Sunday, November 18, 2012

It's gonna be a long, long winter, for me.

Up around the bend.
Before snow settles on Great White North,
a sunny day pictured, may flatter warm. 
Bright perspective. Ambitious roadside grass,
could too, in the heat of your car,
trade winter-weary wonderment for arrid solstice.

It's good to throw evocative image at the soul,
keep blood flow to tropics of imagination.
Temperate lobes need massage too.  
Leaves on the ground.
Spent verdancy. Can't see forest for bare trees.
Carpet-floor, mossy-rock green. Anticipate a layering blanket.

Then. Remembrance Day scene. Normandy newsreel.
Alice In Wonderland snowball bauble.
Foreboding, even to look outside.
It's gonna be a long, long winter, you see,
as Wailers homage Impressions in
select soundtrack this season. Cold, and dreary, and blue.
A longer longtime coming. Simply safe and secure.
Roofs cave in winter without a strong heart.
But turnaround is still fair play,
and full lives continue to grow,
through rotating deep freeze. Long.
Just long enough, 'til time for Tamarack to rewake. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

White house. Black house.

If caution is a characteristic of conservatism, then I must own up to that side of my personality. I sometimes yield to chicken-shit tentativity when expressing observations on the racially polarised landscape we find ourselves living in. But not today.

As one who is given to frequent rumination on such issues, from a perspective of cultural complexity, I'm understandably drawn to, and opinionated on, this discourse - despite assuming a position high above the fray as a proud proselyte of an (admittedly) idealistic tabula rasa (Rasta?). The One Love philosophy.

Racism is the polar opposite of this stance, being based in bias; i.e. the principle of any race's intrinsic preferability over another. Bio-specific minutiae, such as variability in skin-tone and sundry genetic distinctions, are the props it's built on, but racism's broad purview includes cultural corollary to this precept.

Acknowledging that there's a case to be made for racism being a natural characteristic of the human species, there can nevertheless be no doubting that colonial expansion over the last five centuries, for all the wonderful countries founded, also compounded the issue and extended hegemonies, via empire.

In the United States, and other post-colonial societies with historically race-based beginnings, race is a DNA factor that colors culture and political affiliations. Variants apply but this view is through black 'n' white specs.

Sensitivities surround the word racist, even when used as mere explanation. It tends to trigger soul-denial, and render generalization and selective memory powerful psychological tools in the struggle for representative power.

This has fostered a proliferation of codified, and not so codified pejoratives. The establishment of an African-American POTUS has laid bare nerves beneath a filmy epidermis of equanimity, as this remarkable democracy seeks to retain its ascendancy.

"Communist," "dictator," "terrorist," "thief," are nouns from only one comment-thread, in one disaffected right-wing article parsing the 2012 re-election result, but I've seen several such. The same thread is decorated with adjectives like "evil" and "ruthless," with more than one bright spark styling Barack Obama as "Anti-Christ" ("read your bible") and "Son of Lucifer" ("666 - The Beast").

I'll deliberately avoid rehashing cretinous diatribes on magic negroes, bones in the nose, monkeys, makers/takers and nooses. 

So help me Jah, I couldn't make this stuff up. Wry smile. More.

One of the things I grapple with in this climate, is the reluctance of so many white American voters to draw the connection between a Republican vote and a racial slap-in-the-face. In light of palpable idiocy and ill-concealed hatred from right-wing ranks, I'm ecstatic at G.O.P. misery at the polls. Even if Mitt Romney was a financial magician, it would've been regrettable to empower the social luddites and those who refuse to take them to task.

For sure, there is no economic prosperity worth sacrificing social propriety for, and none achievable without it.

The sting in the tail here is, if anyone points out how suspicious this vitriol is, toward Obama's frequently referenced heritage, the charge of racism gets defensively leveled at them.

Let's get one thing straight. Racists tend to use the unqualified term "reverse racism" with impunity. It deflects the onus of understanding by identifying pushback as the primary impetus. This only serves to perpetuate ignorance and impasse.

"Liberal" and "conservative" are not bad words, nor mutually exclusive from racism, but it does seem difficult for the latter to transcend or decry bigotry. So much so that Obama optimists get accused of being divisive and disingenuous when it's patently clear who really is. Witness voter allegiance.

It's sad, demoralizing, polarizing, undignifying, yet still, somehow fascinating and instructive just how much adrenaline an American election can inject into this dialectic. Nearly all of old Confederacy voted Republican, and a vast majority of non-whites ("minority" is a misnomer now) voted Democrat.

Americans, of the United States, deserve less entrenchment.