Bit by bit by bit…we are not shattering the glass ceiling. We are making it ‘unlawful!’
Beginning’s of Prohibition-
After 112 holiday revelers are hospitalized or killed by poisoned alcohol, New York City’s first scientifically trained medical examiner, Charles Norris issues a harshly-worded public statement on Dec. 28, 1926 denouncing the government:
“The government knows it is not stopping drinking by putting poison in alcohol… The United States government must be charged with the moral responsibility for the deaths that poisoned liquor causes…
One of the consequences of the marijuana laws is that an unknown number of Americans, estimated variously from 12 to 20 million people are, by law, felons. Those felons include not only the young, but an increasing number of business and professional people who other wise lead conventionally productive, crime‐free lives. Even the forces of “law and order”— perhaps that group especially— might wonder, as John Kaplan does, whether a second crime is easier to commit than the first:
“The wisdom of a law should be determined in pragmatic terms by weighing the costs It imposes upon society against the benefits it brings. The purpose of this book is to apply this principle to the laws criminalizing marijuana.”
…one frequently finds those opposing changes in the marijuana laws connecting use of that drug with a life style emphasizing immediate experience, non-competitiveness, disinterest in wealth and dis regard for traditional conventions. Alcohol and marijuana prohibition have in common then the widespread and in creasing use of an illegal drug, association of the drug with a definite life style, and an era of unprecedented lawlessness.
‘My lifestyle consist of wanting a Domino’s pizza, taking a toke off the pipe to alleviate severe arthritis, binge watching, Ozark…And, eventually forgetting what it was I wanted for dinner.’
The big winners? Big Pharma and in due course, our corrupt government.
Arrests for possessing small amounts of marijuana exceeded those for all violent crimes.
…a disproportionate number of those arrested are African-Americans!
What is hate? Is it something that washes over us. Such as, a child’s play in a cool spring on a wet, sodden, summer’s day?
Is it disguised? An acronym? Perhaps, a left handed compliment?
She’s pretty cute for a big girl!?
Could it be that hate is how we are raised? Ingrained into the fabric of our young hearts! Red stitching to blue denim. Skinned knee that scars. A scar we are reminded of by those who love us?
‘How did you get that? Will it fade?’
Hate…has bothered me, more so, the last month or so.
I had been raised in hate.
I had seen hate come through as; insult, slap, push, punishment, words…
I abhor hate.
It has taken years to release the feel of a leather belt on my bare legs. The words of my mother…
‘You wait ’til your father gets home!’
The wire hairbrush that lost it’s purpose. The bristles against my Nubian skin. The wonder why.
I do not wave Rainbow Flags, like I used to. My days of marching…few. My need to display the anguish is more or less confined to a keyboard.
Not African American.
Just gay and a woman.
No matter. I am a product of hate. Consciously or not…I became the minority.
Coming out in the 1980’s; allowed me to witness such blind vengeance. Gay men oppressed for their illness. Lesbians thrown into a crowd of overtly bold…straight men. Watching the world circulate. Witnessing our lack of communication. Bowing down, on occasion, to the uncontrolled bias. Bias that will, mark my words, turn to hate.
On the shorter end of the stick, I still wonder this very simple notion.
‘How hard is it to love and let love?’
That is all!
‘When the world begins to slow. Is the hate and disrespect really worth it in the long run?’
We were heading to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Just outside of Asheville. I had grown to love the transient south. I had grown to despise the denizens of Madison County. Perhaps, on a more global scale, I had began to dislike all things not so well hidden.
Having been bred white to a catholic mother and pretend catholic father; we, as a family, never acknowledged those of different backgrounds for being…not quite like us.
That confirmation, verbally, would not be deemed ‘appropriate’ and certainly, not how polite persons conducted themselves.
The misnomer in the south, as far as, this lesbian had been concerned?
Blacks were free!
For that matter,
Not only were African-Americans able to do whatever they pleased, or so I had been taught; Gays, minorities, immigrants, persons living at the poverty level and, Mexicans, were all given the same rights as every other American.
This sort of ‘fake’ news…had been all I knew of the ‘real’ south!
I lived in tobacco country. And, it was not unusual to see, hear and/or sense, that this equality for all, was just another line of bullshit fed to a public that loved to eat someone else’s fecal filled donuts.
While attempting to navigate the Blue Ridge Parkway, just outside of Black Mountain, North Carolina; myself, my love interest, a gay man named, Tye and his friend, Diego…found ourselves to be ‘lost potheads’ without a cause.
Kim, my friend for the night, had recommended we take a ‘quick’ drive thru a ‘bit’ of the parkway…to clear our heads.
Indeed, that is, Hippie speak for,
“I want to get high and commune with nature!”
Up around the visitor’s center, at approximately, two in the morning, our little caravan found itself the subject of Parkway Police…interest.
Certainly, the well navigated thoroughfare was not shut down for banker’s hours. The Blue Ridge was a major route for many going to work, play, the movies, etc.
Our brand of ‘chaos’ did not break the law in respect to traveling the barren road…whilst it was closed.
But my group of misfits made the, not mistake, of traveling with a person who did not look ‘American’…and, with a car window that had been broken out!
The broken out car window to the ‘witnessed to much bad driving’ elderly Escort…is a story for another time.
Needless to say, and to stay on point, the Escort and the better tan than myself, Diego, had been all the cops needed.
I had once read or been told about this senator from North Carolina, Jesse Helms. Aghast, I could not believe that such a man still existed. And, to say the least, others of deep bigotry, must still exist…for Helms had many supporters.
I offer a quote from Jesse, as evidence exhibit A:
“The government should spend less money on people with AIDS because they got sick as a result of deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct.”
Either way, twenty-five years ago, Jesse had been all the rage. More importantly, many were elected to smaller official positions to carry on his work.
In offering the above description, it should be noted that two of the ‘Parkway’ police seemed to be big supporters of Helms.
It takes quite a bit to scare me. I grew up in an abused home. I had been gay in a very catholic family. I went to Narcotic’s Anonymous meetings during Bike Week.
That being said,
I have only been in fear for my life, on a few occasions. One of them being…that early morning on the Blue Ridge. With little time spent, two other squad cars arrived. My posse and I were told to remain in the vehicle. When the police deemed the situation…safe enough to venture in; a loud-speaker came on.
‘Come out of the car with your hands up! Place yourselves in the kneeling position behind the car. Do not move. Any move will be considered a threat. And, taken care of…according!’
Two items of note, if you ever find your, peace-loving, tree hugging, self, in the kneeling position with guns pointed at you…
Flinching becomes a huge obstacle.
Stifling a nervous cough? Insurmountable!
I could go into detail. But this will be brief.
The COPS came, they saw, they conquered.
Diego had been issued a ticket to appear in court for not having his ‘green’ card on him. Tye had been issued a citation for the broken window.
Kim and myself? Well, it took weeks to wash away the ogling and dyke statements!
I avoid watching the News, currently. I know what is going on! I am not uneducated. Bigotry is back. For that matter, it never went away. Banning persons for their religion, color, tastes, nationality; is now fashionable…again.
What frightens me? As it had, not too long ago…
The supporters. The, ignorance is bliss, mentality. The Americans, most of which were immigrants, at some point or another:
Friends, associates, Trump supporters, in a loosely associated way,
Are themselves, pulling people over with no real reason for detainment. Other than a need for superiority!
Shame on You
My friends they wash the windows and they shine in the sun
They tell me wake up early in the morning sometime
See what a beautiful job we done
I say let’s put on some tunes sing along do little all day
Go sown to the riverside take off our shoes wash these sins away
The river said la la la
Shame on you
I go down to Chicano city park because it makes me feel so fine
When the weeds go down you can see up close in the dead of the winter time
But when the summer comes everything’s in bloom and you wouldn’t know it’s there
The white folks like to pretend it’s not but their music’s in the air
You can hear them singing la la la
Shame on you
You can feel them dancing la la la
Shame on you
My friend Tanner she says you know me and Jesus we’re of the same heart
The only thing that keeps us distant is that I keep fuckin’ up
I said come on down to Chicano city park wash your blues away
The beautiful ladies walk on by
You know I never know what to say
They’ll be singing ooh la la
Shame on you
Let’s go road block trippin’ in the
Middle of the night up in Gainesville town
There’ll be blue lights flashing down the long dirt road
When they ask me to step out
They say we be looking for illegal immigrants can we check your car
I say you know it’s funny I think we were on the same boat back in 1694
Shame on you
When young, my house burned down. It burned itself right to the ground. No photographs. No trophies. Not fish names, Zeak and Zach. No clothing. No piece or scrap of a life…that I had come to know.
Being 15 years old. Much of the usual had been going on, before the loss. Puberty, confusion, work, confusion, education, confusion, church…and, much more confusion.
To top trauma off? I began to believe that being gay…was a sin, pitiful and certainly, not something you brag about. To voice my concern to an abusive father an emotional absent mother…would have been like calling an angry lion out of its den.
Though I do not remember much of that period of time. I found comfort living at the home of my best friend, Red. With an agreement between Red’s mother and my parents, the ‘stay’ would not be forever…And, so, a new and hippie improved home, was found on Maple Street.
Launched between Red and I? The secret life of gay’s in the 80’s, in a semi rural New Hampshire city. Without words, Red and I, knew we were different.
How fun was that time? Piper, Red’s mother, was from New York city. She was divorced with 5 children to raise. She introduced me to True cigarettes, Amaretto, Joan Baez and watching television from the bed.
So different were those 6 or so months. I hated to leave and head home to anger and violence that appeared from nowhere.
What astounds me now?
Leaving New Hampshire, as a young adult, I encountered a vast array of people, places and things. Most of which, I would never have had the courage to gather in my memories…had it not been for Maple street.
91 percent of New Hampshire is white. Living in Madison County, North Carolina, at the ripe age of 23 and rainbow proud…there had been only one group akin to the suffering gays were encountering, with Jesse Helms and his prejudice cohorts! With every pride march and every volunteer group I joined; African-American Pride had been right there to offer a hand in guidance. After all, they had decades, centuries of experience.
Full circle, I have forged my way back home to the same abusive father and the same, emotionally distant mother. I have also been able to re-acquaint myself with those I went to school with.
I am furnishing a post from my Facebook page. It’s topic surrounds the handing of the torch from Obama to Trump. I am liberal. What else would I be?
I have few friends. It is best that way. I keep my circle close, and offer what love I can. Those I went to school with, those I wandered the streets of Concord, New Hampshire…with, have not changed.
They long for football days. They post recipes and abhor politics or…upsetting the apple cart.
I will say first off:
Shame on me. When the heat turned up over Obama and Trump…abortion, racism and gay rights came into play? I will say, my first assumption had been, here we go, another cracker carrying a gun talking about my uterus and sexuality. First and foremost, I apologize for that generalization. It is my perception of a group of persons who have aged…yet, live for the next party and next playoff game.
If I were honest, there had never been any comfort in my teens, unless I had been on Maple street with a select few others who were…different like me.
I have posted the conversation with persons I have known for about forty years.
I will say, when the statement,
…babykiller and by angery lesbian who couldn’t get a man.!
I felt like the marches I had encountered down south. When I had been advocating change not only for AIDS, LGBT and African Americans…reappeared again, almost 30 years later. As though, with what few steps forward my minority, other minorities and many in between the cracks, took forward…we were taking several steps back…
So upsetting to me is the idea that persons I have known; as children, were stating things like…
So tired of the posts about politics.
Trump won. Get the fuck over it!
they post pictures…
of football games and proms from years gone by!
In someone’s estimation. Someone I cannot even remember growing up with, I was not always gay. And, I was indeed, just another angry lesbian!
Dear Old Friend,
I have always been gay. Yet, I feared coming out of the closet until I could get out on my own. Am I angry? Fuck yes! Angry that my politics have upset you so!
Ruth M Bowley Citizens with pre-existing medical conditions may be concerned about what will happen to them if Obamacare is repealed. And 20 million Americans who have healthcare insurance for the first time may wonder how they will fare under Trumpcare.
John Boy: Your the one who just popped in but that fine I’ve had enough of asshats and pussycaps.
“Nothing can describe the withering horror of this. You feel lost, sick at heart before such unmasked hatred, not so much because it threatens you as because it shows humans in such an inhuman light. You see a kind of insanity, something so obscene the very obscenity of it (rather than its threat) terrifies you. It was so new I could not take my eyes from the man’s face. I felt like saying: “What in God’s name are you doing to yourself?”
What is ‘Black Like Me’?
Black Like Me, first published in 1961, is a nonfiction book by white journalist John Howard Griffin recounting his journey in the Deep South of the United States, at a time when African-Americans lived under apartheid-like conditions. Griffin was a native of Dallas, Texas, who had his skin temporarily darkened to pass as a black man. He traveled for six weeks throughout the racially segregated states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia to explore life from the other side of the color line. Sepia Magazine financed the project in exchange for the right to print the account first as a series of articles.