Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Again I Ask- What Do You Think?

I am still pondering over the video I posted earlier today. And I just have no other explanation for my feeling of unease about it than the most obvious one- that it is almost impossible for me to watch that man and believe such a self-proclaimed redneck (and y'all, I am pretty sure he is not faking that accent) could come out with such truth and profundity and of course... that makes me a stone-cold bigot.

Not a racist in this instance, but a bigot for sure.

I am surrounded by rednecks where I live. And no, a black man would not be afraid to ride through my neighborhood because my neighborhood has more black families than white and that is the truth of it. Do I ever see a white person walking? No. Every person I see out for walks is black. But I have been thinking a lot about how I never see any of these people walking in the woods where I walk and I don't think it has a damn thing to do with anyone being afraid of animals. I think it's because the path I take goes directly across from the truck stop off the interstate exit and there are plenty of Florida Highway Patrol cars around and that some of those troopers would not be loathe at all to stop a black man walking down the road into the woods. An old white woman? No threat there. She may be crazy but she's obviously not up to anything nefarious.
And the odds of any rednecks in pick-up trucks hassling me are pretty low.
I'm so stupid that it's taken me eleven years to figure this out.

It makes me want to just cry because I think of myself as so damn aware and empathetic and blah, blah, bullshit blah. But do I understand, truly?
No. I do not.
I have just accepted my little village the way it is, black folks, white folks, we live on the same streets, some of the trashiest houses and yards are the homes of white folks, some of the nicest are the homes of black folks.
It has not though, gone unnoticed by me that the most obviously poverty-stricken among us are without a doubt black families.

One of the things Dixon White said in that video is that we better "motherfucking SEE color," and that when we see incidents of racism we need to speak up. I have tried to do that. I had it out with a man who worked at the trash place one day after he used the n-word repeatedly.
I think he may be dead now. Haven't seen him around in forever. I feel sorry for him. He was a sad and bitter man. And in this case, he could NOT see color because the woman he was talking to was very obviously white but what he did not know was that her adopted father was black. He would probably NEVER have used those words if he had known. And I told him that. So in a way, he did see color and he made the exact wrong assumption based on it.
Not unlike the assumption I have made, watching Dixon White.

Anyway, I'm not sure that I've watched any five minutes of video in my entire life that's given me so much to think about. As our Angella said, he was preaching to the choir here in this blog community but still, he's given me, personally, some things I need to fucking pay attention to. The words this man said were extremely profound and I hope they start a conversation that needs to be had with words that don't dance around the daisy field of color-blindness. And not just a fucking conversation. An entire new era of awareness. And I need to personally realize that someone who looks and talks like Dixon White may not be the person I think he is.
Although to be perfectly honest, I've never met anyone who looked and sounded like him who said anything nearly as profound as what he said.

I just watched the video for the third time.
You know what my deepest unease about it is?
I've always been told that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

But no matter how I try to reach into the most cynical and bigoted parts of my heart, I can't figure out how this video can be a bad thing. Such simple truths. Stop being so defensive. Stop thinking of white supremacy as merely someone in a pick-up with a confederate flag in the back window represents. Or some craven in the KKK. Or some old guy at the trash depot. 
That's a huge responsibility he's telling us to take on.
HUGE. It means we have to step out of our little dream-worlds and yes, fucking SEE color, and while we're at it, see bigotry against disabilities and ageism and sexism and homophopia too. And speak up when we see discrimination. Speak up when we see injustice.
Fucking speak up. Act up, he even said.

Stephen Gaskin used to say a thing that went like, "When you see a situation that you wonder where God is in this, you need to remember that you are God's eyes here."

And if Dixon White is truly the Southern redneck he says he is, I apologize to him too.

I wonder why he kept his eyes closed for most of his speech. I do not know. But I will say this- he has opened some eyes.

Mine included.

Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Hmm... Well, I think people can be bigoted and change because it has happened to me. https://ditchingthedog.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/how-blogging-changed-my-life/
    I am not trying to plug my own blog but I really do think people can change.

    I guess I am really out of the loop up here in Canada. I just do not see the same prejudice that you all live with every single day. When I was watching the video he admonishes us to see colour but then what? What needs to be done to make things change? If a whole nation was built on white supremacy what do people need to do to change that?

    I think this video has given me something to think about.

  2. Birdie- Yes. I do know that people can change. It's mighty hard though. And when you said that this video has given you a lot to think about? Me too, darling. Me too.

  3. He most likely is an actor and 1/2 Cuban. If what I read on the internet is true and not just someone trying to discredit Dixon White. I sure would like to believe his story. Even if he is an actor I hope he raises some awareness in this country. Gail

  4. I haven't noticed much buzz yet, except perhaps among the choir. No problem, it has to start.
    I had a thought--I wonder if he was sent by Starbucks.

  5. I hope that what he is saying is something that he really means. I hope so. I hope this wasn't done as a contra-opinion peace to get notoriety. Sorry that I am a cynic. But I hope that more people will heed what he says and not be afraid to confront racism.

  6. I love that you ask these questions Mary Moon. And I love you.

  7. This question has nothing to do with that curious video. Maybe his eyes are closed because of the videocamera light. lol

    Quite aways back, you posted a recipe for dessert that I have in my head was called a (black)berry doodle. That is obviously not right. Do you have any idea what I'm talking about ?? I think it was like a berry with dumplings or something...

  8. I don't know what to think of the video--why it was made. If there's some ulterior motivation or god-forbid, marketing tie-in. But he's right.

  9. I have never travelled further west than Ireland and only know about your country through friends and colleagues (mostly white), media, music and fiction. I love to read contemporary American fiction.

    When my daughter came back from one of her visits to the US, she had read one of the novels I had asked her to get me - I forget which one, maybe by Anne Tyler - and she was really mad because she said that the novel as nice and as good as it was, had no black people in it, which based on her visit was not a realistic view of the culture and the society she had met. Instead, she discovered that there are two types of contemporary American fiction and that we had been reading the non-African-American version all along. Why? because we are dumb racists? Because this is what's reviewed and marketed here? Because of who has the clout, the voice, the say in it?

  10. Hmmm...I have to watch this video but I'm at work now so I can't do it here! I'll come back and comment later!

  11. Gail- I read that too. Well, we shall see where this leads. I hope it leads to more awareness, if nothing else.

    Joanne Noragon- He seems an unlikely Starbucks plant! Maybe Budweiser.

    Syd- I'm a cynic too but I just can't figure out an angle to satisfy my cynicism.

    Angella- And I love you!

    Akannie- Not sure. Did I make a cobbler with sweet biscuit dough on top? Or did I do sweet dumplings? I honestly can't remember.

    Denise- That's the thing. He IS right.

    Sabine- And the fact that you hadn't been reading African American literature is yes, an exact reflection of our culture here. Sadly true.

    Gradydoctor- What I said to Angella. Love you too.

    Steve Reed- Yes. Definitely NOT suitable for work. You would be fired. But watch it when you get home. I'd love to hear your reaction.

  12. I meant to say, that quote of Stephen Gaskin that you shared, I absolutely love that.

  13. His accent certainly sounds real. And I HAVE known many people who look and talk like him who have made sincere efforts to get past racist thinking. Not everyone who fits the "redneck" description is an uneducated racist. (Plenty are, of course. But certainly not all). Growing up in SC in a small, poor, rural community I've known many fine people who have sincerely tried to move beyond the attitudes they were raised with. I've had close relationships with a LOT of black people...hell, my high school graduating class was 75% black...and I grew up with the idea that only southerners were racists. The first time I heard someone from the Northeast use the "n" word I was shocked. It really opened my eyes to the fact that racism is everywhere in this country.

  14. Just saw this video on YouTube so have a pnut-gallery comment... what he acts out, rings true in a lot of aspects. (but Americans did NOT "invent" slavery....I think he may have implied that?).
    I am a little curious as to why he used a "southern country" accent (not very good one either) Not going to ASSume his reasoning for that.
    (Or to be overly "defensive"..haha!)
    BUT, since I am from the deep South I might be, just a little. :)
    To add, first time I EVER heard the "N"-word was in ILLINOIS...really!?
    Some background info... He is a Cuban-American comedian-filmmaker (Jorge Moran)who is hoping for a movie break...has couple of similar videos on you tube. But regardless of motivations, his subject matter matters...and resonates with enough folks to garnish his videos thousands of "hits". SO...Good for him!
    PS...LOVE your blog, and reading about your wondrous paradise! Thank you for sharing it! L.D.

  15. Well, I haven't watched it yet and will most certainly do so. Right now. Then I'll be back.

  16. I agree with just about everything everyone has said about this topic...

    Sabine, please read some Maya Angelou and Alice Walker ~ you will be astounded by American literature!

  17. Thank you lulumarie, I am truly astounded by American literature and I think I have read every single Alive Walker book, also Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston...

    My point is that from afar, we are presented with two entirely different cultures and "realities" if we base our experience on fiction with African-American in one corner and what is marketed as contemporary American in the other.

    Sorry Ms Moon if I overstepped anything in your blog with this exchange.

  18. People around here are very racist but they think they are not. Belgians are the worst at acknowledging racism. It makes me very sad.


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.