Being in San Diego for only 3 years I find myself discovering new places, meeting various people and learning about cultural perspectives was invited to a book release party last Friday night at the San Diego World Beat Cultural Center. The book was title “Reclaiming Our Stories: Narratives of Identity, Resilience and Empowerment” and is published by San Diego City Works Press and presented by “Pillars of the Community”. The World Beat Cultural Center is across from the Veterans Museum at Balboa Park near the Naval Medical Center San Diego.
Being married to a 1st generation American by legal immigrants from a third world county I am not a stranger to other cultures and appreciate those that are proponents of freedom, peace and goodwill towards one another. Learning about this book I was interested to see what the diverse students of City College had to say about growing up in multicultural San Diego. We parked and entered the Cultural Center and were immediately greeted with “Pro” Fidel Castro pamphlets. Oh boy. They weren’t wasting time starting off with communist propaganda and we haven’t even entered the building. Seeing these young faces handing these out thinking they were being rebels and standing up for the common man by supporting totalitarian authoritarian tyrants in 3rd world countries. Do these kids ever read about history? Not much diversity in Cuba. One culture or else.
Upon entering the center the vibes and Rasta reds, greens and blacks with many murals about the “World Beat” club atmosphere including home made Kombucha and natural organic non GMO health snacks. All appeared very cool and hip while many diverse people were mingling about and sitting in front of a large stage. Immediately to the right before the stage is a large steel sculpture towering to the ceiling showing 3 different types of Jewish male archetypes holding up a steel framed map of the United States of America. Odd. Having a degree in art history it was a clearing communicating that only the peoples of the Judaic Religion are the foundation of America. Strange I never read that in the history books. Or maybe its they want to support America. Very confusing messages so far…
As we took a seat in front of the stage it was lit up with stage lights and was projecting a image of the book cover. Looking around the room I notice the many murals depicting scenes from ancient Egypt, Babylon, Rasta Lions and other images of past empires and kingdoms. Again I pondered why these images were being used here. As an expert in logos and symbols it was clear that the room was filled with many that were in complete opposition to any free world that acknowledges diversity. How can people be so mislead into thinking they were among friends when all symbols were of history’s enemies to all humanity no matter the race or creed. Symbols of monarchy and terrible empires that enslaved and slaughtered. Sad to see so many people clueless to the barrage of subliminal iconic programming around them.
As scanned around the room the sound from the mics filled the air and the MC’s began the presentation. Many speakers were here to read stories they contributed to the book. The first was the most touching about a young girl living in San Diego homeless on the streets because the mom was a drug addict and in and out jail while the dad although a little better was at least not incarcerated had a alcohol problem. Living in shelters she experience what it was like to be rock bottom. Later she was sent to live with her cousin back east in a stable home that happened to be Muslim. Seeing this stability and love she was drawn to the religion they practice. Everyone clapped. Looking around again I notice no Christian motifs or symbols. None. Hmmm. How is it a good thing for a women to become Muslim when they treat them like property and 2nd class citizens. I don’t see the freedom or enrichment in lowering someone’s status to less than a human.
Next came another contributing writer that spoke of being imprisoned for armed robbery and his ordeal in the big house. He read about his court experience and being transported to the big house. After arriving he talked about how he had an attitude with the guards and one particular ” White” guard to avoid. Although no explanation was given int eh story this person was the reason for his continued behavior. Adding more and more time to his sentence for being uncooperative he romanced how this is how a black man must have felt in the 1800’s picking cotton. I looked at my wife and she at me with amusement. This kid was in prison because he was a criminal and after being a complete jerk to the authorities was now feeling sorry for himself and framing his experience as though he were a slave in the Confederate South. This is “Reclaiming” their identities? Convicted Felon has attitude at Prison and thinks he is equal to a African slave in the 1800’s. This was an insult to my intelligence and to those slaves that had no fucking choice. While this entitled criminal punk thinks he is being treated unjustly by a bunch of racists prison guards. Wow. Is this a joke?
After, another criminal began telling her story of being a degenerate prostitute working the streets for her beloved pimp and was all good until the pimp started giving his attention to another “White Bitch”. This was too much for her and she went crazy violently attacked destroyed private property and that got them both arrested. She told her story as though auditioning for American Idol almost proud of her escapades. Glorifying her lifestyle and the people she was with. The whole time blaming the “White” man and her pimp for her troubles. She dressed as though she was still a prostitute to be honest. None the less there was no remorse or taking any responsibility. Just more of the same blaming everyone else, especially the “white” folks and not taking responsibility.
Next came the craziest story of a half Mexican half American man with his red hair and blue eyes that at an early age was put on Ritalin and other drugs that changed his entire life. Psychotropics are never good and another part of the problem with this run away psychiatry being shoved down are children’s throats. At a young age h as in trouble and juvenile hall. At 13 he escaped with some older boys and with them went on a robbery spree ended with a shoot out with the police. After 18 he moved back to smallville Montana and instead of getting his life together began slinging drugs. After getting busted he was back in and soon committing murder shanking many inmates to survive. Again no remorse for his action and left the stage like a rock star blaming the man and many references to race and discrimination from “White” people. We were basically listening to the stories of sociopaths that use race to justify their “victim” attitudes. Although I have Native American and Black mixed with Scotch and Irish like this speaker I look white and in my head began singing the Clash song “White Man in Hammersmith Palaise” from the 70’s where Joe Strummer goes to a London club that is predominantly black anti authority musicians and feeling the racism because he is “White”. Looking around I could see that the room was filled with very few with people. Maybe a dozen compared to the 100+ of black and brown folks.
Finally one of the MC’s began to tell her story. Until now I really hadn’t been that surprised; These inner city “cultural” groups are just that- a cult- following the fashion trend and latest social justice campaigns. However the last story truly showed the programmed hatred toward “White” people and the use of keywords to propagate a false narrative. The final reader told her story of how when she was in high school she had a Math teacher that caused her to hate math. She described him as a heavy set white male that was teaching math and “boasted” often about his service as a Veteran in he United States military. Her next statement made me gasp. She said why she hated him was his stories of “White Privilege” being a Veteran and was the reason she could stopped paying attention in class. The audience joined her in praising herself for recognizing this. After continued disrespect he notice she was not paying attention. He stopped at her desk and asked why.
She said that her teacher had “White Privilege” because he was a Veteran and that she didn’t have to listen and because of this attitude didn’t get along the rest of the year. This was the point of why she had so much trouble with math! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
Sounded like her racism towards a white male that was a veteran was the reason she didn’t do well in math. Of course everyone clapped and cheered her on. No remorse for her attitude or lack of respect for a person that served our country to defend our civil liberties and is now a teacher. Apparently his only crime was that he was “white”. Excuse me this is not a privileged life. Haven’t you been paying attention? The poor go to war. The rich seldom do. So how does one equate this logic? This young 24 year old woman speaking these words so completely lost in her own entitlement and hateful racism with the Veterans museum ironically just a few hundred yards away. Meanwhile hypocritically boasting to all of us her tales of being in the trenches of the educational system while condemning him for the same behavior. Looking around I noticed all the flags hanging form the ceiling. No US flag. Disgraceful.
Feeling exhausted after hearing all the disgusting tales of debauchery and self loathing blaming the “White”man and never taking any responsibility for their own actions scumbags- another speaker grab the mic promoting an upcoming event. A black woman with dreads addressed the crowd and brought attention to this event on Nov 5th called “Wanna be Free- The Concert of the People”. However the she only mentioned that the people to unite were the black and brown people against racist monster Donald Trump. Wait a minute. Only the Black and Brown people are a part of the “People’s Revolution”? Oh boy. And now Donald Trump is the reason for all the racism in the world? Wow. These people are such hypocrites. The whole time this woman was staring at me with fierce eyes and flailing arms shouting rhetoric that can only be described as divisive and racist blaming Donald Trump. These folks have no clue who their real enemy is if they think its the white race. Complete and willful ignorance.
Is this America? Is this the culture we want to promote? Racism, Ignorance and Divisiveness? Needless to say we both were disgusted and wanted to exit this sour culture being cultivated by cultist that seem to blame rather than take personal responsibility and foment hate. Everyone is faced with decision that can lead to success in life or self destruction. Its up to each and every one of us to choose the right decisions. Another interesting detail was that all speakers but the Mexican American male that was on Crystal Meth were all severely obese. More evidence of self loathing rather than discovering Identity. Stories of disrespect and misdirected anger from being incarcerated for committing horrible crimes as the manner of their Resilience. Not taking any responsibility for their actions and ignoring the laws as a form of Empowerment. Only the reclaiming of age old hate and fomenting racism towards others justifying immoral behavior and beliefs. Shameful these stories will ever influence any young troubled soul searching for truth. The book certainly was a detour from that path. Steer clear by reclaiming sanity by avoiding this ignorant and racist literature and cultural center.