I was out for one of the two walks I’ll take today when I saw an older black man get extremely startled. He was edging his lawn and didn’t see a woman walking behind him in the street until she was quite close. Not too close, mind, but he jumped so hard, I was startled, … Continue reading In the Age of the ‘Rona It’s Mask or Die: But If You’re a Black Man, Apparently It’s Complicated
Words I never thought I’d utter, ever LOL. But Amandala Stenberg is kind of fabulous. I knew it when I saw her bad ass little self in the movie Columbiana, but now I see she’s just as impressive in real life. Amandla commented on Kylie Jenner’s recent photo of herself with cornrows, and my first … Continue reading I am seriously in love with @amandalastenberg… #race #blackculture
Sure enough, the media took the image of Toya Graham, a mother at the end of her tether, and made her the face of the Baltimore riots. She even had her own hashtag: #momoftheyear. Many called her a hero, and suggested that if more parents took their duties as seriously as she did, the riots might not have happened.
But perception is a funny thing. Another black young man had just lost his life at the hands of the police. Why was the media so eager to splash this image across every media outlet? Continue reading “Freddie Gray, Almost Eclipsed by the Baltimore Mom #momoftheyear #racism #perception”
I’ve talked to many diversity executives over the years, and almost all have confirmed that in order to create real traction for their initiatives, to even gain acceptance of their presence and value, they have to talk about diversity like a business. That means hard numbers, tangible connections to key stakeholders and strategic alignment to established business goals and needs. No soft stuff.
Emotion, historical baggage, discussions of right or wrong, or playing the blame game and pointing fingers, these things do not work, they say. In fact, these things actively work against the diversity executive, even in situations where there are acknowledged or apparent workforce diversity issues.
But according to some new research, numbers may not always work to sway hearts and minds and promote positive action. A study from Stanford University psychologists Jennifer L. Eberhardt and Rebecca C. Hetey revealed you can’t fight racial injustice with statistics either. Continue reading “Black Skin Means Bad News #diversity #race #discrimination”
When the Trayvon verdict came down a week ago, my first thought was, I need to write about this. It’s news. I should be tendering an opinion. I am a member of the media, after all. But somehow I couldn’t. I couldn’t summon one ounce of passion over the verdict. My poor mother, on the other hand, was so angry she cleaned the stove – a hated chore she accomplished so masterfully that the sucker looked brand new when I came to visit days later.
I was blasé about the entire trial. I half listened to testimony, not even bothering to cringe or roll my eyes when they put that ridiculous, practically illiterate girl on the stand. Yeah, that helped. And when old George was set free, I felt nothing. I wasn’t upset. I wasn’t surprised. I wasn’t compelled to march or cry or complain or even tweet.
The fact is, this type of thing – young black man gunned down and white killer set free – happens all the time. It’s just that poor Trayvon won the martyr hat for the year. Don’t get me wrong. It is a tragic loss of life. We’ll never know what that young man might have accomplished. He could have been our second black president. It’s undeniably sad that because of someone else’s immaturity and fear, he won’t have an opportunity to change the world or even to contribute in some way.
It’s tragic that Trayvon will only be remembered in this horrid context, his handsome brown face emblazoned on hoodies, associated with death and anger, injustice and wasted potential. Continue reading “Obama a Global George Zimmerman? Really?”