I got the DVD of Grave of the Fireflies out from Netflix mmhnmnmn months ago. But it has been sitting on my desk because I’m the only one in the family who wants to see it and I can’t watch it while I’m working due to the subtitles. I just put it in while the rest of the family is at the mall only to find out it is dubbed. Boy do I feel stupid.
And, of course, in 2006, when I heard Adam and Sam’s review on filmspotting and first was interested in seeing it, it was well before parenthood set in. I might not make it all the way through.
August 31, 2014
Watching the community come together, watching all these black folks rallying together because they want justice…I think this is a radical expression of black love that I don’t know if people understand it to be so, but that’s exactly what it is. So they are being framed in horrible ways but at the core what’s going on in Ferguson is about love. It’s about loving one another so much that you’re willing to face tear gas and bullets because you want to protect each other.– Alesia commenting on Ferguson on episode 33. (via blackgirlstalking)
August 31, 2014
We had our first *real* talk about racism with the kids tonight (mostly Wembley, because Mokey had left the room, but she was eavesdropping and I think she got a lot of it). When Ap and I went to the vigil downtown three weeks ago, she explained it to the kids by saying that there was a police officer who made a bad mistake and we and a lot of other people were going to give the police department feedback about doing things better. We didn’t mention anything about racism at that point. It was still too raw, I think, and we just didn’t know how.
We’ve talked a fair deal about race in general. We talk about skin color alongside other distinguishing features (after reading NurtureShock early on in our parenting practice). We seek out and share media that includes Black and brown-skinned characters. But talking about racism is a whole other ballgame.
Anyway, tonight at dinner, Wembley was talking about a villain who was really a good guy in disguise and wouldn’t it be terrible if a good guy was mistaken for a bad guy. It was just too perfect an entry to pass up, so Ap took up the challenge and started talking about how important it is to really know someone before deciding something about them. We passed the conversation ball back and forth a bit, but ended up using a lot of analogy. Wouldn’t it be terrible if someone saw a villain in a green costume once and then assumed that everyone who wore a green costume was a villain? Wembley agreed that would be terrible. We brought up police making mistakes and arresting the wrong person and how important evidence is, and the role of judges to make sure a police officer mistake gets corrected.
We lied to him and implied that the judicial system works. We lied to him and said that police officers don’t make mistakes with children. We lied by omission and never said police officers kill people. Those truths will come, but not just yet.
We talked about what laws are for and why the police have the power to arrest people. I hope we articulated a respect for law without idolizing enforcement.
We got around to the fact that in our real world, people with dark skin often get blamed for things they didn’t do. We talked about “pre-judging” and named it: “prejudice.” We said that because police have the power to arrest people, it’s extra terrible when police make a mistake and arrest the wrong person.
I was surprised (and, yes, proud) when he said, “That’s like Jean Valjean and Javert.” We talked about Javert’s prejudice. I told him that Jean Valjean has white skin, but if he had brown skin, it would be a slightly different story, and we would use the word “racism.” I reminded him of times when I’ve used the word “racist” to describe books or songs that I wouldn’t to read to him. I told him that racism is when someone makes an assumption about someone with dark or brown skin just because they have dark or brown skin. I tried to pick language that would make sense when we talk later about institutional racism, without addressing that yet. We tried to focus on “racism” as a mistake people make, instead of “racist” as a thing a person is. (which I feel more certain about after watching Jay Smooth’s Ted Talk)
It was a hard conversation to have, but it was so amazing to watch his little beautiful face try to comprehend it all. He wants to know everything. He had far more attention for the conversation that I thought he would. He has a look he gets when he’s really processing something and he wore it throughout. He asked great questions, like “How did the police get the power to arrest people?” Mokey came in towards the end and asked “Why does Jean Valjean have white skin?” and we talked about how most white authors write stories about people with white skin, but there are some exceptions, like Ezra Jack Keats and white woman who wrote Doc McStuffins.
We’re going to have many talks about racism. I hope we can do right by them and by the world as we go. I hope they’ll be people with empathy and compassion. I hope they will always strive to understand more. I know we’ll make mistakes, but it’s too important not to try.
August 31, 2014
If the reputation of cops is so important to you, then why aren’t you throwing every single bad cop to the wolves to protect that reputation? If being a “good cop” emphasizes loyalty to shit cops over competence and human decency, then you can just fucking live with people saying cops are shit.
August 30, 2014