Skip to main content

Well, it's garage sale season again, and yesterday was the Saturday when everyone in my eastern Canadian city descends upon a particular neighborhood that -- for a single glorious spring day -- turns into a giant paradise of garage sale mania. The real bargain-hunters, those with an eye for antiques and memorabilia, get there at the crack of dawn. Most crowds start pouring in mid-morning, around 9 am. I split the difference this year and got there well before 8.

A few hours later I'd filled my bags and was well on my way to emptying my wallet. I was making my way back towards my bag-drop station but simply could not resist at least glancing at each table as I walked by.

And so it was as I was looking through your table of knickknacks (nice enough, though rather outrageously priced by garage sale standards) that, out of the corner of my eye, I saw you stalk over to my end of the table and heard your voice raised in agitation. "Goodbye!"

Startled, I glanced up and saw you making shooing motions at someone standing to my right. "Goodbye! Goodbye! I have nothing at your prices."

Your tone was brusque and dismissive. With a final whisk of your hand, you turned on your heel and stalked off to the other end of the table. Unsure and puzzled, I glanced to my right. My eyes landed on a group of three women belonging to a visible minority -- and my mouth literally dropped open as I stared from the women, to you, and back again.

The women were still standing there, talking among themselves. Perhaps they hadn't fully understood your meaning, or perhaps they were used to such treatment -- resigned, even. And maybe you'd been half-counting on that -- that your racist remark would go, for all intents and purposes, unheard and unremembered.

But I heard. And as I fully realized what had just happened, my heart sank and I felt sick to my stomach. Dropping the object I'd been holding, I took a step back  -- then turned and walked away from your table, never to return. Not this year, and not next.

And maybe, if it had just been your table on your front lawn, that would have been the end of it. You would have lost my business yesterday. But it wasn't.

You see, your table wasn't on your front lawn. It was part of a larger church sale. And, to me, you were there not only as a private vendor, but as a representative of the church you belonged to. And by treating those women as you did, you forever ruined the reputation of your church for me.

If Jesus, who told us to treat "the least of these" like him, was a vendor at that table -- would he have shooed away those women dismissively? What about Paul, who wrote that "In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek"?

Is your church a church where people of all ethnicities and backgrounds are welcomed and treated equally? Or is your church a church where some people -- the minorities, the disadvantaged, the "riff-raff" -- are waved off like pesky flies? Does your church care more about garage sales and committee meetings and choir practices than it does about reaching out and welcoming others into the family of Christ?

I didn't confront you yesterday. Was it timidity or cowardice on my part? Perhaps. Perhaps it was that the women themselves seemed to have let the statement pass and I didn't want to draw their attention to it. Perhaps it was that I was exhausted and hungry and my feet were aching and the cut I'd gotten a few blocks back just wouldn't stop bleeding. Or perhaps I didn't want to escalate a situation that I wasn't sure I could control.

There have been times in the past, though, that I've heard others make similar statements. Racist statements. Statements that I was uncomfortable with, and I knew were wrong, and yet I let them pass. We're so "nice" here in Canada, so polite, so scared to rock the boat. So tolerant, even of intolerance. And so it was you didn't even glance at me or the others at your table when you confronted those women -- because you knew we wouldn't speak out. Or thought we shared the same attitudes. We were "cool with that."

No, I am not cool with your racism.

And it's not only yours. Because as multicultural and accepting as we're supposed to be in Canada, we have racism here too. Oh, it's subtle, but it exists.

From the client who told me not to look for apartments in a certain part of the city, because "all the immigrant nannies go there in the evening" (this despite the fact she herself is of a visible minority and employs a nanny from outside the country for her two children!) To the woman who told me that seeing girls wearing headscarves makes her "uncomfortable". To those who have told me they don't support the Idle No More movement, because "Natives are corrupt and just want more money."

I've walked in the park you describe and, yes, I was probably the only Caucasian there; I never felt threatened in the least, only happy to see so many families out and enjoying the beautiful weather. I went to high school with a close friend who wore a headscarf, and I've marched on Parliament Hill as an Idle No More ally to demand respect and environmental accountability from our government.

Your racism is not cool.

And from now on, I'm telling you so.

7:06 PM PT: Wow -- made the Rec List! (First time, I think!) Thanks :)

Originally posted to Green Canticle on Sun May 26, 2013 at 04:57 PM PDT.

Also republished by Street Prophets and RaceGender DiscrimiNATION.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (252+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Louisiana 1976, serendipityisabitch, oldpotsmuggler, bill warnick, linkage, Susan from 29, AaronInSanDiego, Navy Vet Terp, blue91, Another Grizzle, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, koosah, jan4insight, The Marti, Portlaw, weck, JeffW, deepsouthdoug, Dirtandiron, Spirit of Life, pioneer111, Gooserock, CroneWit, journeyman, doroma, arizonablue, dotsright, RJDixon74135, Tunk, Cassandra Waites, howabout, psnyder, Eric Twocents, texasmom, lostboyjim, kerflooey, Smoh, OldSoldier99, dmhlt 66, suesue, pvasileff, Debby, Alexandra Lynch, Thinking Fella, marina, janmtairy, Shippo1776, Eyesbright, sja, Ditch Mitch KY, jadt65, markdd, theKgirls, oortdust, 2thanks, annieli, Leftcandid, belinda ridgewood, Mathazar, peptabysmal, second gen, cotterperson, Zack from the SFV, LoreleiHI, begone, royce, also mom of 5, teabaggerssuckbalz, Lorikeet, Ricochet67, Aaa T Tudeattack, mcgee85, petulans, Gowrie Gal, Bendra, freesia, 4CasandChlo, Oaktown Girl, Laurel in CA, DBunn, celdd, WakeUpNeo, myboo, VeggiElaine, Karl Rover, on the cusp, chantedor, Pluto, NBBooks, broths, Alice Venturi, zerelda, asterkitty, Yasuragi, Says Who, peteri2, pittie70, BlackSheep1, Ginny in CO, Marko the Werelynx, meralda, CwV, mikeconwell, FlyingToaster, janl1776, pixxer, ladybug53, harlinchi, drmah, itzadryheat, HeyMikey, Nowhere Man, Nebraskablue, science nerd, irishwitch, Involuntary Exile, Youffraita, My Spin, koseighty, TexMex, RoCali, Matilda, DRo, brook, Shotput8, catly, aitchdee, BadKitties, Lefty Ladig, peachcreek, SuWho, Bule Betawi, indie17, PinHole, greengemini, ArtemisBSG, tegrat, Jeff Y, Sue B, commonmass, SueM1121, madhaus, Mr Horrible, chimene, Chaddiwicker, Angie in WA State, Overseas, 417els, anodnhajo, ZedMont, joynow, Gemina13, splashy, riverlover, Tinfoil Hat, eagleray, jiffykeen, Kitsap River, jhop7, coppercelt, onionjim, Curt Matlock, funluvn1, msdobie, rustypatina, WearyIdealist, mamamorgaine, Rogneid, Patango, SaraBeth, shanikka, OleHippieChick, Matt Z, hopeful, sngmama, Blu Gal in DE, jeannew, NJpeach, cv lurking gf, Kristina40, klompendanser, Dallasdoc, leeleedee, MadRuth, Ice Blue, concernedamerican, Its a New Day, mslat27, nzanne, FloridaSNMOM, rlb, starfu, sobermom, Texknight, sunbro, WFBMM, Nag, jazzizbest, NYWheeler, slowbutsure, VickiL, Powered Grace, RLF, BYw, Knucklehead, Joes Steven, OIL GUY, paradise50, Flying Goat, theBCI, leonard145b, thomask, boadicea, GAS, la urracca, sfbob, Darryl House, trumpeter, triciawyse, Damnit Janet, Meteor Blades, kevin k, bluesheep, Sun Tzu, notrouble, TrueBlueMajority, Sandia Blanca, djMikulec, karmsy, Fireshadow, wozzlecat, smrichmond, MartyM, ColoTim, HoosierDeb, JDWolverton, La Gitane, tgypsy, G Contractor, MasterfullyInept, winglion, jeanette0605, flitedocnm, eeff, hotdamn, verdeo, ewmorr, cyncynical, Larsstephens, Oh Mary Oh, mofembot, Batya the Toon

    "We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." (Joni Mitchell)

    by Eowyn9 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 04:57:12 PM PDT

  •  I should add that the women in question (94+ / 0-)

    hadn't been harassing the vendor or causing trouble, or even asking her for a reduced price (which is extremely common practice at this particular event.) I'd been at the table looking at things for at least half a minute, and from what I could tell they were just standing there when she stalked over.

    I was, to put it mildly, shocked and disgusted.

    "We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." (Joni Mitchell)

    by Eowyn9 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:00:18 PM PDT

    •  That punctures my first assumption: Haggling (11+ / 0-)

      I was about to post that I bet the women were haggling, which is a "given" behavior in some cultures but not so much in Anglo-based white America/Canada.  My mom used to put on garage sales and some of the hagglers were extremely obnoxious.  

      But if they weren't doing that, and were just existing in the space like anyone else, then you're right, the seller's behavior is disgusting.  

      •  The thing is, haggling is considered acceptable (16+ / 0-)

        at this event. I had just been doing it all morning. Obviously not to such a degree as to be obnoxious, but it's seen as widely acceptable to make an immediate counteroffer of up to a 50% reduction (i.e. if it's $10, offer $5 and you'll usually meet in the middle at around $7 or $8.)

        If she really wasn't interested in ANY bargaining, she should've had a sign up saying "All Prices Firm" or something.

        In any case, they hadn't been haggling at all as far as I could tell, or even talking to her, just standing there and looking at her knickknacks.

        "We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." (Joni Mitchell)

        by Eowyn9 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 07:02:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  that was what I thought; I have frequented (7+ / 0-)

        auctions and such for a half century or so and there are always some there who are commonly termed "bottom feeders" who are either looking for an original copy of the Constitution or else offers $.05 for a signed Faulkner.

        "American Pickers" to the contrary, most "bargains" have long since been snapped up except in extraordinary circumstances.  I also thought of haggling as an explanation as in some cultures, not only is haggling the norm, so is an explosive display of faux temper at one party or the other as a part of the "theater" where one party or the other expresses outrage at the other's attempts to buy or sell.

        From your clarification, this is not what was happening her but instead a genuine expression of racial disdain (from reading, I understand Somalian immigrants, for one group, face a great deal of discrimination)

        •  Bargains... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eowyn9, ColoTim

          I attended my first storage unit auction Saturday. Now, I'm not usually into auctions of any kind since I don't need "stuff" so badly that I find the need to fight for it. But I made an exception in this case since it was just across the street from my wife's daughter's place. I'm into vintage electronics, records and older toys and those were the only things I was keeping an eye out for. As it happened, the first unit they opened was full of old records, an old Marantz receiver, a turntable and yes, even toys. I ended up with it all, at a surprisingly (ridiculously) low price. Many of the records that I found are highly collectable and it turned out that I could easily get my money back with the sale of just the turntable and a couple of records (there were over 250). Then there's the over 700 Hotwheels cars.

          My investment? Less than $200.

          So yeah, the bargains are still out there. ;-)

          •  as noted, there are extraordinary bargains (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            djMikulec

            out there but not commonly.  I recently purchased 11 various African daggers circa 1880-1920 or so by my guess for $30.  However such things don't happen every day; while you may luck up on a storage unit or estate sale, you have the best chance if you have a niche interest and it is a smaller sale, less likely to attract dealers  

    •  Next time, say so. (35+ / 0-)

      Yes, I know we are trained to be polite. To be courteous. To be civilized.

      Racists count on that. They do.

      So next time, just pleasantly say, "I'm curious. What's the problem with these ladies?"  

      Give the jackass a bland smile and a lifted eyebrow.

      Now you will get one of three responses:

      "Mind your own damn business!"

      And the answer to that is, spoken still in a very pleasant voice: "Making sure that other human beings are treated like human beings is my business. Actually, I think it's every decent person's business. Don't you agree?"

      Or....

      "Are you kidding? These people shouldn't even be here!"

      And the answer to that is, still in the pleasant voice: "Really? Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't notice when they were rude to you or dumped over your display table or called you names. I'm assuming that they did something like that at the very least. Am I correct?"

      Or...

      Open mouthed astonishment. Followed by slinking away.

      Racists need to know that racism is not socially acceptable. And the targets of their bile also need to know that racism is not socially acceptable.

      Speak in a courteous voice. Smile. That makes it much harder for  the racist to accuse you of being a troublemaker. You shout, they shout, things get ugly. So be as matter of fact as though you were discussing the weather.  

      But do it.  

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Sun May 26, 2013 at 07:36:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and, perhaps, complain to the church (42+ / 0-)

        that one of their vendors is not representing them in a favorable way.

        "Throwing a knuckleball for a strike is like throwing a butterfly with hiccups across the street into your neighbor's mailbox." -- Willie Stargell

        by Yasuragi on Sun May 26, 2013 at 08:21:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  While very good ideas, the diarist (12+ / 0-)

        made clear her situation.

        I didn't confront you yesterday. Was it timidity or cowardice on my part? Perhaps. Perhaps it was that the women themselves seemed to have let the statement pass and I didn't want to draw their attention to it. Perhaps it was that I was exhausted and hungry and my feet were aching and the cut I'd gotten a few blocks back just wouldn't stop bleeding. Or perhaps I didn't want to escalate a situation that I wasn't sure I could control.
        I think she made a very good decision for very good reasons. Especially if she was the only one who did notice the action.

        Following up with the church is probably the best option anyway. If the woman is confronted by the leadership, she won't have had time to make up a convincing alternative story.

        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

        by Ginny in CO on Sun May 26, 2013 at 08:33:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think I'd disagree. (14+ / 0-)

          If you're only going to speak out when conditions are ideal....well, how often are they ideal?

          Being tired or hungry or having aching feet doesn't absolve us from the need to speak out.

          And you'd be surprised how often the racists will deflate like a popped balloon when given even a fairly gentle prick with a "This really isn't acceptable, you know." needle.

          As for the women the racist insulted, how often, I wonder, have they retreated because they thought that there was no one to help them. No one at all.

          Like I say, the racists get away with it because the "good" people don't speak up.

          Use the "pleasant inquiry" technique. No shouting. No calling of names. It's astonishing how often treating something like this as a social faux pas instead of a moral wrong will work better than direct confrontation.  But do it.

          Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

          by Sirenus on Sun May 26, 2013 at 09:11:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have been in many situations over the years. (10+ / 0-)

            Expecting everyone to be on top of this kind of situation whenever it hits is very unrealistic. We are often stressed out too much as it is. As we age, trying to step up to every situation can harm some of us even more.

            My involvement goes back 55 years - when my parents were heavy activists in the civil rights movement. I am quite familiar with King's comments on this. Over the years I have added ways that are effective.

            To go with the BS in nursing, I also have one in sociology. Ignore is a very well established, effective means of responding to inappropriate behavior. As described, it sounds like the diarist was the only one who was aware of the action. A perfect time to use it, especially followed up contacting the church.

            I have stood in a group of professionals discussing a case when someone started inappropriate remarks. Prepared as soon as they made eye contact to send the message just in my look. Twice the person faltered and stopped talking. Once the rest of the group looked at me and started smiling. Other times the group just went back to the discussion. Most importantly the focus of the meetings were not drawn further away from the patient, and the staff did not have to cope with yet another adrenalin rush.

            As I said, the ideas are very good. We each have to determine if we can take on any level of confrontation, even with a smile and calm words, at any specific time. We each react differently physiologically. Some of us can have a really major adrenalin rush no matter how controlled the situation.

            The diarist was aware of her fatigue, she also had to drive home safely. I have told many, many ICU patients' families to be very careful getting behind a wheel during the time their loved one was sick. High levels of stress hormones destroy executive function, focus, concentration, and reaction time.

            One of the standard aspects of stress is a variation of freeze. It's basically being numbed to the level of stress you are under. It is that numbness that keeps people who could well drown from trying to save a drowning person.

            A UU minister at one of my churches once responded to a question about what constitutes moral behavior. Do we have to do something every time? Do we have to spend money that we don't have? He very thoughtfully explained that just because you aren't 100% perfect does not make you less moral. Sometimes you have to sit out a battle to be able to continue to fight the war.

            "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

            by Ginny in CO on Sun May 26, 2013 at 10:17:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  maybe we frequent different groups (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Oh Mary Oh

              but I would also add that confronting racists on their screeds runs the risk of the surrounding crowd affirming the bigotry or even an assault by the offender.  Some people still view a punch in the nose as an effective rebuttal while others seem to debate with Bushmasters, given the opportunity.  I would hesitate to accost any stranger in these even stranger days.

              As far as appealing to the church, I would note that many churches do continue to support various types of discrimination as the US Catholic Council of Bishops have issued yet another directive condemning marriage equality with no sense of irony as Dolan argues that it is "for the sake of the children.  I also note various local SBC congregations continue to target Jews for conversion.  Many churches would see no problem with the statements and might instead find fault with your perceptions

              •  For the next time, or someone else's next time (6+ / 0-)

                There were two parties here who needed to hear from you -- the vendor and the group of women. When someone stands silent, however loudly they may be thinking, in the face of someone else insulting a third party, the thought of the insulted is that the silent one agrees with the speaker. You don't need to start an argument or a fight -- simply make the statement out loud that "your behavior is rude and inappropriate" so that everyone involved may hear. You can turn and walk away right away after saying that and don't need to stay to get more tired or keep bleeding or whatever. You will have assured both the bigot and the mistreated that not everyone around them agrees with the bigotry. That matters.  

                Since this advice comes too late to use at the sale and the clock ever stubborn in only moving forward,  I agree with the suggestion that a note to the pastor is in order.  You are only assuming that this vendor represents the church's values.  There is always a chance you are wrong and the note may lead to a useful sermon on Christ's values.  However, if the church does preach intolerance, at least your note will again tell the pastor that not everyone in the area agrees with bigoted behavior.  He may at least care that  it hurts community relations -- you representing the larger community. in this case.

                •  Under many circumstances I would (5+ / 0-)

                  almost certainly have confronted her. However, there's a couple reasons here why I didn't.

                  By the time that I'd glanced at the women, back to her, and fully made the connection to what was happening, she was down at the other end of the table. To shout at her retreating back felt, well, lame. To go down to the end of the table to confront her there felt like a deliberate escalation that could get others in the crowd angry (at me).

                  Then, too, I noticed the three women in question were chatting to one another in another language (not English). They also looked to be in their 50's or 60's. Now, obviously none of this is a reason they should be treated badly or that I shouldn't speak up for them. But, realizing that English was quite possibly not their first language and that perhaps they hadn't fully understood what she was saying -- I didn't want to force that understanding upon them. That felt like compounding the wrong that she'd done to them. (Though, on second thought, shooing motions and a dismissive tone probably translate pretty well into any language, so maybe my reasoning here was kind of off.)

                  Probably the biggest factor was that I'd gotten up at the crack of dawn, wasn't thinking at all clearly and was feeling overwhelmed even before this happened. Not ideal circumstances for thinking on your feet or initiating a confrontation.

                  "We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." (Joni Mitchell)

                  by Eowyn9 on Mon May 27, 2013 at 06:20:06 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Those are all really good reasons (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    wishingwell, Oh Mary Oh

                    I hadn't realized from your story that they had already moved away.

                     I had a cross burned into my lawn on Long Island many years ago.  A number of people from the area wanted to contact me about it and the minister from a local church left a message he wanted to meet with me.  I wanted nothing to do with any of them. I avoided the phone calls and visits. I didn't know what to say and I just wanted the whole thing never to have happened.  Turned out the one who did it was a preteen who didn't like my son, who was the same age. I also suspected the conversation about Jews at his dinner table might not have been kind nor tolerant.  I did hear that the priest of his church gave a sermon against such behavior after this incident and I was glad about that. I never did discuss the situation again, until now.  I also never had another similar problem for which I was also glad.  Still, remembering my reaction at the time, I can see that chasing down the women to tell them it was wrong might not have made them feel better.  

              •  Who are you replying to? (0+ / 0-)

                Have you read the diary and thread of comments leading up to mine?

                Sirenus started with the idea that the diarist should have confronted the woman with calm and pleasant comments.

                I disagreed, supporting Eowyn9's clearly expressed issues for acting on the situation. Sirenus then insisted in a rather moral perfectionism perspective.

                I disagreed more thoroughly, explaining that intervention in these circumstances can have a heavy personal toll. In another circumstances the hitting, etc. might well be an issue. I explained that ignore can be very effective - especially when there doesn't seem to be anyone else aware of the comment,  as is really mean direct looks at the offender who you know and knows you. You say

                confronting racists on their screeds runs the risk of the surrounding crowd affirming the bigotry or even an assault by the offender.  Some people still view a punch in the nose as an effective rebuttal while others seem to debate with Bushmasters, given the opportunity.  I would hesitate to accost any stranger in these even stranger days.
                This was in Canada, the rude one was a woman, the sponsor of her booth was a church. Multiple commenters suggested letting the church know and I agreed that was a very good option.

                I would leave it to Eowyn9 to determine how racist that Canadian church might be and decide if she wanted to contact them.  I wouldn't frankly care what the church thinks of my contacting them if they are discriminating. Over the phone I can politely inform them of the incident and  that I thought they might want to know about this behavior, which is very wrong and can drive away customers and potential members.

                "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

                by Ginny in CO on Mon May 27, 2013 at 04:30:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  just pointing out in this day and age that even (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ginny in CO

                  a "wrong" look can quickly escalate.  Back in the 80's in Ontario, I found that not only was there prejudice against indigenous populations but that any attempt to ameliorate or temper the more extreme views quickly led to rancor.

                  At my stage of life, I pick my fights very carefully as I have found even the  most trivial matter can quickly escalate and that even the most sedate and moderate churchgoer can take umbrage at the most amazing of things

      •  no need to give Canadians tips on ......... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        madhaus, funluvn1, Ginny in CO, la urracca

        politeness.

    •  Last Year? (0+ / 0-)

      How do you know that those specific people weren't at that specific table last year, lowballing the seller?

      I'm not saying they were, or that you were wrong in thinking the dismissal was pure racism. But I don't know. Do you?

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:41:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even if they had been -- and I have absolutely (0+ / 0-)

        no evidence they were -- the seller's reaction was out of all proportion.

        A firm "Sorry, that's too low" or "No, my prices are firm" would have sufficed. If they were REALLY driving her crazy, she could've just ignored them.

        But, like I said, all I saw was her walk over and wave them away before they'd even said a word to her.

        "We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." (Joni Mitchell)

        by Eowyn9 on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:50:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  If this was a regular church even with vendors (0+ / 0-)

      who came every week has it occurred to you that the vendor might already know them?

  •  You can't find the person. But it was a church (40+ / 0-)

    function, and the church can certainly find the offending individual. If the church won't then act, you publicly name the church.

    That church has no choice but to be on the right side of this.

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:08:40 PM PDT

    •  I am definitely considering e-mailing the church (27+ / 0-)

      in question and telling them how disgusted I am.

      I'd rather not name the church publicly. It's quite possible that 99% of their membership are quite nice people and I happened to stumble across the one bad apple.

      Still, the whole thing left a VERY bad taste in my mouth.

      "We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." (Joni Mitchell)

      by Eowyn9 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:11:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You don't need to name them on the front end, (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Smoh, Eyesbright, Yasuragi, ladybug53, aitchdee

        but, contacting them to no avail would be a whole other circumstance.

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:53:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Copy this diary, take to the church (19+ / 0-)

        You've said your say -- quite well, in fact.  Is there any real reason you couldn't just print out a copy of this diary (or two or three) and deliver it to the church?  I'd give a copy not only to the head pastor (minister, whatever) and one to the chief organizer of the annual sale (this must be a big fund-raiser for them!), and to whoever is in charge of 'Outreach' (connecting with people outside the church).

        And, if you want to take it further, you could take it to some other places:  Your city's council of churches and/or ministers (hospital pastoral care offices sometimes can provide that info, if your library can't).  Your city's version of 'Safe & Civil Society', whichever office deals with supporting diversity and squelching divisive bigotry.

        And -- again, if it were me -- I wouldn't hesitate to out the person, by name or description, at least to the church.

        Your heart is in the right place.  I hope you will follow up and share your feelings and observations with some people who are in positions where your reporting (description) can be used to generate some good.

        Bless your heart.  

        •  Yes, I definitely want to give them feedback. (9+ / 0-)

          There is a complicating factor, as well. As I mentioned to Another Grizzle below, I have had a professional connection to the church in the past (only slight -- I played a recital there at one point.) The musical community here is fairly close-knit, and I'd rather not burn any bridges, if possible -- but keeping quiet WOULD be cowardly.

          Any thoughts/advice you have are welcome. I'm just looking for the best way to go about doing this and have it achieve the desired effect of bringing about change (not just conflict.)

          "We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." (Joni Mitchell)

          by Eowyn9 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 06:10:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm guessing that, in person, you are (14+ / 0-)

            as gentle and as caring as you are in your post.  If you've worked with church members, you have already established a sense of who you are within that church.

            Go to the person(s) in the church who seem to you to be best-positioned to use this situation for good.  (Your relationships with some church members may allow you a way to find out who among the church leadership might be most receptive.)

            Go to that person (or persons) with your printout.  Tell them you have always admired and appreciated their church for (the annual sale, the great people in the music programs, etc).  Then tell them that even though you have always enjoyed the sale, this year something happened that hurt your heart.  And that it hurt your heart in such a way that your conscience has been troubling you; you know you have to do something, but you don't want to cause more harm.

            Then give them your diary and ask them to take it to prayer, and to act according to God's guidance for the betterment of the community.

            You don't have to be aggressive to be effective.  The over-arching tone of your diary is sorrow -- an aching heart and a grieving conscience, sorrowing that you can't heal the situation yourself.

            You will be giving them a sad song in a minor key -- and it is a song they need to hear.  

            You are carrying an unfinished piece of music.  You diary starts out in a major key, full of sunshine and calm gratitude for the goodness of the day.  Then -- intrusion!  A minor, dark discord invades.  A passer-by catches the bolt intended for others, and discord despoils the tune.  But the music struggles, searching for resolution.

            It will only be (imo) when the passer-by lays the discordant burden down that resolution will come.  Birdsong once more among the branches' whispering leaves.

            That's what I wish you.

    •  not really, churches have a history of being on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Flying Goat

      the wrong side or even of being the wrong side.  For a contemporary example, I would point to marriage equality where many churches have come down on the side of prejudice

  •  In the Jim Crow south (22+ / 0-)

    Blacks could always buy carry out in restaurants but not sit down.  They could always go into department stores and buy the merchandise but not use the rest rooms or try on clothes before buying them.  I am sure blacks' money was always welcome at white folks garage sales.  These were the mores of the Jim Crow South, even in my native Maryland that I knew as a child.

    As far as "polite Canadians", someone dropped a full can of beer from the upper deck on top of Baltimore left fielder Nate McClouth after he made a spectacular catch on Saturday at Toronto stadium.  The beer can landed right behind him.  He didn't see it drop behind him, but it would have hurt him if it had landed on top of his head.

    Certainly don't mean to castigate Canadians, most of whom are very nice people, but there are bad apples everywhere.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:25:50 PM PDT

  •  immigrant nannies (6+ / 0-)

    because the drudgery of raising your own children can only be relegated to immigrants.  It's not exploitation...it's giving your kid the gift of a cross-cultural education.

    On the cheap.

    And it frees everyone up during happy hour.

    "The Weatherdude prevails". Jeff Bridges is pretty cool, too.

    by Keith930 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:45:33 PM PDT

  •  I Knew of Such an Incident at a UN Festival. (16+ / 0-)

    At one of the Euro-ethnic booths one of the food servers remarked in their tongue to give the "N'er" one of the lowest quality food items.

    As it happened, the woman who was a co worker of mine, had served in the military in their country and told them in their language where they should position the item.

    This was in the 90's. But sheesh, of all the places.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun May 26, 2013 at 05:53:03 PM PDT

    •  while churches spearheaded civil rights in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Naniboujou

      the South, other churches also spearheaded opposition to civil rights movement

    •  I saw the opposite (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eowyn9

      once had to explain to a black friend of mine that "negro" in spanish just means the color black without racial connotations. She didn't believe me until we went home and looked it up (this was before smartphones).

      I am an electrical engineer, run a reasonably high traffic server, and build autopilots and drones for a living. If you have technical questions, ask away and I will try to give a cogent answer.

      by spiritplumber on Mon May 27, 2013 at 06:14:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But Spanish has "colorful" expressions still such (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eowyn9

        as "trabajando mas duro que un negro" (working harder than  a negro) or "trabajando como un negrito" (working like a little black boy) , which a madrilenyan friend explained to me as something he grew up hearing in his household, when I was shocked to hear him use them.  He could understand how it is politically incorrect in the USA to use such terms, and he apologized for offending me, but he lives in Spain and Italy, where people use such expressions rather innocently or at least unreflexively.

        That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

        by concernedamerican on Mon May 27, 2013 at 06:39:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  heh, i'm italian (0+ / 0-)

          and yeah we do that. in fairness, at least in northern italy "lavorare come un negro" is usually a compliment.

          I am an electrical engineer, run a reasonably high traffic server, and build autopilots and drones for a living. If you have technical questions, ask away and I will try to give a cogent answer.

          by spiritplumber on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:05:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I don't see anything wrong with naming the church (12+ / 0-)

    publicly in your own town or circle, if you use the same tone you're using here. You're saying that maybe you just stumbled across one bad apple, but that you were shocked. It WAS shocking. That vendor was being a public representative of the church. Ordinary local-circle gossip about it is a normal consequence, as well as telling the church office.  
    I would be strongly inclined to tell a few level headed people whose reactions I trust, and then tell the church. Being able to say "I spoke about it to some friends, and they thought I should tell you about it" will get a more serious reception, if by unlucky chance the church official is not the kind of person who naturally feels shocked by racism. And even if they are, they will have an easier time convincing other people in the church to take it seriously if they can say "people are talking about it" instead of "this lady said".

    I do get why you'd hesitate to name the church on the internet. I would too. (Unless there was a history of other incidents that the church had been informed of but just blew off.)

    I'm sorry it happened, both for you and for the ladies it was directed to. I hope they didn't hear it. Thanks for posting about it.

    •  That's a good idea. (7+ / 0-)

      I have actually worked with the church before on a professional level (I am a local musician and churches are a common venue for recitals.) Naturally I'm a bit reluctant to burn any bridges. But it was disgusting and I know it's wrong to keep quiet about it. Advice?

      "We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." (Joni Mitchell)

      by Eowyn9 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 06:05:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  what CroneWit said (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eowyn9, sngmama

        (I'm sorry, I had to go out and just got back to the computer. You probably won't get this til tomorrow.)

        My advice would be pretty much like CroneWit's-- if possible, using your previous experience with the church to figure out who would be the best official to approach, and then keeping the tone just as in your diary: aching heart and grieving conscience against a background of respect and affection for the church and the people you know in it. It seems unlikely to me that you would wind up burning any bridges with that tone.

        I think you're more likely to have a good outcome if you can do it person to person. In person, you can be broadcasting bodyvibes of care and respect that make your words easier to accept, and it's easier to control the tone, to adjust your way of saying something to a way they can hear, when you are getting real-time feedback from their body tension/vibes.  

        If I gave them a printout, and I do see value in leaving them with something written, I would wait until after talking. At the very end, I would say something like, "When I'm upset and not sure what to do, sometimes it helps me to write things out. I decided to bring a copy of what I wrote about this, because I have a hard time talking about things like this and get flustered and forget things I meant to say, so I brought a copy for you."

        I would definitely wait until after talking though, because if you give someone something written before you talk to them, you have to sit and watch them read it while awkward tension builds, and you lose the advantage of establishing rapport. Better to talk first and let them read it after you leave. (I would not include the comments, and probably take out the distinctive formatting that makes it look like a blog.)

        Sometimes, one of the best benefits of advice is having something to react against! I hope that if this is not helpful in terms of what you might imagine yourself wanting to do, it will at least be helpful in sparking your thoughts in some other direction!

        The hardest part might be knowing what you want as an outcome. Maybe just making sure someone responsible knows about it, and then trusting them to follow up in the best way they can? CroneWit's idea of suggesting that they pray for guidance seems pretty good to me. Anyway, having some idea of what you want to happen would be good, because otherwise you might have trouble knowing when you're done.

        I'm a person who lights candles for support and energy. Would you like to have someone light a candle for you when you do this? I am glad you feel strongly about following up on this, and I would be honored to light a candle for you. Let me know.

        •  Thanks for your excellent advice. :) (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TexMex, Another Grizzle

          I'm reluctant to do it in person, because I don't know the church administration well at all (the recital I did for them was several years ago -- I don't even think I have a record of who my contacts there were) but also, I'm just not great with in-person discussion about something like this. I get flustered and nervous and tend to go on the defensive.

          I tend to express myself a lot better and more graciously in writing, really. So maybe I'll stick with the e-mailing the minister route that others have suggested.

          Would love for you to light a candle for me, though. Thank you for your support! :)

          "We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." (Joni Mitchell)

          by Eowyn9 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 09:54:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Best of Luck! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eowyn9

            I have a nice 2-1/2 day yellow jar candle that looks very suitable. I'll light it when I get up tomorrow and it will burn through til Wednesday night, which I like for the idea of wishing for a good reception for you and a beneficial outcome. I hope all goes well.
            I'll check back at this comment in a few days iin case it feels appropriate to you to say anything about what kind of reply you get, which it might or might not.
            Good night, sweet dreams to you.

  •  You didn't say what part of Canada you live in, (9+ / 0-)

    but I've traveled quite a bit in conservative parts of western Canada and encountered a surprising amount of racism. Not among the most educated people I was there to work with, but cab drivers and others who were openly racist toward certain immigrants. I've come to believe that conservatism and racism/nationalism go hand in hand.

    •  I think they tend to, but (11+ / 0-)

      I've also run across a surprising number of Canadians who identify as "liberal" (both small and big L) and who nonetheless express attitudes bordering on racist. (Even some members of one visible minority group, like the client I described above, who express contemptuous attitudes for members of other groups!)

      And the attitudes toward Native Canadians, in general, are absolutely atrocious: ignorance about the true state of affairs on most reserves (tainted water, substandard housing, high suicide and drug rates, etc) combined with apathy and "blame the victim." :(

      "We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." (Joni Mitchell)

      by Eowyn9 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 06:16:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for the diary (11+ / 0-)

    You articulated the issue very sensitively.  As a minority who has been the target of racist comments I would like to encourage you to speak up when you hear such things said. Most of the times well-meaning white folks are embarrassed and unsure how to react.  I can tell you from experience that it really helps to have your support right when these incidences occur.

  •  The other day I was waiting (13+ / 0-)

    in a really long line at Home Depot; there was only one cashier at the check-out in the garden center. I joked to the lady behind me that if I had my cell phone with me instead of having left it in the car I would call the store manager and complain. I did that once at Lowe's! Finally, after several minutes, a second cashier arrived and began opening a second register. Everyone in line waited to make sure that he was actually going to open the register and by the time he did so I was the next in line. No sooner did he say "I'll help the next person in line" when some random dude comes marching in from the parking lot and walks right up to the new cashier and begins telling him how much mulch he wants to buy.

    I was having none of it and said "Hey! Excuse me, no cutting. I was next in line. It's my turn, I've been waiting in line patiently just like all these other good folks" as I motioned to the dozens of people waiting in line. "You can wait your turn at the end of the line." The guy started cussing and mumbling and then shuffled off to wait his turn at the back of the line.

    No one else would have said a word and if I didn't speak up that asshole would have cut in front of everyone and gotten away with it. A couple of the people closest to me thanked me for speaking up while the cashier was ringing up my purchase.

    People get away with crap because too many folks do nothing. It's not a question of being polite; it's timidity and fear. The time to speak up is when bad behavior happens; it's the only way the assholes will ever get a frickin' clue.

  •  I've heard much about that, uh, neat garage sale. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eowyn9, CroneWit, BadKitties

    Spent time in/walking through that neighborhood in '07, just not at this time of year, so I didn't experience it.

    I'd venture that at such a large event, this kind of crap is inevitable, but I don't really believe that ought to still be true.  I think you're fine naming the church.  Perhaps it's just that one vendor at the table; perhaps they don't know & ought to.

    It's time to start letting sleeping dinosaurs lie, lest we join them in extinction by our consumption of them.

    by Leftcandid on Sun May 26, 2013 at 07:07:38 PM PDT

    •  It's pretty awesome -- the sale, that is. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Another Grizzle, aitchdee, Leftcandid

      Generally one of the highlights of my year. I always go in early, though this year even earlier than usual, and come out about 5 hours later laden with bags and about $70 lighter.

      Still, that's $70 worth of truly unique objects that have a history and will escape being dumped in a landfill instead of $70 worth of cheap flimsy plastic from Walmart or a pair of jeans from the Gap sewed by exploited workers in Bangladesh.

      And a certain amount of the vendors' profit goes to the Food Bank, so everyone wins. :)

      "We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." (Joni Mitchell)

      by Eowyn9 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 08:48:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another example showing that (0+ / 0-)

    America is still a racist country.

  •  Had Jesus been there... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eowyn9, ChurchofBruce

    there might have been some tables overturned?

    "And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves."
    —Matthew 21:12–13
    Cleansing of the Temple
  •  I would be tempted to return all the purchased (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eowyn9

    "finds" found at the church garage sale to the church office, explaining, that such bargains were too painful to keep, at any price, after you observed the unchristian hospitality at the garage sale.

    •  I actually hadn't bought anything (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aitchdee, greengemini

      from that particular church sale (only the individual neighborhood sales, which are unaffiliated with the church), otherwise I might consider doing that.

      I've stopped by this church's tables in previous years. Never bought anything. Not only does their stuff tend to be overpriced but...somehow there's a vibe about the vendors and the way they interact with buyers that I've never liked. Never been able to put my finger on it (until, obviously, this year.)

      Not that I'm glad to see anyone treated in a racist manner, but I feel vindicated to have my intuitions confirmed, and next year I will be avoiding their tables altogether!

      "We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." (Joni Mitchell)

      by Eowyn9 on Sun May 26, 2013 at 09:46:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I love Canada. (5+ / 0-)

    I love it so much that as Texan and an American I chose to be a Canadian citizen.  I am proud of Canada, but it too has racism, (More than most Canadians know).

    But while Canadian racism is insidious and creepy, upon my return to the United States, it has been quite a shock to come back to a more racist America than it was when I was growing up.

  •  See this televised incident of racism at an (0+ / 0-)

    Aussie football game, and see how it was dealt with (as opposed to America)

    http://au.sports.yahoo.com/...

    "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

    by mumtaznepal on Sun May 26, 2013 at 10:22:06 PM PDT

  •  Different strokes and all that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paradise50

    But I think that you missed a good opportunity to do something good that day.

    First and most importantly, those three women may have appreciated a public display of support. This sounds like the sort of mundane racism that, when repeated over months and years, alienates people from their surrounding community. It's unlikely that these three women will learn of a letter sent to the church, or to any closed-door admonishment that occurs as a result. As such, their experience that day ends with being rejected due to racist beliefs in a community that they were trying to engage. You had a chance to make the story end with a person sticking up for them, and making them feel like others value and wanted them in the community.

    Secondly, the idiot deserved a public shaming. That person deserved to go home feeling shaken and uncomfortable. They deserved to have their day ruined. Instead, it's  the three innocent women who left with that feeling.

    Finally, and this is thoroughly only my personal opinion, but there's no rule that people on the left need to always be polite and decorous in the face of racism. We need fighters as well as diplomats, and sometimes, the appropriate response isn't a shocked "Oh dear", but rather "Hey, f***k you".

    •  ...what you say is all good... (0+ / 0-)

      ...but you have the advantage of having read this diary and time to think about a response you would have liked to seen the diarist do. The diarist stated feeling disbelief about what occurred. In real time sometimes we don't react in a way we might have had we had time to think about it more.

      Don't kill the messenger...

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

      by paradise50 on Mon May 27, 2013 at 08:26:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If that Church was Anglican, call your Bishop. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eowyn9

    I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

    by commonmass on Sun May 26, 2013 at 11:29:25 PM PDT

  •  Jesus would have turned the tables over. (4+ / 0-)

    Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

    by ZedMont on Mon May 27, 2013 at 01:19:25 AM PDT

  •  I've been doing it for years (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Patango, Eowyn9, annrose

    Starting with my own family. In fact, it's possible that them thinking about it started with me, because I "just had to say something" as my sister says.

    It hasn't always been easy, and sometimes I can't say something because it will harm someone else, but if there's any way I can do it without hurting others, I'm saying something.

    You don't have to be mean about it, since there are many that don't realize what they are doing.

    Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Mon May 27, 2013 at 01:42:45 AM PDT

  •  Well done... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    meralda, annrose

    You hit upon a question that I have been asking in one form or another for years, and I have yet to get an answer...

    "So tolerant, even of intolerance."

    I know we Progressives are supposed to be tolerant of everyone and their beliefs...but how tolerant of intolerance should we be?

    It is a conundrum.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abbey

    by SaraBeth on Mon May 27, 2013 at 04:45:18 AM PDT

  •  And the idea (0+ / 0-)

    that a person would make a comment about "AFFORDABILITY" at a sale like that , really says alot about how the racist person thinks ,

    " these are high end goods on that card table in my front yard of things from my garage !!!!"

    I will go out of my way to say a friendly "hello" to the people being insulted in those situations , just to make sure they know we have their back

    Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

    by Patango on Mon May 27, 2013 at 04:46:56 AM PDT

  •  Find your courage. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freerad, Damnit Janet

    Giving people like this a pass is silent acquiescence.  I used to be that way.  When my husband dropped dead of a heart attack, I suddenly realized that I must not miss opportunities to speak up and out when necessary.  You can do it.  Find your courage.  I've got your back.

    being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Mon May 27, 2013 at 05:26:32 AM PDT

  •  First came the Bible (AKA God) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JGibson

    Then came the guns.

    Christianity is replete with examples of laying down the groundwork for colonial gun toting powers.

    in the Fundy churches of the US sun/baptist/GOP belt, they glorify the US Armed forces as if it is part and parcel of the 'Christian God Army.

    A lot of good comes from churches, but it has a nasty price tag to go with it.

  •  It's a church, what do you expect? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChurchofBruce

    Here in rural MI, if I want to find some racist, xenophobic troglodytes, a church is the first fucking place to look.  Their religion creates an in group, and thus outsiders are lesser people since they aren't in on being saved by the Lord Savior Jesus Christ Almighty.  

    Since I'm white, on sight they often mistake me for one of theirs, so I get a lot of "God bless ya'!" aimed at me.  It's pretty creepy, like there's a cult in the area.  I sell something on craigslist, and buyer tells me God blesses me on his way off.  I guess it's part of capitalism being God's only true economic system, and those who make moolah are blessed or some such bullshit.

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Mon May 27, 2013 at 09:44:49 AM PDT

  •  I haggled an Item for 9 years, The woman was (0+ / 0-)

    mean about it too, I sold it to her husband who paid more than she was willing but I still had to discount, He said he was sick and tired of hearing about it after every time she came by and I would not drop the price down to her satisfaction. This went on 3-4 times a year for 9 years.   She didnt wear me down she wore her husband down!

  •  My mentor in the early years... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eowyn9

    Margie Pitts Hames, a civil rights/abortion rights attorney who argued Doe v. Bolton (the companion case to Roe v. Wade) told me years ago:

    "If you hear someone make a racist/sexist remark in your presence and don't say something, you might as well have said it yourself."
    Some times it's easy to confront the offender, other times it's much harder. I try. I do try.

    Our silence is what gives them the feeling that they can say things with impunity.

    Thanks. You've reminded me to try harder.

    Abortion Clinics OnLine, the world's first and largest source for online abortion clinic information. Join my DK Abortion Group.

    by annrose on Mon May 27, 2013 at 11:04:47 AM PDT

  •  While this is a dynamite diary (0+ / 0-)

    I disagree that someone made uncomfortable by head scarves is necessarily racist.

    Because they make me uncomfortable. And I'm not racist. I'm anti-religion, and most especially anti-religion-subjugating-women-yet-AGAIN. It's like a fucking brand, that says, "Hi, the sexist males that control my religion think it's my responsibility not to over-excite their poor gonads by showing my hair. And I'm gonna go along with it, because, you know, centuries of having it drilled into our heads. Ain't religion wunnerful?"

    Head scarves suck as much as Christian pharmacists that won't dispense birth control, and for exactly the same reason.

    First, tell me how your brilliant idea will pass the House. Second, tell me how Obama can get anything past the House. Then we can talk.

    by ChurchofBruce on Mon May 27, 2013 at 01:38:35 PM PDT

    •  Uh. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eowyn9

      Speaking as someone who wears a headscarf for religious reasons, I am side-eyeing the hell out of your "defense" of being made uncomfortable by headscarves.

      If you are seriously equating what I choose to wear on my head with a refusal to dispense legal medication in violation of one's professional requirements ... your bigotry may not have anything to do with race, but it's bigotry nonetheless.

      •  Never said it wasn't what (0+ / 0-)

        most people would define as "bigotry", because, in our society, calling religious people complete loons because they prescribe to completely loony beliefs is "bigotry".

        Wearing a headscarf for religious reasons is loony. Not to mention sexist--against both women and men. I think your religious beliefs are completely idiotic.

        Is that bigotry? You would probably say so. I don't care. However, racism, it is not.

        And, no, to me it is not bigotry. To me, saying a certain religion has completely loony beliefs is the exact same thing as saying a particular political party has completely loony beliefs, something we say often around here. Of course, you put the almighty "RELIGION!" word on there, everybody goes, "Ooh, you racist!" Fuck that.

        First, tell me how your brilliant idea will pass the House. Second, tell me how Obama can get anything past the House. Then we can talk.

        by ChurchofBruce on Tue May 28, 2013 at 04:25:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You may also find this article interesting (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Batya the Toon

          about a young girl, raised in a household where individual choice and feminism were strongly stressed, who nonetheless freely chose (at the age of 9) to start wearing a headscarf (against her mother's wishes rather than the opposite!)

          http://www.oprah.com/...

          "We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." (Joni Mitchell)

          by Eowyn9 on Wed May 29, 2013 at 06:49:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Disgusting, really. (0+ / 0-)

            Poor girl's already brainwashed.

            I'm a firm believer in Harris's contention that taking kids to religious services is indoctrination and child abuse. And, here we have it displayed.

            First, tell me how your brilliant idea will pass the House. Second, tell me how Obama can get anything past the House. Then we can talk.

            by ChurchofBruce on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:47:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You think my religious PRACTICES (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eowyn9

          are completely idiotic.  Which you're entitled to think.

          You've got no basis for thinking my religious beliefs are idiotic until you have the first clue what they actually are.  Which you demonstrably don't.

          •  OK, I'll accept that distinction (0+ / 0-)

            because, no, I don't know precisely what your personal beliefs are.

            First, tell me how your brilliant idea will pass the House. Second, tell me how Obama can get anything past the House. Then we can talk.

            by ChurchofBruce on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:43:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And yet you have no trouble at all (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Eowyn9

              dismissing as "loony" something that you don't know anything about except that it's religious in nature.

              Textbook definition of prejudice right there.

              •  I know enough (0+ / 0-)

                about the history of the headscarf in Islam and how Islam treats women to judge the practice as loony, sexist, and disgusting, yes.

                First, tell me how your brilliant idea will pass the House. Second, tell me how Obama can get anything past the House. Then we can talk.

                by ChurchofBruce on Wed May 29, 2013 at 10:10:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                  •  *applauds* Brilliantly played :) n/t (0+ / 0-)

                    "We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." (Joni Mitchell)

                    by Eowyn9 on Wed May 29, 2013 at 11:23:07 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Well (0+ / 0-)

                    this discussion was about Muslim head scarves in the beginning, was it not?

                    Not crazy about how Orthodox Judaism treats women, either, but at least the whole head-covering thing does tend to be unisex, at the very least. (All the Jews I personally know are Reform and would laugh at women-in-headscarves, but the men still wear yarmulkes, at least in the Synagogue.)

                    First, tell me how your brilliant idea will pass the House. Second, tell me how Obama can get anything past the House. Then we can talk.

                    by ChurchofBruce on Wed May 29, 2013 at 01:02:01 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Funny, none of my Reform Jewish friends (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Eowyn9

                      laugh at my headscarf.

                      And this discussion was about prejudice and personal discomfort based on assumptions about the meanings of people's visible religious choices.  So I think we're still comfortably on topic.

                      •  Oh, don't get me wrong (0+ / 0-)

                        I think all organized religions are pernicious and evil and a blot on humanity...but some manage to be a wee bit less evil.

                        Visible religious symbols are always, at the very least, silly. Most rise to the level of loony. (Don't get me started about the Christian cross--hello! The symbol you revere is the instrument of death of your "saviour"? Yeah. OK. Good thing Jesus wasn't killed with a machete.)

                        So, yes, I consider all people who pertain of ANY organized religion to the point of wearing visible symbols as, at the very least, loony. If you wear a particular piece of clothing because you're particular strain of your religion interprets pieces of fiction that way--yeah, you're nuts.

                        Now, Islam's the worst, because, yes, their headscarf indicates not just loonyness, but, also, evil and oppression. (Iran's weighing dropping their legal age of marriage for "women" to NINE. That headscarf ain't gonna keep you from getting child-raped if your Daddy gives the OK.) So, yes, Islamic headscarfs make me burn. I do NOT need you to cover up your hair to keep my gonads from running wild, thankyouverymuch. It's disgusting.

                        While Jewish reasons for wearing a headscarf aren't quite that bad, at least not nowadays, you're still wearing a visible symbol of oppression. Congratulations on that.

                        First, tell me how your brilliant idea will pass the House. Second, tell me how Obama can get anything past the House. Then we can talk.

                        by ChurchofBruce on Wed May 29, 2013 at 05:02:14 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Um, no, actually it wasn't. (0+ / 0-)

                      My diary (and your original reply) mentioned "headscarves", period. Not one word was said about the religious or cultural identity of the wearers. The assumption that I (and Batya) were referring to Muslim headscarves was yours...and, as it turns out, a spectacularly wrong assumption. You dug your own trap and then fell straight into it.

                      (I'm reminded of the ancient Jewish proverb about the one who digs a pit falling into it themselves...but to continue...)

                      Reading what you've written, it sounds like you consider yourself an authority on what's best for women. Like, you know what religious institutions they should and shouldn't attend, what they should and shouldn't wear on their heads, that sort of thing? And if they contradict you, well, they must be wrong?

                      Funny, because that sort of reasoning sounds awfully familiar...

                      "We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." (Joni Mitchell)

                      by Eowyn9 on Wed May 29, 2013 at 06:17:44 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well (0+ / 0-)
                        Reading what you've written, it sounds like you consider yourself an authority on what's best for women.

                        I can certainly understand why my comments would lead you to believe that. It's not true :), but I can understand why you would think it was.

                        I actually consider myself an expert on the horrible aspects of organized religion, not anything having to do with women--it's just that the horrible aspects of organized religion have often affected women more negatively. Note, please, that I did, above, refer to Christians wearing crosses--which is unisex.

                        I think anyone--male, female, whatever--that ties themselves into any religious organization is, in fact, wrong. Just like I think anyone that votes Republican is wrong. Fully cognizant my opinion means absolutely nothing, I'm just a guy on a blog :), but I get to speak my piece, too. You want to give away parts of your brain to religion? Knock yourself out. You shouldn't care that I'm half laughing at you and half pitying you. Doesn't change the fact that I am.

                        (While I am an atheist, please note that nothing I have said here, or anywhere in this thread, is about belief. It's about organized religions. Belief, though I don't share it, is different.)

                        First, tell me how your brilliant idea will pass the House. Second, tell me how Obama can get anything past the House. Then we can talk.

                        by ChurchofBruce on Wed May 29, 2013 at 08:07:13 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

    •  Cultural, I would say, more than/as well as (0+ / 0-)

      religious -- at least in general. To take the most obvious example of a religion where many women wear headscarves (Islam), one doesn't need to wear a headscarf to be a good Muslim; it's not one of the core five pillars. Any more than you need to wear a cross around your neck to be a "good Christian", or have a flag flying on your front lawn to be a "good American." But the percentage of Muslim women wearing headscarves will vary a lot from country to country and region to region, as will the percentage of Christians wearing crosses around their neck and Americans flying flags on their front lawn, all depending on what is the cultural norm in the area.

      To address the idea of women's subjugation through headscarves -- well, personally I wouldn't wear one. But telling women that they can't wear a headscarf (or they can but it's "loony") in the name of women's liberation, is not only self-contradictory, it's as patronizing and patriarchal as forcing them to wear one in the first place.

      I've spoken to a number of Muslim women who wear headscarves (incidentally, have you ever really talked to a woman who wears a headscarf?) They are all adult women who have freely decided to wear a headscarf even when it marks them as being a religious minority and even, in some areas, makes them a target for hate speech and religious discrimination. Hardly the attitude of a weak, spineless person! When I've asked them about their reasons for wearing a headscarf, they have most commonly replied the following:

      (1) This is something women can freely choose to do under Islam (i.e. not required as religious law or doctrine.)
      (2) They choose to wear a scarf (and dress modestly in general) because our culture and, in particular, mass media/advertising has oversexualized women's bodies to the point where women's bodies, in general, are seen primarily as sex objects, and that this -- not wearing a scarf -- is a systemic form of exploitation.

      To see what they mean, all you need to do is flick on a TV or jump in the car and drive by a few billboards. It's everywhere. Sex sells, as they say, and women's bodies "sell" best of all. The women I spoke to who choose to wear headscarves see their own choice as not submitting meekly to a patriarchal code, but rather taking a stand against the way in which our culture exploits women's bodies for profit.

      This cartoon illustrates pretty neatly what I mean. http://conformityatitsfinest.tumblr.com/...

      "We are stardust, we are golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." (Joni Mitchell)

      by Eowyn9 on Wed May 29, 2013 at 06:30:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps let the pastor or priest (0+ / 0-)

    at the sponsoring church know about your experience? Seems like a very good subject for a sermon.

Angie in WA State, MadRuth, mwm341, Gooserock, Powered Grace, jazzizbest, donna in evanston, cotterperson, mslat27, eeff, sobermom, concernedamerican, BlackSheep1, Wee Mama, sja, djMikulec, boadicea, sngmama, Prima, jalbert, hopeful, aitchdee, Texknight, RLF, Nag, Dallasdoc, Eyesbright, texasmom, HeyMikey, eodell, LucyTooners, riverlover, Bendra, FlyingToaster, Major Kong, zerelda, Curt Matlock, Kitsap River, Josiah Bartlett, oortdust, Gowrie Gal, marina, Tinfoil Hat, Alice Venturi, triciawyse, Navy Vet Terp, SaraBeth, Sun Tzu, Overseas, Ice Blue, markdd, sunbro, Tunk, Blu Gal in DE, Shotput8, Ginny in CO, Joes Steven, deepsouthdoug, Pluto, begone, Nowhere Man, Knucklehead, irishwitch, myboo, 417els, Kimball Cross, Alexandra Lynch, NBBooks, onionjim, CA Nana, OHdog, Pandoras Box, Aaa T Tudeattack, gogirl2, dotsright, tgypsy, ColoTim, karmsy, la urracca, sfbob, second gen, cyncynical, Fireshadow, jhop7, OIL GUY, journeyman, leonard145b, on the cusp, JDWolverton, CroneWit, also mom of 5, JeffW, Marko the Werelynx, OleHippieChick, Youffraita, Involuntary Exile, ozkid, smrichmond, royce, Cassandra Waites, hwmnbn, Jeff Y, catly, Gemina13, petulans, My Spin, suesue, HoosierDeb, billybam, dmhlt 66, lostboyjim, Louisiana 1976, Bule Betawi, Ran3dy, greengemini, Nebraskablue, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, WakeUpNeo, sfarkash, RoCali, Tortmaster, Leftcandid, Larsstephens, Lefty Ladig, commonmass, smileycreek, coppercelt, flitedocnm, NJpeach, serendipityisabitch, Susan Grigsby, klompendanser, VickiL, pixxer, paradise50, Kristina40, NYWheeler, Yasuragi, SoonerG, Oh Mary Oh, ZedMont, verdeo, Onomastic, annieli, meralda, Dretutz, slowbutsure, cv lurking gf, freesia, La Gitane, asterkitty, Ricochet67, MasterfullyInept, thomask, SueM1121, sound of progress, poliwrangler, jadt65, DRo, ArtemisBSG, Laurel in CA, Mathazar, SuWho, Sister Inspired Revolver of Freedom, anodnhajo, Flying Goat, janl1776, rustypatina, AnnieR, FloridaSNMOM, JGibson, peachcreek, jan4insight, belinda ridgewood, MartyM, pittie70, doroma, oldpotsmuggler, arizonablue, LoreleiHI, jeannew, peptabysmal, Portlaw, tn mountain girl, Sue B, koseighty, Chaddiwicker, Eric Twocents, Linda1961, broths, weck, Alhambra, howabout, Smoh, ModerateJosh, starfu, BadKitties, WFBMM, Batya the Toon, The Marti, ialonelady, OldSoldier99

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site