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Trump History and connections including Robert Kennedy, Jr.

November 4th, 2023

We see things happening in the news – relevant history, but most of us are not old enough to remember actual historical events from generations past connected to the present without being an obvious and clear connection.

One that we in the Bettina Network who are of an age remember is the connection between Donald Trump and the Kennedy family.

Going back to the McCarthy era, there were three people at the head table for events featuring Joe McCarthy. They were Joseph McCarthy, Roy Cohn and Robert Kennedy, Sr. He was a part of that group and one of those at the top. We generally don’t want to remember nor hear that repeated because Robert Kennedy, Sr.’s history has dropped and does not acknowledge that connection. He is remembered more as connected to the liberal wing of politics and to causes with a positive bent. However, history cannot be erased even if we don’t want to hear it repeated and even if we have changed that history to make it more palatable to todays worth.

Some of the Kennedys follow Robert, Sr. example as he moved into a more liberal side of the political spectrum. We don’t want to know about the fights between Kennedy, Sr. and Lyndon Johnson because we don’t want to see or characterize a Texan as more “liberal” than a New England Yankee. Nor do we want to see that competition moved into a liberal/conservative stance with Johnson being the liberal and Kennedy, Sr. the very conservative Trump/McCarthy/Cohn-type character.

Today, we see that part of Robert Kennedy, Sr.’s legacy surfacing in his son, Robert Kennedy, Jr. – someone definitely and unequivocally connected to Robert, Sr.s early days in politics and Roy Cohn and Joe McCarthy and sitting on the floor at Roy Cohn’s knee, while worshipping Joe McCarthy, there is Donald Trump. Sitting at the feet of his then masters, absorbing all they had to offer. We not only see this face of Donald Trump with his mentors, but we see Trump – a young person at the time, but now as he has aged and become involved politically, following and taking to the next level on the way to hell the example and beliefs of his mentors. The picture, as we see Trump and Kennedy, Jr. today, becomes more complete.

We were first made aware of this when a sign popped up in the garden of one of our leaders on the Mount Auburn Street side in Cambridge, MA. without her knowledge or permission. Those who know her know she immediately went out, ripped the sign out of the garden and tossed it. That was just the beginning.

If we harken back to Donald Trump’s divorce from Ivana Trump andif we kept up with such things we would remember the Trump divorce with Ivana Trump, the woman Donald was divorcing, talking about and describing how Donald Trump had a copy of “Mein Kampf” on his bedside table and read it constantly. That part of the divorce was public at the time. The divorce proceedings may now be under a security wrap – and the “Mein Kampf” book may be one of the reasons.

However, if you look at what Trump is doing today and has been doing for quite a few years you will see the fruit developing publicly out of what Trump was doing years ago privately. His social media “writings” – as we read them – come directly out of Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and in a way only one steeped in the politics and beliefs of Adolf Hitler could have written and/or espouse in his public/political speeches. One cannot see or hear Trump without the echoes of Hitler’s politcal talks echoing in the background as Trump brings the echo to the forefront.

Most of us sleep with a copy of the bible or whatever the sacred book tied to our religious beliefs. Trump slept with a copy of the sacred book tied to his religious beliefs – “Mein Kampf”

Knowing that and lookiing at the transformation of the Republican Party it makes much more sense as to what is happening in that Political Party and with Trump followers outside of that Party.

While Trump followers are re-enacting the Rise of the Third Reich and Adolf Hitler, the rest of us are watching the racists, anti-semites, anti-feminists, users of politics to cheat-steal the government, steal from its citizens, try in very Nazi Germany ways to keep themselves “better than” by destroying and oppressing further its minority citizens and immigrants escaping oppressive governments.

As Americans, we like to think of ourselves as “better than”. In actual fact we have lots of problems and the fight within America between the good and the bad and the really evil is now out for all to see. Trump has wiped away the deniability we had for generations and we are all exposed. So what now?

When we look back on all of this we make a connection between Haiti, Trump, Kennedy, Sr., Republican Party and more along those lines. Haiti went from being a free society having gotten rid of its Colonial oppressors until those oppressors went under the society to destroy it from within and Haiti now has to deal with all of that. The Republican Party has also come from that point of view. In Louisiana – where we are now being introduced to M. Johnson as Speaker of the House – there is the example along the same lines. The Republican Party was the Party of freedom If you were African American and wanted to vote the Democrats worked against you and were aligned with the KKK. The Republicans shored you up and helped you by – among other things – having an African American head of the Republican Party in Louisiana with similar things happening in other places. If you wanted to vote back then you knew you were and had to be a Republican and that was the Political Party you joined. Today, however, the change in Haiti is dramatic as is the change in the Republican Party.

Is this what human beings create? I am good and working for the freedom of all today, but tomorrow – watch out – I can become the devil incarnate working for some to be at the top and others – as the pyuramid goes down to the bottom – working to enslave others because I can’t live without being “better than” able to mischaracterize the others in the crudest of ways.

Women in the United States are fighting for rights which were secured decades ago. Blacks are just beginnning the fight to save the Supreme Court ruling which declared separate is not equal. Others are fighting to block Trump and his followers from bringing back hate, evil, “I am ok you are not ok, you were born to serve me.”

Dear God, is there relief from all of this? Can we humans actually move away from such awfulness into a better world or are we condemned to fight the same fights, experience the same oppressions just passing them along to the other side – us today, them tomorrow? When do your promises come alive and apread throughout the world or am I waiting in vain and my death will end it all for me as their deaths will end it for others like and unlike me?”

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Memories – Brought back by an Ice Farm

October 13th, 2023

by: Marceline Donaldson

Watching a television documentary this morning about ice farming in Maine brought back enormous and very emotional memories.

I loved to stay with my great-grandmother who we called – Grandma Bucksell. Whenever I could, I walked from my house to hers because she and my Uncle George Adams had so many great memories and things to pass on to me – acivities for me to do which was normal for them, but fantastic for me.

Every few days a man would pull up, in front of their house, in his wagon drawn by horses. He was the only person around who went from door to door in a horse drawn wagon. He had ice and milk on his wagon to deliver to Grandma Bucksell to put in her “ice box.” To this day I call a refrigerator an ice box.

I didn’t think much of it then, but years later I remembered those days. She also had a wood burning stove and coffee beans in the oven in the morning for that days coffee.

The connection the television documentary I saw this morning made for me was to connect the origination of the ice in the state of Maine with its final destination in New Orleans. It was a powerful memory and an even more powerful connection.

To see all of the people farming ice on a lake complete with the culture of ice farming; with the men in the ice house who had to work years to get to be able to work in the ice house and all of the family culture that went into ice farming was special.

As I age, I am beginning to question why we are so hot on developing all of the technology and AI and everything else which is ruining the planet, our health and our lives. What do we really have to gain by all of it? A better life or a stressed out life which keeps us from enjoying family, friends and others in a community which spiritually, emotionally and in many other ways enriches us all?

I go back in my mind often to those days of early morning breakfast in bed which my Grandma Bucksell brought me with the wood burning fireplace going to keep the room and house warm. Try as hard as I might my coffee does not match the coffee from those days and the breakfasts are just not the same. It was a lifestyle which enriched me spiritually, emotionally and in many other ways and one I was not able to give to my children no matter how hard I tried.

It was great to know there is an ice farming museum in Maine which is keeping all of their history together, sharing the culture and lifestyle which ice farming created in those environs and are using the museum to keep the culture of ice farming going. I hope they add something about the people who received the ice all over this country and how their lives paralleled.

May the museum and all of its restorative endeavors be ever successful.

President Joseph Biden and Bigotry against the elderly

June 28th, 2023

by: Marceline Donaldson

Everytime I hear reference to Joe Biden’s age, I cringe. Why? Because I am older than President Biden – now 85 years old – and functioning with no problems.

Amazingly, I know lots of people much younger who are not functioning as well. However, comments would be made to take me down as well as Biden because of age. Somehow, over a certain age your accomplishments and your future are tainted with the same bigotry I have experienced all of my life as an African American/New Orleans Creole woman. This kind of bigotry may be new to Biden since he is a white male – however, he probably experienced some of it because he is a white Irish male.

Growing up in New Orleans, there was extensive prejudice against the Irish.There was that same bigotry across the United States. Some areas worse than others. Now living in the Greater Boston area, its history was also one in which “Irish need not apply.” In some areas where white Irish single women were not available, the white Irish single men looked for Native American and African American women as wives. That shows clearly in their progeny.

In New Orleans, amongst Black women it was stylist to have your hair dyed with streaks of red. That style came from how attractive the mixed Irish/Black children looked – they came out with black hair with streaks of red – or dark skin with red hair – or etc.

Now, Biden must endure, with all the politeness he has shown throughout his life, this new bigotry aimed at that kind of “kill me with racist remarks wrapped in demeaning intentional put down comments using my age” and then deny that is the intent of the remarks. Comments like – “Wow, he will be 86 when he finishes his second term”. What does that mean? It is a very, very bigoted comment and we make that plus others with no problems, in spite of the fact that today we have a problem with anyone using the “N” word. How is using the “old” word any different? The media regularly asks “isn’t he too old to run for a second term.” There needs to be a Court where one can turn to bring a law suit against such attitude and actions. Joe Biden seems quite fit to run for whichever office he chooses. He has the background and has shown his competency. None of what he has done stops the media and others from questioning his fitness for the job of President. He has performed marvelously well – so why would his age matter? Others have said the same thing only with the take line – she pas performed marvelously well – so why would her race and sex matter?

I certainly don’t want to be judged by my age. We take care of friends much younger who can’t take care of themselves, however, the negative “old” comments are not directed at or to them and their deficiencies and their physical problems – they would be directed at me. “Wow, how can you do the things you do at your age.” Same kind of remarks I used to get – “Wow, how could you have achieved what you did as a black woman?”

When are we going to stop judging people by standards which make us feel “better than” and start giving people credit for who they are with their physical attributes not at all considered – who they have sex with irrelevant – how “well” they function as “old” people a disgusting comment in the same category as the “N” word comments?

When we talk about Joe Biden’s age we have no boundaries. There is nothing which keeps us back. If we talked about the color of a persons’ skin in relation to their ability to function the reporter who made such comments would be out of a job or worse.

It is time to hold up those who are doing this and promoting this bit of bigotry and to call it what it is. Anyone doing this is, no doubt, doing the racist bit, the sexist bit, etc. etc.

STOP IT! Try talking about Joseph Biden in terms of his accomplishments not his age.

Donald Trump – Mafia, Sexual Abuser, Thief? Maybe the man is simply following what he was taught at his family’s knee?

June 11th, 2023

We have not written anything about Donald Trump for quite some time. So many others picked up the cudgel that we didn’t see where we had anything different to say.

Today, however, as we read, listen to and take in the past, what seems to us most important about Trump is being totally ignored.

Where and with whom did this man absorb the lessons of life he is now showing he accepted and is living?

One might legitimately and seriously ask the question, is his an example of the billionaire group in this society? Those who can cross the line from legal to incredibly foul, living without retribution? Taking advantage of those who go along to get along and who become successful by just either keeping quiet or seeing where they can support without losing, but gaining.

Trump is certainly the poster boy, leading and taking advantage of that group. When he is served by the law – today with these transgressions; in the past with the school he establish;and so much more that cost the public millions – where do they find him? Mar-a-Lago? His Bedminster cottage by the pool or by the water? His condo on Fifth Avenue in New York surrounded by those who wait on him hand and foot and are very skilled at saying “yes sir”?

And after he is served to appear in Court charged with incredible violations of every good, lots of ugly things are said about him, but who is appointed as judge to sit in judgment on Donald Trump in these instances? Judge Aileen Cannon – the woman who showed her own depravity and inability to do her job as judge where Trump is concerned. If the past is prologue she is not capable of seeing anything or doing anything about Trump except exonerate him. If he were a part of Middle-Class America, would these things be true and have happened? Would such a judge be sitting on the bench for one of them?

From where did Trump’s money come? – His grandfather who came to the United States from Germany and made enough to have a hotel and more. What did he do to gain that kind of fortune? Used women as prostitutes and he collected from their work. Does that give you some idea as to where Trump’s sexual abuse, disrespect, alleged rape, etc. of women comes from? Does it tell you the genesis of Trump’s profound disrespect of women and how he will use them? He was trained into such behavior at home.

And then we go through another generation – Trump’s father who reportedly left Trump some $250 million dollars. Check out his history and the lessons Trump would have learned at his feet!!!! Not the least of which would have been Trump’s bigotry! Trump’s inheritance was more than money and property. Not all children with such ancestors hew to the lessons learned at their ancestors feet – not all of Trump’s family have lived their lives in the way they were raised. Trump, however, seems to have not moved away from one wrong step in his growing up days.

And then Trump, living in Queens, New York is picked up and moved to Manhattan by his mentor – Roy Cohn. A man, a lawyer, who defended mafia figures and, it is said, lived like them and had their morals. When they died he became their memorial and worse.

Trump also became who he is today, his “finishing school” was under Roy Cohn. He showed how committed he is to the sin, corruption, ugliness to others, here for the money and nothing else, by the way he treated his mentor. Roy Cohn was the love of Trump’s life until Cohn ran into trouble at the end of his life and slid far down from where and who he was during livelier times. The man who helped to create a monster was abandoned by that monster he created. When Cohn most needed his friends some were there, but the one who was not was the one Cohn had done the most for and on whom he left his stamp – Donald J. Trump.

At the end of Cohn’s life when he was sick, in need of money, etc. who was among the missing ? When Cohn died who arrived at the Synagogue from which he was buried stayed a couple minutes in the back and then left? Guess who!

What we need to recognize and take in are those today supporting Trump. Going through his followers, try eliminating those who are mafia! The number of his followers then drops significantly. The United States has a far flung, large, mafia group. Not just the leaders whose names we know, but those who are involved under the leadership and on the periphery – they have family members committed to the mafia; they are on the sidelines doing a little bit here and there on the wrong side of the line which separates the legitimate from those who cross that line with no thoughts about right or wrong. Eliminate those from Trump’s following and the numbers drop even more dramatically – OH!!! – and lets not forget those who are paid to appear and act like Trump supporters. It is acknowledged there were many when Trump came down the escalator. It would have been a small, sad and lonely group without those paid to look as though they were Trump supporters. Don’t forget to eliminate those. AND don’t forget the wannabe’s here today and gone tomorrow! They come in for some recognition and enlarge the group of Trump supporters.

It is time we in these United States look with clear eyes at our fellow citizens and recognize them for who they are. There are many good, law abiding, gracious, loving, caring people. There are also, unfortunately, the group described above and they are well into the tens of millions.

May God open our eyes to the truth of what surrounds us and give us the stamina, the love of justice, the caring to be able to live without all the games which allows the Donald Trump’s of the world to gain the ascendency.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence and take not your holy Spirit from me.
Give me the joy of your saving help again and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.

Psalm 51: 11-13″ That I may live in the joy that is the life you carved out for us all. Amen.

How Do the Masters of Extreme Prejudice Raise the Stakes? Bigotry Rules, Joe Biden –

May 4th, 2023

We are at the start of the 2024 race for president of the United States. As we enter this phase we see where the emphasis of the bigots will be placed. Usually it is on the most financially, economically, etc. viable areas to destroy them for others and shepherd them into our own small part of the world. In the process, making sure those called to be “better than” are once again satiated.

The race for president of the United States is one of the biggies where racism, sexism, etc. are redefined for the time going forward. We saw bigotry redefined when Obama ran and won and that was a good thing, although only for a very brief period of time. We saw it change after the realization that the “better than” group with their lives immersed in negativity was losing ground. We saw the media promote, to an extreme, the candidacy of Donald Trump which allowed him to win and bring along into the White House and into the rest of the country his extreme racism, sexism and so much more. Trump’s candidacy brought a sigh of relief to the “better than” group. With the ascendancy of Donald Trump as president and all of those he gathered around we saw bigotry increase dramatically.

We now see that bigotry against the elderly being redefined by the candidacy of Joseph Biden. This time, the elderly are in for a huge redefinition and dramatic increase in the kind of prejudice they experience. All aimed at destroying intergenerational wealth to insure the continuation of the bigotry which gives to those who are defined by this society as “better than” and takes away from everybody else. After all, every group has its elderly. What better way to re-set the wealth of different groups.

The media has already taken its position by making sure every little tit and tatle – every nuance of prejudice against the elderly is reported, increased, structured in ways that are more tightly and extensively talked about. This keeps the concept of the negativity and claimed weakness of the elderly ever in front of the citizens who will vote for the next president. It keeps bigotry against the elderly front and center until it is much increased, changed to meet the needs of a “better than” group and much of the wealth in the hands of these “geriatric others” in society ripped away.

Clearly, bigotry against the elderly is going to rule in this presidential campaign. It has to, so the inequality with which we live continues in full force and increases hitting hardest at these elderly people whose wealth we want to destroy. This kind of bigotry started increasing over the past few years so you knew what was in the future.

Give them Medicare and use that “gift” to drain the “not-better than” groups in society of any possible movement ahead. Don’t put the elderly in prison – that would awaken and stir up the general populace. Use Medicare to put them in hospitals, nursing homes, etc. Incapacitate them so it can seem legitimate to rip off their wealth accumulated over a long life. See that their wealth is put into the “right” hands – not into the hands of their family – that might cause a disruption of the carefully constructed racism, sexism, etc. – which determines everything in this society.

As the 2024 presidential race begins to heat up, so will the rhetoric and so will the reconstruction of the bigotry against the elderly to make it a normal, everyday thing – unmovable, intransient, into the structure so tight and vicious and ugly that the goal of the bigots will be attained.

We are now hearing – at the beginning of Joe Biden’s run for re-election – “yes he did a great job, but he is old.” “Yes, if only he was about 20 younger – maybe even 30 years younger would be better. ” And those who want to compete and whose ethics are totally flawed are predicting that he won’t live long enough to be president for the next four years. That is an extremely bigoted statement, but it will become more common place and accepted as the campaign continues.

Joe Biden is a man in good health, but that is cast as not being reliable because of his age. This ignores the fact that none of us are reliably healthy because we are humans and fallible on all levels all the time.

The wisdom and experience he has accumulated over the years because he is living a great, healthy and long life is not to be shared with the country because the elderly can’t be counted on to do that. They get sick, die, become senile. The bigotry in that concept is so strong it smacks you in the face. Younger people get sick, die, get Alzheimers at 40 and sometimes younger. The young also might not live long enough into a presidency to share their accumulated wisdom and experience. Fact is – they probably have not lived long enough to accumulate much experience nor especially much wisdom.

To look around and see how the elderly are being treated in this society is a disgrace. What really slams the door shut on love, goodness, grace, kindness is the fact that most are not seen – they have become the new invisible group and when questions are asked, attempts are made to “lock them up”. Usually for no reason, but the assumptions made – as are the assumptions when we see racism practiced out in the open and accepted as real – those assumptions are stereotypes coined to strip their wealth away, their genius, to take the awards away from their accomplishments and so much more.

To see the race for the presidency being used to promote, structure into the society a more lethal form of bigotry this time against the elderly, assumptions which are totally flawed but believed by those who need their identity to reflect more than who they actually are – it is tragic and says much about the weakness of the spiritual – ethical – good side of who we claim to be.

Get ready for much popping up in the media on a daily basis of this creation of a strong, negative, stereotype of the elderly. Look for many more to be “incarcerated” in nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living places which lock them away from the world and so much more.

Why are we so afraid of the elderly – our parents? What do we have to gain by all of this? Don’t we need the best person to be president of these United States and not the person who fits our stereotype fashioned by the media, hollywood, the image of the middle-aged – sort of handsome Northern European male who might not be right in the head, but is right for the image we want to project onto ourselves and to cloud the eyes of those looking on to think we are much better than we look because of the stereotype we have put on ourselves and projected onto others.

Dear God – let us see the people running this race for the presidency of the United States with clear eyes, not infected with the stereotypes we will have to endure as the print, digital, and all the other media tries to take us into another world which is imaginary and projected for the benefit of those who project themselves as “better than”. We need as president someone who will destroy the lines between us which have some as multi-billionaires and some of us as homeless. It is disgraceful how we have and continue to construct this world in which we live to be such a negative, uncaring, ugly place totally moving away from the beauty, grace, love and caring of the world You created.

We live into negativity in everything we do, feel, see, experience. We don’t seem to be able to live into anything else. We build homes with all kinds of flaws we have to constantly correct; we grow food with chemicals which make us sick and over time leads to serious and sometimes long-lived diseases with which we must cope; we make some people better than others because we don’t think this world is enough for us to be equal to one another; we move from one place to another in vehicles which destroy the very air we breathe; we set up other human beings as the ‘enemy’ against whom we must constantly protect ourselves with weapons we invent to kill those ‘others’ – WHY! What is wrong with us that we can’t constantly grow and live into the good side of humanity and we must always live into the evil trying to wipe out those who attempt to live into that goodness. Why must we describe their attributes negatively.

May we live long and prosper and may we appreciate people like Joe Biden who is doing just that and trying to make this a better place for us all. May we stop trying to construct negative stereotypes and instead construct good forms out of which we live and thrive and prosper – as equals.

Why is living in a world where we are all equal – all living together for our mutual benefit – and so much more – such an incredible threat. Why is that such a threat to humanity that some of us must live into our evil side and destroy everything living into the negativity which is in the world and which we must harness for our own ‘survival.’ Is there something great about surviving negatively when there is so much goodness that we could use and give helping us to grow in the true beauty of this planet on which we live?

The Arrogance 0f Bigotry

April 28th, 2023

Where do you live? Who lives around you? What are the racial/minority/woman ethics in your neighborhood? Is bigotry against those considered “less than” in this society tolerated in your neighborhood? Do you put your head in the sand and do nothing about it? Do you know what it means on a daily basis to live in a neighborhood and house which is ‘redlined’? Do you know what “redlined” means” Do you use a bank which practices such? Do you know if your bank practices such? Or other kinds of bigotry? Do you care? We will expose it all – at Chase Bank, for example! But that is for another day!

We know and are working with several people in redlined neighborhoods and houses and their lives are horrendous. Most just quietly go about their lives suppressing the horribleness of what happens on a daily basis. We pledge ourselves to expose such on a daily basis.

Lets look at one of our favorite houses in the Harvard Square/Brattle Street neighborhood.

There are many signs around that neighborhood which proclaim “Black Lives Matter.” We have yet to see the people doing something about helping to take some of the stress off the one or two African Americans who live in that neighborhood. The police went to the home of one such person in an effort to arrest him for “breaking and entering” his own home. They didn’t take him to the police station, but they were successful in pushing him out of that neighborhood, along with the help of a few realtors and the quiet acquiescence of many.

Another family is closely a part of Bettina Network, inc. and the police came and hauled the husband out of his house to push him into the psych ward of a hospital for no reason, changing their lives drastically and destroying their business. His family was charged $195,000.00 in hospital bills when he was forced into the hospital and not for medical reasons. He was not released until his family discovered MGH’s Facebook Page and wrote the story of what happened to him. They could not get him released until that appeared and the top levels of management in that hospital were made aware in a very public way of what was happening within their institution. They knew prior to that Facebook article appearing, however, that knowing did not result in any investigation or action. Why did MGH irnore this false imprisonment? We have given you $195,000 reasons as to why they kept a healthy, perfectly sane person tied to a bed, in the small part of a very large room, at 87 years of ago trying to incapacitate him. Against the demands of his family and his Health Care Advocate and others they put through an insurance charge that should never have happened. They came for him from Mount Auburn Hospital – where he had no experience and had never been except to see patients who requested he visit. They – the police – pushed him into MGH instead of Mount Auburn Hospital because of his wife having a “hissy fit about the whole thing, but that was the only change the family could accomplish. They were pretty helpless against 8 white policemen, five EMT’s, two ambulances, and more. The family was exposed to death by police, which is frequently what happens in such cases.

What did the neighbors do? One neighbor got involved by going to the house to see if they could help. An exceptional action and more of that is desperately needed.

One neighbor continued what they had been doing for quite some time – using that family’s beautiful garden as a dog toilet. Pushing the dog into the garden where it could drop its shit, leaving the feces in the garden and going his way. That still happens – years before and now years after that false imprisonment.

Since that family is always pro-active about what happens to them and others, they have confronted that neighbor many times, but it still doesn’t stop. The latest was a confrontation that doing such a thing constitutes criminal trespass and they were going to call the police. – that did nothing because that neighbor has a very racist and defiant history. He used to scratch up the car of a Jewish neighbor, who was also pro-active in his response. It did not get that very bigoted neighbor to stop the destruction and no one else intervened.

Since that Jewish neighbor is no longer living in that area, the neighbor violating the rights of minorities close to his house turned his attention to the African American family. His dog has been so well trained he refuses to “do his business” anyplace except in the garden of the African Americans. Scratching and uprooting their flowers and more. Two irises the African Americans planted have been dug up so the dog has a straight line into the garden to “crap.”

Another neighbor trying to push the African Americans out of the neighborhood into which this neighbor newly arrived and hadn’t quite recovered from the shock of having an African American family living on their block in their newly purchased home brought his dog to use that one family’s garden as a dog toilet. When confronted by the wife in that house he moved threateningly close to her face and stomped on her toes. When her husband, seeing all of this, left the house and went to defend his wife, the new neighbor turned and ran.

What is happening today? One neighbor has engaged his friends to bring their dogs to “do their business” in the garden and make a mess of what the African Americans have been developing into a beautiful garden for over 30 years.

We forget and some of us have never known what it is like to be so harassed on a daily basis because that harassment does not happen to whites in that neighborhood – only the one lone Black family standing its ground.

We passed by and saw how horribly the side of the garden next to the driveway looks after so many people have launched their attacks in as passive and unobtrusive a way as possible. Some have dropped their leaves in the garden, in the front entryway and in the driveway. Last year that family cleaned up some 65 bags of leaves and it looks as though this time that number will be increased.

Take down those “Black Lives Matter” signs people. They mean nothing to you and have no affect on your lives as you go about ignoring the mean spiritedness of the racists, sexists, homophobic, anti-semitics with whom you share a community and against whom you do nothing except ignore what is easy to see. Have you reached the point of blaming the minorities yet?

How is Racism/Sexism Institutionalized over society?

April 16th, 2023

by: Marceline Donaldson

In the life of one African American family ——

To say my upbringing was unusual is an understatement. To look at the men and women who had substantial influence over my life and were my family is to look at people who were black, white, rich, poor, powerful, ordinary, hard working, worked almost never, etc. etc.

My grandfather – O. C. W. Taylor – was an educator, journalist, entrepreneur, politician, but most of all he made sure his family was exposed to and a part of everything he did. First my mother, then me, and then even my first child. We traveled in circles which we thought were normal, but were far from it.

Starting at about 10 years old, I was put into journalist circles and expected to be an accomplished journalist and perform.

Having co-founded the Louisiana Weekly with C. C. Dejoie, Sr. and being someone who was into radio and television journalism, my grandfather was a busy man and we went along with him wherever he went. We didn’t go as small children who had to be kept out of the way, but as participants in everything he did. We had jobs to do and we were expected to do those jobs – well.

As an educator, he was principal of a grammar school in New Orleans and brought that and his journalism together by breaking into radio and television with his program on WNOE radio and WNOE television on Sunday mornings. I was one of his reporters and was on the air at a very young age reporting on what happened in several of New Orleans schools. Usually, students from the different African American schools in New Orleans and sometimes outside of New Orleans, appeared on his programs “in person.” They sang, talked about what they were learning and what was happening in the rest of their lives. Faculty from the school being reported on accompanied them and were also a part of the program. If that school was my assignment that week I would have been expected to investigate, write up what the school was doing and be the moderator for that part of the program. I was in a position to see basic racial change or rather what we thought was going to be such a change.

WNOE was an all-white station and its programming, at that time, covered different areas with moderators talking about their particular areas, others reporting on what was happening around the city, and more. Intellectually speaking it was a rather high-minded station.

My excitement came from the fact that I thought we were bringing about major racial change, which would help to bring about an integrated world and “separate and equal” was experiencing yet another blow.

As I watched over the years, what I saw was something very different.

WNOE changed – but it changed from white to black and from this intellectual programming which was all talking about ideas, etc. to one which was a jazz, blues, spirituals, all black station, which it remains to this day.

What my grandfather did was to open the door to another room for African Americans and as they walked into the room through that door, whites walked out through another door. So, black reach expanded and had a toe into a form of media they did not have prior to that, but “separate and equal” was not harmed. It remained structurally unchanged.

As I grew older watching this change, It became clearer that whoever held the reins of power over society was safe in their need to maintain that society as “separatist” and “better than” in these United States. As I grew older I also saw that there is no change that would bring about the death of “separate and equal”. Society was set up to maintain itself as structurally racist. At first I thought this was about those white males – those northern Europeans who needed to maintain such a structure, but then I remembered my history and began to realize other groups maintained racism before those primitive peoples took over and moved themselves up using others in this separatist and unequal way. Other groups, before the appearance on the stage of the Northern Europeans, did the same thing. Perhaps in a different way, but it amounted to being “better than” as a part of their identity and condemning others who they saw as being different from, defining them as “less than” and fair game to be exploited.

Many in my family spent their lives trying to bring about a more open, caring, sharing society. They brought about change, but it was not the kind of change they set out to do. They opened a door to a larger, more sophisticated society, but one that was still very separatist, racist, sexist, etc.

We had Africans, American Indians, English, Irish, Italian, Spanish and more even in my generation. Some identified as “colored” and later as Black and then even later as African Americans and some passed – passé blanc – and would come home from their jobs as white to live with their very mixed family. That means we all worked very hard to bring about change, but that change was elusive and the separate and unequal society remained entrenched in its bigotry re-institutionalizing its separateness wherever something different threatened to break out.

I watched that happen as this world turned technical – with computers, etc. It was a deliberate, organized, structured racism that was maintained. Some had knowledge and access in an easy, functional way. Others were deliberately turned away when they tried to be a part of this coming AI society so today, groups can be “less than” who are outside of that new societal grouping. – “We have to ‘help’ them because they were not there from the beginning and more. All lies, but ones to which just about everyone subscribes.

May God forgive the inability we show to drop the evil in favor of the goodness to which the life of Jesus and many other saviors and prophets pointed us. I mention the life of Jesus first because most of the people involved called themselves Christians. The life they were leading was anything but. First recognize and respect the common, shared humanity and equal-ness of all God’s people and then one day you will be with me in paradise.

We follow the adage to be grateful that you are one of this Society’s chosen so tomorrow you will all be together in the hell that separate and unequal creates. Daily – minute by minute – life in that hell can go from exquisite to miserable and we never attribute that to its root cause – our need to be “better than” and the price we will pay to maintain that position.

Police “SWAT” Five Black Students out of Harvard University’s Leverett House for no reason!

April 10th, 2023

This appeared in the April 8, 2023 edition of the Harvard Crimson:

Leverett ‘Swatting’ Attack: At least five armed Harvard University Police Department officers stormed a Leverett House suite early Monday morning. The raid was prompted by a false 911 call from someone claiming to be a “kicked out” student who had taken a woman hostage in the suite. The students in the suite, who are Black, were ordered out of their rooms by the police at gunpoint.

Harvard students and alumni condemned the attack and some criticized the University’s response to the swatting attack. Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana acknowledged the attack in an email to students Wednesday night, more than two days after the attack occurred. 

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Bettina Comments:

There are many cases of police removing African Americans, other minorities and women from their homes without cause. Leverett House was home for the blacks so removed. We are publishing such attacks so they are known by a more general public and in some cases our research shows they were not published at all, but quietly covered over.

Why are the police – Harvard or otherwise, being used in such a way and what are they and others doing to stop such horribleness. Let me remind you of Dr. Henry Louis Gates – Harvard Professor and Rev. Dr. Robert Bennett – Episcopal priest. One removed by the police falsely claiming criminal reasons; one removed by the police from his home and forced into a psych unit of a local hospital without cause. If you remember, Dr. Bennett was sent back home within hours from the hospital because there was no reason to have attempted to humiliate him in such a way and Dr. Gates was arrested for breaking and entering his own home,. Dr. Gates no longer lives in the Harvard Square area which is and has been kept “white northern european male” forever.

 

Chicken Liver Påté or Chopped Chicken Liver

April 1st, 2023

What a choice!

I spent a couple years trying to recreate an appetizer I loved, but could not find the recipe. After much search, discussion, questions, amazingly, I discovered the recipe depends upon whether you are Jew or Christian.

In most cookbooks I found recipes for “Chicken Liver Pate. ” If you are not Jewish that is a wonderful, mostly upper class recipe beloved as an appetizer at many events. If you are Jewish you will pass that by and keep looking for your “Chopped Chicken Liver” recipe. What is sad is that they are one and the same! One small difference might be the Chopped Chicken Liver appetizer is a bit chunkier than the Chicken Liver Pate which is blended to within an inch of its life so it is smooth and almost silky! Confusion reigned until we discovered this secret.

(Screams, knashing of teeth, denials are all quite proper here.)

Once I discovered that bit of bigotry I was able to make the best Chopped Chicken Livers I have ever tasted. Serving it to friends I said nothing about what it was. They asked me for the recipe for my “Chicken Liver Pate.” And so it goes.

Taking advantage of such awfulness we give you ————————–

Bettina’s Chopped Chicken Liver Pate for your next gathering!

Buy fresh organic chicken livers in the amount you require

Sauté organic yellow onions in melted organic butter (that is the New Orleans ingredient without which you can not cook anything) and after a few minutes add the organic chicken livers. You can substitute any other oil for the butter as long as it is organic, but they won’t taste as good.

After a couple minutes add organic mushrooms – your favorite kind. We use mushrooms with a mild taste because we want the taste of the chicken livers to prevail. You might prefer the taste of your mushrooms to be equal to the taste of the chicken livers so that would determine your choice of ingredient.

Add cream cheese, salt, pepper and a couple tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar. The amount of vinegar you use depends upon the amount of chicken livers you are cooking. So the cream cheese melts faster, cut it into small pieces and drop them into the pot over medium heat.

Shake a bit of tabasco sauce into the pan and stir to mix. Or you can add a bit of organic ginger for the bite you want to capture.

The tabasco sauce is one of the few non-organic ingredients we will use. Probably because I was raised on it. My mother used to have a bottle of the stuff in her pocket book wherever she went. It made food you were eating and not liking tolerable and you could eat it with a smile because it was drowned in the tobasco sauce.

Ginger is for those who don’t want to violate their “organic food only” oath, but want a bit of hot taste in the dish leaving your friends and guests wondering -“what was that unusual taste in the background”?

Saute in the pan until the chicken livers are done and only with a very small amount of pink showing.

Put the dish in a food processor until you reach the consistency you like. Depending upon the amount you are cooking you might have to put it into the processor in smaller amounts than your total pot all at once.

Serve it in individual dishes – appetizer dishes – with a plate under the dish on which you can put crackers or whatever else you would like to use to scoop up Bettina’s Chopped Chicken Liver Paté. If you have a very sophisticated palate you won’t be able to stop eating this – with or without the crackers – which should also be organic.

From Trash to Enhancing the Garden!

March 4th, 2023

Being a caring human being as you live your life one small step at a time takes time, energy, focus and more.

We have come from a slave society, in which pushing your work, responsibility and clean-up onto others who worked for free or close to free, was how work got done. Many of us, whose ancestry does not trace back to that master/slave relationship have adopted and adapted what it has produced in this world. We want to have without taking on the responsibility. We want others to do our dirty work. Many, if not most, of our inventions or what we call our moving forward in a better way, are based on pushing the clean-up of our lives onto others. We have become accustomed to making a mess as we enjoy and live our lives and leave what we consider the dregs for others to take care of – to clean-up behind our enjoyment – even our work product.

One way we can make up for that history in an improving rather than dying world is to be careful with our garbage disposal.

We are trying to look carefully at what we throw out to make sure it is actually garbage and not the result of trashing what could be reused because we are too lazy to do otherwise. Not so easy, but quite profitable for all of us.

We are trying to move items from garbage disposal to reuse. Sometimes we are just amazed at what we didn’t realize we should keep for some good use rather than just tossing into the garbage and sometimes missing the garbage bag.

COFFEE GROUNDS is one items we discovered should not be in the garbage nor put down the disposal.

Imagine our delight to discover coffee grounds are good for the garden – the plants and foods we are trying to cultivate in our backyard. Or that coffee groundd are good to keep and bring to someone else so their garden can be enhanced.

When cleaning up after breakfast or at other times when you have made coffee – try this means of disposal – simply take your coffee grounds and throw them into your garden on whatever plants or trees or bushes you want to feed. Add a bit of water to the coffee pot to make sure all the grounds are out of the pot and into the soil. If your coffee grounds are from organically grown coffee – so much the better.

We found a great coffee at Trader Joe’s. Their Organic Arabica coffee. What we don’t like is the only form in which we can purchase it is in already ground coffee beans. We have become accustomed to grinding our coffee beans just before we make what we hope will be a fantastic cup of coffee – and it is usually outstanding. (Sorry, sometimes we just have to brag). So, we buy a bit of Trader Joe’s Arabica ground coffee, but until they provide that organically grown Arabica coffee in packages of whole beans, we will stick to the coffee beans we normally use until that changes.

We love adding water to the coffee pot as we are washing dishes and then pouring the coffee into the glass container we use to keep the used coffee grounds until we can get into the garden to pour out those leftovers. A habit we cultivated because some of our master/slave ways of being are still strong. When we first discovered this ability to move used coffee grounds from trash to recover we couldn’t wait to get into the garden and throw out the used coffee grounds with every pot of coffee we made. That didn’t last long. Our need to spend less energy in whatever we try to do took over – and into the kitchen came the glass container.

We feel as though we are doing something really special by converting what was trash into food for the earth so it will produce more beautiful plants for our eyes and nose and nutritionally better food to nourish our bodies while not clogging up everything by creating trash and garbage for others to have to handle.

Dropping the leftover ways of being master over slaves (and yes, we still have that mentality); dropping the destruction of the earth in which we are all participants – could that be called being responsible human beings? Improving humanity by trying, one small step at a time, to eliminate our participation in laziness, evil, greed, destruction, etc just because we can!

Racism, Sexism, Bigotry of any kind – decoded!

March 2nd, 2023

It is difficult to outline bigotry. Mostly if you say to someone you just expewrienced unbridled racism, they will probably respond – “I doubt that”. And when you object because your life has been one experience of racism after another and you feel you know the landscape, they still continue and want you to outline to them how you know and of what did it entail. Our advice is to just ignore that and change the conversation. The first thing about racism and knowing it has just happened to you is the denial from the person with whom you shared that experience.

DECODE IT!

The major purveyors of racism; those keeping it intact so the ones who are declared “better than” under its structure are not inconvenienced by the feelings of “equal to” are not all white, male, North Americans/Northern Europeans.

FOR EXAMPLE: The major institutions – organizational structures – corporate entities who keep the separatism intact are banks/developers/realtors.

Take a look around your neighborhood – your schools – the companies in which you work – your churches, synagogues, temples and what do you see? White – where the money and power are concentrated and brown, yellow, black, red everyplace else.

If you want your life upheaveled, cross one of those barriers and see what a threat you are. Everyone begins to mark you for extinction. Banks are number one. You can get certain kinds of loans, credit cards, and other credit products depending upon where you live. I know, I know – you have heard about needing a good credit rating and all of that – it is quite a lot of baloney.

Making the job of the banks easier with some of the load of responsibility for racism taken off their shoulders are the developers and realtors. They hold an uncrossable line. Every once in a while one of them goes crazy with guilt and starts to violate those non-violatable lines of race, sex, etc. and then everyone’s life is upheaveled for quite some time.

The developers are the new guys on the block, but they are the most skilled and the most insecure in their positions. Could that be because sexism is so stringently enforced in their industry?

Not only is sexism strong, but look at the results of their work!!! You will see the homes that are “redone”, “restored”, “renovated” are all done in the style that is really out of the Scandinavian culture and that includes the furnishings used by realtors to “stage” their houses for sale. Anything else is considered fodder for a new renovation because the other one wasn’t quite North American enough. A strong barrier has been created. That even goes into the television shows which are the “renovation” shows. A house starts looking dilapidated or worse and at the end it is a tribute to the proper culture.l The kitchens are almost all identical. Cabinets are around the room, a counter is in the middle with a table and chairs (not formal enough for a dining room) are on the other side with every one raving about how fantastic this job turned out. Every segment of the economy supports every other segment to maintain the “better than” group with that certain feeling which keeps them above others and their culture the one that supports it all.

In spite of Brown v Board of Education and a whole lot of work by tens of thousands of people over the decades the schools are still hopelessly segregated and there doesn’t seem to be a way outl

All of this takes the onerous off the institutional structures and puts it on the backs of John and Jane Q. Public. Are the individuals the guilty ones or do they simply go along to get along. Busing was undertaken because it was clear there would be no change because of the stringent and strident way neighborhoods were segregated. The best way to kick up a storm is to have an African American move into an upper-class white north/american neighborhood. The bread winner of the family probably soon loses his job; strange things begin to happen around the family which pulls them as far down as possible until they move out shamed, disgraced and more with the blame for such squarely on the backs of the family which took on such a horrendous change in the status quo.

Where do we go from here! It seems to me that the strength and size of the boulder on the backs of those who have undetaken such a lifestyle has and will dictate no change. If anything it will grow exponentially disguised so most can say “I don’t see that”.

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Mushrooms for breakfast!

January 29th, 2023

We discovered this great combination of food and spices which made an outstanding breakfast /brunch/dinner dish.

Everything, of course, is organic! That is crucial!

One large organic onion, sliced thin and put into a skillet with butter and grapeseed oil.

We would say into a skillet with butter, but we are becoming less conservative in our old age and using more varieties of oils.

Let the onion cook slowly in the oils while you slice organic button mushrooms – actually you could add any kind of mushrooms or a selection of several kinds.

Let these two (onion and mushrooms) cook in the oils with the onion for a few minutes. You don’t want to brown the onions just cook them to deliciousness.

Add organic cream cheese – we used about four ounces. The amount you use depends upon whether you are using one or more onions, etc. given the number of people you want to serve or the leftover amount you want to reserve for another meal.

Let the organic cream cheese meld with the rest of the ingredients in the skillet – preferably a cast iron skillet. As they melt into everything else add milk to make it a more liquid dish and add salt, thyme, tabasco sauce to begin the finishing process. After adding milk (organic) the dish will become thick in a few minutes which is the consistency you want to spoon over open organic English Muffin.

As the dish cooks and becomes this wonderfully smelling concoction, add very sharp organic cheddar cheese cut into small pieces so they can melt easily and quickly.

Serve over toasted organic English Muffins.

a bit of heaven in a skillet.

EVIL EXISTS – The most common way to identify it is through the DENIAL that comes immediately after an act of EVIL!

January 28th, 2023

This is a post set to music – the kind you don’t hear much anymore! Go back far enough and you will find evil taking lives in the most horrible ways. And today it is still happening. This hymn takes us back over 2,000 years and a reminder of what Jesus’ crucifixion was like. The same kind of people crucified Jesus as worked on Tyre Nichols. We can’t seem to get that picture of what humans are capable of doing.

We have been given another lesson and another look at the fact that evil exists, is very real and is incorporated into most institutional structures. To find its structural components one must look at the beginning of the corporation – the institutuion – the government – the structure of the group in which we are seeing the evil surface.

In these United States evil is sprouting all over the country. We always seem to have to question and question claiming to not understand why such horrors constantly surface. The latest is what happened to Tyre Nichols.

It is interesting that the news reports all look for parallels and come up mostly with the Rodney King horror with its evil spewing all over. Some go back to Emmett Till for the same reason. To really understand the evil in what happened to Tyre Nichols one has to go back to slavery and what this country was like at that time examining the structures which developed and are still in place maintaining what is needed to maintain “better than”.

This evil happened because we have a police force which was created and structured to capture, torture and do whatever was necessary to subdue and/or eliminate runaway slaves and discourage those who are thinking of running away and trying for another life someplace else. That predates the Rodney Kings and all the other parallels we try to make. We seem to be unable to look at the truth of what is and has been happening in this country for generations. We now have people like Ron DeSantis trying to pass laws to prevent the teaching of the history of slavery in this country and what has happened to minorities – those who are not descendants of those who brought all of this forward. If that history is not taught people who have some inclination to this kind of vile violence just might join in with others to make this the majority.

We know about the slaughter of blacks, but not through our history books. The Tulsa massacre has only recently surfaced. Most of us had never heard of such. Who was it that sang about the fruit hanging from the trees? We hear the song, we are moved by it, but we don’t related that to what is happening today. We also don’t care about the life and trials of the person who used her life and career to make that song and all it stands for important and so well known that it is still heard today.

This violence is not a one time happening nor is it limited to one generation. It has been a part of who we are as a country almost from the beginning and it is not slacking.

We are today missing the fact that African Americans being so tortured and killed or experience attempted murder in the most horrific ways are a part of a long line of people over many generations. We are seeing this happen to elderly African Americans with no one interested and very few looking to see what is happening as that torture is about the destruction of generational wealth of black families and it becomes more prevalent in these United States.

That happens by destroying the life, family, and so much more of the African Americans so targeted. Many have died in the process of being so stripped. Their deaths have been attributed to their age and not to what they have been put through so others can strip them of their life’s collection of wealth. Wealth they amassed at great cost to their lives to pass on to their children so their children could have the kind of life they didn’t have. Blacks who worked throughout their lives to make their children’s lives better and hopefully reduce the racism and other forms of bigotry they experience. Others, who seem to escape the grasp of the greedy, never fully recover from the attempt at such destruction and gradually live out the end of their lives in compromised health, with their wealth destroyed and their families set at odds against one another. We have seen this happen to many blacks with very few knowing about the attempts and even fewer interested in anything except a passing comment.

The Tyre Nichols type of killings, massacres and more have been unbelievably brutal and carried out in front of an audience. Today, in the Tyre Nichols case, the audience was not present, but the videos recorded by many including the government are played so millions don’t miss the carnage. We recoil and talk about how awful and horrendous and all those adjectives which in the long run mean nothing and shortly our attention moves on putting what happened in the background and so it recurs. In the past few years there have been many and nothing done to actually stop the horrendousness of such.

EVIL is alive and well and thriving just waiting for its next opportunity to break out and that will be soon.

A New Year and a New Way for doing the same thing! – Trash and Garbage Disposal!

December 27th, 2022

As the number of people who inhabit this world increases exponentially and become entangled in the culture of disposing of trash and garbage, what do you do? Do you add to the mess or have you discovered ways to do trash and garbage disposal to the benefit of all? – especially clean streets, clean sidewalks, clean gutters.

One thing is clear, if you live in these United States, how you dispose of your trash and garbage will totally and either negatively or positively affect people living on the other side of this world.

So, bringing in the New Year – whose side will you choose – the contaminators creating and making a wonderful home for bacteria, germs, viruses, bugs of every description, homeless animals, wild turkeys, geese roaming around and more – or are you going to choose the side of the angels? They are usually all dressed in white, immaculate, with beautiful environments, no smog or smoke around them, no piles of garbage gradually growing larger with each passing week.

We are taking a position in the middle and hope as time passes we can move closer to being with the trash and garbage angels.

Send us your suggestions on how to do this in 2023.

The biggest change we made this year was to understand that garbage must be CLEAN! OMG!!! – who puts out and throws away clean garbage!!!!!

We do. The biggest change to cause the best kind of garbage disposal is throwing away clean garbage.

How do you do that?

For starters – By being careful of the wrappings of the food you buy. Don’t buy food with huge plastic domes to keep what you are buying from getting crushed. Look around, you will find the same thing enclosed in smaller, more reasonable packages. And once you take the food out of its package wash the package in soap and water, the way you would wash your dishes once you have used them for a meal. Do the same thing with glass jars, metal containers and more.

You will notice a huge difference when you put your garbage out – to be picked up by the city or whoever picks up your garbage on a weekly, daily, or monthly bases – it does not attract all the animals in the neighborhood. That also means your garbage bag can stay in your house longer because it doesn’t smell. And another advantage comes from the fact that you won’t see your neighbors crossing the street before they reach your front area because they don’t want to smell the ugly!

When you have food to throw out – use the plastic bag your morning or evening paper comes in and tie a knot in that plastic bag before putting it into a bag for all such things.

Get up early in the morning on garbage collection day and put out your trash and garbage that morning. Don’t put it out the day before, giving time for everyone to pass and either throw their garbage into your bag; rummage through your garbage bags or pails for what they can use leaving a mess on your sidewalk; or etc.

Those two changes would make a dramatic change in the neighborhood on garbage collection day. Our neighborhood looks unbelievably abhorrent from the afternoon before garbage is collected until it actually happens the next day. Drive around and take a look. Especially during holiday time. There are the city supplied plastic push carts – which still aren’t enough to contain many peoples garbage – to the bags and boxes and more stuck on the side of the pails, in-between the pails, wherever more garbage can be put

Once you have put your garbage outside to be collected, step back and take a look. Does it look as though you are throwing away half the money you made that week in what you bought and are now disposing of – or is it neat, clean and modest?

We think everyone should be limited to one paper grocery-type bag a week per person. OMG I can hear the screaming. If you have more then that you should question how and on what you are spending your money.

Could you have more if you threw away less and thought more about garbage disposal.

We think the answer to that question is a resounding YES! Think about your trash and garbage disposal as the genesis of what you put into a savings account that week. One you aren’t going to use and draw from, but let accumulate. Without realizing it you will wind up with a very large savings account and that goes for those of us from the very bottom of the financial/economic ladder to the top.

Use fewer and smaller plastic disposal boxes on the food you buy – the price of those pieces of food will go down because in many cases, the containers and wrappings are more expensive than the food and other items they encase – and so on, and so on, and so on.

Let us know your garbage practices!!!!

Writing my family history! What was life like for an African American Family – plus others!

December 10th, 2022

by: Marceline Donaldson

This installment is about my great-grandfather – Rev. Dr. David Franklin Taylor. It gives you a small idea as to what his life was like. A coincidence that I married Rev. Dr. Robert Bennett? To have the time to look back on your life many years later, it looks a lot different than it did when living through those hard times and those exciting times and more.

This is the beginning of our documenting what racism and sexism was like for one racially, religiously, etc. mixed family. It has been slightly unbelievable that there could be any of us left.

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Rev. Dr. David Franklin Taylor was my great-grandfather. I didn’t know him personally. He died before I was born. I do know him through many family stories. Some of these I will pass along to you and hope they have some impact on your life and help you to better understand one African American who had an impact on many, including the Episcopal Church. He, along, with the rest of our family, broke barriers. While that was helpful to many, it cost us our lives.

Rev. Taylor was born in Mobile Alabama March 31, 1869. He was part African American and part Black Feet Indian – and probably a few other such groups were in his background. His young years were very eventful.

His father was an elected official in Alabama until Reconstruction began to come to an end and the family was, quite literally, run out of town. His parents moved to Texas from Alabama when he was quite young. When I was young, my grandfather (Rev. Taylor’s son) told us many family stories about his family. Particularly, about his father. One that stands out and I remember with great pain still was how and why the family moved from Alabama to Texas. It is one of his family stories he did not want me to forget.

It was a story his father told him many times when he was young. According to my grandfather, Rev. Taylor wanted those stories to stay in the family memory because they would not be recorded elsewhere. My grandfather’s story about his father was that as many violent things began to happen across the United States and especially in Alabama, as reconstruction came to an end the family was tarred and feathered and put on the railroad tracks from which they walked to Texas.

With that beginning and into those experiences, Rev. Taylor lived most of his life. He married Capitola Summerville in Houston, Texas and they had three children – Frank Taylor, O. C. W. Taylor (who was my grandfather) and Olivia Taylor. O. C. W. stands for Orlando Capitol Ward Taylor. He was named for his mother – Capitola and for Bishop Ward. He and Bishop Ward were close friends all of their lives.

Rev. Taylor was sent to Philips University and Philips Seminary for school n what was then the Oklahoma Territory and later became Nevada. He received a doctorate in Theology in Nevada and was ordained into the Episcopal priesthood.

My grandfather (his son) went to Wiley College in Texas and went on to study for his masters’ degree at Columbia University, which back then was known to be a school with Episcopal roots. He also co-founded the Louisiana Weekly Newspaper with C. C. Dejoie, Sr. and worked with George Schuyler to put a strong foundation under the Pittsburgh Courier – which had its first office in New Orleans in our living room.

Frank Taylor, another son, became a Pullman Porter. He was a part of the Pullman Porter’s Union and that was one of the reasons the entire family spent their time between a society lifestyle and fighting for the establishment of unions. The connection between Frank Taylor, his brother – O. C. W. Taylor and the development of the Original Illinois Club in New Orleans – one of the older social clubs which introduced young women into the society as debutantes each year at its annual ball, benefitted from these connections.

Olivia Taylor, his daughter, taught school, married and moved to another state where she lived only a short time. Someone behind a gun killed her. That has been something that has stayed in our family as has the way the family first moved to Texas.

Rev. Taylor’s entire life was spent crossing boundaries from his inter-marriage, to his church, to the rest of his life. Rev. Taylor’s first love and commitment was to God and the Church. When he became rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in New Orleans, LA., he moved the church from a mission to a parish church. When the family moved to New Orleans they lived in the rectory of St. Luke’s on Carrollton Street in New Orleans. His wife and daughter spent lots of time at the New Orleans Tennis Club, a rather exclusive white tennis club not far from their home. How that happened we do not know, but we have pictures of them in tennis outfits at the club.

One of Rev. Taylor’s close friends was Sam ZeMurray – founder of United Fruit. He was not the wealthy founder when he and my great-grandfather were friends, although that friendship continued through three generations. At that time Jews were about on the same level as blacks. Sam Zemurray was from a Jewish family who immigrated to the United States from Russia. They were quite poor, however, Sam ZeMurray had a strong entrepreneurial spirit. He started his business by going to the docks In New Oleans and picking up the bananas which were thrown away because they were ripe and could not be sold to the stores. Eventually, the workers on the ships that came into the port saved the rip bananas for him. He put the bananas in an ice cream-type push cart and sold them throughout the city.

Mr. ZeMurrays business began to grow. He brought people from Honduras to work with him. The people who came, had a very difficult time acclimating to the culture and therein was the core of the Taylor/Zemurray friendship.

My husband and I are in the process of writing a book entitled “A Tale of Two Families”, which will give more detail about the ZeMurray/Taylor friendship. In particular, it struck us that the two families relationship looked at from today into the past shows the influence they had on one another in ways not imagined. The ZeMurray family today has Episcopal Roots – which we trace to Rev. David Franklin Taylor. The Taylor family has Russian Jewish roots which can also be traced to those two families friendship. Rev. Taylor was an Episcopal/Anglican priest. The people Sam Zemurray brought from Honduras were Anglicans. Zemurray sent those having trouble to Rev. Taylor who worked with them to help them understand and live within the culture. They, of course, attended St. Luke’s Church which helped Rev. Taylor build his congregation. Without the work Rev. Dr. David Franklin Taylor did with Mr. Sam Zemurray we might not have had United Fruit.

Rev. Dr. Taylor also worked with the Frances Joseph Gaudet School. Frances Joseph-Gaudet was a family friend of the Taylors all of her years in New Orleans. She founded the school which was a school and orphanage in Gentilly which had strong connections to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Frances Joseph Gaudet was a woman who had a native American mother and a father who had been a slave. She is known as and was declared a “saint” by the Episcopal Church. The school/orphanage which she worked hard to create and grow was the orphanage in which Louis Armstrong was raised. My grandfather, O. C. W. Taylor, used to bicycle out to the orphanage and pick up Louis Armstrong and they would bike to the French Quarters and sit in back of the jazz clubs. Mr. Armstrong’s love of jazz was acute even back then. Rev. Taylor encouraged it and provided Louis Armstrong with as much support as he could. That forged a very strong relationship between my grandfather and Louis Armstrong for the rest of their lives.

When Rev. Dr. David Franklin Taylor reached the time he felt he should retire, he and his wife moved back to Texas and he pastored a church there. I heard stories about a Church he pastored in Galveston and another in Houston, Texas. He died in Houston, Harris Texas September 7, 1934. His wife moved back to New Orleans to live with her son and she died shortly thereafter.

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An Ode to a Past Life – Martinez Kindergarten – NOLA

December 1st, 2022

This has been a tragic week. It is difficult to live each day, but to have to face the death of friends each day puts grief upfront and central to everything else that happens.

We learned of the death of Numa Martinez this week. He died in 2019. The very next day we learned of the death of Maurice Martinez (his brother). NuNu was about 73 years old. Maurice was 88. When you are over 80 73 is considered young and we ask what happened to Maurice because he could have lived into his nineties.

NuNu and I found each other again just a few years prior to his death. We talked via telephone when he went into the hospital and came out again. And when I tried to contact him for just a normal fun conversation I couldn’t reach him – for a couple years. I thought it was because NuNu was off about something that would be great conversation when I did reach him. What I didn’t know was that I couldn’t reach him on this earthly plane because he died.

In our younger years, NuNu was little and I was a teenager. . Bute had a passing conversation or joke or fun thing to say, But, I was much older and remember him from that lofty place teen agers take to those much younger.

When we reconnected it was all about Martinez Kindergarten. NuNu very strongly wanted to see Martinez reborn. Where else could you find the japanese language taught to those really young youngsters in Kindergarten? And this in a neighborhood which came to be considered the home of the poor blacks? When I think of that neighborhood today and way back then as I went back and forth – from my grandmother’s house just a block from Martinez Kindergarten, to my grandfathers house in a much more substantial neighborhood, to the upper class black neighborhood of uptown friends, to the mansions of our truly wealthy white relatives and friends, I wonder how I survived.

My grandmother, Marceline Bucksell Taylor, was a modiste. She designed and made clothes for everybody, but especially for the debutantes and for Martinez Kindergarten kids. You knew when the recital, the grand pageant on a Municipal stage was imminent because our house was filled with young children from Martinez Kindergarten. If you went to Martinez from the time of its beginnings until well into the 1970’s and early 1980’s you knew our house. Every young student at Martinez Kindergarten had to come to Ms. Taylor’s house to try on their costumes for the pageant. Some sang – some danced – some were part of a bit of theatre and in the background sat the king and queen (3-4-5 year olds) taking in the theatre put on for them in the grandest manner. When my grandmother died, her daughter – Doris Gaynelle Taylor – took over the job of modiste.

The gowns of the queen and her maids were exquisite. The kings were absolutely elegant. They put the debutante royalty to shame. They had rhinestone crowns, scepter’s which they learned to wave giving their enjoyment to what was unfolding in front of them and those graduating at the end of this theatre changed from one costume to another to their graduation cap and gowns.

When the young kindergartners arrived, our house was in a state. Bolts of material in the “fitting room”, young children in the kitchen getting water and whatever else they wanted from the refrigerator – which had been stocked for their arrival. They oohed and ached at seeing each other being fitted with brocades, satin, leather, velvets, ermine mink trim on the gowns of royalty. And – when that was over, they marched in a predetermined order back to the school one block away.

When the time came for the pageant, everyone did their part and it always turned out beautifully. Mildred Martinez would have nothing less. One group after another performed in their costumes and bowed before the court and at the end those “seniors” who were graduating marched in with caps and gowns to receive their diploma’s. Some had special mention for one achievement or another and all had some introduction to another language. Right before receiving their diploma’s – one at a time when their names were called – their tassels were moved on their graduation caps from one side to the other. It was all done very formally and according to “code”.

NuNu talked a lot, those years we reconnected, about what he was doing to bring that back. That didn’t happen, however,. I just discovered from Jari Honora, that the school has been torn down – as have many of the homes in that neighborhood.

Black history is not allowed to stand. It can be “sort of” recovered decades later, but not in the near present. Ms. Fannie C. Williams, principle of Valena C. Jones School and close friend of Mary McLeod Bethune, a substantial and respected figure in the black community, had a lovely home just two blocks away. On my last trip to NOLA that house was torn down for an extension of President Eisenhower’s plans for such minority neighborhoods. It was being called the “cleaning up” of the ghetto.

That “cleaning up” has included creating more and out of control crime, more houses seriously in need of either restoration or tearing down and on and on it goes. Many of the most beautiful and historically relevant homes have disappeared. City folks talk about how to get rid of the crime and bring about a better city with improved neighborhoods. When you tear down institutions like Martinez Kindergarten you tear up the heart of a neighborhood which is not designated for “improvement”, but “destruction” with even more crime and ugliness.

When I was a young person, Claiborne Avenue with its greenery down the middle of the street with tables and chairs and wooden sofa like seats all up and down the Avenue, was normal. It is where you went on Mardi Gras. On either side of that green boulevard were many kinds of businesses and it was great to walk along and stop in several. No money to spend in them, but a curiosity as to what they contained. That Claiborne Avenue after Eisenhower has become a horrific place. Cars abandoned under the freeway which took beautiful homes – of black families – and left junk, debris and more in their place. There are bars and funeral homes left and not much else.

With Martinez Kindergarten, I knew who I was and what my future contained. Do the young children living in that same neighborhood have the same sense of themselves? Or do they see an abyss full of nothing but junk, debris and more going further downhill?

My plan was to sell my house in Cambridge, MA. and move back to New Orleans and my husband and I were going to help NuNu re-establish Martinez Kindergarten. That didn’t happen. We are in the middle of trying to sell a house in a 99% white neighborhood where blacks are not allowed to buy, where redlining is prevalent, where blacks selling are forced to sell much under the value of their home or it doesn’t sell. So we are in the middle of a very traditional fight which whether you are black or white you know very well. Our decision has been to grit our teeth and pray hard for whatever God has in store for us.

Martinez Kindergarten was in a fight for its life. It lost that fight. The children in that neighborhood have also lost the promise of a wonderful life for which they were being prepared. Instead, they are on the street and are growing up being trained to destroy and disrespect, not build-up.

That is hard to hear and even harder not to deny. It is time we look realistically at what is happening and the real reasons. That is very threatening to almost everyone. We have our positions in this society and don’t take kindly to those positions being threatened. The “better than” fight as hard as the bottom white, black, and in-betweens to maintain the status quo.

NuNu, your young life was a part of the golden years in New Orleans. Life became harder as you and me and all the rest of us became adults. We could hide from the racism within that small circle. I will never forget the shock I felt when I first discovered just how horribly blacks were treated outside of our little circle.

As adults we had to face it head-on as it sapped our lives, our talents, our goodness. We now have a society in which to live which has moved to a place very difficult to change. Where there were millionaires back then, there are billionaires today. Where the move towards democracy was an exciting time and fight for us all as our chests swelled seeing Rev. Andrew Young from our own New Orleans fight with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King for a better life for us all.

We are now fighting a very ugly Hitler-type enemy trying to move us all into a place full of ugliness, but mostly of beholdeness to them akin to the slavery of yesterday. Our clothes may look nicer, our homes may be larger, but our lives are as full of pain and horror as they were before Martinez Kindergarten was established.

May God forgive us all!

Who the X%#&XD^ do you think you are!!!!

November 22nd, 2022

Everytime we read about what is happening with the shootings, destructive behavior against other human beings, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc., those are the words that come to mind.

Much of this is done in the name of Christianity! That is the most amazing of all!

BETTER THAN! is who you think you are to be able to walk into a nightclub, school, home, church, temple, synagogue and start shooting, killing, destroying everything. AND WHAT DO YOU ACHIEVE?

When Moses came down from the Mount with his tablets of God’s commandments – one of the first was THOU SHALT NOT KILL!!

So again, lets ask the question – who do you think you are and what happens to you after!

Maybe the law will get you and to jail you go. However, what strikes us is that it isn’t the law you need to fear. When you have broken such a strong commandment – our theology and religion teaches – to the hottest parts of hell you go.

We do’t believe there is any religion which would accept such killings. We have to say religion because clearly there are many societies which accept killings if they are done in the name of the ascendancy of that society.

Most societies also have television and the largest number of programs on television are about killings. (What a tutoring tool!) The killer is always caught and put in jail, but nevertheless the storyline is about one human being killing another or several others. That is not the only story lines on television and in the movies – others are about how someone did something which made them rise against others – higher than – and what their lives are like now! Or how much better their homes are, etc. The arrogance pervading television is almost unbearable.

We keep thinking, “this has to stop,” “this has to change,” “we have to very soon recognize our shared humanity.” But nothing – silence – loud gun shots – screams from those being stabbed to death and more. And, in many places we mete out a punishment to the killers which reflects exactly what they did – and then we kill them as they have killed others.

White people are killing! Black, brown, red, orange, yellow, purple, pink, chartreuse people are killing. And to what end? Those who kill will either suffer on earth for their sins or they will experience eternal hell fires and whatever else we claim through our various theologies that hell looks like, feels like, is like!

And we continue letting our need to feel better than; our arrogance to think that we are better than; our desperation at our own faults and lives because we can’t get it straight without those better than feelings and off we go!

Dear God – bless this mess! Help us to move way above everything and look back to see clearly with a stark unembellished reality who we really are. Help us to accept and move beyond those ugly times when we move to that “better than” place because we can’t do anything else and feel good about ourselves. They say you created us and everything in this universe. Tell us all clearly and loudly why you left such character flaws in all of us that we can’t stand to be “equal to” and instead when those “equal to” feelings approach we will do any and everything possible to move above them to that “better than” place where we feel – well – better than in that place we have dubbed normal, human and the way things should be. In Jesus’ name – ahhh, you were writing so well, actually it is in Mohammed’s name – nahhhh, all of you are the same – in Krishna’s name. Oh my God can’t we say or do anything without all of this following us around? (Shhh – you forgot a few, I won’t tell)! AMEN!

A “Forever” Pot of Chicken Soup!

October 25th, 2022

To start your Chicken Soup you will need:

One whole organic chicken – one or two onions (to your taste) – one green pepper, one red pepper (organic, of course) – 4 stalks of organic celery – a taste of garlic (one or two bulbs) – and several organic carrots.

Put 1/2 stick of organic butter in a very large pot.

Chop all of the vegetables above and fry them in the butter – lightly! While the veggies are cooking in the butter add thyme, oregano, salt, pepper to taste

When the vegetables have softened add the chicken and fill the pot almost to the top with water.

Put the top on the pot and let it simmer for a couple hours.

Before serving, put spaghetti in the pot (uncooked) and let the spaghetti soften and become an awesome addition to this Chicken Soup.

You can put this into the refrigerator and serve the next day – adjusting the seasonings as you go – or you can serve it as soon as it is ready.

The next time you want to serve what is left over, add something – (for example), organic ground beef to which you have added an egg, salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, maybe organic bread crumbs to turn the beef into meatballs also adding whatever other spices you enjoy with chicken and beef – add a vegetable of some kind like broccoli, or green peas, or french style green beans. Add water almost to the top of the pot each time you add new ingredients and let this simmer again for at least an hour. Add a different kind of noodles this time, instead of spaghetti and put them into the pot uncooked.

Each time you reheat the chicken soup it becomes something else and if you are careful with your seasonings, it will never turn up empty and you will always have an excellent soup to serve on a moments notice. Well, maybe not a moment – more like 15 to 30 minutes – which is how long it will take to heat this soup.

You will eventually wind up with the most delicious Creole Gumbo you have ever eaten as you reach the point of adding lobster, crab, shrimp, etc. etc. and possibly rice once the noodles and other such ingredients have been eaten.

Not all these ingredients at once, however, only two or three ingredients each time you reheat this “soup.” And when you “reheat it” it is best to simmer it for an hour or more to incorporate everything into the best taste and consistency always filling the pot almost to the top with water before you move on with the reheating process. If you would like a bowl of soup without adding more ingredients and simmering for hours, take the amount you want to serve and reheat it in another pot – putting your “soup pot” back into the refrigerator for another day.

Harvard Square becoming a Caricature of Wellesley, MA?

October 25th, 2022

What was a settled, beautifully designed area has apparently lost its way and is now reeling in what looks like a drunken stupor of too much money; too little design sense; no historical thoughts, no room at all for the being true to the educational reasons which brought it into being – etc. etc. etc..

Is it trying to “upgrade”? “Upscale”? We don’t know what to call it that is happening to the “Square”, but what we do know is that we won’t call it “elegant”, “historically apprised”, “settled beauty”. It looks like it is becoming the home for the very nouveau-nouveau-riche; for the design challenged class; for the territory where there is more money than anyone knows how to use for the benefit of all and so it is squandered on monstrosities like 4 Willard Street. (We won’t even try to comment on what is happening within the intensely commercial areas of Harvard Square. There aren’t enough painkillers in the universe to spread around to subdue what you feel when you realize a quietly elegant part of harvard square is going and will probably continue to sink into the abyss of too much money, too little aesthetic/design sense………………….

We went for a walk to see some of our favorite places in Harvard Square and to look again at some of our favorite houses. We regret the walk. We are now stuck with the images in our minds of this unbelievable change that has happened to 4 Willard Street. It was an elegant house on a side street which reflected a similarly designed house on Brattle Street. The two houses were wonderful reflections of one another and you could see both as you walked along the sidewalk. One on a large lot and the other on a much smaller one, but both reflecting a similar architectural point of view.

4 Willard Street was sold about one to two years ago for approximately $4,000,000.00. Quite reasonable at the time for its location, size, etc. etc. It is back on the market today for approximately $9,900,000.00. That price more than doubles the sales price and the reasoning, we assume, to justify such a major leap in price is the work which has been done to the house to bring it out of its slumber into the sharp, ugly, almost Levittown light of its current incarnation. A monument to the “New Towns” of the 1950’s – but, of course, on a much grander scale. Look at what you are leaving as your legacy to future generations, Harvard Square. Who is in charge of maintaining the historicity of the area? They should be fired immediately.

We don’t know who is guarding the history of Harvard Square, but we do wonder if money changed hands for such an outrageously obscene, sharply and permanently ugly redesign of what was once an elegant house. “Caricature” is too weak a word to describe this.

There are people homeless on the street who could use the money being spent on such obscenities. There is affordable housing which needs to be addressed so many more don’t wind up on the streets. To waste money on such a really awful ‘renovation’ is on the door step of architectural criminality.

Wonder who is going to buy this house? We could speculate on their background; education; world exposure; etc., but why bother. Someone will gloriously revel in their new home, its location and all that surrounds it. Will they then try to “upscale” and “upgrade” more in this neighborhood to match their design sense!!!! (or lack thereof)????

Buy, bye Historical Harvard Square. We feel blessed to have been able to see you at a time before this obscene expenditure of money destroyed all that you were about.

Racism and Sexism in the Real Estate Market!

September 30th, 2022

This is a topic very few want to touch. Having had several horrendous experiences with many real estate brokers and companies we decided to jump into the middle of the ocean and swim to shore, exposing and pointing out the dangers and great things along the way.

The biggest problem in this industry is “redlining” and the extreme lengths folks working in the industry will go to deny that such exists. We are here to tell you redlining is alive and well and making sure the neighborhoods in these United States do not integrate. Not just along the lines of racism, but other forms of bigotry also exist. Even discrimination against women who are alone raising their children are kept out of some neighborhoods which do not want their children “contaminated.

This is the basis on which much of the other forms of bigotry are maintained. Most of us don’t realize how many times we were told the neighborhood we wanted didn’t have anything great for sale at the moment, but look at what we have here……..

Schools were extremely difficult to integrate and still are because the real estate market maintains the “racial integrity” of the areas in which it operates – which is the entire country.

There is a new twist we are discovering. Some people are beginning to claim the way to deal with this is to have black-owned real estate companies; latinx-owned real estate companies, etc.

When you look into that, a few have been established and the result is they work in black neighborhoods and keep them black or latinx neighborhoods and keep them latinx, etc.

This, unfortunately also has to do with selling as well as buying a house. As a minority, the price you receive for selling your house is quite a bit different and lower than the exact same house or a very similar house would receive in white neighborhoods or in white neighborhoods if you are a minority.

If as an African American you managed to buy a house in a white neighborhood and then years later try to sell at the same price your white neighbors would get for the house if they were selling – that will not happen. The house stands unsold for years until the owners finally decide to reduce the price to much below what non-minorities would receive for the same kind and quality of house.

It is the way America works and there does not seem to be change on the horizon.

We recently had a horrific experience working with the Donaldson/Bennetts as they put their house on the market. They went through several realtors and the experience was the same with each – except the last was unbelievably bad and showed in spades the extreme racism.

In their first attempt they put the house on the market for $4.7 million. Talking to appraisers, that was considered too low, but they wanted to move south and so decided to take the lesser amount to be able to sell faster.

Very few people came to the open house and only one potential buyer showed up after the open house. That was with the first broker, who did everything by the book to attempt to sell the house.

They changed brokers and raised the price to $5.5 million and their experience was identical. They changed again with another identical experience. Meanwhile, houses selling for more and appraising at the same price as their home appraised were selling almost immediately. Some of these houses were in neighborhoods considered not as “desirable”, some were smaller, etc.

By the time they reached the third broker, they decided the house needed a “make over” and they set about doing just that. Nothing changed!

Yet another broker with an open house poorly attended with only one broker showing up with a client in tow for months after the open house. Developers, however, were very interested at a very low price and were going to tear apart and put back together again this historical house which didn’t need tearing apart. Electrical systems were up to date as was everything else. The ‘historical’ part went by the wayside with nothing but verbalized consideration. The house needed an exterior paint job and very little else.

And then comes the realtor team which acted out racism such as we have not seen in quite a long time.

The problem with that was the fact that this well known national brokerage firm has a Black/Jewish owner. However, we learned years ago that whites are not the only group that practices bigotry in this country.

The Donaldson/Bennett’s expected this to be a wonderful experience. Instead it was the experience from hell.

The real estate team set up an open house which was moderately successful and as the Donaldson/Bennett’s watched from across the street because they were not allowed into the house while the open house was going on – people came and went and were allowed to go all over this $5.8 million dollar house, full of antiques, all by themselves. One person came walking down the street carrying a protest sign which he was forced to park outside the house and went in to start an upheaval. At that point, the Donaldson-Bennett’s left their perch across the street and went into their house to stop all hell from breaking loose and sure enough that is what was about to happen.

After that open house the Donaldson/Bennett’s discovered the real estate brokers intended to have such an open house every weekend until the house was sold. That did not make the Donaldson/Bennett’s happy, but they decided to go along with the program assuming the realtors knew better than they did because they were more experienced, etc.

The next week-end the signs went up and once again the open-house started. Watching from across the street the Donaldson/Bennett’s saw people walk into the house with no one at the front door – which was wide open – and go up the stairs with none of the realtors even aware that someone had entered. They saw people come out looking rather strange, but didn’t put two and two together until the open house was over and they went home to reclaim their property. They discovered many beautiful antique pieces they collected over decades were missing. The realtors denied that such happened. Claimed they didn’t let anyone in unattended, etc.

Before reaching the open house, the program with this real estate company was one that loaned you money to do what needed to be done and you paid them back when the house was sold and closed. This, the Donaldson/Bennet’s thought was a fantastic program. That meant to the Donaldson/Bennett’s that they would touch up those places that needed it and they would hire people to help where needed. After all, Ms. Donaldson had a three year education at the University of Minnesota’s School of Architecture under Ralph Rapson and had studied design in other places well and had helped restore houses along the way because of her interest in historical preservation. That is not what happened.

While the Donaldson/Bennett’s started with painting the house they were still remembering the realtor – African American – from the same company who they spoke to about selling their house before they met these other realtors – white – and they were shook by what he presented. He would have the house painted; he talked to the people he wanted to paint the house; they arrived and looked around and came in with a bid of $30,000.00. Shook from that experience the Donaldson/Bennett’s hired their own painter who charged $12,000 for the same job. Years earlier, the Donaldson/Bennett’s had been having the house painted one side at a time after they had new first quality cedar siding put on each side which was then painted. Re-painting a house with new siding and only one layer of paint should have been a breeze, instead it was claimed to be a very big $30,000 job.

The Donaldson/Bennett’s went ahead with other jobs for which they hired the contractors, having learned their lesson and being wary of what could happen in these circumstances. However, they discovered there were even worse road blocks ahead.

The ‘realtor in charge’ of a ‘team’ had her ‘team’ show up without the Donaldson/Bennett’s hiring them, without the Donaldson/Bennett’s knowing what they charged, etc. and they started to ‘clean’ the house. They did not wash the walls – they did not clean the windows, the Donaldson/Bennett’s paid someone else to do that – and the next thing that happened the Donaldson/Bennett’s saw them outside doing landscaping when they had specifically said no landscaping should be done.

The net result was nothing short of disastrous. The cost was $2,800 to “clean” a house which was basically already clean. Outside the branches of a tree were cut because the realtor wanted them cut and instructed her crew to do just that after the Donaldson/Bennett’s said please do not touch the tree nor any other landscaping. What they did was to change a beautiful hidden garden of which the Donaldson/Bennett’s were proud and had spent decades cultivating and which no one knew existed behind the driveway because the trees blocked your view of what was behind it into a very public open and ugly place. The tree branches were half sawed through and left. There were old twigs from someplace left in the driveway and leaves were blown out of the “hidden garden,” which was no longer hidden, into the driveway and left in piles for the Donaldson/Bennett’s to pick up.

The Donaldson/Bennett’s have not had lights on the outside on their front porch since this disaster because this crew, working for the ‘team leader” took the porch lights down with no electricians license and cleaned them. At first, the Donaldson/Bennett’s were delighted that this job went well until they discovered after a very brief time of working, the lights stopped working and haven’t been able to be used since. The “team leader” ignored the problem her cleaning crew had caused.

The realtor who hired and managed this crew had them clean the stove in the kitchen. A beautiful commercial stove which worked beautifully for years. They cleaned this cast iron plus other materials stove on which you do not put rough cleansers and the stove didn’t work after they finished. The pilot light in the oven did not turn on as well as pilots on top of the stove and they ruined the finish on parts of the stove in the process. It cost the Donaldson/Bennett’s over $1,000 to bring the stove back to where it was before it was touched by this realtor and her crew.

Everyone who came to the house exclaimed over the beautiful wood floors which the Donaldson/Bennett’s spent a lot of time and money caring for over the decades. The floors were beautiful. Not anymore. Every other day someone from this crew arrived with a wet mop and very harsh chemicalized cleaners and for reasons no one understood, mopped the wood floors with water and chemicals until they were discolored and very ugly. This after the Donaldson/Bennett’s told them not to touch the wood floors with water. Apparently, they took their marching orders from the “team leader” and ignored everything the Donaldson/Bennett’s asked them to do or not to do. The realtor saw this and ignored what she had wrought.

We could go on for pages because so much was done wrong. However, you get this part of the message.

This same realtor has done other houses which turned out quite lovely. The owners of those houses were white. The Donaldson/Bennett’s are black. Quite a difference. It shows in the results.

The bottom line here is only one person looked through the house the one year this realtor held the house under hostage. That person made an offer – the only offer received – and it was for $2 million dollars under the asking price – even below the price appraised by the city. The people who made the offer were people who received much of their income from trying to “upgrade” inner city blacks. That made quite a statement to us as to what is wrong with this country and how it handles its attempts to move away from what years of slavery and white racism has wrought.

The city of Cambridge is full of instances of bigotry in the real estate industry and there is no sign of any change. When one does not admit ones problems there is no one to begin to solve them.

The schools will stay segregated and the private schools will thrive as parents strive to keep their children out of the path of “those others.”

Cambridge Rindge and Latin had the reputation of being extremely segregated. There was pilot school where one gained entrance through a lottery. Amazingly that lottery produced the children of professors, doctors, lawyers who attended CRLS “winning the lottery” on a consistent basis with the laws that governed the Pilot School quite different from those in other parts of CRLS.

At the CRLS graduation we attended it was a shocker to see the classes come in. House A started the procession and the color of the students was very white. As other classes – House B through, the color of the children shocked because the students in the last class of the alphabet were quite brown compared to the others.

What causes that? Try looking at who lives in which communities and what they expect from their children’s school to keep them in public schools and not pulling them out of the public schools and putting them into the many private schools in the Cambridge area.

O, My! We can hear the screams and objections from several cities away!

Your comments will be appreciated.


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