My Dream Afro

Last night I had a dream....  In it I had an afro.  It wasn't clear whether I was Black or White, but if I was black I was the lightest Black I've ever seen.  My afro, after taking out the rubber bands that kept it looking short, was a dark umber, and a full four inches thick.  I used a "pick" in the dream to shape it.  My immediate circle of friends and acquaintances were surprised and happy, and encouraged me to go after my dream of joining an acting class.  I went to the class, but was virtually invisible...un-noticed.  After I woke up I remember thinking the afro had given me identity, but no special breaks.

I loved that afro.

Of course, it also meant I was younger in the dream, because the cells in my body have lost the ability to counter-act the natural hydrogen peroxide they express, and my hair has been salt-and-pepper for a couple of years now.

I am sure having the dream was the result of a conversation I had earlier in the day with a young black woman where I opened an account at a credit union.  I've been rather cooped up for the two years I was unemployed, and feel a need to share what I've learned during the past two years.

The young woman had teared up, almost crying, and said it was just so meaningful to have someone acknowledge what's going on.  She told me about a quote she'd heard where someone had said that Fox news almost single-handedly had divided the country, and I countered that all the news stations were just as bad...  She agreed.  It was especially meaningful to me also, that I am not alone in my new found convictions.  And, I have had three other conversations about basically the same things at my contract job, two with Black women, and one with a Hispanic man, who also agree with my conclusions.

My conversation with the gentleman began with me saying, "I am just so desperate to talk to someone about something I saw this morning on the news," and after indicating his willingness to listen, I continued, "The news reported that a judge in Orange County had landed himself in hot water with statements made about a rape victim.  He had said the victim didn't put up a fight, and that if she didn't want intercourse her body would have shut-down." "What bothers me is that they closely match what Akins said, but more than that it reminds me of what Lakoff has described as a technique the Conservatives use, knowingly or unknowingly, that in linguistics can be called, Don't Think of an Elephant, where just by making that statement you automatically think of an gets the message out there and people are thinking about it, because they don't follow up with anything that is true, like saying, What Is True is that most rape victims experience orgasm, but it's simply a bodily response and has nothing to do with wanting the act of intercourse."  And, he agreed.  And that meant a lot to me.

A little harder to get into would be the fact that men who rape are not the evil monsters we've been taught to think of them as, they're behind the curve, have little sense of control or power, and are not experienced with the use of their Reward System (not at least using the paths to it that are most natural to humans).  Do we want to punish them?  Certainly.  But....we should also want to take care of them, to help them fix these problems they're having...if for no other reason than that we don't want them to do it again...and, this isn't rocket science, it's not hard to fix this type of problem...but the way we've gotten used to treating them doesn't allow for any therapuetic process to occur, we're all about the punishment, and none of the cure.  Which is just as dismal as the pain of the victim.

I mean, wouldn't it be better to teach victims of these crimes that there is something mentally deficient about their attacker?  Instead of painting them as evil?  But I digress.  I just think that, hopefully, in ten or fifteen years time, they'll finally find that anyone who develops any sort of criminal behavior will also be found to have ADD or ADHD, or some further progression of that distrophy of our Reward System.  And, until they do begin injecting narratives about how to develop the Reward System - the paths more natural to our species, we can only expect the troubles to continue.

1 comment:

  1. Mike,
    Trying to get ahold of you. The email address I have for you bounced back, and I left you an email in LinkedIn....haven't heard from you. Send me an email at
    SHS Classmate, Elaine Carvao-Alper
    Class of 1980