Volume , Number 0
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There are no articles.Culture
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The Crucible of American Indian â€¦
Massacre in Chiapas
Power to the (Malayalee) People
Richard w. franke and barbara h. Chasin
I'm Sick of Cultural Awareness
GLOBAL ROGUE STATE
A Tale of Two Stories
THE BEST OF 1997
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I'm Sick of Cultural Awareness
Helloooo. Im Mrs. Geoffrey. Im sitting here in my expensive townhouse. I gaze out the window at the noon sun glistening on our $500 birdhouse. A Martin Luther King day march passes by. I clutch my $18,000 emerald necklace which Geoffrey purchased just yesterday, on a whim. A newspaper with the headlines "Clinton Begins a National Dialogue About Race" falls from my lap to the floor. A tear forms. Oh, God. Will these brown, red, and yellow people steal all the hard earned money my husband Geoffrey inherited from his robber baron great-grandfather? Will they destroy our culture, our way of life? Will we have to sell the $3 million Van Gogh to keep "them" from getting their grubby hands on it?
I am frantic with worry. To calm my fears, I ring for the chauffeur and he drives me to my favorite store. As I contemplate the purchase of something expensive, a high school Pep Rally marches by. Several shopper gals and I move to the windows to watch as mostly white (therefore adorable) high schoolers march by. Suddenly, there is a group marching behind a "Cultural Awareness" banner. They are all black. I grasp my handbag and my jewelry. You cant be too careful. One of them may dart into the store and "culturally aware" my $5,000 gold watch bracelet into his/her pocket.
Then a float passes by filled with lovely white students dressed as Indians. A gal next to me says she doesnt think white students dressing as Indians is very "culturally aware." Another gal says proudly and loudly, "Im sick of cultural awareness. If these nice white gals and boys want to dress as Indians, let them!"
I leave the shop, the words "Im sick of cultural awareness" ringing in my ears. To calm myself I go to see that film Amistad. I thought it was going to be about British colonials ruling the seas, conquering and pillaging in the name of Empire. (My ancestors among them, I might add, proudly.) But to my horror, I watch three hours of "brown/black people fighting for freedom," (i.e., trying to take over our country and destroy our way of life).
I wanted to shout, "Im sick of cultural awareness. If the white race wants to steal Africans from their villages and sell them into slavery, let them." Besides, we all know that Africans came willingly because theyd heard how wonderful it was to live on American plantations. Some also came as part of a giant conspiracy to destroy democracy, which, by the way, is a concept only white people comprehend, as exemplified by our founding fathers when they denied gals and non whites the right to be called human beings.
I am so upset by this movie, I go to the beauty parlor for a wash, set, manicure, and massage. I am under the hair dryer, leafing through a womans magazine, reading all about Kenny and Bobbi McCaughey who gave birth to seven babies all at once. It is such a moving story. Why? Because it is a well-deserved slap in the face to all the com-les-fem gals out there who, since the 1960s, have refused to fulfill their god-given roles as the weaker vessel. Because it is a slap in the face to all the fem-les-coms who are having abortions willy nilly because they wont accept their god-given role as the weaker vessel. Because it puts God back in the birth process. Pregnancy is Gods way of keeping those empty vessels filled. I instruct the chauffeur to send off a $10 gift to add to the many well-deserved prizes the McCaugheys have already received from various friends and state agencies.
Of course, the McCaugheys God is Methodist whereas the true God is part Presbyterian, part Episcopal. And isnt McCaughey an Irish name? Well, I'll deal with that later.
Anyhoo, I am all relaxed under the hair dryer, leafing through this womens magazine, when a non white gal appeared to upset me yet again. This gal was using fashion to push affirmative action. Is there nothing these gals of color wont stoop to? Not only that, this non white gal in the fashion spread, which I have included here, is "supporting her friends," clearly a subversive activity. Shes "standing up for herself," a lesbian activity, for sure. Shes demanding, not to mention shopping for, clothes. In stores where white people shop! Clearly, a threat to democracy (i.e., white culture). Of course, I wouldnt be caught dead in Sears. But if shes shopping at Sears, can Neiman Marcus, Bonwit Teller, and my exclusive dress shop be far behind?
Clearly, this gal is out to seduce and our sons and produce masses of babies (probably at least seven) and steal our hard earned money by milking the welfare system or demanding the right to live nearby.
I leave the beauty parlor in a state of shock. I arrive home. The maid brings me a cocktail. Then my husband Geoffrey comes home. He tells me all about his day. Our son is having trouble at his exclusive private school. Geoffrey had been speaking to the head master. Theyre giving our son special help, thank goodness.
I tell him about Clintons dialogue on race; about the cultural awareness march, about the gal in the magazine who wants to marry our son and steal our Renoir and our country blind. Geoffrey, I say, whats to become of us? As that gal in the store said, "Why cant we dress up like Indians (or anyone else weve slaughtered) in the name of freedom and for Chrissakes?"
Geoffrey dries my tears. "Silly," he says, using my pet nickname. "Nothing can make a dent in the amount of wealth weve been able to accumulate through my inheritance and various stock market scams, not to mention favorable legislation since the Reagan Bush years."
"Really?," I gurgle. "Smerf," says Geoffrey. We wander through our lovely home, fingers lightly brushing our possessions: the little desk in the library, $55,000; the hand woven carpet in the salon, $300,000. Oops. Geoffrey doesnt like me to talk about how much things cost. Geoffrey says you dont earn money, you deserve it. Geoffrey says "Quality is back. People what quality and if they cant have it, they want us to have it. Its the same with affirmative action and cultural awareness.
He says you dont earn the right to a decent way of life. You deserve it. Geoffrey says its not about civil rights, cultural awareness, or affirmative action because theyre beside the point. Its about whether non whites deserve to be treated as whites, and therefore as human beings. And they dont. If God thought non white people deserved food and clothing and a Van Gogh, He would have made things that way.
Im happy now. Our son is getting the help he needs to be the future corporate banking lawyer he deserves to be. And we wont have to sell the Matisse.
To celebrate, we throw a costume party for all our friendsthe deserving .05 percent of the population. Everyone comes dressed as someone who doesn't deserve to be here and who deserves to be stepped on: Slave, wage slaves, Indians, those demanding civil rights, those refusing to be weaker vessels, the "culturally aware" whatever. After dinner we gather in the east ballroom and dance the night away. My favorite is the "Hokussy Pokussy." It goes like this:
You put your nest egg in
We steal your nest egg out
Stuff some in our pockets
Invest the rest about
We wont be in the poky
Equal justice is a jokey
Thats why you bail us out
You put your taxes in
We take our tax breaks out
Blame the welfare mothers
No one will figure it out
Rich whites you will not soaky
Cause well put you in the poky
Thats what it's all about.
We put our businesses in
You try to kick them out
We send the cops in
Spread them all about
Cultural awareness makes us sicky
Our pockets you wont picky
We're gonna keep you out.
Thanks to readers for the Sears ads and information on the McCaughey's; thanks to a Doug Beekman cartoon for first verse and chorus to "Hokussy Pokussy." I overheard the "cultural awareness" comment in a gourmet kitchen store during a high school football rally.