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Mon Mar 28, 2016, 06:03 PM

My Mother's Garden by Kaitlyn Greenidge

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/27/opinion/sunday/my-mothers-garden.html?_r=1

IT was my first year as a scholarship student at a school that prized itself on teaching the skill of dispassionate debate. I quickly learned that the best thing you could bring to an argument was “objectivity.”

We practiced this objectivity in our current events class. It was never explicitly tied to identity, but it was implied. I learned that the best person to talk about wealth and class was an upper-middle class person because she supposedly could look at it dispassionately. The best person to talk about race was a white person, for the same reasons. The best person to talk about gender was a boy.

When people affected by issues spoke for themselves, they got too angry, too weepy, too irrational.

In the mid-1990s, the biggest threat to America continued to be the welfare queen. Or at least that’s what the news and many politicians all said. My school was far too genteel to name the welfare queen outright, but she haunted our balanced class discussions. The welfare queen was worse than disease and death and the destruction of the icecaps. She was worse than that because she was all those things in one, perpetually pregnant with pathologies, birthing out criminals and addicts and losers and apparently eating $50 steaks and driving gleaming Cadillacs while doing so.

SNIP

____________________________

Photos of the author with her new novel, WE LOVE YOU CHARLIE FREEMAN

http://www.odysseybks.com/event/kaitlyn-greenidge-we-love-you-charlie-freeman

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply My Mother's Garden by Kaitlyn Greenidge (Original post)
pnwmom Mar 2016 OP
OneGrassRoot Mar 2016 #1
brer cat Mar 2016 #2
pnwmom Mar 2016 #3
Number23 Mar 2016 #4
JustAnotherGen Mar 2016 #7
Number23 Mar 2016 #8
betsuni Mar 2016 #5
JustAnotherGen Mar 2016 #6
pnwmom Mar 2016 #9

Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Mon Mar 28, 2016, 06:43 PM

1. Poignantly beautiful. Thank you so much. K&R n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Mon Mar 28, 2016, 09:29 PM

2. Tearing up here.

That is beautiful but brutal. From the nonsensical choices they were required to make to her adoption of quirkiness and outsiderness, she paints the grim realities in a way I have seldom seen. Now I have to find a copy of We love you, Charlie Freeman to dig into more Kaitlyn Greenidge.

This was an unexpected find, pnwmom. Thanks for bringing it here.

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Response to brer cat (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 28, 2016, 10:08 PM

3. You're welcome, brer cat. I thought about dropping it into General Discussion

but decided the soil for this garden might be more fertile here.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Tue Mar 29, 2016, 12:34 AM

4. Woah

Good Lord, what a HELL of a read.

I learned that the best person to talk about wealth and class was an upper-middle class person because she supposedly could look at it dispassionately. The best person to talk about race was a white person, for the same reasons. The best person to talk about gender was a boy.

When people affected by issues spoke for themselves, they got too angry, too weepy, too irrational.


Yep, that sounds about right. And people wonder why so few of the world's problems are solved in any reasonable amount of time and why the folks that speak out about the things that actually affect their lives are so reviled.

This was an absolutely phenomenal read. Heartbreaking and heroic at the same time. Thanks for posting. Good God, I can't believe that someone killed that garden.

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Response to Number23 (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 29, 2016, 04:14 PM

7. So why aren't we allowed to speak

To the tragedies of white men without someone getting bent out of shape?

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #7)

Tue Mar 29, 2016, 04:51 PM

8. That's the whole point. Only "dispassionate" and "objective" observers are allowed to speak on these

issues. Whenever people who are actually affected by them speak up about them, we are too "angry" or are "shit stirrers" or my personal, all time fucking favorite, "RACE BAITERS!!!!!1111one"

Of course, it never occurs to the people creating these asinine rules that the "objective" and "dispassionate" observers may be nothing of the sort. That they may be ignorant, bigoted or providing their "analyses" from an angle that benefits themselves the most.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Tue Mar 29, 2016, 01:38 AM

5. Beautiful.

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Response to pnwmom (Original post)

Tue Mar 29, 2016, 03:25 PM

6. Her voice is amazing!

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #6)

Wed Mar 30, 2016, 02:56 AM

9. I'm getting her book tomorrow -- can't wait. n/t

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