zine, [zeen] noun. 1. abbr. of fanzine; 2. any amateurly-published periodical. Oxford Reference


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dead Serious

Yesterday, I was engaged in casual chit chat with a new friend while we were working adjoining stands at a market. I inquired how he landed in Ashtabula County from GA. His grandfather had been beaten near to death by the KKK. His grandfather stubbornly stayed in GA., but the rest of the family moved to Ohio. That was 50 yrs ago.

I was unprepared for the emotions that hit me. I've heard my share of horrifying stories, first and second hand, but I can't remember ever looking someone in the eye before while they recounted anything like that. Mixed up in my triggered emotions was a fair amount of rage and hate. Shit like that just makes me want to kill.

I got a little reminder of some basic stuff that I take for granted, and I'm passing that along. Fuck Racism. Period. All good people need to have a zero tolerance policy for that shit. And watch out for the hate; hate is cancer that weakens the soul and the mind and makes us susceptible to all that evil in the first place.

It is not enough to simply be benign; we are all of us ambassadors to the world, all the time. It is easy to get along with ones own kind, whatever that is, and it is easy to shrug off perceived slights, even confrontations. But when we are outside our comfort zone, with those others, these same things can take on whole worlds of meaning, trigger old wounds, etc. Compound that with cultural differences that can be misunderstood, or are just plain annoying. Remember, always give the other person the benefit of the doubt AT LEAST THREE TIMES before copping an attitude with someone. If you want to go for the extra credit, refuse to cop an attitude even if the other person obviously has already with you. Never underestimate the power of acts of goodwill, they are the anti-venom of hate.

bismi-llāhi ar-ramāni ar-raīmi
"In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful"

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