Friday, February 9, 2007


Colorism, Classism, Ageism, Genderism, Euphemism & Sexism

After years of being buffeted by society's various "isms," somehow I've been able, most of the time, to forego the illusory 'luxury' of unrestrained anger at injustices and, along with adopting a philosophy of pro-activism rather than a negative and continuously re-active stance/behavior.

But, Chile, it ain't been easy! International and local life experiences (see Bio link) have helped to forge an inordinately strong hueman being - they say - but from my earliest years, I was told that, because I was female (sexism, genderism) I had to stay inside the house and do "female" tasks - but of course, I rebelled in one fashion or the other.

It was also early in my childhood that I was made aware that my hair wasn't "good," an that it had to be forcefully contained in order for me to be made "presentable."

Being part of what was viewed as "a mixed" family, in an all white upstate New York community, also brought containment treatment from white student classmates and school administrators (colorism) (Although I was one of the best basketball players, I was never chosen to represent the high school at 'away' games. When the scholastic scholarship tryout exams were given, no one informed me that they were to take place.)

When I applied to Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. Economics, I was asked why I didn't apply to (Black) Howard University (280+ miles away instead of the mere 13 miles from our house) because "We have a quota system for Negroes here." (colorism, euphemism) (This degradation is amply described in my, as yet unpublished Autobiography!)

In college at Elmira, I was allowed to hear gym teachers speaking stereotypically about my breasts as "pendulous." (I won't forget that either)

As a student nurse at Bellevue Schools of Nursing in Manhattan, the overweening colorist treatment by training administrators was, apparently, 'par for the course.' (When a Black male won the popular vote for a role in a student nurse play opposite a white female, the Administration 'nixed' the entire production)

Trying to find an apartment in color-coded New York City in the fifties was an effort not to be envied (colorism). "Oh, you're Miss Taylor? I'm sorry, that apartment's just been rented!" I, apparently, "sound white!" on the telephone - heh heh heh.

As I entered my fifth decade, I began to understand that Black, middle aged females automatically are considered invisible; people in the supermarkets run their damn shopping carts into your ankles from behind, knock and block you as you're walking city sidewalks without so much as a "sorry" or "excuse me!" And, in audiences at lectures, we 'Elders' by now, are rarely called upon for our opinions/responses.

Oh, I should add what else the 'Euphemism' Cage is: this refers to the stubborn, habitual, intransigeant, persistent, dangerous and widespread inaccurate usage of the racist/colorist term 'race' (s) referring to issues/people of color. I've learned that such language can and does indeed lead unthinking uninformed hueman beings to disrespect, assault and even take the lives of other huemans because they're the "wrong" color, class, age, gender or perceived sex. We huemans deserve much better than this - why would anyone wish to handicap their children this way?

So I've come to the conclusion, in my 7th DECADE (should I even admit this?) that the world would be a saner, safer, more peaceful place if we could convince educators to teach - worldwide and at an early age - the societal benefits of not ever climbing into the 'isms' C.C.A.G.E.S. in the first place!

ADDENDUM: My sentient Son once said to me on some occasion when I was climbing the wasll at another outrageous hueman activity, "Mum, huemans will do anything." I call his saying up whenever I feel the need to save my sanity. So when Amadou Diallo, Timothy Stansbury Jr., Kevin Cedeno and others were slaughtered by NYPD thugs-in-blue, (and some are still being exterminated like Timur Person and Sean Bell), when Katrina was allowed to happen -( BlackFolk betrayed again) - Black five year olds handcuffed in the schools, - Kramer and his "n' word, Biden and his "clean Obama," -I wasn't surprised - angry and angst-filled, yes, but certainly not surprised - not one bit; in the good ol' U.S.A., the disease of untreated colorism is epidemic.


It's NOT "hopefully" Deepa, it's "I hope!" DOUBL AWK!

It's NOT "excapade" it's "escapade!" AWK!

It's NOT "rath!" - it's "wrath!" AWK!

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