Anyone But Me

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— Fe Bongolan


We know this now more than ever. We live not in isolated pockets of prejudice, but with a collection of privileges that depend on each other for their persistence and resonance. — from The Conversation

After Charleston, I found myself unable to write. It hurts me to the heart that I still have to write this. And write about it and write about it. Some days it feels as though there aren’t enough letters on a page to cut through the dark matter that is trying hard to make its way back to the forefront of our national consciousness. But it’s here again.

White American racism is quite real, alive and well. It is not an antiquated concept we can dust off carefully with the brushes used in archeological digs, as if carefully tending to a past culture making its way into a museum of history.

This racism has been closely held, like a family secret. It is real, alive and in the moment. It is not in every white person in this country, but in enough people to make its presence all too clear; to make it clear that we need to dig deep to rid ourselves of it.

It is in the minds and hearts of the family and community that created and nurtured a Dylann Roof. It is in South Carolina’s laws prohibiting the desecration of the Confederate flag. That flag still flies proudly at the top of South Carolina’s capitol building flagpole, padlocked to prevent its removal, even as the state and American flags fly at half-mast commemorating the nine killed at Emanuel AME Church.

It is in the minds of Republican leadership in Congress, with Nixon’s Southern Strategy so far up their ass that they are animated by it, mouthing its words and writing its principles into policy like useful hand puppets. It is a guiding principle of FOX News.

It is in the split screen of a policeman holding a young black teenage girl prone on a lawn in McKinley, Texas, contrasted with Dylann Roof led to the police station wearing a bullet-proof vest. It is in the the inequality of choices and life chances based along racial and economic lines, triggering situations such as this.

It is a national crisis. It flares up during times of economic distress — lack of jobs, sluggish economies — that lead exactly to this moment in time. African Americans, immigrants, Muslims — already demonized — are further targeted by frustrated lower-class and socially impotent whites, ‘necessary’ victims upon whom to vent frustration with far too much aggression. It is in the isolation where Dylann Roof was allowed time to let his rage fester and take hold, creating his manifesto made up of lies — and there was no one there to check him on his tragically myopic, racist and ignorant beliefs about his fellow human beings.

But it isn’t just Dylann. It’s in the entire road this country has been on from family, to community, to the top echelons of power, including and especially the corporate masters who have purchased government. Each and every one let Dylann Roof go unchecked in thought and deed. He was sanctioned.

As if, as Rick Perry suggested, it was an isolated incident by an apparently disturbed young man who was probably on some kind of pharmaceutical drug that drove him to it. As if, as Rick Santorum said, this was an attack on Christianity because it happened in a church. These are delusions that only prolonged states of denial can produce.

Inch by inch, denial by denial, we have been traveling to that day in Charleston for a long time. It’s been a slow-moving train engineered by people in leadership, none of whom even bothered to remember that there was a Civil Rights Movement in this country 50 years ago, but word for dog-whistle word, dropped all civil discourse when we elected our country’s first black President. They declared racism over when clearly it is not.

Tickets to this ride we’re on have been sold by the entire FOX News network, The Wall Street Journal, Rush Limbaugh, Stormfront, and all the members of the extreme right-wing conservative media that allow these thoughts and feelings by people like Roof to find a home and flourish.

They make fortunes triggering white rage against the Other. They continue re-creation of white Christians as victims, besieged by the swirling hordes of dark barbarians at their gates, ready to take their jobs, rape their women, allow sex education in the schools and threaten the sanctity of their heterosexual marriages. It would be marvelous satire if it wasn’t for the ignorance that spawned these ideas.

It seems, at least in the news that no one sees or wants to acknowledge, to be their role in the history leading up to the tragedy at Emanuel AME Church. The deflection — stating anything that does not own up to the infrastructure of racism that runs deep in this country — is saying, “anyone but me had a hand in this.” But they all did. Anyone refusing to acknowledge racism in the media gave Dylann Roof the room to enter long before he walked into the church, with the National Rifle Association giving him a gun to enter with.

Yet this is where the deep work has to begin, and not just at meeting halls and Facebook or Twitter feeds, but at the dinner table, the PTA, and soccer games as well as in the halls of power. Though we may not believe ourselves racist, we may know others who are. We may harbor unkind and untrue thoughts about each other. What else can we do to get us past this darkness?

When South Carolina first raised the Confederate flag in 2000, world-renowned choreographer Bill T. Jones joined the NAACP’s protest, boycotting the Spoleto festival there, canceling his company’s two-day schedule of performances. Perhaps a state economic boycott is in order, only this time, we don’t boycott the opposition to gay wedding cakes but instead actively protest against a symbol that represents so much death and oppression for millions of Americans for over four centuries.

In response to the shootings, President Obama said the Confederate flag flying over South Carolina’s state capitol building should be placed in a museum. I disagree. Before that flag — a symbol of a time we should be long past — is commemorated in a museum where school children are brought to learn about their nation’s history, we need to give that part of our history and its symbolism its due.

South Carolina senator Lindsay Graham says of the Confederate flag that, “It’s who we are.”  If that’s the case, we need to discourage anyone who dares use it to hurt, terrorize and dehumanize our brothers and sisters from ever using it again. It’s a symbol of our history we should remember as a stain that we need to take responsibility for here and now. We need to provide that flag — the one Dylann Roof clung to in his Facebook page — a resting place in a physical state to remain in forever: Burned to ashes and stored carefully in a plexiglass box.

Meet you down below in the comments.

This entry was posted in Fe-911 on by .

About Fe Bongolan

Planet Waves writer Fe Bongolan lives in Oakland, California. Her column, "Fe-911," has been featured on Planet Waves since 2008. As an actor and dramaturge, Fe is a core member of Cultural Odyssey's "The Medea Project -- Theater for Incarcerated Women," producing work that empowers the voices of all women in trouble, from ex-offenders, women with HIV-AIDS, to young girls and women at risk. A Planet Waves fan from almost the beginning of Eric's astrology career, Fe is a public sector employee who describes herself as a "mystical public servant." When it comes to art, culture and politics, she loves reading between the lines.

33 thoughts on “Anyone But Me

  1. Michael Mayes

    This touched me to the core. The young racists in this country are not far removed from the old guard, and the old guard’s not far removed from the Jim Crow era, slavery even. I wonder how many more generations it will take to heal the wound.

    1. Fe Bongolan Post author


      I was thinking of you this weekend when I wrote this.

      I hope in part the the social isolation that doomed Roof to behaving this way is something we can work on with his current generation. Today, all that’s happened is turn over the rock that covered the worms. The worms are going to try to squiggle away. We need to start catching them at every turn.

      And if you have more to add on this, let’s get the conversation rolling.

  2. Geoff Marsh

    It’s even worse than I thought. Today, in the deep south of England, I saw a car flying both the British union flag and the confederate flag from its offside windows. There was a deal of noise coming from inside and the young occupants were no doubt a-whoopin’ and a-hollerin’. It’s been a bit that way ever since The Dukes of Hazzard aired on BBC tv some 35 years ago.

    These Brit good-timers aren’t going to listen to authority when asked or told to stop, that’s what makes them rebels. However, if the good ole U.S of A were to ban display of the flag, no doubt they’d tag along so they could still look cool like their American cousins.

      1. Geoff Marsh

        I was on a bus travelling in the opposite direction (appropriate!) and didn’t get a good look at the car’s occupants – it was the flag that distracted and shocked.

        I doubt they were skinheads, southern Yankophiles more like. The usual suspects in these instances in Britain are hot-blooded fun-loving hetero males from moderately wealthy backgrounds, often farming, whose parents have gun licences for vermin control. They sport longish hair, deal dope to their friends and still enjoy listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd. Imagine how it would be if very few people in the U.S. had access to guns – the kids of those who did would have a certain dangerous cachet.

        What really shocked me was that they were, in essence, showing their support for Dylann Roof. Unacceptable.

        1. Davina

          The hisory of the Confederate flag in the UK goes back a bit further than the Dukes of Hazzard – it was originally appropriated by fans of Rockabilly and, to a lesser extent, C&W music and I can clearly remember bikers wearing patches and belt buckles with it emblazoned on too. To most of these people it just signified Rebel – what the Confederacy was actually about was secondary. The Dukes Of Hazzard obviously helped a bit (as did the long-running campaign to legalize CB radio in the UK in the early 80s) but the original context of the flag was far from central to it. I suspect if you’d managed to ask any of the guys in that car who Jefferson Davis or even Robert E. Lee was, you’d have been met with blank expressions.

          And listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd? Really? I doubt I could find you many people under 40 in the UK who could even name you more than 2 of their songs (you know the 2 I mean) let alone listened to then seriously now. And I live about as deep South in the UK as you can get. Now, Guns ‘n’ Roses maybe – a band with a singer far more problematic and cretinous than anything that Skynyrd ever produced…

          1. Geoff Marsh

            Hi Davina. I’ve certainly seen the flag worn as a patch by bikers but have never been invited into that fraternity. The event I witnessed yesterday triggered memories of some guys I knew back in the early 1980s who raced around town in saloon cars trying to impress the girls with their imitation the Dukes. They were relatively well-educated and knew what the flag represented. Yesterday’s event was a conscious act of racism or else synchronicity has no conscience.

            Sorry to say some people do still like LS. There’s even a tribute singer local to me who goes by the name of Skynny Lynnyrd and his gigs are quite popular. As I’m more of a Neil Young man myself, they don’t usually want me around.

            Another 100 yards further south and I’d be in the drink. How about you?

          2. Fe Bongolan Post author

            Geoff you got that right. The Sixties revolution era was not kind to Vietnam era vets, who suffered some horrendous effects from the kind of warfare done in Southeast Asia. We lost them, physically and politically when the anti war Movement was fiercely divided about vets coming home.

            We’ve learned that lesson with Iraq 1 & 2. Which is what Marilyn observed.

  3. Amy Elliott

    What is it with these racists and their wilful, virtually determined stupidity? Seems as if ignorance is a badge of pride in some places.

    Trust the Dicks to chime in with additional idiocy. We just need Cheney for the trifecta.

    1. Fe Bongolan Post author


      The same rejection of knowledge denying climate change is the same that believes in Intelligent Design and American exceptional ism. It will get worse as the developing world races ahead in education and manufacturing. And the perpetration of that ignorance is intentional.

  4. Barbara Koehler

    Your keen eye sees through the lies many politicians mouth during times like these Fe; those lies that never cease and allow painful events like what happened in Charleston, and in Ferguson (and the many other places that display the open wounds of our country) to come to a head.

    The disease is deeply embedded in the body and eradication of it takes a grueling toll, but eventually, thanks to folks who – like you – continue to examine the festering wounds for signs of improvement, there comes a small sign of change. If there is more toxicity released, could it be a sign of the healing efforts taking hold? Are we seeing that now?

    I noted in Judith’s column how the U.S. Sibly birth chart now has the U.S. Nesses (9+ Pisces) under a conjunction (joining) with transiting Neptune; an outer planet that is expressed (for now in humanity’s deeply dark state) as illusion and deception. But there is also the U.S. Eris at 8+ Capricorn that should make us consider what has risen to the surface of consciousness in all its ugliness.

    Eris symbolizes the outsider who isn’t accepted in society and expresses her energy in bitter vengeance. During most of 2012, starting in January, transiting Pluto was conjunct the U.S. Eris and in September 2013, trans. Pluto stationed direct conjunct the U.S. natal Eris. No doubt in my mind that if we were to examine the headlines during those times we would see her signature of discord in plain view. She too, along with Nessus and other astrological symbols of pain and rejection and retaliation tell us that the healing process is underway.

    In astrology, we first look to Chiron for healing deep wounds and transiting Uranus has now reached the degree of the U.S. natal Chiron, 20+ Aries. I’m not making light of the pain and tragedy we are experiencing and have been experiencing since the beginning and even before the birth of this country, but doesn’t the name Roof have some symbolism of its own? The finishing off of an edifice, the finalizing of a construction meant to contain?

    The word “edifjce” stems from the word “edify” which comes from a word meaning “to burn” and we use the word edify to refer to instruction, or a way to morally and spiritually improve or enlighten. Astrology being a language of symbols, can’t we find hope in this symbol Roof, as the beginnings of containment? That it is a means to an end and meant to morally and spiritually improve? To enlighten our country’s peoples and the leaders of our societies? Dear God I hope so.

    And speaking of God (and Goddesses), there is Jupiter, king of the gods who is transiting in a trine (ease of access) with Uranus who is conjunct the U.S. Chiron. Haven’t we seen Jupiter’s understanding displayed in Leo-like fashion through the many (Jupiter) memorials going on all over the U.S. – for the tragic loss of those 9 people sacrificed in a historical church known for being resurrected? The number 9 has good meanings in several forms of numerology, usually referring to spiritual or sacred work including enlightenment, or “edification”.

    The sign of Taurus was where the present cycle of Jupiter-Saturn that began with their conjunction taking place in 2000. Taurus is the sign of the builder and Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions signify new starts in societal development, with this present cycle ending in just over 5 years. A new cycle will begin at the end of 2020, when Saturn and Jupiter meet in Aquarius.

    Geoff Marsh notes in Judith’s Saturday column titled The Good, The Bad And The Ridiculous, that 2020 looks to be a good year for change and new beginnings as evidenced in its astrology for the Aries Point (solstices and equinoxes) charts. I would suggest we read his words again and think ahead while we plow through the remainder of this Taurus period. It is down-and-dirty work (and that’s what we sign up for apparently) but what a payoff when the work is finally done. Thank you Fe for your efforts toward that end.

  5. Len Wallick

    Fe: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the authority (both intellectual and moral) you so eloquently, forcefully, and yet also gracefully brought us in this unequalled piece. Your words here are for me a gift indeed. Your words are a gift i receive gratefully, even as i must also accept my share of responsibility for having lived so long only to see that the pernicious racist rhetoric of the past still survives not only through the propaganda of a young assassin, not only through the Republican Party, not only the FOX network, but (most importantly and dismayingly) through the daily customs of arbitrary and unjust privilege that permeate the country and culture in which i participate.

    1. Fe Bongolan Post author

      Love you Len, and yes you’re on it. It breaks down to our daily, minute by minute reactions and interactions. Its going to take individual and collective doing to get this right.

  6. Barbara Koehler

    “Raising the ROOF” was what you did as a group in the pioneer days. She’ll “raise the ROOF” when she sees what you have done, is an example of this expression, meaning expected fury due to an act committed by someone not in charge. I can see this word as symbolic of both interpretations in the case of Charleston; (1) hate groups and (2) fury following a forbidden act. A name that will live in infamy – Roof.

    your dictionary dot com says it is slang meaning “to create a disturbance” or “cause trouble” and lists among other things for the word “raise” (the roof) :
    * to elevate
    * to raise a revolt
    * to bring to an end

    Symbols and words. . . very powerful stuff!

  7. Amy Callahan

    while not engaging in self-care (i, and we, got hit so hard with that. it built for more than a year), i took the time to notice that it was the anniversary of a Supreme Court decision regarding prayer in schools. wow. i also have probably figured out why i personally get hit so hard by nationalistic events (it seems like i’m always totally nailed), it’s this stuff that Jose Arguelles et al brought forth vis a vis Harmonic Convergence, etc. Blue Eagle days are all over it. although June 20, 1782, the day the Eagle was adopted as the seal of the United States is not a Blue Eagle day, two days later June 22, 1782 is, maybe this is when the people heard about it. the event in Charleston an absolute bummer though even if it does free up some energy to change some things that are long-overdue… it’s interesting to look at all the ideas for the Great Seal, yes. i just remembered — i saw an eagle in a dream last night, but woke up lethargic, with a headache. i must thank be for your insights (and the effort they must take! Pluto finishing a transit to U.S. Eris maybe now she throws her apple all the better, although i don’t know what i mean by that — more accurate? or just more discord?) and Fe for your dogged commitment to stabilize us in the “right” of life. if a symbol enables harm to be done then what is it? hard questions, and i think it could open Pandora’s box if we go back to sleep and let it slip into the unconscious too much. 🙁

  8. Fe Bongolan Post author

    Ebay to ban listings of Confederate flags
    June 23, 2015

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – EBay Inc said on Tuesday it will ban Confederate flags and related items containing the flag’s image from its website calling the flag a “symbol of divisiveness and racism.”

    eBay’s decision comes after Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Sears Holdings Corp said they would stop selling products bearing the Confederate flag on Monday, a week after a white gunman shot nine dead at a historically black South Carolina church.

    (Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by David Gregorio)–finance.html

  9. Barbara Koehler

    In these last throes of Gemini (never knows when to quit) a thought regarding transiting Uranus, now conjunct the U.S. Sibly birth chart’s Chiron, is his perseverance to prove his association with Aquarius.

    We have seen Uranus shock, surprise, be irreverent of feelings and blast open ceilings (and roofs as well) to provide access to the rooms at the top. Just think what he can do for the U.S.A. when teamed with natal Chiron the Healer. He starts this lengthy conjunction with a trine to transiting Jupiter, who not only trines the U.S. Chiron but also sextiles the U.S. Juno in Libra. There is a sense of equality coming from the light we are being exposed to, now that the Roof has been exposed and removed.

    When transiting Chiron joined transiting Uranus in 1898, it was in the sign of Sagittarius, the same degree where transiting Saturn recently stationed retrograde. It’s like Saturn (make it real) made us focus on that degree, 4+ Sagittarius, to awaken the combined Uranus-Chiron energy. In the U.S, that conjunction between Uranus and Chiron happened just as Pluto was on the Ascendant. . in Gemini! Pluto was opposite Saturn at the time and that aspect describes destructive forces beneath the surface opposing the status quo. It is in the DNA of Uranus-Chiron to deal with that element.

    Think of Uranus in his capacity as the Internet. No longer are groups of hate and violence hidden away from the light, they have websites!!! Over time, not as long as we might think, these disturbing elements of society will be exposed and neutralized. Aquarius is the sign associated with humanitarian concerns and we are nearing the cycle of Jupiter-Saturn that begins in Aquarius.

    They may seem instantaneous these Uranian acts, but in reality, they are a long time coming. Remember this when the hoopla over the next Jupiter-Saturn conjunction begins. It was Uranus who raised the roof to expose the humanitarian pains to be healed.

    1. Fe Bongolan Post author

      And let it begin with Amazon!

      Walmart is divesting from confederate flags, but so far Amazon has stood mum on the question. No fear! The crowd sourced reviews are here to give perspective. There are 908 hits for “confederate flag” at Amazon. Not everyone is happy about that.

      Is this flag flammable? I’m worried it will be damaged if near a burning cross.

      A: Don’t put your flag to close to your cross while it’s burning…. normally we ignite the cross then hold the flag and chant in the street. About 10 to 15 feet from the cross. It’s never caught fire from there. Hope this helps. doug answered on June 20, 2015

      A: Perhaps we need to investigate the possibilities of manufacturing both Confederate and US flags from inflammable cloth. FLAG DISTRIBUTOR answered on June 20, 2015

      A: Yes! And it’s very cheap quality. Just a peace of material w/printed design. No stitching at all around edges. E. Dudley answered on June 20, 2015

      Does this flag burn easily?

      A: I’ll help you set it on fire kevin kroger answered on June 21, 2015

      A: Why this flag burns quite well! But it burns much more efficiently with a dose of gasoline or kerosene.

      How thick is this flag? I am looking for a confederate flag to burn and defecate on. I would like for it burn for quite a while.

      A: Flame retardant is not included. After you purchase the flag it is yours to do with what you want. Purchase multiple flags so you can burn one every day. It is not recommended that you burn after defecation. Two flags may be required

      How thick is this flag? I am looking for a confederate flag to burn and would like a thick flag that would burn for some time.

      A: Funny you should ask. I was wondering the same thing. I don’t own one yet but I would think, being that it is Polyester (probably proudly made in communist China), it should catch on fire pretty quickly. I don’t think it will last very long, so you may want to buy in multiples for prolonged enjoyment. Have fun with it! =) Some Blue Devil answered on June 23, 2015

      A: This flag just didn’t have what it took. Sure, it burned as brightly as Atlanta during Sherman’s march, but it soon fizzled and gave way to darkness, relegated to history as a relic of the failure of traitors who sought to enslave and keep separate their fellow man. That darkness still persists to this day so remember to leave your own light shining.

  10. Geoff Marsh

    I’ve always abhorred fox-hunting, that “sport” where the aristocracy and their followers hound a poor animal to death for pleasure.

    FOX-hunting, now, that’s a different matter.

    After years at the helm building the world’s second-biggest media empire, Rupert Murdoch is to step down from his role as CEO on July 1, handing control of the reins to son James. It’s at times like this that companies are often at their most vulnerable, and now might be a very good time for pressure groups to gather their supporters for a serious challenge to the news output of 21st Century Fox.

    Like all commercial media outlets, it’s vulnerable through its advertisers. A boycott of all products and services advertised on Fox media would be an enormous undertaking but, as with most large organisations, bad publicity and public opprobrium for promoting racism would be a powerful tool.

    James is too much of a businessman to ignore the warning signs when bottom-line profits start to decline. Like his father, he’ll no doubt shift his political allegiance to follow the money if he finds that he can’t direct where the money’s going.

    And, as Britain’s biggest supermarket operator Tesco has recently discovered to its chagrin, no company in the world is too big to fail. If the punters don’t punt, you’re on the skids, kid.


  11. Fe Bongolan Post author

    From Paul Krugman, NY Times:

    Slavery’s Long Shadow

    America is a much less racist nation than it used to be, and I’m not just talking about the still remarkable fact that an African-American occupies the White House. The raw institutional racism that prevailed before the civil rights movement ended Jim Crow is gone, although subtler discrimination persists. Individual attitudes have changed, too, dramatically in some cases. For example, as recently as the 1980s half of Americans opposed interracial marriage, a position now held by only a tiny minority.

    Yet racial hatred is still a potent force in our society, as we’ve just been reminded to our horror. And I’m sorry to say this, but the racial divide is still a defining feature of our political economy, the reason America is unique among advanced nations in its harsh treatment of the less fortunate and its willingness to tolerate unnecessary suffering among its citizens.

    Of course, saying this brings angry denials from many conservatives, so let me try to be cool and careful here, and cite some of the overwhelming evidence for the continuing centrality of race in our national politics.

    My own understanding of the role of race in U.S. exceptionalism was largely shaped by two academic papers.

    The first, by the political scientist Larry Bartels, analyzed the move of the white working class away from Democrats, a move made famous in Thomas Frank’s “What’s the Matter With Kansas?” Mr. Frank argued that working-class whites were being induced to vote against their own interests by the right’s exploitation of cultural issues. But Mr. Bartels showed that the working-class turn against Democrats wasn’t a national phenomenon — it was entirely restricted to the South, where whites turned overwhelmingly Republican after the passage of the Civil Rights Act and Richard Nixon’s adoption of the so-called Southern strategy.

    More here:

  12. marilyn

    Fe and All:
    Have you ever been on an international flight when OUR TROOPS all in uniform board the same plane you’re on? I can not hold back the tears when this happens. Perhaps 20 of the 400 passengers on board are American and ALL of the Americans stand up in the plane, clap their hands and applaud these men and women. The ones that have the aisle seats extend their hand to them to greet them. It doesn’t matter if they are, black, brown, white, purple or blue, each and every one of OUR TROOPS in uniform ALL get applause ALL get a handshake ALL get a pat on the back…ALL…
    It doesn’t matter if the person is rich or poor or from South Carolina, Every American on that plane is standing to applaud them.
    I now reside in Germany, and I taught the German Army English. During a lesson of 25 soldiers, a soldier stood up and asked me why do ALL Americans applaud their TROOPS when they board a plane? My response to that Soldier was “I am the Matriarch, the only parent left to protect my family, while I am here in Germany, they are doing my job for me”. And I might add an incredible fantastic job at that. The Soldier then said, “I wish my country would do that for us”, and we are always on a German owned plane”.

    1. Barbara Koehler

      Interesting observation Marilyn. Now I’m wondering if it is a mark of respect (a Saturn thing?) and/or of tradition (also a Saturn thing). Thanks for sharing. Our country’s Saturn is in the 10th house in Libra, ruled by Venus in Cancer conjunct Jupiter. There is an innate sense of value (Venus) in Americans as a whole, for their government and society (believe it or not), as symbolized by Venus’ connection with Jupiter and Saturn and the 10th house. Some might even call it love.

      The ambivalence between the U.S. Cancer Sun (also tradition oriented as well as family oriented) and it’s square to its own Saturn finds a way to override that friction through a show of respect and admiration for the people who serve overseas to protect them. In theory anyway. At least for Americans flying to and from the homeland! I guess that’s where Jupiter would come in, huh? Also the U.S. Sun rules its own 9th house of long distance travel. Some dots I’d not connected before . . thanks again!

  13. Geoff Marsh

    As a Brit, I don’t wish to disparage the American military – after all, if it wasn’t for them, there might easily not have been a Britain as we know it today – rather, perhaps, the attitude of Americans towards their servicemen in different situations.

    It’s easy to applaud the fit, tough and good-looking servicemen and women who are stationed overseas in peacetime, quite another it seems when some of those warriors return from battle disabled and traumatised. I’m thinking particularly of those Vietnam veterans who came back to face a less than dignified future, unable to find work or claim adequate benefits.

    It was much the same in Britain during the First World War but things improved after 1945 when what Americans call our “socialist” welfare system looked after those wounded heroes who returned home after defending our national interests overseas.

  14. marie hawthorne

    Once a person, any person, one person has been made ‘a thing’ and a saleable one at that (commodity) how can we then feign surprise that people can are then used for their labour (slavery), or murdered on mass (genocide)? and then treated ‘differently’ through generation after generation.

    Modernist science developed a developed theory which grew into ‘a field of study’ to justify the practices (eugenics) for the ‘rational’ back up offering that ‘these aren’t really people’ and as a theory it grew in popularity for a while because some people found it could justify, well, anything they wanted it to justify….

    But that’s only one point of view, albeit a very powerful one; and history is littered with the corpses of those who felt death was a better option than the status of ‘thing’ that they were born into, stolen into, sold into, conquered into, and expected to live with. I read recently that the reason that slaves, or cargo by weight, as it is written in the ships’ logs, were chained in the galley ships is so that they couldn’t jump overboard and drown themselves. Too wasteful of human resource to be permitted.

    While the eugenicists are in the closet (mostly), their ideas, as we can see, feel, hear, are alive in our world and creating havoc, misery, destruction, death etc. etc.. The last serious discussion on eugenics that i heard was on Radio 4, way, way, way back in 2013! as some sort of affirmation for the middle classes that ‘us’ and ‘them’ was still fine despite any appearance of concessions: ‘The Moral Maze’. Moral cesspit i think. It was the last time i ever put that channel on. The moral dilemma? by what process is this ‘thing’ to be reintegrated into the human family? As if it is those designated as ‘thing’, ‘chattel’, ‘other’ that had misplaced their humanity…..

    Since there is only one human race, anyone who still believes otherwise is delusional; and i mean that without judgment: it might be because of choice, ignorance, mis-education, circumstances, culture – whatever, but it still looks to me like delusion. It’s not my opinion that climatic adaptations produce different races, differences, yes, but not different ‘races’. So what is really going on? I wish i knew; but i do know that if there is only one race then ‘racism’ is a euphemism; and ‘race’ and ‘racism’ are products/constructs of our inherited ‘scientific’ imaginings that are still proving useful to some, somewhere. Perhaps it’s to encourage all those suffering ‘isms’ to scrap amongst each other for a piece of the cake, over that x per cent left so that the machinery keeps running, as if that’s where real dignity is to be found.

    And Princess Charlotte is going to have a very interesting time investigating her family tree. Not simply a transference of ‘blue blood’ theology to the scientific field, then. It’s amazing to try and imagine the time before ‘race’ and ‘racism’ was invented. And if that is so difficult….? Nevertheless, like visualising unicorns in fine and glorious detail, it can be done, but it takes a lot of imagination, and practice.

    […possibly Chiron station…]

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