Archive for the ‘Civil rights’ Category

Thanks, Obama – to a point, anyway (riding the calm before the shitstorm)

January 19, 2017

the-calm-before-the-storm

Today, my social-media universe is a little bit quieter than usual. I’m guessing it’s just most of us riding out the calm before the shitstorm that officially hits us at noon tomorrow. (That would be Jan. 20.) Every bit of corruption and ignorance and stupidity and heartlessness that has been brewing beneath the surface of our country’s veneer of decency and fairness is set to officially explode in our face. If I don’t end up on the streets and/or dead between now and the end of this administration, it’ll be a miracle. And that’s not hyperbole or drama, as you’ll read.

So today, I pause and reflect on the man who has led the country the last eight years. The most important president in my lifetime. Barack Obama 2009 and Barack Obama 2017 have been the bookends of the most turbulent time of my life – some ways certainly for better, some ways most definitely for worse.

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Okay, it’s the new year — game on.

January 3, 2017

we_can_do_it

I’ve refrained from commenting much on the Looking Glass, Bizarro World shitstorm that has gripped our country the past two months because I wanted to step back, take a deep breath and see where some of the chips would land … and whether, miracle of miracles, the Electoral College would function the way Alexander Hamilton planned it.

Well, silly me.

I went to bed about 2 in the morning of Nov. 9 — a half-hour before the Associated Press called the race for the orange menace. On the hour drive to work a few hours later, I was kinda distraught, and when I walked into the office, my boss asked me, “Are you alright?” “Nothing different than a lot of other people this morning,” I choked out as I sat and fired up the desktop and buried myself in my daily tasks.

But by noontime, the emotional snow and ice had melted, replaced by a scorching sun. By mid-afternoon, the feelings of depression were replaced by a quiet rage.

I mean, it wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor — the election wasn’t an end, it was a beginning. And I realized quickly enough that you can’t fight from the fetal position.

This is a fight for the soul of America. Maybe the world.

And now that the bad actors have (predictably) tipped their hands — we pretty much know what we’re up against — it’s time to face this and deal.

And I’m ready for a fight. And now that the holidays are over, the real fun begins later today (Jan. 3), when Congress reconvenes.

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Almost old enough to drink (the blog turns 20), almost old enough for kindergarten (my blog turns 4)

January 30, 2014

Birthday cupcakeNormally, I would just post a news item to the Book of Faces and be done with it. But this one? Nah! That wouldn’t do it justice. It has to be answered in the form of a blog post:

Not sure of the exact birthdate, but the blog turns 20 this year. And all of us who have used this medium to share some of ourselves should give credit where credit’s due.

Until I read this story from the Guardian this morning (and thanks to Jim Romenesko for tipping us off via his blog), I hadn’t given much thought to how the weblog began or who invented it. I mean, do you think of Gottlieb Daimler when you sit behind the wheel and turn the key? I wouldn’t be able to pick Justin Hall or Meg Hourihan or Dave Winer out of a lineup if my life depended on it, but wherever you are, thanks much. Maybe my life would be a little different, and not for the better, had there not been a blogosphere.

Read on …

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Jason Collins: The bold first step to “Meh”

April 29, 2013
The first of (hopefully) many.

The first of (hopefully) many.

Thank God for something substantial to keep Tim Tebow’s being cut by the Jets from taking up all the sports talk today.

The big news today — one of the year’s biggest sports stories in America — is that, for the first time ever, a male athlete in one of the country’s four major sports leagues has come out as gay while still playing.

With all the talk about the possibilities of a football star coming out — recently released Baltimore Ravens linebacker and longtime gay-rights advocate Brendon Ayanbadejo said that as many as four current NFL players could come out simultaneously soon, and the LGBT-friendly Deadspin has been getting mileage out of the possibility that Arizona’s Kerry Rhodes, one of the league’s top shutdown corners, is gay — no one saw it coming from a journeyman pro, and certainly not from the NBA.

But here it is: Jason Collins, a 12-year free-agent center out of Stanford who played for his fifth and six pro teams (Celtics and Wizards) this past season, sat down with Sports Illustrated’s Franz Lidz and told his story. (The print version comes out Thursday.)

Collins is a big man — an even 7 feet — but no bigger than he is today. He took it upon himself, and in the month of Jackie Robinson, no less, to be the one to open the floodgates to acceptance and ending the titillation about sexual identity and taking the huge step toward ending public prejudice once and for all.

As someone who faced all the fears of coming out in recent years (sure, transgender isn’t gay, but we, as groups, have historically shared the same set of abuses) — and who has been rewarded with more love, acceptance and respect than I ever imagined were possible — I couldn’t be happier for him. He will receive a lot more of that love and support and respect than he could have ever thought, and while athletes are traditionally prone to wacko hate mail and terrible tweets without coming out, the percentage of haters will be small. The world is his.

Congratulations, Jason — you’ve taken the first big step to “Meh.” And I mean that in the best way possible. As in, a couple years from now, being an out gay pro athlete will be no big thing, just as it’s no big thing to be a black quarterback anymore.

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