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April 27, 2003

the gospel truth

Today's lesson is about race.  I am qualified to discuss this issue by virtue of my habit of rarely thinking about it.  It's not that I am color-blind; I'm not.  I not only see color, I register it.  It's not because I believe race is defined solely by skin color; I don't.  If that were true, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would have been the Universal Monochromatic Skin-Dye Act of 1964 requiring every citizen to marinate in permanent skin-dye, preferably magenta.  No, I rarely think about race because, if I did, I'd soon find myself associating with douchebags like David Duke and Al Sharpton.

I did ponder race this weekend, however, as I sat in the Gospel Tent at Jazz Fest listening to The Mighty Clouds of Pomade Funk, a gospel group averaging 295 pounds per person.  The music was wonderful, though predictably repetitious and caloric.  But the experience was almost ruined by Caucasians in the audience.  The two thick slabs of white bread occupying the seats in front of me were a case in point. 

These two women I dubbed The Sweaty, Sweaty Lezzies were dreadfully pale and, apparently, hard-wired to stand and wave meaty arms over their heads in a graceless, side-to-side sway as though transfixed by a rhythm emanating from some stage other than the one before them.  They were stuffed into biker shorts like one might stuff dirty rice into a boudin casing.  When these women weren't executing the Rapture Sway, they were clapping their hands--often missing one hand with the other--in some kind of extra-terrestrial time signature.  I'm sure the moist undulations and ratchety, arrhythmic clapping would wow them on, say, the moons of Zebulon 5, but they fit in here like classic literature at a Klan rally.

The ride from the festival took me through poor neighborhoods.  When traffic lights facing my car turned green, assorted Negroes ambled across the intersection in front of me.  This was their idea of power, forcing me to remain stopped at a green light while they took their precious time walking from one side of the street to the other.  I'm not certain they even needed to get to the other side.  It was pathetic.  I wanted to stick my head out the window and scream, "knowledge is power, you asshole!"  But the desire to spread truth was trumped by the desire to live, so I only shook my head and, then, imperceptibly.

I've heard talk about meeting on common ground, yet nobody knows its location, nobody knows when the meeting starts.  I've concluded the meeting will never happen until we use the same map and synchronize our watches.

©  2003 by the beastmaster