Thursday, January 26, 2012

1: Actual Fact/Wolf Moon


Equality Builds Equality through Understanding of Culture. Conversely, InEquality Destructively breeds inequality through mis-Understanding of Culture.

It is a given that the 5% culture will be misunderstood by the masses for many reasons. (a) we are so small, that many have never heard of us, (b) folks mistrust that which they don’t understand (c) folks don’t want to put in the effort of learning something new if it doesn’t benefit them and (d) for some reason, folks take it as a personal insult if others live differently than they do.

Minorities know the rules and regulations of the majority culture. You have to in order to negotiate it. The converse is not always the same. I bare witness that some majorities don’t even acknowledge different cultures. i.e. “2 Americas.” Now in some cases it comes from lack of exposure. In others scenarios its that they don’t care. I will wager that most are due to some combination of both.

The point of this build is to be mindful to meet people where they are and don’t expect them to join you on your journey. They have their own. As a member of my beloved Nation I strive to bring truth… factual information... to the masses. But if I recognize that folks aren’t interested, I move on. No insults. No hard feelings. I strive to build with people in equality… on their level and with respect… and I expect the same back. Equality builds Equality. Everyone has to be mindful of all the Cultures that may be included or don’t build. Is it not everyone’s responsibility to do the knowledge before they speak? But if folks come into the conversation with misinformation and negative pre-conceived ideas then nothing good will come forth from that interaction.

I used to work for this colored man in the 90’s. During my tenure with him, Jerry Garcia died. I knew he was a musician, though I was unfamiliar with his music. The name “The Grateful Dead” has been bandied around enough that I have a small level of familiarity with it. But trust me I had never purposefully listened to one of their songs. I actually was more familiar with his name because of Ben & Jerry’s ‘Cherries Garcia’ ice cream. He on the other hand, in 1994 or so, had never heard of Barry White? This isn’t the sole example. White folks still want to touch my hair (when I used to wear it out), seem surprised that I don’t wash it every day, assume I listen to hip hop (I do) but are surprised that I also listen to country and western. It is a big assumption that I was born to a teenaged uneducated mother who had other children with whom I don’t share fathers or last names. Also untrue. Even among my own people it is assumed that I am a unmarried, diabetic and hypertensive woman with 6 jobs and a bunch of grown children, possibly grandchildren.

Now what that all this have to do with the January Wolf moon? Wolves can be ferocious. But the ferocity comes from them moving in packs. 1 wolf against 1 person is a more even battle than a pack of wolves against 1 person. When you are part of the prevalent culture, seek not to viciously attack another’s way of life. Most people have some eclecticism within their lives and would not like to be attacked because of its expression.

I get a lot of drama because I wear my head wrapped abroad. Folks will call me a Muslim. I notice that when I correct them they become first aggravated, then combative. And it’s not like I’m all up and in their faces. I will say, politely, and occasional with a smile, “No. I’m not a Muslim.” And leave it at that. I don’t feel the need to build with everyone especially to my detriment. And southern folks use the word of ‘hospitality’, to shield their nosiness. This is when folks become belligerent and inform me that I am mistaken. And make that bit of Knowledge Born. All women who wrap their heads are Muslims and that’s that. Changing the paradigm makes them uncomfortable. And it is never my goal to make people comfortable.

So be mindful when you are interacting with folks, which side of the border are you coming from. And always let Peace (Pacific) reign.