They warned me

They told me what would happen.  I started following racism eradication activists on twitter, and they told me, down to the last squeak of privilege and bleat of illogic and roar of cognitive bias and growl of hatred and whine of misdirection and concussive threat of personal violence and siren of tone policing, exactly what would happen to me when I started confronting racist speech in others, in public.  In a three round conversation, I got it all but the threat of violence, including how the other person’s spelling and grammar devolved as (I assume from the name) he completely lost his shit.

I’ve spent a lifetime avoiding conflict and trying to talk pretty; this is going to make the friendships I have with people who want to help me with the work even more important.  It already IS ugly.  Up until this point I’ve had no skin in the game.  That’s what privilege does.  Now I want to have skin in the game without getting my feelings hurt, and that’s just not going to happen, and I have to get over it, and I’m scared.

One of the things that is helping is learning about the Japanese-American and African-American troops as they served their country fighting in the Second World War.  They wanted to prove two things, their patriotism and their worth. Many made the ultimate sacrifice to demonstrate both.  As they fought in their campaigns, they encountered the worst of what human beings can do to each other, and helped destroy the engines of fascism and racism, although they could not eradicate those ideologies.  With their sacrifice in mind, I will get off my ass; I will quit whining; I will do the work.

The chocolate chip banana pistachio bread is all gone

ScaryClown was here last night to ingest food, beer and ZULU in that order.  We had fun.  I have seen that movie at least twenty times, and every time it blows me away.  Keith was here too.

Today I am being different versions of myself.  Off to a meeting in PoCo this afternoon.  Perhaps I will go to some kind of social media Tweetup tonight but then again, maybe not.  I’m finishing up a couple of songs, you know how it is when you’re hacking away at the ends of things and they take slightly more time than anticipated; at the same time starting things seems to go much faster.  nautilus3 is scowling.  Then she smiles.

I’m getting the playing callouses back on my fingers.

A friend just emailed me a job listing that sounds perfect for me.  I heart my friends.

Jeff cleaned the furnace filter.  Unless I can come up with a better word than disgusting, it will have to do.  The furnace filter appears to have been manufactured sometime prior to the dawn of time.

nautilus3 will like this. It’s the Gordon Mackay catalogue from early in the last century.  The colours and textures and design are wonderful.  Colin forwarded the link via facebook.

Busy day

Today I am going to go and see a music teacher who lives close by to see if I can take lessons; then I’m going up to my old workplace for lunch; then I’m going to Surrey for a while, and then I should be home for supper.  This is the most I’ve been on transit since the fireworks last summer.

Last night Tom and Peggy and Paul and Keith came over for broiled pork chop, cauliflower and home made cheese sauce, salad, cole slaw, corn and garlic bread.  Dessert was fresh fruit and pecan torte. It was all nommers.  Then we sang and played for a while.

I light a candle for everybody killed and injured at Fort Hood yesterday.   I am sure there will be an uptick in attacks on furrin brown people as a consequence.  I light a candle for the man who thought he could made a contribution to world peace by slaughtering his fellow soldiers.  It’s just so grisly, and so wrong.

An open letter to the Defence Minister

February 24, 2008

The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay
Minister of National Defence
National Defence Headquarters
Major-General George R. Pearkes Building
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1A 0K2

Dear Sir:

I was alarmed to learn via the National Post that Canada is currently
negotiating an agreement with the United States to allow American
troops on Canadian soil and vice versa for the purposes of mutual
assistance during civil emergencies.

There is no question that the US and Canada as part of NATO must
rehearse and communicate coordinated military maneuvres and strategy.
American troops on Canadian soil, even in the event of an emergency,
is an entirely different – and to me, horrifying – prospect and unless
the locality affected by the disaster (ie province, municipality)
specifically asked for the assistance and expertise of the US military
and coordinated the request with the federal government, not to be
borne.

Why do we want US troops on Canadian soil when they mismanaged the
Katrina response so badly that the US became the shame of the
developed world?  Civilian Canadian responders were on the ground in
the lower lying parishes faster than the US military anyway.

As a citizen of Canada and resident of BC, the first thing I thought
when I read that is that we’re going to have US troops walking up and
down the streets of Whistler in full combat gear during the Olympics
in 2010.  I can think of other, equally gloomy and distasteful
scenarios.

Unless the full text of the agreement is publicized prior to
government approval (I am assuming that this will be passed by an
order in council rather than being exposed to the harsh light of
parliamentary democracy) this proposed coziness with the American
military is a looming disaster for Canadian civil rights and
sovereignty.

Please publicize the details of the agreement.  Perhaps I’m upset over
nothing – but at this point I can hardly be sure.

Yours very truly,

Allegra Sloman