People Are Taking Themselves Waay Too Seriously

By Source, Fair use,

What about Little Black Sambo? It seemed like he knew exactly what he was doing when he tricked the tiger into becoming butter for the pancakes. And he was black, so that’s merely descriptive.

Where I’ve been living I’ve been mistaken for an Anglo — an ugly American. But my bus driver knew better. He asked me if I were a NAZI German. He’s the first Panamanian to see at a glance that I am of German extraction, and he was being dead serious. I explained that my ancestors came from Germany, but as a kid in Ohio I didn’t even know what a German was. Even when later, I did, I sure didn’t identify with Germans. (Now I do, but not with NAZI Germans. I’m more concerned with NAZI Anglos in America, though I don’t live there anymore.) I do mean Trump and Trumpists, you know.

I know of 5 or 10 other Germans around here, but only by sight. Expats here tend to not talk to each other, and even when we do, it’s in Spanish only and we keep to the mundane . . . no philosophy. We all know we’re being subjected to what, in our minds, is reverse racism, but it’s hard to be offended considering our exalted positions where we once lived.

I sense, but could be wrong, some racism in the other direction. There are a percentage of black, very black people in Panama. Most of the population is mestizo, a mix of native indigenous and Spanish, I think. The black people here tend to be watchful, and are at first surprised when I say hello (Hola!) when I pass by. Little do they know that I’m in the same boat they are, or maybe they do know.

I loved George of the Jungle. My favorite episode was when the commissioner was on the train, and George ran alongside and yelled, “Steel tracks, steel tracks.” The commissioner said, condescendingly, “Yes George. The train runs on steel tracks.”

Just then the train derailed, and slid to a stop in a cloud of dirt. George ran up and said, “Commissioner. George try to tell you. Somebody steal tracks!”

Right? Who’s the fool in this picture?

Please don’t misunderstand me. I find racism to be endemic to the human race, but I’m too good a scientist to buy that shit. We all came from Africa, and those of us with lighter skin needed to mutate to having less skin pigment so our bodies could make some vitamin D from the feeble sunlight up north. That’s the truth. So yeah, white folks are mutants. Well, we all are really — we no longer swing from tree branches, or not like we used to.

By Takinzinnia — Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,




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Fred Ermlich

Fred Ermlich

Living in rural Panamá — non-extractive, non-capitalistic. Expat USA. Scientist, writer, researcher, teacher. STEM mentor +languages.