Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Head and My Heart are ignoring each other

So I just had a conversation/debate with my mother that ended with my saying "you're brainwashed!" to which she took a rather large offense to...
What we were talking about was the Gates case with the idiot white cops that were called for a supposed break ins. also my mind is stuffed with the recent racefails of the past two weeks, what with sotomayor's confirmation, the philly pool incident, and now this. and all i have heard white people say is that everybody (meaning black people) are blowing this all out of proportion and just like to play the race card. and i've had it.

and now i hear my mother talking about if Gates had just stayed inside his house and not yelled at the police officers, he wouldnt have been arrested. which ignores the whole inequity of the police being there in the first place what waiting. but after the argument was over, i felt guilt, anger, and irritation at both my mom and myself. my heart doesnt regret what i said, but my mind does.

So what my head knows is that:
1. my mother lived through the 60s and 70s. so even though she is a middle class child through and through, she stills went through much rougher stuff that i have ever. so for me to judge her feels wrong and that even if i truly believe that she is brainwashed (which i do), i owe her much more respect than i gave her
2. mothers desreve more respect
3. good mothers even more so, and my mom is the best.

My heart feels:
1. being middle class has basically placed my mom in the mindset of most middle class blacks, especially considering her attitude towards working class blacks, her prejudices against other people of color groups, her general ignorance of the world outside where we live.
2. i spend most of my time reading up on the stuff going on.

so im torn and irritated that this is a problem period.


  1. My dear Karen,
    I so much understand your inner turmoil. First, I think it is your heart that knows when love is torn asunder and it is your mind or your intellect that is constantly judging, evaluating and caught up in the limited understanding that comes from the world of right and wrong / duality. If you send me your email I would like to share something that I wrote about this very subject. However, it is not for public view. Be kind and patient with yourself. This is a big lesson. Shakti Butler

  2. I think the biggest conflict I had with my mother concerned my hair. I wanted to go natural and she didn't want me to even though it would ultimately be my decision and a much healthier one in the long-run. I know that I will go natural before I graduate, but I will try to lengthen the transition as much as possible so that I can prepare myself. Styling, products, all of that. And even with my preliminary actions, it's possible that I won't have a really good routine for years. Learning about one's self does not occur over night, but I'm willing to learn how to provide for myself in many ways which means knowing my body and taking care of it to the best of my ability.

    I'm trying to take my mother on this journey with me with subtle suggestions. I ask her about her hair and what problems she might have. I send her information. I tell her about my concerns for her well being. These things that I do for my best interest will hopefully effect my mother and my potential progeny. This knowledge and experience will become a legacy.

    I cannot discount my mother's experiences, some of which have been painful and somewhat recent, but ultimately I have to do what I believe is right for me. If I'm wrong, I will then have to take note of my error. Until then, I may have to go off the beaten path.