Axe me no questions….shame on me

Tuesday was beautiful. I planned on going to Myers-Wilkins Elementary in the late afternoon but I just kept scraping old paint and priming woodwork under my eves until 6:30. I put in an 8 and a half hour day and my shoulder complained loudly. Still is. That’s despite my taking all of the morning and early afternoon off yesterday to chaperon my grandson’s preschool class on a trip to the Woodland Hills Farm. We took DTA buses there with dozens of UMD students. They got a kick out of our crew.

I’ll be outside priming (ugh, oil paint) before noon today and will keep working until about 5 when the District committee that we used to call the Deseg Committee meets. I’ve not been to one of the meetings yet. With all my finger’s yammering about minorities lately I’m overdue to show up.

I’ve got at least three days worth of work outside on the painting project before I can quit knowing that the most desperate work has been completed. I’ve told Art Johnston that once that is done I can finally turn my attention to the Duluth Schools and the muddle our Board is making of things. Since none of the Board members seem willing to meet with me and since the Chair has told me that Art is responsible for the unnecessary legal costs our Board has inflicted upon him and his partner I’ll have to start raising money for Art. Oh the tales I will be able to share. In some ways it will be the unfortunate early stages of next year’s school board election. We’re just a hair behind the Mayoral race now that Howie Hanson’s thrown his hat into the ring and given Don Ness the gallop under his saddle to ride into a new day.

Finishing my painting will free me up to blog more just as the march into the void by our Board is prompting me to blog more vociferously. If it becomes apparent that the Board will be at loggerheads for the next year I intend to write some sort of cathartic book about the dysfunctionality of our schools. Hope to get it done well before the election. Maybe I could hawk it at the next Minnesota School Board Association conference. It would sort of be a how not to book. Others could learn from our mistakes.

I’m also chewing on the latest kick in the pants from my buddy who had this to say about my latest post on the condition of African Americans. The kick went almost all the way up to my dentures:

I suspect that you have answered my question. Your comment was an example of race hustling. Shame on you. America is not “choking” on Obama. Some people voted for him because of the color of his skin, and some people voted against him because of the color of his skin, but he was elected, and he remains president. I suspect that this also is or would be true of McCain, but America hasn’t choked on him, either. Some people might be more critical of Obama because of the color of his skin, but I suspect that some people are more forgiving of his shortcomings because of the color of his skin. I suspect that this was also true of previous presidents, and would be true of McCain if he had become president. Thus, it’s bullshit to say that “America is still choking on its first black president”. As an American who would have preferred Condi Rice for president, instead of Obama or McCain, I resent your race hustling bullshit.

Your words, which I quoted and of which I have been critical, don’t even deserve to be characterized as metaphor. They are simply race hustling bullshit.

Shame on the people who discriminate on the basis of race, and shame on race hustlers.

Shame on you.

As I painted on Tuesday I thought it might be a fun challenge to my buddy to have a long series of debates/dialogues on race. I’m not so certain now. That race hustling accusation was a new but honest low. My buddy’s putting me in the same league as Jesse Jackson who used his operation PUSH in Chicago as a blackmailing operation to squeeze money out of corporations to avoid accusations of racism or Elijah Muhammed who’s Black Muslims got into the White people as the devil mindset, or Al Sharpton who many of us will never forgive for his role in hyping the Tawanna Brawley Hoax.

If I am a race hustler I’m a pretty stupid one. Duluth’s voting population is perhaps 5% African American, if they all vote. I stand to offend a lot more people like my buddy who are older and white and who are still defensive whenever anyone suggests they haven’t quite met Dr. King’s test of racial colorblindness.

As I explained in a recent post I’m sixty-three and have seen a lot of history without doing any thing much to live up to the Declaration of Independence, or the Gettysburg Address. That’s a pretty poor track record for a guy who claims to revere Abe Lincoln. So, if race hustling is what I’ve been doing expect to see a lot more of it. And Buddy, I am grateful for your many emails over the past. They have kept my mind in fighting trim. However, I’m pretty busy now, so I think I’ll start skipping a lot more of your emails again for my peace of mind.

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