Monday, March 13, 2017

Lying about the Body (Part 3)



James Baldwin famously claimed that he wasn't "your nigger". He makes some strong points in this video about how the term refers to something that doesn't really exist.

It reminded me of this 1967 article in which even W.E.B. DeBois had trouble coming to grips with the term negro:

http://www.virginia.edu/woodson/courses/aas102%20(spring%2001)/articles/names/bennett.htm

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Lying About the Body (Part 2)

This notion that removing the word "black" somehow denies an entire race their cultural experience is hogwash. If a group of people are never black to begin with, and you remove the word "black" from them, they remain what they are: brown skinned human beings that Christ deems to be temples of God. What you are removing is the lie.

So the complaint really boils down to this: "Removing the word black denies brown people the cultural construction that has been built upon the foundation of what began as a caste-related lie about their skin."

That's right. A building with no foundation.

The same type of myth exists for beige people, and it is just as sore a revelation: when you remove the word "white", the entire construct falls to nothing. Why? Because it was based on the myth of whiteness to begin with.

So when I tell you that you are not white, I am directly attacking the lies with which you have constructed your identity your entire life. Do you need this lie? Does it give you culture, belonging, or power to say that you are "white"? If so, then your relationships themselves are likely based upon illusions. Your relatives and friends are not what you insist they are.

If you are beige, what would happen if you just started telling people that you are beige? Or brown? Does this harm you? Does it remove anything that is real?

The possibility exists that this simple step would begin to extract many of the destructive binaries that have been inseparable from the traditional terms for generations of people who understood that the white/black binary inferred:

sacred/profane
clean/dirty
holy/evil
good/bad
just/unjust
honest/dishonest
friendly/deadly
safe/unsafe
legal/illegal
rich/poor
bonafide/illegitimate

Of course the effect wouldn't be instantaneous. Neither was the effects of the implementation of the terms white and black. But for those of you who think these terms are useful and good, tell me please: Useful and good for what?

Now look around, and tell me what we have here in America. Thousands of cultural "towns" and "cities" consisting of "buildings" with no foundations, and people insisting on terminology that keeps these constructs hanging in the air. These imagined edifices "house" cultures, and they are divided by imaginary lines. To keep the division real, we must all continue pretending that beige is white, and that brown is black.

These people were divided before you were born, and you just accept those boxes as actual compartments now that you are here, right now. You don't just treat them like necessary compartments, but indelible ones. But the truths of the temple body stare you in the face every day.

I am expected to participate. I am expected to uphold this shit so that people can remain comfortable in these untruths, and I am expected to assume that their faith in things such as God is legitimate, too.

The phrase "be honest" is not honest if these are the buildings we build. You don't want me to be honest at all if you like these constructs right where they are. But the truth is that beige and brown do not carry the destructive binaries that white and black do. And that is why the lie is preferred.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Lying about the Body (Part 1)

Those who insist that there is a scriptural precedent for holding to the terms "white" and "black" must prove that they and their genealogical line have no "profane" blood lines, and they must show who is who among all of their friends and family. If they cannot, then they are perpetuating a lie as truth.

These myths rely on vast assumptions based on the appearance of people, and the racial ambiguity of what humanity has become does not support their stance with any reliable evidence. They preach and adhere to a racial dogma that has nothing to do with God, and is mere tradition and propaganda.

The insistence on not only their own "whiteness" but also that of their greater "Caucasian" community is an unproven abstraction that makes so many assumptions about who is "pure". Even if there was a pure race, where would it currently reside? Great Britain? Sweden? Norway? The Holland? Germany?

Just admit the truth: You have no idea. You don't know what the qualifications actually are, and you simply favor brighter skin over dark as a participant in the greater, multi-generational tradition of the country you live in. But what you have in your mind is a gigantic cultural myth that must ignore history to take comfort in its own prejudices. On some level, pride has shaped your ideas of what you are. Xenophobia has colored your reading of scripture. But the idea of a pure, white race is backed up by nothing.

Interracial marriage and mulatto inter-marriage in this continent and in Europe is now several generations old. Many with mixed heritage have passed into American Caucasian circles because of their appearance, and passed their progeny into many families that count themselves as "white". Those with Spanish, Greek, or Italian heritage have a likelihood of having African blood via the Moors (who ruled southern Europe for 500 years) and that heritage was passed on to Latin America. Many American "whites" also claim to have some indigenous lineage several generations hence from some noble tribes, like the Cherokee. But most of you simply have little proof at all of what your genetic makeup actually is.

What hasn't changed is the Lord's sacred insistence about the body. Was he only talking about fairer skin? No. Did he say that some temple bodies are above others because of skin color? No.

The people of the Book of Mormon and other scriptures were products of their time. They prophesied through their own cultural lens, and any inference to "white" or "black" regarding skin color is either metaphorical or representative of their own prejudices.

From Jacob 3:
5 Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father—that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none, and there should not be whoredoms committed among them.
If they chose to not inter-marry to keep their race "pure", then they operated within their own myths. Not a single one of them was "white", either. Furthermore, God does not claim to be white, and he does not identify such a race in scripture.

This is addiction we are talking about. And the narcotic is a social one: Us vs. Them.

I'm going off that drug, going cold turkey. There is no lie that can serve the temple body, nor one that dignifies the Body of Christ.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

If the Body is a Temple (Part 2)

Baptism by Jean-Michel Basquiat
If the body is a temple, then lying about its appearance profanes the sacred.

So who is white, anyway? Many Mormons won't even admit that this as a real question. Not only do Caucasian Mormons think of themselves as "white", but they ply themselves with the greater American tradition of whiteness and the belonging that myth portends for the social-climbing hierarchy of the power structure of this country.

Interesting books have been written about the Mormon struggle to assimilate into American whiteness. The Mormon Menace by Patrick Mason, and Religion of a Different Color by W. Paul Reeve should be read by anyone who cares about this topic. But even those books make some of the same assumptions that everyone else does with regards to our bodies: that there is actually a white race.

After all of the passing as whites that my family has done, abandoning much of our Mexican heritage and doing all in our power to look, act, mix, work, and condescend like the race that dominates the power elite of this country, I think I'm ready to be honest about this corrupt and profane ideal:

There is no white race. It is a lie about skin, and culture.

Our traditions were given to us before this was even a country. They dictate that we refer to beige and/or taupe skin as "white", but this conceit yields nothing that is actually righteous. Ask yourself, what good has ever come from referring to light pink, seashell, or ivory colored people as "white"? I mean truly good. If you can name a single thing, post it below. If you can convince me, I'll give you $100.

A sheet of paper is white. Snow is white. There are no bodies on the earth that actually have the whiteness of a sheet of paper, or snow. No babies, and no grandmothers. No supermodels. No CEOs, no attorneys. People will self-deprecate with jabs about how "pasty" they are, and some will dress or apply cosmetics to achieve "whiteness" by contrast. But the shade, hue, and chroma of their flesh always defy their efforts. This notion of a "pure race", as both a culture and an aesthetic, is a falsehood.

Our art and colloquialisms reveal this falsehood for what it is. When a student of art seeks to color a drawing with a flesh tone, Crayola doesn't offer a tool that renders white. Neither does Prismacolor. Accurate renderings of human flesh rarely even utilize white at all. Such works that do use white are always abstract.

Liberals often identify and decry white privilege in their discourse, but would they argue against the privilege of Caucasian hues fulfilling the commonly accepted role of what we think of as flesh color? Please remember that you claim to have concern for the happiness and belonging of all human beings in your pursuit of humanism. Our acceptable lies are on display for any who seeks to truly apprehend the actual bodies of human beings.

Lies are useful for obtaining power, and this lie has been ever so successful in that regard. The power elite of every country in the world strive to emphasize their "whiteness" through pomp and etiquette, or by paying homage to the same traditions with the pleasantries they perform.

People call this behavior "paying respect", but once you are trapped within the lies that people insist upon with regard to skin color, what really occurs between dignitaries is a competition of "whiteness" as an ideal of civility. The actual color of these peoples' skin is a non-issue, and irrelevant. Whiteness is a matter of performance, and how one acts is all that matters.

The connotations of identifying as "white" are myriad, and infinitely destructive. White, as a symbol, infers purity, cleanliness, righteousness, perfection, and godliness. To insist that a race of people is "white" infers that those qualities are inherent, when that is not true at all. This insistence is a form of self-ideation that places alluring myths upon the surface of your life, and impossible standards that you can never live up to on your own. It projects a myth of you upon all other races.

What is the common response to a lie? Ask a beige child who is just learning to speak what color they are. Then, as if to perform a social experiment upon them, insist that they refer to themselves as "white" thereafter. Do they refuse the lie from those who care for them? Or do they espouse the lie? Indeed, all of us consume and live out the lies that are useful to us within the ecology that we live in. Lies are delicious when they feed the ego, and essential when they fatten a bank account.

Which brings us to slavery. Why do the de facto methods for exerting basic "whiteness" consist of controlling other races? Profiling, legislating, murdering, and systematic subjugation of brown-skinned people has traditionally been part and parcel to beige people fulfilling this myth, and terms surrounding "black" have always accompanied these power plays.

The binary of calling yourself "white", of course, is the insistence that there be a "black" race who inherit all of the negative connotations associated with that term. They too must lie about the color of their skin in response to the lie you present about yours. Then fulfilling that role, they must submit to the will of those who are "pure". They must serve the "godly". They are chattel for those who are "clean".

Ever since slave traders in Portugal used the term negra to refer to the brown-skinned people that they sold, the sense of ideation and self-determination of every African since was sent into a black hole of negative associations: dark, dirty, profane, evil, ungodly. They, in turn, have transformed the meaning of the word black (as it pertains to culture and skin pigmentation) into an abstraction that is just as complex and bleakly mysterious as its counterpart. Some "blacks" get along just fine with the "white" community, and even with the power elite, by simply adopting the customs and etiquette that serves the hierarchy. But they must participate in the lie to pass and be accepted.

These misnomers have become insatiable. They are lies that continue to have their way with the temple bodies of the human race, and their intent is class division of God's children. If the body is a temple, then these false descriptors insist on division where none is required. They create opportunities for reviling, for inequality, for enslavement, and for destruction of self and other when none might exist. They insist on rival tribes that must compete for resources over the unity and selflessness that is required to qualify a group to be the Body of Christ.

Our hatred is unnecessary, but it persists along with these false terms. The ecological plate has always been divided along these lines. We insist on these mythic descriptors, in part, to keep that structure in place. We are comfortable within this carnal conceit.

Those who argue that this is a simple matter of semantics likely have neither the time nor the concern for solutions that are truly holistic on this matter. They will continue to sputter and crash with the false, imperialist machine that brought us here.

If we could simply own up to our true selves, and be honest about our bodies, we might find so many more paths to unifying the human family. We could begin to find, and implement, a language of true belonging. We could begin to heal all who are around us.




















Saturday, November 19, 2016

Politics

I'm through with politics. I'm no longer interested in rhetoric that divides people into factions, over and over.

If you think politics is a good thing, then answer me this: When has politics ever resulted in any group of people being unified as one body? If the answer is never, then what purpose does politics serve?

Division is a tactic of conquest. Sun Tzu wrote The Art of War in the 5th century, and English speakers have had the text since 1910. A few classic quotes which appear to be relevant here:
--

"All warfare is based on deception." -Chapter 1

"Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy's troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the field. " -Chapter 3

"By discovering the enemy's dispositions and remaining invisible ourselves, we can keep our forces concentrated, while the enemy's must be divided." -Chapter 6

--
Americans immediately forfeit their collective power when they agree to be separated into tribes. I don't know about you, but to me that seems like a bad trade. It only serves those who abuse the power that we give them.

Brands like "democrat" or "republican" don't represent the actual power of this people, they represent factions that have agreed to abandon the rights and freedoms of those they disagree with. They are basic clubs that demonize the other clubs, and "libertarian" and "green" are ultimately separatist factions that subdivide the initial split. It all seems so familiar, like the schisms of religious history.

I can't affiliate with political parties any more. I'm on the side of human beings. I'm not interested in demonizing groups of people. Not illegal aliens, not 1%ers. Everyone belongs, and everyone is important.

Everyone wants freedom. Politics offers a false argument between the rights relating to ecology and those regarding the individual. The blue and red teams have reduced this argument to be basic a choice between the rights pertaining to profits vs the rights pertaining to what you can (or cannot) do with your body, and this ideological tradition abandons unity for systems of control (either through legislation or taxation). It is a false argument. It feeds into unrighteous dominion. It is essentially a tradition that demands that we choose between cereal and milk.

While the basic argument is implemented via culture wars (abortion, gun control, taxation, marriage arguments, Etc...) corporate entities of either party move upon our ecology with the assistance of our politicians, and then they sell our resources back to us at a profit.

We allow lobbyists to thrust corporate interests onto our elected officials, and then we sit back and blame 1%ers or the poor for why things don't work. We are getting played.

We seem content with systems of control to meet our chosen ideologies. But control of the other is more destructive than allowing people to live with the natural consequences of their choices. Legislating and implementing punishments here essentially sends God the message that His judgments aren't enough for us, and that His punishments aren't quick enough for us. There is nothing "corrective" about our corrective institutions. All they do is foster resentment.

Because we approach these systems as means for revenge (the death penalty, death by cop, heavy fines) these systems also represent theft of vengeance, which He has claimed to be His domain in four verses of scripture. There will be a heavy toll for this theft.

The truth is that everyone belongs. All must be forgiven. Criminals, illegals, Muslims, racists, the rich & poor. We are part of the same family, and our divisions are completely unnecessary. We seek to control and restrict others through political means, through legislation, and through shame. This system that we have espoused has made us inhuman.

The children of Abraham were an easy example for us to observe. They chose for centuries to retain a tradition of hate and vengeance that constitutes the oldest grudge on earth. But instead of observing and choosing a better way, our political tradition here in the US (only two centuries old) has involved us in that older grudge for the purpose of corporate profit. That conflict promises to sweep all involved from the face of the earth, just like the revenge cycles in scripture. It is clear that politics, and its attendant desires for control and revenge, is not serving us. It is a system that that is being used to destroy us.

I will no longer participate in cereal vs. milk thinking. Judge me and my voice as irrelevant if you must. I'm not here to win an election or stroke my ego with the victory of a political tool. I am not here to go to war with the children of God.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Mothers Have Strength

This is Mamie Till-Mobley. Her son was Emmitt Till.

If the body is a temple, then it is sacred space. It should be respected and honored. Most mothers understand this concept, and tend to treat the children that exit their wombs as cherished, sacred beings. Most mothers "mother" the bodies of their children, and can grasp the desire of the other mothers around them to desire and exercise the same right.

This phenomena should inform our understanding of Mary's presence at Golgotha.

From John 19:

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

If the body is a temple, then we sin against God when we harm it. When we permit violence to any group of people to somehow "preserve the greater good", we show Christ that we take exception to his words. Prior to his crucifixion, he was beaten. From Luke 22:

63 And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him. 
64 And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?
Blindfolded, and beaten by his own. Then whipped and beaten again by Roman soldiers before he was executed. This is the Christ we claim to worship while permitting drone strikes to "protect our freedom", while permitting brown people to be beaten and murdered by beige people throughout this country's history, and while watching revenge unfold against police officers by military vets.

Jesus said a long time ago that those who live by the sword must die by it. And our country has lived so very long by gunfire that puts holes in temple bodies, and by explosions that rip those bodies apart. If actions speak louder than words, then we are loud murderers. Bullets and fire form our words, and all of our statements are punctuated with blood and smoke. It is the shrill poetry of Moloch.

I call out to the mothers of this country to counter that mindless machinery. You have more strength than just your autonomy. Reason with your children that all violence begets more of the same. Reason with your husbands that the law of forgiveness has replaced the old law of trading eyes, and that none need be blind.

If Jesus' body was a temple, then so too is every body that exits the womb. If Christ's body answered the spear with blood and water, then his words carry the weight of one who knows the burden of travail.

If America has forgotten that the body is a temple, then it must be reminded. 





Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter = Life vs. Death

The idea of "life as waste" begins long after conception and birth. It defies the hope and sense of the miraculous that surrounds the arrival of a child. It is its own punk subculture that must necessarily render motherhood as darkness.

To organize a
body to begin with, to manufacture a biological house for consciousness, starts with them. Two as one to lay down a blueprint for a third, then she executes the organization of that house.

Jesus' claim is that the resulting person is a temple. Descartes counters that we are machines. All of the ethic that surrounds the scientific method follows Descartes' logic. To embrace either stance is to refuse the other.

When Christ offers resurrection, he is offering a reunification of two things (spirit & body) that were initially unified by your mother. The implicit message is that the initial unification was not for nothing.

To refuse this idea is to embrace the body as a machine, and to ultimately take Descartes' notion to its logistical end. This means that entropy is your Gospel, and motherhood a mere robotic ritual.

I believe Christ's message. I believe the symbolism of his wound bleeding blood and water. Resurrection is a response to a call, and we live the song.

I think the temptation of the machine is just food for the ego. The entropy of our world feeds into it. Our pop culture glorifies it. But none of that makes it true.

Thanatos is just part of the Natural Man/Woman. Don't listen to it.