Post of the Week

Post of the Week

Published October 15, 1999 8:46AM (EDT)

Where is your favorite place to read?

Imre J Komaromi - 05:13pm Oct 11, 1999 PDT (# 10 of 14)

Well, okay, this doesn't come up a lot, but I actually have done quality reading in a hospital. Give me an infinitely adjustable bed with an air mattress, a Foley catheter to avoid getting up all the time, a private room, no pain meds to make you groggy, and a good book. Sure, the constant demands for vital signs and drawing of blood are a hassle, but contemplating one's mortality makes each paragraph precious. I chose Montaigne's essays in the Frame translation and the Bible.

Smoke-Filled Back Room Allpolitics Discussion IV

Miranda Kelly - 10:53am Oct 13, 1999 PDT (# 162 of 956)

Some of you might remember that I spent ten days in Columbine after the massacre. During that time, I was allowed to see the tapes in their entirety. I can tell you that CBS is showing an edited version of the tape(s). I was disgusted to learn that the major networks were all bidding on the tapes within days of the murders. I have to commend the people in Colorado for holding off as long as they did.

Some people seem to feel that it is unfair to put the students who were there and survived through the trauma of seeing the videos. I believe the students were all invited to see the edited videos prior to their release. Students were not forced to see the videos and were told when the would be shown on CBS. No one could tell them how many times they would be copied and shown on other programs for the next year. If I was a parent of a Columbine student, I would have asked to view the tapes with my child along with other parents and students. I would not want my child to be forced into watching the videos.

Many people believe that the kids have been through too much already and that they should be allowed to forget. I have to ask "will they forget?" They may stop talking about it. But, they won't forget about it until they work through their memories of the worst thing they have ever experienced. Repressed memories and/or fears do not fade away. They become more important and frightening.

I agree there is too much violence on television and in movies. But, it is a very real part of today's society. Burying your head in the sand and refusing to acknowledge this fact is not going to change society. Ignoring the past allows repetition of atrocities that should not be forgotten.

It is my opinion that parents cannot shield their children from the truth, no matter how horrific it is. They can help their children get through their past by discussing it. They can help them face their future by discussing it. ... A parent cannot be with their child 24 hours each day. I also believe they shouldn't have to be. A well prepared child will not be nearly as traumatized as the sheltered child. I am not suggesting that a parent take their child to every violent fantasy being produced as movies. Instead, discuss things that are happening honestly and openly. We can never make plans for the unknown. But, we can help our children be able to cope with things that are beyond their/our control.

Discussing Race with Co-Workers

Social Issues |
Terri-Lynn Sykes - 10:01pm Oct 14, 1999 PDT (# 110 of 113)

I grew up in a small Southern town, very much divided into white and black. My father's family was/is extremely bigoted and never made a secret of it, using the "n word" as easily as they said hello. My Granny had a cleaning lady named Mary Alice who I remember mainly because she dipped snuff, who was probably the first black person I ever met.

Elementary school was mostly segregated, but in 3rd grade I had 2 black girls in my class, Linda and Cheryl. Linda was also in my Brownie troop. I liked her because she was very smart and liked to read, just like me, and was usually among the last chosen for kickball because she wasn't very good-again, just like me. I guess I knew she was black, but it never occured to me that she was different than me til, after a Father-Daughter thing at Brownies, Daddy asked me why did I have to dance with the N___ girl? I had to ask Mama what it meant, and she very carefully explained that it was an ugly word, and she didn't want me to ever say it again.

In 5th grade, we moved and our house, and the one directly across the street were the last ones on our street occupied by white families. Beginning next door were black families, and the farther you went up the street, the smaller and poorer the homes were. We walked to and from school every day in nice weather through this neighborhood to our mostly white school, while the children that lived there walked to the black school a few blocks further down the road.

My little sister is 10 years younger than me, and was raised side-by-side with the little boy next door, who was black. My other Granny stayed with her, and became very close friends with the couple next door, and often babysat her children at night so the couple could go out to supper or a movie. This Granny didn't see color-to her people were either nice or not, period. The other Granny was horrified that we lived next doors to "nigras," as was the rest of that side of the family.

My sister dated black men exclusively once she was about 19, and most of her women friends are black. She married a black man, and my father refused to go to the wedding, and told me that "I no longer have a daughter named Nita." My response was that I was sorry he felt that way, and that I thought he was dead wrong, but that since he no longer had a daughter named Nita, that meant his privelege to bitch about said non-daughter was gone. In 6 years, her name has only crossed his lips maybe twice. It sickens me, but I can't change his attitude. It took years before I could get him to not say the n word, but how much does it matter that he doesn't say it, when that's what he means?

Like Charlotte said way upthread, I won't allow my son to be a party to the kind of blatant prejudice against that I have been in my family, but at this point in his life the only black people he has ever seen are my brother-in-law, my regular UPS delivery guy and a woman I used to work with. And between my father's bigotry, and that of my SO's family, it is going to be one hell of an uphill battle.

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