Evolution of an All World Peace Warrior


Hey Dave and Gerald,

I don’t think I’ve introduced you both yet. Dave Grant and I went to highscool in St. Louis, a Jesuit school called St. Louis University High. Dave is now an organizer for Nonviolent Peace Force.

What you can say YES to…
When you say NO to war

Gerald is one of Milwaukee’s top artists, unique in his capacity, among Milwaukee’s artists, to handle internet communications with grace and competence. I’ll send you some of Gerald’s stuff in another letter. I hope that Gerald checks out www.NonViolentPeaceForce.org.

He and I have been trying to figure out why someone like myself, some of whose Irish and Black Irish ancestors have without a question been redneck racists, spends so much time and effort promoting an alliance between the NAACP and the Save the Soldiers Home Movement.

I have been flattering myself of late with the notion that I have an identity group that goes beyond race, class, ethnicity, and religion. Karl Mannheim wrote an essay on “The Marginal Man,” of whom I count myself. The marginal man has pieces of identity residing in various groups, some of which are at odds with one another. The marginal man who studies the ancient philosophers and great prophets has an opportunity to have a “species wide” self-conceptualization. Identity with that “group” called “human.” The human race.

I am presuming to be able to transcend my Americanness, my “Irish Catholic ness,” my “whiteness,” my “black Irish bourgeois bohemian ness,” and learn to move in the direction of enlightenment, like Ghandi and King, who had in mind the entire movement of the species “human” when they mapped out their social practice and theoretical visions.

N ‘est-ce pas?

What say?

Clear sailing,


Dear Godsil and Gerald,

    A question posed to me, first it was in Zimbabwe, but

in other forms also elsewhere: “Why would anyone risk their
life for people outside my tribe?” The particularist versus
the universalist. It’s a balancing act.

    Maybe you two want to start a local chapter of

Nonviolent Peaceforce? Or maybe there already is one? I’m
copying Mary Lou Ott in our headquarters office in
Minneapolis who is responsible for local chapters.

    Gravity and grace,

“White” is a very blunt word
That probably perpetuates
Ignorance, Decadence, and Hubris,
More than it enlightens and illuminates.

Black too.


From: “geraldcoleman” <geraldcoleman@prodigy.net>
To: <cmtyroof@execpc.com>
Subject: Re: Feel What I Think. I Think With Words.

I agree with you. . . but what can you do or say. These terms come down from segragation and Jim Crow--- and today’s news. I use the terms but it better then what it was nigger & honkies. Which is used in rap & literature. I didn’t make the world it was this way when I got here--- and
worse. On my birth certificate is says I am “ colored, “ a little colored child. People have white on their drivers license. I’ve seen it--------Negro also. Hey. . . I didn’t make the world I justlive in it. Plus. . . as far as I know my friend is “ white, “ and he’s socialized white.


Hey Gerald,

My Mom was the child of an Irish alcoholic orphan/laborer and profoundly simple woman who cleaned bathrooms for St. Louis Count, including the bathrooms of the St. Louis County Courthouse, where the Dred Scott Case was held. There were about 7 or 8 kids, a divorce, all kinds of family pathology(only one of 4 brothers escaped alcoholism or mental illness). She had to leave school at 13 and get a job to survive. She made her living as an adult cleaning the sheets and scrubbing the floors or bachelors in “Mary Godsil’s Rooming House.” Her teeth protruded so much that she often fought back smiles. She was the lady on the block at whose house the “black and white” bums went for a meal when they could not wait.

Should a “white” woman like Mary Donnelly be cavalierly lumped in with “Nancy Northshore” because they were both

“socialized white?”

I am not saying that Mary Donnelly was not “privileged” by virtue of her “skin color” in this racist land.

I am saying that perhaps referring to your “white” friends who surprise you with their power, courage, insight, “dramatically reduced ‘racialism’”, whatever, as something different than “white” might be worth considering.

The “race” thing, the “identity group” thing, and the “class” thing in this country play nicely into the historic project of the American Taliban, i.e. the continued servitude of the masses to goofy mystifications that retard evolution and emancipation.


Last edited by g. Based on work by Godsil.  Page last modified on April 08, 2005

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