The Legacy of Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King is being honored today across the US.  MLK is a trending topic on social media, news outlets are rehashing stories about the Civil Rights movement and publicizing community events to honor the fallen leader.  Martin Luther King’s story is amazing and absolutely heroic.  But I feel like his legacy is being tarnished and Whitewashed.

Martin Luther King was a man that was beaten and imprisoned because of his protests against a tyrannical White supremacist government.  He was a Black man that fought for the rights of Black people and was surely motivated by concerns about the future of his own Black family.  He put everything on the line and died for his people. His movement was successful and created real and positive changes for Black Americans.

But we in America still live in a White supremacist, European centered culture.  Everything has to be not only accessible to Whites but centered around them.  That is made very clear by the historical retelling of MLK’s life.  He is said to be a man that wanted to bring the races together and bring about harmony in America.  He is also portrayed as a Confucius like figure.  I think that narrative is a lie to get White Americans to buy into his legacy.

First of all when you talk about race relations in America you need to think of hammers and nails.  Whites are the hammers.  Blacks are the nails.  The hammers like to act as though there is an ongoing disagreement between two parties on equal footing.  That has not been the case.  Blacks have been getting hammered since the origins of this country and the Civil Rights movement just asked to give Blacks a break.  Give them a shot at the chance to pursue happiness.

When mainstream media talks the accomplishments and goals of Dr. King they act as if he simply wanted Black and White people to hold hands and sing kumbaya together.  He was not the simpleton that history and the mainstream media make him out to be.  He was a freedom fighter for Black American people that had suffered centuries of oppression in the US.

He fought for displaced people that did not truly have a country of their own.  He fought for descendants of African slaves that were prisoners of this country.  Dr. King did not fight and die simply so Blacks could have White friends or land a date with a non Black person which is the story that is being sold across the world today through the American media and American public schools.

The same thing has happened to Nelson Mandela.  He was a brave freedom fighter that fought for Black people in South Africa and won basic rights.  Mandela is also being marketed as a Black man that dreamed of a rainbow nation and wanted to bring about so called racial reconciliation.  This version of history is a lot easier for White people to digest because they are not confronted with their own past.

Since Donald Trump was elected as president in the US I have observed that the media sympathizes with racist notions that affirm White supremacy.  The media typically portrays Whites as heroes or victims.  The stories of the Civil Rights movement can not be accurately told and still portray Whites as heroes or victims.  So the truth is being rewritten.

This disingenuous retelling of history is damaging to all Americans.  There is no way that White supremacist ideas will ever change if they are not confronted.  White Americans refuse to do the soul searching necessary to bring about the cultural changes necessary to bring about the racial reconciliation that they pay lip service to every year.

It’s also dangerous to Black people because it gives them the message that your prosperity lies in other communities.  Most African Americans do not really want to be independent from White tyranny and they don’t believe that Black communities can be self sufficient.  The bogus retelling of history reinforces the notion that Black people need other communities, especially Whites to survive.

I’m very unsure of what is being taught in American schools today.  But I urge everyone to seek out information on the American Civil Rights movement.  Remember to focus your attention of the Black community because those are primarily the people that stood up to American authoritarianism and made modest gains in order to improve their lives, communities and the futures of their children.  As a Black American woman I am grateful for their struggle.

MGTOW

A few months ago I ran across MGTOW pages on You Tube.  MGTOW is an acronym for Men Go Their Own Way.  I don’t consider myself to be a feminist so I listened to what these men have to say with an open mind.  These men make some valid points in their videos.

I do believe that feminism has given some women unrealistic expectations of life and of men.  I have observed women being very selfish and demanding in relationships.  These women have grown up being told they are worth it and they are princesses by companies that want to sell fantasies to women.  I also don’t think that society respects decent men the way it should.

I had the experience of working in the jewelry retail business for about eight years on a part time or full time basis.  I observed a lot of self entitled, selfish, materialistic and delusional behavior while I was in that business.  I understand why some men decide to not marry or date women.

However, after running across enough MGTOW videos I came to realize that these men were just making excuses to hate women and they themselves were quite delusional.  First of all, if a person decides they don’t want to be bothered with someone or something they just quietly walk away from it and go on with their life.  They do not form a band of brothers and focus on the people that they claim to not want to be around.  MGTOW is obsessed with women and they see women as enemies.  They don’t focus on having satisfying lives as single men.

And these men have not actually walked away.  Time and time again I heard MGTOW use the term pump and dump.  So they are actually involved with women enough to sleep with them.  They must be hooking up on dating websites or bars in a string of one night stands or they are lying to women long enough to sleep with them and not speak to them again.  They claim to be successful men however all this pumping and dumping sounds like a lot of time consuming, life complicating work to me.

MGTOW has a very strange obsession with youth.  They believe that they become more valuable with age and women become less valuable.  When I say they are interested in young women I mean very young.  MGTOW thinks that women are over the hill by the time they are twenty five.  I have read many You Tube comments where men in their forties prefer to date nineteen year olds and men in their fifties date women in their mid twenties.

I understand being attracted to youth and beauty.  However it usually takes youth and beauty get it.  I hate to break it to you fellas out there but women are attracted to youth as well.  If you are a mature person think back to when you were twenty and how old you thought thirty was.  I was not interested in men that old when I was very young and I don’t think most women are unless the man is super charming, uncommonly attractive for his age or unless there is a financial incentive.

But wait, I thought MGTOW men didn’t like women that are gold diggers!  It sounds to me that these men waste their young years when they have the opportunity to organically and without complications win over a young bride and wait until they are old men to try and date someone that wants a sugar daddy.

When I hear of old movie or rock stars in their sixties dating much younger women and having more children I figure that they are smart enough men to know the game.  They are trading money for youth and beauty and the opportunity to have more children.  I don’t think any of those men think that their young lovers would be by their side if it wasn’t for the money and prestige.  There are indeed May-December romances that are true love but it’s not the norm.  And even if the man is not wealthy he probably still is generous with his money and indulges his young girlfriend in exchange for her attention and affection.  At least I hope so.  If she’s not she’s not too smart.

MGTOW men make it a point to explain to people why they are single.  Perhaps some women just chose not to marry or just never found what they wanted in a partner.  I am forty three and there are opportunities for relationships for women my age however there is not a lot of incentive to start the relationship.

It’s not likely that I will be starting a family at this point unless it was through adoption.  And there are so many more variables to consider in relationships as you get older.  Careers are more developed, there are children, grandchildren, aging parents and health issues.  Everyone has baggage and it gets heavier with age.

People have joked about cat ladies but has anyone said they are unhappy?  They are not the ones on You Tube complaining.  If anything they are just enjoying themselves and watching cat videos.  Perhaps spinsters decided to go their own way long ago and quietly go about their lives which is what MGTOW needs to do.

MGTOW’s ugly behavior over shadows any of the valid points they have.  And the attraction that these middle aged men have for teenagers makes them pretty darn shady.  They are a bit delusional about the women they have access to as they age.  I wrote a piece once about the number one rule of dating.  That is people date and marry their equivalent or there is a trade off of some sort i.e. wealth for youth and beauty.  I respect anyone’s choice not to marry and or have children male or female.  But it’s your choice.

Golden Tate

I was born and raised in the metro Detroit area and I became a football fan because of the Detroit Lions. They are one of the least successful teams in the entire NFL but they will always have a soft spot in my heart. If it wasn’t for them I don’t know if I would enjoy football today. Golden Tate was one of their star players over the last few years. He was surprisingly traded last season to the Philadelphia Eagles and they made a good run for another Superbowl appearance but they fell short against the Saints.

I can’t say that I have ever been a fan of Golden Tate particularly. If he wasn’t a key player on one of my teams I don’t think I would know him. But today I feel close to him and it’s because of this quote.

quote

I have never played a sport competitively. I haven’t played sports for recreation much either. But I do know what it is like to feel like you have payed dues and you are ready for success. I also understand the fear that time is slipping away until you are in a different stage in your life and you may never have the opportunity to realize your dreams.

Golden Tate is only thirty which is young by most accounts. But as a professional athlete especially in a rough sport and playing a very physical position someone like his is more aware of time than most of us.

We all go through up and downs in life but after learning lessons, having false starts and paying dues you are ready for success. Whether it be a Superbowl ring, your own career success or relationship success you continue to work towards it and hope for the best. You run out of patience for situations that have little potential or that have a very uncertain outcome.

As you get older you become smarter and you learn what to look for in various situations. You’ve learned what red flags to look for that may make something a bad investment in your time and you’re not afraid to say no thank you and walk away never to look back again. As you get older you learn to value your time and even more important your energy. You become laser focused and you learn to assert yourself and ask for what you want.

My advice to anyone that is young that is reading this is to learn these lessons early and focus on whatever goals and targets you have. There will be distractions, dead ends and detours but don’t waste your time on things that you don’t really want. The most important thing to do is to learn what that is.

Youth offers opportunities that maturity often times does not. That is a failing of Western society. But even if your goals are not youth oriented like winning a Superbowl ring keep in mind that we all have limited time. Have a goal, make a plan and figure out how to get there while time is on your side.

lions

The Handmaid’s Tale

Ever since I read “1984” and “Brave New World” in high school I’ve been a fan of dystopian novels.  I love recent effort like “The Hunger Games” and I found the movie “Divergent” to be enjoyable even though the novels weren’t very original.  So the buzz around the Hulu series “The Handmaid’s Tale” caught my interest.

I borrowed the book from the library and I thought it was pretty interesting.  It was a suspenseful story and it inspired a lot of imagination.  The author Margaret Atwood left a lot of loose ends in her book.  She wrote the novel as if we were familiar with the country of Gilead and details did not need to be explained.

I enjoyed the book enough to watch the TV series because I was hoping it would fill in some blanks for me.  In some ways it did.  Since the book leaves a lot to the imagination the writers of the TV series were given a lot of artistic license.  There are several story lines in the show that weren’t in the novel and there were some aspects of the book that were completely left out of the TV show.  But I’m still left with questions about Gilead and the way society is structured.

While reading the book and watching the TV series I wondered what happened to the handmaids once their child bearing years are over.  Are they sent to the colonies?  If so why not stage an uprising?  There isn’t much to loose if you know you will be exiled and sentenced to a work camp or hanged in your mid forties.

In the TV show there were women that worked as domestic workers.  They looked to be in their late 30s or perhaps 40s and were attractive.  It is unclear if that was the next step after being a handmaid.  The book mentioned a social class of women called econowives which may have been the lot in life of these women.  But I thought the econowives were government issued women to low status men.  It was never made clear.

I also didn’t understand who benefited from the social structure of Gilead.  Everyone was miserable and oppressed.  Even the upper class of society suffered under the rules of the theocracy.  Why did they put up with it?  They were all slaves to the system and I saw no beneficiaries.  No one was above corporal punishment or the wall in Gilead.

The social structure that enslaved women of child bearing age didn’t seem to be very fruitful.  Despite all of the child bearing women being in bondage and having intercourse monthly on their fertile days pregnancies were still rare.  The entire exercise seems futile to me because it wasn’t very productive despite the systematic efforts.  It probably would have been better to harvest the eggs of child women and implant them with embryos.

There was no reward for delivering a healthy child.  Once a woman weened the baby that she birthed she just went on to the next post.  Women that delivered babies weren’t even given high status.  You would think that Gilead would offer some sort of motivation such as a respectable husband or her own income and residence at some point.

The book touched on this more than the show did but a lot of men were celibate in Gilead.  Men were issued women by the government based on status.  Low status men were not issued women at all.  It was hard to tell the status levels of the men in the stories.  The driver in the story was low status and the Commander was high.

I don’t know how men ranked in between and at what point they earned a woman.  There is no way all of those grown celibate men wouldn’t cause some sort of social instability.  The social structure of Gilead really wasn’t sustainable.

In the novel Serena Joy Waterford was a lot older than her handmaid Offred.  I got the impression that all of the wives and commanders were older and past prime child bearing years which was their problem.  In the TV show the actresses that play the wives and handmaids are around the same age.  So I don’t really know what was wrong with all the wives?  You would think one of them would have an unplanned pregnancy at some point.  And how did the government of Gilead know they were infertile?

Some of the wives in the movie were quite young and looked to be healthy.  You don’t really know that you can’t have children until you start having unprotected sex.  It was also unclear to me if the wives and husbands had sex with each other or was sexuality taboo outside of “The Ceremony”.  The Waterfords had a very distant and cold relationship.

There was a baby girl born in the story.  Her handmaid mother called her Angela and her adopted mother and father called her Charlotte (or perhaps vice versa).  I’m sympathetic to the handmaid so I will refer to her as Angela.  What did Gilead do with the baby girls that were born and raised in affluent families that had handmaids.  Would these families really turn their daughter over to the government if she was thought to be fertile?  How would they reconcile that with their conscious?

There are just so many questions left.  There are more seasons of the show and Margaret Atwood is working on a sequel to her novel that was published in 1985.  Perhaps my questions will be answered.  But based on the book and the TV program I don’t think Gilead could survive for more than one generation.  There would be a lot of instability and social strife that would cause upheaval.