I had a conversation with my mama recently … our conversations are usually intense, partially due to the fact that we are both slightly intense people … partially due to the fact that we are intellects and activists ;) … tidy combination I reckon lol.
This particular conversation started with racism and cognitive dissonance and ended with pedophilia and cognitive dissonance. Light topics, I know lol.
Mama had a run in with a couple of old school racists where she lives and the effects that this had on her, were pretty profound, to say the least, and those effects, pissed me right off!
Now my mama is a lady that is down for the people … she believes in equity and freedom and knowledge and learning. She has strived for parity in race and gender. And she is still walking and learning her talk … which is what I admire the most about her I think.
My Mama is also a devout Christian. This has shaped her and saved her and released her and moved her. The flavour this Christianity has taken has also changed over the years that I have known her. What was once, well what I thought to be, blind obedience; is now fervent research and the acquisition of the truth … well, sound logic and truth.
So, Mamas ‘run in’ happened as she was assisting an older woman with some of her business that she couldn’t handle, due to her elderly-ness ;) … we’ve all known this lady for years … us kids grew up with her around.
Anyway, this lady made a remark about a ‘coloured’ person that walked past her and Mama on their way to the doctors. It was one of those comments that white people say to other white people when theres no coloured people around … its one of those remarks that they wouldn’t say out loud in a room full of gang members or Black Panthers or Activists … its one of those ‘good ole boy’ comments that they high five themselves too … one of those comments that has everything to do with the stereotypical racist view perpetrated by the colonialist or KKK, either or … the kind that makes sure it keeps its receiver in a negative and derogatory position … it adds to the myth that people of any colour … indigenous or otherwise … are lazy, dirty, uneducated, foul, fat, won’t ever amount to anything types …
Her remark didn’t leave room for possible interpretation or reinterpretation … it was out right racist, and Mama knew it. Mama has been around enough free thinking peeps and is educated by and in the world enough to know whats what re: racist bastards. I think this one caught her off guard slightly, because it came from an old school friend … a little old lady that we all used to picnic with on a Sunday avo … she didn’t really seem like the pointy hat wearing type!
Mama said her blood started to boil as she contemplated how best to confront this ignorant racist comment. And as Mama started to gently bestow her knowledge about equality and perceived racism on this lady, Mama started to realise that this lady just didn’t get it…and didn’t really care.
Now for me, this pisses me off. Me and my Mama haven’t always seen eye to eye, but she is a gentle soul who believes the best resides in people and that if they are ignorant it is just because they haven’t been taught better, yet. But as she started to try and school this little old lady … gently … she realised that the lack of caring on the old bitches part .. wasn’t just ignorance, she really didn’t want to know about it!
The old white is right mentality.
My Mama has pale skin and bright blue eyes … besides gender, she’d be an Ayran Nation favourite … until she opened her mouth lol. So peeps like this old bitch (lady) have a certain freedom around her, well think they have, to spill whatever they like. Mama is therefore privy to all the comments that they wouldn’t say if I was standing next to her. And Mama has put up with it and tried to gently correct it for many years.
This time, although she started off gently, she let rip … she said to this lady that her children, her grandchildren are all of colour (as is she!), and if anyone was to say the sort of thing this old bitch had said, to them, she would not hesitate to knock them out! Thats pretty fucking fierce for my Mama … I knew she was well pissed off.
But what pissed me most, is that this encounter had really hurt my Mama … like I said, she is a gentle soul and likes to believe that people are innately good … slightly ignorant maybe … but that can always be corrected, or so she thought. The fact that she had cried when she got home, so upset that the ignorance she had encountered was real … and it really didn’t care … disturbed and grieved her!
I’m more of a pessimist … but like to hold out hope that ignorance can be re educated … and i told Mama, the good thing about who and where she is, is that she has the ability to re educate or chastise those ignorant bastards who like to drop racist remarks like that .. because they will do it around her, not us. She has a front seat pass to inside racism.
But for her, that it hugely daunting!
For all that she does and all that she is and all that she feels and all that she learns …. I Love My Mama xoxo