BEAUTIFUL FRIEND   Leave a comment

Do I have beautiful friends, or what? Amy Huie-Li let me know she bought “My Father’s House.”

Posted September 5, 2020 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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LAW AND ORDER?   Leave a comment

Fear, ranting, anger, shooting, and false promises won’t do it. Facts are facts. Maybe those things feel good to some folks, but if it’s order you’re after, try something that will work. Respect, creative and encouraging education, equality of opportunity, removal of unjustly restrictive laws and regulations will produce the results you’re after.

“MY FATHER’S HOUSE’ IS ANXIOUS TO GREET YOU   3 comments

After all the lead-up and outtakes and delays, it is finally here. Please take a look at it and sample the copy of

.

Posted August 21, 2020 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

PROOF COPY OF “MY FATHER’S HOUSE.”   9 comments

I’ve been at it since well before 2015, with the help of some of you. And now the proof is here. In fact, I just finished reading it one last time (I hope) for corrections to be made before it goes to print. Just for evidence, here are a couple of photos of receiving it during the pandemic, and a quick cheat of a photo. without the mask.

Posted August 13, 2020 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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HOW BEAUTIFUL IT WOULD HAVE BEEN   2 comments

How beautiful it would have been to see our nation draw together with courage, cooperation, and compassion to defeat this coronavirus enemy. How proud we could have been to make our contribution to life-saving world leadership.

With sadness and regret I awake too early in the morning to mourn our missed opportunity.

MY WHITE MA DEGREE — 1952   8 comments

I received my MA in Psychology in 1952. It was an especially large class – 45 as I remember it – because the GI bill had made it possible for veterans to go on to advanced education. This, of course, was a clear opportunity to proceed to professional, better paying, positions.

Including me there were 45 white students. I don’t remember even noticing the pale color of the class. I know now that blacks (Negroes at that time) were in many ways excluded from the benefits other veterans received. I don’t feel guilty for not being aware. Guilt is not a productive emotion. I do, though, feel impelled to support anything that can be done in the present to bring to awareness that injustice still affecting blacks today. What a majorly unfair way to prevent them from building wealth for themselves and their family’s future!

Add to that red-lining and all the other methods used to prevent blacks from financial success  — even destroying successful communities — and all I can say is, I’d be pretty darn pissed, and that’s putting it mildly, if that were part of my famiy’s history. And I should feel guilty if I don’t now learn all I can and advocate however I can for correction, reparations, and restitution.

 

 

TWO A.M. – PTSD      6 comments

Sometimes when I wake up during the night I go right back to sleep. More often, though, thoughts catch me and I can’t let go of the pain of compassion. (Feeling with.) It’s in the DNA. You’ll see when you read My Father’s House.

 The other night I couldn’t help imagining being a man living free in my homeland – just living my life. And then being chased down and captured, bound, and delivered as cargo to a slave ship. There being shackled head to toe to make maximum space for a profitable cargo. Left to lie in my own and others bodily excretions, becoming thereby filthy black cargo. Living with my own pain and the moans of my fellow “cargo.”

I imagined being brought ashore in the states and hosed down for presentation to those who would buy me as a piece of cargo. Being totally re-defined by others willing to torture me into accepting my new less-than-human status. Struggling with the agony of losing the life I had and who I was. How could PTSD not become a part of my DNA to be transmitted to my offspring?

How could I not respond with fear, rage, running, resistance, fighting back? Is it at all surprising that George Floyd pleaded for understanding of his claustrophobia? that Treyvon Martin fought back when he was being followed? That Rayshard Brooks grabbed a weapon when he was about to be constrained?

But what do I know? I’m just an aged white lady imagining things in the middle of the night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN – SO WHAT DO WE DO   6 comments

Once one becomes aware, there is so much to learn, so much like solving a word scramble. Hidden words where we thought there were none; words that have meaning we never before recognized; words that call for unscrambling our comfortable lives; words that go straight to the soul; words we sometimes don’t want to hear; words that produce moments of relief and hope; words spoken or written; words exchanged with a degree of courage; words that take us back to a past we didn’t take time to see; words that take us to a future to be longed for.

Where have we been finding words? Daily we exchange discoveries with each other. Together we are reading and discussing White Fragility” by Robin Diangelo, always with an eye to discovering ourselves. Next in the pipeline is How to Be an Antiracist by Tiffany Jewel and then Austin Channing Brown’s I’m Still Here. We are, however, more than a book club. None of this reading means anything if we don’t use it for insight into our own knowing or unknowing support of a racist system.

Reading isn’t all we do. Constantly on the lookout for relevant daily news and activities, we are almost inundated with things we send to each other — forwarded inspirations, news stories, and suggested links to important presentations.

Most recently is one you might like to share – a right-on! sermon by Pastor Aaron Werner titled “The Day I Learned I was a White American.” Try this link oihttps://mountcalvary.org/digital/#fireside   Don’t worry, you don’t have to attend the whole service. Just fast forward to 4:11 (four minutes and eleven seconds.) Don’t wait, though, because it will be gone after this weekend to make way for another service.

 

MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN – WHY WE CARE   4 comments

It began when a group of six women quarantined in our senior apartments at the Waters of Excelsior here in Minnesota decided to establish regular Zoom meetings to respond to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s televised challenge to” make something happen.”Then we were joined by two somewhat freer friends on the outside. We interpret his challenge to mean “Get on the stick and do something to help with the Black Lives Matter movement and all that involves.”

We intend to go beyond just learning how our white advantage contributes to the situation, but to dive deep into understanding the history and current reality of it. Email exchanges between meetings have contributed to a flood of information and personal challenges that we know have only brought us to the brink of deep knowing. Out of this we hope to help “make something happen.”

At this point some folks have become aware of what we are doing and ask – with varying degrees of approval – questions that can be boiled down to “Why do you care?” In this blog we are sharing the answers we are currently prepared to give. Maybe our answers will change, even improve, as we go along, but this is where we are now.

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I want to try to do something to heal our country and acknowledge the systematic racism in our society and how I contribute to its flourishing.
Sharon Buntin

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I chose to get involved with learning more about racism following the George Floyd murder and its aftermath. It brought into clear focus for me that for centuries, racism or white advantage has strangled freedom for blacks. I want to learn how I contribute and what I can do to support societal change.

Jane Morgan

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I want the world to heal following the death of George Floyd. But first I need to educate myself regarding white privilege.

Bonnie Marsh

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All the major religions require us to love our neighbors. So let’s practice that.

Judy Crawford

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I am heartbroken over the state of our country — racism and its resulting inequities, polarization and hatred.  It is simple.  I want a better world for my grandchildren.  A world in which there is peace, respect, a sense of community, and work for the common good.  As Micah writes so beautifully — “What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.”

Dianne Franz

*****

My life matters only if black lives matter. I can’t stand the compassionate pain I’m suffering. I have to do something.

Mona Gustafson Affinito

*****

Taking my whiteness for granted with all the easiness in life that it brings, I am now more aware than ever of what this means in the lives of all my friends of color and those out there that I do not know. I can relate to them in more depth of understanding, after realizing that unrealized racism permeates my very being, unaware that I was about this in the past.  Even while raising a black daughter, I was not deeply aware of all her feelings and issues, ‘tho we did seek counseling together as a family. I also have a bi-racial son and daughter who are now in their 60’s, and discussing with them just last week topics of racism has been a clear way for me to explore my own feelings and beliefs.

Rhoda Brooks

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No man is an island entire of itself; every man

is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;

if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe

is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as

well as any manner of thy friends or of thine

own were; any man’s death diminishes me,

because I am involved in mankind.

And therefore never send to know for whom

the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

Quoting John Donne

Lisa Neun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WONDER WHY BLACKS ARE SO ANGRY? TRY THIS CHRISTIAN BASED REPORT   8 comments

 

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‘VeggieTales’ creator Phil Vischer releases viral video on race in America

Posted June 28, 2020 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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