Friday, November 20, 2009

My White Male Friends

Electoral politics in USA and especially in the state of Washington, is a white male game. I am a consummate player, even as my entry was not by the usual rules, I self selected myself. My politics is based on passion, I was inspired to run, not chosen by the body politic, and ran as a Democrat against a Democrat. For that reason, I will be forever respected, never trusted. So, I do my own thing and this willingness to take a risk, learn the rules of the game and then expand them to include me an African American female keeps me politically active.

I have been visible again on the political scene, a requirement of supporting President Barack Obama. It is his campaign that placed me back in organizing and campaign mode; which is human connection, persuasion and follow through. Beyond the election is the work at a local level that supports his campaign. Then there was the Mayoral Campaign, I entered this to assure that Greg Nickels was not re-elected. He wanted to build a palace to incarcerate those who needed liberation not incarceration. I need time to put more people on the path of liberation, so if he built the jail, I know that the truism, "build it and they will come," would occur. So, build a jail Nickels had to go. The snow removal was a non issue for me.

This is a good time to be clear about my political and public relationships, sometimes they become personal, along the way mutual admiration occur. I am an easy female friend to males. I am safe, their wives or girlfriends find me to be one of the guys and non threatening, and the men find my husband to be a "man's man." My husband knows that the only man, he had and has to compete with is my father, who passed away a decade ago, and still directs my thinking and being. I said this, because it allows me to be very much in the political game an in the company of males without any problem on either side.

I am again in the presence of many white males. I find most of them confused about their current place in human development American style. But recently, I have been with white men I like and respect, and one I realize that I do not like. Some, I have known for years, some I have just met. Four of them are: Pete, he is a quiet unassuming giant. He is very political but from any outside appearance, he could be overlooked, or discounted. Hell, if he stood too long on one of Nickels and Allen's corners he could find himself being told "move along buddy, or you could find yourself a first occupant in that jail we are building." Pete, likes people, is comfortable with himself. His relationship with African Americans accepts the mutuality of relationships across racial lines. What I once told a legislative colleague, there are times that I will need to send a white male to get something, and there are times when he will need to send an African American female. I entered politics clear about what can occur when this is understood,

My other favorite is Stu Jacobson a self made man, very much the Anti-Christ to all that is white and male. He is Jewish by birth and up bringing, I went to his son Adam's Bar Mitzvah. His dad, who today can not remember much remembers dancing with me that day. Stu is a child advocate, I do not mean, he gives money to children's causes. He gets up thinking about the safety of children in child care, he talks about it and he cries when a child is harmed or dies in the care of others because of lack of legislative oversight. Men, do not care this much about kids, especially those they are not paying child support for. Now, that might be unfair, but none have proven me wrong, other than Stu. I am sure men think him weak, he is not it takes a giant to care about children, because children can not repay the favor. Stu was once a New York Fashion excective,yesterday he had on an American Flag US Polo Association sweater, he brought from Goodwill. Stu is not broke, I wills stop there.

My new friend is Ralph, he is driven by the demons associated with that very male invention; guns. He is also my new champion, until this week I thought he was against guns, it is not the guns, it is all that they stand for, they kill people, who should not be killed. Each life means something to him. I must say, I do not like guns because my dad did not have one, nor my uncles. So, they taught me by example how to live without owning one and I was not attracted to gun guys. I developed good Karma, no one seems to want to shoot me. So far so good. Ralph,has no use for weakness, he is a guy, Italian American. I think he is very disgusted with weak men and women, I have met his daughters and woman friend, they are not wimpy women. Ralph and I are getting along just fine, we are a great team and he does his work, and I am learning alot from him. Today, I will introduce him to one of my friends, he is African American but succeeded in the white male world of Police work, worked his way to the be a top cop. I need Harry in this quest to ban assault weapons, he knows about guns and crimes they are used to commit.

I met a new person this week, Frampton, he is interesting, wants to influence politics, I may or may not see him as having what it takes to be in a mutually respectful relationship, I think he has money, something that does not move me. It is a tool only a tool, and I likewise have tools that allow me to never be imprisoned. And it is this term that prompted today's blog. Ralph gave me a beautiful book about President Obama, a photo journal. Stu, gave me an autographed book "Brother West, Living Out Loud" Cornell West. In this memoir, he writes:

"I have foudn prisons to be both liberating and depressing.... One of the most moving moments,.... was when a prisoner asked me,"What was the source of hope for someone with a life sentence i prison? I replied, we all have a death sentence in spalce and time and there are many outside the prison walls who hearts, minds and souls are in profound and permanent bondage." He goes on to tell us that a courageous man can be free with a life prison sentence, just as others can be unfree walking the streets of New York City. He says, " My fundamental aim is to touch the souls and unsettle the minds f people be they in prison, classroom, church, or on the block."

Thank you Stu for the thinking of me, for seeking freedom from the imprisonment of being "White Male," and all it demands, for being a better model for your sons, than most fathers. Thank you to all of my white male friends who are struggling each day to self define, to be free.

I supported Joe Mallahan (That makes me a Mallahamster) there still remains something about Joe that resonates as a white male who is working on being free of the arrogance of white male privilege. He really worked to get Obama, an African American elected. For that I am grateful. I wish he had worked as hard to get himself elected. But there is still a place for him in my vision of a better humanity. We will see.

Thank you Helen, Nancy and Shannon for sharing your husbands with me, supporting them in being real men, no matter what the race or any other false definitions.

There is just something about Mike McGinn that gets under my skin, in politics, instincts are a tool. He has an arrogance about him, I can smell it. He rose to top of that enclave of white privilege, the Sierra Club. It will be interesting to see, if he can learn to work with diversity in mutually respectful ways. We will see.

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