I was riding the bus to the Red & Black Cafe when I suddenly felt a swell of anger rising in my chest as I realized that it is only, just now, that I am learning about the real history of the United States. And alternative models to the politics and economic system that we've been practicing in this country. I felt angry at what is considered "alternative" in this society, and the misplacement of values, and the way our children are undereducated - the fact that in parts of this country the question of whether or not to teach evolution is even STILL A QUESTION - it just pisses me off.

I am not sending my hypothetical future children to public school, and maybe not even to private school unless it is some type of free school operated by people who truly have a clearer, more truthful vision of what this world is and can be. I don't want my children to be raised up on a foundation of lies, and then have to spend the first 10 years of their adulthoods trying to undo the massive racist, sexist, homophobic, nationalistic, capitalist trauma that has been done to them. While I can't insulate them from it entirely, I can at least give my kids something precious: Time.

I feel robbed of so many years of my life. Even though my parents offered alternative ways of looking at things (e.g. religion, diet, black history), there are so many things they didn't know, so much history they could not pass on to me because they, too, were products of this culture.

The word radical is really starting to make sense to me.

I need to be very conscious and willful about the choices I make now. The type of future I want to live is taking shape in my mind. I have a purpose. I don't know exactly what it is, but I know in which direction to seek it.

I love my friends; they have opened my eyes to so much.
Many years ago I participated often in online message boards, and I recall a conversation I had with a black man about Islam. He was vehemently anti-Islam and anti-Christian and I perceived him as wacked and "afro-centric." He told me that I and all the other black Muslims were suckers. Surprised, I asked him why he would say that? And he stated that the same people who would reject Christianity as the religion of the white slaveholders turn around and accept Islam, which is the religion of the Arab slaveholders. I told him that Islam was about liberty and there was no racism in it and Islam helped to abolish slavery, etc. He said, "Oh yeah? Then what about ..." and named off some African people that Arab Muslims had destroyed or forcibly converted. I told him that he was clearly ill-informed because when Islam spread through Africa it was willingly accepted and it was a very peaceable transition. I remember that he scoffed at me and emoted something along the lines of, *So-and-So leaps up and flees, leaving [me] to her ignorance and stupid religion.* I was taken aback and a little disturbed - that someone could make such untruths.

It's so strange to look back on my life then. Read more... )
When I first got on the Internet in 1993, there was far less to be found on it than you'd find now. And if you did a search for my first name there was only me and one other woman, a Tunisian human rights advocate and law professor. Even a year or so ago, there was just the two of us.

More on My Name )



December 2013



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