Square Dancing Around The Issue

I’m so glad I’m not a kid in this day and age. Not because being a kid in this day and age is a bad thing but ME being a kid in this day and age would not be pretty. You see, I’ve always been outspoken and I’ve always had strong convictions for as long as I can remember. When all the other kids were focused on playing outside, I was inside listening to the adult conversation. That’s what I preferred. My strong convictions often found me in the principal’s office and they never really knew what to make of me. Fortunately, I had parents who were willing to correct me when I was wrong but who stood behind me when I was right. Today, I would undoubtedly be in the media, especially for one particular occurrence of standing up for my convictions.

In elementary school, part of our “physical education” was square dancing. I thought that was absurd. Ms. Belyew (I think I recall her name correctly) lined all the girls and boys up facing each other. She assigned our partners. I found myself across from a boy by the name of Jeffrey. I refused to dance with Jeffrey and I stated as such out aloud and in front of everyone the moment she started the music. Ms. Belyew pulled me aside and ordered me to comply or I’d find myself in the principal’s office. I told her that she may as well send me to the principal’s office then, because I would not be dancing with Jeffrey. I offered to explain to her why I refused to dance with Jeffrey but she wouldn’t hear it. She didn’t care and was only pissed off that I would not do what she told me to do.

So, there I found myself in Evil Eva’s office. She was officially Mrs. Eva Clark but to all the kids she was Evil Eva. And evil she was. But we’ll get to that later. She sat me down and told me that my behavior was unacceptable and that she would be calling my parents. She did just that and sent me back to class to continue square dancing. I told her that I would not square dance and she could not force me to. So, she decided that I could do floor aerobics while the rest of the class had their square dancing lesson.

When I got home, my parents broached the issue with me and I explained to them that I had two reasons for refusing to dance with Jeffrey. First of all, the boy stank to high heaven with body odor. I mean, he STANK. It was pretty sickening. Secondly, I explained that I didn’t find square dancing or any kind of partner dancing at all, to be appropriate in physical education. I reasoned that dancing was a social activity and that I should be able to choose when, where and with whom I want to participate in such an activity (and yes, I really did speak in that manner as a kid). My parents agreed with me 100% and upon meeting with Evil Eva a day or two later, informed her that it was HER actions which were inappropriate and unacceptable and that neither her nor Ms. Belyew would be giving such orders to me ever again.

They didn’t. In fact, they stopped the square dancing all together. The fact is, they had no right to impose such things on me. Furthermore, what kind of message does it send to a boy when a girl can be made to dance with them against their wishes? That’s a recipe for a future rapist.

By the way, Jeffrey happened to be a black boy and that was the assumed reason for my refusal to dance with him. Neither Ms Belyew, nor Evil Eva (both white women) even allowed me the opportunity to explain my reasons, neither of which were even loosely related to his race. It was just assumed. Take that same incident today and I would suddenly be a black-hating, racist little white girl and there would be tweets all over the place about people wanting to kill me, likely.

Oh, I promised earlier that I would explain Evil Eva, didn’t I? Well, here’s just one example of many which illustrate her backwards, evil thinking. A number of years later, she did find herself on the 6:00 news. 2 little 5th grade boys – one black and one white – were dragged to her office for calling each other “nigger.” Her remedy was write the word, “nigger” on two pieces of posterboard, punch holes in them, insert string through the holes and place one around each of the little boys’ necks. Really? All her years of teaching and serving as a principal and that’s her brililant, educated solution? She found herself with a position at the Board of Education after that incident.

I wonder if she ever learned her lesson. She’s probably dead now and I have some serious doubts whether she ever even got a glimpse of St Peter at the gate.

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Let’s Talk About Racism

Uncomfortable yet?  Yeah? Then you should leave now because it’s about to get a lot more uncomfortable.

With all the race baiting and screaming swirling around now between Paula Deen and the George Zimmerman trial, I find myself enraged. The double standard that exists is something that permeates this country to the core like a cancer spreading in the body. It is unacceptable and it must be exterminated.

Paula Deen is being raked over the coals because she admitted to having used the word, “nigger” in the past. According to her, and there’s no reason to believe she’s lying, it’s no longer a word she uses. People need to realize that Paula Deen grew up in the south during a time when that word was completely socially acceptable and a mainstay of American culture. She could have lied in her deposition but then she’d be guilty of perjury and lack of integrity, which is far worse than using a silly word 30 years ago. Show me someone of her roots and background who has never uttered that word and I’ll show you a purple polka dotted unicorn ridden by a leprechaun that farts rainbows and gold coins. Hell, I know plenty of people who grew up in the north and I hear that word out of them way more often than I do southerners these days. Is Paula irreverent? Yeah, I’ve met her – I know she is. Is she raunchy? You bet. Did Food Network know all that about her from the get-go? Of course they did. That’s part of her appeal and that’s partly why she’s made them so much money and allowed them to build the network they have today. Sure, they are within their rights to dump her. Whatever. But what pisses me off is the double standard and everyone freaking out because she was honest about things she has said in the past which were well accepted back in the day but is not “politically correct” anymore. Political correctness is killing this country.

If the treatment she is receiving is fair and just, then myriads of black rappers should be publicly degraded, humiliated and bankrupt. Everyone who voted for Obama because he’s black should be put on public display with placards labeled with the word, “RACIST” on them. The fact is, if that word is so offensive for white people to say, it should be equally offensive for blacks to say as well. Don’t give me that standard, “whites owned blacks” slavery excuse. Slavery (in the traditional American sense) ended almost 150 years ago. If you’re a black person who has a valid slavery claim, then I want the name and address of the white person enslaving you and I will go to their house, beat the hell out of them and then call the police. If you are a slave in this day and age, then it’s to the Democratic Party, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Obama and his minions. If you are a black person reading this then you are not, nor have you ever been, picking cotton on the plantation or getting raped or beaten by a white slave master. That is not your history, it’s not your story and it’s sure as hell not your excuse to go around calling each other “niggas” or me a “cracka.” I’ve never enslaved another person in my entire life and I will not pay for the sins of my ancestors. Likewise, you’re not going to get away with using the sins of my ancestors against me. We’re all responsible for our OWN actions, not those of our family, friends or people who died that we never even knew.

And that double standard doesn’t just come from the black community. It’s permeated throughout society. Watching Megyn Kelly just today on FOX News covering the George Zimmerman trial, she was all too willing to say the word, “cracker” aloud when referring to testimony regarding Trayvon Martin calling George Zimmerman names but she didn’t dare utter the word, “nigger” when it came up in the same testimony. Footage of the trial even bleeped that word out. But oh no, “cracker” was found to be suitable for the viewing audience. How is that not a double standard?

Personally, “nigger” is not a word I use to refer to black people. I just don’t think it’s necessary or respectful. I also don’t go around calling Mexicans “spics” or Italians “wops.” Racial jokes really don’t offend me, though, regardless of the race or ethnicity involved. And I really don’t care if people go around calling each other “niggers” or “honkies” or much of anything else. Have at it. But don’t be a hypocrite about it. Don’t laugh at one person calling you a name just because they are the same skin color as you and then turn around and get your panties in a wad because someone of a different skin color calls you the exact same thing. If you really believe that skin is just a color, then why not put actions behind your professed beliefs? I don’t see anything wrong with being able to laugh at ourselves or each other. People are entirely too sensitive. You do not have a right to not be offended. If I’m offending you now, then go ahead and offend me back. They’re words. Words have exactly the power which you assign them. Tell me why references to black people eating watermelon and fried chicken are taboo but rap songs titled the likes of (and yes, these are real songs) “Mad Niggas” and “Kill Whitey” are just “part of the culture?” I love watermelon and fried chicken, by the way. They’re two of my favorite foods. Just throwing that out there.

And while we’re on the subject, you’ll notice that I do not refer to the black community as African Americans. You’ll hear me say “African-American” when referring to someone with dual citizenship. I don’t refer to myself as a “German-Irish-American.” I’ve been to Germany exactly once and I’ve never been to Ireland. Why in the hell would I see fit to call myself either? I’m an American and so are you and if you’re not proud of that and you’d prefer to be African, then move to Africa.Or Scotland or Australia or wherever the hell you’d rather be. Until then, let’s just be honest about who we all are.

If you’ve gotten to this final paragraph, then maybe I’ve struck a chord with you or maybe you think I’m a complete racist. I don’t actually care what you think either way, as I do not require your validation to know who I am. I’m not a racist, I’m a realist. If you’d still like to fancy me a racist and that helps you to put me in a box with which you’re more comfortable, go right ahead. It won’t ruin my day. But you’d do yourself a favor to actually study up on the true definition of racism and not the bastardized definition today’s society has shoved down your throat. And do yourself a favor and realize that you’re not a race, you’re a person. You may belong to a certain race or ethnic group but it’s up to you to define who you are.

Chilled Strawberry Mint Soup

I love chilled soups, especially in the summer. I came up with this recipe a few years ago and I pull it out every year. It is positively delicious. It’s reasonably low-fat because I use no/low-fat ingredients with the exception of heavy cream because I don’t want to sacrifice taste.

Chilled Strawberry Mint Soup

Chilled Strawberry Mint Soup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chilled Strawberry Mint Soup

3 Cups whole frozen strawberries
2 Cups 2% milk (1% would be fine as well)
1 Cup heavy cream
1 Cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 Cup honey
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbs lemon juice
12 leaves of  fresh mint (plus more for garnish)

Puree strawberries with milk, cream and sour cream in blender until smooth and creamy. Add honey, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, lemon juice and mint. Blend together until all ingredients are incorporated.

Chill for at least 2 hours. Overnight would be best to allow the flavors to really settle and meld together. I drizzled a circle of heavy cream around the outer edge and swirled a toothpick around for the visual effect here. Garnish with sprig of mint.