Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Our store remodel is complete and it is better than ever. We now have 8 fully functioning customer service terminals-though the techs get 2 to share-that still leavse 6 for the rest of us. I do not think more than 5 CSR's are ever scheduled on the same day anyway. Now we just have to clean up the mess, move in and re-organize our break room and storage closets. I spent the day labeling drawers and terminals. Everything is so clean and new! I even have my own terminal now:)
~~~~Where ever you go, There you are!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

This is hilarious. My father sent it to me and it made me think of alot about the discussions going on in Michigans-Pagans yahoo group about race and politics. It is very much how I view affirmative action and other similar programs. All white people in this country benefited from racism and racist policy whether they or their ancestors participated in them or where even in this country at the time. In this day and age a white male with a high school diploma will make an equivalent amount of a black female with a masters degree-what could that be other than racism? Institutionalized racism. Yet, everyone wants to act like such thing does not and could not exist. Please, racism is an american tradition, like thanksgiving and columbus day. It will be with us forever. I do not think affirmative action has a place in our society any longer. It makes too many too angry to see such open displays of favortism and in the end causes more damage than it creates equity. However, I do not consider it to be reverse racism either. It was a poor attempt to level the playing field. It did not work and has outlived it usefulness, but still, it was the only acknowlegement this country has ever made to the injustice done to the descendants of slaves by the powers that be in this nation. Right or wrong, affirmative action served as an acknowledgement of the wrongs this country has done.
~~~~Where ever you go, There you are! Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 26, 2005

Well, the remodel is almost complete. It looks like things will be getting back to normal soon at work. I really like what they have done. Our garage which was large and not being used at all is now an extended customer service/tech area and being used to its full potential. We will have more registers, more space-now all we need are more employees:) We should be opened and moved back in by the end of the week!

~~~~Where ever you go, There you are!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

As for your name and your body , which is the dearer?
As for your body and your wealth, which is the more to be prized?
As for gain and loss, which is the more painful?

Thus, an excessive love for anything will cost you dear in the end.
The storing up of too much goods will entail a heavy loss.

To know when you have enough is to be immune from disgrace.
To known when to stop is to be preserved from perils.
Only thus can you endure long.

****i think its from the Dao de Jing (?)
~~~~Where ever you go, There you are.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

*****This was posted on a Zen Budhist MSN group for beginners. I found it interesting and very, very true. It is why I feel free to take from Zen Buddhism that which suits me and let the rest fall by the wayside-it is unnecesary for me. I definetely agree that to become too attached is to engage the ego and who can simply "be" when that is engaged? Too often I allow myself to become too focused on the mundane, bullshit aspects of life. That is no big deal in the long run, but I realize how it negatively impacts on my ability to live in this moment-right now. This moment is where I should be living and focused-not to the exclusion of past moments or without thought to future moments-but right now, right here, this moment-enjoy this moment, this moment is your life.

Our 'true nature' is the fundamental state of the human mind (or of all mammals, and all forms of life). Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, etc. are techniques to use to allow us to discover our original nature. There primary benefit is to reveal to us that this actually exists within us, or to remind us of it, and to show us some techniques (meditation) to help us in our re-discovery and awareness of it.

Our original nature exists independent of Buddhism, etc. A problem I see is we can become wrapped up in Zen or whatever, and that elaborate system with its traditions, doctrines, rites, may eventually become another burden for us. We may carry Buddha around with us, showing it to everyone a little pridefully.

It's a balancing act in a way, and knowing human psychology, sometimes a little difficult to keep balanced properly. To me, we must from the very beginning recognize that Buddhism and all its trappings are not too important. If it helps us, ok, but it's just a boat we use to carry us to the other shore. We must row ourselves, and discard the boat upon our arrival. It may or may not be a long journey, but it's a pretty plain boat, just some wood, and it may be distracting if we begin to study every plank and joint along the way. The boat may become so interesting to us, we may even forget to row!

Once we have some understanding, or a 'feeling' of this original nature thingy, that's the important part. Some formal training or more reading and talking about Zen may help, if it does that's good. But I think it's also important to consider honestly for ourselves whether some '-ism' is becoming more meaningful for us than its original purpose.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Below is cut and pasted from a larger article about the movie What The Bleep Do We Know? and how it relates-or does not relate to Buddhism. I liked the article, but what really stuck with me as important is posted below:
For my nine bucks, the real point of What The Bleep (thought the movie itself doesn't seem to know this) is when they speculate that the discoveries of quantum physics could lead humanity to a new kind of morality, the understanding that we ourselves are ultimately responsible for the world we live in. This is the meat and potatoes (or tofu and potatoes if you're like me) of Buddhism. Had those asswipes who attacked the WTC understood that it was they themselves who were responsible for the existence of the Great Satan America, things would've been a lot different. No matter what situation you find yourself in, it is a situation you made for yourself. And that includes everything, baby. Even all the stuff you think you had nothing to do with. If you don't like the President or his war, to take a popular example, try and understand how you created both of them yourself. Every suicide bomber and every Texas yokel on Bush's cabinet is you. Not figuratively. Literally. There is no one else they could possibly be.
Taken from-

*****The idea of this fascinates me. It alters my perecpetion of myself in relation to the world around me and my place in it and responsibility for the things that occur within it. In particular, " No matter what situation you find yourself in, it is a situation you made for yourself." How extremely true that is. Yet, how often I try to pass the buck onto someone or something else. I would never have done B if so and so or such and such had not done A. It is only when you can see your place in both A and B that you will truly be able to understand.
I would agree the author that this philosphy is "the tofu and potatoes" of Buddhism. I also agree that Buddhism is being changed in America to something that somewhat resembles Buddhism but only loosely. I think that is good thing though. Buddhism is a philosphy of change and adaptability-it seems a natural progression for it change and adapt to western culture. I also agree that some is lost with that, but some is also gained-as with any change and that is the value I see.
~~~~Where ever you go, there you are!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


I have got the worst luck in the world with men. Honestly, it has to be something I am doing, because this is unbelievable how odd it is. First off I am not into bullshit so most relationships aren't going to even get started with me. I have a kid who loves to play games with me if I wanted a game I would play with her. What I seek is a mature, honest, ****single***** adult. I go through dating phases-I date until all men start to get on my last fucking nerve and than I stop dating again for awhile. Truly, it is as if the world revolves around them and there needs and it has GOT to be easier to be single. Then , on the few occassions I do open myself-I meet weirdos and freaks. I do not mean perverts-hell I am pretty open sexually and there is nothing I like more than exploring-with the right person of course. There was L-who I really grew on me. He was quiet, laid back, easy going and wanted to do whatever I wanted to do, wanted to go wherever I wanted to go and acted like the sun shone out of my ass-hard to not like that in a person. I shied away from him because he was boring-then, just when I am starting to get used to him and comfortable around him, he drops this whole s&m thing. We had barely kissed, never had sex, and here he is wanting me to tie him up and spank him. To say I was shocked is putting it mildly. To think I was worried because he was boring, huh! It made me think of when I had dated that one guy years ago who turned out to be a cross dresser-WTF!!!!!!!! I like to think I am VERY open-minded, but just because I do not care if others are into, does not mean *I* am into it. If I really look at it I can see how I would attract a more needy man. I used to have many needy friends until I realized that when I was in crisis there was no one I could depend on and I cut that shit cold turkey. I also realized that I gained in self-esteem-falsely-by surrounding myself with people who were fucked up. I got some real self-esteem and now fucked up people making fucked up choices get the boot. I no longer have patience for that shit and avoid entangling myself in their lives and problems. Life is too short for baggage and so I dropped mine. I can honestly say that my life has been happier. It seems that I am replacing needy friends with needy men. My friend W says that I am a commanding woman-both in stature and in self-confidence and that is what the men are attracted to. He says there is alot of validity in s&m and to embrace that part of myself. I have no negative feelings about people who are into the s&m thing-as long as all parties are consenting adults, I could honestly care less-but it does nothing for me sexually, in fact it is a turn off. I mean if I was in love and in a committed relationship and we were experimenting to spice things up, I could go for it. But the idea of a total stranger wanting me to dominate them, grosses me out. How is it sexy for me to be mean to them or hurt them? More to the point, why would I want to? I think people into domination feel a lack of control over their own lives. I do not feel that way. I am a mom-so I already control one life. Add to that I work in customer service-so I spend 8-9 hours a day listening to people whine, moan and complain and I often feel like some of the people I work with are my kids-" help the next customer", "get off of the phone", "come back from lunch on time", help with closing", etc. I hate that shit, the LAST thing I desire in my life is someone else to boss around. Gods, where would I get the energy and why would I want to bother. It does not make me hot, it makes me uncomfortable. So, why is this coming up again? I have managed to meet a man who I could like as a friend. He is intelligent and interesting and local-and I LOVE having male friends-the energy invigorates me. I like the male perspective and it works really well as long as sex and sexual tension stay out of it. Yet, what started off friendly has in some weird-ass-fucking-way turned into the s&m thing. He is not going to be like L who was easy to turn away, he is a challenge-which intirgues me. I always like a good challenge. Plus, I wonder if the reason this does not keep entering my life isn't because somewhere inside of me I crave it-or have issues left over from B to work out. After all I do not exist in a vaccumm, so if these type of men keep seeking me out, I must be encouraging it in some way I am not consciously aware of. He would be perfect to explore it with in a way, because there is no chance in hell I would ever develop feelings for him outside of friendship- if that. He is a bitch, I have no patience with emotional men. He is desperately looking for depth and inner pain. He is also lacking in real life experience, self confidence and self esteem-which is annoying-but not that bad, he kind of reminds me of T. He is my age but if I did not know better I would think he is maybe 25? He is very intelligent, which frankly works against him because he thinks too much and knows too little. Much of life simply is, sometimes things just are because they are and you just have to accept it and work with it, rather than always looking for hidden meaning. Hidden meaning does not always exist and I think he searches for something deeper to distract himself from the present monotony of everyday life. He is seeking greatness and balance and answers-convinced what he seeks is out there-but if you can not find what you seek within yourself-you will NEVER find it without. I find it ironic that he is studying eastern philosphy and religions and neo-pagan philosphy and relgion-but for all of his vast intelligence-missing the point. Poor guy, he will never see the forest for he is too busy examining the trees. I think it is largely due to the fact that he suffers middle class angst. He is unsatisfied with himself and his life, yet he has not had horrible life experiences to account for his present unhappiness-and so he is seeking a reason this must be so and making up stuff along the way. He is a white boy from a well off family and has never struggled with an issue more weighty than how upset his daddy is going to be if he does not pick the same career as daddy has. Yawn!!!! He has never suffered, but is attracted to people who do, has read too many theories, but has very little actual "real" experience with life. So, he "realized" at 25 or so that he was emotionally abused as a child. It is almost like he is stuck in the teenage rebellion stage and unable to move past it to adulthood. He always felt more like he was parenting his mom than she was parenting him. His father was emotionally unavaible and he felt unable to be what his father needed him to be. I can certainly relate to that. However, I also know that my mom did the best she could with what she had. She did not abuse me, she was doing a difficult job, the best she could with the tools she had at hand. I realize that not meeting my parents goals and dreams for me is not failing on my part or theirs. I am becoming that which is best for me-which is truly what they wanted for me all along. They wished for me the things they were never able to achieve for themselves for whatever reason and believe that if I achieve these things I will be guaranteed happiness and success. He is disappointed in his parents because they let him down, they are not omnipotent, they are just people and as such very fallible. Becoming a parent does not make you perfect. Your life and growth as a person and an adult does not stop, halt or even slow down because you are a parent. So, you do not always do or say the right thing. You do not always do what is best for your child and often you do not even know what is best. Not because you do not love them or care about them, but because this is the best you have right now and the best you can do. That does not make the child abused nor the parent a bad parent. That makes parents human, wanting the best, meaning the best and falling short-inevitably. Your parents having hopes, dreams, wishes and expectations of you are not abuse. Far from it, it is the parent that does not care and can not be bothered that is closer to abuse than the one that does. Parenting is not at ALL what he thinks it is or what he hears it is or has read it is. He is looking for a way to heal that disapointment, but in all honesty he will never truly see or understand until he has kids and realizes how imperfect he is as a parent. It will be much more clear to him, as he makes some of the same mistakes his parents did and all new ones as well. He has a psychology and psychiatry background-which he feels means he knows what he is talking about, but seems unable or unwilling to see or learn past that. Unable to grasp that book learning is interesting and fun, but life is never that easy or neat or simple. Perhaps oddest of all, he seems fascinated with tribal societies and convinced that humans suffer in the society we have created. I agree that our culture is not a healthy one, but I do not think tribal societies were the ideal either. I find it hilarious to even suggest so. Also his pointing out that in tribal societies 13 was an adult and the age of maturity and people were ready to be adults at that age in society. He seems to think that has some bearing on present day-but in all honesty I think it probably is most affected by the fact that people died at 30 and 40 was ancient. Well, if you were not a fully mature functioning adult at 13 and died at 30 you would have a short sad life. That does not really fit into our society where many people are barely out of adolesence at 30. As if rape, murder, incest, famine, hunger, human failings were less so in tribal cultures, as if they (tribal cultures) were more innately fair or humane. People are people-whatever setting they are in. I am sure environment plays a role in how these issues play out, but I think he might be surprised at just how familiar the people of ancient tribal societies would be to him, how much like present people with the same pettiness and differences. It is extreme naivete. It kind of reminds me of his belief that pagans would be somehow different than mainstream people in their everyday attitudes and philosphies, more noble, altruistic, less petty, catty, prejudiced, short sided-human. No, they too are prejudiced, close minded, angry, rude, ignorant, selfish-as his joining the michigan pagans no doubt allowed him to see. Yet still he did not allow reality to interfere with his fantasy-he dismissed these pagans as not "true" pagans. If I disagree with him he says that since I have not studied as he has, what he has, my opinions have no value. It is hilarious. Like his opinions hold more weight because he has read theories about tribal societies but does not have enough real world experience to realize that theories are just theories and not reality or facts. Nor to realize that opinions are like assholes-we all have them and we all think ours are correct. Even if you know yours better than I know mine, even if you have mapped it and graphed it and know every teeny tiny square inch of it, it is still an asshole. Further more, because I think he is accustomed to women who do not know themselves, when I do not agree with him or allow him to patronize me with his bullshit, he attacks my opinions as faulty or suggests I am comparing him to past men who have hurt me. He is passive agressive and manipulative, no danager what so ever I would be too attached to him-perfect to practice on. It is too bad really, he would make a great friend. I love that shit. CL knows that, we never agree on shit, and yet she is the oldest friend I have and no one in the world knows me like she does. It almost seems she knows me better than I know myself. I digress, so what's the problem? I can barely stomach his fantasies. I do not feel like they are sick and harmful or unnatural or anything. They just bore me. Why would I want someone I barely know to strip in my living room and masturbate while I sat there clothed? Why would I be interested in a man who felt the need to even do that with a perfect stranger? The best thing about this is his absolute conviction that this is what his "inner child" needs and how this will help him to develop and grow. It stems from his belief that people can not be mature unless they hit every level and stage of development. Well, I never hit this one and I see to be pretty ok-well, not really, perhaps THIS is what my life really missing!!!!! Must have missed the strip, kneel and masturbate in front of perfect stranger stage in Freud.

The real question, what really bothers me, is not him, I will ignore him and be done with it-nothing lost or gained there. The real question is why did I respond to him in the first place? Why do I respond to men who will annoy and disgust me and feed into my already skewed image of the male psyche? That is the real issue and the real question and ultimately my real frustration. -(I am sure it stemmed from education interfering with my ability to truly develop into a mature adult by the age of 13-which was lost as my ancestors were forced out their "natural" evolutionary perfect tribal society:)
~~~~Where ever you go, there you are.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Thoughts on Marriage:
Yikes, nothing is forever why should marriage be any different? I think it is natural people that grow and change, positive and not necesarily negative. Nor bad for the children-in all cases. My parents are divorced and I am well adjusted.
I am responsible for my daughter and divorced, I guess I fail to see how being miserable with her father would have enhanced her life. I think children are healthier and happier if their parents are healthy and happy. I think divorce is traumatic because of the fuss made over it and the negative attention associated with it. My daughter is 11 and I do not think a single one of her friends parents are still married to eachother. The kids seem pretty untraumatized to me.
I guess even abuse aside, people grow apart. Just because you wanted to spend your life with someone at 20 does not mean you will be compatible with them at 40. That does not mean you do not love them or care about them-just that your life is moving in a different direction then theirs. It does not have to be about fault and blame, just about letting go. I also think it can be a valuable lesson for children. Life is about change and sometimes letting go is the best choice. I think in an ideal world the person you fall in love with and marry will grow and change with you and it will be as great 50 years later as it was on the honeymoon. I have certainly met couples married for years that adore eachother. However, most of the couples I know do not fall under that category. Some of those that still love eachother have nothing in common and are in fact unhappy together. They make better friends than partners.
I personally would not want someone forced to stay married to me because of a law if they really do not want to be with me anymore. I like to think we could part and then perhaps I would have the opportunity to be with someone who values me and wants to be with me. I just do not see the value of staying in a relationship that is dead. I honestly think fear keeps most people with someone they do no want to be with any longer. Fear of the unknown, fear of dating again, fear of being alone, fear of no one loving you, etc. In truth, I would rather my husband be free to leave me and stay because with me is where he wants and chooses to be. I would not want someone to stay with me out of some misguided and unwanted sense of duty.

~~~~Where you go, There you are...

Friday, September 16, 2005

My Liberal Political Views:
I am a liberal because I believe that the largest and most important burden and greatest responsibility of a truly advanced, cultured, civilized "free" society is tolerance. Obviously I do not always practice this, but I do believe it. What I mean by that is if I want my rights-all of them-I have to allow others there rights-all of them-whether I agree with it or not. To further explain, I am one of the most boring people you will ever run across. I spend more time at home or work than anywhere else-certainly than partying or even hanging out. I have never been drunk, high, or had a one night stand. Yet, I believe that in a free society the governmet has little part any of those activities. My feeling is if all involved parties are consenting adults in their own homes-it is none of the government nor anyone else's business what they do. I think prostitution being illegal is asinine and a waste of tax payers dollars and valuable police time and budget. I think an orgasm is perhaps the most honest thing you can purchase in our consumer based culture. I would not personally be a prostitute nor go to one, nor want my child or sister or niece to be one-but I would not want any of them to be soldiers either. Not meant to be an insult to soldiers-I KNOW they protect me and the freedoms I take for granted and I support the soldiers even when I do not support the battles they fight-but I do not want anyone close to me at the disposal of our corrupt governments casual attitude towards war-whether that government leader be democrate or republican. I feel the same about drugs. I would not do them even if they were legal-just like I rarely ever drink. However, I am an adult and as such it is not the governments job to monitor what I place within my body. I do not think people should use drugs, I realize and agree that addiction leads to poverty, neglect, and in general harmful things in society. I just do not feel that illegal drugs are any different than alcohol and cigarettes or more harmful and further more, as an adult, if in the privacy of my own home I want to smoke marijuana that is nobodies business but my own-again, as long as I am a consenting adult. That is the burden of a free society, tolerating behavior that goes against everything you believe to be correct or how you would chose to live your life and yet realizing that it is not any of your business as long as all participants are consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes. I believe that a society that is stifled is not a free society-ever. My morals are not everyone's morals and in my opinion it is immoral to force my morals on others. Once you begin that, where does it end? Many people think by being a practicing witch I am unfit to raise my child and by their morals I am. Thank god we have not yet reached a point that the government-in their effort to police the nations morals-steps in and does something about that. Then there was that couple divorcing that the courts said could not involve their son? In their pagan activities-bizarre. I believe that life begins at the moment of conception and could not ever see myself having an abortion-very easy to say now that I have no uterus-but still, I do not think I would have ever had an abortion unless my life was in danger and maybe not even then. Yet, I have gone with numerous friends to have abortions and not thought less of them for it nor felt they should not do it. For them life does not begin at the moment of conception and my morals are not their morals and they should live their lives according to their beliefs and not mine. I think having the government as the moral police creates more problems than it solves. We as a nation do not agree on morals-how can we ever police them fairly. I do not see that as enabling weaker members of society. I believe in personal choice for adults, not government enforced morals.
I believe in social help programs, I want my tax money spent that way. I believe what makes a society civilized is it's ability to protect and provide for its weakest members. For me that means health care, education and housing opportunities. It means the growth of the middle class and not the shrinking of it. It means in times of economic hardship and crisis not a question of whether or how much the government is going to be there, it should be a given-that is what government is for-or what I want it to be for. I do not consider that welfare, I consider that social responsibility. There will always be those who take advantage, but that is always true in life and yes I am frustrated by them too-but I think cutting the programs is a bit like throwing out the baby with the bath water.
I think families come in all shapes, sizes, religions and genders. I think a single mother or father has the potential to be as stable as a two or more parent family. Personally I think what is really destroying the fabric of family in our society is not single parents or even teen parents-but the decline of extended family support which has not yet been replaced with a positive support system in our society.
I vote democratic not because the party supports all of what I believe-or even most of it- but because in this country for nations leaders we are pretty much looking at republicans or democrats-democrate is closer to what I believe. I think the democratic party is most likely to support the freedoms that are important to me.
I think this country has a violent, racist history and that effects who we are today, how we view ourselves and how we view our society. I do not think this is the greatest nation in the world. I feel lucky to be a citizen of this country-vs say China. However, I think this nation is behind many other industrialized nations in regards to personal freedoms-from issues like drugs and prostitution to issues like gay rights and sex education/contraceptives. I believe that this country is not fair nor equal-never was and likely never will be. There is much worse for sure-much, much worse. However, we are not free, nor equal in this nation and never have been. This nation was stolen from its native citizens in the honest belief that those citizens were less than human, did not deserve, appreciate or develop what they had. I think that history follows us as a nation and is something we will never get away from. The people who felt it was their manifest destiny-god given right and duty-to murder the native Americans, steal their land and exploit labor from my African ancestors, indentured servants, to the Asians who were imported to build the railroads-are the ancestors of this nation and that is seen and felt in every aspect of our society. It is as much a part of who we are as the declaration of independence-we hold these truths to be self-evident-the real question there is what truths and to whom do they apply. In theory this is a country in which anyone can be anything. In some small ways that is true-after all we have Michael Jackson who went from a black boy to a white woman. The reality is that is not true. I can not be anything I want-that dream does not exist for me nor for the vast majority of Americans-and never did.

~~~Where ever you go, There you are......

Thursday, September 15, 2005

More from Michigan Pagan Yahoo Group about government:

I agree in theory that people need to help themselves. I just think that reality is probably abit more complicated than the simple ideas you lay out:

Should the US pull out and let the insurgents take over so that it reverts to what it was?
****I am glad things are better in Iraq, if they truly are. I just do not want my great-grandkids paying for this travesty of war. Saddam was a nightmare and I am glad to see him out of power, but this country put him in power which created this whole mess in the first place. I truly feel we should stay out before we make it worse than it is now.

Yes the media is liberal and they will go to any extremes to put down Bush. Again I refer to the story that was found to be a bunch of trumped up lies by CBS (?). I notice it more and more that they focus on negative things by republicans, but not so much by democrats. I used to be democratic, but I've seen and heard enough that it's turned me off to supporting them.
***Well, the Republicans are in power and no doubt that is why they are in the media so much. It was the same when Clinton was in power.

The local communities and the people need to work to gether to make sure that people have a better standard of life. The individuals themselves also need to make an effort. You can't get a better life if you just sit there and wait for it. The government provides programs to help people get started on improving their lives.
****Yes, but many of the programs have faulty funding or do not deliver on their promises or are so poorly organized that they do not actual help people at all.

There is also a saying "God helps those who help themselves".
***Yes, but I am not giving GOD a portion of my paycheck each week, I am giving the goverment a portion of it and frankly would like to see more for my money than being told to help myself.
There are a lot of people who don't make an effort.
***Yes, but there a lot of people who do and still get nowhere.

There are people who have never even been out of the city of New Orleans in their entire life. If there aren't any jobs in New Orleans, then it's time to leave and go somewhere else.
***Well, if they have no jobs and no income, how exactly are they supposed to do that? It costs to move, especially if you do not have anyone you can stay with and no job here or where you are moving to.

People can make better lives for themselves, ask any of the Lost Boys from Africa. Sometimes it's also matter of people believing that nothing can ever improve for them that keeps them where they are.
****Yes, it is scary to go to a new place if you have nothing here and nothing there either. At least here you have contacts or family or friends.

Kids need to apply themselves at school instead of dropping out and becoming gang members or the like. Then they can get better jobs.
***Very true, schools also need more money so they can improve. Better pay, better teachers, better supplies, perhaps then we would have more interested students.

There was a man from California who went to New Orleans and was going to take back 15 families to California to give the wage earners jobs at his car dealerships. He was also going to provide each family with a car and a home to live in. He couldn't find anyone who had any skills to take back with him.
***Education needs to be where our tax dollars are going. We have no future as a nation if we do not educate our youth.
While I certanly agree that everyone should be prepared in the event of an emergency. Absolutely. There has been bottled water and edible canned goods in my house-tons of them-since the blackout a few years ago. There is always the potential for a natural disaster the likes of which the government would not be able to help or aid with. Or, I read too much sci fi and speculative fiction. Either way, I think all adults-especially those responsible for small children or in need of medical attention to live should have supplies in case of emergency.
However, I also think that it is the responsibility of the government to help in times of crisis. I actually think that is where the government has the largest role. Not in whether I marry someone of the same or opposite sex, not whether or not I carry a pregnancy to term or not, not whether I use mind altering substances in the privacy of my own home. The government is not welcome in that aspect of my life and in my opinion has no business in it. Where I am looking for government assistance, where I do want my tax dollars spent is on rescue in crisis situations. To me this was a prime time for our government to step in, organize, save lives and rescue people. I also think private citizens should help. We should all help our neighbors, it is our duty and privledege to do so. However, what do we need government for if not in times of crisis and emergency?
~~~~~Where ever you go, there you are.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

This my break room where I can not even relax during my lunch hour anymore because it is also doubling as a storage closet for all of the crap. It is horrible and adding to my already elevated stress level.

My store is under construction and the resulting chaos is a nightmare. The above images are my former work space. Currently and temporarily we are all being crammed onto the sales floor. It is unbelievable. The builders are pounding and drilling and making so much noise I can barely hear my customers, we are short staffed so the wait is even longer and the customers are all the more irritated for having waited so damn long to see someone. Add to that the lobby is now half to size it was before-so we are all tripping over eachother. Also, no one moved the storage cabinets in an organized manor so we can not find the essentials that we need to even help customers, it is pure and total chaos. I was off tuesday and wednesday after the Labor Day holiday and came back to work on thursday only discover our work space torn apart and that yet another greeter had quit. YIKES!!!! we simply can not keep staff around that place.

I want another job in the worst way. I like what I do but feel the need to move, either up-as in a promotion or on-to another job. I will not quit before February when we get our bonuses and in all reality I will not quit then because if I can hold on until September I will be fully vested and take my companies matching 401K contributions with me to another job. I will likely not want to quit even when I am fully vested because in 2008 I will be elgible for my stock options and leaving before than is like giving away $4,000.00. This is how I get trapped. What I really need to do is to go back to school. It is almost criminal for me not to since the company even pays for it.

~~~~ Where ever you go, there you are.

Monday, September 12, 2005

What the f*ck is this "race card" shit? It seems like it is all I hear on the news, in the news papers, at work, in my online communities. I am sick of it and offended by it.
I, too, am sick of people bitching and complaining and race being used as an excuse to not move forward and take charge of your life. That does not mean that racism does not hold people back. It does not mean that things are not more difficult for you in this country if you are not a white male. I think racism plays a part of drug use, prostitution, incarceration and poverty in the black, latino and native american communities. A large and real part, contributing in ways we do not have the means to measure. I do not think it is an excuse nor is it reason enough to NOT succeed. You can take charge of your life and make it your own regardless of what challenges you face. Race, religion, poverty, single parenthood, drugs, divorce, lack of education and job opportunities only hold you back when you allow them to. It may make it more difficult and those issues may hold you back from say holding public office, but it can be done and if you do not it is not anyone's fault but your own.
However, I also do not think that pointing out that the playing field is not equal and that as a "minority" I face challenges that say a white male does not-is equal to me "playing the race card". What exactly is that card anyway? Where is mine? What special privledge is it that this card is supposedly buying me? What advantage does "playing" it gain me? Does this card only apply to black people-I certainly never hear it used in regards to other minorities. I am so sick of hearing that phrase used to dismiss and ignore any mention of racial inequity by black people. When I hear pagans bitch about the way christians treat them, I would never say, "Oh, they are just playing the pagan card." When I hear women bitch about men having unfair advantage in the work force, I never say, "Well, they are just playing the woman card." It is rediculous and offensive and allows real issues to be dismissed without being addressed. The inequalities exist and while it is not an excuse to be in jail or be a drug addict or not take care of your kids, it is very real and not a game at all.
I would also like to point out that while yes, african americans are the most likely minority group to bitch, moan and complain. We are also the most likely minority group to organize and fight-successfully I might add-for equal rights for EVERYONE. (with the exception of gays who blacks seem to fear enough to vote for G.W. Bush) Like that little disclosure on applications that says you can not be discriminated against based on race, religion, sex, color, age, or national origin. That means if you are a pagan, the black movement in this country has benefited you directly. If you are a woman, the black movement in this country has benefited you directly. My white mother holds an affirmative action position-not my black father. I wear my pentacle openly at work and while it may make people I work with uncomfortable there is not a damn thing that can be done thanks to the bitching, moaning and complaining led largely by black folks-who were joined and continue to be joined by non-black folks. I would also like to add that it worked in many ways. Everytime I hear about the redskins and the braves I cringe-it offends me deeply. I will never see in this country the coons and porch monkeys-not on a national team anyway. Why? Because black people would never in a million years stand for it. We may only make up 10% of the population, but when we are upset EVERYONE is going to hear about it. You can call it whatever kind of card suits your fancy, but I bet my daughters life they would change the name of that team from "coon". And quiet as it is kept, all americans-especially those that are not white, male, and christian-benefit from it.
~~~~Where ever you go, there you are.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I see how racism and prejudice can be considered historical differences, but alot of it is what we deal with today. I think people would be fairly surprised to be me for a day. The things people say to me, the attitudes they have. The truly scary part is that the vast majority of the people who make off color comments if you asked them would say they are not racist-they have black friends or perhaps even dated a black person at some point or have a relative who has. Racism is a part of our society-an american tradition-as long as this country has existed and as long as it continues to exist it will be with us and a part of who we are. Things are not for me like they were for my father and will be even better for my daughter. I do not feel in danger or unwelcome-but the attitude is there and the comments are there. It can wear you out if you let it. It was even worse in college-like the Women's Studies prof who told us in class that domestic violence was socially acceptable in the african american community and when I protested told me I was not the spokesperson for the black community. Or my psychology prof who taught a class about how blacks were genetically pre-disposed to be less intelligent than whites. Or my english lit prof who announced that racism had not existed at all in america since the 60's. Not to mention my co-worker who called our black female co workers a bunch of "bitching mammies". Or an employee I directly supervised-jewish-who told me she was not a "nigger slave". I have developed a fairly thick skin and let the vast majority of it roll off my back-but believe you me when I say it is much different than the average person would ever realize.
I also agree that blacks are as racist and prejudiced as the next guy or gal and certainly no nicer about it. I am biracial and definetely had black friends growing up who could not play with me because their parents did not like that my mom was white. I have even more horror stories of stuff my mom went through as a white woman married to a black man-taking all of the "good black men" was the nicest ever said to her. It is no less painful to be treated in a racist or prejudiced manner if the offender is black for sure. I guess the reason it does not really bother me as much is because for most of the places I want to go in life-good education, upper management, better neighborhoods, etc-the people holding all of the power in the upper class in this country are whites, mostly males and so their opinions do not hurt my feelings, they hold me back. For the most part the racist blacks do not have the power to hold me back or hinder my life and so I care less how they view me. My experiences are by no means the experience everyone has, but much like your experiences have shaped who you are, who you have become and the beliefs that you hold, mine have done the same for me. It's all about perspective.
I also agree with the charge of racism-well more prejudice in the handling o the aftermath of Katrina. It was subtle but it was there. From the "looting" black families to the white families who "found" being the most glaring example I can think of. I do not think that help was slower in coming because the victims were black-I believe the help was slow in coming because the victims were poor. However, I think the powers that be were able to get away with it because people-as a nation-care less about blacks, especially poor blacks, than they do other american citizens. I also think that is the main reason so many people have so little sympathy for alot of the victims and blame them for staying so much.

~~~~Where ever you go, There you are.....

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Further responses to the idiot on who truly feels that people would did not evacuate Katrina were asking to be killed and then after they "chose" not to leave are now demanding goverment assisstance. This is in response to post from a member who said she would have taken her children and walked to higher ground if she did not have vehicle to leave:

Well, if you walked in the Hurricane you would have been one of the first dead-you and your kids so I guess it would be moot as to who was to blame for you staying.
I mean seriously, lets look at other historical horrors-why didn't the Jews leave when Hitler came to power? Are they responsible for the Holocaust because they did not?
I look at it for myself, the vast majority of my family is in Michigan. If a horrible disaster were to hit this state and I had to leave, staying with family would be pretty much out of the question, since they are all here. I make decent money, but suck at saving so I would be looking at leaving on about, oh $500.00-which is a high estimate. That would be *if* my employer decided that it was a disaster and agreed to give us the time off-or perhaps I would have left anyway. I would have made DAMN sure that the emergency actually was an emergency before I evacuated because that $500.00 spent out of town would about kill my daughters birthday and Yule plans and make it difficult for me to pay even the basics for months. I am not sure what people who have less than I have-which the vast majority of the people in New Orleans do-had in liquidated funds to run on. How can you leave if you have no vehicle or a vehicle that does not fit your whole family in it? How far can you realistically walk to get to safety? If Michigan was under advisement of such a disaster and I had to walk to safety, I would die long before I reached safety-so would you. If you did manage to walk to safety and had $20.00 in your pocket and nothing in the bank, how would you provide for yourself and your kids in this safety you had walked to? Hustle? Hook? Beg? How about those who were too ill to leave on their own? I think it is common sense now that everyone should have made more of an effort to leave. I am positive that if they had realized what would happen they would have done whatever it took to leave. But, hell, hindsight is 20/20 and if I knew then what I know now, I could have avoided the vast majority of my life's disasters. Furthermore, at this point, it really does not matter why they did not leave, they did not leave for whatever reason and it is a tragedy what is happening to them.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Kanye West's Torrent of Criticism, Live on NBC
By Lisa de Moraes
Saturday, September 3, 2005; Page C01
Why We Love Live Television, Reason No. 137:
NBC's levee broke and Kanye West flooded through with a tear about the federal response in New Orleans during the network's live concert fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Katrina last night.
The rapper was among the celebs and singers participating in the one-hour special, produced by NBC News and run on the NBC broadcast network, as well as MSNBC and CNBC, because, hey, the numbers couldn't be any worse than usual on a Friday night and hopefully they'd raise a chunk of change for a good cause, the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
Among the performers, Faith Hill sang "There Will Come a Time," which included the lyrics, "The darkness will be gone, the weak shall be strong. Hold on to your faith." Aaron Neville performed Randy Newman's "Louisiana 1927" with its chorus: "They're trying to wash us away, they're trying to wash us away."
West was not scheduled to perform; he was one of the blah, blah, blahers, who would read from scripts prepared by the network about the impact of Katrina on southern Louisiana and Mississippi.
West and Mike Myers had been paired up to appear about halfway through the show. Their assignment: Take turns reading a script describing the breach in the levees around New Orleans.
Myers: The landscape of the city has changed dramatically, tragically and perhaps irreversibly. There is now over 25 feet of water where there was once city streets and thriving neighborhoods.
(Myers throws to West, who looked extremely nervous in his super-preppy designer rugby shirt and white pants, which is not like the arrogant West and which, in retrospect, should have been a tip-off.)
West: I hate the way they portray us in the media. You see a black family, it says, "They're looting." You see a white family, it says, "They're looking for food." And, you know, it's been five days [waiting for federal help] because most of the people are black. And even for me to complain about it, I would be a hypocrite because I've tried to turn away from the TV because it's too hard to watch. I've even been shopping before even giving a donation, so now I'm calling my business manager right now to see what is the biggest amount I can give, and just to imagine if I was down there, and those are my people down there. So anybody out there that wants to do anything that we can help -- with the way America is set up to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off, as slow as possible. I mean, the Red Cross is doing everything they can. We already realize a lot of people that could help are at war right now, fighting another way -- and they've given them permission to go down and shoot us!
(West throws back to Myers, who is looking like a guy who stopped on the tarmac to tie his shoe and got hit in the back with the 8:30 to La Guardia.)
Myers: And subtle, but in many ways even more profoundly devastating, is the lasting damage to the survivors' will to rebuild and remain in the area. The destruction of the spirit of the people of southern Louisiana and Mississippi may end up being the most tragic loss of all.
(And, because Myers is apparently as dumb as his Alfalfa hair, he throws it back to West.)
West: George Bush doesn't care about black people!
(Back to Myers, now looking like the 8:30 to La Guardia turned around and caught him square between the eyes.)
Myers: Please call . . .
At which point someone at NBC News finally regained control of the joystick and cut over to Chris Tucker, who started right in with more scripted blah, blah, blah.
"Tonight's telecast was a live television event wrought with emotion," parent company NBC Universal said in a statement issued to the Reporters Who Cover Television after the broadcast.
"Kanye West departed from the scripted comments that were prepared for him, and his opinions in no way represent the views of the networks. It would be most unfortunate if the efforts of the artists who participated tonight and the generosity of millions of Americans who are helping those in need are overshadowed by one person's opinion."
West's comments would be cut from the West Coast feed, an NBC spokeswoman told The TV Column.
(The Associated Press later reported that only his comment about the president was edited out.)
The show was live on the East Coast with a several-second delay; someone with his finger on a button was keeping an ear peeled in case someone uttered an obscenity but did not realize that West had gone off-script, the spokeswoman said.
© 2005 The Washington Post Company
Full Article at Link Below:

*********I saw an actual clip of this live and it was shocking, endearing and hilarious. I truly appreciate what Kanye West was trying to do, I appreciate the truth he spoke-because it was ALL truth and someone surely needed to say it. However, I do wish that he had practiced before he gave the speech on a nationally televised event. I do give him kudos for the courage it must have taken to say what he said, like he said on national television.
Here is a link to Michael Moore's website with the actual live video clip:
~~~~Where ever you go, there you are!

Monday, September 05, 2005

The stupidity and idiocy of people never cease to amaze me. This was posted on one of my online communities:
I have been so agitated over all this hurricane stuff. At first Iwas like "Oh these poor people & animals killed, trapped, homeless" then I watched the news. Have you seen what they've done? The news showed footage of the convention center. Those poor displaced people trashed it! They POOED in the sinks! Come on, don't tell me they couldn't have found a better place to dump their trash then all over the floors. There are a lot of able bodied people there that could haul some garbage out side. I'm sure in a huge convention center they have a storage room full of cleaning supplies like GARBAGEBAGS! The biggest problem there is selfishness, everyone is looking out for themselves. People are waiting for someone to come help them but they are not helping themselves or each other. Yes, there are people there helping others but not nearly enough. Also people are crying over all the STUFF they lost. If you can complain aboutl osing your STUFF then you are lucky your there to complain at all.People are not looking at the big picture. I've heard different theories that this is punishment for being a "den of iniquity" or for trying to change nature by building a city below sea level. I'm going with the nature theory. Here is an interesting site that most people don't bother considering.
Okay I'm done ranting for now.

As much as I know there is no idiot like the one who actually bothers responding to an idiot, I could not resist:
Trash was the least of their concerns, there was a hurricane, followed by a flood and people trapped in a building with little or no food, water, clothes, medicine and sewage. I am sure there was pooh everywhere. There were also dead bodies in there with the people. I am SURE they were not choosing to live like that. They were shocked and hungry and devastated. If I had no food, no water, no sewage, no medicine and was not even sure my family, friends, neighbors and co-workers had lived through the most extreme natural disaster of my life-I doubt I would be doing much better than they did and further I can assure you that the absolute LEAST of my concerns would be shit and trash bags. There was little food and they were pretty much stuck in the convention center and further more-maybe its just me-but if they did not have food I would assume there were no trash bags either and probably no dumpsters-since basic necessities like water, plumbing, food and medicine were in short supply.
I am sure they are devastated about the "stuff" they lost. After all they lost everything, EVERYTHING they own-which probably wasn't all that much to begin with. I would be devastated too. After all, I have a child to provide for, with no home, clothes, job, food, water, vehicle and the government talking 6-9 months before we can even get back into our homes-I would be paniced about my stuff as well. They have NOTHING-perhaps their lives if they manage to survive what lies ahead for them. I can not begin to imagine what they face. They deserve bitching rights and much, much more.

~~~~Where ever you go, there you are!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Do You Know What It Means to Lose New Orleans?
NY Times article
La Jolla, Calif.

WHAT do people really know about New Orleans?
Do they take away with them an awareness that it has always been not only a great white metropolis but also a great black city, a city where African-Americans have come together again and again to form the strongest African-American culture in the land?
The first literary magazine ever published in Louisiana was the work of black men, French-speaking poets and writers who brought together their work in three issues of a little book called L'Album Littéraire. That was in the 1840's, and by that time the city had a prosperous class of free black artisans, sculptors, business men, property owners, skilled laborers in all fields. Thousands of slaves lived on their own in the city, too, making a living at various jobs, and sending home a few dollars to their owners in the country at the end of the month.
This is not to diminish the horror of the slave market in the middle of the famous St. Louis Hotel, or the injustice of the slave labor on plantations from one end of the state to the other. It is merely to say that it was never all "have or have not" in this strange and beautiful city.
Later in the 19th century, as the Irish immigrants poured in by the thousands, filling the holds of ships that had emptied their cargoes of cotton in Liverpool, and as the German and Italian immigrants soon followed, a vital and complex culture emerged. Huge churches went up to serve the great faith of the city's European-born Catholics; convents and schools and orphanages were built for the newly arrivedand the struggling; the city expanded in all directions with new neighborhoods of large, graceful houses, or areas of more humble cottages, even the smallest of which, with their floor-length shutters and deep-pitched roofs, possessed an undeniable Caribbean charm.
Through this all, black culture never declined in Louisiana. In fact, New Orleans became home to blacks in a way, perhaps, that few other American cities have ever been. Dillard University and Xavier University became two of the most outstanding black colleges in America; and once the battles of desegregation had been won, black New Orleanians entered all levels of life, building a visible middle class that is absent in far too many Western and Northern American cities to this day.
The influence of blacks on the music of the city and the nation is too immense and too well known to be described. It was black musicians coming down to New Orleans for work who nicknamed the city "the Big Easy" because it was a place where they could always find a job. But it's not fair to the nature of New Orleans to think of jazz and the blues as the poor man's music, or the music of the oppressed.
Something else was going on in New Orleans. The living was good there.The clock ticked more slowly; people laughed more easily; people kissed; people loved; there was joy.
Which is why so many New Orleanians, black and white, never went north. They didn't want to leave a place where they felt at home in neighborhoods that dated back centuries; they didn't want to leave families whose rounds of weddings, births and funerals had become the fabric of their lives. They didn't want to leave a city where tolerance had always been able to outweigh prejudice, where patience had always been able to outweigh rage. They didn't want to leave a place that was theirs.
And so New Orleans prospered, slowly, unevenly, but surely - home to Protestants and Catholics, including the Irish parading through the old neighborhood on St. Patrick's Day as they hand out cabbages and potatoes and onions to the eager crowds; including the Italians, with their lavish St. Joseph's altars spread out with cakes and cookies in homes and restaurants and churches every March; including the uptown traditionalists who seek to preserve the peace and beauty of the Garden District; including the Germans with their clubs and traditions; including the black population playing an ever increasing role in the city's civic affairs.
Now nature has done what the Civil War couldn't do. Nature has done what the labor riots of the 1920's couldn't do. Nature had done what "modern life" with its relentless pursuit of efficiency couldn't do. It has done what racism couldn't do, and what segregation couldn't do either. Nature has laid the city waste - with a scope that brings to mind the end of Pompeii.
I share this history for a reason - and to answer questions that have arisen these last few days. Almost as soon as the cameras began panning over the rooftops, and the helicopters began chopping free those trapped in their attics, a chorus of voices rose. "Why didn't they leave?" people asked both on and off camera. "Why did they stay there when they knew a storm was coming?" One reporter even asked me,"Why do people live in such a place?" Then as conditions became unbearable, the looters took to the streets. Windows were smashed, jewelry snatched, stores broken open, water and food and televisions carried out by fierce and uninhibited crowds.
Now the voices grew even louder. How could these thieves loot and pillage in a time of such crisis? How could people shoot one another? Because the faces of those drowning and the faces of those looting were largely black faces, race came into the picture. What kind of people are these, the people of New Orleans, who stay in a city about to be flooded, and then turn on one another?
Well, here's an answer. Thousands didn't leave New Orleans because they couldn't leave. They didn't have the money. They didn't have the vehicles. They didn't have any place to go. They are the poor, black and white, who dwell in any city in great numbers; and they did what they felt they could do - they huddled together in the strongest houses they could find. There was no way to up and leave and check into the nearest Ramada Inn.
What's more, thousands more who could have left stayed behind to help others. They went out in the helicopters and pulled the survivors off rooftops; they went through the flooded streets in their boats trying to gather those they could find. Meanwhile, city officials tried desperately to alleviate the worsening conditions in the Superdome, while makeshift shelters and hotels and hospitals struggled.
And where was everyone else during all this? Oh, help is coming, New Orleans was told. We are a rich country. Congress is acting. Someone will come to stop the looting and care for the refugees.
And it's true: eventually, help did come. But how many times did Gov. Kathleen Blanco have to say that the situation was desperate? How many times did Mayor Ray Nagin have to call for aid? Why did America ask a city cherished by millions and excoriated by some, but ignored by no one, to fight for its own life for so long? That's my question.
I know that New Orleans will win its fight in the end. I was born in the city and lived there for many years. It shaped who and what I am. Never have I experienced a place where people knew more about love, about family, about loyalty and about getting along than the people of New Orleans. It is perhaps their very gentleness that gives them their endurance.
They will rebuild as they have after storms of the past; and they will stay in New Orleans because it is where they have always lived, where their mothers and their fathers lived, where their churches were built by their ancestors, where their family graves carry names that go back 200 years. They will stay in New Orleans where they can enjoy a sweetness of family life that other communities lost long ago.
But to my country I want to say this: During this crisis you failed us. You looked down on us; you dismissed our victims; you dismissed us. You want our Jazz Fest, you want our Mardi Gras, you want our cooking and our music. Then when you saw us in real trouble, when you saw a tiny minority preying on the weak among us, you called us "SinCity," and turned your backs.
Well, we are a lot more than all that. And though we may seem the most exotic, the most atmospheric and, at times, the most downtrodden part of this land, we are still part of it.
We are Americans. We are you.
~~~~Where ever you go, there you are!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

I have watched the news and read the papers and seen what has been forwarded on countless internet groups, all of it upseting and unsettling. This story in the Detroit Free Press this morning probably touched me the most. A single mother who had managed to keep her children safe through the hurricane on monday and then the flood on tuesday was told by rescue workers on wednesday doing evacuations that she would have to leave her 10 year old daughter behind or risk losing her place on the rescue bus for herself and her three other (younger) children. The rescue workers were prioritizing to get the worst off to safety first-an idea I understand. I just can not understand a rescue worker that would sanction leaving behind a 10 year old by herself-well with teenage cousins-to make her own way in this disaster. The idea that in this day-2005-in this country-the United States-arguably the greatest country in the world-or at least a major player in the race for greatest-a mother would have> to face a decision like that-is astounding. I am horrified at what is happening and how ill-prepared we are as a nation to deal with it.
~~~~Where ever you go, there you are!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Browning and Yellowing of Whiteness:
A Review of Who is White?: Latinos, Asians, and theNew Black/Nonblack Divide by George Yancey(Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2003).
In 1903 the ever-forward looking W.E.B. DuBois declared, "The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line."
A century later, the relevance of DuBois's observation is being contested by those preoccupied with the increasing ethnic and cultural diversification ofthe US. Many argue that DuBois's centralization of the boundary between the entangled black and white worlds is outdated, going so far as to propose that we now have "colorlines."
Such gestures are more than semantic and instead imply that blackness as the definitive social boundary for US race relations is either less pronounced or completely erased by the significant presence of nonblack racial minorities such as Latino/as and AsianAmericans.
This is precisely why George Yancey's book "Who is White?: Latinos, Asians,and the New Black/Nonblack Divide" is such a necessary read.
Yancey, a sociologist at the University of North Texas, provides compelling evidence that supports the (unstated) hypothesis that the color line of the twentieth century will remain firmly entrenched in the twenty-first. Using as his point of departure the popular projection that whites will soon be a minority group, Yancey opens his book by arguing that whites will remain the majority despite the growing populations of Latino/as and Asian Americans.
How can the increase of Latino/as and Asian Americans enforce, rather than disrupt, the color line?
Simple. By 2050, according to Yancey, most Latino/as and Asian Americans will be white. For those who consider race to be a biological fact rather than a social and political one, Yancey's projection is sure to raise eyebrows. Yet his argument is grounded in an understanding of how whiteness, like any racial category, is socially and politically defined yet enacted in real and meaningful ways. Whiteness is also fluid and maintains itself when threatened by incorporating previously excluded groups.
In the chapter "How to be White," Yancey covers ground commonly discussed by practitioners of what is becoming institutionalized as "whiteness studies,"including the racialized discrimination and nativism that different European ethnic groups faced before they eventually became socially accepted by Anglos and then later by a more expansive pan-European race simply known as"white."
Since it is generally argued that these ethnic groups were able to assimilate into whiteness because they had similar phenotypes and could trace their roots to Europe -- a point Yancey acknowledges -- what makes Who is White? so provocative is its author suggests that European phenotype or ancestry will no longer be prerequisites for becoming white.
While the US Census Bureau treats Latino/as as an "ethnic group" of sorts by emphasizing Latin American origin, many are socially read as "brown." Most Asian Americans are markedly non-European in phenotype and ancestry. Nevertheless, Yancey argues that while they may experience patterns of discrimination and racism from whites, both Latino/as and Asian Americans are following the same pattern of assimilation as Europeans did before them.
Grounding his study within the framework of noted sociologist Milton Gordon,whose work on assimilation emphasized social acceptance by the majority and identification with it from the minority, Yancey provides compelling evidence indicating that Latino/as and Asian Americans are well on their way to becoming white.
In the chapter "They are Okay -- Just Keep Them Away from Me," the author analyzes survey data on racial groups' social attitudes regarding who they approve as potential neighbors as well as marriage partners for their children.
Contrary to the popular image of blacks as racially restrictive, Yancey discovers that black respondents are the most open to all other races. Yet despite being the most receptive to other groups, blacks in general are rejected by all nonblack groups -- whites, Latino/as and Asian Americans.
While some assume that whites will be closed off to anyone not white, Yancey's research show that white respondents are more accepting of Latino/as and Asian Americans than they are of blacks. In turn, Latino/a and Asian American respondents are fairly receptive to one another as well as whites. Overall, Yancey's findings reveal that whites, Latino/as and AsianAmericans do not tend to reject one another as possible neighbors or their kids' spouses, but all three groups show a general resistance to blacks in these social roles.
That all three nonblack groups were found to be more accepting of one another in a way that they were not of blacks suggests that assimilation maybe less about desiring whiteness as it is avoiding blackness. Yancey concludes, "The rejection of African Americans, rather than the acceptance of European Americans, is the best explanation of social distance in the United States."
This assessment will surely be criticized for being "pro assimilationist," a response Yancey anticipates: "It is debatable whether assimilation is adesirable goal for racial minority groups. I do not take a position either way. However, understanding the ability of a given minority group to assimilate is necessary for determining the degree of acceptance experienced by that minority group."
Another criticism of Yancey's work may come from those who argue that Latino/as and Asian Americans are different from whites based upon cultural norms. Such proponents may think that Yancey's emphasis on majority acceptance gives "whites too much power" by ignoring Latino/as -- and AsianAmericans -- distinct cultures or world views. Yet Yancey shows that despite their supposed cultural differences from the white majority, Latino/as andAsians Americans do not necessarily reject dominant culture and ideology when it comes to racial politics.
For example, Yancey shows that, for the most part, Latino/as and AsianAmericans express dimensions of what he labels a white racial identity,which, according to the sociologist, emphasizes individualism,color-blindness or an aversion to dealing with race, and a belief in European cultural normativity. Analyzing survey data measuring respondents'opinions of "racialized" issues such as affirmative action, prison spending,welfare, and talking about race, Yancey determines that, even when controlling for social and demographic characteristics, "there was no situation where the nonblack minority groups differed significantly in a direction opposite from that by which European Americans differed from African Americans."
In other words, black respondents were the only group to demonstrate a "distinct" worldview -- due, according to Yancey, from experiencing an intense amount of social alienation.
Conversely, Latino/a and Asian American respondents did not significantly distinguish their opinions from those held by white respondents. This finding suggests that despite their current status as non-whites, Latino/asand Asian Americans are more apt to hold a white world view than a black one.
Overall, while some will surely dismiss Who is White? as "academic" -- a practice many activists and even academics engage in when confronted with political conclusions that make them uncomfortable - Yancey's research is extremely relevant for contemporary racial politics. Most importantly, Yancey's findings hint at possible inadequacies of current approaches to "multiracial" America, most of which emphasize a white/non-white paradigm that minimizes or outright dismisses the reality of antiblack racism as the structuring and generative ideology of US race relations and social inequality.
Thus, Who is White? is more than a rich sociological study; it also serves as a blueprint for the political possibilities that lie before us if left unaddressed. In the final chapter, Yancey leaves us with a concluding remark that will hopefully be appreciated for its DuBoisian approach, which is one that challenges today's activists and intellectuals to not only deal with the past and present, but also with the very real possibilities of America's racial future: "Previous research on majority group domination tends to be built upon either the concept that white supremacy is, or was, the dominant ideology among majority group members, or the concept that dominant group members utilize notions of color blindness to protect their racial position of privilege. Both concepts lead to an understanding of an American racial hierarchy formed by a white/nonwhite dichotomy. In such a system all non-European groups face social rejection and theoretically all non-European groups deserve an equal amount of academic attention -- even if they have not been receiving it. Yet given the merging of nonblack racial minorities into the dominant culture, this white/nonwhite dichotomy is losing relevance. A black/nonblack dichotomy produces more understanding about contemporary race relations. It suggests that the informal rejection of African Americans, rather than a tendency by the majority to oppress all minority groups in a roughly equal manner, is the linchpin to the American contemporary racial hierarchy."

Tamara K. Nopper is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Temple University inPhiladelphia. She is currently working on her dissertation which exploresthe different sources of capital and resources available to Koreanimmigrants to open, run and expand small businesses in the US. Contact herat
Copyright 2005 Tamara K. Nopper

*****Absoluetly fascinating study. I have not read the book/study myself, only the above review of it. However, it does ring true with me. I agree that Asians especially-in my limited and biased experience-identify with being white over being black. I have also noticed online in dating sites that many non-whites will check every other ethic group as ok, EXCEPT black. I tell myself I do not care and I suppose for the myself I do not. I worry for Ameena though. She is too dark and smooth to be an exotic but interesting mixed girl. She is black and lovely, but no doubt black. I wonder what it will be like for her and must be like now, to be consider one of the least desirable female ethnic groups in this nation?
~~~~~Where ever you go, there you are!