About The Funk...

Observational Spittle from the mind of a man of color in his 40s, without the color added (most times). Come in, laugh, and you may learn something...

90 Things That Irritate The Sh** Out Of Me Trailer

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The beginning of the end of the beginning of the funk

Guess what?

I am black. Or an African American. Or, as they said back in the day, "colored."

Wait a second...actually, I am G. Eric Francis...well, at least that is the moniker I use when I write this bit of flotsam. I am 5'10, and once upon a time, I was a semi fit 180 lbs.

Now I am a tryin' to die 262 lbs. I am a father of 2 multicultural kids...well, they are human offspring...8 and one nearly 5 years old.

Oh, one of the kids is basically retarded...wait...he has Downs Syndrome, and needs behavioral therapy, which I cannot afford because I haven't had a full time job in 1,131 days (and counting).

There is a point to all this, and the title of this posting will hopefully become clear as I move on.

Recently, I was accused of a couple of things...well, more than a couple of things. OK, 2 accusations and a thought, truly.

I've gotta be fair, ya know. Plus, the "thought" was from a dear friend, and I don't want to lose one of the few I have.

2 people particularly close to my wife (correction; one person; the other one she hears from twice a year) told me a couple of things, one which sorely ticked me off.

The first "accusation" involved me being told that I don't teach my kids enough about God. Now, as the few who have taken the time to sit down to know me have figured out, my relationship with the Big Guy is shaky at best. However, I have always, despite any disagreements I may have had with Him, was going to make sure my children knew about religion, so once they were adults, they could make a decision onto whether they would allow it to guide their lives.

So this sort of ticked me off, but due to the possibility of causing more drama than a CBS programing guide, I decided to keep my mouth shut...well, to a point, anyway.

A couple of weeks later, rather recently, I was then told, after I noticed something disturbing at a recent mass, that I have "issues" and I should be there for the reason one goes to church.

So, if someone came in and, say, starting urinating on the cross, I shouldn't pay attention to that and continue tossing out the variety of saints that the Catholic church is known for.


And finally, a dear friend (someone who I wish I was able to hang out with more often, because she is one of the most real folks I know) said to me yesterday that if she didn't know me better, she'd swear I hated Caucasians/White/whatever people.

The funny thing is, this last comment was the one that inspired me to start typing this.

Let me break down why.

People who genuinely care about the G have voiced their displeasure/disagreement/WTF's concerning things I have said on a very popular Internet social network over the last several months, and, well, I welcome opinions anytime (as long as you don't disrespect me, a thorn in my side for most of my 41 years). On a few things that has been said, I have seen their point, and have taken it into account whenever a crazy thought (which is, oh, about 99.9998% of the time is what is taking residence in my brain) pops in, and I transfer it to cyberspace.

For one, I should leave my children out of it. Even though my kids are a part of my existence, and I believe no one should be free of observation, kids should, well, be kids.

They'll figure out that the earth sucks soon enough.

Then there's the matter of cultural differences, race, religion, whatever thing that it seems a lot of folks are either afraid, don't want to think about, or in a perfect, fantasy based world, wish that no one cared about, and all people would just see that we all are just, well, people.

You see, and if certain individuals would just, oh, ASK me straight up why I do the things I do or say(or, at the end of this, done), I wholeheartedly agree with the folks on that last point I mentioned in the last paragraph.

I'd love it if my son, who probably isn't going to be President one day, isn't looked upon like some uncontrollable animal when we're in public...

...even though, at this point in his life, he acts like one sometimes.

It would be great if my oldest would go through the rest of his life, and NO ONE would point out that his daddy was black, and not give him grief for it. Or worse, kick his ass, or worse.

But sadly, that possibility will always exist.

It would be nice if some old lady who grew up during the "good old days" of Jim Crow or segregation (or if the media didn't reinforce EVERY DAY the stereotypes, while a lot of times true, of non-whites) didn't freak out when I am in comfortable clothes, getting in an elevator, starts tripping and get off as fast as her varicose-veined legs could carry her.


The last point rarely has happened. Let's be clear here. And, there is an excellent chance that my oldest will always be accepted as just himself, and most of time, old ladies smile at me, because I usually say "hello" and "ma'am", cuz Mama always said respect your elders, no matter what packaging they were in...

...well, she also said she never wanted me to marry a white woman...but after bonding over menstrual cycles, she saw that my wife, was, well, human and female like her, and she got over it.

My best friend happens to be Latino. Most of the people I've been cool with have been white. I have NO close African American friends....really never have. Most got mad cuz, well, I always gave people of all races enough rope to hang themselves...and a good chunk of the time, they never even got to the proverbial "noose".

That last paragraph proves nothing, of course. I hate it when people say "well, I'm not racist, cuz I have 1 each of all races in my inner circle" or something like that. And perhaps they just became friends or whatever because these folks were good people.

You see, there are always possibilities.

OK, here's my point on a few things.

For one, I love most people...only people I have ever been "bigoted" towards are those inflicted with stupidity and ignorance. Sadly, that "diseases" can hit anybody, whether they celebrate Kwanzaa, Hanukkah (or Chanukkah, however it's spelled) or worship some dude w/a massive belly (hell,I have one of those...maybe I should start my own religion, and ask for an amusement park, like Oral Roberts). It can hit folks who like their own sex (another thing that, while I don't get it, I am cool with whomever or whatever). When I meet someone, I always say "Hey, my name is Greg", not, "Hey, my name is Greg, and I'm a really dynamite Negro who is hetero and like girls who can hold their breath for hours at a time." As folks get to know me, yeah, my sense of humor knows no bounds. However, I also know that at times, that has probably cost me friends, and perhaps jobs or promotions as well. Sadly, in this society, ya simply have to be careful on what you say most times...

...especially if you are not part of the majority.

I know that last statement may tick the aforementioned "majority", but, that is the way it is.

And this is the majority of my point.

This is the world we live in. Facts cannot be changed by simply ignoring them or wishing them away.

I have one son who was born with an extra chromosome, and he has a mind of a toddler, even though his 5th birthday is a little more than a week away.

People are gonna hate him for it...even though he really is one of the smartest people I know.

Me wishing for flowers and sunshine ain't gonna change that fact. However, I'd love it if people just gave him a chance to be part of society.

Here's another point/thought....

Does it help when I constantly point out the wrongs I perceive are still going on, like the recent incident I mentioned on that social network (even if I try to temper it with humor)?

Probably not. It makes people uncomfortable, or, in the case of my dear friend, would give off the impression that I am just as guilty as other folks who were taught that if u're not the same, ur "broken."

Perhaps my methods of insanity have failed, even though that saddens me if that's the case.

This has weighed on my mind the last 24 hours or so...you see, when I started this blog, it was my hope that I'd make people laugh...as well as make them think. Start a conversation or a debate...tell me why you may disagree, agree, or think I'm an asshole. Never had a problem with that, and I was (hopefully) expecting that. Plus, I love to write...however, a writer's passion dies, when no one reads his work.

Folks, I am a simple dude...I love music, cinema, and the company of good friends...well, when I had them (or when I thought they were good friends, which, well, never mind, I am going off on tangent land, sorry). Over the past 16 years of my life, I have decided to voice what I think, w/o (mostly) worrying about repercussions from others. Did I ever mean to cause any hurt feelings? Hell no...I am one of the most sensitive people on the planet. But I also once wanted things to be a perfect, wonderful place, and part of me still does....which at times holds me back from the reality of the world that I live in.

There are racists on this planet. Their are bigots in the world. Even I, in some small ways (hopefully) am bigoted about a couple of things...of which none come to mind at the moment, likely because I don't notice them. It's how society shapes and molds us. My folks told me as a grew up to never to completely trust Caucasians. My mom made it up the corporate ladder, despite the fact that that ladder is built and held up by those she simply didn't trust. However, I think now, while I don't think that feeling may ever go completely away (she told me that no black person in their right mind would vote Republican on more than one occasion)due to her upbringing, she also knows that not all Caucasians have sheets and hoods in the trunks of their cars. She's had a few good friends in her 63+ years who happened to burn easier in the sun that she did.

But as I said, that distrust is, and probably for her remaining years, is always there.

So, after I complete this blog, I will no longer offer an opinion, unless asked, about anything racial, gender wise, sexual orientation, or whatever. I will not choose to blog about it, nor mention it on that social network.

You see, I've failed in my quest, it seems. And that's OK, even though it's a little sad.

I have a buddy that is an equal opportunity offender....white guy, will say ANYTHING at any time, and not lose a wink of sleep over it. He's been accused of being a racist more than once, and even I have felt slightly uncomfortable once or twice w/his comments.

However, this guy has also offered to help me get work in his line of work many times, and if we were in a bar about to get jumped, I am pretty confident he'd be by my side, ready to handle things (or get the shit beat out of him like I would if we were outnumbered).

Kind of guy he is.

I always carry that mythical "rope" whenever I meet someone. Because, while I accept that there are differences in all of us for whatever reason, I know we all bleed red, we all have mom's and dad's, we all have family, we all cry and mourn, we all dance (even if some of us don't do it well), and we all end up in the ground, or on someone's mantle in an urn, or whatever.

You see, I don't have "issues" like the ones I was accused of recently. Trust me, I have other "issues" that would scare the shit out of you...

...however, I wish the "issues" that inflict the world, especially in the so-called "greatest country on earth", where a black man who made history after 233 years of prejudice is judged more harshly than any person who's held his job before him, or the hatred that fills some 22 year old to shoot a bunch of people for no reason, or, hell, the people who think that I am just some loudmouth saying nothing...

...would just take a deep breath, and look at themselves.

No matter what, in some way, we are all guilty of the crapfest that we call our world.

I love to help people....that won't change. I just am gonna sit back, and see if anyone removes the "rope" they've placed around me and see if I am as truly crazy as they think I am.

One last thing....the incident I mentioned...this is a repeat of my statement on that network, but in short, an elderly black lady while I was in church accidentally brushed against this young white boy , and his mother's reaction was as if the woman diseased her kid, whispering "did she hurt you" and looking at the woman like she was a 5'2" stack of HIV or something.

The one thing I noticed, though, is that the young man smiled before his mother grabbed him away, and accepted the woman's apology.

My guess is the kid was no more than 5. Cute kid, too.

Too bad his mom is gonna make him ugly.

In a place where you are supposed to learn about the beauty of Christ, I wasn't the person with "issues."

I shook that same woman's hand during the service, with a smile on my face...

...and a slightly broken heart.

That's why I once did what I used to do...until today.

Gotta go now...have to catch that train to the land of hopes and dreams, where hopefully my kids will just be J & No-man, and nothing else.

I'll make sure, though, that as a parent they get the brochure with the disclaimers that the world simply doesn't work that way most times.

Great! The train was delayed by reality. Maybe I can catch a plane...naw, afraid to fly.

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