The Widdershins

Activist Wednesday: Ignorance

Posted on: June 2, 2021

Shinners, I am a curious person. I like finding out all the five W’s and H (Who, What, Where, When, Why and How) to learn more about a subject of interest. Like birds – I’ve spent a lot of time recently learning about them.

But damn, when your educational system prevents you from even knowing what you don’t know…neither curiosity nor all the will in the world will help.

I was never taught about the Tulsa Race Massacre in school. I guess whomever wrote the textbooks knew how much negative perception would go along with that knowledge – the deep-seated racism in this country, the pure evil of that mass murder, and the reality that would tarnish America’s well-crafted egalitarian image. It was only in the past year (I think it was on Rachel Maddow’s show?) that the veil of my ignorance was lifted. And for the first time, an American President has addressed it, on the shameful and tragic anniversary of its occurrence. Biden made a historic speech, in which his trademark empathy was on full display. But as we’ve started to see with Biden and Harris, words are just the beginning. And now, Biden is looking to begin to address some of the racial disparities that have been kept in public policy and hidden away from public view.

The Tulsa massacre has only recently entered the national discourse — and the presidential visit put an even brighter spotlight on the event.

Biden, who was joined by Housing Secretary Marcia Fudge and senior advisers Susan Rice and Cedric Richmond, also announced new measures he said could help narrow the wealth gap between races and reinvest in underserved communities by expanding access to homeownership and small-business ownership.

The White House said the administration will take steps to address disparities that result in Black-owned homes being appraised at tens of thousands of dollars less than comparable homes owned by white residents as well as issue new federal rules to fight housing discrimination. The administration is also setting a goal of increasing the share of federal contracts awarded to small disadvantaged businesses by 50% by 2026, funneling an estimated additional $100 billion to such businesses over the five-year period, according to the White House.

It is shocking to think that Black prosperity in Tulsa could have been extinguished so quickly. 30 blocks of “Black Wall Street” were destroyed, up to 300 Black Tulsans were killed, and the Greenwood area has never recovered, 100 years later. White people just couldn’t handle the fact that Black people clearly aren’t inferior – when they have equal opportunity, they are able to prosper – and so they made up some excuse about a black man stepping on a white woman’s foot to justify their murderous hatred. But really, they just wanted to stop Black Americans from prospering, and scare them into leaving all the money for white people.

The attempted coup on January 6th was the same type of rage. White men (mostly) are in a panic that when those uppity wimminz (especially Black women) gain power, their power diminishes; thus they decided to scream and attack and kill. Just as on that day in 1921 in Tulsa, no one got arrested on the scene, and it took national attention and a new Justice Department leader to really get the investigations moving. Republicans have begun to gaslight and try to wipe the horrific event from everyone’s minds.

I sure hope they don’t succeed.

40 Responses to "Activist Wednesday: Ignorance"

Great post MB and along with shared curiosity I have to admit two glaring counts of ignorance.

1- I recently learned of the Tulsa massacre too. I never heard a whisper of this event nor did I realize how horrible most of the racists in my country are until the era of Dump. Long ago, I even spent a summer in Tulsa and never imagined such a thing happened there.
‘The Underground Railroad’ on Amazon was also more detailed than I have seen before.

2- My second discovery was learning about hippos. Yipes, after watching some documentaries’ on them, I stand corrected and never realized they run on the bottom of bodies of water, their weight is mostly muscle, not fat, making them very dense and they sink to the bottom. So they can run up to 20 mile/hour and with very little effort, push off from the bottom and pop out of the water and seen in the last thread’s video. Thanks GAgal and Q.

@2 – Could not agree more with #1!

As I was researching this story, I skimmed a history of how this massacre was whitewashed (pun definitely intended) out of the history books. It’s utterly reprehensible and it makes me wonder, what other deeply racist and significant events have been removed from white consciousness, without our consent?

I don’t know how to say this gently. I have a really hard time getting on board with the shock (all too easy to get on board with the horror) of the Tulsa crime. As always, I don’t mean anyone here or your post, mb! I’ve just come from reading the 100th article / tweet/ whatever about it and am sounding off.

It’s not really different from lynching, just on a larger scale. And we’ve known about lynching for quite a while now.

Plus, the atrocious violence is far far far from the biggest factor that kept blacks down and terrified and poor. Running highway systems through their neighborhoods, though less terrifying, had a much bigger effect than one destruction of one neighborhood. And was, really, a bigger crime precisely because it was so acceptable to whites. That kind of thing needs the attention, because it’s that kind of thing that’s still going on and causing damage *now*.

I guess that’s what irks me so much. While we’re pointing at history, we’re still doing the spiritual cousins of this shit.

Here, we see that. But so much of what I see is “Look at the bad old days (aren’t I great for noticing)” and it makes me want to /*endless screaming*/

I get it, Q. That’s why I’m thankful for Biden paying attention to the things we’re doing now that are perpetuating the inequality of Black people.

I am, sadly, more shocked that white people whitewashed it out of existence than the fact that we did it.

Well said post MB. I first heard of the Tulsa Massacre in 2019 in the shocking opening of HBO’s Watchmen series. I was beyond appalled and sickened after having lived in this country for almost 70 years and hearing of this despicable act for the FIRST time. I highly recommend the current HBO series called Exterminate All the Brutes which gives a far more accurate perspective of our shameful history and origin story as well as Europe’s. To find out now that this nation was founded on and continues to sustain and foster white supremacy, racism, cruelty, injustice, greed and hypocrisy has been painful and humiliating to say the least. And why is it always arrogant, white, propertied men lusting for more land, money and power at the bottom of it all? We must do better.

Q, I have a question for you. I got the J&J vaccine and had a bad reaction to it. Since it appears that booster shots against Covid are going to be needed by all of us at some point, will it be safe for me to get the Moderna or Pfizer shots instead of the J&J? I know the technology is different. I don’t want to go through what I did with J&J again.

PBS has been having some excellent programs about the Tulsa Massacre. I was a history major in college and never learned anything about it until recently.

@6 – thank you Cats! I had a similar reaction. I was just ignorant about the deep-seated racism in this country. I will check out “Exterminate all the Brutes.”
@8 – that’s incredible, Beata. I didn’t know you were a history major!

Other things I didn’t know about: redlining and how FDR left Black people out of the New Deal affordable housing initiatives. I honestly learned about it on Twitter.

https://www.npr.org/2017/05/03/526655831/a-forgotten-history-of-how-the-u-s-government-segregated-america

Yes, I majored in Jewish, Russian and East European history. Gee, was that ever fun! A troika of happy people through the ages. But I managed to graduate Phi Beta Kappa with a near perfect GPA so I guess it was worth it.

I’m glad Biden is addressing the discrimination Black farmers have experienced over the last 100+ years. There is considerable money from the new relief bill going to help Black farmers. About time. There used to be a lot of Black farmers in the South. Now, very few. Farming is an expensive business.

@10 – Beata, that does sound like a gloomy major! But I’m glad it turned out so well.

Beata, re the shots. Yes, it’ll be fine to get a booster shot from another line of vaccines. Given your bad reaction, it would be a smart move! They’re all going to be targeting the same variants that are particularly dangerous. Think of it like the yearly flu vaccines. You don’t have to get the same manufacturer. You just need immunity against the right variants.

If you can, keep your eye on news of how well the boosters, when they come out, are tolerated by people with similar comorbities. Then try to opt for the one with the fewest reported problems. The CDC has that data, but I don’t know how easy it is to find.

Q, thank you for the info.

Next time, I’ll go for the jab that is least likely to cause blood clots in the brain!

Hah. For someone who lives under a rock, you’re making me feel well-informed 😆 I’ve known about redlining since I was a teenager (looooong ago). Possibly something to do with growing up in Cambridge, Mass., and spending my childhood in bookstores on Harvard Square? (In those days, there were about five huge, independent!, bookstores there in a one block area.) Similarly, I’ve known about the horrendous treatment of black farmers for years. Structural bigotries are the worst, and with sexism permeating absolutely everything, it was never hard to see the connections. What I always wanted was to see less and have more solutions! Same as everybody else.

You are a smart cookie, Q! I’m glad there are SOME people who are aware.

Apropos of nothing much, when my mother was in her early 20’s, she got food poisoning from eating a scrimp cocktail in a hotel restaurant in Tulsa. She was visiting there during the summer. It was in the days before air conditioning. So I grew up with a strict warning: “Never eat the scrimp cocktail in Tulsa”.

I don’t have a cute animal to share, but how about some great digital art and music to the opening theme of Marvel’s Jessica Jones?

https://www.artofthetitle.com/title/jessica-jones/

@16 reminds me of the joke about the experiment to see what made people drunk. The researchers gave one group wine and water, another brandy and water, and a third vodka and water. They all got drunk. So, obviously, it was the water.

I’m thinking about my mother this morning.

When life was not going well for us, she used to say, “Let’s throw back our heads and laugh at that Old Fart Fate”.

So this weekend, throw back your head and laugh. That’s what I’m going to do.

Love the experiment and the laughter at Fate! Shadow, thanks for the link – I will check it out!

I’ve been thinking about my mom as well, Beata. She passed in 1996 at the age of 54. Same age as my friend who died unexpectedly. It makes me thankful that I had the time with them that I did.

My dad is now getting married for the third time next Monday. My mom was the love of his life. His to-be wife is an old girlfriend from high school that he re-connected with a few years ago. I think they’re a good couple and it’s nice that he has someone at the age of 79.

Here’s another thing to make your day, MB.

Big Dump had a website that was “From his desk”, and said it was going to be the bestest effort on social media, (because he is banned from FB, Twits and the other platforms he has turned into dumpster fires).

That amazing website lasted a whopping 29 freakin’ days until he gave up and shut it down.

How do ya like them apples?
I almost fell out of my chair laughing…

Yes – I saw that Shadow! That was hilarious 😀 😀 😀

This is really sad and frightening.

“Tens of millions of other Americans are taking immunosuppressive drugs that might weaken the effect of the Covid-19 vaccine, and they find themselves in uncharted territory, scared — with good reason — that their vaccinations might not have worked.” -CNN
Hopefully these people can get tested for antibodies and find out if the vaccine/s helped them or not.

It just means if they are not protected, they should continue to wear masks and keep safe.

CNN
https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/04/health/covid-19-vaccine-immunosuppressants/index.html

Oh my gosh, Shadow. Wow. Would love to hear any thoughts on this from Luna and Quixote.

I know MB, my best friend, one of my nieces and nephew are all in this possible group and I am very concerned.

I haven’t seen anything about antibody levels in immune-suppressed people specifically. I vaguely remember seeing something (news report about a report?) saying that it was surprisingly good. But the CNN link says it varies a lot.

I’m not surprised transplant patients aren’t showing much response. And the other thing is, as the article says, that checking for antibodies is not necessarily that good a measure. There are other elements to the immune response to covid that those tests don’t measure.

As to what to do about it: a person in that position has to, unfortunately, keep the same precautions they used when everybody was a possible covid vector. The only exceptions are the people they know are vaccinated, or have had the disease and are completely past the virus shedding stage.

As more people get vaxxed, that’s mainly a limitation when meeting small children. But the vaccines are going to be approved for them at some point, within the year would be my guess, so it’s a matter of toughing it out for another year or so, not forever.

My niece and her doctor are discussing this very issue, as she is taking a low dose of meds that are given to transplant patients, to help with her Ulcerative Colitis symptoms, and they think she will probably have better results from the vaccine. They have not tested her antibodies yet.

She also knows of a doctor up in WA that is a transplant patient and after his two Pfizer shots, he had very few antibodies. Waiting a little while longer, he took a third shot and that greatly improved his antibodies. He got it because he was taking a high dose of those meds.

Hey, DYB, have you seen this in WaPo?

[Biden] Warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the dozens of other klepto-dictators around the world: This means you. The U.S. intelligence community has just been tasked to investigate how and where you hide your money.

Now that I could see scaring old Putin into simmering down a bit. It’ll be an interesting summit, since Putin will have had time to think about what it means for him and his mafia buddies and their hold on power. Might even be enough for Putin to decide to order the ransomeware crowd to tone it down a bit.

Or am I too optimistic?

Q, we all know you tend to be an unbridled optimist!

It will indeed be very interesting to see what happens between Biden and Putin in the coming months. I don’t know if Putin is capable of feeling fear or changing his course. Time will tell.

What I do know is Putin needs to stop having cosmetic “work done”. These days, his face resembles a boiled potato. I know Russians love their potatoes but enough is enough.

The cicadas are LOUD today. We are inside with the air conditioning on ( it’s hot and humid ) and we can still hear a constant roar outside. Cat is unnerved by it and pulling out bits of her fur to self-soothe. Poor baby.

Beata, sorry to hear you are in cicada zone. How long do they last and what do they do while they are there? Are they like locust, eating everything in site?

Shadow, cicadas last 4-6 weeks. They don’t destroy anything except peace and quiet. They come out of the ground, hatch, and fly into the trees where they mate and then die. It is the males who “sing”. There are billions of them so the singing becomes like a roar. It can be deafening. These are the every 17 years cicadas so I’ll probably be dead before they invade us again.

That is good news about Biden and Putin. I think money is the only way to put him in check. That is where all his power lies…without his wealth no one would be loyal to him.

Also – it looks like Netanyahu is finally getting kicked out. Thank Yahweh!

Beata – I think we had cicadas in Maryland one year when I was a kid. The “roar” description unlocked an early memory. It is a rather disconcerting and unpleasant sound, IIRC. Sorry you are dealing with that!

@33
Thanks for the info Beata, all that ruckus just to mate and die…gives me the chills. Maybe this calls for people turning up the sound on their tvs/radios and music, or putting on a good pair of earphones.

I get creeped out from bugs and I can’t imagine living with this situation for 4-6 weeks in hot weather.

Where’s Luna and Annie these days? I hope all is well and that Fredster is feeling better.
DYB must be out having fun.

Me too Shadow!

They’ve been vaccinated and now they’re partying like it’s 1999!

I saw it coming.

I’m an INFJ in the Myers-Briggs personality type system. Staying home has never been a problem for me.

@38 – hee hee hee! I’ve been going out and hanging with family every weekend myself. I’m headed out shortly.

@39 – I’m an ENTJ. It has been absolute hell.

New post!

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