To Kill The Giant

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Tag: SLAVERY

Daisy

She wore a white cloth diaper with lots of safety pins stuck through it on her head, wrapped like a turbin surrounding her stubby areas of black hair that still remained., other areas with no hair. The thick glasses were handed down from the local eye bank or probably my father and she finally got a telephone in her wooden shanty when she was 90 years of age. Time stood still in Cameron SC and it still does.

Daisy imprinted herself on me as a baby, from the time our eyes locked, having lived over 70 years and counting when she came to be our “Mammy”. In the south, they were not housekeepers or babysitters but lovingly called Mammy’s. Today, even fourty years plus later, Mammy is not an appropriate term or considered politically correct when speaking of the hired “help.” She was not that, she was so much more. She was a boo boo kisser, a spanker when it called for it, a bean shucker, a flu shot giver, and a hugger, the most important quality of any good Mammy, a hugger.

To me Daisy was not hired help but my family. No matter what the white folks thought of her or how they treated her, she still was like my second mother and I am white, she was Black, but I am not describing the difference in our colors, rather the important difference in the mindsets that shaped these derogatory cultures that  spawned slavery. A dreaded curse for the south and having to relive it whenever I say I am from the South, that is the first thing that people think of. I get asked so many times, “Have you seen the movie the help?”  Yes, and Yes to what you are going to ask me.

There are fond memories of her sitting on the living room couch, or chair watching tv with a corn cob pipe in her mouth, the hair wrap, and her very thick coke bottle bottom glases, shelling beans or peas while we played with our toys. The moth ball smell never came out of her clothes and she had the “black smell” that only particular older blacks from the South had. It was in her skin and such a distinct smell that if she were to come around me now, I could pick her out of a hundred souls because of her skin’s smell.

I was known as the boy baby. Not because I am a boy, but rather a tom boy among girls. I had all the bumps and bruises on my body that my baby brother should of had. I was rough and tumble, tree climing, bush hogging female. So with that kind of nature, I was very accident prone. Mama threatened to name me Grace. That was how my parents and especially Daisy could tell me apart from my very feminine twin sister Amy, was that I was the wearer of plastic bandaids and the bearer of deep scars.

She never learned to read or write always signing her name with an x when asked. Picking cotton in the fields of South Carolina were left to the blacks starting at the age of of a child, and no one ever knew how old she really was when the good Lord called her home because they did not give birth certificates to slaves or children of slaves. Daisy’s mother and father were what history books speak about, the chained African American’s of long ago, sold openly on the slave market in cities such as Charleston and she was one of many children in her family that grew up and lived in Cameron SC.

Married at age 13, Daisy had 9 children, some not making it out of the womb, or maybe she was 9 years of age when she married and had 13 children. I simply can’t remember that part. When she died, her alcoholic son Thomas, was there but most had already gone on to be with their Lord. Why did the almighty let her live so long? Daddy thought she was well, well over 100 years of age when she died but sadly, there was no way to prove it.

When Mama and Daddy had bridge club nights out, all of us children, four in total would line up on the couch and watch Daisy sleep in the leather chair. Her body would jump violently and we would start crying and screaming, never waking her up. She slept like the dead when she closed her eyes. We were afraid she was having a heart attack in her sleep or feared the worst, she was dead. Sometimes she did it to pull a prank on us. Doctors kids know everything about everything and we swore she was dying. Mama and Daddy would eventually come rushing home to find everything normal as it should have been and Daisy still alive.

When Daddy died, I gave Daisy Daddy’s wheel chair. I wheeled her upfront to be with the family, and covered her up with his blanket. She was family. She was my cherished Daisy and no one was going to tell me otherwise. Color didn’t matter to me. It never did. Even when the community of Cameron SC made my father build a waiting room onto his medical clinic for the coloreds, the blacks in the 1970’s or 1980’s, because they smelled funny, I never saw color.

Being the outcast, rebel and instigator, I enrolled in the Miss Black Orangeburg pageant. I did it to cut the stigma  between colors. The audience gasped when I walked out on stage. It was to prove a point at age 15. I did exactly that. Even though it was not the right kind of point to make, maybe it coming from a teenager who hated the segregation even in modern times, might have touched someone. I did it. I did it to prove there is no difference in color of a human being.  I can still hear that loud gasp from the hundred or so patrons and some certain members of the audience saying, “What in the hell is that crazy Lawton girl thinking?”

Today, my soul says go home, just go home Mary to the piece of history that few know about. To that special place that doesn’t exist today. I will, eventually, but I don’t think the time is right. The sad part is seeing what the South still believes in. If I could have given Daisy more, I would have because she gave me so much. She gave me the biggest hug of my life.

Copyrighted, TM 2000  from my book

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TO KILL THE GIANT, WEALTH AND MODERN DAY SLAVERY

Gated and Guarded, locked up behind secret walls of tall ficus privacy hedges are concrete castles lined with rococo gold flecked furnishings. If allowed to enter, layers of check points and rechecks are in place long before the unsuspecting future employee has set foot. Your deodorant is even known to whom you date. Armed guards patrolling the property are similar to the solider at a prison camp, pacing, watching, waiting for the precise moment to claim the rabid barney fife award. The house manager watches every step, every pick of dust that floats through the air lest the principle breathe it in. the housekeepers eagle eye is for the blanket to be slightly untucked or toliet paper not folded by 1/8 of an inch or cat litter not scooped precisely. Perfect, in an imperfect existence, among imperfect employees. The wealthiest of the wealthy’s lair is in secret. If you don’t know what lies behind those long winding driveways complete with multi car garages and people to race out to meet you, open the door, then you will never know slaveitutde, or servitude as we like to refere to it these days, political correctness in order, for the rich. From priceless artwork to cupboards hidden with man kinds latest geriatric formulas, the the lifestyle pill of the wealthy is poison for the normal domestic staff. Their privacy must be upheld at all times. Names, fortune masses to family get togethers are discussed secretly behind closed doors and layers of protection are in place so no one knows who they are out in public and sometimes even to the employee themselves. Private gatherings are very private. Surveillance cameras often hidden in every room are there to catch a someone doing something they are not supposed to be doing or taking that no no break are in force. The other watchdogs mainly corporate techie geeks for these high power profile executives are secretly tapping into their employees computers unbeknownst to the employee googling something at home. They want to see what kind of person works for them on a continual basis, their private lives, have they leaked the confidential information they were not supposed to leak? Your computer shuts you down from your webmail and you believe it is a computer glitch, a system default error or a hacker. Think again. It’s your boss. The people who are in servitude to them are in a type of indebtedness. They are in the Yas Massers, anything you want masser role. Slavery was never abolished according to what Lincoln believed, rather molded into modern times to fit and fill the need as it arose. It comes in the form of white slavery, african slavery, chinese and Flippino, Ukrainian servitude. From butler, nanny, chef, housekeeper, maid, landscaper, yard boy to estate manager, household manager, traveling companion, caregiver and caretaker are but a few of the names given to domestic staff, aka potential slave to name a few. The servitude that the employee is made to feel by the principles, even down to the manager, house manager, estate manager can be likened to a whip constantly being cracked at your back without the person knowing it but feeling the effect through stress carried on their shoulders for fear of loss of job if performance is not up to par. Mental games are played by the staff when confronted with someone of more worth and education, emerging onto the scene. The job of the person just became harder to cope with. From the darting questioning looks of the house manager to the accusations of where did your 2 hour shopping trip take you can be part of the end of the game strategy for your sudden retirement from this job. If the hours of doing this type of employment weren’t already long, even more is asked of the person if the person asking feels they can get away with it. Examples are coming in to do one thing your day off, being told that you might have to come in to scoop cat litter occasionally on weekends, if you “don’t mind.” Of course you don’t mind, anything to keep a new job in a bad economy. which leads to doing another thing, which leads to a whole day which leads into week after week of more and more asked of this individual. Then you find out your day off is non existent. That is when the individual is expendable. It happened when the word yes was said. Or the words, I don’t mind. The beggining of the end was created with those simple words. Then when the principle feels that even that is not enough to satiate their personal needs,or the person didn’t fix the best meal they could have, with a wave of the hand, the person is gone. No consideration for the individual who gave up their own life to take care of another’s. 25 years of total devotion was waved away one day when the tax man came and said, you could save around 10,000.00 a year if you hired locally. For a billionaire, 10,000 is a lot of money not to be squandered. It is a couple of suits for the next board meeting, gas for their private jet for a night out or a diamond collar for the cat. Never mind the housekeepers total lack of concern for her own family, but when the job called her, she was there. Now, a 20 something year old with no experience replaces 25 years of devoted commitment. Lest it be known, or heard of the saying of Good Karma does beget Good Karma. “What goes around comes around.” Onto the next one that can be used up and spit out, a bad reference in place to go with the kick in the rear. That employer does not see the employee as a person anymore rather, a means to an end. Use them for what they can give and let them go. This happened to me many times in private yachting as well as on land for the private estates. Especially one couple, where I let them dictate my outcome, rather than owning my own power and saying to them, no, I won’t come in on weekends and scoop cat litter and then fix dinner simply because I am there on my day off. Nice guy gets walked all over on. That nice guy was me. What protection is in place for the little person in all of this? None. Labor laws in Florida are non existent when it relates to domestic staff. I am hoping to change that. Too many a good reputation is lost upon the will of someone overindulged. Gated and Guarded, locked up behind secret walls of tall ficus privacy hedges are concrete castles lined with rococo gold flecked furnishings. If allowed to enter, layers of check points and rechecks are in place long before the unsuspecting future employee has set foot. Your deodorant is even known to whom you date. Armed guards patrolling the property are similar to the solider at a prison camp, pacing, watching, waiting for the precise moment to claim the rabid barney fife award. The house manager watches every step, every pick of dust that floats through the air lest the principle breathe it in. the housekeepers eagle eye is for the blanket to be slightly untucked or toliet paper not folded by 1/8 of an inch or cat litter not scooped precisely. Perfect, in an imperfect existence, among imperfect employees. The wealthiest of the wealthy’s lair is in secret. If you don’t know what lies behind those long winding driveways complete with multi car garages and people to race out to meet you, open the door, then you will never know slaveitutde, or servitude as we like to refere to it these days, political correctness in order, for the rich. From priceless artwork to cupboards hidden with man kinds latest geriatric formulas, the the lifestyle pill of the wealthy is poison for the normal domestic staff. Their privacy must be upheld at all times. Names, fortune masses to family get togethers are discussed secretly behind closed doors and layers of protection are in place so no one knows who they are out in public and sometimes even to the employee themselves. Private gatherings are very private. Surveillance cameras often hidden in every room are there to catch a someone doing something they are not supposed to be doing or taking that no no break are in force. The other watchdogs mainly corporate techie geeks for these high power profile executives are secretly tapping into their employees computers unbeknownst to the employee googling something at home. They want to see what kind of person works for them on a continual basis, their private lives, have they leaked the confidential information they were not supposed to leak? Your computer shuts you down from your webmail and you believe it is a computer glitch, a system default error or a hacker. Think again. It’s your boss. The people who are in servitude to them are in a type of indebtedness. They are in the Yas Massers, anything you want masser role. Slavery was never abolished according to what Lincoln believed, rather molded into modern times to fit and fill the need as it arose. It comes in the form of white slavery, african slavery, chinese and Flippino, Ukrainian servitude. From butler, nanny, chef, housekeeper, maid, landscaper, yard boy to estate manager, household manager, traveling companion, caregiver and caretaker are but a few of the names given to domestic staff, aka potential slave to name a few. The servitude that the employee is made to feel by the principles, even down to the manager, house manager, estate manager can be likened to a whip constantly being cracked at your back without the person knowing it but feeling the effect through stress carried on their shoulders for fear of loss of job if performance is not up to par. Mental games are played by the staff when confronted with someone of more worth and education, emerging onto the scene. The job of the person just became harder to cope with. From the darting questioning looks of the house manager to the accusations of where did your 2 hour shopping trip take you can be part of the end of the game strategy for your sudden retirement from this job. If the hours of doing this type of employment weren’t already long, even more is asked of the person if the person asking feels they can get away with it. Examples are coming in to do one thing your day off, being told that you might have to come in to scoop cat litter occasionally on weekends, if you “don’t mind.” Of course you don’t mind, anything to keep a new job in a bad economy. which leads to doing another thing, which leads to a whole day which leads into week after week of more and more asked of this individual. Then you find out your day off is non existent. That is when the individual is expendable. It happened when the word yes was said. Or the words, I don’t mind. The beggining of the end was created with those simple words. Then when the principle feels that even that is not enough to satiate their personal needs,or the person didn’t fix the best meal they could have, with a wave of the hand, the person is gone. No consideration for the individual who gave up their own life to take care of another’s. 25 years of total devotion was waved away one day when the tax man came and said, you could save around 10,000.00 a year if you hired locally. For a billionaire, 10,000 is a lot of money not to be squandered. It is a couple of suits for the next board meeting, gas for their private jet for a night out or a diamond collar for the cat. Never mind the housekeepers total lack of concern for her own family, but when the job called her, she was there. Now, a 20 something year old with no experience replaces 25 years of devoted commitment. Lest it be known, or heard of the saying of Good Karma does beget Good Karma. “What goes around comes around.” Onto the next one that can be used up and spit out, a bad reference in place to go with the kick in the rear. That employer does not see the employee as a person anymore rather, a means to an end. Use them for what they can give and let them go. This happened to me many times in private yachting as well as on land for the private estates. Especially one couple, where I let them dictate my outcome, rather than owning my own power and saying to them, no, I won’t come in on weekends and scoop cat litter and then fix dinner simply because I am there on my day off. Nice guy gets walked all over on. That nice guy was me. What protection is in place for the little person in all of this? None. Labor laws in Florida are non existent when it relates to domestic staff. I am hoping to change that. Too many a good reputation is lost upon the will of someone overindulged.