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Thu May 17, 2018, 10:32 AM

Dear White People: If you see something, say something

There has been some discussion Ďround these parts about whether white people who witness racist behavior should get involved or just let the person or persons targeted ďhandle it themselves.Ē

While I always took it as a given that any woke white person seeing such a thing should, unquestionably, say something and not just leave it to minorities to fend for ourselves, apparently, there are some white folk stuck on the idea that if weíre doing a ďgood jobĒ defending ourselves and/or calling out the racist aggressor, they need not say or do anything but watch - and, likely afterward tell their friends about it and, of course, bemoan how awful it was to see, no doubt feeling very good about their outrage.

Wrong.

In fact, that attitude is the very epitome of white privilege at its worst, which allows you to be a bystander, sending silent thoughts and prayers while we fend off your white breathren who, no doubt, take great comfort in your silence and assume, not unreasonably, that it means you agree with them or, at the very least, donít object strongly enough to their words and behavior to say anything.

So, let me lay it out for you.

I cannot count how many times I have been in these situations - if you are black in America, they happen all the time. This is an exhausting, frustrating everyday reality for us. Not only do we have to deal with the attack, we then have to make all manner of split-second and diamondcut precise calculations that would challenge the Hidden Figures.

Is this racism or is this guy just a jerk to everyone? Do I respond or let it go? If I let it go, am I condoning his behavior? If I donít try to put him in check, am I leaving him free to do this to someone else who may not be able to protect themselves? And if I DO challenge him, is he dangerous? Could I get hurt? Is there anyone here who will take my side and back me up or am I on my own? And what will everyone here think of me? Will I look crazy or unhinged? Will it affect me or my reputation or job or future in some way? Is it worth it?

And all of this takes place in a fraction of a second while our hearts are pounding, stomachs churning and blood rushing in our ears. And when we DO say something, itís all we can do to stay calm, continue breathing, keep our voices from shaking too much, and not yell like a crazy person.

Let me tell you - you donít really know the meaning of ďlonelyĒ until you feel what itís like to have to do all of this ALL BY YOURSELF while your fellow human beings stand around looking at you as if none of this has anything to do with them.

So, given all we have to deal with when confronted with this, is it really too much to ask that you stop sipping your latte long enough to support us with a word or a gesture? Itís not enough that, afterward, you pat us on the back and say, ďWow. That was awful. But YOU were GREAT!Ē or tell your friends about how awesome we were long after the fact. We need your audible, visible support RIGHT THERE, IN THAT MOMENT.

If youíre truly an ally, that means doing more than standing around watching us fight the battle. SAY SOMETHING! And, even if you donít want to say anything, step up and DO SOMETHING, even if itís just standing next to us on our side facing down the ugly.

When you see a white person display bigotry or hatred, donít just stand there. SAY something. Even if you think the POC has it under control, donít just stand there, SAY something. Of COURSE we have it under control. Weíve been dealing with this crap all of our lives. We almost always figure out how to handle it and then take care of our business and we manage to do it while having to assess in real time, on the fly, in public, in the middle of the situation exactly what to do and how to do it and then actually pull it off - like Rogers dancing as well as Astaire, but backwards and in high heels - while yíall stand there staring at us and supposedly send good thoughts our way that, for all we know, could just as easily be good thoughts youíre sending to our attacker since we canít tell if YOU DONíT SAY ANYTHING!

Now, letís be clear. By ďsay something,Ē I donít mean jumping all up in it like youíre our Great White Hope. And I certainly donít mean you should put yourself in harmís way or turn this into a fight about you. But a word, a gesture - sometimes just physically stepping up and standing next to us can make a huge difference.

Because hereís the deal: we donít need your help. But we do need your support. And we need your support then and there in that moment in time and it needs to be heard and seen, not just by us, but everyone there.

Thereís a reason hardly anyone remembers the ballplayers who sat in the dugout and stood around the field being impressed by how much dignity Jackie Robinson showed when he withstood the racist taunts from the crowds, but there IS a statue of Pee Wee Reese standing with his arm around his friend.

Be Pee Wee Reese.

Thank you in advance.

Sincerely,

Effie Black


145 replies, 10270 views

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Arrow 145 replies Author Time Post
Reply Dear White People: If you see something, say something (Original post)
EffieBlack May 2018 OP
dalton99a May 2018 #1
gollygee May 2018 #63
mgardener May 2018 #65
Duppers May 2018 #88
jimlup May 2018 #123
LineReply .
underpants May 2018 #2
The Polack MSgt May 2018 #5
JustAnotherGen May 2018 #14
NatBurner May 2018 #19
brush May 2018 #18
EffieBlack May 2018 #26
Tom Rinaldo May 2018 #3
dickthegrouch May 2018 #100
asiliveandbreathe May 2018 #4
ehrnst May 2018 #6
ismnotwasm May 2018 #7
Moostache May 2018 #8
mcar May 2018 #9
The Polack MSgt May 2018 #10
CincyDem May 2018 #11
luc mont May 2018 #12
JustAnotherGen May 2018 #13
The Polack MSgt May 2018 #15
EffieBlack May 2018 #17
salin May 2018 #27
EffieBlack May 2018 #32
salin May 2018 #52
EffieBlack May 2018 #73
salin May 2018 #74
EffieBlack May 2018 #75
MrScorpio May 2018 #16
wonkwest May 2018 #20
EffieBlack May 2018 #22
wonkwest May 2018 #38
EffieBlack May 2018 #41
The Polack MSgt May 2018 #44
flibbitygiblets May 2018 #69
wonkwest May 2018 #85
pnwmom May 2018 #97
wonkwest May 2018 #99
pnwmom May 2018 #109
wonkwest May 2018 #111
pnwmom May 2018 #112
wonkwest May 2018 #115
pnwmom May 2018 #117
PatrickforO May 2018 #126
JustAnotherGen May 2018 #28
wonkwest May 2018 #86
Betsy Ross May 2018 #21
geardaddy May 2018 #23
Haggis for Breakfast May 2018 #92
geardaddy May 2018 #128
Haggis for Breakfast May 2018 #135
geardaddy May 2018 #137
Haggis for Breakfast May 2018 #138
Zing Zing Zingbah May 2018 #24
brer cat May 2018 #25
pazzyanne May 2018 #29
salin May 2018 #30
Eliot Rosewater May 2018 #31
SCVDem May 2018 #33
The Polack MSgt May 2018 #51
SCVDem May 2018 #83
tonedevil May 2018 #71
SCVDem May 2018 #80
tonedevil May 2018 #82
ck4829 May 2018 #34
spanone May 2018 #35
Gothmog May 2018 #36
niyad May 2018 #46
Gothmog May 2018 #144
George II May 2018 #37
EffieBlack May 2018 #40
George II May 2018 #47
EffieBlack May 2018 #53
George II May 2018 #58
MontanaMama May 2018 #39
EffieBlack May 2018 #45
flibbitygiblets May 2018 #50
EffieBlack May 2018 #55
MontanaMama May 2018 #56
flibbitygiblets May 2018 #67
MariaCSR May 2018 #87
EffieBlack May 2018 #102
Haggis for Breakfast May 2018 #94
flibbitygiblets May 2018 #42
EffieBlack May 2018 #49
flibbitygiblets May 2018 #66
niyad May 2018 #43
mahannah May 2018 #48
Docreed2003 May 2018 #54
Kirk Lover May 2018 #57
byronius May 2018 #59
Oneironaut May 2018 #60
PunkinPi May 2018 #61
sheshe2 May 2018 #62
gollygee May 2018 #64
coeur_de_lion May 2018 #68
MoonRiver May 2018 #70
Hekate May 2018 #72
EffieBlack May 2018 #76
ProudLib72 May 2018 #91
cally May 2018 #125
Iggo May 2018 #77
pnwmom May 2018 #78
EffieBlack May 2018 #79
MariaCSR May 2018 #81
BumRushDaShow May 2018 #84
babylonsister May 2018 #89
Rainngirl May 2018 #90
druidity33 May 2018 #93
BlancheSplanchnik May 2018 #95
gollygee May 2018 #96
Empowerer May 2018 #98
MaryMagdaline May 2018 #101
lovemydogs May 2018 #103
EffieBlack May 2018 #105
emulatorloo May 2018 #104
DemoHack May 2018 #106
EffieBlack May 2018 #108
DemoHack May 2018 #113
Empowerer May 2018 #114
DemoHack May 2018 #127
pnwmom May 2018 #110
whathehell May 2018 #131
pnwmom May 2018 #133
whathehell May 2018 #134
whathehell May 2018 #130
secondwind May 2018 #107
Devil Child May 2018 #116
whathehell May 2018 #132
Post removed May 2018 #118
EffieBlack May 2018 #119
marble falls May 2018 #122
whathehell May 2018 #120
KY_EnviroGuy May 2018 #121
Nitram May 2018 #124
EffieBlack May 2018 #129
calimary May 2018 #136
heaven05 May 2018 #139
EffieBlack May 2018 #141
heaven05 May 2018 #143
heaven05 May 2018 #140
EffieBlack May 2018 #142
Gothmog May 2018 #145

Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 10:39 AM

1. All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.

- Whoever said it

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #1)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:38 PM

63. +1

Sitting by and watching makes people think you're OK with it. It condones it.

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #1)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:40 PM

65. Edmund Blake

Said that.
I thought it was such a fine quote I have it on my refrigerator.
Great conversation starter when having parties. Right above the ice dispenser.

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #1)

Thu May 17, 2018, 06:31 PM

88. Edmund Burke

I always speak up and sometimes I've embarrassed my friends in doing so. They received a lecture from me which included this Burke quote.

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #1)

Fri May 18, 2018, 07:27 AM

123. +another!

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 10:40 AM

2. .

I'd comment but it looks like you are doing fine by yourself.

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Response to underpants (Reply #2)

Thu May 17, 2018, 10:50 AM

5. +++



I appreciate this joke.

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Response to The Polack MSgt (Reply #5)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:10 AM

14. +1

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #14)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:23 AM

19. and another one

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Response to underpants (Reply #2)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:23 AM

18. I'd like to add, if nothing else, whip out your phone and video the incident...

for evidence for police, and for media and the internet if the police escalate the situation unfavorably as the POC involved may be too engaged in dealing with the racist to video it themselves.

Allies are always welcome and can be of immeasurable help.

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Response to underpants (Reply #2)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:39 AM

26. :-)

Touchť

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 10:46 AM

3. "Thoughts and prayors" makes an excellent analogy

Thank you once again Effie. You capture the harsh internal dynamics of the moment so clearly that those who have never experienced it themselves can feel a hint of that "gut punch". And you make crystal clear the meaning of and reason for Support. Your words make a real difference for many of us reading them.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Reply #3)

Thu May 17, 2018, 10:08 PM

100. The song Be Political, Not Polite is germane here

For some reason I canít paste the link in correctly but look up the song ďBe Political Not PoliteĒ by Romanovsky and Phillips. One of their best.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 10:48 AM

4. Common sense effieblack.. thank you - masterful prose..

"Robinson endured racist taunts, jeers, and death threats, that would have broken the Spirit of a lesser man......" in my mind, there is NO excuse for racism - I have never been able to wrap my head around this behavior..."there is NO excuse"...

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 10:52 AM

6. K&R

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 10:56 AM

7. K&R

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 10:56 AM

8. I have nothing substantive to add...except to K&R....figuratively standing by your sentiments

Great post and advice on what people of conscience can and should do when we see racists doing racist things.

Silence may too often be tacit approval, but standing by and behind someone being targeted is resistance.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 10:58 AM

9. K&R

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:00 AM

10. Kick and Rec.

I wish that we would speak and act more often - Not just in the moments you're talking about but when there are no POC around as well.

My calling out nonsensical racist shit around me probably hasn't helped the big picture that much... but at least I don't have to listen to that shit as often as I used to.

There is a pretty good fraction of white folks who do want justice for all citizens - Unfortunately there are a lot more people who buy into "Tolerance" as if that a damn goal worth pursuing.

Of course, there is another large fraction of us that consider even tolerance - that pathetically low bar - as more than POC deserve.





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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:00 AM

11. Thank you for this...because I've struggled with it.



I've been paralyzed a couple times in the face of this kind of behavior and I always find myself falling into that trap of thinking "he's got this under control and doesn't need my rescue" (help that's neither asked for or needed).

Reframing it as support, the idea of just being there without jumping in like I HAVE to be the savior...that's going to be helpful.

Thanks

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:04 AM

12. Agreed and Affirmed

 

And I've done so on at least four occasions.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:07 AM

13. Kick and

At least your greek chorus is leaving you alone!

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #13)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:13 AM

15. They have decided to post as a standalone.

The summary follows:

Nuh Uh.

And... That's pretty much it

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Response to The Polack MSgt (Reply #15)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:18 AM

17. Whitesplaining on steroids

Too funny.

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Response to The Polack MSgt (Reply #15)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:40 AM

27. And when that one didn't work so well.... started yet another one.

Both come off as you say - but with the background sound of fingernails scraping across an old blackboard.

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Response to salin (Reply #27)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:46 AM

32. I particularly enjoyed the "don't do anything unless they ask you."

Because not having enough to grapple with in the moment, we need to also occupy ourselves by looking around the place and saying, "Can someone help me out here?"

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #32)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:14 PM

52. Wow - that excerpt - Captures the grotesque absurdity so well.

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Response to salin (Reply #27)

Thu May 17, 2018, 03:19 PM

73. Those alternative universe OPs don't seem to working out to well

I donít think theyíre getting intended response.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #73)

Thu May 17, 2018, 03:22 PM

74. Almost like folks are a bit fed up with the "Uh - ya, maybe, BUT..." threads.

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Response to salin (Reply #74)

Thu May 17, 2018, 03:25 PM

75. And that was so transparent and ridiculous

it was laughable.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:16 AM

16. Kickage

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:24 AM

20. There's a switch many white people need to flick

 

They're seeing racial issues and interactions as political. As if intervening is somehow declaring their own politics in an inappropriate way or setting. For every story we read that goes, "I was at the gas station and overheard this redneck and just got in his face!" 95% of everyone else keeps their political interior monologue private in their everyday lives. Almost as if it's an academic exercise. "Well, of course it's wrong, but . . . I'm sure they're fine. Ooh, my muffin's ready!"

What really pinged for me, what has led me to be more willing to insert myself as a presence in these kinds of incidents and many others, is to divorce myself from the political and racial aspects. To not think of it in terms of race or ideology. I started thinking about it for what it was: bullying.

I feel like I don't see that word used often enough when discussing and describing these incidents. Bullying is what happens when someone with power feels the need to flex their power over others. And when people have little power, sometimes the temptation to flex strength is there just to feel in control. I mean, you work in a coffee shop. Not a lot of authority at your fingertips there. Ah, but here are some people you can be an asshole to with the full authority that only someone who slings frappuccinos can wield in this world. Yeah, you're a racist. But worse, you're a bully.

Once I started seeing racial incidents as a form of bullying, my whole perception and demeanor shifted. I've noticed that true of many other white people as well. We can use terms like privilege, oppression, institutional racism, etc. But you'll see even many white liberals' eyes glaze over and disassociate themselves on the emotional level. They'll nod sagely. "Mhm, mhm, mhm. So true, so true." But it's still an academic thing to them. A piece of their political ideology.

Bullying is more visceral. We act more readily to aid others when we perceive it to be happening. By framing it as bullying, avenues to empathy open wider. A light bulb goes off, and they go, "Wait a minute. I've been bullied before!" You have to go to where people live and bring the matter home in a way they can relate to their own life experiences. A lot of people have bullying experiences, and a lot of them will intervene when they see someone else being bullied.

So I'd love to see the word bully incorporated as much as possible when these incidents arise.

Just a quick point about support vs. Great White Hope. A few days ago, I was walking along at night through a sketchy neighborhood - a lot of drug users and mentally ill. A small young woman came up to me and just started hollering and screaming in that incoherent way you sometimes encounter. I did that whole polite muttering, half smile while never breaking your stride sort of thing. She started following. I was easily twice the size of her and didn't feel any kind of personal danger. But you still feel vulnerable when your personal barrier is punctured out of the blue like that. As I strode up to a crosswalk, a young black man came up, stood just over my shoulder, and calmly said to the woman, "You need to get going." Well, suddenly we were two, and she didn't feel so emboldened anymore. She slunk off.

Sometimes that's all you need when being bullied. Just one other person to signal, "No, this is not ok," to make the bully scatter.

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Response to wonkwest (Reply #20)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:27 AM

22. This is absolutely brilliant. THANK you!

For both the excellent, eloquent explanation and illustration AND for having my back on this. As you said, it makes a difference.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #22)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:56 AM

38. Thanks! One really salient point I completely forgot to mention

 

With the rise of Trump, a lot of people say things like, "He's made racism ok again, and people feel emboldened to express it more than ever."

That goes with my previous post. It's not that Trump made racism ok. People didn't suddenly become racist because of him. It's that he made bullying ok. He's normalizing it on this national scale. Like yesterday, for example. Calling immigrants animals? The most powerful man in the world is punching down at some of the most vulnerable citizens on earth.

We all hate Trump. But this visceral loathing feels different to me. Even at the height of Dubya, I didn't sense this to-the-bone disdain for a politician. It's not just his shitty politics, corruption, or utter incompetence. There's something in his character that just gut-punches our instincts to protect those around us. He has a lot of voters out there who did it out of politics or partisanship and yet still do not like him as a person.

I'm pro-immigration with a few caveats here and there. But after yesterday? I was so irrationally incensed and sputteringly mad that I was saying, "Oh fuck it. Let everyone in. Why have borders at all!" Just to spite the fucker. Just so he'd be knocked right the fuck down.

I want white people to feel that way about racial bullying.

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Response to wonkwest (Reply #38)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:58 AM

41. This is such a great point

And not one I see made anywhere else. You should do an op-ed about it.

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Response to wonkwest (Reply #38)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:05 PM

44. That is an outstanding point...

That I overlooked.

I usually responded to "He didn't allow them to be racist they already were" and not make the link to how their behavior switched up since the rise of Trumpism.

I'm giving the hat tip smiley a work out today

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Response to wonkwest (Reply #38)

Thu May 17, 2018, 01:18 PM

69. Hmm. I wonder if Melania's joke of an "anti-bullying" campaign actually has a purpose then:

Maybe it's designed to make a joke out of anti-bullying. I never tied her idiotic, do-nothing, tone-deaf excuse of a "cause" to how Trump has emboldened racists before I read your post. But if racism is actually a form of bullying (and I agree it that is), then making anti-bullying a lip-service joke of a platform actually clears a path for bullies, including racists.

I can't actually believe any of these people are that strategic/smart. But one thing Trump is good at is taking the pulse of dumb rubes. And exploiting them no matter what the fallout.

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Response to flibbitygiblets (Reply #69)

Thu May 17, 2018, 06:01 PM

85. We wish they were that clever

 

Right now, Melania's like a solitary performer on stage doing jazz hands while the curtain is ablaze behind her.

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Response to wonkwest (Reply #38)

Thu May 17, 2018, 09:41 PM

97. I know exactly what you mean about that visceral loathing. That's what feels so different

about DT vs. previous Presidents I've opposed. As bad as Bush was, as bad as the Iraq war was, etc etc -- he wasn't the gut punch that DT is.

It is disorienting to see the monumental evil in Trump every single day and to know that almost half the country doesn't see it or doesn't care or somehow thinks they can make it work.

It is as if he has unleashed all the hate that was in the world, and lifted the lid on all the racism that's been there all along -- but most white people couldn't see it. I'm embarrassed to admit that when Obama was elected I naively thought this was a sign of progress. I never expected the huge backlash.

I fear for our children more than I ever did before.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #97)

Thu May 17, 2018, 10:06 PM

99. Right?

 

Donald Trump is our worst id.

Bush, for all his many failings, thought he was doing good. His worldview was wrong, his concept of what was happening was wrong, and his ideation of America's place in the world was wrong. However, if you ever listened to him, he had this core. He spent billions upon billions on AIDS in Africa. Not exactly in the right, culturally pertinent way. But he at least recognized the suffering and despair and wanted to help. I think he did think the Middle East just needed some democratization. He was deeply wrong. And he did have a rapport with wounded veterans. Someone without conscience does not behave the way he did. We villanized him in the heat of the moment. But I do think the man actually cared. I also, FMA aside, don't think he ever hated LGBT people. He knew that amendment would never pass. But he failed in being so weak that he allowed evangelicals to call the show. Every LGBT person who ever struck up a friendship with him has declared he's warm and open to gay couples. So his politics wasn't a personal animus.

When it comes to entirely cynical, brazen assholes, show me your Cheneys and Rumsfields. Those two knew exactly what they were doing.

That doesn't make Bush a good president. He was terrible. For us and for the world. But, you know, I don't question he wanted to do some good. I think he was too stupid to manage it, and the people around him led him around. He wasn't an arch-villain. He was a doofy puppet to powers greater than him. We all suffered on account. The guy retired to paint goofy watercolors and visit wounded veterans. This isn't a Bond villain.

Trump is just something else. He's a voracious, egotistical thing who derives joy from smothering those he perceives lesser. He is Bully-In-Chief. His is a personal animus. There is no population, no matter where they are on the totem, who are immune to his broadsides.

If he thinks you're scum, you're scum. And the vehicle of State should treat you like scum. We haven't seen this shit since the red scares. We're not that bad - not even close - but he wouldn't mind if we could be that country again. That country of scared, xenophobic, paranoid, almost anarchic panic. He's angling for this, and he thinks his support is based in this. And the thing is - he's not wrong.

Trump is dangerous in a way that makes Dubya seem absolutely benign.

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Response to wonkwest (Reply #99)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:06 PM

109. I think another way of viewing the difference

is that DT is a malignant narcissist, to an almost cartoonish degree (if it weren't pathological) -- and George Bush was an ordinary flawed human being who somehow got a promotion above his competence level. People like Cheney took advantage of that.

I've had a few narcissists in my life, so I've had to learn about them the hard way. But nothing I'd ever read or experienced prepared me for a full-blown malignant narcissist like DT -- least of all as President. And it is mind-boggling to see his party practically getting down on their collective knees to give him the adoration he demands.

I wasn't all that worried about DT because I had thought -- in the unlikely event that he won -- his party would quickly disavow him and get him off their backs. Boy was I wrong about that.

In so many ways, the scales have fallen off my eyes in the last couple years. I'm still reeling.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #109)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:16 PM

111. You and I are 100% in accord

 

I honestly cannot believe just how much the Republican party has abdicated here. I thought they'd have some decency here.

"All is faction in England."

So said Elizabeth I 400 years ago.

So here we are.

God damnit.

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Response to wonkwest (Reply #111)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:24 PM

112. I should have said this before . . .

Welcome to DU, wonkwest!

I'm so glad another thoughtful, informed poster has joined this board.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #112)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:32 PM

115. Thank you for the welcome!

 

I lurk mostly. I like to read and think and sort of form thoughts in my head before they come out of my mouth. But lately, apparently lots need to come out of my mouth. I hope it's ok. We'll not always agree, but I hope we come from the same place.

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Response to wonkwest (Reply #115)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:57 PM

117. Of course it's okay. Lurking is fine but speaking up is even better.

It's how we become a community.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #97)

Fri May 18, 2018, 09:06 AM

126. I don't think it's half the country. Not now.

Trump has lost the right leaning independents, who are mostly relatively sane people who believe in business solutions and small government. They are horrified about what a corrupt putz Trump has turned out to be, and his administration's blatant corruption and lies have turned them off.

Oh, I know a few Trump supporters, but I suspect that no one but the ku kluxers and nazis would stay with him if Fox 'news' and guys like Limbaugh and the Info Wars guy were silenced by a new Fairness Doctrine. I mean, if everyone was operating on the same set of facts, we'd have a whole different situation.

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Response to wonkwest (Reply #20)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:40 AM

28. I had to read it three times

Brilliant! Thank you!

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #28)

Thu May 17, 2018, 06:03 PM

86. Thank you so much

 

That's very kind of you to say!

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:26 AM

21. Stand up

I appreciate my mother taking me in a wagon in early civil rights demonstrations in the 1950s. We continued together through the sixties when attention turn to stopping the Vietnam Nam wat.
With this early education I was taught to stand up for all peoples. Yet my mother never told me that I would be the subject of hatred and prejudice for being a Jew.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:29 AM

23. Thank you again Effie for an excellent post.

K&R

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Response to geardaddy (Reply #23)

Thu May 17, 2018, 08:39 PM

92. Ah, but

Bydd y ddraig goch yn codi eto.

Cadw'r ffydd, Geardaddy

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Response to Haggis for Breakfast (Reply #92)

Fri May 18, 2018, 11:38 AM

128. Diolch!

Dwi'n cadw'r ffydd!

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Response to geardaddy (Reply #128)

Sat May 19, 2018, 09:35 PM

135. Fy mhleser

Fi hefyd.

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Response to Haggis for Breakfast (Reply #135)

Mon May 21, 2018, 08:45 AM

137. Mae'n gwych dy fod ti'n defnyddio'r treigladau yn cywir!

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Response to geardaddy (Reply #137)

Mon May 21, 2018, 09:38 PM

138. Helo i chi, Geardaddy

Mae fy nhad annwyl yn Cymraeg.

Yr wyf yn dysgu iaith honharrd.

Teimlwch yn rhydd i gywir i mi !!

Tan yn ddiweddarach.


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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:37 AM

24. I would say something

Not a situation I find myself in all that much, but I would feel compelled to speak up. I'd want to make it known that I'm not in agreement with the racist person. Saying nothing is like silent agreement I think.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:38 AM

25. K&R

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:41 AM

29. K & R

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:42 AM

30. Great post

Thank you.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:43 AM

31. Thank you for your continued excellence and guidance. My first thought after looking at

that picture was Willie Mays and the white men and women who stood by him early on, coaches, etc.

Then I thought about LBJ.

LBJ were he alive today and he tried to pass the Civil Rights laws would be the recipient of endless death threats and hatred.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:47 AM

33. I finally had enough

 

Many fraternal organizations appear to be charitable and giving, but if you listen to the bar talk, you find the same old white racist hate.

I an resigning my membership. Many of these old white people are so two faced and mean I can't not speak out.

I am running out of mostly white bars but have a great time among Hispanics. They do speak English and my Spanish is getting better too!

Ban the hate and the haters!

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Response to SCVDem (Reply #33)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:13 PM

51. Since Trump, I had to move my membership

with the VFW to a majority African American post. It was worth it just to play pool and drink a beer with Democrats.

Oddly enough, there is no political talking that you'd notice. Also on the plus side? No Fucking David Alan Coe or Hank Williams Junior on the jukebox...

At the other (90+% white) post, even though the bylaws discourage political conversation it was nonstop Rush and Hannity level commentary.


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Response to The Polack MSgt (Reply #51)

Thu May 17, 2018, 05:30 PM

83. I was in the American Legion

 

The post was in an original area of the city.

We were discussing how to increase membership and I suggested a Latino outreach.

I was derided along with Latino veterans.

I quit the next day!

No Mas!

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Response to SCVDem (Reply #33)

Thu May 17, 2018, 01:59 PM

71. So it's like Rosetta Stone...

except with drinking.

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Response to tonedevil (Reply #71)

Thu May 17, 2018, 05:19 PM

80. The most important word?

 

Despacio! Slow por favor.

Bad hearing makes learning a challenge but a smile and a handshake /hug goes a long way.

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Response to SCVDem (Reply #80)

Thu May 17, 2018, 05:26 PM

82. Bad hearing means...

that I don't understand a lot of English around me, but as you say a smile and a handshake /hug goes a long way.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:50 AM

34. K&R

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:50 AM

35. K&R...

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:50 AM

36. If you see something racist, document it

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #36)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:07 PM

46. I now carry an old cell phone that has a (VERY) limitee video record capability.

May I never have to use it.

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Response to niyad (Reply #46)

Thu May 31, 2018, 01:45 PM

144. Do what you can

I think that I am able to video an incident but my kids tease me about my ability to use technology

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:53 AM

37. I never saw that statue before, that's great. Pee Wee Reese's support was a HUGE factor....

....in the acceptance of Jackie Robinson around the league (too bad it wasn't universal acceptance)

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Response to George II (Reply #37)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:57 AM

40. You're right - that made a huge difference

And the fact Pee Wee was a Southerner from Kentucky and they were playing in Cincinnati with a crowd made up of a lot of Kentuckians made his statement all the more powerful.

I'm always deeply moved by this.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #40)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:09 PM

47. He did it during batting practice when the crowd was heckling Robinson incessantly....

....that arm around his shoulders shut down the heckling.

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Response to George II (Reply #47)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:14 PM

53. Yup.

And he didn't make a big deal of it. He just went over to talk to him and put his arm around him as if to say, "This is my teammate.""

My grandfather had a white friend who would just casually sit with him in the "colored" section of the segregated city bus. He didn't make a production of it or turn it into a major civil rights crusade. He just sat with his friend. It was a simple gesture but it spoke volumes.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #53)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:26 PM

58. A little bit off the subject (sorry), but when I was very young my father took me.....

....to a Brooklyn Dodgers game against the Milwaukee Braves. I grew up less than two miles from Ebbetts Field. I was too young to know the significance at the time, but I did see both Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron on the same field. All I remember is that Aaron seemed HUGE (we were in the third row behind the Braves' dugout)

What's really surprising about all this is that even though Robinson played in the Major Leagues way back in 1947, the Boston Red Sox were the last team to bring up a black player, Pumpsie Green - in 1959, twelve years later!

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:57 AM

39. This seems like it ought to be easy.

And, I guess it isn't because here we are. We all think we would talk back to a racist and I'd like to think that is true but it can be scary to stand in the face of a bully or several of them.

A while back, my husband, 10 year old son and I were driving home just after dark on a Friday night. We were coming up on a stoplight in a residential area when I glanced over to my right and saw what appeared to be a blond woman laying face down on the sidewalk. There was a house party going on within a few feet of her and several young men were poking at her with their feet and beer bottles. Then, someone pulled her hair. I told my husband to pull over and I got out and went over to the person on the ground and put my hand on her shoulder and asked if she were okay. She (I thought it was a she) grabbed my hand hard and said "No". One of the drunk males told me that they had this handled asked me what I was going to do about it anyway? I don't know where it came from but I yelled "Back off" as loudly as I could. The person on the ground had been beaten up by these thugs. She appeared to be trans - maybe a young man dressed as a woman, I don't know - That is why I am referring to this person as "her". Please don't jump on me for not knowing the politically correct terms here, this was my take in a stressful situation and it was dark. Her face was bruised and scratched. I believe she'd been drinking quite a bit. Lord knows what else would have happened. She clearly needed medical attention so I called out to my husband to call 911 and he did. I stayed with her until they arrived to help. The young men at the party kept circling and insulting their victim and me and calling us names. After it was over, I realized how freaking scared I was. I'd been holding this person's hand as hard as she was holding mine. My son later told me he was afraid the whole time for which I am sorry...but he was in the car with his father and was safe. I told him I was really scared too but being afraid isn't reason enough to not help someone who is being bullied. Period. You at least must raise your voice.

If we don't stand up for each other, we are lost as a civilization. Silence is complicit.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #39)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:06 PM

45. This gave me goosebumps. Thank you so much for telling this story

It is so good to be reminded that people like you are all amongst us. It took incredible courage to do what you did. But I can only imagine what it meant to that person lying on the ground to have you there holding their hand.

This so often gets missed in these conversations - and it's something I'm always trying to convey. This is not academic. It's not about you or me. Imagine what it is like for THAT person in the midst of the situation. Think about what it means to them to have someone - even one person - empathasize with them and reach out and show them kindness and offer them some measure of protection.

And, by the same token, imagine what it must be like to be them when NO one is helping them, to hear footsteps and cars approach as they hope and pray that SOMEONE PLEASE stops and helps them - only to hear the footsteps and cars go past without stopping, leaving them there in their fear and and danger and isolation. Yes, maybe they'll survive it, but why should they deal with it alone?

The same thing occurs when I try to get people to understand that, even though the target of discrimination may be handling their oppressor just fine, it is a very isolating and frustrating experience to have to do it alone, no matter HOW adept we have become at handling it. Just as Wonkwest so eloquently described what it felt like to have just one person step to take their side - that's sometimes all it takes.

You, my dear, are awesome.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #39)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:12 PM

50. Damn, that was a powerful story. Thanks for sharing. But mostly thanks for your bravery.

When I was 15 my boyfriend beat me up in front of a crowd of people. It was nighttime, and I was screaming for help, but no one helped me. Only one person, a stranger, said something, but then quickly ran away when my boyfriend confronted him. I even had "friends" present, and they were all silent. No one called the police. The next day I had a black eye, and everyone ignored it.

That was so much worse than the actual assault, knowing that people were just walking by, whistling and ignoring another human being in obvious distress.

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Response to flibbitygiblets (Reply #50)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:18 PM

55. I'm so sorry this happened to you.

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Response to flibbitygiblets (Reply #50)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:20 PM

56. I am so sorry.

None of that is okay. Ignoring your black eye is another assault. None of us wants to feel or be powerless. None of us should have to.

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Response to flibbitygiblets (Reply #50)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:49 PM

67. Thank you. And apologies for hijacking this post with my story.

The OP is an extremely important topic that really needs to be heard.

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #39)

Thu May 17, 2018, 06:11 PM

87. Someone's cutting onions

 

who's cutting onions

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Response to MariaCSR (Reply #87)

Thu May 17, 2018, 10:40 PM

102. I'm not crying. YOU'RE crying!

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Response to MontanaMama (Reply #39)

Thu May 17, 2018, 08:49 PM

94. On March 13, 1964

Kitty Genovese, 28 years old, was stabbed to death on the doorstep of her apartment building in Kew Gardens, NYC. Over 38 people either hear or saw her being murdered, yet not one of them intervened. Not one. That incident has led to the phrase, "the Bystander Effect" or the "Genovese Syndrome."

Silence = Death (all apologies to ActUp)

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:00 PM

42. It boggles my mind that any decent human being would NOT say something

Wild horses couldn't stop me from intervening.

But I can honestly say I've never, ever seen such a thing in my life. I've HEARD about it. Every person of color I encounter, I assume they live with racism (in subtle as well as overt forms) all the time. I know it happens, and it breaks my heart, and I want to help. But since I haven't actually seen it in face-to-face encounters, I don't know what else I can do. I would love nothing better than to verbally slap down some ignorant racist in the act, but it would appear they are sneaky and not inclined to act out in public (at least where I live).

The closest thing I've seen is "subtle" racism on the internet (FB mostly) from white folks saying untrue shit about Obama when he was in office, or randomly putting an unflattering picture of a POC in a post that otherwise does nothing to further the point. THAT I've done something about: I "unfriend" such people immediately, and you bet your ass I let them know why.

So what else CAN an empathetic and well-meaning melanin-challenged person do? For my part, I go out of my way to try to be friendly, especially to colleagues and anyone I encounter in service jobs (retail, restaurant) etc. I worry that I'm perceived as "trying too hard", but I'd much rather than have someone think I'm being quiet for reasons other than the real one: I'm typically not all that social.

I'd love to hear thoughts and suggestions.

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Response to flibbitygiblets (Reply #42)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:11 PM

49. One suggestion

You seem to be very in-tune and very "woke". Fortunately, you haven't witnessed the kind of displays that have been posted recently, but other, more subtle displays of discrimination, bias and micro-aggressions occur constantly, but they aren't as obvious and they are usually couched in ways that allow for denial and gaslighting of anyone who points them out. But I have found that it's much, much harder to to duck behind excuses when other white people call them out in a "I see what you did there and it's not cool at all" way.

I would urge you to become familiar with those, if you're not already, and be willing to challenge them when you see them.

And don't downplay the being extra friendly approach or assume that it means you're trying too hard. I think it's really important to do that - as long as you're not being patronizing, it's awesome.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #49)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:43 PM

66. Thank you so much Effie! Very helpful comments and suggestions--much appreciated.

Especially your point about challenging people on micro-aggressions and subtle forms of racism. I'll share one small experience I had recently:

Last January my extended family vacationed in Tobago, a small country whose population is about 90% of African descent. It was an eye-opening experience in many ways I had not expected. For example, what I initially thought was stand-offishness by many locals was actually just different customs of engagement, (along with a learned wariness, based on how they were often treated by visitors). All it took was a simple, "Hello, how are you today?", and most Tobagans would completely open up, and often would go out of their way to be helpful. I hadn't realized how many Anglo people come to countries like theirs, only to expect THEM (people happily living in their own country) to conform to OUR "culture", so to speak. No wonder they would be initially stand-offish! I also got a chance to confront a bit of my own internal prejudices that I had no idea even existed. As in, approaching a group of locals and asking for directions, or just passing by people when going into a restaurant or shop. Suddenly "we" (my family and I) were the minorities. I realized I had NO IDEA what that felt like, and I was ashamed and surprised by my own initial fear of people who were just sitting around, talking to one another. But I stopped, noticed it, admitted it to myself, and then let it go, which honestly was the best part of the trip. And I talked about it with my family, and listened as they admitted they went through similar emotions.

I think this is one thing we as a society don't do nearly enough: Talking about these uncomfortable truths that we don't want to believe about ourselves. I also think of myself as "very woke", and yet was pretty shocked at myself when the reality of something I had been looking very much forward to (immersing myself in a different culture). Shining a light on these things we don't admit or even know about, I think this is a key to moving forward.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:04 PM

43. I cannot imagine NOT saying, NOT doing, something if I see that kind of hatred .

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:11 PM

48. Beautifully done. Thanks for sharing.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:16 PM

54. K&R!!

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:24 PM

57. You damn skippy I'm gonna support in whatever way that is needed. Whether that is just standing

 

besides someone or speaking up if need be and God fucking help the person that receives my wrath when I'm pissed.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:31 PM

59. White guy here, and I have such terrible rage attached to this issue.

My challenge is not committing murder on the spot, and controlling my temper instead.

Every day I struggle to be more like Barack Obama. Even. Solid.

But I was raised by a racist in a racist culture, and humans tend to hate things in others they have felt inside themselves more than anything else.

Mrs. Klimko, my seventh grade social studies teacher, showed us slides of a black man that had been burned to death in front of a jeering crowd. When I hear racist speech that image rises and with it my incalculable rage about it.

Every real American should feel this way. Racism is quintessentially traitorous to the nation.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:31 PM

60. And not just racial minorities either.

Iím not trying to steal your thread, but I think we face some of the same issues. If someone is being an arse, say something. Just standing there and staring adds to the humiliation that the aggressor intended.

Bigots of every type love silence. They want everybody to be afraid to challenge them. Silence allows bigotry to continue.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:33 PM

61. K&R

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:34 PM

62. Just, wow.



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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 12:39 PM

64. K&R

!!!

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 01:07 PM

68. I've actually never seen an instance of outright racism in person

But if I did I would be so shocked and angry that I would definitely freak out and speak up. I'm very confrontational that way.

I'm just sorry you even have to make a post like this, and sad for my country.

I wish there were something I could say or do to make it all go away.

I f-ing hate Fredo because he has made things a thousand times worse. He made it acceptable to hate.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 01:38 PM

70. When I was growing up in Texas, we had an AA nanny.

My parents always told me to never say the "n" word in front of her, because it would hurt her feelings. ( I never heard them say it in any context. They knew it was wrong to insult people.) They were not from the South, so much less racist than most in our city. Anyway, the racist neighborhood kids would call her all kinds of disgusting things. I stood up to them, and said they had to stop or leave my house. At that time I was about 8 years old. She was a mother figure to me and I loved her. Can't believe, well, yes I can, the cruelty of racist cretins. But those kids laid off my nanny after I shut them down.

Another time, about 25 years ago, my husband and I were at a 5 star Italian restaurant. The food was fantastic, of course, but the owner was a mean SOB. An older AA was setting the tables and that SOB didn't think he was doing it perfectly. Chewed him out in front of the entire restaurant. We were mortified and complained about the owner's behavior, also in front of everyone. Owner didn't like that and stormed off. But the AA guy gave us a smile as he continued to work.

I hope these stories don't offend anyone. Just trying to relay my experiences about standing up to racist bullies.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 02:45 PM

72. Kicking this

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 04:12 PM

76. While it seems they're in a distinct minority

and much of the pushback seems ill-intended and designed to disrupt, I find the well-intended disagreement to be very interesting and very consistent with a point I made last week in an OP about the different experiences whites and blacks have had with racism.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/100210589572

Most of the negative experiences {white DUers} had with racism and discrimination occurred on an individual basis, rather than at an institutional level. In other words, they involved encounters with individuals displaying individual, albeit often hateful, bias. Thatís not to discount or diminish the experiences - they were still negative and difficult and unfair - but thatís what I saw.

This is an interesting contrast to the stories shared by minority DUers. Most our stories seemed to focus much more on instances of institutional and systemic discrimination. For example, they were more likely to involve people in positions of authority or power over us or larger institutions in society (or people backed up by such power or institutions), e.,g, police, employers, etc. Again, Iím not suggesting that one type of discrimination is worse or harder or easier or less fair or more cruel than another. Getting beaten up in a parking lot because youíre white is not less horrific, frightening or wrong than getting pulled over by a cop for driving while black. But the dynamics are different.
...
I think that, given their own personal experiences of being victimized by personal, individual instances of discrimination and lack of experience as victims of larger, systemic racism, many whites just canít identify with or relate to the latter as a real thing. They donít see it because they havenít seen it in their own lives and, therefore, donít recognize it and donít understand it.


That seems to be at play here, as well. For many minorities, encounters with racism are not viewed as an individual thing, but a piece of a larger, collective, systemic reality. On the other hand, many whites see racism as an individual problem between a specific, identifiable racist and their particular individual target. In their view, it's between them, and only them, and doesn't involve, implicate or affect others. So they don't necessarily feel any need or obligation to speak up or say something when they see it happening - let the the people directly involved handle it themselves.

But the truth is very different. This is not an individual problem. It is a societal one. A racist attack on an individual isn't just about that individual. It's part of a systemic problem. It's about all of us. And when people stand by and don't do anything, whether they mean to or not, they're sending a message that they condone this action that's occurring on their watch, in their midst. And to a minority person bearing the brunt of such an experience, it often feels like they're being victimized, not just by the individual who's doing the attacking, but by everyone in the vicinity who doesn't say anything in opposition. As I said, it feels very isolating, but the silence also makes it feel like we're being ganged up on.

Minorities are regularly targeted, through outright attacks and through daily micro-aggressions. We don't have a choice but to deal with it. White Americans DO have a choice - one of the many privileges their skin color provides - but the choice you make speaks volumes.

You don't need to ask permission to speak up against systemic bigotry targeted at an individual in your presence. And not doing anything because you didn't get permission is a pure copout.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #76)

Thu May 17, 2018, 07:28 PM

91. This part...

On the other hand, many whites see racism as an individual problem between a specific, identifiable racist and their particular individual target. In their view, it's between them, and only them, and doesn't involve, implicate or affect others.


I felt like that until last year. If a friend told me about how they encountered racist bullying, I would get upset because it was my friend being bullied. That is not say that I wouldn't have said something had a complete stranger been bullied in front of me. My point is that one or two examples did not register as part of the larger systemic racism problem.

It's the same as saying, "Well, I don't see that much racism, so it must not be a huge problem". Guess what, I'm white. That's probably the reason I don't see that much racism. Not being exposed every day to racism is part of that privilege thing.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #76)

Fri May 18, 2018, 08:51 AM

125. Thanks for this

This thread, and your eloquence, are important. I'm very struck by this last comment. I think most whites, myself included, saw racism as individual attacks. I know the publicity around horrible police brutality the last few years has opened my eyes. I knew it happened. I had noticed that more minorities seemed to be pulled over by police in my area, but I didn't comprehend how pervasive police brutality is. And how it is used as an instrument of suppression and maintaining white superiority.

What I notice in my life is that I have noticed more microaggressions. What I do notice is that my husband hears more racist comments. I think the assumption is that white men agree with the racist or sexist comments which he does not.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 04:14 PM

77. I rec'd without comment.

And then I laughed a little at the irony.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 04:18 PM

78. Yes -- and the other thing to do is get out our cells and start recording. We can do both.

The bystanders at the Starbucks did both. They couldn't stop the police at the time, but their speaking out and their recordings made a difference in the long run.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #78)

Thu May 17, 2018, 04:33 PM

79. Exactly

Those people spoke up and spoke up loudly. And then they recorded it and put the recordings out there.

Unfortunately, in this America, the only reason the Starbucks story got traction is that white people told it and validated the position of the black men. Otherwise, it would have just been ignored.

White people need to use their privilege to validate the truth for people who won't listen to anyone who doesn't look like them.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 05:25 PM

81. BEAUTIFUL! Thank you, Effie! This should be an article!

 

and props to the young white woman who confronted that stupid woman who harrassed the BBQers in the park.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 05:41 PM

84. Big K & R



Be Melissa DePino.

When I posted the video, right after the young men were taken out of the cafe in handcuffs and as they were being put into a patrol car, I did it because it felt like the right thing to do in that moment. I didn't expect it to go viral; in fact, I didn't expect it to get much attention at all.

Things like this happen to black and brown people in this country every single day, and they talk about it, tweet about it, and write about it, but for more reasons than I can discuss intelligently in this small space, people who look like me -- white people -- often don't see, hear or believe their stories. And what's even worse is that it often takes a black or brown person experiencing this type of painful situation -- and having it exposed it to the world -- for many of us to even get involved, which in and of itself is part of the larger problem.

After my tweet went viral, a well-meaning friend of my generation, who believes herself to be racially unbiased, said to me, "I'm shocked. I never knew that still happened until I saw your video." My first thought in response was: Really? And my second was to wonder: What was it about this story that broke through to her when other stories didn't?

Was it the fact that the video was taken by someone she trusted, someone who looks like her? Was it that she doesn't enter the much-needed conversation on race because she's afraid or uncomfortable? Is it because she thinks that it's not a problem that today, in America in 2018, counts as her problem? These are also important questions, and I don't have good answers.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/16/opinions/philadelphia-starbucks-why-i-tweeted-the-video-depino-opnion/index.html

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 06:49 PM

89. I love this. Thank you, EffieBlack, and

please let me know if it's ok to share this.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 07:18 PM

90. I guarantee you...

I am ready and willing to say/do something to the offender and stand up for ANYONE being targeted. I promise you! (I'm an almost old white woman, but I've seen a lot of racism in action against friends and I WON'T STAND FOR IT!)

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 08:45 PM

93. Best thread I've read on DU in a long time. Enthusiastic K&R. nt.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 09:26 PM

95. Thank you for that. I've always opened my big mouth when I witness something wrong.

And been exasperated at people who wonít.


Your essay re-inspires me!

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 09:32 PM

96. Society is what we make it

Society is just people, and social norms exist because of what people do or don't do. Racism is a social norm largely because we as people allow it to happen - and when I say that I mean we as white people. The number of people who do it is smaller than the number of people who sit by and watch it happen, silently condoning it and making it effective. We as a group don't demand it stop as a general rule. The answer is certainly not to let it pass without comment. Society is what we make it, which means it will become what we make it become. If we create a social norm where we always call out racism, we can change things. We can't change things by ignoring it.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 09:47 PM

98. Excellent post, Effie

I love the way you teach!

And I love that you have 126 recs and counting while she who still doesnít know not to mess with you is now up to a whopping 3 and sinking like a stone.

Truth really does tell, doesnít it?

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 10:38 PM

101. Another great post

I pray for courage.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 10:41 PM

103. I have two things to say on this:

While I am at an age where I will speak out because I don't care what people think and hate wrongs.
But, I do think some white people do not speak out out of fear. They are afraid to say something for fear of getting hit, beaten up, ect.
Just so you know.

However, right now I am trying to figure why in world there is this spate of white people calling on black people doing everyday things. Walking the baby in the stroller, attending a meeting at school, bbq'ing in the park, ect.
Personally, I don't recall hearing of so many white people going nuts on blacks who are just living and being.
What the helll is going on.

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Response to lovemydogs (Reply #103)

Thu May 17, 2018, 10:43 PM

105. That's why I said that no one is expecting them to put themselves in danger

But if they're afraid of getting hit, beaten up, etc., for saying something, imagine how the POC trying to fight back alone must feel ...

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 10:42 PM

104. K&R.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 10:49 PM

106. Thanks for lumping a bunch of us together because of our uncontrolled skin pigmentation.

 

How about "Dear ALL people? If you see something wrong, say something?" We're all in this together. Either all people of conscience make this American experiment work, or it fails.

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Response to DemoHack (Reply #106)

Thu May 17, 2018, 10:59 PM

108. You've completely missed the point.

Please reread my OP, especially the first paragraph.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #108)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:25 PM

113. No I get it.

 

I've read DU a long time. I have not read any thread topic that asks, "Hey fellow white people, if we see wrong (like that asshole Shlossberg), should we remain quiet, or stand up and say something?"

If I'm wrong, I apologize. But I think you're projecting maybe what you've read other places. Because progressives (like the ones here) aren't shy about their disdain for racism.

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Response to DemoHack (Reply #113)


Response to Empowerer (Reply #114)

Fri May 18, 2018, 10:59 AM

127. I disagree with you.

 

Where's your proof? I see none. Where are the links to the aforementioned topics which stated such things here on DU? I asked you to post them with my previous post. Still waiting! This whole thread was unnecessary. What you're addressing is persona non grata on this website.

I'm not new, I've been here on and off since the 2002 midterms. Through the '04 Deaniac phenomenon, the 2006 & 2008 uprisings. I thankfully avoided the 2016 primary. So I'm familiar with you and your posts. You tend to inflate your own self-importance.


Have a good weekend, regardless.

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Response to DemoHack (Reply #106)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:11 PM

110. You don't get it. The voices of PoC aren't HEARD in the same way that white people's are.

So when we're placed in that kind of situation, we should remember to use our voices -- and our cells. That doesn't mean that black and brown people shouldn't speak up.

It means that white people should realize that the powers-that-be are more likely to take their complaints seriously, and shouldn't hold back when they see injustice.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #110)

Sat May 19, 2018, 04:47 AM

131. Their voices are certainly heard here..

This isn't Free Republic, for fuck's sake -- Maybe it's you who "don't' get it".

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Response to whathehell (Reply #131)

Sat May 19, 2018, 09:53 AM

133. That doesn't always appear to be the case, and some of the responses to this thread

are an example.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #133)

Sat May 19, 2018, 10:11 AM

134. Nothing is "always the case"

Beyond that, the divisive manner in which some posts are framed virtually ensures a poor reception.

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Response to DemoHack (Reply #106)


Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 10:55 PM

107. Very well said. Brava!

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2018, 11:35 PM

116. I am not willing to stop sipping my latte for anything

But luckily I can still read your lecture while sipping it

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Response to Devil Child (Reply #116)

Sat May 19, 2018, 05:28 AM

132. Lol..

Yes, "lecture" would be the right word.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)


Response to Post removed (Reply #118)

Fri May 18, 2018, 12:06 AM

119. 3-2-1

Actually, it's awesome to me. it's a shame you won't be around long enough to enjoy my company.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #119)

Fri May 18, 2018, 06:37 AM

122. Its also awesome to be in your company on DU....

I don't know about the liberal part, but he certainly had the lemming part down pat.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Fri May 18, 2018, 12:48 AM

120. Dear Black Person: This White Person always Does That.

Any more public service announcements?

Wait..How about one for the Male People?

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Fri May 18, 2018, 12:59 AM

121. Thanks for a great post, EffieBlack. You and others on DU....

are doing a good job of creating awareness of this huge problem that many of us whites were not adequately aware of, with the possible exception of police shootings and beatings. And, I now understand that Blacks and Hispanics have dealt with this racial bias every day for so long that's it became a normal part of life a long, long time ago. Social media may well have broken the ice of this ocean of racism where hate erupts even in coffee shops and clothing stores each day - events we otherwise wouldn't hear about in the mainstream media.

I agree that whites in particular need to be more brave and speak up because that has an impact that spreads to others that are witnesses. However, I did want to mention the fear factor, which Lovemydogs mentioned, above. Our society is consumed in fear these days from multiple directions, thanks to rabid right-wing dogma that is spreading. That particularly is affected by the increasing proliferation of people carrying guns. That's why it's important when confronting someone unknown to do it wisely: look the person over thoroughly and try to judge their demeanor and temperament as possible. If they are in a furious state or in a group, it may be best to not confront. And, it's wise to confront in a non-threatening way that's not abrasive or loud - as you said, "just say something" to interrupt their ownership of the crowd. However, if the situation escalates, it becomes disturbing the peace at some point and it's best to just call in the cops.

What's interesting is that after one person says something to the offender, others will typically chime in and that's important for gaining control (they almost never attack multiple people). Once something is said, that takes the wind out of the offender's ego and hopefully they shut up. I like another poster's idea of framing a response based on bullying, which removes racist and political overtones from the conversation.

I feel it's also important to not do or say things that would make the offender feel overly demeaned or threatened beacuse that's just asking for violence. We must remember many of these people are already highly agitated before they spoke and tempers may be very short and easily ignited. There's no great honor in losing teeth or gaining broken bones.

The unfortunate part is that these confrontations will not likely change the offender. A large percentage of these people have been brainwashed to the point of no hope and the best we can hope for is they will be so in fear of repercussions that they just stay quiet. It's possible a few may change their thinking and return to being good citizens. The problem is that our society does not require rehabilitation for such offenses as we do for crimes, but instead we just send them home to pout and they feel free to offend again.

However, members of our progressive community can help by being more open and friendly to all members of the community and those efforts spread and multiply in tons of good will. The efforts of you and other DUers in the minority paid off for me in awareness just the other day. As I was leaving a Lowe's store with a cart full of heavy bags of mulch and sand, a very healthy young black employee walked by and offered to help load my stuff in my truck. I usually don't ask for help, but realized this as an opportunity to meet and chat with this young man. He tossed those bags in like they were nothing and saved my back, which as killing me already. When done, he immediately turned to walk away and I stopped him. He turned around and I shook his hand and thanked him. That seemed to make him very happy. No telling this to brag, but to point out that we all need to return to a more civil way of dealing with all our fellow travelers through life. The little things do count.

Please keep this conversation going. We need it to stay in our dialog so we don't fall back into complacency......

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Fri May 18, 2018, 07:58 AM

124. Yes!

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Fri May 18, 2018, 04:47 PM

129. Kick

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2018, 02:53 PM

136. This is a Wonderful essay, EffieBlack!

Greatly appreciate your perspective on this. Pretty neat, too, that you express it so eloquently here.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Wed May 23, 2018, 08:02 AM

139. excellent post

 

and the 'splainers ARE the usual suspects. So funny. They funny and tragic at the same time because they "just don't get it" or my favourite, just don't give a damn. White privilege and entitlement IS at stake here.

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Response to heaven05 (Reply #139)

Wed May 23, 2018, 08:50 AM

141. Wysplainers gonna wysplain

What can you do?

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #141)

Wed May 23, 2018, 03:33 PM

143. heh, heh

 

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Wed May 23, 2018, 08:19 AM

140. bookmarked/k&r

 

and to be used in my daily travels around town and country. YOU ARE A PATRIOT. and this really is all we have unless an american can claim another country as birth home. You are a breath of fresh air...I love ya!!!!!!!!!

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Response to heaven05 (Reply #140)

Wed May 23, 2018, 08:50 AM

142. Thanks!

Love you, too:

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Thu May 31, 2018, 01:47 PM

145. The ACLU trains lawyers to be observers at events

I have intending to take this training https://aclu-wi.org/en/legal-observers

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