First Thursday Coffee Discussion Notes: Forza

Tom Schmidt

A First Thursday coffee discussion on race and white exceptionalism will be at the Forza Coffee House, Lincoln Heights shopping center on E. 29th St., 10:00 to 12:00.

The first meeting of the Forza group, in June, was a success, with about 15 in attendance. (The another Thursday group will continue at the Rocket Market Coffee house at the south end of Grand.) The large number meant that some had trouble participating, yet the discussion was lively and all seemed happy. We will continue meeting every first Thursday, and will start each in the small back room, which can seat up to 7. If there is an over flow we will split into two discussion groups, with the second moving to tables in the front. Please buy their excellent coffee and pastries, telling them you are with the group. That way the cost goes toward paying any rent they rightly deserve, meaning free reserved tables.

That we have an interracial group discussing this topic aids us in two ways. First we generate ideas about attitudes and programs that can be used in our fight for justice and the vitalization of an egalitarian culture, informing the participants of the continuing racism and its ongoing developments. For instance, we continue to have lynching culture, devising different methods used to terrorize minorities every time the culture as a whole or as individuals acts as if it or they had the power of self-assertion, a power that threatens white, Anglo-Saxon exceptionalism, a right legally and conceptually recognized in Stand Your Ground social and legal conventions, the new Jim Crow. Minority cultural institutions, such as the African Honoring of the Elderly, are demonized as not economically viable by the majoritarian Anglo/Saxon exceptionalist culture. And we need not recognize any rights of demons.

The second benefit is that we can practice and become accustomed to listening, conversing, and discussing important current topics with an awareness of our habitual white exceptionalist responses, learning respectful and (dare I say it?) loving participation which we can then turn toward beneficial, productive programs. Each person will be expected to tentatively commit to a weekly behavior that will express the new awareness and developed values.

I have found these meetings tremendously helpful; not only do I find what others are doing, but I discover insights into my own behaviors and what I need to do to better express my values.

Useful topics to discuss: That depends on each individual’s interests. I suggest, for myself, how I unconsciously exercise an assumed, God given right to tell others what to do and where they may or may not go. And how I have the right to expect my government to defend this right with new laws and social forms that assert my right to defend myself and my physical and social property.

So come, bring friends and enemies to our meeting, and expect to have fun.

Thanks, Tom Schmidt