Is Denial Racism?

So…..

I have put off writing a post describing my experience finally getting my DNA tested.

I had written a previous post about racism called “Racism 101” and what I knew about it at the end of 2014.  I didn’t state all my issues at that time and probably never will because I don’t know much.  I tune unpleasant things out all the time.

So, is denial racism?

I have to explain something that I did not state in my previous 2014 post.  Everything in my family was a BIG secret!  No one in our family ever told amusing antidotes about anything or anyone.  No warm family memories were ever shared that I can remember.  We used to have more relatives around, because more were alive, when I was a child.  I’m sure the grownups must have exchanged witty repartee when us kids went to bed.

My father told us he was part “Indian” or what PC now refers to as Native American.  My mother was more complicated.  She had dark olive skin and very frizzy black hair but bright blue eyes, which I did not inherit but my sister had.  Once we were asked by our teachers in elementary school to find out our nationality so we could share this for Geography class.  Sounds ominous now and my mother didn’t like it back then either.  She said “You are an American.”  I was upset and saying no, what country did our family come from.  She refused to offer any information and told me to tell my teacher our family are Americans and that’s all she needs to know.  I knew my mom was not happy.

When I came home from class I told my mom that I know what she is now.  I remember her laughing when I said this and saying “Oh yeah, what am I?”  I knew she was darker than the rest of us, all of her children were very fair compared to her and some of her father’s family.  Some of us are a little darker skin wise and yellow or olive but none of us have her black hair.  One of the children in my class was the same color as my mom and he said he was Italian.  I told my mom I knew she was Italian.  She just started to laugh and said, “no, I’m not Italian.”  That was not quite true.

She really was not sure what races or nationalities she really was.  Things of that nature were never discussed in our household or with my friends either.  Only the racist mainstream media speaks of such things anyway, we all know that.  When I was an older teen I was rummaging through my grams drawers just to see what was in there.  I used to find old compacts, mirrors and all kinds of odd stuff.  I came across a stack of pictures buried in her clothing.  I could tell it was her when she was a teenager with some “dark guy with a fro.”  He sort of looked Cuban.

I took the pictures over to my gram and asked who that guy was with her in them.  She was irate to say the least.  “What are you doing in my drawers!  It’s none of your damn business who this is.”  Kind of an odd reaction.  Even when I try to make sense of it today, I can’t.  Who acts like that about an ex husband?  Why wouldn’t you say  “Oh that’s just your grandfather and me when we were young.”  Is that denial, is that racism? 

I knew that’s who it was so when I told my mom later what happened she said, “Oh that’s probably pictures of my dad.”  I asked her if she had ever seen them and she said no.  I asked her why not and she swung around and snapped “Didn’t you know I was a passer?”  I asked her what that was and she said “A person that passes for white.”  She had told me that she would overhear some of her German family talk about her dad’s family as “washed out colored people” when she was a kid.  I wasn’t sure what that meant and I didn’t really care.

I didn’t pay much attention to this short conversation and lived my life.  My sister-in-law had gotten her DNA done many years ago.  My sister did this as well.  I never cared about the results, of which my sister kept saying how she was “part black” which I ignored because I didn’t care.  Now I wish I would have pushed for more details.  I never saw her results which was actually done through a hospital.  I remember once when she was young they thought she had sickle cell.  I don’t know if my mom said anything to the Doctors at that time but I’m sure they could see her coloring.

I am going to share my DNA results that I received at the beginning of the year which shows that my mother must have some African, but mostly Mediterranean on her fathers side since I inherited a small amount myself.  Actually I’m a quarter Iberian/Italian & African DNA wise.  The one I am most shocked to see is the quarter Scandinavian I inherited.  I knew about the British Isle stuff, minus Great Britain apparently.  It was fun to finally do this though.

What’s strange is my fascination to all things Moroccan and Egyptian since I was tiny.  Not counting how long I studied their music and culture as an adult as small as that percentage is in my DNA.  It made me more aware of all these various countries and their cultures since I have lived my life as an American in America eating hot dogs and watching baseball because that’s what we are supposed to do, right?

So even though some of my white family knew the stories about my mother’s family’s heritage when I sent some of them my results, I was met with silence.  Then when I finally heard from them it was, “I don’t think this is accurate” or sometimes “these places make mistakes.”  So….is denial racism, because that’s how I took it.  I took it that they freaked when they saw a tiny part of my DNA was African.  Maybe I am just being too sensitive because I never bothered to actually ask them what part they thought was the “mistake.”

More to come regarding the quest for my real identity!

 

 

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Daily Prompt: The Future Looks Willy-nilly

A haphazard life leads to a Willy-nilly future.

Usually I use this post to bitch about all the stuff I think is wrong with the world.  Today I’m going to try something different.

This morning I was thinking about some things from when I was a young teen.  When my life was sort of fun and exciting for a while.  My parents had a huge blow up with my grams (still a secret, but my dad was awol for a while before coming back and my gram basically throwing us out to sell the house she shared with us so either he was shacking up with another woman and my mom took him back again or he was in jail/prison again).  Either way, my dad got another job, a good job for once too.  He usually couldn’t hold on to one for more than a year or two tops when he worked at all and my mother got a job in receiving for a discount department store in the area so we were able to purchase another home ourselves in a lower-income area.  I actually felt more at home there than the last “uppity” neighborhood where some of the kids couldn’t “play with us.”

In the new neighborhood we were the upper crust.  My mom was also an artist, my dad a musician that did play some of the local hangouts on weekends.  This was the 60’s now and non-conformity was “IN!”  Some of the neighbors and local business owners would let us know how they “saw our dad playing” the other day.  He was star!  He and his friends sometimes jammed late into the night and we loved listening to them.  I was actually starting to write a book about my life many years ago that I would like to finish one day soon.  If boring people can write autobiographies, so can folks like me, but I would do it anonymously.  I sometimes forget that I used to have a very interesting life.  Never a dull moment for sure.

I became fascinated by the occult at this time.  It was exciting and new, magical and mystical, it was the way for me to finally find some clarity in my life as a ghost.  An invisible person.  I would finally know my future!  Being poor and abused, I was very quiet and meek so no one noticed me.  At home if you were noticed, you were punished in some way whether you were guilty of anything or not.  My dad would sometimes beat us when he was drunk and laugh and say, “that’s for the next time you even think of doing something wrong.”  This is why many of my posts are about evil.  I know of which I speak having been around it most of my life.

I was just turning 14 years old.  A great age.  I was developing as a woman and was really into clothing design at the time making most of my own clothing too.  I wish I had pictures that showed them but I never thought of this as being important as I know it is now.  We have no documentation of the coolest times of our lives back then.  That ego crap didn’t start getting pumped into society til the 70’s, though there was that “If it feels good, do it” statement that I thought was retarded even back then when I was a free spirit.  Though I did try everything once, I never needed drugs or alcohol, I was high on mysticism and magic back then.  I was not religious at all, in fact somewhat against organized religion at the time as very hypocritical.  Much of it still is.  But I was fascinated by the kindness and love of Jesus for as long as I can remember.

My best friend’s mother used to hold table tipping seances with her adult friends every Friday night and let us sit in on them and join them sometimes.  Seemed fun at the time!  Before I realized how the occult was bad because it’s based on our ego and maybe spirits and not based in trust in God.  I used Ouija boards and tarot cards, read tea leaves and studied I ching, astrology and palm reading.  I even had a book, can’t remember the name of it, that told your fortune sort of like a paper magic 8 ball, and I had one of those too!  Never told me anything I could use, FYI.

1965 Herman’s Hermits Press Conference for us kids of the press!

I was new to the area, I was starting a new Junior High 9th grade as one of the coolest chicks around!  There were some that wanted to hate me, jealousy, but my sister helped them keep it in check.  Much bigger and more aggressive than I, she was like my body-guard.  It was a total culture shock to me from mousey invisible girl to hot bleached blond mod chick!  I did have to wear glasses but there was another girl I became friends with who said she was so happy another cool girl was there that wore glasses too!  She and I dressed a lot alike with the English caps, long bangs and very short skirts!

I also had the privilege to go to numerous concerts and press conferences for various bands and singers.  Got to meet a number of interesting people during that time but I was shy so I didn’t try to be a groupie or anything like that.  No private parties, even when I got older.  That will be another post at a later date and so is more info to be shared regarding the occult near the Halloween season.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Heritage

I don’t really have one.

Photo Challenge from May 17th.  Not sure why I am getting so bad about participating lately, these are good challenges.  It might be because to speak of my heritage I am uncomfortable because of all the secrets and lies that still exist about everything.

My mother always told us we were “mutts” when we asked “what we were.”  I never really thought about it or cared, now the media labels everyone and you have to wear your label proudly.  They’re nuts in my opinion.  No one should care what they are genetically but should all venture to be children of God, again in my opinion.  When we did a project for school for “geography” the teacher asked us all our nationalities.  I told her I didn’t know mine.  My mother told me to tell her I was an American and that’s all she needs to know.  Can you imagine a teacher asking all the kids this question in modern liberal America?  LMAO!

We are a mostly white family and most of my friends were mostly white as well.  When I think back to our neighborhoods, white basically, we were not welcome in them.  Not hated but shunned because we were different in oh so many ways.  There might be something different about the races and nationalities.  I know there is somewhat with certain tendencies you do see in certain people.  With my own children my oldest looked more Native American and acted it.  Very quiet and calm of nature.  Stoic in the true description, even to this day.  My other son born was fairer and louder and way more aggressive.  I thought of him as the “Aryan” and yes that is said to be funny.  They were different in looks and temperament.

My mother is such a strange person anyway and made cracks to me when I was older when she first told me about her dad, whose pictures I saw hidden as a teen, that were then taken and destroyed.  “Didn’t you know I was a “passer?”  I asked her what that was and she told me.  Didn’t phase me, still doesn’t but I learned one important thing in life.  It does not matter what you are, it only matters what other people think you are.

My mother said she was never allowed to see pictures of her dad, but when I described them she said that has to be him because of how people spoke of him.  He left when she was young and died in California of tuberculosis soon after his 30th birthday.  My grandmother, from Jewish ancestry that married into Christianity,  had a shotgun wedding as a teen to a dark man with a fro and she had hidden pictures of them together when they were young, teens.  I only recently found out that his mother, my great-grandmother could have had various children with different fathers and that she had lost two of her first babies to severe malnourishment or what they called marasmus on their death certificates.  Starvation due to extenuating circumstances of her husband always running off and they didn’t have welfare or social services at the start of the 20th century.  These are the circumstances that Welfare was originally designed for.

Supposedly both my dad’s parents were part Native American but who really knows anymore?  I don’t think of Gram Goldie or Grandfather Drew as my grandparents.  Met them a couple of times, they didn’t give a darn about any of us kids our entire lives.  I would love to get DNA testing but hear it’s not all that accurate plus expensive.  I really would love to do this if only to open yet another Pandora’s Box of unanswered questions to add to those swirling around in my head.

My heritage is an unGodly mix of secrets and adults to busy or selfish to care.  A recipe for disaster and destruction, a pattern that is far too common but explains why the world is in the state it is in.

 

Writing 101: Four Bedrooms and Two Full Baths

We lived with my maternal grandmother when I was 12.  My entire family was intact, aside from the fact that my baby brother was not to be born until I was sweet 16, so there was grams, mom and dad, me, my sister and three brothers.

We lived in a four bedroom brick ranch with full basement and two full bathrooms.  We managed OK with the 8 of us and our dog Ranger.  We moved into this brand new subdivision just being built in the late 1950’s with no sod or trees on any of the streets yet.  We had a huge backyard that turned to mud every time it rained.  Apparently they purchased the home before it was built and would always show me the blueprint of the lots to prove that we had the largest lot in our subdivision and that’s why they selected it.

I previously printed a picture of us kids with my cousin in my favorite room in that house, the kitchen.

 

Writing 101: A Peninsula With a View

I am planning on moving to Michigan’s upper peninsula once I find myself without my home.  If I could “Flash” up there and see some of my family right now, I would.  It takes a day to get there, driving non-stop and I really hesitate taking a private plane.  Too scary and too expensive.

I miss everyone and can’t wait to see them.  Another brother is supposed to be moving up there this month leaving less and less of the family here down south.

Calumet June2011Brooklyn8mos 098

And the World Keeps Turning

Just another gangbanger shooting spree.  The kind that happens in poor, mostly black neighborhoods almost every day now.

The headlines read “4 Shot at NC Church; Boy, 12, Critically Wounded.”  abcnews.com is the only network news station carrying the story at this time online.

The story does not state the race or ethnicity of any of the young people involved but states the shooting took place shortly before 6pm Monday while they were playing basketball on the courts behind Word Tabernacle Church in Rocky Mount.

This is so horrible, but I have not heard this mentioned on any of the network news stations on television as of yet.  Why do I believe if this shooting had occurred in a white church or school with white children, this not only would have been reported as news, but we may even have had them break into the regular programming to tell us about it?

Just an oversight or just another sign of racial inequality?  A sign that some are giving up on the black culture to the point that a black child’s life is not as important as a white child’s life?  I truly believe that family starts with the women and they need to find a mama hubby before they make a baby daddy out of them.  That term pisses me off.  You either care or you don’t and the sad part is, if too many don’t care, most everyone else will join in.

Just sayin’.

No Brag, Just Fact

The other day I recalled a conversation I had with my grandmother many years ago.  Wasn’t long or memorable, so I think this is why I didn’t really give it much thought until recently.

My entire life I have always done the right thing.  Since I was young, I have worked hard, played fair, never tried to get something for nothing, always reacted to others good fortune with happiness.  I was decent, honorable and helped people out when I could.  Most of my family was not like this, to put it kindly, and I noticed this. 

I asked my grandmother why she thought I was so different from my siblings, not trying to hint that there may have been a mix up in the hospital, though none of us look that much alike.  My grandmother simply said that she had no idea why people are the way they are.  Why siblings raised pretty much the same way could be as different as Cain and Abel.  That was it.  No thinking or trying to figure things out.  She had no idea and neither do I to this day.  I still don’t know why we are so different and that I have never had much contact with them due to some of their life choices and behaviors that I cannot understand and do not agree with.  They appear to take after our mother who always loved drama and even though she was not a dishonest person, she loves gossip and nick named me goodie-two-shoes which she meant as a put-down, but I took as a compliment. 

I tried not to judge them harshly my entire life, but surprisingly, it grows harder to do this the older I get.  Soon after I hit menopause, I began to feel more angry and irritated about things that previously did not bother me.  I think that’s where the term “old biddies” comes from.  I now know why the Bible states not to be yoked with non-believers.  They will only bring you down literally or figuratively and after a while it gets real old!  After a while you start thinking, who do certain people think they are, why do they think they don’t need to follow rules and that the world owes them a living?!

Something I was thinking about and praising God that I obviously knew I was His child from the beginning.  This does not mean I am perfect by a long shot, but my heart is a pure heart and that is me.  I know that now and no matter how hard my life has been I thank God for always being there for me and thank Him for Jesus to guide us and ultimately save our souls!  I don’t know why I have such a grateful heart and why others with more blessing than I, do not.  This is what leads some to self-destruct.  They don’t appreciate what they have and end up losing it.