Friday, October 5, 2018


That's my sophomore year school picture. I was fifteen years old and attended The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia. We wore powder blue shirt-dresses in the warmer months that we were allowed to cinch with whatever belt we liked. We wore white or navy knee-socks and some kind of loafer from L.L. Bean or Wallabees from the department store. We were not allowed to wear sneakers or tennis shoes as we called them in the south. My necklace is a gold Catholic medal of the Virgin Mary. I was one of the few Catholics in my class. It was an Episcopal prep school. There were fewer Jews and no Muslims that I know of, but would a Muslim have announced it back in the late 1970s at a conservative prep school in the south? I was thought to be Jewish, probably because I was dark and looked faintly exotic. That's the word people used. My family had moved to the south from the New York area several years before, and while I had a southern grandmother, I never felt southern, never really felt a part of it. Why are you here? one of the blonde popular girls asked me once in front of the P.E. lockers. It was a Jewish holiday. I don't remember what I said even though I remember the question. There were even fewer people of color than Jews. We called people of color different names: black, Indian, Mexican. I remember every African American person's name in my class. I don't remember everyone in my class or their names, but some things stick out. I don't remember whether anyone was Asian. We didn't use the word Asian. 

This isn't a post about nostalgia and only a little about memory. It isn't about me. My mood over the last week, since we heard Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's account of her assault at fifteen by probably soon-to-be Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, has been one of outright rage and then simmering rage and then depression and then disbelief and then some more rage and now -- well -- resignation tempered by rage. Dr. Ford's memory has been called into question, at best. At worst, she is thought to be a shameful liar. This is why I'm angry. I'm angry at privilege and male trumping truth and justice. I'm angry about the narrow interests of the Republican party. I'm repulsed, frankly, by those who support the vile human they've elected to be president.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with being angry. We're learning that, now.

Remember that black women have been doing this shit and dealing with shit for even longer. So have all people of color, actually, and all those with disabilities, too. Remember that. We're strong. You're strong. I'm strong. Get out the vote. Remember disenfranchised people, including prisoners who've been released (in Florida, particularly, according to a friend). If you need a rest, take it. Then get up and get a grip.



  1. Fifteen. My abuse had "ended" when I was that age, or at least the hands-on part. What was going on after that was almost as bad, or maybe worse, as my abuser lived in the house and kept an eye on me all of the time and a thumb over my very soul.
    Why didn't I tell anyone?
    My mother was already crazy and had two babies and two older kids and a husband who abused her emotionally and I had been taught well and truly that my job was to protect her, and not the other way around.
    Do I remember the dates that my abuses happened?
    No. But I remember the approximate dates and I was only nine years old.
    Do I remember the first time it happened?
    It is branded on my soul.
    Do I remember the fear and terror I lived with for so many years?
    Why do you even ask?
    Fuck Trump. Fuck Trump and Fuck Kavanaugh and fuck those Republicans who say, "Grow up," and accuse Dr. Ford of lying.
    Who mock her.
    Yes. Women of color have had to be strong. We have ALL had to be stronger than we should have had to be but women of color had and have an extra burden on their backs to carry.
    And if you showed all of the pictures of all of the fifteen-year olds who were already shouldering burdens that were not theirs to carry, you would be amazed at how sweet and innocent and pure and girlish and beautiful we all were.
    Why- we could have been someone's daughter.

    I love you, Elizabeth. Don't stop fighting.

  2. I was a very sheltered, innocent teenager. I knew people of different races, different religions but didn't think anything of it. The only time I did notice it was when I went to a friend's birthday party and I was the only white person there.

    I knew nothing. I didn't understand how things worked, how relationships between people worked. Even today I am often baffled by people. Needless to say I was a lonely nerd who literally kept her head down.

    I need to understand, figure out how to handle anger that is a result of injustice because that anger is appropriate anger and separate that from my other anger that turns me into a Tasmanian devil that wants to bite people's heads off and shit down their necks.

    The men, the white men in power are afraid and so they hang onto it even tighter. Their anger is fear, they just don't know it yet.

  3. I have such a grip. A grip on understanding old white men. A grip on my power and intelligence and that of the women I know. I survived an assault, a rape, and some asinine advice about those things, and I'm in good company. We'll survive this too.

  4. Your photograph is so beautiful. Ms. Moon has a great idea going there: showing the photos of our 15 year old selves, already carrying burdens we should not. People are so weird and assume so much...the "why are you here?" question. WOW. I have a friend who is Jewish and looks "exotic" and people think she is from India instead of New Jersey. Pisses her off every time. As it should.

    Yes, there is nothing wrong with anger and boy does it scare white men!! Many, many of them at any rate. I, too, am very angry these days. I am vibrating with it, seething with it, and reassure my husband it is not about him. He gets it. He's as pissed off as I am. We'll both be voting next month.

    Did you see the fundraising amount for Susan Collins' opponent in 2020?! Wowzer. That's anger, baby.

  5. I'm struck by your beautiful smile and the sadness in your eyes. We learned to smile back then but our eyes gave away our experience.

    I'm also struck by your mention of the code word "exotic." I have a first cousin who grew up in Minneapolis and who told me recently of growing up with comments about her "exotic" appearance that were veiled references to the fact that she appeared to them to be Jewish.

    The political system in the U.S. has been broken for centuries. It is only now that the brokenness cannot be denied. As an increasingly diverse community of strong people, we will survive this exceedingly broken time. We can channel the power of our anger in the best of ways and rest when we need to, knowing that when are in active mode, we are giving others a chance to rest and renew. We will be doing this for the remainder of our lives, and this struggle will continue after we are gone. No quick or easy answers.

  6. I Feel the same range of Emotion... and yet, I don't want to expend nor waste the Energy it takes to remain Angry anymore. I Calmly Resist now and remain shamelessly outspoken regardless of who the Listener happens to be. And I guess I have an Aggressive enough countenance that few who might disagree wanna Go There with me. *Winks* So long as they keep their vile shitty outlooks to themselves, keeping them shut up makes me feel empowered somehow. Racism in all it's forms has never made sense to me, as a person of mixed Ancestry we weren't always Welcome and had many Labels... it still exists... sadly even my Grandchildren have had to Deal with it... mebbe one day it will be different. One thing that makes me Happy is to see Mixed Race Couples able to more openly Exist without Social Drama... it wasn't like that with my Parents and other Interracial Couples and the prejudices and hostility towards it was always right in your face all of the time.

  7. I was one of those exotic, Asian girls growing up in the 60s, being called Chinese, Ching Chang, as kids would pull the sides of their eyes to make them slant. I’m half Japanese and spent part of my childhood wanting to be golden haired and blue eyed. Apparently the sun still only shines on golden hair.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...