Double Portrait by Carl Fredric von Breda: prince-redeemer

Double Portrait by Carl Fredric von Breda.    (Nordiska museum)

S/He who is not part of the solution, is part of the problem. 

My recent effort to discuss racism blew up in my face.  The mistake of making a racist statement as parody didn’t work, causing friends and wife much pain. I thought they knew I was not a racist.  Again, I’m deeply sorry. We will not run the instant replay.  Yet I still have passion for the topics of racism, justice, and slavery.  (Regarding the portrait above, it is discussed far below.) 

I’ve spent most Saturdays since 1999 as a volunteer, talking with imprisoned sons of neighbors, ages 18-80, conducting what I call a stealth ethics-class disguised as a nondenominational Bible study (discontinued last summer after relocating to our seasonal home in Yucatan.)  Also, in mid-1970’s I brought home a black woman I was dating, to meet my parents and siblings on T-Day. (She eventually cut me loose, wisely saying our future would be too tough.)  ¿Am I a racist?  ¿ Are you?  Let’s gaze into the sacred mirror to examine ourselves. 

This essay is not about plantation owners of the past – it’s for today.  I’m asking you, regardless of your skin color, whether you’ve been released yet from enslaving stories. It is likely most of our human ancestors, male and female, were at one time slaves of those stronger than they — which, in one word, was the answer a tough-guy lawyer named Thrasymachus gave to Socrates, when addressing that central question of Plato’s Republic Q: What is justice?  //  T-guy’s A: the advantage of the stronger –see 7th ¶.   (Yes, the one-percenters, dominators, owned most of us, going way back, and maybe still do – but our sense of the past may be the toughest owner of them all.) Continue reading