Sleepless in LaLa Land…

monalisa-4893660__340I am not pacing up and down fretting the possibility of COVID. I am respectful but not a fanatic. My wife is still talking to me, so divorce is not imminent but not out of the question if we are cooped up much longer. Yet the race thing and the concept of White Supremacy do cause me to toss and turn.

Both are volatile concepts which upon introspection are far more prevalent than we might admit. I will be judgmental just toward me so we can take any animosity out of the equation. Am I a racist? Probably. I don’t do so intentionally but my lifestyle and lot in life make it a subtle form. White supremacist? I hope not but there are inklings. 

 I have been lucky to have been brought up under wonderful circumstances. I have never had to worry about food or a place to live. I have been dead ass broke but worked my way out of it. If you keep your mouth shut and stay out of trouble you and your kids will be just fine. I am white and the world works to my advantage. Is this fair? In the long run probably not.  

This thing called racism is actually a misnomer. Race is a word that is difficult to define. Today we think it is white vs black or brown vs yellow. Ironically we all belong to one race…the human race.istockphoto-1063652314-2048x2048.jpg Aside from body features and skin color we all operate the same way. There is no difference in how our hearts beat or our brains operate. Some would debate the last, especially with me but please work with me. Suffice to say we all bleed red.

The origins of our civilization are in Africa. People migrated hither and yon but the Dark Continent was where WE ALL started if could go back that far. As societies grew in different climes our bodies adapted to surroundings. If you lived in a sub tropical region your body tanned to protect itself from the constant heat and sunshine. The closer to the Arctic Circle the less sunlight and colder temperatures made us paler or as we would like to say “fairer”.

The Fertile Crescent is defined by the Middle East and Egypt and Turkey.Unknown.png By all accounts it is the genesis of farming, science and trade. If we compared apples to apples our wunderkind world today might blanch in comparison. Now I am not trying to give a history lesson but demonstrate how many of our ideas of hierarchy are somewhat questionable. I guess as time wore on we got good at keeping score as to who was smarter, stronger, richer, poorer and by putting others down, we raised ourselves up. 

This is a social construct that is formed by opinion or subjective observance rather the actual fact. By happenstance some became entitled by birth right and aristocracies flourished. All along we must maintain the bloodline and not let inferior beings ruin the gene pool. Differences are exaggerated and you are suspect by color, manners, occupation, religion that are different from the ordinary, whatever the hell that is. In a word we became legends in our own minds. 

The US was founded by white Anglo Saxon snobs. Northern Europe was nirvana and anywhere else was tolerated and used as means to an end. Throughout our history we are rife with prejudice against not only blacks but Irish, Italians, Jews, Asians, Poles et alia. The big difference is for the most part, almost everyone  assimilated and crossbred and those differences subsided. For one group they didn’t. 

Black male hidden by handsLike it or not if we are honest with ourselves, blacks have been dealt a shitty hand. I am not gong to self flagellate but it has been difficult coming to that conclusion even though it has been staring me right in the eye for a long time. Other groups can claim indignation and to a large degree they are right. Yet if you honestly study the last four hundred years, blacks have been summarily put down and kept down by our so called equal system. 

That is why there is such outcry today. They have had it. We have a white world. I have watched so many recountings by decent people who have been stopped for no reason. We yell, you don’t belong here. If two are equally qualified for a job we pick the lighter shade of pale. We say we are not racist but what if one or two or three or four move into your neighborhood or join your club?

You will come back at me and say they don’t know how to act or talk or dress? I have two responses. The first is, How do you know? Have you ever really sat down with a black person? Yes you can watch the amped up news clip and assume that is the way everyone is. But are they? Secondly, I guess I ask is who gets to set the rules? In your club that can be us but in the city county or state who gave you and me the right?

It scares me to write this. I am not concerned about recoil or retribution. I am just plain and simple uncomfortable. I don’t know where to start or even what I am trying to accomplish? What do I say or to whom? It is just something that keeps eating at me? When I read another article on the maelstrom we are in, do I dare keep going and let my thoughts go outside my comfort zone?  When I claim to be a Christian can I really walk the walk and embrace, not turn my back? 

These are all good questions and there are plenty more. I am starting on some sort of journey. I may fail miserably and just figure it is not worth it. Then again it may open a whole new world or at least my perception of it. And this kids is what keeps me sleepless in LaLa Land. It is what I do. 

As always 

Ted The Great


In contemporary usage, the term white supremacist has been used to describe some groups espousing ultranationalist, racist, or fascist doctrines. From the 19th to the mid-20th century the doctrine of white supremacy was largely taken for granted by political leaders and social scientists in Europe and the United States According to 19th-century British writers it was the duty of Europeans—the “white man’s burden”—to bring civilization to nonwhite peoples through beneficent imperialism. Several attempts were made to give white supremacy a scientific footing, as various institutes and renowned scientists published findings asserting the biological superiority of whites. Those ideas were bolstered in the early 20th century by the new science of intelligence testing, which purported to show major differences in intelligence between the races. In such tests northern Europeans always scored higher than Africans. (Encyclopedia Brittanica) Judge for yourself.

Hitler espoused Nazism. It incorporates fervent antisemitism, anti-communism, scientific racism, and the use of eugenics into its creed.


In the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Jesse Owens won four gold medals and 18 black athletes participated and won medals also. The Fuhrer never quite explained how that worked. I do know it pissed him off.

The name, Dark Continent is derived from early explorers only discovering the east and west coasts. The thick jungles were foreboding and images of savages ran wild in their tales of their voyages. In actuality there was over two thousand years of history but it didn’t quite fit the narrative.



Writer’s Note: I was cited for my errors on the timing of the Dred Scott decision in my previous blog. My apologies to my readers for that. I try to cross-reference but sometimes I get it wrong. Mea culpa.  . 

Let’s Start At The Beginning….

As the song goes, a very good place to start. I have been trying to sift through the drama, the personalities and the name calling to try to figure out how the hell we got here. If you are not emotional you are from another planet. But rhetoric and vitriol do not find a solution.

I am going to ask you to get in my time machine and go back about 400 years. The continent of Africa was an active one. The Dutch some 200 years earlier had found some very advanced societies in play. There were also wars aplenty. Prisoners were traded back and forth and they became a source of free labor. The Europeans started trading arms for bodies and the slave trade was born.

These poor souls were put in irons and loaded on ships for the New World. They faced wretched conditions and if they died or became ill they were merely disposed of overboard during the long voyage.images-1 An interesting fact is one of the first slave marketplaces was in Massachusetts. All the colonists saw great opportunities in this new land but not nearly the manpower to tame it all. Slaves were the answer. Entrepreneurship at its best and worst. 

Now we can view all this from the comfort of our arm chair while perusing articles on the internet as I have, but if you have the guts to think about it, their plight truly becomes abhorrent. You are not human by any standard. You are chattel to be done with as the owner wants. You are whipped and thrown into a dark abyss. You have no idea where you are. There is no way out. 

As time goes on the process and principle of slavery becomes enmeshed in the fabric of our country. Plantations in the South bring a lot of wealth to the landed aristocracy. Towns, counties and states take hold and people come to realize the ancillary livelihoods of the butcher the baker and candlestick maker are totally dependent on the success of this evil venture. Everyone looks the other way until it literally becomes normal if you can call it that. 

Back on the farm slave women are there to resupply the stock, entertain the dalliances of the boss man and then go back out in the field. Kids don’t get an education because daytime is work time and there is no sense in schooling. UnknownMen are valued for their brawn until they can no longer work. Medical care? Give me a break. You will get over it. Were there nice people? Of course. But they were still owners. 

Fast forward to the Post Civil War era. The downtrodden finally got their freedom only to be taken in by sharecropping. The Southerners in the new Constitutional Congress saw a chance to profit once again off their former chattel’s new found freedom. With all those residents they would be able to get a lot of representatives in Congress. The Northerners cried foul and it was decided that a black man only counted at 3/5 of a white man. What a wonderful country. 

All throughout is intertwined that blacks are subhuman or as we like to say, animals. We don’t want you despoiling our gene pool. So let me get this straight. As a black I am not a full white. I can’t go to school. I really don’t have access to medical care because I don’t have insurance because I don’t have a job that pays me anything. I have to live in a particular part of town but other than that I am free at last. Just pick yourself up by your bootstraps boy and hard work will get you through. 

Roadblocks were many. Many others including the Irish, Chinese, Indians and yes women were considered lesser and should be kept in their place. But their plight was over a period of time and not sewn into the fabric of our society. And still there was this overriding sense of contemptible acceptance not capitulation. After all as white males we were superior in all ways. 

I remember as a kid looking at the news from Little Rock or Montgomery. The German shepherds and red neck cops with a wad of chaw in their cheek. images-5The beatings and the fire hoses. I watched women screaming racist slurs and spitting at a little girl in a pretty dress and pigtails. Just like my granddaughter who was just here.

How did we get here? The above is part of it. The Civil Rights Act is a little over 50 years old. I didn’t believe the stats but they are true. A black is just as likely to be using and yes dealing marijuana as a white  person but he gets thrown in jail more often for it. If you convict a black and a white of a same crime the man of color does a lot more time. 

The lot of the black person today is a sorry one and yes they are in some ways to blame. The Great Society was an abject failure and rife with scandal and waste. Black fathers are absent. But can you look me and probably more so yourself in the eye and say we are all equal? Part of the problem is admitting to the problem. I think both sides have to be honest. 

To solve this problem you have to feel it. You cannot accept the grist of either side. You have to read stories and incidents of both protest and looting. You have to imagine what it is like to be black…and white. You have to get so confused with the words and emotions, you don’t know which end is up. It’s where I am. I just had to start at the beginning. Here’s hoping there is an answer in there somewhere. To be continued….

As always,

Ted The Great


There are more than three million differences between your genome and anyone else’s. On the other hand, we are all 99.9 percent the same, DNA-wise. 

The thickness of the epidermis varies in different types of skin; it is only .05 mm. The color of one’s skin is due to long term changes to exposure to sunlight by inhabitants throughout the world. . Yes it is that thickness that separates black for whites or browns or yellows. It is fascinating we all like to have a tan.

The New York Times 100 page “1619 Project” was assailed by the left and the right. Noted scholars said they got it all wrong. The idea was valid but the facts did not fit. How am I (we) supposed to figure this out?  

Only a little more than 300,000 captives, or 4-6 percent, came to the United States. The majority of enslaved Africans went to Brazil, followed by the Caribbean. A significant number of enslaved Africans arrived in the American colonies by way of the Caribbean, where they were “seasoned” and mentored into slave life and then brought to the states.  25% of Southerners owned slaves. . 


Back To The Riots….

What a range of emotions. We watched in awe as once again man was able to tame the forces of gravity and launch ourselves into outer space.Unknown-6 That was the apex. Then we panned back to rioting as we looted and burned in rage and frustration. That was the nadir. Somewhere in all of this we share the same elements of humanity. That is so hard to compute. 

Some will deny we have anything in common. We throw around terms like genius and trailblazer on the one hand and animal and ingrate on the other. It seems we have no perception or realization of what life is like outside our own personal bubbles. It plays both ways. 

George Floyd’s murder was a bit of a wake up call for me. Sure I was saddened by previous deaths of black men and women but for some strange reason it was miles away. Whether it was the unflinching camera angle or the slow agony of a man’s life slipping away right before my eyes, it slammed me right in the gut. 

There was no mincing of words. There was no possibility of misinterpretation. That white cop put his knee to the prisoner’s neck and then rearranged his position mid flight to make sure he was getting the desired effect. And not one of the other three even whimpered for the man’s mercy. That is unconscionable. I can’t believe we have stooped so low. 


We have seen an explosion of hatred and contempt on both sides. It’s our nation and possibly our world’s dirty little secret. We hate anyone who is not one of us.

 Lash out at the infidels. The fact that some are black makes it even easier. Men in blue? Just target them. Jews? Asians? Middle Easterners? We find it so satisfying to paint with a broad brush. The poor hate the rich and the rich find the poor contemptible. Even if I can stand you I want you to remain in your place. No more. No less. 

We cannot even come close to understanding what it is like to be black. The violence, the poverty, and criminality that is exaggerated by a hyper vigilant society are ingrained in you from birth. College students are stopped and frisked. A member of the board of the New York Audubon Society gets called out in Central Park. Black Senator Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina has been stopped and questioned several times in his tenure. This isn’t an honest mistake. It is part of our culture. 

We don’t know what it is like to be a cop. To be called”Pig”. imagesTo deal with the seamier side of life all day long and be pelted with rocks and garbage when you are trapped in a cruiser. How about a Hispanic that just wants something more for his family than gangs and drugs? A woman still facing glass ceilings or the leering and cat calls of a city street. Everyone gets beat up in their own way. Sometimes you have had enough and your rage boils over.

We decry activists. Don’t you know how wonderful America is? How good you have it? Unfortunately Kool Aid doesn’t quench a desperate thirst. The haves aren’t necessarily the rich but ones who have made it into the gated community of middle class. They would like more but are not bereft. 

The under trodden don’t have lobbyists. Those are the rich people’s vessels of influence. You might even call them activists for the good life.  This word or phrase or bill gives Morgan Stanley and its clients a very lucrative write off. A little prodding here and there gets you a defense contract. They are not demonstrating but then again maybe they are in a totally different way. Subtlety and back rooms breed an air of innocence. 

People demonstrate because it is the only way to make people listen. Sure it is brash and in your face. It won’t go away. Unknown-3Looting and torching places give us the cover to justify our indignation. But deep down you know something is wrong and boy does it feel uncomfortable to think they might be right. 

We have been going over this since I was a kid in the fifties. It has gotten a little more complex with women, Hispanics, gays et all thrown into the fray. We have spent trillions on the Great Society with nothing to show for it. We have not figured out immigration since 1987. Women are making a dent but it is still just a minor recalculation in our male chauvinist world. And cops are still beating the crap out of black people at a moment’s notice. 

Depressing? Yes it is. I have never felt worse for our country. Not economically but the humanity side of the equation. We have a ruling class that is clueless and ineffective. We can land on a flying tin can 250 miles above the earth but we can’t agree on proper way to educate our kids. We throw away 35% of our foodstuffs while 25-30% of our population is food insufficient. 

I am sorry I am not more upbeat. Reality sucks. Here in LaLa Land, I should probably just shut up and practice my golf or curl up with a good book. I will try once again to drink my feel good elixir but for the moment I can’t get this out of my mind. I keep going back to the riots. They are telling us something. Will we listen?

As always 

Ted The Great 


There are instigators on both sides of the spectrum in riots. You have far right White Extremists and far left Anti Fascists. In between are looters and burners. A majority of demonstrators are law abiding who get swept up in the fury and as a result get arrested. Both federal and local authorities have yet to identity specific groups. 

Because of unions, labor contracts and the Blue Wall cops are rarely disciplined. In Minneapolis over the last eight years over 2400  cases of abuse are reported. Unknown-412 policemen were found in violation. The harshest sentence was losing 40 hours of pay. A vast majority of cops are good if not great. Unfortunately the bad apples don’t get rooted out. 

Conflicts are a natural part of relationships. They usually arise out of people’s misunderstanding of an issue, their needs, or their desire to be understood. Because conflicts involve perceived threats to our well-being and survival, they stay with us until we face and resolve them. It’s as simple and complex as that.