Warrior Woman on fire

A couple of days ago, one of my co-workers shared the following article with me:

I apologize folks, I still can't figure out how to make my links go live on my blog. Anyway, that's not what I want to talk about. I'm about to go on one of my infamous tears, people. It will not be pretty or for the faint of heart. I admit it: I have an explosive temper that, like Mount St. Helen, is dormant most of the time. The people who have to deal with me on a daily basis are grateful for that. However, I absolutely lose it when it comes to abuse to children specifically, and people's inhuman treatment to others in general. That article activated the warrior in me, causing alarm in poor Fred, who had never seen me act like that before. Fred, I am truly sorry, but I can't help seem to help it. The education of children is something I take very, very seriously. And my rage flares dangerously when I read about YET ANOTHER instance of institutionalized racism.

No, this isn't about politics, Democrats and Republican, liberals and conservatives, Libertarians and I-Don't-Give-A-Damns. This is about the people who have long been abandoned by this country, and when Katrina dumped her load on New Orleans, the rest of the country turned up its nose and said, "Oh, how sad! But why didn't those people obey the evacuation orders?"

People perched high on their fine high stallions do not seem to understand this simple concept: No money, no travel. No money, no nothing. Not even swimming lessons to get out of the water. There's water moccasins in the waters around New Orleans. If the water didn't get 'em, the snakes did.

And now, two years later, those people are being victimized over and over again. The powers that be have now trained their sights on the children of the people who couldn't get out, and have deemed them unworthy of a decent education. They devised a charter school system with admission requirements (with public funds, mind you), and a so-called system for those who were left behind. And they being left behind AGAIN.

The warrior woman felt like letting loose of her feral war cry, and charging down South with her poison-tipped sword ready for action. I was READY to take the entire charter/privatized elitist school ba***** down all by myself. That's what happens when a warrior woman gets her blood boiling. Someone is gonna pay.

Then Reality, one of my most constant nemesis, uncrossed those accursed long legs of hers and stood up. "Angela, dahling, tell me...how in the world are you going to take on the city of New Orleans all by yourself. You can't walk without a cane, there are very few accessible streets down there, and the school system is in shambles. You need to stay here, get your health together, do the English MA/PhD creative writing program at the University at California at Davis, and then go down there with your sword. You'd be able to swing it better when you have yourself together."

Oh. Idealism, adrenaline, passion and optimism thoroughly dashed. But Reality was right. (Why does she always appear to me as the model Iman in a slinky black dress that has thigh-high slits up both sides? What is my subconscious mind trying to tell me?) I would probably make things worse for myself and others if I went down there now. People would probably be much more receptive to me if I were healthier and had that PhD tag on my name. It would be bad for my family right now, too. My oldest daughter is in the early stages of labor (not enough to go the hospital, but enough to drive me crazy), and my parents, who are both elderly and in bad health, are now living with me. It's just not a good time to go off to do battle.

I'm not giving up, though. You just wait, N'awlins. When you least expect it, this warrior woman is going to wield her sword and slay those pseudo-educational dragon-punks that you called up from The-Hell-Below to separate haves from the have-nots. It's gonna take a while for me to get there, but you still need to watch out. I'm already angry. And I'm not nice when I'm angry.

I've added a post-script, inspired by SMK. Here's what the Writings has to say about education:

CXXII. Man is the supreme Talisman. Lack of a proper education hath, however, deprived him of that which he doth inherently possess. Through a word 260 proceeding out of the mouth of God he was called into being; by one word more he was guided to recognize the Source of his education; by yet another word his station and destiny were safeguarded. The Great Being saith: Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom. If any man were to meditate on that which the Scriptures, sent down from the heaven of God's holy Will, have revealed, he would readily recognize that their purpose is that all men shall be regarded as one soul, so that the seal bearing the words "The Kingdom shall be God's" may be stamped on every heart, and the light of Divine bounty, of grace, and mercy may envelop all mankind. The one true God, exalted be His glory, hath wished nothing for Himself. The allegiance of mankind profiteth Him not, neither doth its perversity harm Him. The Bird of the Realm of Utterance voiceth continually this call: "All things have I willed for thee, and thee, too, for thine own sake." If the learned and worldly-wise men of this age were to allow mankind to inhale the fragrance of fellowship and love, every understanding heart would apprehend the meaning of true liberty, and discover the secret of undisturbed peace and absolute composure. Were the earth to attain this station and be illumined with its light it could then be truly said of it: "Thou shall see in it no hollows or rising hills."

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 259)

I'm still angry about the injustices that permeate New Orleans, and this anger motivates me to take action. But it's not impulsive action, which would lead to disastrous results. It is deliberate, well researched and planned action. I'm gathering together the weapons I will need to fight the evils of racism, poverty and the indifference of most of this country to the plight of the people in that city. The most potent weapon is the Baha'i Faith, along with my education and experience. I have a personal interest in the post-Katrina surivivors. My father grew up 100 miles from New Orleans in a small town called Moss Point, Mississippi. Part of my roots are there, and they are much deeper than my ability to make a good pot of gumbo. These roots are part of my soul. I have to help.

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