I wanted to share a piece of history I learned this morning.
In 1988 at Marquette Park in Chicago, the KKK held a rally with around 500 people. This was in response to a multiracial gathering of around 200 folks who had gathered in memory of Martin Luther King Jr. It was noted that approximately 900 officers were dispatched to the area to be present for this event.
There are a few things that I think are important to take away from this event.
First, I want to point out that I was three years old when this happened. This history is not hidden away in a place far far away. …
Some have joked, and many have been dead serious about ruining the holidays with family members this year based on the political climate and the fact that many of our family members showed us that racism was never a dealbreaker for them. The time to prove these promises of standing for truth is upon us. We are all about to learn a lot about ourselves.
Are those promises empty threats? Were those promises simple virtue signaling? Did they help appease our guilt and shame in the heat of the moment?
The easy part is done. The frequent reposting of memes and pseudo-original thoughts is coming to a halt, and it is being replaced by physical interaction. The angry texts are going to give way to personal conversations. The heated phone discussions are going to bring us face to face with those who are in direct opposition to what we stood up for this entire year. …
One night, a couple of weeks ago, a close friend of mine and I drove out to one of our local beaches to spend some time away from the house. Upon arrival, it was clear that being out around that area was anything but safe. The winds were around 60 mph. The waves were noted to be up to 12 feet about 50 yards from shore. The lake was actively making its way across the roadway. The sand was hitting my car with such force that I was pretty sure I wouldn’t have any paint left on the right side.
As I sat there in the car watching the unfettered power of Mother Nature, I was amazed. I wanted to capture the experience. I needed to feel the power, but only within the safety of being a few feet away from my car. I decided to step out and was immediately hit with a wall of water. I got soaked, sandblasted, and pushed around by the wind in a way that I haven’t experienced. …
Survival, I know you well.
You provided me shelter as I spent half my life walking through hell.
From my trauma to dealing with death, you have afforded me the opportunity to keep living.
My breath is finally becoming involuntary, and it is because of the peace you brought me.
This year has highlighted white fragility in a way that I’ve never seen. That’s probably because I’m a stupid-ass white male. However, that’s a story for a different time. I have been perpetually shaking my head at the absolute bitchassness demonstrated by white folks in 2020.
White folks watched Ahmaud Arbery get gunned down in the fucking street, and they immediately started building a case as to why it was justified. They watched George Floyd be murdered in broad daylight, and they immediately blamed him. …
You never know what each new day will bring. Sometimes days are full of beauty and hope. Other days are full of devastation and despair. Today was one that fit the latter category.
Waking up to see that one of the activists I met down in Louisville was murdered yesterday was just another kick to the broken ribs that 2020 had already given me since the beginning of the year.
Loyalty is essential to me. It is foundational to who I am as a person. When someone dies who I met only a few times, I often find myself stuck in an odd, uncomfortable middle ground. Everyone handles grief differently, but I am never one to claim someone as a friend or family if they have not fit into my life in that type of capacity. …
As writers, I feel as though we are charged with being authentic in the way we express our thoughts, experiences, and perception. It’s easy to write about anything other than the things that hurt us the most, yet pain is one of the most powerful tools we have been granted as writers. Frequently I have chosen to share and write about my own experiences that are generally defined by pain, and I have found it to be more powerful than I expected.
I have received feedback from others that I can “paint pictures” with my writing. I have heard people say that I can breakdown concepts and offer ideas in a way that deeply connects with people. I have been told that I have a way of putting people’s thoughts into words in a way that they have been trying to figure out how to do their entire life. …
From sex to insults, men frequently mishandle, misrepresent, and misuse this word.
The power found within every aspect of this word can only be wielded by women.
If that bothers men, they need to grab their fragile masculinity by the balls and quit their bitchin.
Quit being a dick.
In the past six months of writing on Medium, I have been noticing specific trends regarding my pieces. I feel as if I have it down to a rough science as far as how to get curated. I am relatively confident in what the curators want to see. If it’s something personal, relevant, easily digestible for the consumer, a subject that is not too heavy, generally positive or motivational, well-written, has no swearing in it, and is about something that a lot of people may read, then there’s a good chance it will get curated. However, I could also be way off. …
It is no secret that this has been a year of unbelievable loss for many people. I fit into the category of being one of those people. Yet, even within my difficult losses, I am still protected by and benefit from my privilege as a white male in this country.
Earlier this year, I lost two of my students due to gun violence. These incidents happened within a few months of each other. I lost significant relationships with almost every close family, friend, and acquaintance because I chose to stand up against injustice, racism, and oppression. I am currently going through a divorce, which has involved a specific kind of loss regarding my wife of 11 years and my children. Along with this divorce, I experienced the loss of 3 of our foster children when they were moved within a day or two of the agencies finding out that my wife and I were separating. I didn’t even get to say goodbye to those children. …