Notorious B.I.G. – Biggie Smalls. Christopher Wallace was his name. He said incredible things, things one might not expect from such a man. “Even when I was wrong, I got my point across.” “Never get high on your own supply.” Make a difference, is what I hear. Don’t waste profit on your own pleasure.

Biggie Smalls is dead, victim of a ridiculous war between rival rap producers. Ultimately killed by a dollar, because we all know…it’s the Benjamins, baby. It’s definitely not the unity, or the goals, or the message. Let my people go, but first tell me – what the HELL is wrong with my people? Why are we carrying out someone else’s agenda? I suppose that what Audre Lorde noted a while back, is true – “some of us were never meant to survive..”

The NC NAACP and the Historic Thousands on Jones Street group (HKonJ) are African-American civil rights organizations here in NC. HKonJ has been holding a march in February of each year since the civil rights movement and the sit-ins, to memorialize the movement, sacrifices, and accomplishments of those times. It is a rally of those who still engage in the movement, raising energy for what is left to achieve. The NAACP, of course, is a legacy effort that fights for the association and advancement of “colored people”. Somehow, thee venerable warriors are somehow in conflict with each other now, and I am told there may not be an HKonJ march and rally this coming February. WTF? I tried to look this up online, but could not find any information – the HKonJ People’s Coalition website page was unavailable, seemingly inactive. I repeat – WTF?

Perhaps I am overly critical. As the figure-head leader of my UU Fellowship’s social justice committee, I understand how annoying it can be for people who lurk in the shadows and offer criticism but no work effort. It’s the standard method of operations for non-profits and issue-based groups. Those who step up and do the work are uniformly criticized for wrong direction, wrong decisions, wrong action by those who remain arm-chair quarterbacks (for a variety of reasons). We defer martyr status on past leaders who did not have the same circumstances or challenges, and question how hard it could be to do that once again. Silly people. You’ll never know how many licks it will take to get to the center of a tootsie pop, and you’ll never know how to stop be critics of volunteers.

I just cannot understand how non-dominant cultures become their own worst enemies. That phenomenon is not relegated to racial identities, either. This past year, my community held its annual GLBTQ celebration in June. For the past several years it has been held in October, but COVID cancelled the entire celebration last year so they decided to go back to the historical June celebration. That’s fine. Except they scheduled it on the same day as Juneteenth celebrations in the area. Pick your freedom, but I suppose you can’t have both at the same time?

The defeat of Roe v. Wade has thrust many women into the spotlight of reproductive rights – women who find themselves in the horrific position of pregnancy in the shadow of fetal non-viability, or unwanted pregnancy due to rape or incest. The Supreme Court, with immeasurable pressure of the voting public, said a woman’s right of agency over her body do not outweigh those of the fetus she carries, however she finds herself in that circumstance. Had the support of many, many women – most notably a politically motivated and recent addition to the highest court in the land – not given momentum to this long-standing effort to overturn the landmark decision it would still be the law of the land. This is not in the best interest of ALL women, but the majority of women appear to have supported this> Yes, they did that, many based on what they believed were sound religious values. Protec the lives of the unborn, but once they are here, don’t support them if they are poor and don’t give them quality education if they are the wrong color and criticize them for need governmental subsidy to survive later in life. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

I have said many times that if I found myself pregnant, regardless of circumstance, I would not be likely to choose abortion. That would be my choice. I just don’t believe that it is morally conscionable to tell another woman that she has to match my decision. Are there women who choose abortion to reverse errors in judgement? Of course. Are there women who feel they have no choice but abortion when there is a known birth defect that will result in a lifetime of pain and suffering for mother and baby> Of course. As with so many other pivotal points in a democracy, whose rights take prevalence? There is added contention that an unborn fetus does not constitute an entity imbues with rights, so who gets to decide? Apparently humans in black robes with eloquent opinions and claims of impartiality get to make that decision. That does not seem to conform to any scale of morality that I know.

Morality. RIght from wrong. Good from evil. Morality is entirely subjective, as it should be. Judgement is a human construct, as is race and time and absolutism. We are making this up as we go along, as it suits our needs, as it enhances our comfort level. Race was constructed to rationalize and justify the horrific and inhumane treatment of some people by other people. Now it’s a social order, basically a caste system, and we don’t seem to be able to come out of it. This is really the pandemic – we have been infected by a way of thinking that does not suit our needs as a species, doesn’t move us along a moral continuum, and doesn’t allow us to stand in any kind of integrity. We continue to contribute to maintenance of the status-quo – all of us – and that is the amoral insidiousness of a system of arbitrary superiority. We are contributing to our own demise, while simultaneously fighting and promulgating the system that brings about our decline.

Perhaps I really should remember that some of us were truly never meant to survive. That suffering is a constant in this world, and it’s basically a crap shoot as to where it descends. Maybe we just do the next right thing, and understand that we can only do that – no more and no less. Maybe we get hung up in grandiosity, in efforts to change the world in its entirety, right now. Perhaps it is just bringing a smile to someone’s face for a minute in a very bad day, letting them know they were seen and heard. Maybe. I don’t know. I do know that it’s not really my place to know, specifically to know why. Knowing why is apparently very far above my pay scale.

Um, there’s not ‘sposed to be a big finger on the scale, is there???

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

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