and never really had to think about too much, for whatever reason. I have cousins who are half Black; my Aunt is Black. They are my blood relatives; we have the same blood coursing through our veins, truth.
Now, as my family, close friends and I are miserably trying to compartmentalize and process the sad and hideous truths violently seeping through the fabric of our shared culture here in the United States of America, I see for the first time in my life that despite the innate acceptance and truly pure bond present in my mindset, personally, in terms of the many Black People that I know and love, there’s a dauntingly larger population of hateful, dis-informed, self-worshiping white people who harbor the most ill of will towards my loved ones over such a subjective factor as the pigment of their’ skin.
And while I, as an experienced lover of ALL people from ALL backgrounds, ethnicity and cultures, can sleep at night, knowing that beneath the skin of every human being, lies the uniform and universal genetic material that makes us each Human siblings, I’ve also realized with a sobering certainty that we are NOT all Human any longer.

There are those among us are no more advanced or refined than vicious, wild animals.

Pretentious white moms driving through Starbucks in minivans; nurturing brainlessness in white-priviledged broods of sadistic bigots who represent the unceasing entitlement complex that defines 5 out of 10 white people in this country, sadly.

White men who claim to be accepting of others in public, while snickering at the idea behind closed doors; making horribly unfunny jokes at the expense of those who look different from them and their’ beloved corn-fed roots.

I realize that who I am, have always been, could not be any more disparate from these lowly creatures, despite the shared physical appearance between us. I realize that I would no sooner stake any kindred claim to these beings then to cut off my own arms and send them down the river. The relationships with my Black loved ones have become strained; as I am very aware of the cold, hard fact that the actions and lifestyles of racist whites naturally reflect on me, in turn.

And that shit hurts.

As a longtime underdog, the Americanized version of the word “Liberty” truly disgusts me beyond description. And, that’s coming from a white woman’s mouth. Beneath my own experiences with the unfair judicial system, multi-faceted corruption and perversely incentivized social service programs, I can also hear the muffled whispers of generations worth of Black Lives in this country desperately trying to get a deeper, much more ever-present terror across the boundary of judgement.

That age-old haunt of:

 “I am just one person, what difference can I honestly make?

comes screaming to the surface of my mind everyday lately; and, unbelievably, it stills seems to hold at least some sway, even in these crazy times when, yes: one person’s staunch support, one person’s quiet voice, one refusal to look the other way when so much unjust destruction is consuming our fellow human beings, can indeed make all the difference in the situation…one person at a time.

This “I am just one person” sentiment has hushed and smoothed over collective urges good white people harbor to bust a grape on racial terrorism and injustice in our society for God knows how long now. All white people are more fearful, uncertain and out of their’ privileged element lately, be they good and sympathetic to the movement or evil racist oppressors.

And lately I see so clearly, that this sentiment is lie.

Racism is a lie. (By that, I mean that the foundations racism is built upon are all lies.)

Prejudice and racially based injustice are long-standing, widely accepted lies.

Generational white privilege is a self-taught lie that white people must stop re-telling white children.

Adorning myself in bad makeup and ranting about my friendships with Black people will not help this issue; this issue goes so much deeper and further back in time to be solved by self-righteous pawns in so-called well meant missions that boil down to those same peoples’ lasting ability to comfortably look themselves in the mirror every morning.

I realize that no matter the blood relation between cousins, the shared upbringing, any family roots between us, they have lived an entirely different existence from mine because they don’t share the privileges I have always taken in stride in my own admitted negligence.

And that is how I feel now, is: negligent…self-absorbed, even clueless in the face such widespread terrorism and suffering around me.

I support the uprising of all human beings who are striving toward a more balanced and culturally intertwined society.

I sympathize with my Black friends who have a hard time looking at me right now.

I support the rebellion against “the man” who forced a group of people to evolve in this country while being hated and mistreated all the while, under an oppressive, invisible thumb.

Lastly, and in conclusion to this scattered mess of personal introspection: I support fellow good human beings – black, white, brown, beige, red and yellow.

I have recognized and banished the lies surrounding racism from my existence, and encourage every person to do the same.

Dismantle the KKK and shame them for being the scar on our society that they truly are.

Stop painting your faces black in attempt to be supportive – it’s offensive and immature.

Do your privileged part to wipe out the cycle of suffering in so many Black Lives. Whether you know any Black people or not.

The destruction and suffering of Black Lives might not ever be able to heal, but it can be shut down as it should’ve been long ago. And every single person needs to be doing whatever they can to usher in a future that looks drastically different from today’s U.S. Snapshot.

I Know.

I know what you’re thinking…

You’re thinking dark things to yourself now…like:

how all of those people in your past, the ones you helped nurse through to recovery from breast cancer, colon cancer, even a brain tumor; they’ve all gotten well and forgotten about you, when you needed those kindly offered favors returned. Oh Mama, how well I perceive how you feel.

You’re thinking about all the years that you poured out of yourself into others who are long dead already; you’re thinking about how short your end of the stick turned out to be; you’re thinking that you’ve been conquered by the things that other people do or say…or don’t do or say; you think it’s time to resign and become this helpless refugee who can’t find the motivation in your brain to keep your body moving your bones.

I’m thinking about how strong your spirit is when I look down onto your drawn face and seek out any flicker of light within those sunken eyes; I’m thinking back onto my youngest recollections of you: a beautiful woman in a skirt and pantyhose, wrenching at a flat tire on the freeway shoulder – not giving a fuck. I’m thinking about how much you have gone through in your hard lifetime already, even before Cancer pirated your body and brain; before your partner abandoned you and you became homeless…and, when I think about these things, I can barely breathe. I’m thinking about how you have the right to decide when you’re too tired to fight this bullshit life any longer, to “throw in the towel” as you said this morning to my nodding head and tear-streaked face. I’m thinking about so many things that make me feel as if I’m being strong-armed by some invisible being, robbed and stripped of my medals and badges.

You’re thinking it’s time to go; I’m thinking how much I hate the fact that I understand how you feel, completely.

Mama, you are not helpless, you could never be that; you’re not built that way…but you can be tired; you can be forlorn; just don’t be gone too soon.

Delay.

FOREWORD:

They say that the delirium is late-stage cancer – nothing more. Perhaps it is, I can’t say at this point. What I can say is that the delirious woman is still my mom; is still worthy of my love and support; is still a person who I love very much, suffering…dying.

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Let me tell you a short (though, repetitive) story; one I have come to know by heart without consciously trying…one that plays itself out through each and every nightmare I have if I am lucky enough to fall asleep deeply enough…one that has come to define each and every “visit” I get with my mama, anymore:

The Bedpan: It is an inevitable circumstance, no matter where mama is.

In whichever facility that she is hospitalized, she is bedridden and increasingly unable to move without severe pain. She, therefor, has been reduced to a bedpan or commode when she is lucid, or, a fucking adult diaper, otherwise.

In her lucid times, the diaper must come off, else she have a massive coronary. During these interim of semi-coherence for her, is the perpetually running song and dance of trying to go to the bathroom. My mother is on diuretics for edema in her legs at present, and therefor has to pee like every 15-20 minutes no matter which state she is in…a detail that seems to define every moment that I spend with her anymore: the horrid revolving door of trying to get a fucking bedpan in time.

The orderlies and nurses are slow as molasses in any setting we have been; they seem to take pleasure in the circumstance of making my mama wait until she can’t hold it any longer, and a mess ensues, without fail.

Then, there I am: frustrated beyond words with the staff for letting this happen AGAIN; and there’s mama: so broken down and defeated by the humbling experience that she’s enduring, she just cries while I clean her up. Each and every time this occurs, it sinks my mama lower into her resignation to death and departure. Each time she cries, it does something to me that I can’t yet find the words to express accurately, but I can say with certainty that her tears in this context make me want to seriously hurt someone, or worse.

As a result of this hideous cycle of requests for basic assistance, delayed responses, messes to clean up, and mama’s subsequent withdrawal further into darkness, I have begun to absolutely dread going to see my dying mother at all.

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