Grandma’s Apron – or – What I Think About That Flag

 grandma's little rebel There once was a little girl. And her Grandma had this awesome apron. It had a very distinctive style and cut to it. Grandma always wore it. “This apron belonged to *my* Grandma” the old lady said. “And she said it belonged to *her* Grandma. This apron has been here for all the new babies and graduations. This apron means family and home.”

The little girl never forgot that, and she loved that apron.

The girl grew up, and when Grandma died, she took the apron back to college. Her roommate looked at the apron in horror.

“How could you have that thing here? Don’t you know that aprons like that were used for hundreds of years to kill people? Those aprons were designed with that exact cut and style to make the gory job easier and less messy!” 

The girl was shocked and angry. Her Grandma never hurt anyone! How dare anyone say that Grandma was evil and killed people! 

So the girl, not so little anymore, refused to read the books, or listen to the facts, because she could not separate the horrible history of her apron from the loving person who gave it to her.

Not an especially subtle metaphor, I know, but a useful one for me. Now, lets switch gears just a moment.

I know it is hard to separate people you know from an abstract history you only read about. But lets fix some language problems here. A lot of well meaning articles and news outlets and politicians have stated their negative feelings about the confederate flag couched in terms to pacify. 

“it has come to mean hatred…”

“to some it is a symbol of heritage and history, while to others it is a symbol of racist views…”

I call bullshit.

It has ALWAYS been a symbol of a white suppremacist view. Always. To deny that is to deny the written words of the founders of the short-lived Confederate States of America – the very heritage of that flag. No reasonably sane person can say the confederate flag is one that represents “history and heritage” and it “isn’t racist” once they revisit the words of one of the founders of the confederate states:

“Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth…”

And this is not an abberration. This is the norm. The confederate states *were* fighting for states rights. The states rights to own other people. Slaves. The confederate states *were* fighting for economic principles. The economics of owning other people. Slavery. Multiple historical documents exist. It is inarguably the truth. Yet somehow, we are still having the debate. Why?

Some of it is because Grandma gave her that apron. And she loved Grandma.

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The new “talk” to have with your kids isn’t about drugs or sex…

 THIS is exactly why I am so adamant about my brown haired blue eyed bi-racial but could easily pass daughter hearing about this stuff. Yes, it is scary to think about. No, I don’t WANT to have the conversation with her. But black parents don’t have a choice. We *have* to take responsibility for talking about these things with our children.

White parents have a choice. So please, choose wisely. Are you going to just teach your kids “We don’t see color?” or are you going to teach “Color shouldn’t matter, but to some people it does and they do terrible things: don’t be like them.”

I know which one I think is actually more helpful. #CharlestonMassacre

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Combat true death with memory…

When the Sandy Hook tragedy happened, I chose a name to remember. Charlotte Bacon. A little girl in pink cowgirl boots, just like my daughter always wore. This was to combat, in my own small way, the true death of those children.

I will do the same for these people. I invite everyone to do the same. Choose one person who speaks to you for whatever reason, and read about them. Learn about their life and the things that were special to them. And then remember. Remember their names. Write donations to charity in their honor. Light a candle every chrismakwanzakah. Just REMEMBER them.

–Rev. Clementa Pinckney, 41

–Cynthia Hurd, 54

–Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, 45

–Tywanza Sanders, 26

–Ethel Lance, 70

–Susie Jackson, 87

–Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, 49

–Myra Thompson, 59

–Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., 74

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lucky day


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To be remembered is to be immortal…

Video memorial of my Dad – Mr. Gerard M. Simon.

Love you, Daddy.


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Tales of a volunteer Drama Teacher…

Drama kids are giving me grief. I yelled so hard at them yesterday, and told them that I was so angry I wanted to curse at them, THEN I left the room and Myra had a quiet “ya’ll better shape up before she gets back” talk with them. Then, at the end of rehearsal they gave me flowers for teacher appreciation week and I cried and they gave me a group hug. 


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Bankrupt my tongue…


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The Game of Race

If race is a card

Is it something I can put back in the deck?

Do hands get redealt at any point in time?

Is it something that I can hide in my hands behind other

more and/or less important cards

like my gender card

my religion card

my hometown card

my sexual orientation card?

My race is not part of a game.

It is not trivial, or something that stays in my pocket.

It is the first thing you see when I walk in the room

And it is the first thing you mention

When you describe me to others.

Race is not the most important factor

in every conversation

every issue

every media circus ring.

But it for sure is not a card.

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Voicemail to Written Word. Ok, they lied.

So, my phone supposedly has this feature that translates voice mail into the written word. Got this message. It is barely equipped for cryptic English translations, not at all equipped for the Spanish language…
“Hello, this is Dr. high-booker(?) Superintendent for Lansing School District 158. Due to the extreme cold weather conditions expected tomorrow morning. All Lansing School District 158 schools which are Lester Crowl Coolidge Oakland rather-at(?) Memorial Junior High School will be closed Thursday February 19. This message will repeat in Spanish. Debbie rockland-janice-xm-of-the-field-get-this(?) but on my Nana thought of us as quite-as-ndc-feel(?) going out in Lansing. Wanna think one thing or trial-kingsley-and-mr(?). Craw Coolidge Oakland gravis(?) you Memorial Junior High and-set(?) set out us and whoever is getting(?) over there for that.”

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Kelly Campos Live Performance Videos

Visit our friends over at YM Productions! They created some great video of our show as part of the Free Spirited Showcase at the Elbo Room!

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