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Culture,Wine

Gov. Chris Christie joins The Wine Train Crowd

Yesterday, Govern Chris Christie was kicked off Amtrak’s “quite car.” No joke… Why? Screaming into his cell phone. According to WND:

“He got on last minute yelling at his two Secret Service agents I think because of a seat mixup, sat down and immediately started making phone calls on the quiet car,” Mann told Gawker.com. “After about 10 minutes the conductor asked him to stop or go to another car. He got up and walked out again yelling at his secret service. He was drinking a McDonald’s strawberry smoothie.”
Yeah… this happens to people all of the time.
Christie didn’t ask, “Hey, are you doing this to me because I’m a large man?” No, he got up out of courtesy.
Enjoy this video, because it will let you know why I do what I do, when I do it… Most especially in regards to The Wine Train story that I wrote. I still contend, this one wasn’t about race. It was just and still is in my humble opinion, about common courtesy. If Christie can get kicked out of a car… without arguing…
Meanwhile, when it does involve race, I’m there.

Point | Counterpoint

The Wine Train story came back to me, for two reasons:

  1. I recently read the headline on the Napa Valley Register site, and thought, “Oh, Boy.”
    • Black passengers sue Wine Train owners for $11 million
  2. The second thoughts on the wine train incident have been swimming around in my noodle for some time…
    • One wine blogger held off for a long time from weighing in. And then he wrote the following… Not in his own voice, mind you, but behind the veil of an imagined person he’s concocted, through a split personality?

I know, dropping the race card kinda upsets folks in the Napa wine biz because they’ll swear up and down that it wasn’t about us being minorities, it was about us being rude. All these white people, white wine police and white marketing people and white wine writers, talking about how marching a bunch of women of a different color off of their tourist trap wine train into the arms of the local cops they’d called wasn’t about racism at all, it’s because we didn’t behave ourselves. People like us should know better, right? Stay in our place. No, hell, no, it wasn’t racist. They always call the — cops [sic] to take dangerous people off the train, right? And people sayin’ it can’t be racist because, hey, I’m married to a minority person, so I know racism when I see it. Yeah, marry a sheep and then you’ll stop wearing wool, too, I guess. It’s all bullshit, it was all about my girls being the wrong color, like they’re Negroamaro at a clambake.

And I thought… “Wow. I’m the only person I know (in the wine business) who straight up said it was about behaving badly, and didn’t bring up ‘race.’ That would be I, who did it. And, I’m married to person whose demographic is that of a minority.” Yes sirre Bob… I hear what you’ve written.

  • And, I’m also the person who initiated the Association of African American Vintners, in order to advance the wine industry to be inclusive for people of African American descent.
  • I’m not here to discriminate, as much as to advance assimilation.

So, I’ve been chewing on the arrogance; all the while knowing that it’s important to my journey in life to call out racism when I see it. And trust me I have; e.g., I once clobbered a guy side the head, who was sitting down in a chair by the Russian River. He was just very abusive to someone he decided he didn’t like. And, some kind of reflex just let go in me. Then, he stood up and was about 6’4″ tall. That was a gulp.

I do know my life’s purpose. It’s to advise people who care about the image they’re putting out there. One of my assignments, when I came into this life this time, is to advance cosmic conscientiousness. I’m working on my wings, here. It’s called a life of diplomacy, and it’s not everyone’s calling, but it’s mine. It’s not holier than thou, it’s just a life as a teacher. Some of us take that gig, and I’m one of them. I taught a lot of people a lot of things, over the course of my lifetime. I’m invested in racism.

And, I stand on my earlier position. The world needs to be better, for all races, everywhere. When we reward people who’ve lost their consideration for others… if you’re white, black, brown, Asian… I don’t care what your culture is… There’s common protocol. Disregarding others at everyone else’s expense is just having too much fun. As I wrote earlier, we’ve ALL BEEN THERE. So, we should all just recognize it. All anyone has to do is raise a few kids and you’ll get really straight, really quickly:  We DON’T reward kids, when we’ve told them to stop more than once. (It’s called a time out.)

So, I put his YouTube video (above) back on my Facebook page, for the second time; because it is a black woman, who is telling white people what each of our responsibilities are.

It’s worth your time, if you, too, are working toward a better collective consciousness.  After I posted it, my friend Terry wrote:

She articulates the situation with such passion and clarity. Leonard Pitts (who is black), once wrote that when he was walking the dark streets at night, and coming toward him were white people, he would whistle the 1812 overture, to calm the white people who might mistake him for a thug. A real ponderable.

I wrote to her:

Adaptation and assimilation, understanding all sides all at once, it’s a protection, Terry. Living in a blended world, there are stories to tell. The challenges are worth it… as challenging as they’ve been. [The stories I could tell, well beyond “I’m married to a minority person, so I know racism when I see it.” Yeah, I do… for the past nearly 40 years of invested living.]

Instead of the little shocking facts; instead ponder “Cracking the Codes, by Joy DeGruy, tell you about ‘A Trip to the Grocery Store'”

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