September, 2019 | Bettina Network's Blog

Archive for September, 2019

Racism Obscures Black Male Sexism

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

by: Marceline Donaldson

This presidential campaign, including a black female – Kamala Harris – will experience black male sexism. The major question becomes – how does that look; how has it exhibited in the past; how will it exhibit during this presidential campaign and what is my responsibility to see that it is held in check as we need to also continue to hold in check white male sexism and all the other bigotries our society normally practices – mostly with impunity.

We have been able to have such continue and remain in the structures within which we live, work and have our being because we practice denial and keep actual experiences of bigotry covered over. When they are uncovered and the people who practiced such are uncovered we practice an extreme denial threatening the person who “outed” the practices instead of the people promoting and taking part in the bigotry into which they were born.

I can give you at least two examples of such – one personal and one the experience of a close friend.

As some of you know I was the first African American stock broker, licensed by the New York, American, Nasdaq, etc. exchanges – way back in the 1960’s. That was an incredible experience. I was very young – in my late 20’s and early 30’s during that time, recently divorced, and my ex-husband was Jewish with grandparents from Latvia. I give you that information because it was quite relevant to what happened during my time as a stock broker.

A friend of mine – Lillian Anthony – suggested I apply for the job of stock broker – which I did with several companies. Dain, Kalman and Quail, inc. in Minneapolis hired me, put me in their training program and eventually sent me off to New York to learn enough to pass the exams and to get acquainted with the environment in which I would be working.

It was an exciting, trying, interesting, time. Before that stint I owned an antique auction gallery, antique shop and interior design studio. I sold antiques based on their investment value – which is why Lillian thought I would do well as a stock broker. If you were a client of mine we talked about the current value of the antique of your interest and its future possibilities – up, down or remaining the same for quite some time. I sold antiques the way most stock brokers sold stock. That was not unique to me. It was the way my grandmother furnished her home. She loved antiques and when she could afford something she always first talked about its current value and in which direction its societal value was going in the future. Her conversations went into things like “Cookie, when you become an adult this piece will have tripled in value. Don’t buy that manufactured stuff which will have to be dragged off to the dump years later.” We also designed furniture for people who collected antiques and wanted a way to display them which was in line with what they were collecting. It was important that these display pieces have the possibility of increasing in value over time, either because of their design or the hand craftsmanship that went into their execution.

As I became ever more knowledgeable about what it took to sell stock I became involved with civic, and other activities and groups, had regular dinner parties, and generally became known and got to know the city and all of its groups, corners, ideals, ideas, how things worked and more. It was a great time. I could do all of that in the process of doing my job – something that was new to me. I was on my own for the first time in life and that was not easy especially since I had very small children, but it was quite exhilarating.

The next thing I knew life became extremely difficult and quite abruptly. I was facing people who actively attacked me; did whatever they could to take me down in some incredible ways I didn’t know possible and more. I had no idea what changed and I was not to discover what changed for several years.

I eventually left Minnesota and when I did the covers fell from my eyes because people who knew what happened kept quiet until then. When I met them in other cities what happened began to come together. What happened? A group of leading black male citizens of Minnesota went to Dain, Kalman and Quail and demanded that I be fired and a black man be hired because it was totally embarrassing to have a black female in such a position. Gleason Glover, head of the Minneapolis Urban League, Harry Davis, head of the Minneapolis Urban Coalition and several more had a meeting with the heads of Dain Kalman and laid out their case. – They brought along with them Alfred Babington Johnson who was the person they wanted to see hired in my place.

Hearing all of that and from quite a few people who knew the details was unbelievably painful because I talked and thought all of those folks were friends. I worked with them in their organizations; had lunch with them; discussed much about how to help bring about a better community – one in which we were all equal and so much more.

In addition, as I was told by several people, this group added the claim that I was really not black enough. I was actually pretending to be divorced from my Jewish ex-husband but in reality I was being used by the Jewish Community to get benefits which should have been given to the Black Community – benefits like the job as a stock broker which should really have gone to a black man. They apparently made the claim that once I was settled in the job and in a position to influence who would be brought in that would be Jews and not Blacks because that is why I was being pushed by this Jewish community to do this and Dain Kalman would see that my marriage would be magically put back together again because, according to them, it was never broken. I heard this in the context of having gone through a horrendous divorce.

Experiencing the aftermath of such a meeting in real time and not knowing why was horrendous enough. Hearing about it several years later from friends who knew about this meeting, but felt it best to keep quiet about it was devastating. That is until I talked to Lillian Anthony.

Lillian was an African American woman who worked hard in civil rights and major changes came from some severe and serious sacrifices. She was head of the first Civil Rights Office established by the city of Minneapolis and it was one of the first such offices in these United States. She also worked very hard for and sacrificed much to majorly help establish one of the first African American Studies Departments in these United States. That happened at the University of Minnesota. Lillian was chosen to head that department and was extremely effective in both jobs.

Lillian, at the time we had this discussion, was at the University of Massachusetts working on a doctorate – which she received and then went on to other things.

She left Minneapolis to start on that educational journey because of the incredible push back she was receiving from a group of black men who wanted her out of the job as head of the African American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota because they felt a black man should have that job and she was an embarrassment to them for being in that position keeping it from a more “qualified” black man.

The fact that she was the one who put herself on the line and worked to see the department established and those who were pushing to get her removed were among the missing, but then showed up to take that job away from her was not part of any of the discussions that went on around Lillian and her job.

I remembered how hard it was for her to work with others to get the Civil Rights Office established as a part of the City of Minneapolis’ structure. I am sure you can imagine what she went through in the 1960’s to have helped establish such an office. I also knew what she sacrificed because her goal was to see an African American Studies Department established at the University of Minnesota. It was a natural fit for her to head the department which she and those working with her envisioned and worked to bring into existence. And I saw the change happen when someone who dropped in out of the sky almost and took over that job did not handle it very well and did not have the vision nor the power nor the internal fortitude to bring that department into what it could have been. I saw all of that and was a part of those “movements”, but was too young and inexperienced to get what was actually happening. There were many blanks.

As Lillian filled in the blanks of what happened to her I sat there with tears streaming because I knew how she felt. I had been through something very similar and only recently knew what that was, why it happened and had a chance to look back at some of the people involved. The most hurtful part of that was the fact that those who fought to get me out of a job were black men and women and the same thing was true for Lillian.

I have sought out other such stories because I wanted to know how extensive this sexism was and as I researched and sought out other black women who had been through similar experiences I heard commonalities in each story.

As I looked at Kamala Harris and the road she has chosen, I started reflecting on my experiences way back when. I pray that some of the people around her understand this dynamic and know how to expose and fight it so her candidacy has a chance without others going under the table to attempt to cut off the legs and reduce her chances at this nomination.

It has been a negative – and still is – to say such things out loud. After all we must all support the black male who has such a horrible time moving ahead in this society. I am always struck by those who say such things and used to wonder why they did because the problems and experiences of the black woman in this society are far worse – but as my experiences of sexism has grown understanding has happened.

I don’t want to get into who has it hardest – I do want to expose and call out loud this bit of sexism that will be a drag on Ms. Harris’ candidacy and be something used quietly by those running against her.

It was not easy to write this. I am doing so hopeful that my experience and that of others like me will mitigate and lessen such things happening to other black women in todays world. Please God make it so.

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IT COSTS MONEY TO PRODUCE THIS BLOG. WE HOPE YOU WILL CONTRIBUTE SO WE CAN EXPAND AND CONTINUE THE RESEARCH AND WRITINGS WHICH KEEP YOU KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT MANY THINGS THAT WOULD NOT REACH YOU OTHERWISE ALONG WITH THE OPINIONS AND WORK OF THOSE WHO ARE MEMBERS OF BETTINA NETWORK’s LIFESTYLE COMMUNITY.

What follows are some of the ways you can support our work:

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Project 1 – Estate Sales after the Sale!*

*This contribution is to the Bettina Network Foundation, inc which is a 501(c)3 organization and tax deductible.

Project 2 – #WellsFargoBoycott*

This contribution is to the Bettina Network Foundation, inc. which is a 501(c)3 organization and tax deductible.

Project 3 – Growing Bettina Network’s Blog

into a major media outlet bringing to the public news, recipes, thoughts, reviews of businesses, etc. from the perspective of those who belong to Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community.

Project 4 – Boycott the Twenty Dollar ($20) bill

You can send a check to Bettina Network, inc. P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 to support this blog! Please make your check out to “Bettina Network, inc.” since the blog income is not the foundation income.

If you prefer your gift go to the Foundation, make your check payable to Bettina Network Foundation, inc. The money we receive for the Foundation currently is going to support the Wells Fargo Boycott.

_________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net







Rob Porter – Nazi Royalty?

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

We have watched the arriving and leavings of Trump Administrative people and many conjecture as to why there is such a turnover. Mostly, the upheaval and ugliness of working at the White House for Donald Trump is cited. What is either glossed over or ignored are the dynamics that must be playing out when many of the people so involved and appointed by the Donald have a hate philosophy and political ideology to which they adhere.

We knew Rob Porter when he was a very small boy. Active, energetic, and into everything. He came to visit his grandparents. These grandparents were not publicly acknowledged as such but they were the people from whom came his mother. His grandmother was from Germany and spent several years in Austria when her father was Ambassador from Nazi Germany representing the Hitler regime. His grandfather was high up in that regime.

They came to visit from Argentina and went back and forth. From Argentina to the United States – always to visit their “daughter’ and her family.

In-between times the “family” met up in Europe or wherever Rob Porter’s mother was traveling to so they could spend quality time together and so Rob Porter and his siblings could get to know and stay in contact with their “real grandparents”.

When we were introduced the grandparents had Spanish names and spoke the language of Argentina. After a couple visits that dropped and they began to call each other by their real names. Something they clearly only did when alone or with friends.

Like many, they had a family secret, which little by little began to come out. Rob’s grandmother and grandfather had to flee Germany when the Nazi’s lost power and they fled to Argentina. His grandmother had a very small child – a baby – who she did not want to grow up with the stigma of being a Nazi, even though a very prominent one so Rob’s grandmother gave her baby daughter to a very close friend and took a step back. That must have been a profoundly painful thing to do because as we saw her – in spite of her Nazi training and leanings – her humanity and love towards her daughter was clear to see.

She talked about giving her daughter away with the expectation of not seeing her or her daughter ever knowing her mother, but as things turned out, they spent quite a bit of time together. They stayed with us often until the grandfather died of brain cancer. He came to the United States several times for treatment and we understand, after his death, his wife moved to the United States to be close to her family.

When I heard Rob Porter had a job which was so close to Donald Trump and he would know everything that happened in the White House, my blood ran cold. Why? Because we had many conversations with his grandparents and he was clearly exposed to a strong Nazi doctrine from a small child.

We had many conversations which ranged over the universe. His grandmother was very gracious and seldom engaged in anything other than talk on a general and surface level. His grandfather was taken with me and not in a positive way so in spite of trying to keep the conversations on a surface level he often let loose with his politics. The strongest of his comments which started such conversations came when I was holding forth, as is normal for me, on topics which run deep and not always positive towards how things work in the U. S. At first he was interested to know about the life of an African American in the U. S. After a few minutes, however, he always interjected as to how grateful I should be just to be allowed to exist in this country.

What made my blood run cold when I heard of Rob Porter’s job next to Donald Trump, working so closely and knowing so much about the inner workings of these United States, came from all that I knew about the political input that went on during his growing up years – from having seen how much he adored and how much time he spent with his grandparents who were definitely Nazi Royalty – and as time passed and people like Stephen Miller and all the rest began to surface, what I saw was a young man surrounded by those like him in an administration that reeked with Nazi influencers carrying out their basic philosophical and political beliefs, attempting to change this country to one in which they would be much more comfortable because the minorities of the world would either not exist or be kept in their place where they would be grateful just to be allowed to work for those who, following the Nazi Doctrine, were believed to be genealogically, intellectually, spiritually, and in their skin and hair color and texture the “chosen” few of this world.

Add to that a knowledge of Donald Trump as having spent his young adult years with his first wife and young children, having a copy of “Mein Kempf” next to his bedside and reading it every night the way most people read the bible and you have a lens through which to look at this administration which says it will spread evil such as this world has never seen before.

_______________________________________________________


IT COSTS MONEY TO PRODUCE THIS BLOG. WE HOPE YOU WILL CONTRIBUTE SO WE CAN EXPAND AND CONTINUE THE RESEARCH AND WRITINGS WHICH KEEP YOU KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT MANY THINGS THAT WOULD NOT REACH YOU OTHERWISE ALONG WITH THE OPINIONS AND WORK OF THOSE WHO ARE MEMBERS OF BETTINA NETWORK’s LIFESTYLE COMMUNITY.

What follows are some of the ways you can support our work:

Learn More About How We Use Your Donation!

Donate to Bettina’s

$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Billing Details

Donation Total: $5.00 One Time

{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.



Project 1 – Estate Sales after the Sale!*

*This contribution is to the Bettina Network Foundation, inc which is a 501(c)3 organization and tax deductible.

Project 2 – #WellsFargoBoycott*

This contribution is to the Bettina Network Foundation, inc. which is a 501(c)3 organization and tax deductible.

Project 3 – Growing Bettina Network’s Blog

into a major media outlet bringing to the public news, recipes, thoughts, reviews of businesses, etc. from the perspective of those who belong to Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community.

Project 4 – Boycott the Twenty Dollar ($20) bill

You can send a check to Bettina Network, inc. P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 to support this blog! Please make your check out to “Bettina Network, inc.” since the blog income is not the foundation income.

If you prefer your gift go to the Foundation, make your check payable to Bettina Network Foundation, inc. The money we receive for the Foundation currently is going to support the Wells Fargo Boycott.

_________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net







Real Estate Tax Article Response

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

Thank you for the article on elder abuse and real estate taxes. I am not one to start movements or even protests. Instead, I sit home, cry and try to remember what was.

My father lost his home because of the games played with him around his house. It was our family homes. I was not old enough nor employed to be able to help. I am now both, but he is gone and so is our family home. He spent the last years of his life in a Senior Home and he was miserable. How I hate those who caused this. It is all about greed.

Count me in on anything you do around these issues. I know how painful it was for him as he tried to save a home on which he owed very little. Our mortgage had been paid in full since our family lived in that house and owned it for many decades. He took out a small mortgage to make needed repairs and got caught in the real estate taxes game.

The same things happened to him that you described. He thought he could defer the taxes as a lien on the house, but the city pushed him off. They didn’t say no – they couldn’t because he qualified. What they did was everything they could to not accept his application. The bank let it be known that they would not allow the deferral and would not sign off on one if the city decided to accept his application. Caught in a bind he didn’t know what to do. He wrote to everyone and every institution he could think of looking for help. No one responded. He thought and expected people to do the right thing, but they never do when money is involved. I believe the person who bought the house out of foreclosure for a fraction of its value was somehow connected to the bank and/or the city or both. The house was fixed up and then resold and the people who did this made well over $200,000 that I could count.

Please put my name on a list of people you send out notices whenever you do something about all of this. I don’t have much, but I have myself and a little money left over from my job each week. I want to do what I can to make sure others don’t suffer the way my father did at the end of his life.

He lived less than two years in that Senior Citizen place. All of his papers, furnishings, clothes and memorabilia were gone. There was no place for it in his tiny room and even if there was space the bank made sure nothing survived. A sheriff showed up with a truck and hauled away all that was dear to him while he watched, cried and begged them to stop. It was one of the worse moments of my life. I shall take those memories to my grave.

God bless you and may your work succeed. Much pain can be alleviated if only people acted out of a sense of goodness. We are all human – we err – we try and sometimes succeed and sometimes don’t – but when we put aside our humanity for that corporate suit we become something else. I saw that something else through what happened to my father.

_______________________________________________—

IT COSTS MONEY TO PRODUCE THIS BLOG. WE HOPE YOU WILL CONTRIBUTE SO WE CAN EXPAND AND CONTINUE THE RESEARCH AND WRITINGS WHICH KEEP YOU KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT MANY THINGS THAT WOULD NOT REACH YOU OTHERWISE ALONG WITH THE OPINIONS AND WORK OF THOSE WHO ARE MEMBERS OF BETTINA NETWORK’s LIFESTYLE COMMUNITY.

What follows are some of the ways you can support our work:

Learn More About How We Use Your Donation!

Donate to Bettina’s

$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Billing Details

Donation Total: $5.00 One Time

{amount} donation plus {fee_amount} to help cover fees.



Project 1 – Estate Sales after the Sale!*

*This contribution is to the Bettina Network Foundation, inc which is a 501(c)3 organization and tax deductible.

Project 2 – #WellsFargoBoycott*

This contribution is to the Bettina Network Foundation, inc. which is a 501(c)3 organization and tax deductible.

Project 3 – Growing Bettina Network’s Blog

into a major media outlet bringing to the public news, recipes, thoughts, reviews of businesses, etc. from the perspective of those who belong to Bettina Network’s Lifestyle Community.

Project 4 – Boycott the Twenty Dollar ($20) bill

You can send a check to Bettina Network, inc. P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 to support this blog! Please make your check out to “Bettina Network, inc.” since the blog income is not the foundation income.

If you prefer your gift go to the Foundation, make your check payable to Bettina Network Foundation, inc. The money we receive for the Foundation currently is going to support the Wells Fargo Boycott.

_________________________________________________________

Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net






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