The original article by John Halstead. It was reposted by Gods and Radicals before it had been deleted at Patheos. The article is well worth your read. I don’t usually copy the whole deal when I reblog, but this time I will, in case Patheos tries to get it taken down.
This evening, I was reading a facebook post that consisted of several smartphone photos of a tweetstream. I was partway through when the post disappeared with a message that the content was no longer available.
This is the second time today that I’ve been caught up in the midst of a thread purge on facebook. The first was Jim Wright’s post about 9/11. He reposted it with his commentary on his blog.
I didn’t even remember the name of the twitter account that had written the tweets, but with a couple of searches on key phrases from what I remembered, I was able to turn it up, and learned that the tweets are from Elexus Jionde. And I found several tweets relating that Twitter had decontextualized the tweets, making the stream difficult to follow. In my horror of censorship, I decided to capture the tweets in a blog post. I’ll post this blog to Facebook.
I, like many people around the world, have followed developments in the UK and Europe with curiosity, confusion, concern, and since early June 24 incredulity and trepidation.
The Remain cause and arguments made sense to me. The Leave arguments seemed misguided, basically blaming the EU for economic decisions that the Tory-led UK government had made. The faces of the Leave supporters on news and in social media were, for the most part, unsympathetic portraits reminiscent of Trump supporters baying their prejudices and resentments in full voice.
This is the third in a series of articles that I started in April. I’m not sure how many more articles in this series I will write. Some parts of these stories are not only my stories. They are sensitive and personal to other family members.
In Part 1, I alluded to reasons why people who aren’t white supremacists or even overtly racist could be motivated by Donald Trump’s rhetoric about building walls, keeping Muslims out of the country and putting Muslim communities under surveillance to support him. In this article, I will explore some of those reasons with some familial examples.
But first, I will say that there are many racists in the part of Florida where my family lives. There are racists in my extended family. I don’t think you could grow up white in post-Reconstruction Alabama and not absorb the miasma of resentment and sense of stolen pride, stolen class, and stolen means for self-betterment that had been passed down for generations in the White South. But, these are the struggles of a generation that is not mine, and not all families passed resentment down from generation to generation ad infinitum. For Southern whites, there was a great playing field leveler that came into existence after World War II. A new road to success via joining the professional class was opened by the GI Bill for my dad and his brothers, and for their peers. The road was a wide thoroughfare before crippling student debt opened up gaping potholes. I’ll stop belaboring the metaphor, but a college education is too often now a road to indentured servitude. By contrast to my father’s family, on my mother’s side, several family members were left behind, literally and figuratively, while others went to college after serving in the military and then moved out of the South.
This is Part 2 of a series of articles I will post this month. Part 1 is here.
My first day back in Florida is mostly a blur. I flew to the Pensacola airport, where my brother met me. It was an hour’s drive to the town where my parents and siblings live. Our conversation on the drive, and later at the restaurant where we had lunch was probably the best preparation for seeing my father’s current condition one could have. My brother mentioned that my dad was concerned there was something wrong with his computer. He’d been so concerned about it one night that week that my mom finally called my brother at 2 or 3 in the morning to talk about it. Bro drove over to their house to see if he could find the problem, but there was nothing obvious. Being there and working on the computer was enough to calm my dad for the night, at least.
The change in my dad was stark. Physically, he didn’t seem all that different. He still had the taut, stringy musculature of a long distance runner. Though the line from tautness to gauntness had been crossed, it wasn’t obvious through his khakis and t-shirt. The thick, fine salt and pepper hair had gone pure white. The stark change was in his alertness, his finely honed sense of humor, his wit, and his facile use of language. When he talked, there were long pauses as he struggled to find the right words. Sometimes, his attention wandered before the words were found. Other times he was visibly upset, fighting against the brain fog, determined to communicate, to be there.