visiting down south

I’m grieving the loss of Damu Smith, founder of Black Voices for Peace and the National Black Environmental Justice Network. Holla for a biography, spread and educate folks on his work.

I’m with the family, my grandparents and cousins, in North Augusta. So far I’ve heard several stories of our relatives born in 1896 and 1899, my great grandparents…where they were, what they did…what they saw! I’ve been takin photos of photos and painted portraits.

We attempted talking about immigration until it became clear that there was no common ground for the conversation. My grandmother has gone from being a Bushlover to a Bushhater in the past three years, thank goodness. The danger he has put soldiers into in Iraq is her beef. But she still wanted to make the point that she has seen the effect ‘foreigners’ have had, both good and bad. Its deep to interact with folks not on Alternet’s email list.

There were stomp-offs and peace treaties.

We made peace by all agreeing that military recruiters lie and should be off campuses, they were glad to hear Ruckus works specifically on that issue.

Then I found a turtle and we made friends…I found out that there are big loggerhead turtles here that cross from the pond over the backyard to lay their eggs. The babies have to find their way through the dogs, horses, trucks with the mufflers removed, and people to find their way to an unseen home.

My grandfather – Papa – was excited to hear about my new job once we clarified the non-violent part.

Family is always such an up and down experience, suprising progressive viewpoints, toxic bubbles of closemindedness and then the love. Big love.

Whenever I am deep at work, I think of what would reach these folks, what would move them. It reminds me that my work must exemplify honor, cause we’re reaching to people boxed in by the judgement they’ve been taught from birth. My worldview demands continued outreach, even when it hurts to hear the current thoughts.

In other news, the price of gas may be too high for me to drive across country! It may actually be cheaper to fly and ship, which is a sad statement on the price of oil right now.

But we’re really excited about the Lakers and Suns game tonight. I think I’ve found something I really like with this basketball stuff. My dad is finally happy, with three bball lovin daughters. (Patience makes the players cuter!)

Its hot as ‘hades’ down here. That’s what everyone keeps saying. Along with goshdarnit, dagnabbit, gotamighty-knows, and son of a biscuit eater!

So…that’s half the family.