Ladies and gentlemen, I give you something you have:
1. never heard before
2. might never hear anything like it again
Celelalte Cuvinte- Comoara
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Rhonda Tavey, a white woman from Houston, took in the kids of a Katrina survivor while their mother tried to get her life back on track. When the mother, Erica Alphonse, decided that she wanted to go home to New Orleans instead of staying in Houston, Tavey kidnapped the children. See, Tavey is a good white lady who had enough sense not to lose everything in a giant natural disaster. She obviously knows better than their poor black mother what is good for these kids. Can't you see that? I mean their mother is black after all, and she has 5 kids. And she's poor. Obviously a middle class white lady would be a better mother than a poor black one. Obviously she has more right to claim these children as her property, she's white after all.
Since the dawn of colonization, white people have been stealing the children of black or brown women on the basis of "improving" the lives of the children. In this country we sent Native kids to schools far from home where any sense of their own history and value was beaten out of them. And now women of color are much more likely to have their kids placed in state custody than white women are. For the good of the children, you know.
The extremes are shocking. I was a foster kid. And I had been trying to get out of my mother's house for years before anything was done about it. Abuse didn't get me out of her clutches. Neglect didn't do it. I wasn't taken out of the house until she spent a good 6 months threatening to commit suicide while I hid the kitchen knives. I only escaped because she was hospitalized. But she was white, as long as she was physically in the house then she must not be that bad, right? If she had been brown, I probably would have been taken away much sooner for much smaller offenses. The first time she left me at school and didn't pick me up might have done it. The first time she threw me out of the house might have done it. Any number of horrible things might have done it. But in the end it was the locking doors of a mental hospital that got me out, but only for a little while.
We take the children of WOC when all they really need to be a successful family is financial help, a safe house, an education, medical treatment for the crushing depression that comes from a life of poverty, transportation and a good job. We leave white children in places where they are kept in closets full of filth and excrement. Think about that the next time someone says we are in a post racial society. The white is right attitude that still permeates our country does actual physical damage to fragile kids of all colors.It leaves white children in dangerous situations and crushes families of black children that could be fixed with a little money and help.
In America, we have this idea of war as a noble and righteous thing under the right circumstances. We imagine that things like torture and rape are aberrant acts committed by a few evil soldiers instead of seeing that in order to kill people, you have to dehumanize them. And when you dehumanize someone, raping or torturing them is nothing more than kicking a ball. They are objects to be used as such. Rape, torture, murder and violence are not the acts of a few bad apples. They are the core of war and that is what we train soldiers to do.
But we don't want to see that. We want to think that our soldiers are special. They are above that. They must have some superhuman ethical core that allows them to only dehumanize certain people and then only in the right ways. But the human psyche doesn't work that way. It's more like painting with water colors, when you mark someone with the brush of a soldier then those strokes bleed over onto the rest of their lives. They come home and beat their wives and girlfriends. Or they struggle to separate themselves from the acts they have committed and become depressed. Taken individually, not every soldier will have this struggle, but as a whole we teach them be killers. We should not be surprised when that is what they become.
If we are to be a nation that goes to war, then we should also be a nation that acknowledges the damage war does. When we first went into Iraq, I watched the horrible video of Nick Berg being beheaded. I sobbed for days after. I also watched (long before the Abu-Girab photos came out) video of American soldiers frog marching naked Iraqi prisoners. When the torture photos did come out, the scenes were not new to me. I had seen them from other soldiers already. I recognized the methods our soldiers were using as part of the KGB 5 techniques, a system of torture developed under Stalin that leaves no marks but breaks the prisoners anyways. Why the hell would we be adopting techniques used by system we debased for decades?
I am not a pacifist. I believe that there are situations where nothing but the violence of war will work to end violence. But those situations are much more rare than our history of war would lead you to believe.
And for those of us in safe countries where acts of war rarely touch us, we must be made to see the realities of war. We must get over the pageantry to see the blood and gore underneath. And that means we will have to look at the pictures that horrify us and see the videos that give us nightmares for weeks. And we have to force those in power to see them too. After watching the Nick Berg video, I sat in my therapists office sobbing about the horrors of it. And then I wondered if President Bush had watched it. I am sure that he did not. But our leaders, those who would send us into war, should be made to see it. They should be forced, Clockwork Orange style, to sit in front of the images of violence that they create with their pens and paper.
But since we don't have that power, we can make sure the images are out there. We can make sure that everyone sees the horror that war causes, even those of us far away and safe from bombs and guns. So the images may be triggering, and for those of you who have suffered from the domestic version of the violence of war, I am sorry. But you should understand how important it is for people to see the consequences of their actions. War is never noble and good. It breeds violence and inhumane treatment. That is not a symptom, that is it's sole purpose.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Did you peeps miss me? I missed you. I feel like I lost 10 thousand iq points just from lack of wikipedia alone.
And i know there has been a wee bit of a brouhaha over Soopermouse's pics. As soon as I'm back online there will be a big meaty post from me about how war is never noble and as much as it pains us to see the pictures it pains the people who suffer it more. Give Sooper a break for bringing you unvarnished truth, we get very little of that in this country.
Kisses and many many thanks to all of you. Back soon (for realz this time)
Thursday, August 14, 2008
By this time everyone and their mother knows there is a war in Georgia. The question is, what DO you know about the war?
The Western media has made a great deal of " Russia invades poor Georgia!". They also tend to leave out that Russia invaded Georgia because Georgia, in a hurry to get into NATO, proceeded to bomb and chase out the separatist province of South Ossetia.
If a country who isn't an ally of the USA indulges in a little bit of ethnic cleansing, that's a bad thing. It's horrible and they should be bombed, scorned and generally treated like shit. However... when an ally of the US does it, it's OK. So many people are hurrying to condemn Russia forgettign that Georgia levelled the capital of South Ossetia to the ground, killed at least 2000 people and forced about 25000 into exile.
Why would Georgia do that?
Because Georgia was told to solve its separatist region problem before it was allowed into NATO. So Georgia, after being repeatedly told that it is "The biggest US ally in the area" thought it could chase out the ossetians and keep South Ossetia. I won't even get into how idiotic is to treat people like that, nonetheless people with Russian passports.
Georgia kicked the Russian bear, and the bear bit back. Whose fault is that?
( Trivia: South Ossetia proclaimed its independence in 1991. There have been some issues like a slowly burning civil unrestness for years. )
I am not going to excuse Russia going into Georgia and attacking Gori and even Tbilisi. But...
What they are doing is not anything more than what the US and its allies did about Kosovo. When you establish a precedent, you need to obey it. That simple.
In the mean time, nobody will help Georgia against Russia. Its president, the guy who decided that killing innocent civilians and chasing them out of their homeland was a good idea.
I leave you with some pics out of Tschinvali, South Ossetia, courtesy of the georgian army. This is what war is about. Don't you forget it.
*Moderatrix notes: The Red Queen has requested I edit a jump at the request of her beloved readers. I do so with all the respect that I can for soopermouse and her incredibly thought provoking posts.
The Red Queen also asks me to remind you all that "war is ugly and never noble. Pictures are painful, but honest".
While Her Royal Majesty is away dealing with Royal Matters (and drowning her sorrows in SpeedoFest 2008, AKA the Olympics), I am filling in as Moderatrix again. I have some Not So Royal stuff to deal with. If your comments are taking longer than normal in moderation I apologize.
As some of you know, one of my partner's friends works for the Obama campaign. Tonight, we caught up with him and found out some interesting stuff.
Turns out that, while Obama is gallivanting abroad, the poor schmucks working the phones are quite aware of the fact that the country is split down the middle. They know that the Hillary supporters are still angry and won't vote for the Precious. They know that Obama and McCain are tied, and that's not because McCain is so good, but because Americans are starting to see through Obama's bullshit. Like all people, Americans hate being taken for granted which means that Obama acting like he was already crowned is not helping himself at all.
This poor schmuck told us that all of them poor peons wish that Obama would quit acting like a star and come back to campaigning and debating. That the people they call for money are starting to ask uncomfortable questions. That the donations are no longer enough for Obama's magical adventures abroad. That his response about the Georgia situation was lame and that McCain won a lot of points there.
That they are afraid, and everyone except for those at the very top of the campaign know that the emperor is butt naked. Only nobody has the guts to say it.