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July 25, 2017



Yep. And they don't have much use for uppity women either.

Hank Chapin

True, but I am curious as to the source of this thought.

With a hapa Portuguese-Japanese girl friend (Helen passed five years ago) and an African-American son, age 50, I am more aware of this point than I ever was when I started off in life. (Although one girl in high school said we better not see each other anymore when she heard my "radical" ideas.)

I had no clue about your health issues, and I wish you the best in your struggle. Your lead off points in your most interesting blog, about surviving fascism, never changed and I thought you had stopped posting. Duh....

Residual animus against Barack Obama, who is no longer our President by the way, Mr. Trump, seems to me to be largely based on his race--period. To me, it is a no-brainer.


Hank: So glad to hear from you. I'll go look at your Facebook page. Yes, it's been a tough almost seven months since I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I am doing far better than my oncologist anticipated. If he feels I'm doing well,then I really am, because he is a pessimist.
Very traumatized at this moment, because my cat got caught underneath the footrest of my recliner as I lowered it. Screeching and screeching and blood everywhere. Terry lifted the chair and he ran away.The blood turned out to be mine, where the cat had scratched my hand in his fear and anger. Still bleeding a little. Sparky is perfectly fine. I'm a wreck.
Might say more about the race matter tomorrow. Note we did not get any real push back on health care until a lot of white people realized they were going to lose their health coverage.


Oh yes, and from afar, I contend that your current president was elected to punish all those liberals and open minded people who had the audacity to vote for Obama and keep him in the 'white' house for eight years.

James Baldwin knew this:
"I remember, for example, when the ex Attorney General, Mr. Robert Kennedy, said that it was conceivable that in forty years, in America, we might have a Negro president. That sounded like a very emancipated statement, I suppose, to white people. They were not in Harlem when this statement was first heard. And they’re not here, and possibly will never hear the laughter and the bitterness, and the scorn with which this statement was greeted. From the point of view of the man in the Harlem barber shop, Bobby Kennedy only got here yesterday, and he’s already on his way to the presidency. We’ve been here for four hundred years and now he tells us that maybe in forty years, if you’re good, we may let you become president."



I see more and more mixed-marriage and LGBT marriage ads on TV and I am sure it scares them to see their world sliding to the left. What is radical to them is a hopeful change for most of us.


My forebears were the builders of this nation, and I am proud of them for what they contributed but appalled at their attitudes of white supremacy. Racism has done incalculable damage and provided too many ways to thwart or even ruin the lives of people of color.
As a "real" American, I welcome immigration, because it is the immigrants who bring new ideas and energy to this country. We owe them more than they owe us. Where would we be without (just for an example) the introduction of Jewish humor into American life? No Groucho Marx? Unthinkable!


Are you feeling better?

Ole Phat Stu

Not just Jewish humour, Hattie.

America's first nuclear weapons (Manhatton project) were designed by Jews. Oppenheimer was of Jewish descent, John von Neumann, prime mover Einstein too. Hitler's biggest mistake there was forcing the Jewish scientific community to emigrate.

Yes, there was exactly ONE native american nuclear physicist, Fred Begay, at Los Alamos, but not until 1971.

America's space rockets were built by immigrants (a captured German team under von Braun).

America's scientific ascendenca is largely owned to immigrants, tell that to the Tea Party ;-)


You are so right. The good news is that the racists and xenophobes are a minority! When we were young, most places white supremacy had a majority constituency.

Btw, your Senator deserves props for heroism:


Yes, they are so fearful -- of what? The irony is that if many, especially in southern states, were to have their genes analyzed, would likely learn they're not pure white as the driven snow.

Glad your kitten not squashed, but sorry you got scratched -- beware cat scratch feve as my niece acquired.

Hank Chapin

I am amazed at the apparent large number of trans-gender people, especially those who are in the military. Until recently, I had only heard of a few in my whole life. I thought it was a rare biological anomaly.


Brandon: I'm feeling OK today, thanks. Still don't have the energy for sustained activities but am comfortable.
Stu: I'm from Berkeley. We saw Oppenheimer around in the early 40s. When I was three I was showing off my new dress to him while my mother was trying to hold a conversation, and she told me to stop. He said, "Oh, that's OK." She also knew Phil Morrison, who would read books, rapidly turning the pages and able to remember the content perfectly, while participating in conversations around him. No wonder he could handle being the sole book critic of the Scientific American for so many years.
They were all in the Communist party. My mother was a small fish and for her own sake should never have associated with them. She had notions of solidarity, but they were meant for higher things. She was just an ordinary person with ordinary means, not a hotshot nuclear physicist needed for "national defense." I mean, really, they were very smart, but few of their friends and acquaintances then had any idea how important they were. And they were all young, of course, and everyone was overwhelmed by the war situation.
One day they disappeared, and we all know the rest of the story for them. My mother was blackballed eventually, for once being a party member, and was never able to get a security clearance, civil service job, etc. She was also the family Commie and poor relation. Her family were reactionaries and racists. This was all very unfortunate and affected us negatively, socially and economically.
My angle on all this is political, of course. One thing that came out here for me was not only that interest in politics, but also in science(though not much ability for it), and I did marry a scientist. Terry is a a physical chemist, like Angela Merkel.
Jan: I'm very worried about Mazie.All that activity will slow down her recovery.
Joared: They are willing to do without rather than sharing with people of color. They have dragged us down into their world of fear. I'm keeping an eye on the scratches. Seem OK.


Hank: Same here. I was so confused that I had a long talk with my daughter about gender confusion, and she explained it to me, but I'm still confused. But for me, gender has never been primarily performative, so I guess I'll have to admit to being a back number on this issue. I do wonder if the excessive hormones we are all being dosed with has had a femiinizing effect on men, though. I seem to remember men being more muscular and hairy and so on. And, well, it's the man/woman thing that interests me!
More: I did meet several transgender men (women?) while working in the prison. One of them wanted to have some girl talk with me about the side effects on his breasts of the estrogen therapy he was taking. He was sent back to Halawa [the medium security prison on Oahu] after being caught exchanging blow jobs for cigarettes in the john between the chapel and the education facility. Another transgender inmate who was fully "converted" caused such havoc in the facility both for the men and for herself, a lot of use and abuse, that she, too was sent back to Halawa! I'm afraid I saw this as a kind of comedy show, but I suppose it was all very serious to the men/women involved.
PS: My penance will be to go read Judith Butler's Gender Trouble again.


"[S]everal transgender men (women?)"



"A substantial minority of Americans will never consent to a racially mixed society of equals."

What in particular occasioned this?


Brandon: A lifetime of experience as a white American. An insider, so to speak, who knows what racists believe, from listening to my family, (former)friends, etc. They are probably not going to say racist kinds of stuff around you! I note that some of my Asian friends, as well, believe that they have never been subjected to racism the way blacks have been. Or that it's not as bad for them as for blacks. I am thinking of a relative of a friend who would say, "Well, the Japanese: they are not even human." A monster, you think? No, a 'very nice' housewife. If you were Japanese, she would obviously not say such a thing around you and might even strike you as being a decent person, although she was nothing of the sort. Or my uncle, house hunting in San Francisco and talking about the close call he had when he almost bought into a mixed black/white neighborhood. I've written elsewhere about how racist my grandfather was and how willing he was to underscore his racist beliefs with violence. He was Irish-American and had the same kind of anomalous not-quite-white position as enforcer for the WASP elites as the Portuguese have had in Hawaii.
Do you follow Scott Nakagawa? He grew up in Hawaii and lives in Portland now. He is a community activist and also a highly original writer on the subject of race. He really makes me think.
At the heart of the matter is a staunch belief in subordination as appropriate for people of color, a belief that has retarded social justice in America right from the beginning. It's a complex but perfectly understandable system that puts white men at the top. That's why Obama was such an affront to the majority of white men.


"An insider, so to speak, who knows what racists believe, from listening to my family, (former)friends, etc. They are probably not going to say racist kinds of stuff around you!"

I can't worry what people think or say behind my back. If they try to conceal their racism, eventually it will surface. In Hawaii, people are pretty open about their prejudices, at least behind closed doors. One of the strangest comments I've gotten was "haole crap", delivered in the first or second grade by another student, part-Hawaiian but blond and fair-skinned.

Your friend's relative: Was this in California? Was it during or after World War II? Did she think Japanese were robotic? Or savage?


Brandon: Just the other day, a woman was telling me how much she dislikes the Chinese. The racism and chauvinism of white folks are ongoing and pervasive, even in Hawaii. Sorry to have to point that out. A big task in my life has been to de-program myself from the racism that is my heritage.

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