American Folklore

I haven’t felt much like reading the past couple days. I’m in shock, trying to process things.

Seen at Wednesday’s insurrection / coup / riot (what are you calling it?):

  • Nooses
  • Confederate flags
  • An “Auschwitz Camp” sweatshirt with “Staff” printed on the back

White supremacy is real.

Systemic racism is real.

Anti-Semitism is real.

Should Trump flags and MAGA hats be added to the above list of hate symbols?

***********

Questions of identity have always been interesting to me. Growing up with a very Jewish last name I remember realizing how different I would have been perceived and judged if I had my mother’s very Puerto Rican last name instead. I’ve experienced prejudice and racism, sure, but nothing compared to what Black Americans generally navigate daily.

George Floyd’s public murder really tilted my world off its axis. My awareness heightened. My outrage sharpened.

***********

I bought a cool old book recently. Or so I thought. Printed in 1944, “A Treasury of American Folklore,” with a Foreword by Carl Sandberg, promised old yarns and tales of early America.

What I didn’t expect were the vile stories depicting slaves and Black Americans, retold with no respect or regret, no context or acknowledgement of their disgusting nature.

Imagine a story called “Why the Sister in Black Works Hardest.” Or “Sleepy Head, Kinky Head.” Or a violent “rope-skipping rhyme” that sounds perfect for a KKK kid. They aimed for clever but it’s just cruel.

***********

Sigh. This rambling post was created by a shocked and reeling mind. But I’m sure of a few things:

It has never been more important to keep your eyes open, to seek out different perspectives and look for common ground. To be shocked and incensed at displays of racism and prejudice. To keep peeling back layers, lifting veils, facing truths. To speak up.

Take care out there.

2 thoughts on “American Folklore

  1. A very heartfelt stream of consciousness.

    Don’t kid yourself, the circus will continue, even when he is gone from the office of the presidency.

    I have been lazy lately, un-motivated, and lacked the discipline to do the things I should be doing, including eating habits. And I figured out why. I listened to too much politics – specifically, I had this insatiable desire to see and listen to how too many republican law makers still didn’t have the balls to react or denounce the desecration of the capital led by their leader whom they have been afraid of for so long. It made me sick, and I didn’t realize it.

    No more politics for me. The party of Conspiracy, Lies and Bison faces is fractured. The desecration of truth by the GOP will continue, but I won’t participate anymore. there are too many good Rock stations on the radio. .

    Like

  2. Thank you!

    And I know what you mean, it is non-stop politics and podcasts over here. I feel a responsibility to keep up, but… it’s time to cut back.

    More reading less politics 🙂

    Like

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