Good morning ALS readers. I want to apologize for neglecting you over the last couple of days. It is not easy maintaining a blog solo. Creating Autographed Letter Signed, is the best thing that has happened to me since I have come out of the closet as a conservative. For the past several days, I have been extremely angry, which translates into blogger’s block. Afraid that will write something that will offend readers, I let my feelings marinate for a bit before taking to my keyboard. Unfortunately my method did not work this time and I am still pissed off but here am at my keyboard with so many awful feelings still leftover from current events. But that is what Thursday Stitch N’ Bitch is for right?
Today we are not stitching anything so put your needles away. Registration has just opened for basket weaving 101. There is even an underwater version of the class being offered. Hurry! Seats fill up fast.
When it became clear to me that Obama would win the presidency, I hoped that my fears about him being an inexperienced puppet for the left would be disproven. I was wrong. Very wrong. It is far more worse than I have ever imagined. Is it just me or is our country increasingly becoming unrecognizable? First let’s talk for a bit about Sotomayor. I don’t give a damn about her and Republican’s should not either. However, I do think there s something to this “new racism” that is quite unsettling. Funny how when it is a liberal in question, it suddenly becomes PC to exploit ones underprivileged or racially diverse background as a skill set, yet if someone from the right utters one word about their cultural journey like RNC chairman Michael Steele, or Sarah Palin (yes diversity goes beyond race), Condeleeza Rice or Joe the Plumber, the left goes bonkers and attempts to prove that they are a demon from outer space.
Several weeks ago, I had a conversation with an Obamabot friend. I was trying not to bring up politics but you know that never works and there we were discussing prop 8 and abortion. She was surprised that I was pro-choice and had hopes that I was “coming back around” to the Democrats. Don’t choke on your goat cheese panini, that boat has sailed my dear. The more I am around the multitudes of Democrats in this city, the more I feel like a fool for having ever supported them. The smug sanctimonious “my way of life is better than yours and the government must help every body bullshit” makes me dry heave. This talk of taxing potato chips and soda pop, panting rooftops white to save us from global warming. American obesity is all so fucking paramount too since ya know North Korea is like testing Nooclear weapons and we can all eat lots more with that gaping hole in our stomachs. I am angry that the feds are buying General Motors. We are looking more and more like the former Soviet Union every damn day.
I was recently regaled with a tale from a former black drug addict about the drive he participated in during the 1960’s to get African Americans to switch from the Republican Party to the Democrats. How is that working for us? He then continued by saying that he hopes Obama gives his family some money. Ha! Fat Chance. The Obama will save us mantra is so tongue n’ cheek for the black community now. Sticking a bony hand into that mailbox hoping to grab a pony must be old by now. This brings me back to my liberal friend and Prop 8 and the disturbing questions surrounding blacks and their hatred for gays.
Look, it is not a race thing. You guys know that I have an entire database of mom stories. I say this will all honesty. There has never once been a time that my family has ever said that they disapproved of homosexuality due to the fact that most homosexuals and lesbians were white. Don’t misunderstand, the disapproval was still there and something I have had to battle against in my own psyche. Mother told me my first homophobia story when I was six years old. That winter brought the UGGs of my time…Tiny white snow boots. I was obsessed with having a pair but mom resisted my pleas. While walking down State Street, I would plant myself in front of Baker’s Shoes, just staring at the boots. They would look so cute with my parochial uniform and I would be just like the other girls in class. It all came to a head one day when I pitched a fit and mother had to drag me away from Baker’s into Woolworths. She was looking for a bra and Woolworth five n’ dime bras as cheap as it may sound, were a luxury for her. She proposed that I go into the basement section to look at the toys she would never buy me. Nope, I sat there on the floor under a rack of girdles. She was gonna watch those tears dry on my face. I had half expected to get pulled into a public bathroom for an impromptu spanking when she took my hand and sat me at the red leather bar stool in the luncheonette. Woolworth’s cheeseburgers were my favorite. Not fair. I smiled as mother rolled her eyes at me. I would continue to stage my own sit in for the boots. It was my civil right to have a pair but nothing said I could not eat a tasty meal while staging my non-violent protest. Gleefully, I ordered my cheeseburger with extra pickles with fries and a rootbeer float. Mother got a bowl of cottage cheese on top of lime jello (she was always dieting). The counter waitress was slicing a pizza for another customer as I began to twirl round and round on my barstool, kicking my feet. How lovely I would look in those white snow boots.
“I would never order pizza here.” Mother said with a look of disdain. She was a Chicago pizza snob. I ignored her thinking about my imaginary white boots. Around and around attempting to balance myself without having to grab onto to counter and feel all that old bubble gum that was stuck underneath. Someone called my mother’s name. It was a man’s voice , I turned to look but I was dizzy from all of the barstool twirling and fell on the floor into a pair of long brown legs wrapped in white go go boots.
“Oh my lord!” The man said to my mother. “Child, I haven’t seen you since the riots.”
My mother didn’t notice me on the floor she seemed embarrassed. “Jackie where have you been?”
Jackie was “happy” and flapping his arms about hugging me my who just stood there stiffly.
“Who are you?” I asked the man wearing a dress and the white boots I wanted to own. Mother realized I existed and introduced me to Jackie. “Jackie is my best friend from the old neighborhood before you were born.”
“We were thick as thieves” Jackie said loudly. Standing there like dummies I jumped back on the stool, my cheeseburger was there. Jackie took the stool next to me with the waitress staring at him. His coat dress was a pretty white fur with camel fleece trim at the bottom. He sat his orange suede bag next to me. “I will have a slice of sausage pizza and a Tab.” Jackie said. I looked at my mother to say the Woolworth’s pizza was nasty but she had picked up a pepper shaker and was putting way to much on her cottage cheese. I said it for her. “Woolworth’s pizza is in-fear-ri-or.” Inferior was my big word of the week. This was a game mom had invented for me. Jackie looked at me. His hair was what we called “chemically processed” . Very wavy and had a hairnet over it. He looked a bit like Prince during his “Little Red Corvette” days You know that album with Prince naked riding a unicorn? That was Jackie.
“Your momma never liked the pizza here. We have been coming to this Woolworth’s since the 40’s. That is a long ass time your momma and I been knowing each other.” Jackie stared at mother. “I helped you out a lot. Got you out of plenty of messes. I even spoke to you when you was carrying your son and gave you a place to stay when your daddy kicked you out of his house for being pregnant. Why you go an’ lose me like that?” Jackie looked hurt. The waitress was taking too long just standing there with the slice of greasy pizza on a plate.
Mother would not look at Jackie, just the green jello and curdles of cheese. “You lost yourself when I saw you kissing a man in the back of a car on Pulaski. My daughter is here so I won’t say much about what it is that you are but you if sew the wind and you reap the whirlwind .”
Jackie shook his head “mm, mmm,mm. Now you found God but your kids don’t have a daddy still,” he said getting up.
“You don’t want this pizza no more?” The waitress asked . “I still have to charge you for it because I put it on a plate.”
Jackie threw down a 10 dollar bill which was enough to pay for all of us. He pushed the pizza towards me and mother reached across me real fast and pushed it away. “She does not like it either.”
Jackie started humming a song loudly and switched away from white boots and all. I would never see him again. As for my mother, she was silent until she said ” You will never wear any white boots okay?”
I could only nod. That was just as well since Christmas was almost upon us anyway and I would want other things.
“White boots and dime store pizza is for sissies and loose women. You don’t want to look like a whore and go to hell in a handbasket do you?”
Jackie was a “sissy” I thought as I finished off my fries. Sissies are men who wear women’s clothing. Flip Wilson wears women’s clothes when he plays Geraldine on his comedy show. Therefore he is a sissy. All sissies and whores go to hell just like the Beatles for playing rock music and wearing pants that are too tight.
Got it mom.
How easily the seeds of hatred are planted. And we were Democrats too. My mother was right there when the Chicago Eight raised hell in Grant Park. She felt most at home being a liberal but somehow it never translated to her forgiving Jackie for kissing a man. Jackie was African American but he could have been Caucasian and her reaction would have been just the same. There is no mental debate here. 80% of blacks voting for Prop 8 is not an issue of racism for them.
My mother mad Jackie lose heart over her strong religious belief that homosexuality was morally wrong. She did not care that he was black like her. He was not equal because he was not moral. This was the flaw in her liberal character. Bayard Rustin was a pivotal figure in the civil rights movement. How many of you have heard of Baryard Rustin? Bayard was African American. Bayard Rustin was Martin Luther King Jr.’s chief adviser. Bayard Rustin orchestrated King’s epic “March on Washington”. Bayard Rustin was also gay. Bayard Rustin’s memory suffers from amnesia- the collective kind. African American’s have done very little to remedy this situation. Bayard Rustin is was a black man so let’s stop it with the accusations of racism. It is not helping matters.
Dirt cheap entertainment but thrilling is my Ipod. I have a tendency to listen to one song over and over again, depending on what mood I am in. Lately that song has been “Miss You” by the Rolling Stones. The song is appropriate to the American situation, this down spiral nook we have gotten ourselves into. I miss my mother,I miss my grandmother. I miss Martin Luther King and I didn’t know the guy. I wish he was here to wake my fellow African Americans up from this Kool Aid comma. I miss everything that was before this election, something has turned us all into racists. Eventually, I got past the things my mother taught me. My best friend in high school was gay. Tall, dark and strikingly handsome, he was a lot like “Jackie” helping me when mom and I got evicted from our apartment in 1987. I never told mother that he was gay but I think she knew and did not want to complicate the matter and chase away the only friend I had. He was my prom date and she seemed excited as she gathered the train from my fluffy dress snapping pictures. I miss the days of bubble gum pink prom dresses, nasty greasy Woolworth’s pizza and white go-go boots. My handbasket is fireproofed with memories of better times, independent will and the remembrance that we were once allowed the freedom to say what we wanted to say without being called racists.
Autographed Letter Signed,