Racism and Sexism Are Abuse, And Our Abusers Are Blank Minded Assholes
[there's some pissed off shit at the end, so make sure you read all the way thru]
I do what I want and I write what I want
because I'm a writer and
because I'm my harshest critic and
because I have proven to myself that I can be the woman I've always wanted to be. I learned how to write proper and real good so that now I can break all the rules. I pay myself to write, so I don't have to worry about what you think or how you write or how you think I should write. My mom had a book of poetry and poetic essays, all by women, titled I Am Becoming The Woman I've Always Wanted. She gave it to me a number of years ago. And Detroit techno has a group called A Number Of Names, so when I write "a number of years ago," I say to myself, "A Number of Names Ago." I do brainchanger activities daily to make sure the synapses that are firing in my brain are not just dumb unawares habits, but are actually useful electrical connections. If I catch one that's not up to par, I work real hard to destroy that synapse. I used to try to destroy the unnecessary and harmful mental fires with self-hating activities. It takes a really long time to modify your brain when you just keep telling yourself how wrong, stupid, outtolunch you are. Actually, it takes forever because self-hating activities are not effective as healing tactics.
I think of myself as a word warrior. A soldier. So when I type the word "tactic," it's strategic.
I engage in many rituals to heal myself. We all have to. Sometimes seeing a therapist on a regular basis is the answer. I've visited with highly skilled therapists. I've also met with therapists who just wanted to tell me that I was right and my ex-boyfriend was wrong, or whatever, but they were in the business of trying to build me up, at all costs. Once I figured out that it was about making them money and stringing us along, I dropped that shit.
One time, a friend who's not really a friend anymore because she loves and trusts cops way to god damn much told me about a psychic therapist that she knew of. This friend knew that I was the right person to recommend a psychic therapist to because she knew I was open to alternative healing practices and always had been. That was in 2011, the year that I initiated my divorce. I have visited with this psychic therapist on three occasions. She was that good. She listened to me. She recommended a book that was about self-healing through artistic self-expression. She also intuited from me that I needed time spent in the woods near water and that I needed to drink more fresh, raw juice. She was right about everything. On the second occasion that I visited her, she told me I was already like a new person. That was almost six fucking years ago and now oftentimes when I start to feel a deep sadness, I write. That's my healing art. I write in my digital diary that I call Dear God, It's Me Margaret, because Judy Fucking Blume, Bitches. Judy Fucking Blume. I'm an atheist witch, but Judy Fucking Blume Bitches wrote a book in 1970 that changed a lot of young people's lives. I also fire off poetry on the internets because practice.
My intuition gets better and better the more I trust myself, the more I develop my yoga and meditation practice, the more I use sound to heal myself (organized sound as well as specific tones and frequencies), and the more times I dance alone in my kitchen, or my front room, or my bedroom. My intuition gets better and better because I challenge myself to know that I'm often wrong, so I test myself and then I figure out that my gut feeling was right or wrong.
I have three children. The one in high school had the day off of school today in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ph.D., Doctor of Theology. The two in middle and elementary school have a day on in school today. One of my son's middle school teachers (it's a small school, we like it that way, the middle school has three teachers, the white man is the one who reached out to me) sent me an email last week telling me that the school did not schedule this day off for students and teachers. The student bodies at this school are not all white, but the teachers are all white. My son's white male teacher told me that some parents were bothered by this and planned to keep their kids home, anyway. He told me this to keep me in the loop, because even though we don't know each other very well, he knew that I was probably out of the loop. I appreciated his communication. My response was to google middle and elementary school curricula for the day because most people treat this as a day off to do nothing, and most white parents will do the same. I also knew that most white parents, and most white people, who actually do pay attention on this day will try and insert themselves as being loved and accepted by the radical Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I read Malcolm X's autobiography when I was 13. I didn't read books about Dr. King. No slight to Dr. King. He was a radical, but he wasn't a radical who preached "multiculturalism" and love of whitey. He was a radical who preached non-violence as a war tactic, and Gandhi was a fucking racist.
This thoughtful white teacher told me that I am the only Black Lives Matter activist parent he knows. I let him know he can be an activist, too, just read some stuff. I did. I don't think of myself as a Black Lives Matter activist because I don't want to take power away from the Black and Brown people who actually are. I donate monthly to Black Lives Matter. I work wage labor, so it's only ten dollars a month, but that's what I can do. Knowing and acknowledging how other people in my community might view me is powerful and let's me know that my responsibility to my community is just beginning. I have been told by white women in my town that my writing voice on the facebooks is terrifying. These white women wanted me to stop. Be softer. Too bad you just added fuel to my fire. I don't necessarily want to terrify, but Ypsilanti is not a white town. If I'm terrifying, (I laugh) how in the hell are you going to listen to Black people, most of whom are way more pissed off than me. Are you fucking kidding me? Ha!
I responded to this white man's email because sometimes, he gets to spend more time with my son than I do; because he will teach my youngest son next; because he teaches other children in our community; and he taught my oldest son. I know he's got a righteous touch with my boys who will be men because they listen to him and they like him. He teaches them about understanding and crafting words and stories. I responded with curricula links. I also responded telling him the accessible online activities on Malcolm X were geared for high school and that was frustrating to me. Malcolm X is not rated R. Malcolm X should go right along with your Martin Luther King, Jr. teaching at any age. I also included a link exposing Gandhi as a racist. And finally, I let him know about Patrisse Cullors and her work with Moms Rising, as well as the organization Kids Rising. Because a classroom session could legit be formed around the instagram page, 4KidsRising.
Now, my kids' school is a little bit less comfortable to white people who want to be included at all costs.
My father was a manipulative abuser who hurt my brother, our mom, and me with his hands, his mouth, and his constant temper tantrums. I'm white. We're all white in my family. Healing myself from his abuse is an ongoing project that I have yet to complete and I'm thirty-nine. Healing myself from his abuse has helped me realize that racism and sexism are parallels to individual experiences with abuse. They try to convince you that it's not that bad. And they're real good at it, so even when you think you're not, you internalize. You tell yourself other people had it worse, other suffering is more serious, or you just tell yourself that it's not that bad. And you deal. You accept your reality because what else can you do.
I have a fucking Ph.D. in ethnomusicology and Detroit techno. I worked my ass off for that shit while having babies at the same time and I'm proud as fuck of that shit. And I still work bullshit wage-labor jobs for shit pay and shit work. My current job hurts my back and stresses me out unnecessarily and has nothing to do with music, Detroit, or ethnomusicology. That's bullshit. I'm doing other people's work when I'm dying to do my own work because my abuser and my mom who still thinks she's dumb raised a daughter with a state of lack mindset. They raised me to doubt myself, and so I did. But I don't anymore. I'm ready to do my own work because I don't want to piss off Aisha. Read this post. But I also don't want to piss off Kenny.
and also ...
Kenny Dixon, Jr. Moodymann. His music is the reason I came to Detroit to research for years, to ask questions for years, to interview for years, so that I could document this place these sounds these cultures responsibly. And now, my war tactic is to spread the word that abuse is oppression is repression is false control by the "Mandarin Orange Mugabe." I care what you guys think, but I don't want to care what you think, so I'm making sure I don't have to care what you think because what I think and write is right, and when it's not, I edit that shit, like yesterday.
Why isn't my book published yet? Because it still reads like a fucking dissertation. It still reads like a graduate student wrote it. I'm not publishing that shit. I'm working on it, but it's not done yet. You can get ahold of it if you really want to. Hell, I'll print that shit out for you if you really want it, but only if your name's Kenny Dixon, Jr. Cause that asshole never let me interview him, and I still love his shit anyway. I moved my family to Ferndale, MI in 2008 cause my ex-husband wasn't going to live in Detroit. I hated him for that, but how many battles do you actually want to fight when you're married to the father of your children. I fought some wrong battles with him, but I'm not fucking sorry about living in stupid dumb Ferndale. I moved my family of five to SE Michigan with no academic funding in 2008, and I worked a full time wage-labor office job, thinking that if I didn't get to interview Moodymann, then I wasn't shit and my work was not worthwhile. I actually told myself that. I actually thought that. I don't think it anymore because most men are sexist and think women are automatically dumber. That's a gaping hole in anything you do, men! I laugh at you all everyday. If you always doubt women, even the one's who are obviously way smarter than you, MEANING DR. DENISE MICHELLE MARIE DALPHOND, PH.D. DOCTOR OF ETHNOMUSICOLOGY, then I will treat you like a stepping stone. A ladder.
This Bridge Called the White Man's Back can easily become This Bridge Called the Man's Back.
Este obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-SinObraDerivada 4.0 Internacional.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.