Please stop.

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Posted by Anne Beltestad on May 29, 2002 at 22:31:44:

In reply to: Re: An axe grinding racist, huh? Now that is!!! posted by Maria on May 29, 2002 at 21:57:41:

Thank you Maria,

Very well-said, and I appreciate your recognition of my right to post
my thoughts and feelings on this public forum without some weird
attack coming out of left field. Thanks for going out on a limb to
put this in your personal context as well. You did phrase things very
well and I think it adds to the same spirit of education we're all
Thanks also to those who have emailed me privately to offer their
support. Again, your support is much appreciated.
Now, I feel I can't let this drop because it seems to be getting
Maureen, I have no idea what caused you to go off on what feels to me
like an unreasonable rant. There was no problem here until you
started accusing me, and possibly Kenzi by association, of limiting
peoples' henna experience based on the color of their skin. You leapt
to a conclusion which was not only uninformed and unneccessary, but
rude, and I would appreciate an apology.
If I were so inclined, I could have launched a counter-attack based on
the products you sell on your webpage. Personally I think "colored
henna" whether with food coloring for the skin or different plants
grafted in for the hair is both misleading and potentially dangerous.
Such a practice, in my OPINION (based on personal and professional
experience) leads to the misconception that henna comes in different
colors. (example: when I first experimented with henna, I used black
hair "henna," the indigo variety, believing the packaging that it was
"100% organic henna." Many people still belive, based on such
products, that henna "comes in different colors.")
This leads people to continue to adulterate henna with, yes, some dyes
which are "safe" as I assume yours are, but also, sadly, with PPD. I
think it has far less to do with the color of peoples' skin or any
individual factor (hormones, oiliness, etc) than with larger trends of
marketing henna as a temporary tattoo.
I have expressed this opinion numerous times in this public forum, and
I will continue to express this opinion until I stop seeing poison
being applied to peoples' skin. Toxic products are the problem. As
Maria says, we are all the "good guys" here.
As for your claim that I am projecting, I think you need to take a
long, hard look at what caused you to attack me in the first place. I
am trying to do my job here, and since this forum is social as well as
professional I saw nothing wrong with posting my (highly subjective
and reflective) thoughts about a festival. I stand by that as well as
by the content of my original posting. I still cannot fathom what
caused you to think that I was somehow the problem here, nor can I
comprehend what, exactly, that problem is.
Suffice to say I am done with this particular discussion, and I am
looking forward to recieving an apology via email from you.


: I really didn't want to expend time or energy on this thread because
: I have alot going on but I just want to say this:
: As a woman "of color" (meaning not white) and a fledgeling henna
: artist, I completely agree that a) henna looks different on
: different skin tones and b)"different" does not mean better or
: worse.
: I enjoyed reading Anne's post and did not take offense. I would hope
: that Anne and others still feel they can freely post their
: experiences and feelings without someone analyzing and
: interpreting/misinterpreting every little thing. While I have read
: some posts that made me think "hey, so what if my skin is darker...I
: still do delicate designs and I still like to experiment on
: different parts of my body." I find it insulting that someone would
: consider us (women of color) so dim that we cannot take
: responsibility for informing ourselves about what we put on our
: bodies , how we beautify them, and exactly how they work.
: I had really hoped not to get into this because I have read and
: enjoyed and learned from both of you. Honestly, when I first read
: your (Maureen's) response to Anne's original post, I
: thought..."where did that come from?" then remembered the other
: posts that I think you were reacting to. After reading Anne's
: clarification, I thought I would next read something like "no big
: deal, maybe I jumped the gun a little" and it would be over. I was
: wrong. I shouldn't have made that assumption. All the energy spent
: belaboring the point and ranting on this board could be better spent
: illustrating your point by creating beautiful art on beautiful skin
: of every shade, in my opinion. What is the point of lashing out,
: attacking, agressively debating, whatever you want to call it? That
: rarely gets anybody anywhere. What's that moms like to say, "you
: catch more flies with honey" or something to that effect.
: We are not enemies here are we? We are not the bad guys. We can make
: our points without the subtly or not so subtly condescending tones,
: can't we? As far as worrying about people interpreting posts in
: certain ways even if the intent is something completely
: different...give me a break. I believe in personal responsibility.
: If I choose to interpret something in a certain way, jump to
: conclusions, or make uninformed decisions...that's my bad. Period.
: I could tell you story after story about being raised in a family
: that was ashamed of their heritage and color.About a country that
: sees lighter skinned people as more refined, higher class, more
: beautiful, etc. If I told you these stories, I would be making an
: observation and relating a fact. It has no reflection on how I
: feel...I obviously LIKE the way I look and wish the situation would
: change. Just because these things are mentioned does not mean the
: person telling the story is perpetuating this attitude. In fact, it
: may be quite the contrary. I apologize in advance if I make anyone
: feel bad with this post. Most likely, I will look back at my post
: when I'm not so upset and wish I would have phrased things better. I
: always do. But I say what I need to say.
: Blessings to all,
: Maria
: : Hi Anne,
: :
: : I assure you that I have no axe to grind...except against any
: notion
: : that people of color should not expect the same excellent results
: : from a good henna paste as any other group of people. But one
: could
: : grind a warehouse full of axes down and not impact the thoughts
: and
: : beliefs of people fixed in beliefs and behaviors and unwilling to
: : admit how words they have posted here, can and will be
: interpreted.
: : I am not interested in expending valuable resourse on axes. Just
: : posting the opposing view.
: :
: : Regarding your comment:
: :
: : : I also cannot understand what sort of axe she's trying to grind
: : here,
: : : by claiming I am either racist, promoting PPD, or both.
: :
: : WOW Anne, that is quite a projection since I never called you a
: : racist or stated that you were promoting PPD. Since it was not
: what
: : I said, you might want to consider where that thought came from!
: :
: :
: : :" Once more reiterating my position: informing clients about how
: : henna
: : : works has nothing to do with the color of their skin; it has to
: do
: : : with the nature of henna. I want to inform, to educate, and to
: give
: : : them results they will be happy with. Period."
: :
: : This is a good position. If this had been your initial post, I
: would
: : not be writing this now. But it was not part of your original
: post.
: : That is the problem. I am very glad that this discourse has
: brought
: : you to this particular point and statement. All was not in vain I
: : see.
: :
: : : "As Kenzi says, pulling the race card is counterproductive to
: this
: : : discussion, and I hope that this is the end of this unfortunate
: : : misunderstanding."
: :
: : I repeat for you as I posted above to Kenzi, the race card was put
: in
: : the deck by others not by me. Why should anyone get angry when
: : anyone separates out the problematic card from the rest of the
: cards
: : in the deck they are holding up. The notion that I pulled "the"
: race
: : card when pointing out some insensitivity inherent in some of the
: : posts here is just plain silly. You can use any defense and
: assault
: : you like to refuse to face the words and potential interpretations
: of
: : those words...but when the dust settles, the reality will remain
: the
: : same and still be there to face.
: :
: : The "Maureen against the entire forum" climate your comment is
: : intended to create is even more silly. But even if it was "only
: : Maureen" seeing the implication in those posts...that is enough.
: It
: : would be great if it were "only Maureen." But, what I know is
: that
: : it is not "only Maureen" and will not be "only Maureen." Because
: : those posts exists and people will come and go from the forum page
: : and read those posts. People we know are here and people we do
: not
: : know are here come and go. My posts are for those
: folks...especially
: : people of color who need to know that they will get excellent
: stains
: : with henna on their dark skin...despite other posts implying the
: : contrary. Am I concerned with being the only voice pointing out
: the
: : problem with those posts? Heck no!!! Better one than none!
: :
: : It is too bad the degree of defensiveness in your statements. But
: : better defensiveness than complacency with the statements made.
: If
: : this discussion made you uncomfortable, I assure you that your
: : measure of discomfort will not approach that of many people of
: color
: : who would read a statement that indicated their henna designs
: placed
: : on their dark skin would not be visible or seen from a distance.
: :
: : Anyone without knowledge of the politics of skin color should
: : probably avoid bringing up the topic.
: :
: : An axe to grind requires something to grind against. Had I an axe
: to
: : grind, this would have indeed been a good place and issue though.
: :
: : Maureen
: :


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