Hangings don’t happen here any more. Maybe. Maybe not so much from trees but in new ways, subtle and not-so-subtle. Like lack of access to good housing, education, minimum wages, high taxes and the high cost of living, inability to get mortgages, the “re-awakening” of bars to voting, gerrymandering of voting districts, and come on, I’m sure you can add your own…
The Sunday Whirl blog invites writers to write a poem or short prose using some or all of the “wordle’s” 12 word.
In this country,
Disguised as patriotism,
The old boys still sit with mason jars
And talk about the days gone by.
Forgotten times; like when
Yesterday held no hurry; and
Folks knew their places; and when
The sand had a good line drawn across it.
A white man could feel safe, and
Other folk would mind their business, and knew their places,
Or would end up meeting that old tree limb,
Whose rope scarred wound
Could still take on one more knot
And one more noose, and
Convince a whole lot of people
Of their places in life.
I sat here for a long time deciding whether or not to comment. I will do so respectfully because even though I know we disagree on some things, Randy, I consider you a friend and I respect your opinion and your right to hold that opinion even when it disagrees with what I believe.
I’m sorry that there are people like this still around, but there will always be there. Some of them are white, some are black, some are Asian or Hispanic or African or whatever group decides to hate a different group. They live in other countries around the world and conduct ethnic cleansing, stone women for being raped, and other atrocities. Racism is not white-ism, although it’s often portrayed that way.
The entire world is much more complex that this. Some people shouldn’t get loans because the can’t afford to pay them back. Most people work for businesses (run by people), businesses that are both big and small. Not that many work for themselves, so if we demonize and try to hurt all business, we only hurt ourselves and those who want to work.
Gerrymandering goes on more by who’s in power than along party lines. There are crooked people from both (all) parties and caring people in all parties, although they may disagree about the best way to care. A good education requires families and communities that see education as valuable, who are willing to make sure children are in school and who back up educators who (mostly) are trying to do their best to teach, often in extremely difficult circumstances.
If minimum wages are too low, that’s bad. If they get too high, businesses can only afford less workers, defeating the purpose. If a business can’t make money, it goes out of business and people are unemployed. Money paid out, given out or spent in anyway by the government comes out of our pockets.
I’ve been “hung” for being white, for being female, for home schooling, for being a Christian, for being conservative. But I refuse to be a victim and use any of those as excuses.
Enough from me. There are old white men sitting around bemoaning the loss of the good old days. There are Hispanic gangbanger illegals selling drugs, black Panthers who still hate “whitey”, preachers preaching hate, Asians who hate other Asians, ad infinitum. And there are a lot of the rest of us who try to see all people for what’s underneath the color of their skin and by what’s in their hearts and minds.
It isn’t all black and white.
No, it isn’t all black and white but it starts out that way. And people fight to keep it that way.
And whether it is a case of whites vs blacks, or any group of people – although in this particular poem, I chose to use black and white because it is a symbol that we Americans can quickly relate to – you have seen this theme reflected in many of my works, in the inequity of society, the injustice of man, and the relationship between commerce and culture, business and government, regulation vs laissez-faire.
We need balance for everything to exist. And it is my belief that most things now are out of balance: the environment, business regulation, government oversight not only of business but of government itself, lack of concern for the average working person, and a flagrant disregard for families.
As an aside, but as you noted it in part of your statements, businesses shouldn’t make loans to people who can’t afford them, but yet they did; and then they went out to package them and resell them for high profits knowing they wouldn’t pay off, and our government did nothing to stop it, and then paid them in the form of a bail-out when their companies tanked.
I don’t believe for a moment that it was because some families took loans that they couldn’t afford. They were marketed/sold these loans with the idea that their property values would up and the sellers (banks) knew that this wasn’t true but they were making hand-over-fist on the points and resale of the debt instruments. This not only happened to black families, but to Hispanics, and whites, and the uneducated, and the greedy, and the elderly (especially with reverse mortgages).
What a great society we live in! We should be proud of ourselves! Unbridled capitalism rocks!
(Janet – a horse, and you are a horse person, unbridled is ultimately a wild horse; and business and society without rules and regulations, unbridled, is simply a primitive culture)
Man’s greed. tied into economics, is incredible. But man’s fears tied into the need to feel safe by securing a psychological and physical feeling of superiority is worse. And what men stoop to to secure that is abhorrent.
Maybe we are saying the same things but just degrees apart.
There is much more to respond to in what you’ve written. There is much more to write about in general. Today was a good discussion.
I’m glad the poem roused you to write back. I hope, and others, are roused to write back. It is what makes us better. And you do it so well.
I did forget to mention that you did a good job on the poem. 🙂
Unbridled anything is unlikely to be good. And since you mentioned loans, yes, banks and mortgage companies carry blame. But so does the government who literally forced some banks who were trying to be responsible to provide loans to those would couldn’t afford them. Also, people need to be somewhat responsible for themselves and to know whether or not they can afford to pay back what they borrow. There’s a frightening lack of understanding of economics in this country.
No, capitalism isn’t all good; nothing is. And I’m afraid that one underlying problem that people don’t like to talk about is the lack of a sense of right and wrong these days. Without that, everything is likely to go wrong.
Hope your weekend’s been good. I have to get off because my computer is going to restart for updates and I have to be sure everything is saved.
Thanks for all your comments.. I hope we’re all saved ultimately – from ourselves 😉
and with help from a higher power.
Enjoyed it all…
Very ‘old country’ feel to this one…
very old country in so many countries….