someone's censoring more and more challenge at wordpress.com?!
Was merely seeking to publish on my regular evolving visionary blog, when then wordpress said that BOTH the auto saving device AND the publishing device could NOT publish my article!! Wow! And this isn't even THAT "radical"! Sent originally as a "Dear Shit For Brains" letter to an "Earth First!" columnist, I got a reply, and wanted to put it on my blog. Well, let's see if it'll post here....(there appears to be a concerted covert effort to block all of my voice from the internet in the last few months)
what.to.wear.madame < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sep 24 at 10:05 AM
(in reply to original letter, below)
thanks for writing in with your concerns and for sharing your very wild story, indeed! I apologize for such a late response, I, as I'm sure you can relate to, am not tied to the computer and am trying to get in the habit of checking this email more regularly. anyway, your right! There was definitly some context missing for the white folx cutting their dreads off piece in my last subsection of What to Wear: Whats Hot and Whats Not. I and others at the Earth First! Journal need to take into account that some people, like yourself, are much more feral and in tune with the wilderness then us and aren't able to access each issue of the Journal, let alone travel from their wild dwellings to go to an Earth First! Summer Gathering! therefor, you had some context missing!
The topic of white people with dreads has been a long ongoing topic in Earth First! movement spaces and the Journal for a while in response to multiple black people and people of color (a new acronym you might hear more and more is BIPOC, Black, Indigenous and People of Color-- used to acknowledge different tiers of racism and lived/historical experience). There's definitely not a single stand alone opinion that is shared by Earth First! about this, most if not all of the mainstay Earth First!ers are anarchists after all, but we all agreed at multiple Organizers Conferences ( winter gatherings, sometimes they are open, sometimes they are closed) that by not talking about and addressing white people showing up to earth first! movement spaces with dreads and by not talking about racism and privaledge, that we were actively pushing other people who want to join or work with us more away, and really hurting them! no good! we were disabling ourselves from pulling off awesome actions and collaborations with people with really awesome visions and experience because they felt like the white folks (ef! is in fact majorly white, not all white, but majorly) didnt prioritize anti racism as much as other things.
it's based off a first impression. a lot of people, who we could've worked well with (the state hates these kinds of collaborations!) left upset, hurt and offended all at first glance. so, we as an active and participatory movement weighed are options and opted to have conversations about white people with dreads, asking them to alter their hairstyles or not come to the summer gatherings, because 1) it was disruptive as hell to anything happening 2) it hurt peoples feelings 3) it hindered collaboration opportunities (stuff the state and feds really, really dont want to have happen) 4) we dont need to prove our commitment to the earth, we need to prove our commitment to antiracism and intersectionality, we had to cut (figuratively and literally) the crap, and show our comrades and allies from other places that we hear them and value them.
so we weighed out the options and decided it was more important that black people, indigenous people and people of color, felt safe, respected and like they could participate in earth first! spaces over a few white hippies being able to let their hair dread. and to be clear, this isnt a shared opinion amongst everyone (regardless of race) in movement spaces. its a topic to talk about and like everything else, we want everyone to think critically about this and other things! if this doesnt sound right and you dont want to engage, thats your choice, it just might mean you get asked to leave at the next earth first! space. if it makes sense to you, or you can empathisize with the critiques of some people, then change your 'do up and come on down! its all up to you. i hate the term politically correct, it sounds sterile and dehumanizing. like a computer is politically correct. im a person engaging in struggle with lots of other people all of whom have combinations of feelings, baggage, trauma, history, opinions and thoughts. its a total mess working and living with other people, much simpler in that sense to work and live alone or in a bubble.
we're all living, healing and growing and yeah! getting in the weeds of some complex topics (like how is anti racism even possible in this colonized mess of a country!) but we're trying, engaging and working nontheless.
i get it, hair can dread naturally and i know all the arguments for how its culturally relevent to indigenous european people. i, like many people, want to live in an anti-racist world where racists are in the severe minority and black people don't get arrested just for being black buuuut thats a far cry from where we are now and in the meantime, its important to us to prove commitment and solidarity to communities beyond our own subcultural one so we can really kick ass together!
hope that fills in the some of the blanks,
let me know if youde like some resources (i dont have time to find the links now but i can if your interested)
My original letter
(slightly edited for clarity)
Dear "shit for brains",
I'm surprised and actually a little amazed that your mag, via "what to wear madame", would so categorically (and ideologically) attack all non-blacks who would dare let their hair grow freely into dreds! Without even any real explanation, we're supposed to merely react as if we are cadres?!! It's as if there is a meta chain-of-command starting to play itself out. One black person or even a group Telling all non-blacks that wearing dreds is "cultural appropriation"?? Regardless of HOW one got theirs????? Just WHO are these people and WHY are "we" supposed to so strictly conform, en masse??
Wow, sounds like someones are being "played" by someones who know how to "play" the strategically stupidized! For all we, the readers, know these black folks could be feds (reminding me of Dickie Wilson, of the 1970s Lakotah b.i.a. tribal council Telling naive whites anything!!) Such authoritarianism speaks loads to me: As tho the tact is no longer merely to divide everyone EVEN MORE, but cut out the spirit of Leftish challenge totally (and perhaps, for this post-left anarch, finally).
So now, the background of my reasoning:
i got my dreds NOT by making them (people seem to think that all one has to do is keep rolling one's hair or something like that in order to "make dreds")! Maybe so, but not in my experience). No, i "got" my dreds by LIVING FREE in the forest (for many years now, in various places), under a tarp, without any walls or bug nets! Basically, smoking up some good marijuana and then letting the wild critters "have their way with me"!
That's exactly right! And my story is downright magick'L!!
My story begins out on the edge of the real wilderness in northern Indigenous country (Chinook-Kalispell), maybe ten miles west from "Rainy Pass", before you get to Diablo. i was in the middle of bicycling long distance, and looking to come up with a creative way in which to surprise and possibly inspire my fellow creatives, as i've been doing for a few years now (i'd give you the url to a site where i go over some of them, but i don't trust you all anymore, with your political correctness! You'd probably fuck with me!).
Anyway, i was hanging out as it got dark around some big trees and was getting a little scared, as that is Grizzly country and all. Something told me to "go back to the parking lot and look", so i did. Walking about a half mile back, and looking out at the empty parking lot, within a minute there came a single man (known locally as "the Peace Wizard") walking up the lonely road carrying only a peace sign! He had nothing for sleeping overnight, so i reached out and asked if he'd like to camp with me, and of course smoke a little good stuff.
Well, the Peace Wizard was sleeping outside, so i decided to join him (and finally begin escaping tent life!).
Within the hour, as i lay letting myself fall asleep slowly, i heard a slight rustle in the leaves telling of the approach of a small creature. i was good and stoned so i just let things be, and didn't turn to face it. i never saw the creature, but it was light and had small hands, and i'll tell you how i know, in a minute. Anyway, it crept up to my head and took the beginnings of a small tangle of wild-growth hair (growing all by itself, seemingly as a response to my inner desire to protect a small protrusion that grows out of my head) and BEGAN RAPIDLY WEAVING MY HAIR!! And when it was done, it put its small hand on my shoulder! OH MY!!!!
Very trippy. And from then on my dred has grown quite wildly; and, yes, i let any wild animal that steps up "do my hair" up to now (my dred has certainly grown into something radical!!).
A few years later, i went back to the area where this radical weaving was first done, but the river had changed the bottoms, so i had to go with my intuition to find another likely possibility. i wanted the locals to "do my hair" again!! Well, smoking up, i proceeded to lay outside in pitch dark and wait.
Within a half hour or so, something even more trippy than before, happened! First, i felt the mouth of a small squirrel-like critter (or chipmunk?) enclose my earlobe. i could feel its tongue under my earlobe, and its square teeth on the top of my earlobe. i got the feeling that they weren't going to "play around" and take chances with any human, no matter how seemingly enlightened! (Good Idea!!) Plus, i felt this critter was a champion protector of the other one that showed up, first fluffing its fluffy tail on my face, and then, pressing a small, cool, wet nose right on my third-eye area!!!!!!
And then they were gone. Seeming to honor me for having "carried" their dred-work for all those years, and then return! Very powerful for me, spiritually!!
The only other thing that happened that night was the earth moving as a large creature passed nearby. But it was so dark (and i don't use lights) that i couldn't even see my hand in front of my face! But i did gain a creative vision, for which i followed the next few weeks! (i have a photo of what i did, taken by a passerby, if folks want to see.)
i'm frankly surprised that no one else seems to have gotten their dreds in a similar way to me (that i've yet heard)! (I suspect many have, but don't speak about it)
To conclude, while i like listening to reggae (conscious culture is inspiring when it is truly liberation-oriented for ALL), i don't subscribe to their beliefs/ideology as i've sidestood it so far. Perhaps all of this critical thinking will bring someone my way and we will have a mutual sidestanding?! i look forward to it!!
chaz orRioR LiFe d.z.
Note: I am seeking to ALSO publish audio on a blog, but have few connections along indy lines on this one, so have had to "go it alone" so far. But am having increasing difficulties.
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