International Womens Day, 2017

During the Iraqi Occupation, I saw something happen that got me very stirred up with inspiration.

On this occasion, there was a protest, led by the Iraq Vets Against the War, and other anti-war organizations; a group of Afghan women, were in New York City to stand in solidarity for all females, soldiers & civilians who are living in the war in Afghanistan.

These women have all been impacted the war there; in fact, going back to the Russian presence there, this nation has been fighting wars for a lot of years.  But, think about it: every woman is someone else’s mother, cousin, aunt, grandmother, great grandmother.

Mothers and children are extremely vulnerable, when it comes to being a collateral damage victim.  These are the “innocents.”

Whenever you see groups mourning the death of a friend or family member, women generally play prominent roles in the mourning & grieving process within the community.

However, many women & young girls-in many parts on the planet-become harmed & traumatized by clitoral mutilation, suffering the medical and the trauma through this bizarre, ancient custom.

For example, in Indian culture, some women are burned on funeral pyres, because they had an affair, or broke the laws & customs around legal & religious codes.

A large percentage of American women get paid at a far less rate than males who’re doing the same jobs.  How is this equable & fair for all concerned?  Doing the same work should give you the same pay as a male doing a comparative kind of work!

Abortion is again receiving the onslaughts of the Fundamentalists and the Religious Right; the same “same old” threats are made against Planned Parenthood, apparently, the Devil in liberal clothes.

When women & families are targeted for deportation in the immigration process, this also effects women, due to their own familial responsibilities-who will care for children who must be left with a caregiver while mom goes out and works.  What if mom is deported?  And what about children who’ve been born in this country, so that now they’re citizens, while their parents & family may not be?

What’s needed?  A bearing witness by men, for thousands of years under Patriarchy’s boot, for the pain we’ve caused women.  All genders are members of our human race.  Men and women should commit to one other man or woman for support, compassion, justice, empathy and understanding.

Should a difference between females & males preclude that others in her group are discriminating against, and kept back from promotion, as she grows into the position.  Not right!

©Christopher Bear-Beam March 8, 2017

Is Terrorist-Racism a Mental Health/Public Health Issue?

 

The FBI can’t put a name of a person on a watch list simply because the person has a Mental Illness; if the Mental Illness is linked with terroristic threats or actions, then they can pursue the leads; this despite many assaults & attacks done by folks with a Mental Illness (MI) who also may have access to weapons.

These precautions are taken so the law enforcement agency can’t be held libel for a scenario like this, many times followed by some terroristic (in its germane sense) act.

The Civil Rights of all concerned (and most particularly those with a MI) need to be upheld as well, the U.S. security forces are well-aware of the nuances & landscapes to protect the Civil Rights of everyone.

Is there a way we can begin to access individuals or groups who present MI at an earlier, more preventative, time?  And whether they own a train-does this abridge their rights?  It seems logical to this writer that preventative protocols must be drafted, approved, and passed into a “law of the land.”

A recommendation would be to contact every therapist, or Mental Health facility or clinic, every head of a government entity, and workers across the board among Human Services Professionals.  Create a data base that can be accessed by the public, providers, and users.

Then a sort of consortium together, sort of a Town Hall Meeting model that model the facilitation of communication & interchange concerning the topic at hand; insure that the meeting or gathering is videotaped or audiotaped, transcript recorded, and edited as a document to be placed in the Public Domain.  Are we on the same page?  We gotta get this gospel out!

©Christopher Bear-Beam January 8, 2017

 

“But What if I’m Criticized

What if I’m criticized and the person who is doing the criticizing is someone I consider an enemy?  How do I handle it?  How do I react?

One of the most tragic & horrendous case in points is 911; for many of us, revenge was the first thought, retaliation the next.  But, what if we had gone deeper into the catalysts for this grisly terrorist attack and those who were the perpetrators?

Here’s what I mean:  Alice Walker, in her book, We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For (2006), recommends that when our minds are filled with blame, anger, lack of comprehension, and revenge, to simply sit in some form of meditative seat, asking ourselves, “What could have been the causes of an enemy’s motivation to strike out with violence or some other micro-aggression?”  Sit with it a while, and see what emerges from your conscious and unconscious thoughts.  She writes, “Sit with their anger until you can see America through their eyes” (p.190).

Continuing, “When I fully accepted the reality of their suffering from this fear, I could begin to feel compassion rather than disgust, irritation, anger or, more likely in my case, mystification” (Ibid.).

This suggested action is much like Tonglen, the Buddhist prayer of compassion for others suffering, as we are, in our world.

I’d suggest using this template when we receive personal criticism, or cultural critiques that don’t really apply to us, and may arise out of the suffering or misunderstanding of the other groups or people.

When I’m personally criticized, my tendency is to go to the “highly valued” abstraction that “Oh, no, now I know I’m all bad or all failure, etc.”  I’m now trying to pause, to use this method to help me think in a more self-caring way.  I feel myself changing, and I feel all good.

©Christopher Bear-Beam February 16, 2017

 

 

An Autocratic Wind Sweeps

In this circled web, lies a system that can make you dead.

A leadership style, that once on a while, the host, we combed them in,

Soldiers back from the “Big War”-transfigured transformers found

Out easy to use and easy to be in, the Autocratic System manned up to peer-conforming, afraid to be one’s own true self, fear is one of the best motivators-you got to hide and cover-up what’s next to your heart.  Keep in on down low, Mr. Joe DiMaggio.

The new Administration talks out loud about saving our land, the bluster & hot lava may bust your face like a water balloon.  Save?  Save what & how?  By making illegal the Civil Rights that ours by virtue of our birth as human.

Silence the media, they throttle their assaults, and make sure you confront the media in your normal communication style-c’mon, just give me a big smile, and look now you big farty cow, shut down their stations for the good of the public health,

This dagger into your side

Will go, with a twist and a turn,

You’re nothing more than blood on

The sawdust floor-get on outta here, Open that door and run for your

Life, right outta this door. You be a bore!

©Christopher Bear-Beam February 12, 2017 (my B-Day)

 

 

Bates College in Maine hosts MLK activities

Bates College Hosts MLK, Jr. Day’s Activities

I.

This is the day (January 16) our nation set aside a holiday to celebrate and lift in respect, the memory & legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Bates College, in Lewiston, Maine, hosted a keynote speech (given by Professor Kahlil Gibran Muhammed) as well as many break-out workshops.  The theme of the day was Reparations: Addressing Racial Injustices.

The call for reparations to African-Americans, descended from slaves, in their relationship to their owners & slave identity, has gained more & more momentum & critical attention has now aided the call for reparations; reparations, however, to be sustainable must be founded on a new declaration of race in our culture, a new conversation, a new language, a new social consciousness; in other words, the completion of the Oppressor-&-the Oppressed experiment.  So, education about slavery and issues surrounding it, is the firm base that everything will rest upon, including reparations.

In his keynote presentation, Professor & author, Kahlil Gibran Muhammed, he noted that those who support reparations must be intentional about reparations for it to be efficacious & meaningful to those whom it might benefit, as well as legislators.

Dr. Muhammed observed that what is presently needed in our culture, in terms of righting the social justice & criminal justice worlds, is for Americans to move into a new threshold.  Dr. King, said Dr. Muhammed, was passionate about racism being a type of “cultural homicide.”  We don’t need DOA.

Later, in his talk, Muhammed emphasized how President Obama received the baton from MLK, Jr.  Perhaps this was one of Obama’s central, political axioms: America has always been about seeing ourselves as one nation, from many, diverse lands all over this planet.  One common understanding of our “oneness” is that when push comes to shove, we’d give our lives for our brothers & sisters.  We have many, unspoken & spoken American values that we could agree to hold these all with respect.

Hearing some of the above comments, some white folks would respond, “Well, none of my ancestors owned slaves.”  This statement is as incongruous as building an outside brick barbeque, and you tell your buddy, “Well, we’re all set to go.  Did you see all the bricks?”  “Yes, I did, but that’s all that’s over there, no sand, no tools, no iron for the grill—nothing but bricks!”

White people are often completely unaware about their privilege, as white people, in our nation.  So, this is all about education.  First, we need accurate, and not skewed information & knowledge, about racism, and every other “ism” you could think of.

©Christopher Bear-Beam January 16, 2017 Continue reading

A Fragmentary Culture

A Fragmentary Culture

The trends, drives & pushes, taken on by the ‘vast American Middle Class,’ God,  it reminds me of the “Beaver & Cleaver” era of nerds on the loose-all this since WWII; one of the consequences is that we’ve split our collective psyche, all of us have been labeled by TPTB (The Powers That Be), as increasingly often we notice useless ideas & activities that they neither have time for, or belly for-those co-crafters of the majority system, wanted to keep their prestige, their power, their possessions, their munitions, along with their privileged premonitions, and keep, we poor on the down-low, neck under the boot of TPTB, the down-low-est step on the ladder to success-well, don’t they have big plans for us-beyond belief?  Perhaps it is “beyond belief.”

To hold us in neo-non-motion, they must insure that they can keep these other sectarian, ignorant piss-ants restrained and on lock-down.  The guards pass it off as low IQs, and being uncivilized and counter-culture to all that’s good and white.

They say this is why snow is white-it’s a yearly reminder that only the “good” white people who get most of the goodies & entitlements, are really “good”\but who decides who the “good” are?  Are these good, white people?  What about those over there?  Are there good persons of color?   Are there “bad” white people?

The reason these questions have any meaning at all is due to our racialized history and our identities, that we’d even entertain a whitish metaphor-all homes in which humans live have their personalized souls; these metaphors, at the end of the day, are equipped with warranties and extension opportunities-so that metaphors can quickly adapt to changing conditions:

 

The metaphor=whiteness.

We serve a white God, and is

That white only?  That is historically-

Based non-sense, look at the narrative

Of Art from the past, in the drawings,

Pottery, & household utensils: what’s

Planted on these past, archaeological

Accessories is our racial diversity and

Most of the persons are of darker hue-

I guess we foo’d you!   Come on every

One let’s give them a heartfelt applause

For their dramatic expression of

Loving support for you!  And just

Being willing to play along.  By the

Way, Mr. Sampson asked me to pass

This message along to you.  He says

That some of you are plotting against

Him, and it’s really stressed him out,

So, in his mind he’s flipped it and even

Now as we speak here, he’s plotting to

Take all of you down.

The mirror of the metaphor

Collapses when it skins its shins,

Or when it shines in on itself,

Like dark holes exploding

Into tons of fragments; scientists

Still can’t unravel all the data yet,

Because they’re missing some codes,

Which are being investigated, again,

As we speak

Clearly, there must be a logistical & mathematical cause for these consequences and not others, more experimentation is needed in this regard.

©Christopher Bear-Beam December 14, 2016

 

Is age in the “eye of the beholder?”

It happens so easily in our often “child-centered” yet so often a negligent culture that we take for granted the “them” in the equation.  Unfortunately, I’m writing about the “us and them” in youth’s relationship with adults in the society we live in.  The specific issue I’m writing about should go in the file marked Adultism.

Don’t you wish that we behaved with more unity and respect for diversity/difference within the context of our civil society?  One way to get at this consequence is to learn how we play into a society steeped in Adultism, getting more information about Adultism, and then starting by employing the tools and resources (that do encompass the art of substituting one type of practical knowledge with another).

So, what is Adultism?  Very simply, it’s the social systems within our culture that emphasize adult power & authority as a superior way of doing things, when held up to a template of how we adults think, feel & believe youth or children should be viewed and interacted with by adults.

Like any other kind of ism, there are varied ideologies, practices, behaviors, norms, & philosophies that are followed in Adultism, even if unconsciously followed.

Here’s one for example: suppose your church is setting up some kind of event or activity; the event requires a lot of hard work on decoration, setting up, food, space, clean up, etc. Your congregation is made-up of around fifty percent middle-aged adults (over 18), about twenty-five percent elderly, and the rest consists of youth.

We adults look at the situation, and often say, “This will never work.  We don’t really have enough folks to make this thing happen!”  Our next thought may be: the teen-agers we’ve got have so much energy and persistence-they’re young & energetic, so they can do this-and we’ve immediately reinforced & played-into Adultism; it happens so much and so easily and with so much unconsciousness, that it “becomes business as usual.”

What I’m driving at here is trying to persuade us to change what has become a mechanical reaction in relationship with youth.  I’m not talking about mentoring a young person, or asking someone younger, that you feel isn’t fulfilling their potential, adding skill-you might suggest a solution that the other person might gain a tangible benefit-either a material or spiritual result.

Can you see the difference?  Adultism gets built out of thought processes that don’t achieve equality, but rather as a sort of blind system perpetuated by something that keeps us “up and others down.”  Adultism keeps youth in a “one down” position, thus an inferior one. Anti-adultism enables youth to develop their own sense of identity, not someone else’s.  Thus, it’s a “high self-esteem growing” behavior, and one that’s based on the person’s own sense of self-confidence, not only the group’s power or confidence.
©Christopher Bear-Beam November 5, 2016