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Black History Month: The Blogger/Social Media Edition

Posted by on Feb 15, 2016

I’m doing something different this time; I’m starting with a video. Watch it, laugh, but pay attention because once it’s over I’ve got more for you:

Did you enjoy that? I enjoyed it a lot, so much so that I spent a big part of yesterday sharing it with a lot of folks for a lot of different reasons. You’re probably asking yourself why; you know I’m going to tell you. ๐Ÿ™‚

The History teacher.
Neil Moralee via Compfight

This is Black History Month, the month where, if you’re paying attention, there are all sorts of folks in all sorts of places sharing historical information about the accomplishments of black people throughout American history. It’s a bigger deal than many people may think it is for the United States because, as you might guess, without black people most of this country wouldn’t have been built. Sure, it was slave labor and someone else did the designs, but the people who did the actual work… y’all know.

Anyway, yesterday my buddy Rasheed Hooda, of whom I’ve written about a couple of times, shared an image and quote by Morgan Freeman where he said this:

“Stop talking about it. I’m going to stop calling you a white man & I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man,” to which I responded “totally disagree.” He asked me if I cared to explain it and I said I offered a sound bite because the image gave a sound bite. I then said I would talk about it here. By the way, this is actually going to be a post about social media so stick with a bit of this backstory just a little longer please. lol

First, you have to see the build up to the conversation and the rest of the statement Morgan Freeman said to understand the full context:

Wallace: Black History Month you find…
Freeman: Ridiculous.
Wallace: Why?
Freeman: Youโ€™re going to relegate my history to a month?
Wallace: Oh come on.
Freeman: What do you do with yours? Which month is white history month?
Wallace: [pause] Well, Iโ€™m Jewish.
Freeman: Okay. Which month is Jewish history month?
Wallace: There isnโ€™t one.
Freeman: Oh, Oh. Why not? Do you want one?
Wallace: No.
Freeman: Right. I donโ€™t either. I donโ€™t want a Black History Month. Black history is American history.
Wallace: How are you going to get rid of racism?
Freeman: Stop talking about it.Iโ€™m going to stop calling you a white man. And, Iโ€™m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man. I know you as Mike Wallace and you know me as Morgan Freeman. You donโ€™t say, “Well, ahem! This white guy named Mike Wallace.” You donโ€™t say it.

In context, his point is valid and has a totally different meaning than what it’s been given. The ridiculous of the moniker of the month isn’t because he doesn’t believe black history isn’t important, it’s that he believes it should be taught along with everyone else’s history. It pays to note that this interview was conducted in 2005 and in the years since he’s called out racism whenever he’s seen it, including last year when he spoke out against the killing of Freddie Grey & the Baltimore protests against the police. Thus, he said one thing and 10 years later was saying another thing; stuff to point out.

The Eagle has landed...
Creative Commons License Beverly & Pack via Compfight

Second, even he must realize that there’s kind of a marginalization of black people (I don’t use the term “african-american” unless I’m quoting someone else) by many people, even if they don’t know it. If you watched the video you saw when the one lady said “I’m black” and the other lady said “No you’re not”, then when another black person was pointed out she said “Well I know he’s black.” If you think that was just a joke, I can tell you that it’s the kind of conversation I used to have with people all the time.

Some of you might remember my post about wanting to be a top 50 blogger. I tend to believe the main issue isn’t that I’m not all that well known as much as the fact that I’m black, which makes me kind of unknown. That might seem paranoid until you go to a search engine, put in top 25 or top 50 bloggers or people on social media and see how many black people are represented. Most of the time there are none whatsoever. Every once in a while my buddy Ileane Smith gets a nod but there are plenty of other folks doing some pretty impressive things who are never mentioned.

I know, you’re thinking I’m paranoid, but I have more to share with you. I’ve commented on a few of these lists, asking the person who compiled the list why there weren’t any black people on it. The response I get from the writer is “I don’t know any.” The response I get from other commenters is “it’s ‘blanks’ list and they can have on it whomever they want”. I don’t dispute the second but I always question the first. Back in 2012 I ran a series for 19 weeks titled Black Web Friday where I highlighted 4 or 5 black bloggers, social media people or black owned websites. I had a larger list that wasn’t all that hard to find, which shows that there wasn’t this great void… just people not remembering who or what they might have seen. At least that’s how I saw it then… and I see it now.

One of the things I mentioned in my post last October about how I promote myself on Twitter is highlighting posts that people I know are posting there, or when I visit their blogs and I like the post I’ll share their links. What I didn’t mention is that I have another list which I call “Black Twitter”, and on that list are people who aren’t necessarily my friends but who I’m connected to and want to share their stuff because it’s good stuff.

I do that because as my Twitter presence has started to grow, I figure it gives me an opportunity to highlight more “folks” and get the word out there there’s more than me… not that any of them probably need my help but I do what I do. There are 24 people on that list; some folks like Ileane aren’t on that list because I have her on my friends list. In a way, this is my contribution to making sure that a month of black history isn’t all there is, at least when it comes to blogging and social media. To whit, I’d like to share the Twitter links of 10 black people who I think you should be checking out, only people who I haven’t shared here before (that knocks out Kim George, who I highlighted on this post about bloggers being leaders):

Steven Wilson

Elaine Perry

Martina McGowan

Sherman Smith

Kemya Scott

Nikki Woods

Vincent Wright


K. L. Register

Jesan Sorrells

The last name isn’t actually in that list. He’s a friend of mine locally who talks and writes about something called Conflict Resolution. I interviewed him last year; that interview is below… and we laughed a lot…

Here’s the thing. Twenty years from now when I’m the same age as Morgan Freeman is now, do I want there to be a Black History Month? Nope, not at all. Do I believe we’re still going to need a Black History Month? As long as there are places like the state of Texas, which removed all references to black people from their schools history books in 2015 except for mentioning slaves and indicating that they were happy (can you believe such a thing?), absolutely! If you want quotes, here’s a great one from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr:

Our lives begin to end when we stop talking about things that matter.”

I hope I made my point. I’ve love to hear your opinion (I think lol) and see if there are any questions. However, since these types of posts rarely get comments, I’m not expecting any. But if anyone says they didn’t see it… I’ll be tracking it on Google Analytics. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Ileane Smith is a top blogger, consistently, because she consistently puts others first, and goes out of her way to be helpful and kind to everyone. She deserves to be on top, and it’s got nothing at all to do with race. Or maybe it has a lot to do with the fact that she helps everyone who comes to her for help – young, old, black, white, Asian, Latin – doesn’t matter. You want to blog? You want help? You go to Ileane. She’s going to wrap her voice around you and make you believe you can do this. It’s never ever about “Ileane.” But we all know her name, don’t we? ๐Ÿ™‚

Morgan Freeman is God and the President and Mandela and–well, he’s just a damned good actor and comes across like a damned fine human being (and I really hope that’s not an act, because I want to BELIEVE). If he ran for President tomorrow, he’s be a shoo-in, because no one’s going to vote against GOD. ๐Ÿ˜‰

That video – that’s just stupid people. But the point, for me (growing up in the 60s and 70s) is that now it’s Black people’s TURN to make fun of White people on TV. Fair enough. Whatever. I’m not sure it’s to anyone’s credit – any more than it was 40 years ago – but it’s their TURN.

I agree 100% that Black History shouldn’t be celebrated for just one month. It’s better than not celebrating it at all, and to shine a SPOTLIGHT on it, for a month, might help some folks “catch up.” There’s some catching up to do, don’t you think? We have Women’s History Month, too. There actually IS a Jewish American Heritage Month, too. I don’t have a problem with it – as long as we’re not all FORGOTTEN or put down for the other eleven. It’s not enough, but it’s more than nothing.
Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Ash Wednesday: Observing Lent from a Secular PerspectiveMy Profile

February 15th, 2016 | 10:41 AM

You’re right on those folks Holly. However, some of the folks I’ve listed have some fairly impressive bonafides also. One of them is a physician and CMO. Another is one of the top LinkedIn advocates. Still another was named as a Top 40 Under 40 recipient in this year’s business awards. Another produces a national radio show and has books that have been on best sellers lists. Accomplished people that not enough people know about who are on social media; that’s why I evangelize about it.

February 16th, 2016 | 10:54 AM

P.S. Texas has TRIED to do a lot of stupid, revisionist B.S. with textbooks, but I think most of it hasn’t actually passed and the textbooks are probably as okay as they’ve ever been (which is to say they could be a lot better but probably aren’t as stupid as social media would have you believe). Remember, I’ve got two kids who’ve gone through school here. They’re not idiots; they’ve received a decent, academic education. Well, except for that chicken worksheet thing…

If I wanted to be a complete biatch about it, I could write headlines like “Texas Indoctrinates Kindergarteners to Believe Fathers are Worthless.” Here’s the worksheet (or a similar one to the one my son brought home):$splssku$ Except that this “worksheet” and image are common and easily found on the Internet and I don’t think it’s just Texas. I think it’s stupid people who think it’s okay to introduce the concept of chickens having a lifecycle, but aren’t comfortable introducing the facts of the reproductive cycle even as they’re introducing everything that would (or ought to) prompt a kid to ask. Because ooooh, sex. Sheesh.

That said, I was so angry I taught my seven year old all about human reproduction. Years later, he asked me “What’s the story with the birds and the bees?” I just looked at him for a long minute and burst out laughing.

“No story. They have sex, just like the rest of us.”

I wasn’t particularly planning to introduce the subject at that age, but why not. I’d been pregnant with him – he was born when his sister was about that age – and it seemed a good time to explain things to her, as well. Kids are smart. Sometimes, they’re smarter than the people they grow up to be.
Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Targeted Advertising: Creepy & Stalkerish, or Wow, You Get Me!?My Profile

February 15th, 2016 | 12:21 PM

I truly didn’t appreciate Texas trying to make a connection between the Constitution and the Ten Commandments in textbooks; that and minimizing black people’s contribution to this country even more than it had already been was more than enough to condemn the entire thing.

February 16th, 2016 | 10:56 AM

Very interesting. I finished up my post for today yesterday and it posted in the wee hours when I was still asleep and yet you and I make some very similar points right down to the Morgan Freeman quote.

As I said in my post, though I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and knew no black people whatsoever, I was pretty aware of a lot of black history. I don’t remember it being taught in school so maybe I got it from television.

I like to hear the entire scope of history and not isolated bits extracted for some specific agenda.

As to the bloggers, I know of and follow a few who are black, but it usually has no real contextual meaning to what we are all blogging about. I tend to hang out mostly in the literature and writing minding blog communities so they’re not very focused on the political hot button items, but instead the subject of books and how to get published and such. If race and politcis is what some people want to discuss then I have no problem with that, but I don’t like divisiveness.

Anyhow, you might be interested in checking out my post for today. Some of the comments I found rather surprising. I’m always hesitant to touch on topics such as this, but in this post I feel I had a justifiable reason for doing so. I’d like to get your perspective on the discussion I raised.

Good topic today. One that is worth examining.

Arlee Bird recently posted…A Change Is Gonna Come (#BOTB)My Profile

February 15th, 2016 | 8:48 PM

Arlee, I could only read so many comments before I started getting angry & wanted to slap people; frankly, it felt like reading the comments people write online for our local newspaper; ugh. That being said, I like your post and I think you balanced everything out well.

As for your statement about the communities you hang out in, that’s why I worked so hard years ago posting many links and why I’ve done this particular post. As I told Holly, one of the folks on this list is a best selling author and most of the things she posts on Twitter are related to writing and publishing. Based on your interest I’m thinking she’s someone you should at least know, whether you stuck with her or not.

As for your remaining point… hey, I’m black! lol Divisiveness is never my intention, yet I’ll address the 800-pound gorilla in the room when I feel it’s necessary. I need to; think about my life. While others can go around and hide what they are and what they believe, every time I walk in a room everyone sees me and knows what I am. It’s what they think of me that they might try to hide initially, until that one off-comment comes… then that’s another thing I have to deal with, one way or another. I figure why should I have to be the one who’s always hiding what I feel just to make others feel comfortable in denying what’s going on, especially if their regard for me might not be what they think it is… that’s how I think about it anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

February 16th, 2016 | 11:05 AM

I will admit that I was surprised by some of the comments on my post, but they also expressed a diversity of viewpoints I thought. I was hesitant to write the post, but I like the song “A Change Is Gonna Come” so much that I wanted to use it for my Battle and since I try to always include some related text for the benefit of those who don’t give a hoot about those Battle posts that I do I wrote about a topic that was related to the song.

As you know I will sometimes touch upon some degree of controversy, but there are some topics that I tend to shy away from. This is one of those topics. I was not necessarily dismayed by the response to my post, but I was somewhat surprised. I guess we shouldn’t be upset by candor as it gives us some idea about how others feel and how much they know.

I appreciate your checking out the post and giving me your thoughts on it. So far it seems there is some biased leaning in my comment section for the post.

Arlee Bird recently posted…A Change Is Gonna Come (#BOTB)My Profile

February 16th, 2016 | 11:17 AM

Truthfully, I wasn’t surprised by any of the comments you got. That’s kind of how it goes whenever a subject like that comes up and it’s not someone like me writing it… unless it’s in a local newspaper, where people get to hide behind fake names and be intentionally rude. Still, your post was very good so kudos to you.

February 18th, 2016 | 1:33 AM

Hi Mitch.
Black History Month
Sounds like a good way
To learn so much
About the culture
Traditions and history.
We love Morgan Freemanโ€ฆ
What a great actor,
What a great man.
Hear he has turned
His entire setae into
A bee farm?
Is that true?
Love the interview..
Typical Mr. Morgan Freeman.
A brilliant mind.
Now to head over to your post on
Wanting to be a top 50 blogger
And learn some of
Your awesome tips.
Thanks a lot for sharing.
Best wishes and regards.
Vee N Ric recently posted…Offering Prayers to Lord ShivaMy Profile

February 16th, 2016 | 3:59 AM

I don’t know enough about Freeman to know what he may or may not have done with his estate, but I’m thinking that’s probably an urban myth. lol

February 16th, 2016 | 11:07 AM
Rasheed Hooda:

Thanks for an excellent response, and the mention.

Amazing how things can be taken out of context to mean opposite of what it was intended mean.

Yes, racism is alive and well and will remain so as long as we, all of us, white, black, brown, purple or whatever, insist on identifying ourselves and others as such.

BTW, I don’t think white people have a monopoly on racism, they just have the numbers to discriminate on the basis of racism.

I need to get busy reading some more good stuff from the folks you mentioned.

I love you, man!

February 16th, 2016 | 10:42 AM

Thanks Rasheed. Actually, in this countries minorities can’t be racist based on the true definition of racism. What’s amazing is how that definition has changed over the years from what it was in the 70’s when black people first brought it up to the masses. It used to have the addition that included “having power over those they discriminate against”. Then again, since the powers that be also write the dictionaries, I could see why they’d want to remove that connotation; if it were me, I’d probably want to try to hide from that “privilege” thing that’s heaped on all the time also.

Here’s the overall issue. It’s a pipe dream that racism, bigotry or whatever is ever going to end. The issue is that once something goes bad, people start looking for someone to blame, and they always, ALWAYS, blame the group that’s not only different but there’s fewer of them than everyone else. That’s the way it’s been throughout history, whether it had a name or not. Until this country, and other countries by the way, decide that everyone truly deserves a fair shot (which I use instead of equal; there’s no such thing) in this world, which includes education, nutrition, health and finances, and are willing to do whatever is necessary to get there, we will have division and we will be distrustful and separate and unequal and… well, any other bad word you can think of to throw in there.

February 16th, 2016 | 11:15 AM

Well, if so, the Toronto Sun is perpetuating it – with quotes from Freeman and everything:

And so is Freeman, himself: (After the rightful eye-rolling at Fallon’s silliness…) He’s a brave man. Probably going to die by bee stings. But he “resonates” with the bees. Uh huh. Brave or foolish? But it’s Morgan Freeman, so I’m just going to go with brave and gives no ****s.
Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Targeted Advertising: Creepy & Stalkerish, or Wow, You Get Me!?My Profile

February 17th, 2016 | 9:27 AM

I went looking at information afterwards and I see that he’s said it & is doing it. That’s why we start worrying about people driving at his age… yeah, I said it!

February 18th, 2016 | 1:34 AM

Lots of folks of all colors have “impressive bonafides” and no marketing skill (or desire to learn). We have to help promote the people we like – doesn’t matter who they are or what their background, if no one’s heard of them, no one’s heard of them. They might’ve quietly, single-handedly cured some rare form of cancer, but unless you’ve had that cancer or lost a loved one to it or had a loved one saved from it, you probably don’t know who they are.

If I blogged only about women’s issues, would you and I even be having this conversation? If I hung out exclusively with the Mom Bloggers, I might have quite the following – among moms who blog. But would you know me? Even if you did, would you feel comfortable commenting on my blog as much as you do? What if I blogged about white feminism? ๐Ÿ™‚ Would you ever have anything to say? Shared interests and approachability are important factors. Back to the disconnect we had on the interpretation of “it’s not about you” – is the conversation inclusive or exclusive?

I’ll check out the folks on your list. Because you recommend them. Not because they’re black, white, male, female, or whatever – but because if you recommend them, I’ll probably find them interesting. And if they aren’t well known or recognized as they should be, I still think it’s at least partly lack of self-promotion and promotion by others to a wider audience.
Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Targeted Advertising: Creepy & Stalkerish, or Wow, You Get Me!?My Profile

February 17th, 2016 | 9:37 AM

Holly, I have to kind of call you out on this… based on what I wrote on my other blog, because you’re kind of missing the point or going around it. I’m highlighting black people for a specific reason on this post. I don’t care about all the other people in the world who have bonafides on this post because this post is about black people who have those bonafides that people don’t know about that I’m trying to highlight. It kind of seems dismissive of my intention because you brought up women… do you know how many lists there are of top women bloggers and top women in social media? Tons! Do you know how many there are about black people in social media? I think I found 2. At least I found a few more talking about black bloggers but the newest was from 2012.

So, women are covered… big time. I’m not even trying to get more listings of black bloggers; I’m hoping to highlight a few folks so that when others are creating top 50 lists and, gasp, someone happened to see this blog post listing some quality people, that they might check them out, find them worthy, and add them to a list or two.

Please… let me have one, this one, for this post, where it’s really more about highlighting the accomplishments of a few black people, only 10 at that, without it having to be about the rest of the world… and I promise not to do it (this way) again for another year… when Black History Month comes up once more. Please?!?!? ๐Ÿ™‚

February 18th, 2016 | 1:42 AM
Rasheed Hooda:

The reason I said that whites don’t have a monopoly on racism is because as you know I grew up in India and Pakistan where most people are brown, but racism is alive and thriving there. It is not based, rather than skin color, on ethnicity and “religious” classification. I am sure you’re familiar with the infamous term “untouchables.”

Then there is regional prejudice where people from certain parts looked down upon or mistreated because of their ancestry.

February 17th, 2016 | 5:56 PM

Ah, you brought in different countries; I thought you were only talking about the United States. Well, when you look at the rest of the world, their racism seems to be centered more around the ruling classes of each country. In some countries, it’s the folk who are homogeneous as opposed to, what did you call them, foreigners who try to assimilate into the culture, or the darkest people in those countries; it almost never goes in the other direction (although I hear Nigeria is one of those countries where it’s better to be darker).

I wonder if other cultures are ignored in those countries, especially since they seem to talk about the United States so much…

February 18th, 2016 | 1:47 AM

I’m sorry if anything I said came across as “dismissive.” It wasn’t meant to be. I was speaking about women because I AM one; I thought it would be presumptuous of me to speak about black bloggers as if I had any experience there – but I think there are some parallels to be drawn, depending on our “target audiences” and how broad or narrow those are.

How did we meet, Mitch? Do you think either of us would know that the other existed if we hadn’t been actively promoting and networking and not pigeonholing in a particular “niche” as bloggers? And we’re still – neither of us – on those Top 50 lists. I’m just saying that no matter how worthy or brilliant they are, they and their fans have to promote them.

How about these folks, Mitch? I find them more interesting than MLM and social media gurus:

How about the black voices THEY choose to amplify on social media? I’m not trying to take anything away from your highlighting talented black bloggers – I’d like to see you do MORE of it.
Holly Jahangiri recently posted…Looking for the Perfect, One-of-a-Kind Guitar?My Profile

February 18th, 2016 | 2:26 AM

I’ll check each and every one of these out; I need more “folks” in my Twitter list to help highlight.

I don’t remember when or where we met, and you’re right about the networking. This is a different kind of networking though. I mean, you met me, so if you decided to put together a list of… well, whatever, and I did that sort of thing you couldn’t very well say “I didn’t know any black people who did this”. That’s my intention, to eliminate that “I don’t know any” mess when and where I can, especially as my Twitter presence grows.

February 18th, 2016 | 10:48 AM

Do not want to believe that in the 21 century, the problem of racism is so acute. I hope in the near future our society will grow.
Thanks for the interesting post.

February 18th, 2016 | 4:08 AM

Unfortunately, it is; we can always hope for the best.

February 18th, 2016 | 11:17 AM

Wait, what, there are people who say “I didn’t know any black people who did…”? WHAT?

Do they live under a ROCK?

Talk about a large number of black people doing something the vast majority of humans will never, ever get to do:

Oh, and here’s another I’d put on my personal “Top 50” of black bloggers:

Michael Twitty of

Mitch, I think you need to get out more. ๐Ÿ™‚
Holly Jahangiri recently posted…The No-Drama Guide to Who to Follow on TwitterMy Profile

February 18th, 2016 | 10:57 AM

I don’t need to get out more; I already know a lot of this stuff. These are lists I’m talking about; I mentioned it in the post above. lol

I don’t have Tyson in this list… because I have him in a different list (he’s Neil DeGrasse Tyson after all! lol)

February 18th, 2016 | 11:19 AM

Okay, okay – I was just starting to worry I knew more about prominent, accomplished black people than you did, Mitch. Just trying to help you build that list. ๐Ÿ™‚

True about Neil. He may be a space alien.
Holly Jahangiri recently posted…The No-Drama Guide to Who to Follow on TwitterMy Profile

February 18th, 2016 | 11:21 AM

He’s the only person in the world I’ll acknowledge is smarter than me… and that’s saying something! lol

February 18th, 2016 | 11:29 AM

P.S. I was pretty sure you knew about Obama. I was just teasing you with that link. ๐Ÿ˜›

I wasn’t sure if you knew about Admiral Michelle Howard (had to slip in a woman – couldn’t help myself, there, and I’m sorrynotsorry about that!)

I’m pretty sure I introduced you to Michael Twitty.
Holly Jahangiri recently posted…The No-Drama Guide to Who to Follow on TwitterMy Profile

February 18th, 2016 | 11:24 AM

As far as astronauts go, Mae Jemison was another woman I was going to marry someday… following Natalie Cole and a host of other ladies ๐Ÿ™‚

February 18th, 2016 | 11:31 AM
Jesan Sorrells:

“Something called conflict resolution”??? LOL. I thought it was conflict resolution….anyway…Thanks for the shout-out, Mitch. As a generation removed from you and as a person two generations removed from Morgan Freeman, and as person who is aware of the history of civilizations, a month devoted to black history has always been an interesting phenomenon to me. Black people have always struggled in this country with identity. And when the Myth of the West (which is a myth that America is built on–in addition to Manifest Destiny) is exploded by various identities, meaning, and mattering, all kinds of conflicts erupt. Identity is a slippery thing–particularly these days–and in particular in America racial identity is slippery. So…I don’t have any conclusions out of this ramble. But thanks for the shout-out!

Jesan Sorrells

February 19th, 2016 | 5:32 PM

LOL! Good stuff Jesan, and I could have just said conflict resolution but then it wouldn’t be me.

We obviously have issues of race in the world and in my opinion, since we have forces looking to wipe any minority participation in the history of this country from the history books, suddenly Black History Month becomes even more important.

Now, when I start seeing some school history books mentioning that the first person killed in the Revolutionary War was black along with a few other contributions leading through the Civil War, and while I’m at it happens to mention how this country tried wiping Native Americans off the map, I might, MIGHT, think this country is ready to be fair and that we won’t need a month anymore. Unfortunately, we both know it’s not happening in either of our lifetimes, no matter who the president is so I’ll glom onto the only thing I know we have.

By the way, you’re one of those folks I hope gets to have a hand in leading towards a new future; yup, now the pressure’s on! ๐Ÿ˜‰

February 20th, 2016 | 11:34 PM

That really is the key, Jesan, isn’t it? When our personal identity – whatever that hinges on – and the myths we want to believe come into conflict with others’ identities, their “meaning and mattering” (which may be different from our understanding and personal experience), we’ve got issues. Lots of people are resistant to change; NO ONE wants their myths and identities “exploded.” ๐Ÿ™‚

I remember going to a diversity workshop at work, about 20 years ago – and we all stood under posters that we felt described our own personal identity best. I stood under “parent.” The man next to me described how he worried about being “mommy-tracked” because he put his kids first, instead of his job, like he thought the other guys thought he should – because he wasn’t standing under the poster that said “engineer” or “employee” or whatever. It was important to him to attend all of his kids’ school and sporting events, and he worried that this would mean getting passed up for promotions and opportunities. And I remember thinking, “Wow, here’s a man who really GETS it.” Of course I’m sure more do, but they aren’t brave enough to put it into words and say it out loud. Anyway, it really is about identity – who you are and what you value at the very core of your being – and empathy.
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February 19th, 2016 | 6:35 PM

Hi Mitch,

I really enjoyed the discussion, and especially the back and forth conversation with Rasheed Hooda who I found to have some very crisp insights.

You’re right about equality or fairness or the end of racism as being just a pipe dream. But we can all work together to respect one another… on a social and political level of course, but especially (for me) on a personal level.

I’m always focused on the person I’m standing in line with at the grocery store than some broad stroked characterization of a “typical” person of one race or religion or gender. Ideas are easy to come and easy to go, but stretching out your hand to the person standing next to you… that’s the “true meaning of life”… if there ever was one.

Thanks for the list of great bloggers, I have many of them on my speed dial when I make the blogging rounds. They’re good!

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February 24th, 2016 | 12:14 AM

Thanks for your comment Donna & for sharing this on Twitter. Being a military kid, I don’t have problems with anyone until they make me have problems with them. I notice everyone though because I like to know what’s going on around me. Same with being online. I check those lists (mainly hoping to see my name on them lol) but when I see a lack of diversity… well, I’ve stopped calling them out on those particular posts, but I always cringe and feel overlooked for black people as a whole.

This was just my small attempt to get the discussion going, and I appreciate your assistance in spreading it further. ๐Ÿ™‚

February 24th, 2016 | 12:26 AM

Well, I have needed time for cogitation on this. I have left this post open on my computer since the day I received notice of it. I went immediately to the SNL video and howled. However, that was appreciation of the concepts since I hadn’t yet seen Beyonce’s video. After seeing that I had even more thinking to do. That carried a a lot of history and thought-provoking bytes.

At first my thinking has been hung up on Black History Month. I had never thought of it in this context but I totally agree. And personally I think the same applies to Women’s History.

But in my thoughts on Beyonce, and marginalization, and what my role might be in all of that – I went down the rabbit hole of self-examination,dismay over our inability to see outside of our own culture, despair over our political horizons, and stuck thinking in general.

And then come the Oscars. I see that you have post on that but I haven’t read it yet. I’m still back here wondering if I even have a right to comment from my sheltered life here.

I suppose I can only speak to my gratitude for you and for all of the people who stand up and call attention to misshapen patterns.

In a world of fear and ignorance led by really scary people (must I name him?) it is good to be questioned. It is good to spend a couple of weeks in deep thought. (As you can see, I haven’t even written on my own blog – though I can’t blame that all off on you:)

Thank you, Mitch.
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March 3rd, 2016 | 2:18 PM

First, thanks for not blaming me for your not writing on your own blog. lol

Second, you always have the right to comment on anything, anywhere, my blog or not. That’s why we write these things, and no matter what comments are always welcome… even if we don’t always agree with the person commenting.

Third, there are times when it seems something relatively innocuous becomes “a thing”, and at that point we either decide to ignore it as if it didn’t happen or talk about it to see what people might have to say about it. Truthfully, I still haven’t seen the original Beyonce video because, well, I’m not a great fan and don’t own any of her records, but I did see the Super Bowl and totally missed the symbolism of it all. Why? Because I wasn’t looking to be offended and was surprised that others were looking for that very thing.

That’s really what it’s all about. There are people looking to be offended. There are people offending without realizing they’re doing it. A couple of days ago there was a local news story about a principal and teacher at one of the schools that set something up that they called the “Slave Game”, which was intended to teach kids about the Underground Railroad. Of course parents were outraged, and the school apologized for their obviously (in looking back) bad decision. Thing is, their motive was wonderful but the delivery was way off base. That kind of thing happens often, which is why on my business blog I talk about diversity all the time. That particular school doesn’t have any black teachers; I’m thinking if they’d had one that the teacher would have made a suggestion that would have changed the outcome and it wouldn’t have made the news.

I appreciate your commenting on this post; it was great! ๐Ÿ˜‰

March 4th, 2016 | 12:41 AM
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