“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world” – Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosopher

Over on antiracistparent.com, there was a post about the importance to anti-racist parenting of learning other languages.

The responses indicate that learning other languages

  • encourages respect of other cultures and races
  • shows children that it is important to embrace cultures that are different
  • shows children that we, as parents, value other cultures
  • shows people of other cultures that we appreciate who they are and what they have to say

Only one brave person ventured that learning another language brings a deep understanding of that culture, and can lead to global understanding.
Continue reading


Do you?

So I received a very nice bag of whole coffee beans for a present.  I love coffee.  But I don’t have a bean grinder.  I used to have one, and was musing about it when my mother was over.

“Oh, I have one!” she said.  “I’ll give it to you.”

My mother explained that she had received it as a gift and had never used it.  She likes Folgers in the can.  Continue reading

‘The Star Spanglish Banner’

Hate crimes against people of Latino descent are on the rise. And the murders of Jose Sucuzhanay and Marcelo Lucero show how deadly hate can be.

Idiots like Chip Saltsman say that distributing songs like “The Star Spanglish Banner” is just in good fun.  But hate doesn’t arise out of thin air.  It’s fed, nurtured and defended by racists.  Right, Huckabee?

Jose can you see
By the dawn’s early light
Cross the border we sailed
As the Gringos were sleeping Continue reading

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Just like the ones we used to know.

Chip Saltsman, a candidate for the Republican National Committee chair, sent out a 41-track Christmas CD to committee members that included songs such as “Barack the Magic Negro.”   Because hey, it’s just a joke.  Also, RNC members have “good sense” and “good humor” so that they can recognize this is a “light-hearted” political parody.

Curious to see the RNC’s reaction, if any.

‘We don’t do jokes like that’

That’s what the spokesperson for a joke-by-text service said.  It’s a common way of responding to racism.  “We don’t tolerate racism here.”  “We are committed to diversity and inclusion.”

The text service sent two racist jokes, one about an “Asian” and the other about a “Pakistani,” in its pay service.

“We don’t do jokes like that.”  And yet this still happens.  Imagine.

Peace on earth and goodwill to all

It’s almost Christmas. You know, that end-of-year festival that is given pride of place in the western countries most of us live in.

It’s the festival I grew up with: a house decorated with lights and sparkles; green and red, (okay, in those days it was more multicoloured hues); a tree that smells of sap and drops needles all over the floor; a stocking for Santa to fill with bits and bobs and sweets; presents under the tree from the extended family; chocolates, dates, candied fruit and fizzy pop laid out in our own version of an all-you-can-eat buffet; and roast, stuffed turkey with two types of potato, carrots and brussels sprouts, sausages wrapped in bacon, and followed by Christmas pudding.

We called it ‘Christmas’, but there wasn’t much of Christ in it, (apart from being dragged to church when my grandmother came to stay). There was, however, a feeling of warmth and light in the middle of a cold, dark period, a coming together of loved ones and an air of ‘goodwill to all’, and a promise of good days to come. In short, it was more of a winter solstice celebration.

And these are the traditions I want to pass on to my children. So why do I feel, deep down, that I have more explaining to do? Why do I find it ever harder to get into the Christmas spirit (the non-alcoholic kind, that is)? Continue reading