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Carmen163

Petra, I was thinking that it doesn't have to be or/or. Going further with your metaphor of the house; we can re-build it from different sides. Because right now, thank goodness, we all agree that the house is in bad shape and that it's a safety hazard. A combination is probably the most powerful approach. Like both Martin Luther King (addressing the crowds) and Claudette Colvin/Rosa Parks (addressing one single bus driver). 

I mention Claudette Colvin because she was originally the one who refused to leave her bus seat. Rosa Parks recreated the situation because Claudette was only a minor (age 15!) at the time. I am so in awe of these people. 

 

 
Petra Swiss Miss

ST4s

It seems you had a merry weekend and some labour. lol Sounds like the perfect mix to spend time together.
And I can picture the scene you described vividly. I love and need those moments, where everybody seems content to just be and smile at each other.
I'm not a all is sunshine and roses person, the doom and gloom mood is kind of like a counterweight for my inner balance ;o)

And on the other, well, maybe our own battles against injustice must necessarily take on different forms. Second that.

As for the proverbial bitch-slapping or under the bus throwing. They had it coming.

 
Petra Swiss Miss

Carmen

I could argue that George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and countless others are just the sad tip on a mountain of problems. Or that Rosa Parks, the Little Rock Nine, the Freedom Riders and of course Martin Luther King (alongside A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin) faught for equality and freedom. That's without even addressing Asian-American, Mexican-American, Native-American or any other human groups.

And I could tell you, that you don't build a house starting at the top. First it needs a solid foundation. And as wonky as this foundation is right now, the Surpreme Court could make it even worse.

But that are MY musings, my thoughts on how (it seems to me, a big part of) human society is ignoring or disregarding others of any kind. And just because some things happen a lot, does not make it any less wrong in my book.

 

How about we agree to disagree?

 

I have zero issues to acknowledge your view and believes. But I get cranky when mine are dismissed as of lesser value.
(A former teacher told my 13/14 year old self, I was too involved in everything and that I, as an indivual, could not change the world. I answered, that I was not delusional but I'd rather try to do right or act right with/by others than to be ignorant and impassive.The same goes for myself, I don't bottle up on negative feelings, I let them out.)

 

And my best wishes for your pp's future trial. Didn't know he was this far ahead.

 

 
Petra Swiss Miss

Kirsten

I do too, have the utmost respect for my neighbor's brother in law. And for every person who has to go through discrimination or is faced with an illness that affects the whole "family".
I wish you and your family strength on this road and that you have many a good day with your Mom yet to come.

About the "strange looks, if not worse" comment of your pp. We are not free of racism in Europe, nor do I claim to be without prejustice (as hard as I try not to be). I don't know what is worse, the open racism/discrimination or the more subtler one. Sometimes some big or little thing just hits me right between the eyes or in the heart and it makes me feel sad and helpless, also furious and angry.

 

PPS: I may not have the scientific background or your elaborate psychological vocabulary ;o) But there is something similar in graphic design and art: the negative space. The positive and negative spaces complement each other to form a whole. Sometimes you only "see" one or the other. For me, that is how I see myself and others, as a whole with negatives and positives (or bad and good, if you like).
Und dann gibt es natürlich diese "och, menno" Tage ;o)

 

 
ST4s

Welp, card-carrying Yankee here. I was just in Washington D.C. over the weekend, hanging with my sister and brother-in-law. They just sold their house there, so, last chance for a free crash pad in our nation’s capital (amidst helping them with logistics, of course) – which is kind of beside the point, but bear with me…

We spent a perfect day visiting as many monuments as possible around the Tidal Basin and on the National Mall. Everywhere we went there were throngs of others – of every race and nationality it seemed – likewise enjoying the day. To me, it was a vignette of “The American Melting Pot” we learned about in grade school, the idea of people from all over coming here and coming together “to form a more perfect union.”

Maybe it was the heroic scale of things, the immense, pedestrian-centric urban environment, that gave everyone space to be themselves and get along. Maybe it was an “idealism-by-osmosis” thing, surrounded by monuments to luminous figures from history. Maybe it was the powerfully rendered war memorials. Maybe the iconic architecture. Or maybe it was all the ice cream trucks.

Anyway, I thought about this post, and thought about the stark contrast – that on one hand, the land of the free and the home of the brave is indeed a place where people of many backgrounds can get along and hold common things sacred, because I’ve seen it in practice, just this weekend. And on the other, well, maybe our own battles against injustice must necessarily take on different forms.

Speaking for myself though, bitch-slapping wardens comes to mind, or to put a finer point on it, throwing certain deserving ones under a bus.

 

 
Carmen163

Petra, This man is still living, right? So how is this similar to BLM or someone being sentenced to death because of their color? (btw, my pp's conviction was overturned last year and now he's waiting for a new trial). 

He has been neglected by a waitress and he didn't get a response from another shop assistant. That's unfortunate but I'm sure this is happening a lot. Now, the LAPD doesn't help him like he should be helped. Well, welcome to the world of a colored person in the US. This is also unfortunate but in no comparison to how the police treated George Floyd or any of the other black persons that were actually murdered. Do you have any idea how bad this situation is? Over the life course, about 1 in every 1,000 black men can expect to be killed by police. Also, 41% of death row inmates are black, compared to only 13,6% of the population

So yes, I do think he is privileged. He is still sitting in his home, writing emails. And good for him. But I think there are more serious matters going on. 

 
Kirsten

My closest pal for more than 4 years of writing is a black man as well. And he told me more than once than he thinks that in the US we would get "strange looks, if not worse."(even without romantic involvement). To me, it was his ad that made me laugh til I had tears in my eyes that made me write him and he could've been checkered, striped or dotted. I just thought it was a good sign if someone could make me laugh that hard. My humor is sometimes a bit sarcastical and self-ironic, so for a complete stranger to match that vibe EXACTLY, is rare, whether inside or outside of a prison. He did it, with ease and seemingly completely effortless.

Your neighbor's brother in law is a remarkably strong guy to keep up with that, including his wife no longeer recognizing and being afraid of him. With my Mom suffering from dementia I know all too well what you're talking about. Last weekend she didn't recognize her brother and to see my uncle turn his face away to hide his tears was heartbreaking to watch for me. 

To think about this for a marriage which had to face so much prejudice I think the imagination to understand the strength it takes to muster to bear that and NOT run away.

My respect, Sir.

Kirsten

P.S.: Petra, I think that these things happen has to do with a dual definition of "good" and "bad" in its broadest sense. Everyone defines themselves (and the group they belong to) as "good". And instead of seeing that we need what duality (or what we are NOT) to define ourselves (no day without night, no warm without cold, etc). we take what we are not (but what defines us by completing) and evaluate it. Not as "different" or "dual" , but "bad". 

In child's development there is a stage of defining one's self (saying what we are, by saying what we're not) and since this is pretty early age (before real self-reflection) it is (sadly) almost always possible to trigger these reflexes, if the according emotional buttons are being pressed.       

 
Petra Swiss Miss

@Selosa

Thank you!

 

@Carmen

You missed my point! It's not about BLM it's about ALL LIVE  MATTERS. And it certainly is not unfortunate. It is how people of all colors, genders or religions act deliberately towards others.
And sorry, but calling him priviledged sounds mocking. He grew up in the south, built himself a life. He does not need to be killed or wrongly accused of a crime to get my compassion. He is no more or less a person than your pp. Everybody has their fears and sorrows or a burden to carry. Downplaying them or to weigh them against each other, is like disregarding them.
(And I do hope, your pp will get his sentence overturned!!)

About me: at times, I want to bitch-slap the world. Not possible and yeah, not very nice. And so, I vent...

 

 
Carmen163

Of course, this is all very unfortunate. But seriously Petra, THIS is why you need to vent? BLM seems to me a much bigger issue. Innocent people are killed over and over again, due to racist problems. People get the death penalty due to racist problems. Like my pp. To me, this man seems very privileged. 

 
Selosa

Hi Petra Swiss Miss, my aunt is living in LA and I have been there a couple of times. I am sorry that your neighbour's relative is having these problems. I hope things get better for him.

 

Today I just need to vent.

This morning my 85 years old neighbor gave my an email from her 80 year old brother-in-law to read.
For a better understanding: The neighor and me are white and we're living in Switzerland. Her brother-in-law is black and living in LA, sunny California.
She often tells me, that she is worried about him. Her sister has spend the last few years in a nursing home because of dementia. When it's bad, she does not remember her husband at all and only speaks German and is, as harsh as it sounds, afraid of him.

Now, the brother-in law. He is fit mentally and physically, outgoing and very commited. He is still coaching a Basketball team and working as a Mediator for the Court. For the Mediator job he is going to extra lengths or I guess, I don't know how else to call it. He never takes the same route twice, he is parking in different locations when going to Court and makes detours iwhen driving home, to make sure, he is not followed. He is armed, even inside his home. He installed Video Survailance. When his dog died, my neighbor's daughter found him a new one from a nearby shelter.

His home is in a "normal" suburban area. But he does not live in the land of the free or the home of the brave...
Not when he went to a rather good restaurant with his wife and sister-in-law, to be left sitting by a table for 30 minutes without being acknowledged. When they left after that, my neighbor quite bluntly staited, that the waitress is rather shitty at her job, for not spotting new costumers in that time. Which he answered with "Oh, she saw us and intentionally ignored us."
And not when he went to a shop with his sister-in-law, to buy a gift for his wife. The clerk was ready to help the Madam in whatever way he could. He did not however, even bother to respond to the balck man.

One of the phrases the brother-in-law often uses is "it is, what it is". Something I used myself, as a rather pragmatic approach, for stuff it's not worth fretting about. That changed some with my pp expirience. "It is what it is" for inmates has a deeper truth because they are under the roof of the State and rule number 1 is, obey the rules that you are given.
But what about the so called free world and its inhabitans? "It should not be, how it is" is far more appropriate. It makes me sad, frustrated, infuriated and a dozen different emotions inbetween! How can we, as a species, be this cruel and ruthless to each others? We truely are a unique breed.

And here I'd like to share the email of that 80 year old black man, who has endured countless incidents during his life. Not even allowing him solace or a safe haven in his own home:

 

Subject: Incident at my home 3 weeks ago

Please read to the end.

The following is a synopsis of some of the incidents in my area and the adjacent areas over the years and recently.

The area we live in is predominatly white. The 1980 census indicated there are 3 Blacks in the area. I think the were all in my home, my mother, my son and myself. My wife is European.

We have lived in our home 42 years. When we moved in, the KKK were marching in full regalia at the park on weekends, less than a mile away.

Our neighors across the street said they have witnessed people driving by, throwing out lighted paper on multiple occasions. A Volkswagen van blew up on my side of the street, in front of my home. There used to be trash in the driveway and mailbox.

There was another mixed couple living about 3 miles away. He was a concert player for the LA Philharmonic and his wife was a school teacher. The news reports were, every time they left home, someone would break in there home and pour syrup over everything. Eventually, they moved away. Even after Mayor Bradley appealed to the culprits.

There was another black couple living 4 blocks away. Their son was in a fight at school. They painted KKK in his driveway.

The aforementioned information is a lead in to the video.

The video was taken from a Ring Camera on my property. The trespasser appears to be a policeman in a bulletproof vest. I did not know he was on my property until he started down the driveway to the street. The distance from my trash containers to the street along my driveway is approximately 300 feet.

He was on my property between 10-15 minutes. I am happy that I did not know he was there. Most of the people receiving this email are from the south and know why I am apprehensive. I have an affinity for the LAPD because we worked closely together.

The local City Council-memeber turned a copy of the video over to the LAPD. I sent multiple copies of this video to LAPD.

They arrived a week later and said "he is not LAPD". Who is he? Are they still attempting to determine who this person is?

LAPD Sergeant wrote up a trespass report. The report, to my knowledge, DID NOT indicate the trespasser appeared to be dressed as a policeman in a bulletproof vest and stayed on my property approximately 10 to 15 minutes and made NO attempt to contact the homeowner (name).

I worked with LAPD for 25 plus years, doing Vacant Property Abatement in High Crime Gang Areas. We backed each other upand trusted each other.

The following are my comments about the report:

Trespass

In my opinion the most important part(s) of the trespass are NOT included in your report.

1. LAPD has a video of the trespasser.
2. The trepasser appears to be dressed as a Police Officer and wearing a bulltproof vest.
3. The trespasser appeared to be attempting to lure the owner (name) out of his home.
4. The trespasser walked around on the owner property for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, inbetween an additional 4 No Trespassing Signs.
5. The trespasser never communicated with the property owner.

Please include the aforementionedinformation in your Trespass Report for accuracy and a complete account.

Respectfully,
Name