The N-word: To Be Or NOT To Be?

I undertook an hour’s drive to a suburb of Rochester, N.Y., the other day. The Greece school district was inviting all comers to a most improbable congress; an open forum on the use of the word “nigger.” Yep, you read that right. A local friend gave me a little background explaining that this particular townContinue reading “The N-word: To Be Or NOT To Be?”

“Most people never listen.” –Ernest Hemingway

In Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow, she told the story of a black youth who came to her, as a lawyer for the ACLU, complaining he was being targeted and framed by local police. He had stacks of paper, dates, reports, evidence, but Alexander didn’t believe him. At this early stage in herContinue reading ““Most people never listen.” –Ernest Hemingway”

Global warming, the Easter Bunny, and white privilege

THIS IS MY OP-ED PIECE PRINTED IN THE ROCHESTER NY PAPER, DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, ON SUNDAY 10/06/19–AND SUBSEQUENTLY POSTED ON IT’S PARENT PAPER’S WEBSITE, USA TODAY.COM–IN RESPONSE TO AN EARLIER PIECE BY A WHITE ROCHESTER BUSINESSMAN WHO DISPUTED THE EXISTENCE OF WHITE PRIVILEGE. So John Calia, an old white guy, is angry. In 1961 JamesContinue reading “Global warming, the Easter Bunny, and white privilege”

“Pay No Attention To That Racism Behind The Curtain!”

“Ha, ha, ha!” LOL with the hardiest chortle I can muster. You know how you’ve always known something but one day it sort of clicks in a way that it never did before and you really “get it”? Racism was originally and has always been a way to control other white people. I’ll be darnedContinue reading ““Pay No Attention To That Racism Behind The Curtain!””

“Cause he’s down by the pond playing hockey with the kids…”

The book White Fragility by sociologist Robin DiAngelo has enjoyed a run on the New York Times Best Seller List for nearly nine months. I still can’t quite understand why honestly, many white people have told me it was a real tough-love kind of read for them. In it, DiAngelo submits that she and herContinue reading ““Cause he’s down by the pond playing hockey with the kids…””

Letter from a Williamsville Church

For nine days in 1963 the revered Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King was jailed in Birmingham, Alabama, charged with parading without a license. He had been called to the city by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to bring media attention to a sustained protest and business boycott being waged by the city’s black population. ThisContinue reading “Letter from a Williamsville Church”

Getting Your Hands Dirty

I just finished reading the book Love In The Driest Season by Washington Post writer Neely Tucker. Tucker, who is white, grew up in Holmes County, Mississippi, described in his book as “…the poorest, most predominantly black county in the poorest, most predominantly black state in America.” Despite his parents’ humble status, they found itContinue reading “Getting Your Hands Dirty”

Comfortably Numb

The following YouTube clip is from the movie Kindergarten Cop, where Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a detective who goes undercover as a school teacher. The little boy’s statement is of course wildly inappropriate. Yet the teacher is foist into having to draft an adroit response that avoids embarrassing the tot, while seamlessly maintaining control of theContinue reading “Comfortably Numb”