Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who contribute their thoughts to this blog as well as interacting with me at other places. Cyberkitten is foremost in my mind, but I appreciate each of more than you know. However, I've come to understand that I have dedicated too much of my limited resources to blogging and that the good I gain is at the expense of greater goods I'm missing, perhaps even avoiding. I may not have come to this realization without the impetus you all provided with your comments and the thought required to respond to them. Thanks.

I've just completed a flurry of responses here and there, and it convinced me beyond all doubt how easily blogging can eat up my time and dominate my thoughts. I can't allow this. Real life calls. People need help and I need to help them.

I may continue to monitor a few of my favorite places and I'll probably post here now and then, but my goal is to invest more of my time and energies where there is real risk and real reward.

I'll see you when I see you and miss you when I don't.

With thanksgiving,
Laughing Boy

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My brief encounter with Jim

'Jim' maintains a very interesting blog which, in the interest of protecting his privacy, I won't name. He has high standards of his commenters, as any attempt to figure out how to comment will show. After being granted probational commenting priviledge, I stopped by his blog and noticed a post regarding reparations for Blacks in America. Jim made some very good points, but I noticed something in one of his subsequent comments that I thought worthy of discussion. He said:

...[Blacks] need to be more like the Italians (predictably enough his racial stock) who came to this country and faced discrimination. Don't whine and complain, work hard and make something of yourself...

So I replied (in keeping with the question-asking mode I promised in my 'application' to comment):

Did the Italians come here in chains? Were the Italians hung from trees? Were the Italians barred en masse from educational opportunities and other public services? When was the last time you read of an Italian being dragged to death behind a pickup truck because he was Italian? Can you think of other circumstances that differentiate the American experience of Italians and Blacks?
Do you think there is some inherent inferiority in Blacks that accounts for their problems? If not, then what might?

Jim, it seems, was irked:

"Did the Italians come here in chains?" No, but neither did contemporary blacks. You've missed the point entirely. And you have completely ignored the argument I gave. Since this, your first comment, is so obviously worthless, I will now delete your account.

Not wanting to have any bad feelings loose in the ether I sent Jim a personal e-mail:


My point was that in America there is an undercurrent of bigotry towards Blacks that continues to this day; this is not the case for Italians or any other racial group. I was calling attention to an issue which, although broader than the topic of reparations, is nevertheless fundamental to any worthwhile discussion of the topic.

I admit to being ignorant that such discussion was not welcome. Sorry.

It's unlikely that Jim will get my message as this notice was at the bottom of his e-mail form:

Please Note: Your IP Address is being logged with this message to help prevent abuse.

...with which Jim, I suspect, is well acquainted...being Italian.