Whoever coined the term “Ignorance is bliss” is an absolute idiot. Ignorance is not bliss. In fact, ignorance leads to misunderstanding. Misunderstanding leads to fear. Fear leads to bias and hate. So I am here to present to the American public the top 10 things that Arabs want non-Arabs to know about them. If you remember these, then Arabs will not look at you as a “Dumb American.”
1. Not all of us are Muslim
As an Arab Christian myself, I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard, “When did you convert?” I would be a very rich man. About 10% of the Arab population is Christian. Yes, we are a minority, but we are still there and have been Christians for 2,000 years. I’m not sure how good the average American is…
Youth said “Dreams Never Die.” Twenty years passed then Recession kicked in. New Realities were born. Twelve hour workdays became the norm.
Like a drowning man Dreams surfaced again and again only to plummet down to the watery deep. All the while knocking at 1% door watching them through one-sided window laugh, play, drink and party with no thought for the ‘Morrow’. We the unseen only imagining free time for our dreams.
Dreams that must wait until Social Security beckons if death does not reach us first. Fore bread, water, warm clothes and a place to live cry louder. Goodnight Sweet Dreams. May you one day resurrect to a New Dawn.
Surrounded by a plethora of people who seemed to surface like bloated corpses after spring thaw. Worker bees we are all meaningless specks of dust being recklessly scattered by blustery winds. Modern day Robber Barons throw battle weary soldiers back into the battle while they sit sipping tea in Ivory Towers. Thirty-seven years a professional, now placating rot breath Sabbath suits long in tooth, visions of Mammy dancing in their heads. Limestone Liver spotted wrinkled bone bags befoul the air with endless demands. Dontcha know Miz Daisy learned to drive herself and the Help all went to the French Rivera.
I am Hagar cast out of my prosperous household, denied by the Master and Mistress I once served. Thrown out of my protectors’ house my Dream-child and I await Our Avenging Angel of Salvation.
My Dreams now dead buried under work obligations, mountains of rules and regulations that I seem to constantly violate just by being. No miracles exist for me. Only years of mindless drudgery ahead. Millennial Overseers govern my every move with their remote control mind games. Freedom lies dormant within my imagination. My brain has been put out to pasture because intelligence is not needed or wanted and creativity has become a sin. Automaton Me clad in nondescript dull uniform easily replaceable by the next set of hungry hands yearning for the pence dispensed from the rich mans table. Hey!! Who’s next up on the Auction Block?!! Come lock step into the Plantation Mausoleum filled with objects which are valued more than drones who guard them. We be Aliens in our own Land. Serfs never reaping a hard earned Harvest.
Yet soon a New Day will Dawn, Dreams will bear fruit and Visions be reborn.
Long ago and far away when I was in my 20’s and 30’s my Aunts on both my mother’s and father’s side were on my back about being married despite the fact that nearly all of them were either divorced or separated. I can still hear their voices, “Deborah you need to learn how to cook so you can get a husband.” All my Aunts on both sides were good cooks yet none were with their husbands! It got to the point that when my maternal grandmother Hattie Banks passed away in 1990 the aunt my grandmother had lived with introduced me to my grandmother’s Pastor as my 31 year old single niece from New York. This caused my grandmother’s Pastor great concern and he asked to speak to me privately. He began to question me concerning my singleness. After a while I figured out he was trying to ascertain as to whether or not I was a lesbian! I assured him that No I was not gay just had not met the right person. Now over twenty years later I realize his fears and opinions reflect a lot about people born and raised in the 1900’s within the confines of rigid Baptist teachings.
Fast forward to 2007 when my abuser finally left me and I finally felt free to confide in certain females whom I thought were my friends. I found that to be a big mistake. Women often don’t support other women who have been through the wringer. Too much Blame the Victim mentality out there. Then there is the other side of the coin with women pushing newly single women back into the shark infested waters of the dating game. Amazing how many insensitive and snarky comments I received about either not wanting to date or taking a break from dating.
I’ve had close friends yell and scream at me for my decision not to date. As a result I’ve had to ask these girlfriends not to bring up that topic. All the while I listen to them whine, moan, bitch and complain about what the latest boyfriend is doing to them. These women imagine there is a Mr. Right for everyone or that I’d want that person. They’ve bought into the mentality that a Woman is not complete without a man. They are brainwashed with that fantasy of John and Martha running to each other’s open arms on white sand beaches or in a meadow filled with fragrant flowers and four leaf clovers.
I do not lack male attention. As one of my supervisors at work likes to say, Ms. Palmer you have many admirers. Trust me when I say I wish many of them would find some other woman to admire. Whether on the job or in my neighborhood I’m always polite and mannerly but I always keep things platonic and on the friends side of the relationship spectrum.
I do admit that since the break-up with my ex- and during the few times I’ve dated since then I’ve engaged in battles of self-hatred self-destruction. I was participating in an online group for Domestic Violence Survivors. I was really saddened to see how emotionally bankrupt many of the women were.
Because so many years have passed since I was delivered from my Ex- I was able to be a source of encouragement to women still suffering. A few Friended me or Subscribe to my page and my goal is to offer strategies towards wholeness yet still revealing my struggles and vulnerabilities. Being an Overcomer or Victorious does not mean you’re not going to have bad times but you’d do not dwell within those bad episodes.
No matter how many compliments I receive about how much I have to offer a man and how beautiful and wonderful I am that does nothing for my inner healing. Sounds like I have nothing to offer outside of being with a guy.
Those remarks may or may not be true but that type thinking is missing the point and counter-productive. No matter how well-meaning or well intentioned those remarks may be THE POINT IS, I’m Not Ready and it may be months or years before I am ready. Right now for me the relationship waltz is an emotionally crippling dance. Also I want to concentrate on Me, Myself and I. I’m not to the point where I’m ready to make an investment in a relationship. I Love being an Autonomous, Free and Independent Woman.
Oh yes for those wondering if I still have a sex drive the answer is Yes but menopause has put a damper on it and I no longer feel compelled to satisfy that urge. Truthfully most days I’m just not interested in sex and for the times I am I learned to control myself. Also I made the decision to remain celibate and there are few if any men who can make me change my mind.
My life is not the Black remake of Eat, Pray, Love but more like Having our Say by the Delaney Sisters. The Joys of Singlehood. Can’t even tell you how many miserable married women I know. Constant refrain of, DeBorah I wish I was single like you! Proof that marriage is not all it’s cracked up to be.
And yes I’ve read all the relationship books written by men on what women are doing wrong and how they can better please the men they want in their lives or who are currently in their lives. While other women frantically put desperate profiles on various on-line dating services, engage in speed-dating at the local recreation center, join the singles ministry at church or buy tickets and expensive clothes for silly singles cruises, I’ll be at home comfortable chilling with a good book and drinking a Smirnoff Ice.
I will not be typecast by the slant of my eyes, the color of my skin or country of origin.
I am a Woman of faith of dignity who demands and commands respect.
I refuse to suffer indignities of your racist sexist perversions.
I follow the laws of God as dictated by my belief system whatever it may be.
I am not an exotic playtoy or life size Barbie doll existing only to gratify, satisfy or fulfill your twisted sadistic carnal predilections.
I am not the one and today is not your day.
I will not be afraid and will not back down.
I am not a victim.
I am more than a survivor.
I am defiant.
You do not have license to ill.
My height, weight, shape do not delineate me as a loose woman or a hot number.
I am not your Ethiopian Chocolate Fantasy or submissive Asian delight found in the back covers of men’s magazines.
I am not your Indian Maiden with feathers in her hair or a sari wrapped around her waist.
If I’m a Lesbian nothing between your legs will make me straight and certainly does not impress me.
Whatever fever you got, be it Jungle Fever, Yellow Fever, Red Fever, Hot Spicy Latina Fever, I’m about to throw cold water all over it and knock you out cold. Get over yourself. You’re not all that and a bag of chips.
I choose who, when, where and if I will lay my body down.
I am the Goddess and only the worthy may gain access to the Temple. As Women we are called to maintain order in the Universe. Ladies ~ Realize your calling.
Ladies sexual abuse, workplace bullying and sexual harassment is the Elephant in the Room that everybody sees but fails to acknowledge its presence. Instead we step lightly around him hoping he will go away of his accord. Do not remain silent. Speak up. Speak out.