Category Archives: racist comments

Punishment Must Meet the Crime

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It seems the news is following my blog. This refers to a recent post

explaining how I stuck my ‘foot’ in my mouth in February. I may have

rubbed someone at work the ‘wrong way.’ I think time will help heal

this situation and I am cheerfully talking to the persons involved

while ignoring their one or two syllable responses. (“Yes” and “No,”

are ones most being expressed.)

 

**My ‘punishment’ may or may not ‘fit’ my crime of being passionate

about equal rights.**

 

Now, I see on the news, that college students are really in deep trouble.

They ‘should have known better.’ The Columbus students at Ohio State

University piled many people into their apartment, plugging multiple

technological devices, television, stereo and probably phones charging.

Fifteen students were all standing outside a large and old house, where

the place had caught on fire early this morning. Fortunately, only the

one sleeping on the mattress pushed up to the plugs got minor burns.

 

The fire department member who spoke to Channel 10 news let all the

listeners know there was a mattress pushed up against this messy and

dangerous conglomeration of plugs into an outlet. They are now,

what the newscaster ominously stated, “homeless.”

 

**Their punishment should be to have spend time in a beginner’s

course called, “Electricity for Dummies.” They should have to show

a ‘graduation’ certificate before any other landlords allow them to

rent again. This was a mistake they will never make again. **

 

The second group of college students you may have seen their hateful

video, come from Oklahoma University. They are making national news

for spouting derogatory comments and racial slurs in their thoughtless,

drunken filmed tape. These men from the SAE fraternity, should be

‘ashamed of themselves.’

 

The fraternity boys ‘know better,’ too. If I were their parents, I would

never spend a dime on them again. They would have to find their own

way home from college, the car keys taken away. I could not believe

this insulting SAE group of men.

 

My Dad, brother and first ex-husband all belonged to a different type of

fraternity men. They may have ‘partied’ hardy, but there was definitely a

higher level of integrity. They participated in philanthropic projects and

during Christmas, collected toys, food and clothing for needy children.

My brother and my ex-husband also were participating in the seventies

movement of wanting diversity in their membership.

 

My friend, Melvin when the lunchtime noon break came around and

he saw the news story about the fraternity, stopped to ask me what I

thought of them.

 

Melvin and the guys were watching television in a different direction

from our table. Their t.v. was on the Sports Channel. I assume more

“March Madness” going on. He said he could not believe the college

boys had actually filmed their mean-spirited rant or rap.

 

My friend, Melvin exclaimed,

“What were they thinking, Robin? Are they stupid or what? Now,

you know you need to blog about this one. Preach it, Robin! Tell

them what kind of penalty or punishment they need to serve.

I don’t think picking up trash on the side of the road matches the

hate leveled in their words.”

 

Just in case you don’t wish to search for what is called, “Racist film

by college fraternity men,” I will tell you the content.  It said they

would not want to have any  “N-word”  joining their fraternity. It

goes on saying more nasty stuff. It is posted on many sources of

social media, just look it up.

 

With Melvin’s encouragement a few of us brainstormed, (women

who are mothers.) We came up with the following service to keep

the men ‘on parole’ rolls. This would have to be closely supervised,

parole officers checking in on the guys at ‘work sites.’

 

**We think the young men from the Oklahoma U. SAE fraternity

should participate in both an elderly and youth oriented program.

The programs should serve a diverse community of people and help

the boys to ‘see the light.’ (Melvin, I preached it!)**

 

The places we came up with were for them to volunteer for 100 hours

of community service at an inner city soup kitchen, homeless shelter

or an impoverished area’s nursing home facility. They need to meet

the elderly face to face, help them with more than just surface

projects.

 

We added an extra 100 hours of working at an inner city daycare

facility. We would like them to look at the faces of a wide range of

children representing ethnic groups at a center for children. We

would like them to think about the hateful words they said in their

‘chant.’ Another punishment would be to change dirty diapers.

Well supervised by the daycare center’s staff. Careful use of wipes

and special lotion, so the babies and the toddlers will not experience

any discomfort.

 

The discomfort should be for those young men who felt they could

express themselves in such a disrespectful way towards many

who may never have wanted to join them anyway.

 

The amazing and positive result of this film coming out in the media,

was college students and other people gathered on campus. Many

joining hands, some putting their hands upon each other’s shoulders.

There were a few past SAE fraternity men who came forward, were

vocal and expressed displeasure at the film. The group consisted of

more than one race in their unified peaceful demonstration.

 

The result of their protest was at least two young men were expelled.

I hope their punishment will be to do some of our suggested activities

mentioned above. This would help clear their conscience and hopefully

‘clean the slate’ they muddied.

 

Going from the sloppy electrical mess some college students

resulting in their now smoky and damage apartments in Ohio

to the Oklahoma University debacle, you can see a very huge

downward slope in behaviors.

 

The news moved on to this sick subject.

 

The last headline story, you may just wish to skip.

 

It is always a tragedy.

 

One that seems to happen at least once a week.

 

I wish I knew the statistics on boyfriends, family members

or caretakers who harm

young children.

 

The most recent story horrified me. I worked for a couple of years

at a battered women’s shelter, where usually the woman were the

ones who were hurt. There were also children’s stories which made

me sob at night. This ‘hardened’ woman will share the fact that

yet another person, in the U.S. raped and killed a little baby. The

most recent case was in Arkansas. The little baby girl was only

8 days old.

 

By the way, you don’t want to search this subject. There are

many stories, one after another on this subject. Steven Smith

in Ohio, on Death Row, asking for parole, a man who raped a

6 month old baby girl, Autumn. A woman who raped her

10 month old son.His name was Ashley, like the character

in the movie, “Gone with the Wind.”

 

I quickly closed the pages of articles on this subject.

 

**Everyone was thinking the death penalty for these persons.

Another table beside us, with some young men from Heavy

Bulk pitched in, agreeing with many in consensus.

I feel the person who does anything to a defenseless person,

child or elderly, should have their sexual organs taken away.

(Since women do this crime, sadly, I could not just use the

word, “castrated.”) The person should not get to just take

the drugs that ‘kill’ their deviant sexual appetites. This is

too dangerous, the consequences too extreme. I would not

want to trust them to take the drugs. Surgery is all I could

think of. . . I don’t advocate the Death Penalty. **

 

I am not sure how the justice system will handle any of

the above cases.

 

What I sometimes hear as a defense, but am in disbelief of, is the

thought of “freedom of speech.” (As in the SAE fraternity case,

Oklahoma University.)

 

Anyone venturing a ‘judgment’ or opinion?

 

 

 

“You do the crime, you pay the time.”

 

 

Symbolic Bridges

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Oprah and thousands join her as she crosses the bridge in Selma.

She and the cast for the movie, “Selma,” took several takes in

their arm in arm walk together. It could not have been without

some impact on their lives. In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Day, I was going to write about the anniversary of the bridge walk.

 

On January 8, 2015, some who chose to walk across the Edmund

Pettus Bridge located in Selma, Alabama. There is a photograph

of this recent bridge crossing. It is a small gathering but the post

has many who wish to view this. It is such a big deal that every

year, not always on the exact days of the peaceful marches, people

go to Selma to cross the bridge. To allow the freedom to soak into

their weary bones. It has not been an easy battle, even to this day.

 

The 50th “Golden” celebration of this famous event will be called

the “Bridge Crossing Jubilee,” held  March 5-9th, 2015. There is

still time to join this annual event for its anniversary.

 

Its kick off  Gospel church music concert will be on March 1, 2015

in Selma, Alabama. The memory of the deceased little girl innocents

will be shining their angelic glow upon the listeners.

 

This all is in tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. and of those who

walked across that bridge, some who died or were severely injured.

It is also in triumph, progress made and the way one huge step can

make an equally large impact on a country or world.  After all, our

President Obama may never had made it as far as he did, had not

those everyday men and women walkers had chosen to stay home,

out of fear.

 

The ending of the movie, “Selma,” lists several people whose lives had

changed due to their bridge walk. They include someone who had lived

over 80 years, a black man, never getting a chance to vote. There was

the white woman, first name Viola, (I did not take notes in the darkened

and hushed movie theater) who had chosen to join forces and cross the

bridge on the third time. She died when she drove a black person home

being given the hateful epithet, possibly real or imagined, by a storyteller

of “white nigger.”  The one who rose to be a senator, one who wrote for

a paper and others, all had found and felt the tremendous impact that

came out of one day to remember.

 

I learned one thing, that I did not know since most of the story has

been retold and covered. This is still a powerful movie to watch.

I did not know about the three times the walk across the bridge

was carried out nor how each one ended.

 

This will not ‘spoil’ your viewing of “Selma,” but may make you pay

more close attention:

First time across the bridge, it appears to be one hundred walkers who

have decided to gather and try to make an attempt to rock the country.

There is a place where the leaders of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s close-

knit group gather, enjoy a hearty breakfast and there is joviality and

a sense of brotherhood. Then, sadly, there has to be choice to pick straws

who will be in the ‘front line.’ The details of who got the short straw will

not be revealed here.

 

This walk for the first time is filled with trepidation, since the sheriff of

Selma is extremely bigoted and even there are scenes with the governor,

George Wallace fearing what may happen. When they get to the precipice

of the bridge, a curved bridge where you must walk upwards and then

head downwards, you can see the footsteps slowing down.

 

The next time the group goes up the hill of the bridge, there is a much

larger group and there are reinforcements from priests, ministers and

others who are Caucasian. Their presence buoys the inner sanctum of

MLK, Jr.’s group, they feel vindicated for any wrongdoings and deaths

that have gone on in between. There is a tremendous surge of energy, as

they get to the crest of the bridge. MLK, Jr. stops, he kneels and he prays

silently. The rest of the thousands gathered arm in arm who are behind

him kneel and wait.  Again, I won’t reveal what transpires.

 

History is being made. I felt the emotions in the audience, the bated

communal intake of breaths.

The third time the group gathers, it is in full preparation for the walk

across the bridge. Martin Sheen portrayed the judge who allowed the

sanction of crossing the Selma bridge. The governor and the sheriff,

with his ignorant band of white supremacists, are not going to get this

group to stop their crossing. It is going to happen, there is a broad

expanse and larger numbers than any of the first two attempts, there

are 2/3rds of the group white, according to one of the sources I read.

 

I had not intended to see another emotional upheaval movie. The first

three Academy Award nominated films, were all tear-jerkers. I had felt

‘spent’ and looking forward to meeting my good friend, Gary, who is a

sports writer at the Columbus Dispatch. I had agreed on either going to

“Birdman” or “Grand Budapest Hotel.” The first is with Michael Keaton

and since I felt he was a sensitive past actor who played “Batman,” I

could count on not dropping any tears. I also was amused by the trailer

and write-ups of “Grand Budapest Hotel,” with the funny actors in it.

 

We arrived at the Columbus Gateway Film Center on High Street, to

find a long line of young people chattering and bunched in a thick

group going into the building and up the stairs. Gary and I asked about

the line, it was for the multiple theaters showing, “American Sniper.”

We skipped around this, while Gary whispered to me, “We can use the

old people’s card, should someone try to stop us.” We went up the busy

escalator and when we got to the top saw the huge and bustling area of

the ticket sellers in front of crowded lanes. I was not sure what was going

on but since I assumed Gary may be like many guys I know, I left the line

and went to ask the guard. He said the line on the stairs was coming up

to join the group here, but they were all going to the “American Sniper”

film. So, being a little pushy, Gary took me through the melee and we

got to the front, only to find out that the two easy going movies, one

with a super hero and the other with a group of wacky hotel employees,

were:  “Sold Out.”

 

I did not hesitate to say to Gary, “Let’s go see the movie, ‘Selma!'”

We got into the theater only to find it half full. We each said to the other,

this is sad. We both agreed we had not wished to see an emotional film,

but it may have ‘meant to be.’  I am so glad the karma had the other

two films packed and not allowing us to see this fine film.

 

I will say there are magnificent performances, the director and David

Oyelowo should have been given Academy Award nominations. I

won’t go into the whole debacle about why there is less diversity in

this awards competition, but I am just going to say I am happy that

People’s Choice and Golden Globes nominated this film,

since “Selma” is worthy.

 

The song “Glory,” sung with John Legend and the rapper, Common,

is very beautiful.  Remember, I have seen three of the other contender

movies and will tell you their songs are not as ‘rich’ in sound and

meaning.

 

Some thoughts to share about real and symbolic bridges:

~ We can choose to find our own private bridge to cross.

~ Peaceful choices make a difference.

~ Touching just one life, and changing it, is enough.

~ To be able to reach more lives proceed forward.

 

~ One action or kindness contributes to another producing:

a.  Domino effect

b. Ripple effect

c. Paying forward

 

~ However you label your decision to help someone, it is still help.

~ Emotions and feelings spread easily.

~ Take courage in expressing positive choices.

~ Sharing emotions is instinctive, shown in these two examples.

a. Babies in a nursery cry together. The first one sets off the rest of them.

b. Toddlers in a sandbox see or hear someone else cry, reaching for a toy.

One may hand theirs over, without concern or need for praise.

 

~Giving in and letting go of prejudices and preconceptions is elevating.

~ Love has no boundaries once this happens.

 

Written by Robin O. Cochran

(Not taken from any sources, other than my own feelings about Selma’s bridge.)

 

“The Breakthroughs Issue” of December, 2014 “Preventions” magazine is

a great source of news about health and healthy food choices.

 

A man making a profound difference in prosthetic equipment is featured

in an article called, “Out on a Limb.”

This man, Eythor Bender, is using the ‘bridge’ I listed above to use a “kind

action” to create these wonderful and more natural replacements for arms

and legs. Frustrated by the medical breakthroughs available only to the

“elite” in our society, those who are wealthy, he came up with a program.

“Unyq” is a San Francisco based company which uses 3-D printers to create

symmetrical body parts to the user’s healthy limb. This alone is remarkable,

since in the past they did not often ‘match’ the size or shape to the original

on the other side of the body.

 

Bender was recognized internationally during the New York Fashion Week,

2014. His bionics were on a model walking the runway. Sure this should

make him proud or feel good about himself, but this quote from Eythor B.

says it ‘all:’

 

“People tell me it feels like they’ve got their legs back for the first time

in their lives. That’s really something!”

 

Bender expressed happiness that the new Unyq program is being covered,

since he has made the prices low enough, by many insurance providers.

Keeping the price down, will meet the needs of most of the patients who

need realistic and comfortable prosthetics.

 

This article was uplifting and made me feel it met the ‘requirements’ of

crossing a ‘bridge’ in medicine, with its ripple effect going into all areas

of society and hopefully, the world.

 

Another creative health program which is still in the newer stage and not

necessarily FDA approved is, Immuno-Therapy. This is to fight cancer

through immune system injections. There are three stories, one man and

two women, who participated in this trial program who have seen their

melanoma disappear. This is another ‘bridge’ to cross, hopefully the first

start will be like MLK, Jr.’s first attempt to cross the Selma bridge, one

that will be followed repeatedly,  with more and more positive results.

 

 

 

Odds and Ends

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Like the ends of fabric bolt rolls and the end of a great movie,

I hope to bring you some smiles on this Sunny Monday. There will

be one possible frown ‘producer’ but it is more of a question of

values and appropriate behavior guidelines.

At the Cincinnati Zoo, a new baby giraffe arrived, on May 2, 2014!

Her name was voted on and received 32% votes to become, “Nasha.”

She is adorable, awkward and of course, gangly-looking! I want to

go see her and her family.

When I picked up my youngest daughter from the Columbus Airport, it

was on Mother’s Day morning. She treated me to a breakfast/brunch

at a place on the East side of town, called The Angry Baker. It is

located on Oak Street.

Today, I was answering my coworkers and friends who inquired,

“What did you do on Mother’s Day?” by saying that I went with her

to brunch at a little quaint and unique place.

We sat out in the sunshine, with a few clouds intermittently

covering the sun, for over an hour chatting and catching up.

Her adventures with her ‘new’ family and seeing the sights of

St. Louis were very cool. When a few coworkers stopped to ask

what I ordered there to eat, I told them that I had spotted

and decided my ‘dessert’ first which helped me to choose my

main meal. I saw in the refrigerated display case a triple

layered white torte with what they were calling “Green Tea

and Coconut” icing. In between the three layers was vanilla

cream. Yummy!

I had ordered an asparagus and leek quiche and a ‘field

greens’ salad with raspberry vinaigrette. They asked what

else sounded or looked good, I responded,

“I would like to try next time I get treated to breakfast,

the French toast sandwich with Swiss cheese and ham or bacon

in between.

It was served like a ‘fork and knife’ sandwich, with a small

pitcher of maple syrup. Had I eaten that, I would have probably

not eaten the dessert. Which was as scrumptious, as it had

appeared!

As I passed through my day, I also, inquired into others’

family or individual activities over the weekend. There were

a lot of family cookouts and visits to restaurants, along

with some buffets of home-cooked meals mentioned. I was so

happy, that almost no one ‘reported’ a challenging Mother’s

Day! Even the fathers and sons were pleased with their days.

I heard from a single man who is friends with Anna, that she

requested they go out for a Chinese meal for her Mother’s Day.

I was rather surprised that I had 2 people admit they didn’t

know or asked,

“What is quiche?”

One guessed it was a type of fish and the other guessed a

type of cheese. Interesting who they were, too.

A very important message was given on my CBS This Morning

Show, today (May 12, 2014).

I was sure that this was “News” but once I researched this

subject, it has been an ecological concern and has been around

since 2012 and in 2013. I found headlines from those years,

that this was endangering the Great Lakes!

Have you heard of the Los Angeles scientific study into women’s

(and some men’s) personal care products that include micro-beads

or micro-exfoliates in their ingredients?

I had not heard about this one, until today!

Apparently, it has become scientific research that is being taken

more seriously recently. Actions and results are finally being

taken by major companies.

The products that include these beads are facial scrubs and

body washes. I have also purchased, once or twice, a Bath and

Body Works’ hand sanitizer that had little blue beads in it. I

liked the ‘grit’ and also the way it made my hands feel.

Well, hate to tell you this, especially if you are quite attached

to any cleansing products or cosmetics which include these beads…

They are not good for the environment!

Especially, fish!

And then, fish eaters!

The micro-beads absorb fertilizer and other unnatural by-products

that are in the water system. They tend to ‘grow’ in size, due

to the absorption of these dangerous elements.

They attract fish’s attention.

They consume these, which can be dangerous for us to consume.

Since we are the next ones in the food chain. They can also kill

the fish!

The deadly elements in the water supply have been able to be

measured, viewed and studied under a microscope. It can be lethal,

in so many ways.

One company, ‘stepping up to the plate,’ is Johnson and Johnson,

who have promised to slowly phase these cosmetic and cleansing

products out by 50%, by Christmas. Due to the severity of the

situation reported, I am recommending my friends and fellow bloggers

to go ahead and find another product to use, since this is already

pretty controversial.

My youngest daughter has already started using a ‘Green’ and more

ecologically sound product.

My last “Odds” is not really a positive one, so I will try to think

of something funny to close today’s post. Here is a ‘rant.’

I had a nice time with my girlfriend, going to a place we had

eaten my ‘birthday meal,’ called Horsey Hall. On Friday, they were

having a nice arts and crafts sale, with antique items also for sale.

These were displayed in a large barn and a smaller gardening shed.

It was quite nice and had many reasonably priced items. I ended up

buying some homemade candy that tastes just like a “Heath” or “Skor”

bar. She bought some peanut butter fudge.

We saw Morgan Treni, my favorite local musician, sat on a bench and

drank coffee, while listening to her wonderful voice. I have written

about her, before this.

I am going to ask a question, if someone is just asking an open-ended

“Why…” question is it okay to ‘rail’ on the subject a bit? I mean,

if someone asks you for your opinion, you are allowed to voice it,

right?

I was with a close (over 20 years long friendship) good friend

who asked,

“Why, when we believe in our country in the Bill of Rights and

Freedom of Speech, do we crack down on people who are saying what

they believe?”

She went on to mention the newest two young builders and participants

in a HG-TV project, the twins, David and Jason Benham whose new show

was almost ready to air, called, “Flip It Forward.”

Although the two brothers had been scrutinized for their father’s

very outspoken opinions, they had said they would not reveal their

religious beliefs on air. They felt that their positions on gays,

abortion, divorce would not be an ‘issue.’ The producers had asked

about this before they had begun their project. Also, their family

does not like the fact there is a Muslim mosque at Ground Zero,

(9/11/2001’s tribute to those of all cultures and ethnic backgrounds

who died on that day.)

My friend thought this should not be a ‘problem’ while they were

buying old houses, fixing them up and reselling them. The builders

felt they were helping teach others to ‘flip houses,’ along with

ones who were poor or on a fixed income.

Apparently the source of the controversy is from incidents and

an interview that occurred in 2012. One was at an abortion clinic

and another was where their father had said that “Jesus doesn’t

like Muslims.”

While being interviewed, one of the twins was more outspoken

on the subjects of anti-homosexuals and anti-divorce comments.

My thoughts reflect that of a comment of someone that writes on

an entertainment and news blog. To me they make sense,

“Why rub LGBT employees of HG-TV and possible viewers the wrong

way with having these guys be the center of an upcoming show?”

Mainly, my thought about my friend’s comment is this:

“If you choose to be in front of the media, get your paycheck

from the media and your viewers are the world, you owe it to the

ones paying you, to keep your opinions to yourself!”

It is not a question of ‘Freedom of Speech,’ to me but one of

making good choices. In my opinion, you have to realize that the

ones who are not accepting others, really are a ‘problem.’

Even if you are a Christian, it is not your place to ‘judge others.’

No one has that right, I believe.

Seriously, espousing these beliefs, as this Benham family did, in the

recent past of 2012, had to surface and come under the scrutiny of

the employers and possible viewers eventually.

By saying what they were saying, it was only one short step

away from bigotry. It is not cool, it is not acceptable and I

would have cancelled their show, too!

My Dad and Mom used to use the terminology of ‘slippery slope.’

When they thought that someone said a disparaging or prejudiced

comment, if they did not respond or react to the negative words,

they felt that it was a ‘slippery slope’ to becoming ‘just as

bad as the ignorant ones, who were saying those things!’

On this same subject, Sunday evening while turning to my Arts

and Entertainment Channel (A & E) to watch, “Turn,” the

Revolutionary War show, I caught the ‘tail end’ of “Duck Dynasty.”

I really feel like ‘boycotting’ A & E, which you may remember

I was upset about the leader of the Robertson’s Clan, Phil…

How many months ago?

The story I wrote was called, “The Cost of Silence,” written on

January 22, 2014.

“Good ole Phil” is back on the show, folks! The network gave him a

‘slap on the wrist’ for his horrible comments in an interview. It

was a short hiatus, like serving in ‘detention hall,’ where he was

not allowed to be on the show.

Like it was okay to say what he did to “GQ” magazine, while on

A & E’s payroll.

What a shame!

For my ‘funny’ ending that I promised here are two things to get

you smiling.

First, have you ever imagined how a baby giraffe was conceived?

Second, my Mom and I talked for an hour from 11 p.m. until 12,

midnight, leading into Mother’s Day. She knew that I had had a

splendid picnic with all 3 kids and 6 grandkids on this past Wed.

Also, I had written two letters and sent two Mother’s Day cards

to remind her of my Sunday plans. She had joked over Easter that

I wasn’t her mother, but I did tell her I would have liked to be

two places at one time!

I had told her, I was going to spend my Mother’s Day picking my

youngest daughter up from the airport.

My youngest brother and his wife are at a Reading Convention

in New Orleans, which they were pleased to attend. (It means

neither one has to put on their Doctorate robes and hand out

any diplomas at their respective universities they teach at.)

When I asked Mom if she remembered I wasn’t coming this

weekend she responded,

“You wrote it on my bulletin board and my calendar, what

chances did I have to forget?”

When I asked Mom if she minded just ‘hanging out and having

dinner’ with my middle brother, the artist, she cracked me up:

“What other choices do I have?”

National Days of Remembrance

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For the week starting April 27, 2014 until May 4, 2014, the United

States has set aside time to remember the people who were killed,

survived and helped rescue the Jewish and other ethnic groups that

were affected during WWII time period.

We have designated this week as National Days of Remembrance of

those who were ‘martyrs’ and ‘heroes’ of the Holocaust.

On this evening of Sunday, April 27th, in respect to the 27th day

of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar, until the evening of Monday, Israelis

mark those moments in time, through prayers and thoughts of those in

the Holocaust. The term, “Yom HaShoah” is given for this period of

reflection. This was the time where protesting people were engaging in,

what is called, “The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.” If anyone is affiliated

with this, through family members and are more informed on this practice,

please feel free to add to the post, in the Comments’ Section. Thank you!

On January 27, 1945, troops entered a concentration camp in Germany,

where they found 11,700 prisoners. This camp with its gas chambers

and other horrors was called Auschwitz-Birkenau. Other camps, where

many people were tortured and killed, later surfaced and became known,

once the war in Europe ended.

In May, there will be a celebration of Victory in Europe, for WWII’s

ending. I have already made sure to include this day on my May Monthly

Calendar post. I cannot believe how time has flown and another month

has passed already!

My Grandmother Paula Haller Mattson came from Germany, immigrating

while a teenager. She denounced the behavior of Nazis and many times

denied her heritage, during the thirties and forties, since there was

more common knowledge here in the United States, even than in Germany,

at the time. She practiced English and did not sound “German” during

her adult life. She was a waitress at the Waldorf Astoria, where she

liked to say, “I waited on Kings and Queens, the Rothchild’s,

Vanderbilt’s and Presidents.” I believe she wanted to be part of our

country, assimilating more than her cousins, Elaine and Clara.

When I got married, my second and third cousins, came to my first

wedding. I noticed a distinctive difference in their accent, although

my Grandma had already passed away by then. Family was always important,

but becoming an American citizen, was equally special to my Grandma M.

The movie, “The Sound of Music,” told through the Von Trapp Family

Singers’ escape from Germany over the Alps’ story. This popular movie

depicted the foreboding atmosphere of the upcoming takeover and war.

More serious films, like “Schindler’s List,” which told about the

sympathy of other cultures towards the Jewish people are interesting

and deeply realistic.

Of course, reading history books, visiting the great Holocaust Museum in

Washington, D. C. and seeing documentaries will give you more accurate

pictures of the drastic takeover by Adolf Hitler of the German peoples

and troops.

When my brothers would watch Saturday morning movies, such as ones that

had John Wayne and others in them, my parents tried to discourage any

glorification of war, in their young minds. My Grandmother M. would get

angry when my brothers would play Americans against the Germans,

Cowboys versus the Indians and (from their cartoon views of “Rocky and

Bullwinkle”), somehow my brothers came up with the idea of American Spies

against the Russian Spies espionage ‘game.’ All of these were forbidden around

my grandparents’ house, along being within earshot of my parents’ house.

Being an English, World Literature and Spanish teacher, my Mom was pretty

strict in her use of language. One word we were not allowed to use often,

and it had to be very important to do so, was the word, “Hate.” She was

taught this by her mother, that most things in Life, can be expressed as

“not pleasant,” “dislike strongly,” or “prefer not to.” It is a great way

to raise children to be more open minded, whether it to be trying a new food,

learning about a different culture than one’s own or meeting unfamiliar

people. It is another way to show ‘remembrance’ and ‘respect’ to all

things, peoples and thoughts.

I like the way in “South Pacific,” the character played by John Kerr

sings, “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught.” This song is in reference

to prejudice is a learned experience, taught by the ones closest to the

children or young adults. Only after researching this song, did I find it was

considered very “controversial” and “downright inappropriate” for musical

stage productions.

Interestingly enough, it was also labeled, promoting “Communistic agenda!”

I am proud that the authors of the lyrics, Rodgers and Hammerstein, the

producers, directors and actors all said that they were ‘in it’ due to

the way it expresses these emotional viewpoints. I listened to this, along

with a lot of major musicals, in person, at theatres and on the stereo, where

my parents placed a stack of records to listen to, during relaxing, ‘television

restricted’ periods of weekends or ends of workdays.

Of course, I am going to be honest about this, teens learn ‘prejudices’

from their peers, even when you (as parents) have done your ‘darndest’ to

prevent them from this.

There have been people who are ‘brainwashed’ even as adults. Don’t think

my kids are, or ever were, “perfect!” Or that I didn’t have to ‘straighten

them out’ a few times!

Even professionals, pastors and teachers hold views that are bigoted and

close-minded. I had a family member who felt the Bible “said” the “Tribe

of Abraham,” meaning people with African heritage, were meant to be slaves.

I was appalled, argued when I was once involved in a holiday discussion,

home from college on Winter Break. My parents and brothers stood on my

side, basically telling the person to table the debate.

When the Viet Nam War or skirmishes began, my brothers were close

to Draft Age. My parents seriously (sorry, if this is going to bother

you), thought about relocating to Canada! Enrolling my brothers in

college, during this time may or may not have prevented draft, but

draft ended before they needed to be concerned with it, personally.

A song which includes, “How can people be so heartless? How can people

be so cruel?” was one of my favorite songs, sung by Three Dog Night.

It is called, “Easy to be Hard,” (1969).

We still have ‘enemies.’

We still have ‘hate.’

I hope you will take some moments in this next week, to reflect and

remember the Holocaust and other people who are continuing to be

scapegoats and persecuted in the world, sometimes with the governmental

support of a country.

Adding to this post, on Monday April 28, 2014.

Will you please keep those who endured the twisters in the states of

Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, those who lost family members, and those

who are hospitalized in your remembrances and thoughts this week?

So far there have been 17 deaths in these three states. There was a

little four year old girl, who was swooped up, carried a distance

and had her legs crushed… I hope you will be including her in your

thoughts and prayers, too.

Another twister came through on Monday night into April 29th, 2014.

The states of Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee had houses and

properties destroyed, along with unfortunately, 11 deaths.

All of these areas have had people volunteering to assist the people

who have had to leave their homes, along with sifting through the rubble,

looking for people.

Thanks for reading some more about this tragic weather situation!

Safe world vs. protected and insular one

Standard

I was on my way to work while enjoying the banter between two

local radio cohosts, Dino and Stacy. I honestly have seen Dino

Tripodis, out and about, also at the Children’s Hospital fundraisers.

The music is always easy listening on Sunny 95 (94.7). Their choice

of subject matter may make you “cringe.” Dino is frankly a great

late night comedian at the Funny Bone located at Easton Towne

Center, Columbus, Ohio.

Dino is Greek, he mentions this a lot. He is dark, attractive and I

would term him, “swarthy looking.” A dapper dresser when  a host at

fundraisers and I think most people would find him a tad ‘raunchy’

(dare I say, “potty mouthed?”) when performing as a comedian. Sorry,

but  who isn’t when they are entertaining a night crowd of drinking

adults at a comedy club?

Dino made his opening introduction of the “call in” topic of the day:

“How does your workplace do in their handling controversial

subjects?”

Dino’s first three examples may offend you but they were meant

to open discussions and receive more call ins. One example of

bigotry Dino explained happened to him, “Hey, exactly what ethnic

group are you a member of?” Dino said there was no preamble or

lead in lines, either. Just jumping right in.

His next one was aimed at a fellow coworker who had brought in

his own family specialty. Dino overheard someone coming into the

radio station, saying,

“Hey, who is cooking that smelly food?”

Last example given, was asked of a friend while they were

walking together around the Columbus Jazz and Ribfest,

“Are you black or are you Indian?”

These are ‘cringe worthy’ comments. I think that sometimes

the people know they are politically incorrect and proceed

to aim them, with some kind of animosity. But, on the other hand,

sometimes they may be just plain ignorant of social norms. In this

case, they need to start moving in a wider circle and embracing

more differences in their lives!

I am appalled to tell you that my third grade grandson, Skyler, was

walking in for his first day of school with his stepdad and little

brother, Micah. A classmate came up to him, while they were both

trying to find their lockers. They had been given for the first time,

the number of a “big kid” locker and Mike and Micah had dropped

back a few paces to allow the learning experience to unfold. This

boy asked him the following question, really truly…

“Is your Dad black or is he one of those terrorist groups?”

Skyler blinked a few times, looked up at his stepdad and with a

whole lot of moxie and so much intelligence, answered,

“Hi Jacob, this is my stepdad, Mike. Actually, he is half black and half

white, his son is my brother. My biological Dad is white. I call my

stepdad, “Dad” when I am around him.”

When my children were little, I made a point as my parents had

done before for my brothers and me, to introduce many cultures

including their foods. I found my son to be the one who enjoyed

the spices in curried chicken, who loved the sardines and different

fish from cans. My father had introduced us to gefilte fish with his

good friends, the Lezbergs. We liked going to their unusual house

that had a two story atrium where birds flew around and lizards

crawled. The children became our friends and we had the great

experience of seeing the eldest son’s Bar Mitvah in their synagogue.

Dad, in fact, at NASA, had another coworker who was named

Samuel Palmer, who introduced him to pigs’ feet, corn “pone” and

black-eyed peas, bringing home some of Samuel’s wife’s homemade

Southern family dishes for us to try, too. We ended up being one of

only three white families at their daughter’s wedding.

While in California, Dad really enjoyed the Chinese food he had

discovered in Chinatown and tried buffets where the selection was

fantastic. He would call home, just to hear that we were having hot

dogs, salad and mac ‘n cheese. Mom said it bothered her more when

he was eating steak and lobster, since she missed “surf and turf” more.

While traveling we would try Japanese food, watching the fascinating

Chef/servers with their sharp knives chopping the vegetables and

meats up. The strange treats of chocolate covered ants and crickets

were given us, without much fanfare. We liked the sweet and sour

sauces and eventually the spicy General Tso’s sauce, too.

Living a life full of plain mashed potatoes, corn and chicken, one

of my ex-husbands loved his time in Japan. He learned to immerse

himself on weekends in the culture. He spent time getting off the

base and participating in local theatre, trips up gorgeous mountains,

exploring and sightseeing. He discovered beautiful gardens, special

museums and worship places where they took part in spiritual

ceremonies like churches.

This surprised him when he would inquire of his fellow Air Force

buddies if they would like to join him. There were few who were

interested in venturing out. He mentioned to me, on one of our

early dates,

“I felt alive while exploring more there than in our own country.

Somehow, a little “risk” and becoming involved in a different part

of the world, made it even more exciting than his past vacation

experiences.

Back to the subject of parenting, my youngest daughter, some

may have read that I chose to raise her on her own. When she

started to get curious, she would have her “real” Dad come and

visit.

Mainly her sources of love and father role models were her two

uncles and her grandfather.

Her stepfather, having an Irish name, had more of a tan complexion

and coal black hair, along with dark brown eyes. He was often asked

where his coloring came from, he would say his mother’s side of the

family. He could have said, there are also “black Irish,” too.

In Spain and France, located in  the Pyranees Mountains, a group

lighter skinned and blonde ancestors were supposed to originate.

While in Mexico, one of the students on our Spanish Club trip, got

a lot of attention. Gina was blonde and blue eyed. While in Spain,

a year later, she was not accosted as often nor called, “muy bonita

Senorita!” as often, due to this strange fact that there are blonde

inhabitants more in the Northern region.

Recently, a friend of mine who was raised on a farm, confided that

her family wasn’t very open minded sometimes. In her lifetime, she

could remember her Dad using the word “n—— rigged” when he

would take two parts and try to connect without any connection

or meaning “making do.” She also mentioned that her Granny used

the name with “n” in it to talk about in those days,people who my

family was still using “colored” people or “folks.”

We did advance to the seventies, where my Mom introduced in her

English classroom modern “Black Literature.” Her curriculum

included books like , “Black Like Me,” by John Howard Griffin,

(written in 1961.)

Other famous writers during those times were James Baldwin, Toni

Morrison and Langston Hughes. While Mom assigned these to her

high school students, the books were given to us on our family

bookshelf for summer reading.

When my middle brother, Randy read John Steinbeck’s “The Pearl”

and his fourth grade teacher, Miss Root, doubted he really read it.

Even after hearing his book report this was challenged.  With some

fierceness in her approach, my Mom went in to back him up on this.

Books open many peoples’ lives and give them dreams, along with

knowledge of other cultures and the world, too.

My discussion started with the impetus or spark of a controversial

radio show this morning. It continued to “fester” and include some

‘close to home’ examples. Then, it became how families need to

evolve sometimes to meet the challenge of our multicultural

environment.

The gifts to our children and grandchildren can include tasting a

variety of foreign foods. A new lease on life can be found in all the

wonderful festivals that surround us. It may involve visiting some

museums around that feature culture in many dimensions of the

word.

All Fine Art Museums include international art. There are examples

of cultural artifacts, tapestries and sculptures. In Columbus, Ohio

our art museum is totally free on Sundays! (There is a donation

box but no one pressures anyone on these family days!)

History or Science Museums can open doors to a variety of unique

and fascinating subjects. The subject of nature and its exploration

was mentioned in my last post, so no need to go to that as a way

to widen little ones’ horizons.

I love this simple old fashioned comment,

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

It is so much deeper than I thought it meant. Especially,  when it

includes changing and accepting more exciting worlds than your

own back yard! By opening your doors, you may just open your

children or grandchildren’s ways of thinking, too.

And that is a “gain” no one can put a price tag on…