It is tough having your Mother pass-away on the same day as Barbara Bush.
Yet, as the warm glow softens the loss felt by the passing of such an impactful mothering presence; you begin to question this loyalty to memory. Was she not the lady that ripped her red AIDS ribbon from her blouse before joining her husband on the podium at the Republican National Convention? Agreeing, that yes “Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal.”*
As the people around me are speaking of the life and legacy of a woman who brought safety, warmth, and enrichment into their lives. I struggle to not think of the warmongering. I search my mind for any time that is not a war on terror. When my Christian name was not replaced with "that Dirty Democrat." When handing over the book, "Loving Someone Gay" it is tossed into the trash. How do you remember a dedicated racist? A person who used racism as an artist uses paint upon a canvas. The art of racism instilled so deeply in her children, it would take years of new coursework to learn tolerance and compassion?
I can almost accept that she was a throwback to an earlier and almost genteel era of America. But, it is also the time when the "N" word was used with joyous passion. I can accept the warm and nostalgic retelling of a life in which the person weaving the narrative had a much different experience to mine. They must have never experienced the warmongering. The removal of the red ribbon. Or, simply, they have and are better at understanding that when an individual dies, you only speak of the good things.
So, rest in peace. Your legacy is secure.
* Randa Jarrar