Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The kitchen is sort of closed

No new food here for some time. I need to work my way through the things I have accumulated in the freezer over the last couple of weeks.

I tried to put this off on Monday by heading to Poulet for the Basque chicken. Alas, they were closed due to the holiday. How dare they?

But this was the sight I caught on my way home so I guess the outing was worthwhile.

And now I'm going to go out on a limb. There is a post that I actually meant to publish today about privilege. But then I decided that I'd probably catch a lot of crap for it and I'm really not in the mood.* The thoughts started a couple of weeks ago when folks were reacting to the Tim Rice piece that was being circulated via email. I noticed that while many of the folks who wrote posts about the piece understood it, there were quite a few commenters out there who just didn't. And yeah, I got pissed off. So instead of that post, I ask you to click on the link. I ask you to re-read the section on "The Persistence of White Privilege." Notice what Zetzer says about achieving change? It's about open dialogue. Hmmm. I vaguely remember saying something about that in the past year or so.

Also pay special attention to the section about wealth. This Wikipedia explanation is pretty on-point, although I do question the deletion of the stuff on housing. OK. So it's clearly discriminatory behavior. And I guess the link would be that it is due to privilege that realtors feel comfortable in engaging in this kind of behavior. Also I highly suggest that you check out the References and Suggested Reading at the bottom of the page. Perhaps after reading this you can understand why slavery enters the conversation so often. If a group of people are denied ownership, then there is no way that they can acquire wealth. And guess what? Most standardized tests do not measure a student's knowledge of a subject but the wealth of their parents. Yep, there is a direct correlation between wealth of parents and how a child performs on a standardized test. Now apply that fact to what we know about wealth distribution in this country.

Read a good portion of this and then you can have a conversation with me about what privilege is. Because this is a topic upon which I feel like Heather does about politics. I have spent way too many academic hours engrossed in this topic and it used to be part of my professional life. As a result, I may know more than other folks because I have read a lot of the writings in the area. So all I ask of y'all is that if you're going to write about a topic such as this, do your research first. Don't just base it on the one thing that you have read. Do the research.

Hell. My mother sent me an anti-McCain email tonight. I don't believe I have ever said on this blog how I plan to vote but I think I have made my political leanings pretty clear. While the email was compelling, I felt the need to do some fact-checking. What I found was that the alleged source of the email denied ever writing it. And so I did not forward it. If I do not have supporting evidence that something is true, then I will not pass it along. I think it's called having principles. And then I emailed my mother the details of the questionable provenance.

Oh dear. I just realized that I have written that post after all so I may as just keep going. This was really supposed to be about telling you to check this post out. But whatever.

So how did I become such an uppity bitch? My father's paternal grandfather somehow got his hands on 500 acres in Alabama. We still haven't figured that one out. My grandfather bought out his siblings upon their father's death and expanded the farm to almost 1800 acres during my grandfather's lifetime. It gave him the ability to send all ten of his children to college, if they wanted to go. All this while year after year, he took the tests to prove his fitness to vote -- and passed them every time -- only to be told that he could not vote. (It is for this reason that I vote in every election.) So yes, my family has wealth but a lot of my folks don't.

I have a small retirement fund. I rent an apartment. These are not necessarily signs of wealth. Of course, when certain family members die, I will suddenly find myself quite wealthy. I'm just not now. And so I can feel for folks who aren't. The folks on my mother's side? Far from wealthy. Many of them are just getting by. And this is why I can understand.

I just think that if we can't have these conversations, then we are fucked as a society. And if that's the case, then I'm out of here. I've already told my mother to get my room ready at the house in Mexico (Much easier to enter than Canada if you are fleeing. Or so I've been told.) because I might just have to move there. And you know that things have to be pretty bad here if I would seriously consider living under the same roof with my mother once more.

So let your indignant comments fly. Because the rule on my blog is that everyone can be heard. Except the spammers. Those are the only comments I delete. Because if we're going to have a conversation, then we all need to be heard. But the spammers don't count because they are clearly not a part of the conversation. And they're a rarity around here. I think I've only had to delete two comments at most as a result of spammers. Just so y'all know what kind of principles I hold.

*Death Watch 2008. My stepmother is now completely bed-ridden. She no longer has the muscle control to sit up. She is bloated and when conscious, hallucinates a great deal. I keep trying to make plans but I also know that they need to be fluid. The end is around the corner. May I never again have to experience the slow deterioration of someone about whom I care.

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