My Blog Week: August 23 to August 29
All the Latest from Torsade!
A Word on the Week
For a moment, let’s consider a recent Pew Research Center report of August 11, which finds that the term Latinx is used by only three percent of Hispanic/Latino survey respondents. Census identification is one matter, rules for addressing and referring to people another. For demographic purposes, terminology has to be decided on and stuck to, but a Lakota or a Guatemalan may prefer to be called as she calls herself, rather than blanketed under a generic label.
Latinx looks like it would rhyme with minx, bound to be part of the offense (bad enough to force the well-meaning to correct someone…but then to correct them twice…all in support of the latest in New Names before many feel confident about it…) An anonymous respondent quoted on the Pew website calls the term “presumptuous”. And back in the pre-COVID days, some of the Democratic candidates had embraced it, using it with a liberality, if you will, that seemed premature.
But if you are a person of color, wondering about this slow Tulsa rolling over your community, sucking the wealth out of Black American families, Hispanic families, Native American families (lost jobs, huge hospital bills, loss of breadwinners, caretakers…), you may wonder also what it means, when reporters find undecided voters for whom abortion is so large an issue, they don’t know if they can vote for Biden.
For yourself, you might say, “I don’t want a new name. I don’t want the next new name either. The gender of my language isn’t what bothers me. Health care bothers me. Housing bothers me. Violence targeted at me for my existence bothers me.”
You might say change society first. Change the bigotry and inequality and injustice the culture seems willing to tolerate, and one day, when we are all comfortable enough, all earning good money and paying every bill, and feeling safe everywhere, we’ll talk about words.
Words matter, but they’re the low-hanging fruit of action. Society has seen many more new words, done and moved on from, than meaningful actions.
What, however, is the Christian teaching that makes people think they don’t have a mission every day to improve society, to make people’s lives more stable and prosperous, so that having a child and quality of life are not two separate choices?
(Re another Republican talking point, Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, etc., but never said: “If you extend a helping hand to the suffering, it disincentivizes them from finding jobs.” Christianity is very socialist.)
A lot of Republicans who would sneer at the latest new word, are hung up on the symbolic gesture of a new law. Desperate women will go on making the choice their life forces them to, legal or not. At least wavering voters should see the mental hypocrisy, in rolling their eyes at Latinx but trading off the deaths of 182,000 people for the band-aid of a new, only semi-enforceable, law.
On Monday, a new Totem-Maker, a legend teased out from the ancient writings. Tuesday, The Mirrors (part fifteen), and a night spent at the Institute. Wednesday, a new Jumping Off poem, “Flame”. Thursday, part six of Shine!, by Mathilde Alanic, Annie learning what jealousy sinks to. Friday and Saturday, excerpts from A Figure from the Common Lot, “Passage”, and “Paris”, Honoré a goose spared plucking; and a longer segment, with Honoré and Gérard plotting social reform.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.
My Blog Week: August 23 to August 29
The Totem-Maker: Crafter Becomes Maker (part six)
The Mirrors (part fifteen)
Poetry Foundation: Karen Fish, “FLAMES BEHIND YOUR HEAD”
Mathilde Alanic: Shine! (part six)
Excerpt: A Figure from the Common Lot (Passage second)
Excerpt: A Figure from the Common Lot (Paris second)