Tag Archives: Racism

Real American Book Review

The term “real American” is both simple and complicated. The simple definition is a person who was born in this country or has forsaken their country of birth and has chosen to become an American. The complicated definition is plagued by historical, political, and/or cultural images of who is a “real American”.

Julie Lythcott-Haims is the daughter of an African-American father and a white English mother. Her 2018 memoir, Real American, is about growing up bi-racial in the United States. In the book, she talks about how racism has affected her life and her self esteem.

This book is very good and very tough to read. The pain and anger of dealing with racism on a daily basis is immediate from the word go. I could feel it radiating from the page. If I could have, I would have directly apologized to her not just for my own innate prejudices, but for what the image of person of color is to the outside world. If nothing else, the author is challenging her readers to take a hard look at themselves and how they have been taught to look at some people deemed as “the other”.

I also appreciated the unique format of the text. Though it may seem a little out of the box, it fits in well with the message.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Mental Health

Snow White & Fox News: Nothing More Than a Distraction

Have you ever gone to a magic show and closely watched the magician while they were doing card tricks? The real trick is in their left hand, but they are distracting you by making you focus on what is in their right hand.

The latest brouhaha to come out of Fox News revolves around the updates made to the Snow White’s Enchanted Wish ride at Disneyland. Their claim, as ridiculous as it sounds, is that cancel culture is again rearing its ugly head. The target of the moment is Snow White.

These people need to get over themselves. Instead of dealing with the real issues like Covid-19, the economy, the still prevalent race issues, etc., they talk about nonsense. Its as if these people purposefully put their heads in the figurative sand. They hear and see what they want to hear and see. If it doesn’t interest them or directly support their point of view, it is wrong or bad somehow.

No wonder this country is going to Hades in a handbasket.

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Filed under Fairy Tales, National News, Politics

Takeaways from the State of the Union

The State of the Union tells us everything we need to know about the President.

Last night was President Biden‘s first State of the Union.

First of all, the fact that there were two women sitting behind him is nothing short of awesome.

If there was one word to describe the speech, it is ambitious. Some might say a little too ambitious, given what Covid-19 has done to us, the only way out maybe to go big or go home. Will it require compromise from both sides of the aisle? Absolutely. Will it be easy? To call the process difficult is an understatement. As corny as it sounds, the path back to some sort of normalcy is working together.

After the President spoke, Senator Tim Scott spoke for the Republicans. If their plan was to use Senator Scott to show how how diverse they are, it fell flat on their face.

The fact that they claimed that Biden and the Democrats are responsible for the political and cultural division in the country is pure bullshit. The cherry on top was the idea that racism is dead in the United States. I have two words for him: Derek Chauvin.

After 4 years of you know who, Biden is a breath of fresh air. Though the work ahead of him and his administration is far from easy, I am confident that America’s future is bright in their hands.

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Filed under National News, Politics, Thoughts On....

Thoughts On the West Side Story Trailer

Among the thousands of stories that have been written throughout humanity’s history, there is a reason that some have come down through the generations while others have been forgotten. Romeo and Juliet is one of these tales.

On Sunday, the trailer for the West Side Story reboot was released.

I’m not a huge fan of musicals, but this trailer is just what I need to entice me to see the movie when it comes out in December. The colors are bright and inviting. Director Steven Spielberg was wise enough to honor the original 1961 film via some of the visual aspects and hire Rita Moreno, who played Anita. Moreno singing “Somewhere” in the trailer is the perfect link between both adaptations.

If nothing else, the release of West Side Story is timely. Given what is going on in our country and our world these days, we need a reminder that love is possible, if we are willing to do the work.

West Side Story will be in theaters December 10th, 2021.

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Filed under Movies, New York City, Thoughts On....

I Was Wrong About The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Warning: this post contains spoilers about the finale of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Read at your own risk if you have not watched the episode.

First impressions are just that, especially when it comes to movie or television reviews. Sometimes it takes repeated viewing for a movie or watching multiple episodes of a television show to change the reviewers mind.

In my original review of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, I was underwhelmed. After watching the season finale last night, I have to admit that I was wrong.

I do have to admit that the narrative is a bit messy, but when it came together, it came together beautifully. What started out as an odd couple/buddy comedy/standard MCU fare turned into a partial treatise on the state of the world. Though Sam is known as The Falcon, he is not above dealing everyday racism.

My favorite character is Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman). In my limited experience of this genre, most villains have one goal: to take over the world. They’re pretty cut and dry without room for subtlety. Depending on one’s point of view, Karli and her people are either terrorists or freedom fighters. This murky line has been drawn time and again throughout human history, forcing us to take sides, and determine who is good and who is bad. It is a generality that at best has created enmity and at worst, has led to murder and destruction.

I also appreciate that the character was changed to a woman (and a redhead, for obvious reasons ;)). There are still too many female characters that are boxed in by “traditional roles” and not given the room to be anything else.

It is the type of series that grows on you, which at the end of the day, is never a bad thing.

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Filed under DisneyPlus, Feminism, Television

Justice Served: Derek Chauvin Found Guilty

Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most recognizable faces of the Civil Rights movement, said the following:

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Justice was served in the United States. Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd.

If am to be completely honest, I was holding my breath as I watched the news coverage. G-d only knows what would have happened had Chauvin been acquitted.

I can only hope that this case represents a change not just for the various law enforcement departments across this country, but for the country as a whole. If we are to reach the imagery and idealism that is the backbone of this nation, this verdict is an important step. The police can no longer target men and women of color without impunity.

Though this case cannot remove the stain of the past, it is a what we need to move forward. Perhaps the future is bright in this country after all.

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Filed under National News

Where is the Line Between Protection and Brutality?

One of racism’s side effects is that it makes everything more complicated. This includes the job of the police and law enforcement institutions.

On Sunday, Daunte Wright became the latest victim of police brutality against a person of color in the United States. The officer, who as of tonight has resigned from her job, claims that she meant to fire her taser and not her gun.

If this was a one off event and it was a honest mistake, the reaction would of course be completely different. But because Mr. Wright is not the first person and will sadly not be the last person of color to be killed by the police, it is just another reminder of how pervasive racism is in this country.

Adding salt to the wound is the location of the shooting. The murder of George Floyd and the trial against his accused killer, Derek Chauvin is not too far from where Daunte Wright took his last breath.

There has to be a line between protecting the public and randomly targeting people of color. That line has to be affirmed by both the public and those who work in law enforcement. When then the line is crossed, those involved should be punished.

The question is, where is the line and what will it take for us to do something about this problem?

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Flashback Friday: United States of Anxiety (2016-Present)

Sometimes, the most difficult conversations are the most important.

The WNYC podcast, United States of Anxiety, has been on the air since 2016. Hosted by Kai Wright, the topics discussed are race, racism, social justice, and how we can make amends for the mistakes from the past.

Though much of the last four years have been focused on politics and the previous Presidential administration, there are also discussions about thorny issues that after many generations, are still unresolved. As a listener, I appreciate the honesty of Wright and his guests, making the subject matter as palatable as possible while not shying away from the hard truth of where we have been as a nation.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Filed under History, Podcast, Podcast Review, Politics, WNYC

Piers Morgan Can Dish it, But He Can’t Take it

Criticism is relative. Depending on whose mouth it comes from and the tone of what is being said, it can either be helpful or hurtful.

As an example, good criticism (otherwise known as constructive criticism) can help us grow. I’ve been a member of a writing group since 2015. The purpose of attendance is not be cruel, but to improve our writing skills. An example of bad criticism is the shit that television personality Piers Morgan has heaped on Megan Markle. After the interview with Markle and Prince Harry aired on Sunday, Morgan continued to dump on her. When he was called out for his comments on air, he took an adult temper tantrum, stormed off stage, and promptly quit his job.

When asked about Morgan, fellow British TV personality Sharon Osbourne said the following:

 “I think people forget, he’s in a position because they pay him for his opinion. He’s a royalist, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The generation he was born into, we were all taught to be royalists. We were all taught at school…You fight for your Queen and your country.”

Loyalty to one’s home country is one thing. However, when someone like Morgan ( i.e. a while male in a position of power) uses his platform to openly and constantly denounce a woman (especially a woman of color), that is a bridge too far.

I’m going to end this post with a tweet from Bette Midler, but she is awesome.

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Filed under Feminism, Mental Health, Television

Was Stopping Publication of The Six Dr. Seuss Books from the Shelves the Right Decision?

For generations, Dr. Seuss has been part of our young reading lives. His wonderful books have sparks imaginations and opened the door to become bibliophiles in our later years.

On Wednesday, it was announced that six of his books would no longer be published due to outdated and racist images.

The list of titles are as follows:

  • “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street”
  • “If I Ran the Zoo”
  • “McElligot’s Pool”
  • “On Beyond Zebra!”
  • “Scrambled Eggs Super!”
  • “The Cat’s Quizzer”

There are two streams of thought about this topic. Some would argue that this is one more example of cancel culture going too far. Others would say that this is progress, making the changes that are necessary to learn from our past mistakes.

My thought that as beloved as these books are, the right decision is to end the printing of new copies. If we want to teach our children to appreciate and respect those who are different from them, it starts with the removal of pictures and other media that perpetuates the stereotypes.

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Filed under Books, National News