Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Revisiting Impressions of One Memoir by James Womack...

It's 2018, and much of what I saw changing in my early years, seems to have erupted and come back even stronger... What I'm specifically talking about is discrimination... In 2014, I read the book by James Womack, among others by Black authors. When I finished I asked the question:

Where Is It? Check out my review first as it is the basis for this article...

In November of the same year, I published an email response from James... At that time, Jolande, James' wife was admitted to a nursing home.

Until 2017, a year I hope never to occur again, It was then that incitement of rage, discrimination, anger, prejudice, and hate began to be pressed into the open. Now, as years have gone by, I know what exactly caused James to change his response to my original question to him: Where is it, James? Where is the anger I feel after reading your story? Here's the main chapter from his book about what happened:
Chapter 27 - Bathsheba’s Revenge
              “When we think we have been hurt by someone in the past, we build up defenses to protect ourselves from being hurt in the future. So the fearful past causes a fearful future and the past and future become one. We cannot love when we feel fear.... When we release the fearful past and forgive everyone, we will experience total love and oneness with all.” ― Gerald G. Jampolsky
               Our lives slowly returned to a routine minus my oldest daughter. I worked at DFAS in military Pay and Jolande returned to her job as a bagger at the Army Food Commodity store where she had worked since the summer of 1988. My children convinced Jolande to apply for a daytime bagger position. All four of my children worked as baggers at the Army Food Commodity Store after school to earn spending cash.
       Jolande worked from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. That way, she only worked while the children were in school, but would be home when the children returned from school.  Jolande immediately created a base of customers that loved her. Many of her customers would not allow anyone else to bag their groceries if she was on the premises. She was fast and very efficient, and she had the personality to turn every stranger into a friend, like my mother and Grandma Julia.  She mirrored my maternal grandmother and mother in that way: she knew no enemies. She even had one WWII veteran, Sergeant Happy who loved her and tipped her $20.00 to bag one bag of groceries.
Unfortunately, this generous tipper proved to be detrimental.  Jolande’s co-worker, Bathsheba, became very jealous of Jolande because she had so many good-tipping customers. Apparently, Bathsheba decided that in order for her to capture Jolande’s customers, she had to get Jolande fired. The episode detailing how this was accomplished will fill the pages of another book. However, enough details follow that will paint an illustrious portrait of Bathsheba’s plan and its successful execution.     
Our dubious acquaintance with Bathsheba began in the late nineties. When we met the first time, she suggested that Jolande and I should eat plenty of peanut butter and jelly daily. When we asked why, she replied that it provides increased sex hormones. I warned Jolande then that this woman was dangerous, ill informed, and just nutritionally challenged.  Bathsheba also often spoke of her three failed marriages. I sensed a hint of jealousy that Jolande and I had achieved something she desired but had not yet achieved. I warned Jolande not to trust her. In spite of this warning, Bathsheba managed to gain Jolande’s trust. She was manipulative and had perfected the art of buying other’s trust, but her friendship was agenda driven.  She knew perfectly well from the beginning the goals she worked to accomplish.  She bought my grandson a $50.00 U.S. savings bond for his birthday three years in a row.  She emulated Jolande’s lifestyle and accomplishments. Jolande and I visited her home at least four times for coffee and cake and we reciprocated. Bathsheba bragged publicly about how good she was in bed.  Jolande was the most courteous, fastest, and most efficient bagger on the Army Food Commodity Store bagging staff.  The Army weekly Newspaper even published an article that featured Jolande on December 7, 1989.
 In May 1997, Jolande survived two major cancer surgeries and was absent for chemotherapy and cancer treatments from May through November of 1997. While she was absent, Bathsheba converted a substantial number of her good tipping customers.  Jolande returned to a workplace where the dynamics of friendships had radically changed. The most drastic and devastating change came in February 2002 when the baggers voted in Mr. Judas, a retired Navy master sergeant, as Head Bagger.
Bathsheba loathed Judas when they were equals. When Judas became Head Bagger, he told the female baggers, “My wife had her legs amputated below the knees because of sugar diabetes and can no longer perform her wifely functions.”
   Suddenly, Bathsheba became his best friend and initiated an intimate relationship.  The friendship was such that they made weekly simultaneous medical appointments.  They departed and returned in the same car. This gives depth to a new meaning of “Car Pooling.” It does not take a PhD in physics to know what was happening.
On April 30, 2006, Bathsheba discovered that Sergeant Happy tipped Jolande $20.00 for one bag of groceries.  She wanted this customer’s tips, but realized that as long as Jolande was there, it would never happen. Mr. Judas told Bathsheba to file a complaint against Jolande, and he would terminate her contract.  Therefore, Bathsheba made a telephone call to the Army Food Commodity Store Office at 9:30 pm on April 3, 2006. She left a message using an alias of Jules Stranger saying, “I don’t know her name but her number is 37 and she used language that should not be used in front of a dog. She should be fired”
The next day Mr. Judas went up to the office and listened to the message he knew would be there. He came back downstairs and told Jolande, “You are the best bagger I have, but you are fired.” It took Mr. Judas two weeks to compose the simple hand written termination letter dated April 27, 2006. Bathsheba told us that Mr. Judas worked on the termination notice for two weeks before he had a copy that was presentable. He wrote a statement, tore it up, and then repeated that routine several times daily for ten days. Then he presented Jolande a copy of the termination notice.
The day after termination Bathsheba called my home to update Jolande on the activities in the Army Food Commodity Store. She convinced us that she heard Ruth, another German bagger who Bathsheba did not like, bragging about making the phone call that got Jolande fired. Based on her information, I sued Ruth in the Lawrence Small Claims Court for character defamation and lost wages.  Bathsheba agreed to be a witness in the small claims court case against Ruth. Mr. Judas brought in the tape recording as proof positive that he had sufficient evidence to fire Jolande. On the day of the trial, the judge asked to hear the tape before hearing Bathsheba’s testimony. When Bathsheba heard her voice on the recording, she slumped into her seat and became lifeless. The crowd thought she had a stroke or heart attack. Bathsheba disorientation confused her and did not know where she was or why she was there.  My only witness failed to testify. I lost my case.  As we departed the courthouse parking lot, a prior head bagger identified the voice on the tape as being undeniably that of Bathsheba.
The week following the small claims court trial, Sergeant Happy shopped again in the Army Food Commodity Store and requested bagger Joel to bag his groceries. Bathsheba’s scheming had backfired on her. She became so angry because Sergeant Happy requested Joel that she had Mr. Judas and the Army Food Commodity Store office restrict Joel’s work schedule.  From that day forward, Mr. Judas restricted Joel from working between 7:00 - 10:00 am on the first three workdays of each month, Sergeant Harpy’s monthly scheduled shopping days.
After seeking help from thirteen federal and state agencies, I learned that military wives have no legal rights.  The head bagger terminated Jolande because of a fabricated SOP violation without a verifiable name, address, or contact telephone number.  Indiana’ employment-at-will status successfully triumphed over this minor inconvenient detail. 
Jolande and I have been friends since June 1960 and married since February 12, 1961. The pain of hearing her cry herself to sleep nightly was like the pain of a dagger plunged deep in my chest.  After each attempt for redress failed, I decided to have a one-on-one conversation with Bathsheba.  By April 30, 2006, Jolande had lost a considerable amount of tips and lived in a severely depressed state of mind.   She loved her job and missed the comradeship of her coworkers and customers. This job was therapy to help her overcome the loss of her daughter.  This was the only job other than homemaker that she had ever pursued.  Before marriage, we agreed that a mother’s primary duty was the proper raising of our children in a Christian home.
However, once the last child graduated from high school, Jolande signed a contract and began bagging in October 1988. All of my children's prior customers requested Jolande.  Prior customers of my daughter specifically,  Jolande Wratny-Womack, killed on March 14, 1997, not only requested Jolande, but frequently brought her gifts, boxes of candy, flowers, and prayer cards. Bathsheba was jealous because no one brought her gifts.
I decided to take action. I did my best to prepare myself for every possible outcome. A secret that has served me well in life is to play a mental game with myself where I imagine all possible outcomes of every anticipated adverse situation.  That way when the ultimate happened, my mind would automatically default to the best possible solution.  I knew how to respond because I had already played that tape and responded to that threat.  In my hypothetical situational mind games, I sought an amicable win-win solution for both parties. I thought I had played out every possible situation of how my confrontation with Bathsheba would go.
I was so wrong. 
On Sunday June 26, 2006 after the 11:00 a.m. Mass, Jolande and I shopped as we have done religiously each Sunday since April 19, 1978. I told Jolande to select the items we needed while I had a private conversation with Bathsheba.  I waited until we were alone, the mistake of my life, because I had the courtesy to not publicize her reputation and expose her dark side to unaware customers and co-workers. I was stupid for having neither witness nor a tape recorder.
Bathsheba has the unique distinction of being the one and only woman that I have ever touched in a confrontation. Mom taught me to protect women, not harm them. Bathsheba is also the first woman I have touched in anger. My last confrontation with Herodias in June of 1965 at Fort Lewis, Washington was without physical touching. I adopted a personal policy of non-violence. I believe that God created us equally in the image of Christ. The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. To harm another is to harm Christ.
Not to mention the fact that I am a trained Army combat infantry soldier and a qualified expert rifleman. If I had intended to harm Bathsheba, she would be wearing a halo and I would be in the Federal Penitentiary.  If I had intended to harm her, I would certainly have worn casual clothes and carried a weapon. On the contrary, though, I was completely unarmed and wore a $300.00 two-piece suit and necktie. The only weapon I had was my tongue and intellect.
I structured my conversation thus: “Bathsheba, we both know the game you are playing. You need to get Jolande reinstated.  And you need to take a few days off or I will meet with your fourth husband and expose the games you are playing.” Before the Judas coalition, all baggers worked a set schedule. They were either day baggers or evening baggers. However, Judas allowed Bathsheba to work from open to close every day the Army Food Commodity Store was open. She is the only bagger so privileged since April 1978.
She responded, “Are you threatening me?”
 I replied, “No dear, I am simply telling you what I am going to do so there will be no confusion or surprises.”
At that, Bathsheba stuck two fingers up my nose and screamed, “You black assed M* F* “N” racial expletive!”
Her attack was like that of a cold, slimy venomous rattlesnake traveling up my nostrils; it was mental, verbal, and physical. Her cold fingers in my nostrils were a greater shock than any mental game I could have envisioned.  Her touch was worse than the spit from protesters in California when I returned from Vietnam.  There I was forewarned and anticipated being spat upon as I departed the airplane.  I never anticipated that Bathsheba would jam her cold her fingers up my nose.  Her action caught me totally off guard. I never dreamed that she would respond in the manner that she did.  Her attack thoroughly shocked me and my automatic reflex response was to grab her by the neck and push her away from me.
The moment I felt her cold, slimy fingers ripping their way up my nostrils, I wanted to snap her neck.  Army Infantry training taught me to do that. The anger and built up frustration with her and the total system failure to protect Jolande increased my frustration.
Instantaneously my mind replayed the last scene where dad hit mom over the head.  I instantaneously saw moms head full of blood. At that moment I remembered a promise I made to God that I would never harm a woman. That thought saved Bathsheba from my wrath. She had awakened my most debased animalistic urges that I have successfully suppressed since the ninth grade. This situation could have gotten ugly fast with my bare hands and my uncontrollable anger. She is the only person that I have touched since I broke Fred’s nose in High School in 1956.  With that thought, I immediately withdrew my hands from her neck and backed away.
I know how I respond to anger.  When my anger escalates to a certain point, I become so out-of-balance that I lose my sense of direction and reason as I did with Herodias in 1965 at Fort Lewis Washington.  To counteract this potential anger, I said a prayer for Bathsheba and walked away. 
I should have known better than to think that Bathsheba and I could have an open adult discussion.  I have always believed that reasonable people can talk.  I never in my wildest dream believed she would attack me.
However, she did, and I reacted.  In April 2002, I had both knees replaced with prosthetic (titanium) knees and I lose equilibrium easily when I am on uneven ground.  When I pushed Bathsheba away from me, the thrust of my push caused me to lose my balance.  We both fell.  She fell on top of my left shoulder.  Her weight tore my left rotator cuff.  Bathsheba screamed, “Call the police!”
Since my bullying days at St. Francis, I have pre-played and responded to every worst-case scenario I could imagine. By doing this, I programmed my mind to respond to the threat so that when it happened, I would know how to respond because that response in earlier days had been pre-programmed in my brain.  I had already responded to that threat and knew how to respond with dignity.
However, I never imagined that a woman would jam her fingers up my nostrils.  Since I had not programmed my mind for that threat, I responded with a normal human survival instinct, by getting her fingers out of my nose as quickly as possible. I behaved the way any other normal human would have behaved under the same circumstances.  I was unaware that in Indiana, it is a misdemeanor to touch a woman regardless of the circumstances, even though she touched me first! I paid dearly for my ignorance of Indiana law.
A woman jamming her fingers up my nostrils and calling me the racially charged M*F* “N” expletive was the one scenario that I never played so when it happened, I had no programmed behavior response to which I could default. I did the most logical thing any human would have done; extricate her fingers from my nose and her from my personal space.     
When I got up on my feet, I told the gathering crowd not to worry; I called 911 on my cellular phone and reported that Bathsheba had attacked me. The Lawrence Police were immediately on the scene.  I related that I had a conversation with Bathsheba and she attacked me. They took my statement then verified my statement with Bathsheba.  After that, the officer told me he had to drive me to the Marion County Lockup.  The officer then placed me in handcuffs, ordered me into the patrol car, and transported me to the Marion County Bread and Breakfast.
This was the first time in my life that I had been in a police car, and the second time that I had seen the inside of a jail.  At age thirteen in Yazoo City, I, an altar boy, visited a maximum-security cell with a priest to give the sacraments to a man held in maximum security. When the guards closed the metal doors behind us, the clanging sound of the metal doors sent a chill up my spine.  I promised God then that I would never do anything that would land me in that God-forsaken hole. The Lawrence police hauled me off to jail dressed in a $300.00 suit and necktie.

Thank you for your interest in my saga. I realize that all the statues of limitations have expired. I am not expecting any redress. I simply want to get the message out of how blatant discrimination continues without punishment...for whites... You see, a woman destroyed a good solid Catholic marriage of 46 years because she was jealous. She insulted me and verbally hurdled words at me that cannot be spoken over the airwaves today, she got promoted and I was jailed for extracting her cold nasty fingers from my nostrils. In today’s sexual exposures, men lives and jobs are destroyed over allegations that happen decades ago. What happened to our constitutional right of being innocent until proven guilty?

How does one respond to this type of situation. We've seen it in the Justice System - See Justice in the Round  by Harold Michael Harvey - regarding the number of Black individual being shot in police actions. Then we saw a threat to fire Black athletes who protested again this injustice... Then we've seen the allegations of sexual harassment, some of who have spoken out... What has happened that we can no longer trust that the accused will be heard before judgment? There is a real problem, and it continues in stories that don't reach the news, except, maybe, in a blog like Book Readers Heaven - when I read books, the impact stays with me for a long time...

Here's what James sent me recently practically yelling, "Yes, I am NOW angry!"
Several days ago, I posted the following message on FB but I think they deleted it within hours of the posting.  This definition came up in my daily scriptural readings and it defines the very fiber of which Jolande was created.  Her godparents that raised her gave her a solid Christian foundation that would make her successful in whatever profession she chased  Her choice was marriage to me a total stranger of a different culture and language. When we met, she only knew two word of English:"Yes and No" 
Beginning the day, I announced my engagement to Jolande, multitudes of men and women have challenged me with the question, “What did you see in her?”  I am sure I never fully answered the question with the true feeling that was in my heart because of my spiritual immaturity.  Today, I found the most elegant definition of the worthy wife in Proverbs.  Jolande is the idyllic definition and personification of the Worthy Wife:“When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls. Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize. She brings him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. She obtains wool and flax and works with loving hands. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her fingers ply the spindle. She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy. Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting, the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her a reward for her labors, and let her works praise her at the city gates”.  I Proverbs 31:10-13,19-20,30-31 Since our wedding, each Christmas day, every resident living on our street, regardless of where we lived in Germany or the various states in the USA:  New York, Maryland, Fort Lewis Washington and Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN,  received a plate of Jolande's fresh baked cookies and goodies. She knew no enemies.  It's ironic that her goodness and love of everyone became her Achilles hill.  But is not that what happened to Christ?
It is said that we must forgive seven times seventy. I wonder, because when I heard from James, I grew just as angry as I had when I first read his book... So I asked if I could share what has happened...  
Hi Glenda,
The answer is emphatically YES. I sent a copy of basically the same letter and a copy of my book to president Trump two days ago. Men have no protection in the state of Indiana.  I have a female IMPD (Indiana Metropolitan Police Department) officer who informed me that in Indiana all a woman has to do is call 911 and report that a man threatens her by his physical presence and the police will lock him up.  The women's progressive movement has removed the right of a faithfully married man to protect his wife if she is attacked by a jealous hater. These feminist are destroying good marriages and good men across America.  I pray for this nation daily.  Thank you for being a loyal friend. 
I wish you and your family a Blessed Christmas with all the Peace, Joy and Happiness that goes with this Holy Season.  This will be my third Christmas without my beautiful wife.  February 12 will be our 57 year wedding anniversary.  The 10 days I was in jail, my wife neither ate or drank anything, lost 44 pounds and almost died.  She has not been the same since then.  She had to be assigned to a secured nursing home on October 7, 2014 for her own protection.  She wanted to take revenge against her co-worker but because of the one year protection order (No Contact) by the judge, if she had done anything to her co-worker, I would have ended up back in jail.  I told her that unless she wanted to see me back in jail, she needed to forget what happened.  She worked so hard at forgetting the incident to protect me that she forgot everything.  She has no memory of anything today.  The victim of this incident was my beautiful faithful WIFE. I see her daily but she's incapable of talking to me.  According to her Doctor, the only thing that is wrong with her is total memory loss.  It breaks my heart to see her in this condition. 
I sing to her daily and she will reach over and hold my hand but she can't talk to me.  The ten days of starvation destroyed her ability to communicate.   
I am now also struggling with high blood pressure.  It took the VA from June 1980 until July 2017 to discover that my top blood pressure number ranges between 160 and 180.  I have researched every heart institution in America and no physician can tell me what is a normal blood pressure reading for a person with an Ischemic heart (Exposure to Agent Orange in 1965-1966).  Since June 1980, I have buried three of my four children, nursed my beautiful wife through lymphoma cancer, knowing the ten day starvation destroyed her memory and ability to communicate.
You have my permission to include any part of this note to the original email I sent you. 

James Womack
Subject: I am finally boiling over with anger
Hi Glenda,
The subject may be confusing because it is the same letter I sent to conservative talk show "Chicks of the Right."
I remember you asked me years ago, after reading my book, where is the anger?  I told you it was a learned response.  Daily when I visit my beautiful wife and realize that she doesn’t recognize me, my eyes swell and my heart is full of loneliness when I realize that this will be my third Christmas without her.  I miss her so much that I can't express it in words.  She was the best thing that happened to me.  
Her condition was created by a very unhappy four-times married prejudiced white female hater.  It breaks my heart to see some men's lives destroyed as mine because of an allegation made that alleges that something happened years ago, and in some cases the women accepted payments or special favors and now they cry wolf.  I wrote to 14 state and federal social justice organizations that were put in place to ensure the elimination of discrimination and equality of treatment.  Now we see these very organizations are ineffective and not concerned unless you're a woman, gay or trans-gender.  They're only effective in destroying men in the wrong political party or that have the wrong Christian morality. 
I sent the attached letter to President Trump today.  After 10 years, the Indiana Parole board denied the removal of the misdemeanor from my records.  I am 77 years old and the only crime I have committed in my life is loving a wonderful German woman and tearing away a white woman's fingers from my nostrils when she attacked and insulted me.  I don't even have a speeding ticket.  I have lived an honorable life according to the Ten Commandments and treated everyone the way I wanted to be treated. 
However the real victim, not counting my 56 year of a solid catholic marriage, is my beautiful wife.  She is a good woman but this prejudice hater changed her life forever.  I sent the same letter to an afternoon talk show where I was muted twice for trying to explain what happened to me.  It is so mean and ugly, it cannot be discussed on the airways in America today. Radio host and other citizens who have used the "Nigger" expression have been removed and/or fired.  My attacker got a promotion!   This is what the socialist and political organizations are doing to good men in this country.  It is time for it to STOP.  In America, you are innocent until proven guilty unless some woman makes an unproven or unprovable allegation against you.  Then you are automatically guilty!
Last week I listened to a young man on a local radio show.  His brother is 26 and went into a nightclub in Indianapolis where he met this beautiful well endowed young lady with whom he became intimate.  Citizens under the age of 21 are not allowed into night clubs.  She entered with fake ID.  When he didn't do what she wanted, she turned him in for rape.  He got a 10 year jail sentence and put on the sexual offender list for life.  The security and the nightclub should have been sued for allowing her to enter. How was he to know that she was only a well endowed 14 year old. However, that doesn't count because she is a vulnerable female and was taken advantage of.  I have had all that I can take. 
The anger you failed to see in my book has been awaken.  It has been growing for about 64 years but has become full bloom, and it scares me.  I have to find a way to overcome the loneliness and disappointment in the justice system of this nation that I gave the best 21 years of my life to protect.  I go to Mass daily and offer up my loneliness, tears and disappointments with the blood of Christ on the Cross but that doesn't give me the peace I seek.  Pray for me.  I have to find a way to overcome the anger and frustration I carry now in my heart. 
Your friend,
James Womack
Author:  "Black Dad-White Dad"

Can we realize what is happening to each individual that is being attacked within our own country...Lies are being thrown out and nobody is sure what the true story is... But, when you come across an individual who is tried because of a lenient law that supports any woman...That is Just as Wrong as Allowing the Guilty to Go Free... America, hear one man's story of his side of what happened years ago...The White Woman made false accusations...and got promoted because of her relationship with her boss! I support BOTH men and women when they are confronted with false allegations... Open your eyes, ears and mouth... Pay attention to the words accompanied only by music...

James, my friend, I found two of the songs, He Touched me and Through it All, that have kept me going through the years... I believe God can speak through the words that are there for us to hear...May you fill your loneliness with songs from Him...

James, I thought of this old song when you spoke of
Jolande placing her hand over yours...
Jolande, there is indeed grace and power
in both the hands of James and God who was with
you both during your marriage...
James, hold her hand and continue to sing...
And let His words fill your sadness and loneliness...

The anger will pass; your love is stronger 
And God's love is with you both...even through anger...