Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll has thoughts ON HAIR-RAISING INGRATITUDE. She is opposed:

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all my fellow ethnic Irishmen. Sadly, I have nothing more to say about this holiday and I eschew green beer. My topic today is a stream-of-consciousness tirade on INGRATITUDE.

How well I recall Barack Hussein Obama on the campaign trail being asked about his maternal grandmother, the Vice President of a bank in Hawaii. She raised him from the age of 10, complete with private school. Were there words of praise and gratitude, a nod to her compassion and lack of racism when her daughter produced a cute little half-black baby boy whose putative African father had abandoned them?

Naaah. She was nothing more than a “typical” white woman. Pray tell, O Lightbringer, what defines “typical”? Well, it turns out that he meant that on one occasion, Grandma was harassed by a homeless black man at a bus stop. And she mentioned it to the young boy.

Now first of all, can you even IMAGINE the furor – even as long ago as 2007, before super-wokeness – if any white person except Joe Biden had said any African-American was “typical”?

Why, no lesser luminary than Jesse Jackson said (I’m paraphrasing) that he was saddened and embarrassed to be RELIEVED when footsteps behind him turn out to be a white person rather than a black one.

A friend of mine and I were in Barbados in the mid-’90’s and had enjoyed a lovely Bajan dinner, possibly with one drink too many of the famous Mount Gay Rum, and were walking back to our hotel in the dark. A group of three sturdy, young black men crossed the street in order to intersect with our path. “Uh-oh,” we both thought. And were brought up short when the young men just wanted to shake our hands and thank us for visiting their island and bringing needed employment and tourist dollars to their economy. Even back then, that wasn’t something that happened much on the streets of Chicago, Minneapolis, or Baltimore. S, with my little frisson of fear at the time, mark me down as “typical.”

And now we have Colin Kaepernick, who was not satisfied with just wearing socks depicting the police as “pigs” and kneeling in disrespect of the National Anthem. Apparently he had not had any press attention for quite a while and so decided to enter the Humiliate Your Parents Olympics. Kaepernick, who culturally appropriated his current hairstyle from Bozo the Clown, called his adoptive parents racists for criticizing his Allen Iverson cornrow hairstyle when he was a youth. They told him it made him look like a “thug,” just as I warned my foster son that if he wanted to be suspected of being a drug dealer, he should definitely carry that beeper.

Let us recall the wise and humorous words of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton when comparing his neat short Afro to Kaepernick’s super-fro: “I wear my hair like this because sometimes I have to put on my helmet.” SCORCH! Newton also decried the whole emphasis on race as “Ridiculous to focus on 1/8 of an inch of a person – that’s how deep the skin is and under that 1/8th inch we are all the same.” Oooh, Mr. Newton, that is WrongThink to the max. There is NOTHING that is more important than that 1/8th of an inch. Not character, intelligence, competence, generosity, kindness, JUST skin color.

Kaepernick is the biological child of a young white woman who was impregnated by a black man who promptly abandoned his girlfriend when he found out she was pregnant. At least he wasn’t aborted. The young woman gave that baby up for adoption.

He was adopted as an infant by a loving white couple. Every parent among us knows what level of attention and sacrifice is demanded of parents, no matter what color the child happens to be. Speaking for myself, I will state categorically that there IS no level of respect or gratitude that would be adequate to bestow upon our parents, even if those parents were only human and not perfect, like us. It is, in fact, the fifth Biblical commandment.

But no matter. White people are just icky and deserve to be called out. Even more unintentionally hilarious, however, is that the matter under discussion is HAIR. Could there ever be a more universal bone of contention between parents and children than hair?

My maternal grandmother, who wore her hair in a long braid fastened into a bun with weird hairpins, told me about the heartache some of her friends’ parents suffered when their “loose” daughters advertised that they were “easy” by bobbing their hair! Oh the road to Hell was clearly paved with bobbed hair, not even to mention frocks that showed an ankle or rouged cheeks! Grandma finally succumbed to the lure of the scissors in her late 70s and then got what I like to call “the old lady perm.” I liked her long braid much better. Watching her unbraid it and comb it out down to her waist before bed was fascinating to a little girl.

Once when I was going through a difficult patch many decades ago, I had a few sessions of therapy. My therapist wanted to know about my relationship with my mother and seemed deeply disappointed that I loved her to death and spoke with her every day and laughed with her all the time. She even said that wasn’t “normal” and accused me of dishonest reportage. I racked my brain trying to think of an argument we had had so that I could please my therapist and fit in for once in my life! And suddenly I remembered one: I wanted to have long hair in junior high school and Mama thought I should keep it short. That’s it. ONE argument in my entire life with my mother — and it was over hair!

When I met Max Cossack, not yet the famous novelist, he had beautiful long curly hair. MANY hair experts felt compelled to offer their opinions from passing cars: “Hey, you look like a GIRL!” and other valuable insights. In that ’60’s-’70’s era, it was not uncommon to hear from male friends that they had approached a human from behind who had a nice looking ponytail to ask her to dance and discover when that human turned around, that it was also a fella. Holy Humiliation, Batman!! They told me they had to pretend to be drunk. Now, of course, they would be obligated to just dance with him or be accused of homophobia.

So remember, young parents: you can work every day and come home exhausted to put food on the table for your young ’uns. You can teach them to pitch and catch a ball and change a tire and change a bed. You can read to them several times a week and buy them $300 sneakers. You can take them on fun vacations and send them to ludicrously expensive colleges. But if they ever run for President or become a team-free football mediocrity, expect them to fasten on to one mistake on your not-best day. For us Geezer-Americans, of course, it is already far too late to be a perfect parent. Personally, I blame Trump.

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