The N Word … May 7th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

(4038)


THE

Image result for gif of letter n

WORD


The N word is n****r

The word is so foul that not only should it never be spoken but from henceforth needs never be spelled and read. I have absolutely no objection to inserting stars or dots to replace the letters that form such an insane term.

Yet I must tell you, with my confirmation of such a maneuver, I have a fear that if we never speak or spell this word of national disgrace ever again, we may be inviting it to sneak in the back door of our culture in the next generation.

Yes, if our offspring do not understand the origin of the evil that pronounced and proclaimed such an epithet, it’s possible that they might just come along and think they’ve reinvented the wheel and start spewing the poison once again.

Most people under the age of thirty piously walk around, gob-smacked over the idea that such prejudice ever existed in the first place. They are certain that they would never have ever been so pre-disposed as to relegate other human beings to such diminished quality through a verbal assault. Yet it only takes us a few moments of reading social media to see that these millennials, who feel like they are color-blind, have no problem whatsoever besmirching the character of anyone who disagrees with them politically, or who might hunt deer, or desire a choice for determining the future of a pregnancy.

Although I love my fellow-humans, I don’t trust them. I am fully aware of the iniquity of my own soul, and certainly do not think they have surpassed me in nobility.

For instance, I do not want to watch Alex Haley’s classic tale, “Roots,” and have all of the “n words” bleeped out under some sort of pseudo-intellectual assertion that this will cause us to cease ever being a color-coded society again.

Our children need to hear the word and understand how, at one time, it was acceptable to use it. They need to be aware that there was a season when it would have been impossible for a man to be the President of the United States without knowing the word, or preach behind a holy desk of the church if you were not acquainted with the “n word” or even used it yourself.

It was not a symbol of ignorance.

Very intelligent people used it. It was, rather, the presence of arrogance in a country which became bankrupt of true spirituality in the pursuit of religion and politics.

Block out the letters, but don’t eliminate the memory.

Make the term anathema. Yet guarantee that the vile nature of it is revealed to those who think they are too pure to be dirtied by such foulness ever again.


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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … August 22nd, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Caught Up With God

by Jonathan Richard Cring

I caught up with God last night.

It’d been a while

I had been busy with me.

His matters–more universal.

“How ya doin’ with that life I gave you?” He asked, with a twinkle in His eye.

“Livin’ loud and free,” I replied.

“Oh, my. Sounds bold,” He countered.

“Let there be light, bolder still,” I returned.

He smiled.

I loved His smile. Always warm and left me enlightened.

He looked tired, but not aging–the kind of weary you might see in a friend when you suggest a nap instead of another cup of coffee.

I searched for words.

I suddenly realized why the visits between us were less frequent.

There was a great mutual appreciation, with not much common interest.

“I thought we could catch up,” He suggested.

“Good.” I nodded but remained silent.

I don’t know why He makes me nervous.

There has been no vexation between us. No major disagreement.

There are many things I like, which I hear He thinks are sins.

And the thoughts that cross my head seem unworthy to share with such a pure soul.

Yet venturing for a night that would be memorable for its difference, I said, “Sometimes I stay away from You when I don’t need to.”

I looked deeply into His eyes to see if I had hurt His feelings.

That was not my intention, but certainly could have been the conclusion.

He maintained a stare, as if waiting for more explanation. So I decided to push on.

“Sometimes I just don’t believe in You. Sometimes I feel foolish thinking that the apparition I’ve created of your presence has any truthfulness. Or for that matter, value. Sometimes I grow weary of my own mythology.”

I stopped speaking.

Only half of what I shared was honest. Like many words spoken in a spat, the majority are stirred to hurt instead of reveal.

But why did I want to hurt God?

Why did I want Him to know that I didn’t need Him?

Why was I taking this moment of reunion and turning it into a cup of poison?

Then…

God just walked over and quietly sat down in a chair.

Though He did not motion for me to join Him, the energy compelled me to find a nearby seat of my own.

The two of us, seated.

Old friends?

Or just strangers who finally realized the extent of the disconnection?

He spoke. “What would you think or feel if I said I don’t always believe in you?”

“I would be horrified,” I responded. “Even if I have made you up in my ego, I need you to be supportive. I need you to be my permanent cheerleader. I need you to give me unconditional love.”

“And what do I get for this gift?” He asked, tilting His head and squinting His eyes.

I didn’t pause for a moment. I answered immediately–almost impetuously.

“My guaranteed doubt.”

The Most High laughed.

“Quite a good deal,” He said, rubbing His chin. “Perhaps I should jump on it right away, in case you change your mind.”

I excused myself and went into the bathroom.

I sat in my stall, realizing that I was manufacturing an event in my head that was probably more spirits-in-a-bottle than Spirit-in-my-life.

Suddenly, there He was. In the stall with me, leaning against the wall.

“Stalk’er much?” I asked.

“It’s not really stalking,” He noted. “I thought we were still having a conversation, and just changing locations.”

“It’s a perfect example,” I interjected. “I am a person. I value my privacy. There are times I don’t like to be chased by a spirit or a theology or reminded of my inadequacies by a black book with a lousy cover.”

God burst into laughter.

“How true! For them to claim it’s the Word of God, and not even have great cover art… So much like those who only believe so they can hold it against those who don’t.”

“Would you turn your head?” I demanded. “I would like to finish here.”

Before I could complete my phrase He was gone.

I wondered if it would be another season of absence, or if I would find Him sitting in the chair when I left the restroom.

I stood in front of the mirror and splashed some water on my face.

I realized I was not ugly. Maybe just a little facially displaced.

I smiled, thinking how I wanted to share that with Him. How much He would enjoy it.

We always could make each other laugh. That’s for sure.

It’s just that sometimes, He doesn’t know how to stop my tears.

Feeling I was “stalling,” and then thinking that I must share that pun with Him also, I opened the door and stepped out.

He was gone.

There was this amazing smell in the air.

What was it?

Garlic, tomato and just a hint of oregano.

Of course.

All the ingredients of Chicago deep-dish pizza.

I breathed in deeply.

I shook my head.

He knew it was my favorite.

Our guest reader is Isabella, who is a student at Florida State University.

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G-Poppers … July 20th, 2018

G-Pop was nine years old when Bobby moved into the village and started attending the little elementary school.

At first the parents thought he might be a Negro, since he had skin a couple of shades darker, and curly hair. But on careful inspection and tracking down some details, it was confirmed that he was Italian. This allowed him to be suitable for playtime and interaction.

But Bobby was different.

He wasn’t like all the scared children from our burg who were frightened to death to displease the grownups who held the key to play-time and candy. Bobby didn’t care.

When the teacher came into the room, the rest of the students fell silent–like attending a funeral. But Bobby just kept chattering, glancing up at the teacher and smiling back at all the other terrified third-graders.

He was the same way during recess. He played hard, rough and mean. But at the same time, he was sweet-talking to the girls, so they liked him. In no time at all, he developed a reputation among the teachers, staff and some of the parents of being a brat.

Yes. Bobby the Brat.

What concerned them most of all was that there seemed to be a breakdown of discipline across the board–because other students began to feel the liberty to be curt, selfish and overly aggressive.

There was so much pressure on Bobby that when the time to begin fourth grade rolled around, he was gone. His parents left town.

Bobby the Brat had departed, so things went back to being orderly. Even though we all denounce the blandness of being orderly, disorderly comes with a nastiness which spews out poison which has been deposited in our “mad hole.”

Yes. All God’s children got a mad hole.

It’s a space deep inside where we stuff all of our frustration, misgiving and prejudice, thinking it’s a garbage can–but really, it’s just a container where our bigotries decay.

And then one day, we reach a point of rage when this poison is vomited out of our mouths.

It’s a mad hole.

It’s never cleaned out–ignored.

People try to freshen it–try to put a lid on it, so to speak, but as long as it exists, it will eventually erupt.

G-Pop wants his children to know that the truth is, you can’t get provoked unless you’re already pissed.

Nobody pissed you off. They just provoked you until you finally spilled all the putrid contents of your mad hole.

Often all it takes is for Bobby the Brat to come along and tease us with the notion that we aren’t crazy and we should speak out our stupidities loud and clear, for everyone to hear.

So we do.

Civility dies, kindness is mocked, being nice is deemed weak and the only distinction we have seems to be in the horror of our mad hole.

Mad hole

In my soul

Take it in

Make it sin

First the hate

Of your fate

Rots your brain

With things insane

It’s begun

Load your gun

Me against you

Us against them

Don’t wonder if it’s true

Repeat it again

Mad hole

Leaves a space

For me to despise

The human race

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … June 28th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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A June 28th Musing

Am I a true American

Or am I very white

Have I suffered for my freedom

Or are my prospects too bright?

Was I chained in a ship

Trembling in fear

Or bestowed with great advantage

All my options very clear

Did someone steal my land

And call me a savage beast

Have I ever found myself

Aligned with the very least?

Did I arrive on a slow boat

Way across the sea

To be mocked and mistreated

Was that ever me?

Is “all white” all right

Or the poison of bitter hate

Can we become color blind

Or is it far too late?

For the Declaration of Independence

Was written by pale men

Who claimed we were all equal

While buying more slaves again

America is a noble notion

Just needing a cleansing of soul

So I, white, and you of color

Can join to form the whole.

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G-48: 1619… October 31, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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cargo ship bigger

Excitement.

  • A season of reason.
  • An hour of power.
  • A college of knowledge.
  • A start for art.
  • A relief for belief.
  • A release of peace.
  • A righting of the course of fellowship.

And then … 1619.

A Dutch trader, selling his goods along the African coast, runs across a tribesman who has no money, but is willing to give a cargo of human beings, his neighbors, as exchange for his merchandise.

The wayfaring seaman pauses, thinking. He knows he doesn’t dare return without some sort of remuneration, or face losing his job–maybe worse. He looks at the half-clothed, nervous, twitching beings in front of him. They don’t look like him.

His brain sets in motion a nasty logic:

  1. These people are vulnerable.
  2. Therefore, these folks are less.
  3. These souls are our servants.
  4. These creatures are our property.
  5. These possessions are our slaves.

Much to his surprise, when he returns from his journey, expecting a rebuke for his choice, he is praised for such an inventive idea and commissioned to return and do it again.

As often is the case, there is a market. Therefore we pursue it–without wondering about its ramifications.

A painful portion of poison is perpetuated upon peoplehood. They digress.

And then one day, in a crowded, heated hall, nervous men, trying to cover their apprehension with verbal boldness, agree to a document which states clearly, directly and without apology:

“All men are created equal.”

1776.

Perhaps it is the remedy for 1619.

We shall see what price they’re willing to pay…for their own convictions.

 

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Antidote … September 22, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2014)

poisonI am a poison.

It is a rather recent discovery; may I say, somewhat disheartening?

I always viewed myself as a perpetually refreshing drink, cooling and soothing–a blessing, if you will.

I’ve worked very hard … (Oh, forgive me for that. How pretentious.) Truthfully, I’ve simply focused on a couple of principles of congeniality in an attempt to turn myself into a pleasant beverage.

So imagine my surprise the other night, when I discovered that a relationship I’ve nurtured for twenty-one years was actually needful of termination in order for the person I was trying to assist and enlighten to escape my poison.

Yes, to him, I was deadly.

It isn’t true of most folks. Most individuals I encounter take in my elixir and find it intoxicating and sweet. But I must be fully aware that the choices I’ve made, the person I’ve become and the attitudes I hold dear are poisonous to travelers whose bumps in the road have varied greatly from mine.

I wondered if there was a way for me to change my configuration just enough to cease to be venom to this journeyman–and then I came to the conclusion that some things are just not meant to be. The reason we need everybody in the whole world is because the world is big and varied in its tastes, and one dose of medicine does not necessarily heal all ailments.

Still, I felt a deep sense of loss and hurt. Was it vanity? Was it some sort of childish tantrum: “How dare this human being find ME repugnant?”

Did I really care about him? Or only have feelings about him as it related to me?

Good questions. I’m really not sure.

But you see, it doesn’t really make any difference. In this case, I am a dose of humanity which should be bypassed because my chemistry is lethal.

There is a maturity that settles into our souls when we realize that we are not someone’s cup of tea, but instead, their mug of hemlock.

Is it possible to have universal value? Yes. But that treasure always has to contain the word “love,” and the presence of love always means to seek better for others.

I am not “better” for my friend. My way of thinking, doing, walking and living is a source of aggravation.

This is why we need a savior–because quite honestly, none of us are able to save ourselves and the human representations around us are often murderous.

I learned something. I came to the blessed conclusion that we make ourselves available to others, allow them to sip and not insist that they gulp, granting them  the opportunity to determine whether our particular concoction is nutritious to their being.

We grow up as people when we realize that if they need us it is good … and if they don’t, it is even better.

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Poison Pal … July 15, 2012

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Foolish man that I am, I had convinced myself that I was immune. I believed that I had built up a toleration against the venom that often spews from your soul in response to my obviously insufficient endeavors.

You want to hear something even more comical? Uniting my faith, hope and charity, I actually contended that I had discovered an antidote to such poison. Yet there is always a new way to be attacked and a surprise ambush available to suppress any claim of innocence.

Why have you chosen to be my enemy? Why have you selected to side with those who are against me–and even though their numbers may dwindle, you try to prop up their meager attempts at revenge by adding greater significance to their misgivings?

After hundreds of letters and notes, we seem incapable of creating any kind of treaty between the two of us. Part of me wants to be absolutely devastated and enraged by what I view to be irrational and unjust accusations.

I feel prosecuted, convicted and executed without ever understanding my crime. I have grown weary in the well-doing of justifying your behavior as frustration that is cast upon me because you have scared away all other possible victims. You are bitter–and there is never a passage from “bitter” to “better.” Bitterness demands that we find the root and destroy it so as never to allow the evil sprout to protrude from our beings again.

Yet I don’t understand such an anemic statement because it carries the double punishment of being inflicted and ignorant. Why is there such a desire, even a gnawing passion within my soul, to strike back at you because you leave yourself so vulnerable with your ineptness, jealousy and failed projects?

You are the walking contradiction to your own philosophy. You are the evidence that drives people away from ever wanting to be created in your image. Yet even as I write these words, regurgitated from exasperation, I feel shame. Or maybe it’s just that I feel trivial and predictable–to be involved in such a miniscule battle over absolutely no available turf.

You are supposed to be important to me. Yet I grow absolutely exhausted trying to expend energy to cause our relationship to have significance when you have relegated me to such a worthless state. I am not accustomed to being treated so. I am not one who automatically is able to produce graciousness from my soul with a demure smile and a silent prayer.

For after all, it’s virtually impossible to initiate activities of a positive nature if you have allowed yourself to believe that your humble talents are meaningless. Yes, I will admit it: I believe in myself. And I resent the hell out of you for trying to make me extinguish the flame of joy and confidence that God has permitted me to have–to be the light of the world.

You never had yours–so you want to destroy mine.

You never loved–so you dream of rendering me loveless.

You never possessed victory–so you want to rewrite the history of my success.

I can’t let you do this, even though I have no will to stand against you, nor heart to be your adversary. You are poison. It is not a poison that has been manufactured in some factory in a faraway land, but rather, squeezed from your own reticent and recalcitrant spirit, and dribbled out on anyone who would suggest that life is good.

  • You are Booth–a shot in the dark for my rear.
  • You are Brutus–a stabbing pain in my heart.
  • And Iscariot–a garden-variety traitor.

But hatred is difficult to me. I don’t know whether it’s because I find it to be surrender, distasteful or just a one-way street that leads to a dead end. For after all, where do you go from hate? With love, you have the options of mercy, grace, tenderness, discovery, growth and generosity. Hate just seems to stop and sit in a corner by itself and gnaw on its own leg.

I can’t do that.

When I listened to you speak yesterday–or wait–was it the lack of words? I forget. But what seemed to envelop my entire being was a sense of your indifference to all my overtures of creating concert between us.

I don’t understand. I despise the sensation of being without remedy or comprehension. Do you really hate me? Or just don’t know what to do with me and have selected to erupt like a volcano in your frustration and indecision?

You are my poison pal. For after all, there is a cross we all bear, but somewhere along the line we have to be intelligent enough not to climb up on it and be nailed down. Crucifixion belonged to a Savior, not to a mere mortal like me, who is baffled by the responsibility.

You are poison. Dare I drink the dregs of this cup and think that I will not damage my own internal parts? What should I do? What can I do? What is permissible to do?

Oh, forget that. I am so tired of trying to be upright that I am downright angry with the notion. You are poison.

Yet … for some inexplicable reason, I still feel compelled to love you.

Love.

Love is often the tenacious bastard, abandoned to foster care, absent the milk of human kindness.

   

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