Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
On October 13, at a McDonald's in New York's Greenwich Village neighborhood, two women, Denise Darbeau and Rachel Edwards ordered their meals and paid with a $50. As is always the custom at stores and restaurants, their cashier, Rayon McIntosh, proceeded to check the bill to verify its authenticity. However, Darbeau and Edwards became offended that he needed to do this and began to yell insults at him. For a clear picture of the situation, click here for the video (Warning: this video is very graphic and should not be shown to children). As is shown in the video, the man responds calmly to their abuse, but then one of the women slapped him. As what seems to be a reflex, he hit her back. At this point, all hell breaks loose; both women jump over the counter and go after him, and he responds by beating both of them with a metal rod. The outcome? McIntosh is fired and arrested for assault, Darbeau received a fractured skull, Edwards had gotten a deep laceration on her arm, and both women are charged with trespassing.
First off all, as one of you have pointed out, is THIS what are country is coming to? Can a person go and eat a meal without having to witness a man being hassled to do his job? Is there a way for one to avoid seeing someone beaten severely in broad daylight? Also, what is happening to morality and decency in general in America? There are many angry people out there, but surely there are ways to repress the violent instincts that go with one's anger, are there not?
This story creates a huge dilemma. On the one hand, Darbeau and Edwards had no right insulting, slapping, or going after McIntosh. This was obviously out of line, and as the video shows us, McIntosh was being cornered and was vulnerable to an attack as bad as, or worse than, the attack he gave them. On the other hand, he continued to beat the women even once they were on the floor and stood down as he told them to. Other workers rushed to his aid and tried to stop him, but he pushed them away and hysterically continued to beat the women. What also goes against McIntosh's favor is that he was recently released from prison after serving 10 years for manslaughter.
Hence, either the women got exactly what they deserved or McIntosh went too far. What are your thoughts?
Monday, October 3, 2011
To some, this is just an ordinary water fountain, but to many, this fountain is a symbol of oppression and dehumanization of an entire people--sanctioned by law. This fountain, until the 1960s, had a sign on it that said "Whites Only."
I was visiting my father in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he had recently moved because he disliked the harsh winters of a condensed Illinois and longed to be in the vast countryside where he grew up.
It was the second to last day of my trip when my father decided to take me downstate so that I could experience my roots. He would take to to Ivan, a hamlet about two counties away from the Louisiana border, so I could see the land my family owned and the community they worked hard to build and maintain. Before we arrived there, though, we stopped at the Dallas County Courthouse in Fordyce, the county seat, to collect paperwork. As we were leaving, my father noticed this very fountain, one that got him in a lot of trouble.
He was 9 years old, and his aunt brought him to the Courthouse to renew her driver's license. She left him in the lobby and told him not to drink from the fountain. Being that he was it was a hot Southern day and he was thirsty, and also being that he was an Andrews, which means that he would have a certain amount of stubbornness, he drank from the fountain anyway. His aunt caught him at the right moment. She grabbed him by the arm, lead him from the courthouse, and gave him a severe beating.
Those, like me, who are against corporal punishment, especially in public, must understand that she did this not out of intended brutality, but to protect him and the family. If she just walked away nonchalantly, the least that would happen is that he or she would be fined or arrested. The worst that would happen is that, this being a small town, the Klan would find out and terrorize the family. It would not matter that he was just a child. He had contaminated a water fountain meant for Whites--an unforgivable offense. This notion is preposterous to people living today, but not so for those living back in those times.
After my father told this story, he approached the fountain and took a long, satisfying sip, and I did the same. Neither of us were really thirsty, but in drinking from that fountain, we created a testimony. The dark era of hate and humiliation was gone.
I hope that the Black inner-city youth are reading this. The message I wish to give to them is simple: those who saw to it that the "Whites Only" sign was removed from that and other Southern fountains did not do so by dropping out of school and insisting that the world owes them something. They did not do so by fathering more children than they intend to rear, wearing "bling" and hanging their pants down to show their boxers. And they certainly did not do it by referring to their women as "bitches," dancing like they have no morals, and killing their brethren for their shoes or because they looked at them the wrong way. They did it through hard work, taking care of their own, standing up to their enemies, and demanding the fruits of their labor. In other words, they did it by being adults. By living in debauchery, greed, hatred, and above all, indifference, you bring shame to those who works hard to bring you glory. You fulfill the prophecies of those who deemed us subhuman. Therefore, for the sake of your communities, your country, and yourselves, don't undo the efforts that were created so that you can drink from any fountain you want, go to any school you want, sleep in any hotel you want, and vote anytime you want. It is time wake up and fix all that is broken in our communities.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
I live in Forest Park, Illinois. I am a social worker in the mental health field, as well as a Lutheran in search of a new church. I enjoy writing, cooking, dining, and collecting foreign currency. I am currently a newlywed (7 months), and I consider myself to be an economic liberal and a social right-leaning moderate. I also consider myself to be a nationalist Social Democrat. There, I said it. Now, before you get all hot and bothered, I said Social Democrat, not Communist. Huge difference!
Most of the things I will rant and reflect on will be about these things. No matter how brusque I may sound, all I want is what is best for my town, my country, my church, and the people I love. All I want is a peaceful life, and I want no enemies, but I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe in when things go too far. I can be outspoken sometimes, but I do so with the best intentions. If I write something that crosses the line, feel free to rebuke me. I only ask that extend the same integrity that you would want from me. If you want to debate with me, I will pick up the gauntlet, but only if you fight fair, which means no name-calling or direct judgments against me.
All that being said, happy reading!
All that being said, happy reading!