Tag Archives: segregation

The Cold Holy War.

There are many layers to the oppression of immigrants, in our time.

Because of 9/11, both the cause and perpetrators of which have never actually been proven, immigrants of a particular religious persuasion are regarded as suspect by those who assign terroristic activity in a broad swath to anyone to which the alleged 9/11 terrorists’ religion ascribes – namely, Islam.

It isn’t immigration the objectors resist; it’s the threat of infiltrating terrorism, driven by a belief that those who practice Islam are intent upon destroying everyone who does not.

They falsely assign the threat of terrorism to every immigrant woman wearing a head covering, every immigrant whose skin is a particular shade of brown, and every immigrant whose surname begins with Al.

What we are embroiled in, presently, is the secondary effect of a not-so-cold, holy war.

Never before has the separation of church and state been more relevant, been more vital, been more required, if we as Americans are to survive as a nation.

As for the holy war, we must leave that to those who practice religion.

If the government attempts to assign value to anything based in religious persuasion, it is already out of its lane; unfortunately, such assignments are being made, every day, by those in power.

President Trump was described recently by the news media, following his obvious tacit acceptance of the rally chant against the Congresswoman: “Send Her Back!”,  as an “old-world segregationist”.

Perhaps society needs to take a straight ahead look at itself. To what extent do cultural groups self-segregate, and to what end does doing so protect and sustain culture itself? People of similar ilk stay close together. When they do not, or when they are forced apart – such as when Hurricane Katrina scattered the Creole population in the Gulf of Mexico – how do they survive?

Many old world beliefs, discarded by progressives intent upon a new world order, had value. Educated people can distinguish between what is old and worthy, vs. what is archaic and outmoded.

But, President Trump represents neither.






© 7/18/19   Ruth Ann Scanzillo      All rights, including the title, those of the author, whose name appears above this line. Please respect original material. Thank you.



Spoiled Lettuce.

Donald Trump was speaking again in yet another televised appearance. At this point, she only watched to keep her eye on him. You had to. You just never knew what would happen next in the theater of pernicious absurdity. But, she was getting hungry.

For the third time in twenty minutes, she stood at the open refrigerator door. They were still there. Organic spring greens, pre-washed three times.

Perhaps her motive arose from a deeply imprinted, Mediterranean gene expression, but she always spent the three extra dollars to get fully viable salad. And, that first serving…mixed with freshly baked Beauregard sweets, olive oil, Apple cider vinegar, a dash of Parm, a sprinkle of ginger…yes; the perfect gastronomic blend*. And, plenty more, where that came from, to serve an agenda guaranteed by all the gurus to melt all the sludge that had barnacled to her belly over the winter .

But, the week had been fraught with interruptions. Duty calls; deadlines. Easier to throw a cheese sandwich, or spread an avocado on the bread. Yet, this time, just too many vital days of life already passed.

She removed the large, canned ham sized plastic container, and opened it. Sure enough. The lettuce was talking back.

Greens were funny like that. Distinct from their isolated, molding fruit counterparts, lettuce created a certain society around its half life; each leaf seemed completely committed to the survivability of its own species. Why they didn’t all just give it up in chorus was beyond her psychology. No; only a few at a time, the ones prevented sufficient aeration by the amassed population, would begin their dissolution, leaving the rest unmarked by any sign of decay.

Even as the stench of each slimy morsel infused the entire collective, the majority was determined to rule. Liberal servings of spinach, endive, Romaine, and arugula remained. Would she play the conservative at this caucus?

The greens stared up at her, as if to challenge her most resolute bipartisanship, yea, her very morality.

Plus, the spoiling leaves were consistently adhering to the healthy ones, leaving snail trails on the surface of each. In order to rescue the edible members, one at a time had to be hand-selected, wiped clean, rinsed, and patted dry.

Here’s where the real would meet the road. Here’s where the mark of intention would confront the heart of the matter. Here’s where the gamete of the game would either take its chromosomes in the order they appeared, or wreak genetic relay. One way or another – selective euthanasia, or worse – the salad would meet its maker.

First, she decided, condemn the obviously contaminated; then, hose down the entire community. Next, dump the collective into the centrifuge, pumping furiously to spin out and extract every last drop of humid toxicity. Then, pour out the bilious liquid; separate; rinse; and, repeat.

Segregate selected, diverse populations. Lay in flat layers, on and under absorbing material. Wait, for nature to render a verdict.

The next morning, nature’s results were in.

The leaves were dry. They’d carried no trace of the scent of their decayed counterparts. She emptied a layer into a salad bowl, and mixed in the baked Beauregard, the oil, the vinegar, the ginger, and the grated cheese.

But, the salad was tired. Though bearing up in color, there was a marked absence of convincing flavor and texture. Not until most of the meal had reached digestive phase would she note the faint waft of spoilage. Had there been residue on her fingers? Perhaps the air contained spores? Could this be a ghosting of greens ?

Naturopathically bent, she went for the apple cider vinegar tonic, following with a denatured charcoal capsule. The salad had moved beyond her jurisdiction. Only the body, functioning as a whole, could feed the final conclusion.

She hoped the same could be said for the body politik.




© Ruth Ann Scanzillo 3/18/16   All rights those of the author, whose story it is, and whose name appears above this line. Thank you for your respect. *Credit to Amanda Kleckner formerly of Jekyl & Hyde’s/Erie for the loosely based recipe; credit to Chris C. for the inspiration.

Bon Appetit. Namaste.










In Costume.

Last week, many of us watched as impending superhero arch-villain Ultron made his appearance at the Los Angeles premiere of the movie in which he would be so grandly introduced. Of course, the actor himself, the inimitable James Spader, was wearing yellow-tinted hornrims, an oversized charcoal grey suit jacket, and a white knotted tie with some red icons sprinkled across it. But, he described in characteristic detail his Ultron costume for the film: bands of velcroed techno-attachments, and a large, overhead pole bearing two antennae, at the ends of which were tiny cameras. The rest? For the viewers, computer-generated cloakery.

This is a particularly personal observation. I don’t expect anybody else to relate. Perhaps you’ll call it a purge. Just let me say it, and be done.

Not sure where human society got its penchant for entrenchment patterns. Don’t know why people with similar traits self-segregate. I just know it’s true because, from early childhood, I was watching. The Plymouth Brethren taught me how.

Borne in Dublin, Ireland, and then branching out to include the following led by John Nelson Darby, this self-generating Christian Fundamentalist sect was all about exclusive separatism. The objective being to establish the purety of “the Lord’s table” (meaning: the communion fellowship), the distorted belief held that, by raising the standard for selectivity, only those living lives of alleged sinless perfection would qualify.

Therefore, of its nature, and following the parallel of social patterns, those deemed most readily acceptable were first the ones whose carriage matched that of the determining few. Anglo-Saxon bearing, its physicality and mentality, were pre-eminent. Anthropologically speaking, ya hadda look the part and then ya hadda act it. And, best if you could imitate the Royals, albeit subconsciously.

Henry Sweet definitely fit. Short, broad shouldered, strong of profile and mind, he was invited by the panel of experts to join the local fellowship after migrating from the eastern end of the Commonwealth and appearing, in full form, as a street preacher. So also his wife, Mae, of saintly bearing and trusting countenance.

Mum was one of four sisters and, at least in all the photographs, the one with the purest face. Ironically, while she fit the picture, she dreamed of a life that burst the bubble and expanded the frame. Therefore, when Dad appeared, all handsome and dark and feisty and bold, she tore up the pattern into little bits and threw herself in his direction.

When their firstborn son came into the world, he was as princely as he could be. Miraculously, his gene expression had chosen to defer its more swarthy dominance; he had all the right colors – hazel eyes, sandy hair, small regular features, and intellectual precocity. And, he would grow to achieve a prominent place in the sectarian’s hierarchy.

Here’s where I come in.

From birth, I bore every insistent trait of my father: dark brown eyes and hair, olive skin, and the kind of active, expressive intelligence that knows no restraint. There simply wasn’t any other child in any of the rooms who looked anything like me. I was the gypsy, the starling, the odd one out.

You think me a tad preoccupied? You may. I will give you that.

But, on with the show.

Self-acceptance, they’ve been saying for a few decades now, is key to a successful social life and, probably, life in the workplace. One must celebrate one’s strengths, acknowledge and then improve on any weakness, and strive to accomplish, seeking solid relationships and worthy endeavor.

But, we are taught from birth to do exactly the opposite.

We have for our models those who teach us to select what is acceptable. We learn whether or not we fit from the time our ears are developed enough to hear “What a beautiful baby!” As soon as our eyes can see, we observe the directions people take, either toward or away from us. Our tactile sense picks up the accelerated heartbeat of fear and uncertainty, our chemistry the signals of alignment or incompatibility. And, we begin to mirror all these. We behave towards others as those closest to us behave toward us.

I’ve been wearing costumes as far back as I can remember. The one that attempted to match the family of Anglo Saxons, and their precise, daily ways. Later on, the one that more closely resembled what I saw in the mirror. Neither one was really the girl who wore the clothes.

Nakedness becomes some. There are bodies that bear such a natural aesthetic you’d almost weep at the sight of them. Mine is not one of those. Perhaps yours is. One thing is certain: I know how to recognize truth and beauty.

Somewhere, somehow, I got that part right. In fact, my comfort is found within, whenever I look out at the world around me. What I see in you brings both awe and inspiration, pleasure and wonder, to my eyes. So, if you feel me watching, just go about your business. Wear whatever costume you need. But, know that I am truly glad you’re in the room, because I see who you really are.







© Ruth Ann Scanzillo

4/21/15   All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line.