Spending the day human-free, in the quiet company of my cat and dogs, researching startup costs and mulling over possible business names, drinking chamomile and eating salty French green beans from a can, thinking about racism. No one in this country escapes it – though we good-hearted, white liberal-types often tend to believe we’re immune. Racist? I’m not racist! Racist is that other guy, the one with the confederate flag bumper sticker. But there’s no escaping the insidious tendrils of bigotry that curl deeply inside our collective minds. It’s in our history, our movies, our advertising – it’s everywhere, and all these messages lodge themselves in us, piling on top of a guilt that most of us white people can not name. What we can do is accept that fact, get educated about it, bring it into our awareness, and decide what to do with it. There’s no need for shame, if we will do the work.
My dear friend Maggie Jochild, who’s given it decades of thought, says this: “The truest thing about America is that it is rooted in racism, and that every second of its history since white arrival, we have been fighting against racism with a profound, accurate belief we can eliminate it here.”
Macho Neighborhood Dog: Whoa, Dude, what is UP with the pink bootie?
Jake: I was bleeding, so Glasseyes and the Kid put it on there til we could get to the vet.
Dog: HAHAHAHAHA! Lookit the FLOWERS! Are those … PANSIES?? HAHAHAHA!
Jake: No, they look more like little pink dai- hey!
Dog: You have got to be kidding me! Widdle Jakey, in his widdle pink bootie! So what happened?
Jake: I broke a nail.
Dog: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHOOOOOOWWWWWWLSnortSnuffOh my gawd that’s classic
Jake: It was bleeding all over the floor, so they wrapped it up and put one of the Kid’s socks over it.
Dog: Awww, yer own little mani-pedi…
Sugarpaw: Hey Buster, back off my pack-mate.
Dog: My name’s Sam, Bitch.
Sugarpaw: I am Paw. And thank you for addressing me by my title.
Dog: I apologize, Alpha Bitch. Your teeth are so sharp and pointy. Your fury and power overwhelm me. See? I lick your chin in supplication. Lick lick lick!
Sugarpaw: I accept your supplication. Would you like to sniff my rear?
Dog: I would like to more than anything, but my Person is dragging me away … goodbye!
Sugarpaw: Let that be a lesson to him.
Jake: Thanks, Bitch!
Sugarpaw: WHADYOU CALL ME?? (SLAP)
Hallelujah, my back seems to be better. It’s a Christmas miracle, I’m pretty sure, that it only laid me up for a day and a half, and not during my work week. I know I need to obey the clinic doctor and start doing some yoga and swimming. I’m pretty sure I’m the only freak of nature in the entire universe who hates yoga and swimming. Maybe I can make it more interesting – naked yoga might be fun. I’m not sure how they’ll feel about it over at the Jewish Community Center where I have a membership.
Tomorrow I start the 10-week micro-enterprise training down at the Urban Government Building. I think that’s the building where they house all the resources for all the poor folks in the city. I’m not looking forward to the class, since I hate business classes as much as – no, more than I hate yoga and swimming. Naked micro-enterprise training? It’s a thought…