Blog 1184 – 11.23.2018
It is a curious term used in this land of commerce and sales for the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally the first day of the very commercial Christmas gift giving season. It is said to be named “Black Friday” because many merchants hope their sales on that day will put their accounts “in the black” red numbers signifying shorts or losses and black numbers signifying wins and profits.
But you know me, the skewed view guy, I would like to take another track with a slightly different Black Friday theme. I grew up in a nineteen-fifties very racial charged and divided southern town, Chattanooga, Tennessee. Not since the Civil War had this country been so outwardly and obviously divided along color lines, and In many ways it still seems to be today. Like many children I was taught by fearful parents, they too taught by fearful parents, to fear differences and change. My last name is White and I was raised in a culture that gave preferential treatment to people of that color and still does. That is wrong, has always been wrong, but I hope will not continue to be for much longer. A lot of thinking, a lot of the things people believe, must change before that will happen.
The White Christian culture that I was raised in taught me a lot of things that I no longer choose to believe but that many still do:
1. That being white is better than being black.
2. That being male is better than being female.
3. That being straight is better than being LBGTQ, (Lesbian, Bi-, Gay, Transgender,
4. That being a Christian is better than following any other religion.
5. That being an American (a U.S. citizen) is better better than being anything else
especially being French.
Yesterday on my Daily Mockingbird Song I posted my karaoke version of the song C’est Moi from the musical Camelot. C’est Moi means, “It Is Me” in French and the song sounds perhaps a bit vain glorious but need not for we all have much to be proud of if we truly understand Who and Whose we are. Any real idea of our true identity must include the sure and certain knowledge that we are One with all creation, the Universe, and everyone and everything else.
One of those Christian beliefs that I have let go because it no longer serves me is the saying, “One life it will soon be passed, and only what is done for Christ shall last.” Christ literally means “Anointed, chosen, favored” and has a much bigger meaning for me than it once did. We are all, each and everyone of us, I think, the Christ and he was no Christian either but a child of God as surely as are all of us. The “one life” thing is also something that I am no longer so sure of either, that we get but one try, maybe seventy years if we are fortunate, to get it right, sink or swim. I have a suspicion that most of us have already lived many lives still trying to get it right and may have many yet to live. I think we get to choose all of our lives.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am glad I chose to experience this life just as it is. I hope I have learned a few things. Would you like to know what life I think I will choose next? Well, I am going to tell you any way and you don’t need to guess why. I think I will choose to spend my next “go round” as a black French girl, much like Josephine Baker. Though born in St. Louis she later renounced her American citizenship and became a French national and an even more famous performer. She said she loved two things above all else, her country and Paris.
Wow, and I know this may be disturbing to some of you on many levels but that, my friends, is the very reason for my choice to live my next life as a French woman of color to prove that there is nothing whatever wrong or less than with any of those things “oh, contrare” Lady Liberty herself is a French woman of color (green in her case) but she has always carried a torch for me and I for her.
My theory for some time has been the one expressed so well by the MTV generation, “Free your mind and the rest will follow.” If I get another forty years as an aging southern white boy I aim to continue loving and enjoying everybody and everything the best I can. But if you happen to be in Paris in say the next sixty or so years look me up. I will be wearing Chanel Number 5, a beautiful black smiling face, and probably little else.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
(For the time being)