Sometimes my daughters read my blog and they often tell me if I’ve crossed over any lines.

It’s unfortunate that in written communication especially, it’s so easy to misconstrue tone and meaning to people’s words.

I’ve stopped responding to people’s good news via email with a ‘Good for you’, because I figure it can so easily be misconstrued as being sarcastic instead of heartfelt.

Even though ‘good for you’ is the pithiest way to say that you’re happy for someone.

My daughter informed me the other day that my post Stonehenge and Immigrant Culture, came across as racist.

My first reaction was, ‘oh dear’. My second reaction was, ‘c’est la vie’.

My daughter particularly referred to the phrase ‘white crap’.

Thing is most bloggers are smarter than me. They avoid ALL controversy by keeping their posts as mild as pablum.

Is it shocking to think that immigrants can be as racist towards mainstream culture as some mainstream people are towards immigrant culture?

I guess it is, but then that was the whole point of the post.

Racism goes both ways, and there was a time when I actually believed that if I said something negative about white culture it didn’t constitute racism because racism could only be perpetrated by the powerful majority towards the unpowerful minority.

Yeah, right.

I may not always be smart–but I can learn.

I’ve been fortunate because I’ve made friends with some wonderful people and some of my friends have been kind enough to point out the error of my ways.

The fact that my son in law did indeed call Moby Dick ‘white crap’, is just an honest reflection of how he felt. And it becomes really odious when political correctness gets to the degree that we simply can’t be honest.

I still don’t feel like Moby Dick is ‘white crap’ in any way at all. In fact ever since I wrote about that anecdote I had a bit of an epiphany.

Maybe Herman Melville was really referring to how people who’ve been injured or abused in their past keep hankering after those that injured them, being locked in a death battle trying to get vengeance, and maybe it is just as futile as Captain Ahab chasing a whale, and maybe my son in law was spot on in that it is an animal and how can you take it personally if it chews off your leg?

The more I think about it the more certain I become that this is in fact the whole point!

We’re not all getting in ships to chase after maniacal sperm whales but holding grudges against things people have done to us in the past is just as futile.

It’s just too bad though that the language of Moby Dick was too dense for me to get through.

In my twenties I started reading a LOT of classics. I had grown up thinking that classics, being so old, must be boring. But after reading Jane Eyre, I started to view them differently.

I realized that they were classics because they were so old and had passed the test of time. That generations had found value in them, so I started seeking out classic literature.

Read one Thomas Hardy novel Far From the Madding Crowd and thought ‘meh’.

Read all of Mark Twain’s works except for A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

Read all of Jane Austen–loved them all but particularly Mansfield Park.

So anyone who thinks that I consider ‘white’ culture crap, obviously hasn’t been tuning in to all of what I’ve been saying.

When my daughter told me that I sounded racist I just told her that if people get that impression then they haven’t been reading all my work. They haven’t been seeing all the admirable things I’ve said about white/western literature.

The fact is that American and British literature (‘white’ literature) is the most popular or at least the most prestigious literature in the world today.

The Americans and British really know how to tell a story!

That’s one of the reasons why I’ve been immersing myself in ‘white’ literature. I’ve been absorbing their storytelling techniques and applying the structure and format to stories from my culture that I want to tell.

I’m not copying their content! I’m copying their framework.

It’s a very good idea to do this because as a reader is reading about another culture, living it vicariously, they do need to feel ‘grounded’ in some way. Not totally disoriented. By having a solidly ‘western’/’white’ framework to my stories it gives the reader a sort of reassurance of common ground.

And in doing so, I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been developing a following of sorts.

I’m so fortunate to meet some of the people who support my work.

I was in Kingston, Ont. on Tuesday and Wednesday visiting schools because a dear friend of mine who works on social issues in the schools there arranged a sort of tour for me.

She was introduced to my work way back when she read Dahling if You Luv Me Would You Please Please Smile.

She had taken me for lunch at a small restaurant when we started discussing the state of the world and she said something interesting. She had just told me about this girl she’d been dealing with who’d suffered horrendous abuse at the hands of an old man and she said, “The world would be so much better if women ran it.”

Nope. Don’t agree.

I’ve watched too many episodes of Judge Judy where there are these really really stupid bimbos who do all kinds of stuff to exboyfriends, exgirlfriends, parents, you name it and who are just as bad as any man on the show. And too many shows of Till Debt do Us Part and seen too many women who ran their family’s finances into the ground because they couldn’t stop shopping! I felt so sorry for their long suffering husbands!

Women are not automatically better than men.

I guess that means I’m not a feminist.

So be it.

I want justice for everyone, and as bad as men can be, women can be just as bad, or worse.

I told my dear friend, “Every time I start thinking about how horrible men can be, I remember that Kenny Rogers song, “Lucille.”

And then I started singing the chorus to her, right there in that restaurant:

“You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille,

Four hungry children and a crop in the fields.

I’ve had some bad times

Lived through some sad times

But this time your hurting won’t heal.

You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille.”

Men don’t have a monopoly on being brutes or even being evil.

That’s why in my book Wanting Mor I really didn’t make it about the father being the only baddie. The stepmother is equally to blame.

White /black, western culture/eastern culture, men/women, none of them are automatically superior to the other.

It really does come down to our actions.

We are defined by our actions.

Not by what culture, race, religion or gender we were born into.

And it behooves us to remember that.