Look how far we’ve come!

In Editorial, Lifestyle on July 26, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Some folks don’t understand symbols of servitude.

The cruel irony of electronic ‘conveniences’…

th-1I have an answering machine. It is always turned off. I have ‘call-waiting’ service. It is disabled. I have voice mail on my cellular accounts. They have never been set up. I have numerous email accounts. I check them twice a day. From sundown on Friday to sunset on Saturday, none of those communications devices are used. That period is Shabbat. It is time I set aside for prayer and to spend time with my wife.

“What do people do if you don’t answer? How can they leave a message?”

They can call back. If something is important enough to disturb me with, they will call back. If not. Well, I guess it wasn’t that important.

People don’t like my system. No. Not at all.

Someone began to lecture me about how ‘rude’ I was not to immediately answer my telephone or to at least use voice mail or an answering machine so callers could conveniently leave a message.

No. It is rude for callers to assume they have a right to convenience. It is rude for people to assume that they are so important that I would go Pavlovian whenever the phone rings, or that I would rush, butler-like, to obediently listen to their messages.

A pharmacy clerk got antsy when I declined to provide her with a phone number, email address, or a cell phone number for text messages to tell me that my refilled prescription was ready.

“It’s heart medication,” I explained, “If I don’t take it, my heart tries to kill me.”

That seems like a pretty good motivation for me to check on my own refills; or, for the pharmacy to take time to call me again if I don’t answer.

You see. I regard my telephones to be like small doors that passersby can open and yell to me.

Every swinging dick can stop by and yell, “Hey! I wanna talk to you.”

Nope. Such things are not ‘conveniences’.

The sins of Paula Deen mount…

My news feeds are another annoyance. I’ve shut most of them down.

A story (what an appropriate noun) on one of the services told me that Paula Deen was being accused by a former employee of yet more racist

Deen allegedly asked some of her African-American employees to stand, dressed like ‘Aunt Jemima’, and ring a triangle dinner gong in front of one of Deen’s opening venues and yell, “Y’all come an’ git it!”

One employee refused and is now (allegedly) suing Deen (There, ya go!).

“That dinner bell represents a painful period for my people”, she explains.

Tell that to a cowboy, Sweetie. My wife grew up on a po’ white farm and was called to supper by a bell. A lot of folks still use ‘em. She had no idea that the bell was a symbol of minority oppression and white power.

She always thought it meant, “Supper!” Shame, on her. Poor, benighted white girl.

As for the sin of an Aunt Jemima outfit?

When people change history in order to race-bait, all manner of crap happens.

Aunt Jemima was a widely-recognized brand symbol until the mid-1960s when the proto-politically correct told us she, and Mrs. Butterworth, were demeaning to blacks.

Both were stereotypical representations of the ‘mammy’.

‘Mammies’ usually held beloved status in a home, just short of one’s own mother.

I have a dear friend, a stout Marine-type who can belly-laugh through tellings of Old Yeller, but he mists up when he talks about his mammy. “She was a dear, saint of a woman”, he says as he shakes his head in sad remembrance.

He grew up in ‘LA’…Lower Alabama.

I grew up in Detroit.

There were no mammies in Detroit. There were loads of ‘maids’ and ‘domestic workers’. Most of them were black.

On Thursdays, the shops were crowded with black women pushing carts and leading a pack of rowdy youngsters between the displays. Thursday was the traditional maid’s day off.

Maids put together a pretty good living. Suburban housewives were willing to wage neighborhood warfare if another homemaker courted their maid. Maids knew this and jockeyed for better pay and working conditions through using it.

Maids were respected almost as much as doctors and certainly more than lawyers.

The prototype PC-ers and race-baiters told black women they were ‘too good’ to work as maids.

They were so good, they were told, that they should quit those demeaning positions and take the welfare payments that white politicians were handing out instead.

That worked out well. Look at the symbol of equality that Detroit has become in the years since maids fell out of fashion there.


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