How I’m learning to break my silence and fight racism

Cute Girl With A Banjo

King-Martin-Luther-slience

“If they aren’t doing anything unlawful, then they shouldn’t have anything to worry about.” 

It’s a common refrain used by defensive white people who would like to pretend that minorities, specifically black people, are not targeted by law enforcement. I’m sorry to say there was an ignorant time in my life when I believed this too.

For much of my teens and twenties, even as I consumed black culture, co-opted and appropriated it because it was “oh-so-cool-and-different,” I bought in to boot-strapping black respectability politics. I thought if black people would just “act right” then they wouldn’t get into trouble. I thought that being “colorblind” meant not being racist; that if we willed the differences away, they’d slink to the furthest reaches of the earth, never to be seen again.

I am embarrassed about my past ignorance (and am still learning), but it also makes sense. I was privileged, grew up…

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This Monsoon: A Ghazal

Cafe Dissensus Everyday

By Manash Bhattacharjee

Ink does not stay on paper in this monsoon

~ Srajana Kaikini, Postcard 3

Ink does not stay on paper in this monsoon
Such fire escapes the heart in this monsoon

As it rains, someone ponders the fate of love
Is there a lonelier occupation in this monsoon?

The Parliament session is just about to begin
It will drown people’s hopes in this monsoon

Beggars, all wet, struggle against more hardships
This way they will go hungrier in this monsoon

Dogs, bewildered, take shelter among the trees
They lose all sense of territory in this monsoon

Auto rickshaw driver curses the incessant rain
Then breaks into an old song in this monsoon

People are not abusing each other in the streets
Their venoms get some respite in this monsoon

A man is sent to the gallows without substance
The law can’t wash off its sins…

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if i ever forget again, i’m putting this here to remember

Life as Improv

Even leisure can be a to-do list:

___  get out in nature,

___  bathe,

___  relax!!!!

___  pet the cat,

___  listen to the owl,

___  go to yoga,

___  sit silently for x amount of minutes,

___  eat nutritious food,

but true letting go hammers no list.

Health comes in its own time with no terms.

Music is found under layers of clutter, cleared away.

No one was actually keeping score.

The list keeper is happy to turn the reigns over,

as long as she is

convinced

converted

at last

by the magic mother once again –

she is stunned into silence by a something larger

that she cannot understand.

She is silenced finally in

open space full of nothing

no appointment

no calls to make

no bills to pay

no food to eat

no person expecting…anything.

How many years does it take to clear space like this?

Many and…

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What It’s Like Not Being White

TAPE PARADE

mixed race all the places people think I'm from what it's like not being whitetinderI received the above opening line on Tinder last week. I quickly posted it to Facebook with the comment “Just so we are all clear, “you don’t strike me as English” is not an acceptable chat-up line”. My initial reaction was shock, disgust and disbelief along with a weary resignation. Amongst the 60-odd likes on were a number of comments which were largely jokey. I can play along to a degree, but the thing is: I wasn’t joking. It’s not an acceptable line.

I’m mixed race. I was born in London. I have a non-Caucasian name. I have brown skin and thick dark brown hair. My name and my colouring, two aspects of myself which I have no control over and were mere circumstances at birth, have far too often become the sole distinguishing features that people latch on to. These features single me out as not being white.Though…

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My falling-out with Myers-Briggs

o! wandering folk

We have an identity crisis. Call it what you will, a post-modern, existential, millennial crisis of self, we are all asking ourselves: Which Game of Thrones character am I?

Ok, in all seriousness. The rash of Buzzfeed, Playbuzz, Quizmodo, etc “Personality Quizzes” that promise to tell you who you really are, in terms of your favorite fictional paradigm, is really just the latest symptom of our human desire to know ourselves, to approve of ourselves. “Ugh, I got Pansy Parkinson? Are you serious? I wanted to be Bellatrix Lestrange!”

For those seeking to understand themselves in less frivolous terms, we might seek to discover if we’re Type A or Type B, or which of the four humors we are, or, in terms of the perennial, inescapable, enduring favorite: What’s my Myers-Briggs type?

Sigh.

I’ve long been a fan of the Myers-Briggs. It’s helped me understand certain aspects of my personality…

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Revealing Dress

From the Laundry Room

I am so awkward.

Honestly, sometimes things seem perfectly normal at the time and then I just don’t know what I was thinking.  This post is cringeworthy, so be forewarned.  If you are uncomfortable with boobs, stop right now and go enjoy your weekend.

I have an author page on Facebook.  I hate Facebook, but it’s out there and it reaches people and I have to use it, so I do.

I’m supposed to interact, comment, connect.

I love that readers can comment, readers are fun.  They are sort of like my small group of sticker trading pals.  I write it, they like it, it works.

But I’m also supposed to do my least favorite word in the English language, well maybe not my least because “whatever” really holds that honor, but definitely in my top ten of least favorite words is . . . networking.

It’s like nails on a…

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What the Fuck is Fuckable

Heather Matarazzo

Seriously? What the fuck is fuckable?? I don’t know if I can answer that question for you, but I can share my own experience.

When I was 19 or so, I was standing in a Starbucks in West Hollywood with a director, talking about the upcoming film we were about to shoot. It had been a long road, but we had finally made it. Waiting for our coffee, I could see that he seemed a bit uneasy. I asked him if everything was ok. He said yes. I didn’t believe him, so I asked him again. He looked at me and said “Heather, I’m sorry, we have to give your role to another actor. The producers don’t want you.” I didn’t understand. I had been attached to this project for two years, and now two weeks before filming, I’m being let go. I asked him why. He looked me dead…

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