Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Quote of the Day

Trump's efficacy as an ambassador of unrepentant white innocence, and ignorance, and privilege, doesn't depend on whether his personal racial views add up to bigotry.  What he's done in public will suffice to pass judgment.  Trump's political popularity took off when he sullied the citizenship of Barack Obama, the nation's first black president.  The "birther" claims were driven by unwarranted skepticism about the place of Obama's birth and the status of his birth certificate.  Trump's recent assertion that Obama is an American still rang false and appeared as little more than an attempt to deflect responsibility for his vicious views onto his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.  His admission that he said Obama was born in America to keep his campaign going was a moment of ruthless honesty that sealed the case.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 109-110

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Quote of the Day

Artistic genius is usually not the product of a life easily lived.

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 131

Monday, September 18, 2017

Quote of the Day

(Donald Trump) possesses a brutally appealing magnetism that, tragically, amplifies the most virulent rumblings of racism, misogyny, and xenophobia this country has reckoned with in quite some time.  That is because Donald Trump is the literal face of white innocence without consciousness, white privilege without apology.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 109

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Quote of the Day

Hollywood -- Hollywood, where shiny tan white people play Egyptian pharaohs and queens -- never told my mom that Cleopatra looked like her.  That Cleopatra had dark skin and a round body.

-- Gabourey Sidibe, This Is Just My Face, p. 28-29

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Quote of the Day

Making people laugh is an excellent way to deflect violence and insults, and reclaim our own voices.  It's smoke and mirrors.  It gives you the control to focus audience attention where you want it and explore the parts of your suffering that you find humor in.

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 130

Friday, September 15, 2017

Quote of the Day

It is harder to indict forces and institutions than the individuals who put a face to the problem.  Institutional racism is a system of ingrained social practices that perpetuate and preserve racial hierarchy.  Institutional racism requires neither conscious effort nor individual intent.  It is glimpsed in the denial of quality education to black and brown students because they live in poor neighborhoods where public schools depend on the tax base for revenue.  Minority students, like the ones I teach at Georgetown, are more often beset by economic and social forces than overt efforts to deny them equal education.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 107

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Quote of the Day

The standards of beauty in America's uber-culture are purposefully set too high so that we will buy anything in our frantic scramble to become attractive.  We are meant to feel crushed, inadequate, and less-than so that we'll buy more and more things in the vain hope of "fixing" ourselves.

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 128

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Quote of the Day

There is a big difference between the act of owning up to your part in perpetuating white privilege and the notion that you alone, or mostly, are responsible for the unjust system we fight.  You make our request appear ridiculous by exaggerating its moral demand, by making it seem only, or even primarily, individual, when it is symbolic, collective.  By over dramatizing the nature of your personal actions you sidestep complicity.  By sidestepping complicity, you hold fast to innocence.  By holding fast to innocence, you maintain power.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 105

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Quote of the Day

Making peace with ourselves over something we've done is how we teach ourselves not to do dishonorable things in the future.  If we need time away in order to make that kind of peace, then we should take that time.

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 123-124

Monday, September 11, 2017

Quote of the Day

The most radical action a white person can take is to acknowledge this denied privilege, to say, "Yes, you're right.  In our institutional structures, and in deep psychological structures, our underlying assumption is that our lives are worth more than yours."

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 104

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Quote of the Day

Try it out: spend one day living like you're some visiting dignitary in a world that welcomes and celebrates people like you.  That's what living your life is supposed to feel like, no matter what kind of freak or outsider other people might think you are.

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 111-112

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Quote of the Day

This is why the cry "Black Lives Matter" angers you so greatly, why it is utterly offensive and effortlessly revolutionary.  It takes aim at white innocence and insists on uncovering the lie of its neutrality, its naturalness, its normalcy, its normativity.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 104

Friday, September 8, 2017

Quote of the Day

Everyone deserves to feel cared for, respected, and welcome.  So, shouldn't we learn how to do that for ourselves?

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 111

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Quote of the Day

White fragility is a will to innocence that serves to bury the violence it sits on top of.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 103

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Quote of the Day

Less and less movement is a sign of less and less life.

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 107

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Quote of the Day

As my brave white student discovered, whiteness claims so loudly its innocence because it is guilty, or at least a lot of white folk feel that way.  This is why, of course, your resistance to feelings of guilt is absurdly intense.  There is a terror in accepting accountability, because it doesn't end with your recognition that something is rotten in Denver or Detroit.  It suggests something is amiss across our country.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 100

Monday, September 4, 2017

Quote of the Day

Showing up for one another with authenticity and vulnerability -- and sticking together through life's hard times -- is what bonds us the deepest to each other.  When we learn to connect with people in this way, we foster intimate and lasting, ride-or-die relationships.  Ultimately, the moments of sorrow and fear we sit through together will also give us our moments of greatest nourishment, as both givers and receivers.  So yeah: learning to show up can be scary.  But is the temporary fear and discomfort worth it?  More than anything.

-- Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell, There Is No Good Card for This, p. 243

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Quote of the Day

No one is perfectly kind, compassionate, and generous.  But you can live a kinder, more compassionate, and generous life by following just one simple rule: DON'T BE MEAN.

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 96

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Quote of the Day

Justice is what love sounds like when it speaks in public.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 100

Friday, September 1, 2017

Quote of the Day

For a griever, there is rarely any more comfort than companionship on the awful path of sorrow.  Hopefully, that path will also include joy in time.  But there is no guarantee that it will, and there is no timeline for when it does.  There is no human gain in shying away from that reality, as difficult as it may feel.  That is the plight of the griever; that is the plight of the witness.

-- Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell, There Is No Good Card for This, p. 225