I’m thrilled to announce my new book, Christmas Is: Mischief and Merriment in Manhattan (Constant Rose Publishing, 2017). My fourth book and first foray into fiction is a comedic, madcap love letter to New York, its inhabitants, and the city’s holiday traditions. The story drops the reader in the middle of the Big Apple just as the Christmas season kicks off and carries him/her on to Christmas Day.
If you don’t take a stand for who you are, what you believe, and share the validity of your experiences, someone else will write a narrative for you that most certainly will not be in your best interest. This post is all about platform.
My parents and grandparents used to wield an old maxim when I was a kid: you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. I vaguely understood its meaning as: you can’t everything you want. If I had a cake—a slice, a cupcake, or an entire cake—of course I’d eat it, and that would be the end of that. What needed to be discussed? Ah, the sweetness of youth.
The parallels between understanding matters of race and taking an exam with a pass/fail grading curve are similiar. A bit extreme, but similar. It’s easy to say “you either get it or you don’t.” Granted there’s a whole lot more to it than that, but roll with me on that analogy.
Before we get to the answers, you have understand that given some people’s racial experiences, they’re response of “I’m tired of having to educate white people about my feelings …” is more than a little justified. It is a wholly valid response. I say that not to be dismissive, but we don’t ask a rape victim to recount the experience of having been raped or spell out the emotional horror that follows such an experience simply because we want to know. It’s just not done. Understand, I’m not throwing cold water on anyone’s desire to understand the experience of People of Color, but at its core the experience is human and more relatable then one might first imagine. I say that because, well … People of Color are human just as white people are human.
How come nobody can let the past go and learn to love and respect each other?
A friend of mine who supports leaving Confederate memorials where they are posed that very question a few days ago. And it’s a good question. Why can’t Confederate sympathizers let go of the past? There’s a faction of Americans who believe that removing these memorials is an attempt to erase history of those who fought and died in historic battles. I disagree.
Known to those of us in English speaking countries as Bastille Day, the National Celebration is their equivalent to our Fourth of July.
July 4, 1776. King George of England versus Washington, Franklin, Jefferson, Hamilton, and a band of patriots. Back then, the game was a fight for our independence. And America won its freedom from England, a world-class superpower. Decisively.
The problem isn’t so much that some white people don’t understand “white privilege.” The problem is potentially two-fold. First, they may not understand it by that specific name. I’d never heard of the term “white privilege” until a few years ago; but growing up in the south, I knew it when I saw it exercised … even with my eyes closed. Everyone in these United States recognizes the concept of white privilege when they see it. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this 1-minute video from educator, Jane Elliott.
Here we are again. Another heaping of social injustice served up at the expense of another black life snuffed out with impunity. (Correction: expendable black life snuffed out with impunity.) That in the 21st century, groups of people find it acceptable and enable others to trample upon the humanity of others is a disgrace. These situations beg the question: why is it that some white people can easily grasp what Black Americans experience in the United States and others find it nearly impossible? The reason will not surprise you.
For some, it’s hard to believe issues of race, discrimination, and privilege still need to be addressed in 2017. But all anyone need do is have an in-depth conversation with a Person of Color about their direct experience in these matters to realize that racism is alive and well. With today’s polarized political opinions and rising numbers of hate crimes, it’s more important than ever that these conversations