Cracker as a racial term
This term came up for me today in an online discussion. A lot of people didn’t understand why I was upset by it and that I see it as a derogatory term and rightly so. Apparently a lot of people seem to think it’s just a term black people use for white people to explain our blandness – like a saltine cracker.
The problem is – I live in the epicenter of Florida Cracker culture. So for me, a cracker isn’t just a racial term. It specifically refers to a farmer/settler of the area and their descendants who exploited and who still exploit slave labor for financial gain. It’s impossible to separate out Cracker culture from slavery and the forced removal of the Indian population from the area so that white folk could “settle” the area.
Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that as a white person living in this area, I benefit from the Cracker settlement of the area. I also have zero problems with black people using the term to negatively describe racist white folk who deserve to be labelled that way. After all crackers still exist. What I am trying to do with this essay is to help my white brethren understand that this isn’t simply a funny term to use to describe really white whites. Understanding WHY it’s an insult when a black person calls you a cracker will help you to understand WHY racial justice is still such an important issue. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll be a little less clueless about the struggles our black brothers and sisters face.
Continue reading “Cracker as a Racial Slur”
Resisting Fear Mongering
Why we must call it out when we see it.
I was recently defriended on Facebook by a person I really like. The problem was that she had become seduced by fear mongering and I, and others, were challenging her on it and calling her out on it. Mostly because it’s really so unlike her to engage in the promotion of such fear.
Her latest was the fear that a Muslim will become president. Why is this fear mongering? Because, at the moment, there is no Muslim running for president. It’s a non-issue. We aren’t in “danger” of having a Muslim president for at least 5 more years. Probably longer though given that there are so few Muslims holding political office at the moment and it takes time to build up support for a presidential run.
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Independence of Mind
Freethought, the independence of mind, is central to the quest for peace, but it isn’t enough.
At the end of World War II, artists and intellectuals joined with French dramatist Romain Rolland to declare an independence of mind. Its purpose was to encourage artists to declare independence from the states that used their art for propaganda to promote war, hate and divisiveness.
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Pill Mill Alternatives
My county has a problem and we seem incapable of dealing with it.
For a while, FL had a problem with pill mills. These were pain clinics where doctors prescribed heave duty pain meds. The problem was we had a lot of them and people were addicted to the pain meds and if you could afford it, you could get your addiction treated legally. The problem is that even legal drug addiction kills. At one point 4 people a day in Florida were dying from drug oxycodone overdose.
If Florida was the pill mill capital of the country, my region was the pill mill capital of Florida. In a 2 county area we had 50 pill mills and in my county alone, we had 83 deaths in a single year.
By 2010, we had decided to shut down the pill mills. (see: http://www.tbo.com/news/crime/florida-heals-from-pill-mill-epidemic-20140830/)
Continue reading “Pill Mills & Addiction – we need a different approach”
What would sane gun laws look like?
With the massacre of the month behind us, I’ve decided to think of what I think would be an ideal set of gun laws. I felt this was necessary because I find myself advocating for what I think is possible to enact and that’s not anywhere close to what I would ideally like to see happen.
First, let me be clear. I don’t have a problem with most gun owners. I am concerned about people who feel like they need to have an arsenal. It’s not the arsenal that concerns me – it’s the reasons why they feel like they need to have an arsenal that concerns me.
Continue reading “What does rational Gun Control Look Like?”