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View Diary: Something about Mary (116 comments)

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  •  I knew Mary and this article isn't the Mary I knew (none)
    The Mary described above isn't someone I recognize. The Mary I knew was happy, funny, strongly opinionated, courageous as the come, and very caring.

    No one who actually worked for a living would ever have mistaken Mary for a homeless person; she was always clean and did not smell bad; her clothing was serviceable, and she looked like what she was - a woman who worked hard for her money caring for David, who is a quadriplegic, not a paraplegic. BTW, if you must reduce people to being "poor and unfortunate" stereotypes and deny them their essential humanity could you at least pay lip service to the ideals of equality and keep the labels straight? David, BTW, is self-supporting, works as a professional and is a very funny and witty man.

    I never heard of an International Workers of the World; but I first encountered Mary when she was an official of the Industrial Workers of the World.

    As for violence and firearms, perhaps the sentiments expressed above go a long way towards explaining the popularity of pogroms; people who prefer victimization over self defense are easy targets for thugs. Unfortunately for those who believe in the perfectability of humanity - be they Medieval Christians or modern pacifists - a certain percentage of people seem to be born without a conscience, even in the most loving and caring homes. Such individuals consider those less able to defend themselves - like quadriplegics, old people, and the disarmed - to be ideal victims. Mary knew this from bitter experience - although an extremely non-violent person, she did not believe in permitting people to die for other people's ideals of non-violence. She also knew people, like me, whose families had fought shooting wars against the KKK and who have little inclination to be lynched in order to fulfill some preference of foxes for declawed rabbits. Perhaps these issues are rare in our wealthier communities; however they are not uncommon in working class and lower middle class neighborhoods. It is much easier to believe in restricting firearms to the police or licensed security guards and bodyguards if you can afford the security guards or bodyguards.

    Mary on occasion harbored people who faced physical threats and protected them when their assailants considered the police a minor nuisance and restraining orders toilet paper.

    When Mary took over David's care he was in danger of losing his freedom and independence because of the malfeasance of a former caretaker who had left the lower level of the house in a condition where it required treatment for being a hazardous and toxic area. She waded through all the bureaucracy in order to have the house cleaned by an approved company and helped David retain his home at a time when there was tremendous pressure from the "helping professions" to confine him to a nice, safe, institution instead of having him continue as a self-supporting human being with an interesting career.

    Mary was tolerant. She was raised Jewish; I'm Muslim, and it wasn't an issue.

    Mary was a human being, and a good one. She was not a pitiable stereotype in need of uplifting, enlightenment, or re-education by rich folks in gated communities. If there is a Paradise, and she's up there, if I ever get their I expect to find her teaching Klaviage to the Naqshabandis and being frustrated as all get out when she tells them "I see Arabs in your family tree" and they reply along the lines of "great!"

    •  Many people see many different things (none)
      We all bring our own perspective to the table.

      I can tell you that Mary was not raised Jewish. I'm her sister, and I know that our family attended the Presbyterian Church. Our great-grandfather was Jewish, but as our grandmother was a Methodist, we can't really claim Jewish ethnicity.

      In meeting some of her friends after her death, I have come to know that many people knew a very different person than I did. But that's not a big surprise. I'm not the person I was when I was a teenager. I'm sure that people who have known me as an adult would have very different impressions of me than my childhood friends.

      I had started to get to know Mary again after she rejoined our family a few years ago. But there is a great deal about her that I will never have access to because, sadly, that door has closed.

      Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by elsaf on Sun Jun 12, 2005 at 07:32:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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