Saturday, November 21, 2015

Making Comments

The Greek Proverb says when the Gods decide to destroy you, they make you angry.
Eiffel trocadero i
By J.M. Schomburg via Wikimedia Commons

Somehow time has passed quickly and I find myself on the cusp of 60. So much of my life unlived in that so many things have passed me by that I never experienced. I would grieve but experiences do have two sides.

A moment to respect the world situation in Paris, Beirut, Mali. One thing on the internet is how we react to terrorism in white countries and ignore that in countries of brown or black people.

It is a legitimate statement and true at times.

Why did American's have such a reaction to the Paris incident, it is 9/11. It could have been us in our multitude of ethnicities. You assume you can walk the streets with jewelry in the United States which you cannot in other places of the world. You assume you can go to a restaurant, concert or sporting event in the United States and Europe and not expect terrorism.

There is deep seated racism in the world. People of sub-Saharan African descent experience discrimination world wide. We even have African Americans who prefer light skin or dark skin.

More importantly, you have people who believe everyone regardless of creed or color have the basic right to the pursuit of happiness.

I've written about race on my blog more to gauge how people react. In my novels, you have black and white people. I live in a society of both races and it is my reality. My reality also knows you can get in deep doodoo real fast discussing race.

I stopped my chemistry students from talking race before class one day. They asked me why. I said, "You don't discuss politics and religion." The kids said, "We are just saying - I can't remember the conversation about race -". Race is politics I said to them. They were quiet a minute and then agreed.

Sometimes, someone says something out of line about race on social media. The attack is swift and without mercy. The endorphins of indignation rushes to the brains of so many. They forget the terrible things they have thought or said but fortunately there is no record.

The most recent was a Georgia Southern student commenting about the BLM movement at the University of Missouri. She is young and dumb. I remember when I thought things in Missouri were pretty much the same as it was in Georgia, California, Canada and Europe. Then I found out it was different in the next county. I was going to have to do a lot of adapting.

What I dislike the most is the white who always sides with a person of color as if they want everyone to know they are the "good white". You can only be a "good white" when your actions alleviate the cruelty and suffering of another. You can be sincere but untested. Words alone are shallow testimony.

I don't like racism. I abhor the KKK and related causes.

I also have patience with people putting their foot in their mouth. I've done it too many times to count. We should all think before we speak or more importantly put anything on social media.

Anyway, I commented on a very talented writer's blog. After commenting, I read her about section and realized she might not be a 15 year old but a small staff of writers. She could be a 15 year old savant because she has a literary agent. I took that damn comment off as quick as I could.

A link to the blog follows the comment. I read a lot of blogs and try to comment on all of them.

This is the comment below. I did not add my quiet thought that anger can destroy us all.

Blogger Ann Bennett said...

This is your teacher speaking here.

It is important if you want to publicize the tragedy in Kenya and Beirut by writing about them solely.

Unfortunately, there are people who prioritize according to race and social class. That does not mitigate the tragedy in Paris.

Of the three, the attack at the University in Kenya is the most painful to hear in that young people at the start of their lives were killed. I remember reading how the Somali extremist separated the Christian students from the Muslim students before killing 147 of them.

This goes back to what my father taught me a long time ago. Stay away from people who don't like a group of people. They don't really like anyone. I've edited his quote.

This is an incredible power struggle in the mid-east. Look at the people fleeing Syria. It is irrelevant whether ISIS is Muslim. ISIS is not all Muslims nor Allah. I know many Muslims. They are very nice people. They could also have been victims as well as you and I.

This post is a good discussion point to have with your parents in how one tragedy is not worse than another especially for the individual involved.

Write another one titled Don't Forget Beirut and Kenya University. I think this is your true message.

You are a very talented writer for a 15 year old. I don't think this talent was given to you to write just anything. There is a lot a passion you have at 15 that gets tempered with life experiences. Again, discuss your posts with your parents. You'll never have anyone that cares as much for you. We all need to be tempered by the opinions of others.


  1. There is always many sides to much and everyone likes their opinion, sad any time any of such crap happens with war and explosion and such, but when it happens in a place no one thinks it will, things really hit the fan because so many think they are more advanced, higher society, etc. when really it is more of an illusion of "society" they just got better at faking they are more civilized or whatever they want to call it. As for racist crap, pffft, if I like you I like you no matter religion, race, etc. If I don't I don't, nothing to do with that crap, although some try and play that card when it isn't there, which makes me think they are a douchebag even more haha

    1. The illusion of society is a good observation. The world just doesn't have guarantees.

      With this kid if she really exists, she will be "typecast" in his writing. There is a segment that reads it but many readers like myself like a little more variation and open-mindedness.

  2. As a teacher, I always was surprised how young people lack the 'open-mindset' that they claim to have. Part of their narrow world view is simply not having enough life experience to really understand how much they don't understand. I find that my life experiences growing up as a middle class white American woman makes it impossible for me to understand how terrorists think or what those refugees are suffering or what they hope to find as they leave everything behind. But I know I don't know that. I know I can only base opinions on my limited world view. Young people really think they know 'everything' about how society is failing and how it should be better when they really are a very small part of society with an even more limited view than the adults they want to criticize. No one is convinced to change their inner most feelings because of Twitter or Facebook. Only real life experiences can help us do that.
    How can a person know if they are a racist or not if they're never around people of other racists? How can people know that the majority of Muslims are kind, peaceful people if they've never met any?
    Knowing what you don't know comes from spending a few more years on this Earth than 15.

    1. You cut to the gist of the matter. SNL had a parody of a game show called "Should you weigh in on that". We are all limited to our world view.

      I loved the kids I taught but they are a conformist crowd. If everybody likes it, you know you got to like it.

  3. Excellent post Ann. I've always made it a point not to discuss religion or politics in public. I've seen too many heated discussions come to almost blows over the years. All I personally can say is that I was raised in a middle class white household with parents who claimed they weren't racist but yet always had a nickname for other ethnicities. ALWAYS. And they weren't nice ones. You would think that I too would have the same mindset to condemn others who weren't white. Yet, I grew up to detest those names and have worked with so many different ethnicities over my career. I never felt better than anyone else. What gives people the right to think they are better than others and so much so that their hatred turns violent? I still cringe when I hear my 90 year old mother call others those nicknames. I'm grateful that I had the sense to get away from that kind of thinking. Too bad everyone can't do the same in this world. It would sure be a lot easier wouldn't it?

    1. I can understand that cringing. My mother is pretty cool but some of my other relatives give me pause. Actions tell more about a person than words.

  4. For the most part I avoid race or religion on my blog or even in most of my conversation. I think that's a stupid approach, but in this PC world it's almost a necessity unless you want to have to engage in all sorts of argument.

    The way I see it is that if we don't have reasonable, focused discussions about race, politics, religion, or other controversies looking at the topics with as much objectivity and logic as we can muster then we don't learn much of anything. Unfortunately this rarely happens and this is why so many people are essentially stupid and have a narrow view of what is a very big world.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  5. I agree with you totally. If you don't allow discussion, you never explore the points of views and their merits. In writing my opinions I have come to some conclusions that I did not expect. I don't publish them, lol.


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 I got these little scutters before my sister passed. I thought they would cheer everyone up in the house. Who knew the person I really got ...