"The experience has left Dasani internally adrift, for the losses of the homeless child only begin with the home itself. She has had to part with privacy and space — the kind of quiet that nurtures the mind. She has lost the dignity that comes with living free of vermin and chronic illness. She has fallen behind in school, despite her crackling intelligence.
She has lost the simplest things that for other children are givens: the freedom of riding a bicycle, the safety of a bathroom not shared with strangers, the ease of being in school without stigma. And from all of these losses has come the departure of faith itself.”
This is the Mandela that I mourn not the white-washed, sanitized version of a revolutionary figure that aligned with Communists, was part of a group branded as terrorists by Reagan, who continued to voice his opposition to Israel’s apartheid regime and illegal occupation of the West Bank and used armed resistance to fight apartheid in South Africa.
The way white people are exalting him across the political spectrum globally based on his national reconciliation work in South Africa post-apartheid (which did have major pitfalls for non-whites in particular) and erasing his revolutionary past and fight for equality across the globe shows just how ignorant of history they are and how incredibly myopic they are too.
White people are doing to Mandela what they’ve already done to Martin Luther King, Jr., and it makes me sick. If I see one more racist white liberal lionizing Mandela in a way that erases his revolutionary past so their facebook status about his death can serve as their “feel-good” justification of the day for their “liberalism,” I’m going to be sick. And don’t even get me started on the white American conservatives who are now lauding him even as Reagan demonized the ANC and Dick Cheney voted against a resolution that would have urged the South African apartheid government to remove Mandela from prison.
Don’t sanitize Mandela for your white comfort. He’s a hero in many regards, but maybe not for the reasons you might think based on the whitewashing he’s receiving in the media to hollow him out and make him into a puppet figure for racist white liberals and conservatives alike, just like MLK.
“Although you are very small and your kind have existed in the universe for only a short time, you are an important part of something very large and very beautiful.”—my astronomy text book getting real sweet (via neybooto)
I have long been pretty open about my dad’s drug addiction. I don’t hide how he died. But my openness has rarely been about seeking support or advice. And, frankly, as well-meaning as friends and others have been, I have known very few people who could really relate. When I talk about my dad, the things he would do and say when he was especially drug-addled, most people listen as if they’re hearing someone read from a really interesting novel or watching a movie; their reactions, even the subtle facial ones, convey that my reality can only ever been a story to them. I am hyper aware of the judgements they must be making, of my dad, of me, and I can see the wheels churn as they consider what they would do. I have felt resentful and annoyed and frustrated. As a result, my delivery has become more and more matter-of-fact, so that even when I’m opening up, I’m building a wall.
I don’t find myself doing that in my meetings. In that room, I’m surrounded by people who know what it’s like to love someone who has the disease of addiction, be it a parent, child, sibling, lover, spouse, friend, or some other relationship bound by blood or otherwise. They are not shocked and I don’t feel alone. In many ways, these are people I actually would appreciate feedback from, but i have to seek it out myself, either during the break or afterward the meeting’s over; but for that hour and a half, we just listen to each other. And through those shared experiences, I have gained so much insight into, yes, drug addiction, but more than anything, I have come to learn so much about myself, my behavior, and my reactions, and have identified ways in which I need to change. Because that’s really what the program is about — turning the focus away from what the addict in our lives is doing, thinking, and saying, and putting it back on what many of us have neglected — our own personal health, happiness and well-being.
“Psychic messages are coming and the signs indicate that what you want to happen will happen. However, validation is being able to touch what you wish and not just being on the lookout for its omens — damning you to chasing a dragon that, when it ultimately does show up, will only bite you in the ass, as the reality will pale in comparison to your expectations.”—