All That I Am
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2003-04-01 22:19:52 (UTC)

National Amnesia

I only had to work 4hrs today and I get off in oh...about
an hour and thirty minutes. Then I have tomorrow off,
woohoo! I'm going to see if I can talk mum into taking me
to the commissary after work and buying me some grub. I'm
living off of pancake mix, ramen, and rice right now. It's
pathetic I know. I'm going to the gym today and today is
officially going to start my workout frenzy. I call it that
because I'm going to start running AT LEAST 4 miles a day.
I say at least because, like last friday, running is
starting to get easier for me and once I get back into the
swing of it, 4 miles is going to seem too easy so I'm going
to have to start going for more. I'm actually getting
excited about working out because I'm seeing the results
now, my size 34 pants are actually kinda baggy now! I put
on my dockers today and I was like...ummm.....I think I'm
going to need a belt (woohoo!). So, yeah feeling pretty
damn good today.

Since I do absolutely nothing at work besides gazing at
ridiculously handsome men all day, I decided to read up on
my favorite author, Toni Morrison. Just read some of her
interviews and whatnot, and I've only read her
book "Beloved" so far but I just ordered her collection of
books, which has I think 5 of her first books. I've always
said along with the Dalai Lama, there's no one else that I
have more respect for and look up to more than Toni
Morrison. I've watched some of her interviews and seen her
on the Oprah show god knows how many times and she is far
and away the most intelligent person I've ever listened to.
She has this gentle, earth mother vibe to her and she is so
powerful. Anywho, I love the woman and she teaches
English at Princeton and I would give my right nut to sit
in on one of her classes. Okay maybe I wouldn't give my nut
but you get my point.

One thing that I love about her is how passionate she is
about African American culture. Although I don't identify
myself as African American (I'm a hodge podge of
ethnicity), it is a part of me and my family. I have a lot
of respect for the community and get offended easily by
ignorant comments directed toward it. One comment that
stuck with me for a long time was made my ex-friend Raphael
Velez, I don't remember how we got into the discussion but
he said something along the lines of, "Why don't they
[black people] just get over the whole slavery
happened years ago". Honestly, the first thing that I
wanted to say was, "Who the hell do you think you are?".
But of course I didn't and was quiet through the whole
conversation and just listened...I listen a lot. One thing
that I've noticed from being all over the U.S. and
listening to all kinds of people is that a lot of people
are just uneducated when it comes to racism in America.
There's racism on all sides be it against Asians, Native
Americans, etc. but I'm only going to address African
Americans now. In one of Morrison's interviews she said in
response to her book "Beloved" being so graphic about
slavery, "I thought this has got to be the least read of
all the books I'd written because it is about something
that the characters don't want to remember, I don't want to
remember, black people don't want to remember, white people
don't want to remember. I mean, it's national amnesia." I
think that's what a lot of people I've met are
experiencing, a type of amnesia. They stick by their
reasoning that racism doesn't exist and/or not as
prominently as many think and that it's just an excuse
used by militant black people. I think in many northern
states it isn't as prominent but where I've lived in the
south it is very prevalent. People who aren't raised to be
racist and didn't grow up around it, automatically assume
that's how it must be everywhere but everywhere is pretty
big and there's too much diversity in America to assume
that everywhere and everyone is like who/where you grew up.
But overall it exists everywhere and we all have hints of
prejudice but we just try to ignore it. It bothers
me just because it's never going to go away if people don't
accept it and then educate themselves about it. I used to
judge the african americans who would be so devoted to
their culture and seemed hell bent on making everyone else
in America know what they've been through but how is that
any different from how I am with gay/lesbian rights and
culture? There isn't and I admire them more now because I
can relate with them and I know that they're only trying to
educate people ultimately.

This fine ass guy just walked in and I had to pick my jaw
off the floor....good god that's a mighty fine man! Nummie!
See how my attention just wavers when there's testosterone
in my viscinity. Anywho, the following are some quotes from
the spectacular and deep Toni Morrison (I just love her!):

“If you're going to hold someone down you're going to have
to hold on by the other end of the chain. You are confined
by your own repression.”

“There is really nothing more to say-except why. But since
why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how.”

“When there is pain, there are no words. All pain is the

"How exquisitely human was the wish for permanent
happiness, and how thin human imagination became trying to
achieve it."

I didn't get to read all of her interviews that were on
this one particular site, mainly because my head started
hurting...a lot of what she says I have to reread because
the woman is on another level but I especially liked this
response she gave to the interviewer when asked, "Why
distance oneself from feminism?" Toni Morrison replied,

"In order to be as free as I possibly can, in my own
imagination, I can't take positions that are closed.
Everything I've ever done, in the writing world, has been
to expand articulation, rather than to close it, to open
doors, sometimes, not even closing the book -- leaving the
endings open for reinterpretation, revisitation, a little
ambiguity. I detest and loathe [those categories]. I think
it's off-putting to some readers, who may feel that I'm
involved in writing some kind of feminist tract. I don't
subscribe to patriarchy, and I don't think it should be
substituted with matriarchy. I think it's a question of
equitable access, and opening doors to all sorts of things."

And with that I have to go. I need to finish making my
workout cd and then I'm out of here in about 40mins!!
Woohoo! Later.

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