Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The "Light" of Day

The cleaning lady appeared today. Lately, I've heard, she has been a bit lazy or as she likes to say "relaxed not lazy". Floors got a good suction then some mop action, appliances are shined and there's a fresh smell to the house. The thermometer has edged the mercury up to 58 degrees so it was time to throw off the blanket, shed the socks and move around a bit. I'll be back to a shower a day if this keeps up. Although the bathrooms have heaters here, there is just something wrong about removing warm clothing and exposing flesh to the less then temperate climes we have been having lately.

I'm watching a marathon of "one star" movies. The rating goes from one star to 4 stars and usually the 4 star movies are from the Boggie/Bacall era. The 4 stars are usually black and white movies and to not confuse this with negro/white we are talking film here. And speaking of Harry Reid...what? we weren't? Well the black/white issue and him using the "negro" word that caused such a flurry of rock em sock em interactions between the Dems and the GOP comes to mind. I have my own opinions on that. First of all, I look at Harry Reid's age. Back in the day when the word Negro was perfectly acceptable before it become unacceptable and instructions came through to use Afro American or black, I'm sure Mr. Reid's age/generation caught up with him. I know folks from the generations gone by that still use that word and don't realize that times have changed and that word is no longer acceptable. It's an ingrained part of their language of the times.

Something that confuses me about the black/white and negro/white issue is that in Spanish the word for black is negro. Isn't that close to being racial? Will that word have to be replaced when conversation drifts to black boards, black river, black hair, black shoes and on and on among the Spanish population? And in Latin, niger.

My neighbors are black; a very light black. No. They are light brown. I was talking to Mrs. Neighbor one day and she told me that when she started dating, her father instructed her not to bring home a black boyfriend. A brown boyfriend would be acceptable and that's just what she did and who she married spawning 3 light skinned children. I listened to this story and was enlightened. I had no idea there was racism among the black population. No idea a lighter color was preferable and would guarantee the lineage to remain "light". Isn't this racism? I know that living here and hearing the educated black folks speak without using Ebonics and ethic slang is something that has been reinforced among the population of blacks. I think though as it is with the white population, there is a time and place for everything and in the world of business, proper English ensures progress up the ranks in the corporate world. The Cajuns use the dem, dat, and other shortcuts that are normally associated with black folks. Is that just a cultural thing here?
Do I dare make any comments on this subject at all? It's getting so touchy a subject that ignoring it might be the safest way to exist. I look forward to the day when it isn't something that needs discussing. I doubt that I will live that long though.


  1. I was raised in and during the times of "Mississippi burning", so I am a cracker with license to comment on this. Poor white trash have a dialect as incomprehensible as anything black folks can produce. I know this because I was raised speaking it and when I returned to the area of my roots I could not understand a word the people I was raised with were saying! Education and exposure to a more enlightened culture are powerful influences, which is why right-wing, conservative/"religious" Southern whites fear it so much.

    I do not thank God for freeing me from the chains of ignorance and hatred because I came to the conclusion that superstition had nothing to do with it.

    Even black folk should understand that pigment has no bearing on intellect, as many a "dark skinned" person of color has so apply demonstrated.

  2. My mother in law was born in 1916 and had a black mammy when they lived in Texas. She always said "darkies" insead of blacks. It used to make me cringe but I realized it was her age also. She loved her mammy and she didn't use the term as derogatory thing. It was just the times as you said. I read a book recently that discussed the racism amongst the blacks and some black families even had black slaves....all new to me.

  3. If a body is so inclined they will find a way to take offense at most anything. Two or three years back I was taken to task for using the term "wet back" in a retro piece I had written. I was branded "racist" even though, in the '50s, an illegal from Mexico was so called.

    It was a get over yourself moment.


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