Friday, August 31, 2007

Little Snippets of Sadness and Hope

The anniversary of the Federal Flood was a just plain odd feeling day. Something felt a bit off all day, nothing I could put my finger on, except maybe the helicopters going over shuttling Bush around the city. Every paper coast to coast had some kind of retrospective and the sadness and anger rose up in my throat and the venomous hatred from some Texans overflowed onto Ashley Morris' blog, where he had posted this information from Shelley Midura in its entirety. An open letter to the President, I hope he read it but hope springs eternal and isn't always rewarded.

Eban had posted this about the suicide rate in New Orleans, a topic that seems to be at least being looked at even if nothing much is being done about it. (Buy stock in Walgreen's--they must be making out like bandits.) And Mark Folse had emailed this hilarious (in a really black humor kinda way) gem from Fiore at SFGate.

So as the helicopters went overhead, and Bush told some kids in the Lower 9 that "better days are coming" and he hugged Leah Chase for the cameras, to show that he does, contrary to Kanye West's belief, care about black people, the above stuff was what was showing up in my mailbox and being written about by the locals.

My grandson comes home from school that day and tells me about how his best friend had been eating a taco at lunch in a really gross way, and that tacos are "very rare on the lunch list." He then says, out of the blue:

GS: There are only three kids this color (pointing at his arm) in my second grade.
Me: Really? Does that bother you?
GS: No (said with utter disdain, the tone going up at the end of the NO), there are kids that are light brown, some are dark brown, some are really dark brown. There are three this color (again pointing to his own arm). What's the difference?
Me: None.
GS: Then why did you ask if it bothered me.

I then launch into a Cliff Notes for seven year olds version of segregation, civil rights, lunch counters.

GS: Well even if Eddie was eating his taco in a really gross way, why couldn't we eat them together back then?
Me: Some people were really stupid back then. (I mean what else am I gonna say?)
GS: Well, then someone farted and we all laughed for an hour and got yelled at for laughing but we just couldn't stop.

Grandma's teacher dismissed the class, then we read a chapter of a book in which the entire chapter was a discussion of lying (if the neighbor kid's hamster dies, do you put another one in that looks just like it so the neighbor kid doesn't know?)

Like I said, very strange day.

Maybe some day when it asks us on a form about our race, we can say "This color!" then fart really loud, laugh like seven year olds, and trust that our government won't lie to us.

Like I said, hope springs eternal.

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