An Example of the Asshattery of Racism (a story from my childhood)

This tale from my childhood has been remembered several times over the past few weeks and the real moral of the story is just how completely senseless and illogical racism is now back up the clock several decades to a 5 year old Debra……..

My paternal grandparents whom I called Nanny and Pop-pop were pretty cool for old people. Every summer, they would give us a break from our parents by taking us to Ocean City, NJ for a week or two. They would find the cheapest flea-bag place to stay but we didn’t care, we were a couple blocks away from the ocean and boardwalk, we were in heaven.

Please don’t ask me for a logical reason but one thing we loved was to swim in the pool in front of the Ocean View motel right on the boardwalk. We would pay $0.50 for the privilege of swimming all day but once you left the pool area, you were out of luck.

So it happened one fine morning down at the shore many decades ago, my sister and I mustered up fifty cents and started what should have been several hours of fun time in the boardwalk-pool but about a halfl-hour into my swim, Nanny and Pop-pop called us out of the pool.


We just got here and there were no clouds in the sky, no turds floating in the pool, no logical reason to leave so I protested and was stearnly told to get out of the pool.

At that moment, my grandparents were the most stupid people on Planet Earth.

Later on, my sister offered a reason, not logical, not rational but a reason.

Brace yourselves……a black family had the audacity to take their kids swimming.

That was it.

Proof positive my Nanny and Pop-pop were absurdly stupid.


They wasted my money
They wasted my time.
What were they thinking?
We could catch the black?
They had black people cooties transmitted in an aqueous medium?

It doesn’t matter, from that day, they were not the sharpest crayons in the box and anyone with racist views were drooling (can’t come up with a term that won’t offend so use your imagination here) in my world because no excuse anyone has forwarded is any better than the “get out of the pool” reaction I endured as a five year old kid.

My book is almost finished and I need some feedback. Like I need *your* opinion!

falls trailJessica said my book is, for all intents and purposes, done.
She also said she was going to have it as a bookclub book (yeah)
I need to edit it and refine it a bit but here come the questions.

I really need help particularly if you have had books published.

1) The book is really short making it a novella. Would you read a short book if it was reviewed well?

2) Julianna said it is read at a quick pace. I asked her if that was an indication that it was boring. She said, “No, you’re just cutting out the boring bits.” Is there any positive aspect to the boring bits of a book?

I put together a promotional excerpt, (I need to add later,) it appropriate? Is it good? Does it make you want to read the book?

Here is the excerpt…..

Excerpt of Book

Anna had been free writing the night she was given Avi’s lament. She reached into the pocket that bore the handprint of her little nephew and took out the small paper in order to make sure she really did write down the words that were so real in her mind. The crumpled note paper was stained with old dried tears mingled with fresh tears.
“Unwritten, what if you were given the opportunity to make things right? What if all you needed was to reject fear and act out of love instead?”
Anna was too shaken to even read what was written in the book she held tightly in her embrace.

Anna handed Viola the slip of paper and it was Viola’s turn to turn white.
Quickly, Viola regained her senses. The teen’s free-writing confirmed the plan that was gestating in her mind.

Miss Viola took Anna upstairs to the dressing room under the eaves. There, she revealed a full length mirror that had that creepy effect when two mirrors are facing one another.

“The mirror is a gateway to times and places,” Viola explained, “Where you go is up to you; you have free will. I can send you back to the falls if you wish but I could also send you to Zipporah to make things as they were meant to be.”

The tears in Anna’s eyes told Viola which choice the teen had made.

“There is nothing I can do to prepare you for this journey but you must have love in your heart.”

“But….” Anna was filled with doubt but also animated with excitement because she knew in the marrow of her spirit that she had been chosen to right a grave wrong and that she was doing what she was created to do.

Why couldn’t Anna shake the doubts that were brewing in her spirit?

“You will feel a bit of a shock because the body just isn’t used to shifting.”

“You will be either moving between parallel universes or going back in time in your native universe but it is quite difficult to tell one from the other at times.”
A heart filled with love wasn’t a challenge for Anna for her heart was overflowing with the type of love that makes her spirit beautiful. The only thing that threatened to dampen the power of Anna’s loving heart was self-doubt and a gnawing sense of fear that periodically gripped her heart.

In fact, Miss Viola sent Anna with two words of advice, “The heart of a person guides actions with intention. Do not let fear make decisions for you and what you do, do in love. Let love govern your heart for love is the currency of Heaven. Fear creates discord and interferes with the song that resonates throughout the universe. It is difficult to impossible to hear the sound of the universe and move in harmony when all you can hear is the demanding rhythm of your own naked fear. Love, on the other hand, is the very essence of the song the Universe is singing. When someone acts out of love, he or she is in harmony with the rhythm of all of creation. Things have a way of working out in spite of circumstances. There is no explanation but this is a universal principle that holds everything together and unites all of Creation to the other. Against love there is no law, with love, there are no limitations.”


I have several friends from non-industrialized cultures and one thing I have discovered about these precious people is the spiritual world is real to them and stuff happens there.

Shayma is from Iraq and she tells of the Jin that there are good Jin and evil Jin and the good Jin are commanded my God not to interact with humans so if we were to encounter Jin, they are the bad ones.

This is where the Genie in the bottle comes from.

My daughter, Joanna, served in Iraq and in the course of her tour of duty, she wrote me letters. In one of those letters, she was in a humve in a raging sand storm lost and writing me the aformentioned letter. We were discussing this time recently and Joanna said it was terrifying and the shreiking of the storm sounded like tormented souls screaming from the pit of hell. I told her about the Jin and how they supposedly live in the desert and she had no difficulty believing it.

john pavlovitz

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