Monday, July 24, 2017

Quote of the Day

When some of you say, "I don't see color," you are either well-intending naifs or willful race evaders.  In either case you don't help the cause.  The failure to see color only benefits white America.  A world without color is a world without racial debt.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 86

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Quote of the Day

When you want to reach out to a person going through something that you've also experienced yourself, you can now see why it's a good idea to restrain your normal, but incredibly unhelpful impulse to compare your situations.  If you don't feel prepared to handle someone else's difficulty because of the intense feelings it brings up about your own...explore other ways of being there for your friend that don't involve much talking about it.  And if you want to talk about the feelings that are coming up for you as a result of a friend's difficult time, talk to others about what's going on -- not your suffering friend.

-- Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell, There Is No Good Card for This, p. 198

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Quote of the Day

I think, instead, we should try something like this: "Excuse me...I hope I'm not interrupting," and only when we've determined that we're truly not interrupting someone or intruding on their privacy, do we proceed to ask, "I find you fascinating and so different from me.  Might I ask you what your life's been like?  I think we could learn something from each other."  How about that for putting aside childish ways that no longer work in the lives of kind, generous, inclusive adults?  Isn't that easy?

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 56-57

Friday, July 21, 2017

Quote of the Day

The appropriation of "minority" cultures by white writers with a political advantage leaves people of color little room to speak their truths in their own ways.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 84

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Quote of the Day

Unless you actually are an expert, whose expertise is being asked for, hearing news of someone's crisis is not the time to offer up casual theories about their misfortune.

-- Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell, There Is No Good Card for This, p. 197

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Quote of the Day

I think it's time for all of us to put away the childish things that don't work in the lives of kind, generous adults.  I think we need to find alternatives to saying, or even thinking, childish things like, "Hey Faggot, Hey Cunt, Hey Nigger..."  I think we need to find alternatives to saying, or even just thinking, childish things like, "You're too fat to be on our side," or too ugly, or too poor, or too Arab...I think we need to find alternatives to saying, or even just thinking, childish things like, "You're either with us, or you're against us..."

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 56

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Quote of the Day

When it comes to race the past is always present.  What Jim Crow achieved in the past through, say, redlining -- where services like banking, insurance, health care, and supermarkets are denied to specific racial or ethnic groups -- continues to this day.  Formal segregation in housing policies may have been struck down, but steering, where real estate brokers direct home buyers toward or away from particular neighborhoods based on race, is as effective as ever.  School segregation is no longer the law of the land, but classrooms today are depressingly re-segregated.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 79-80

Monday, July 17, 2017

Quote of the Day

When it comes to being supportive, being smart matters way less than being kind (and well mannered).

-- Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell, There Is No Good Card for This, p. 197

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Quote of the Day

As kids, most of us didn't kill the class freaks.  But, we developed something equally effective: We knew how to make the class freaks want to kill themselves.

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 52

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Quote of the Day

A great deal of white advantage has nothing to do with how you actively resist black success, or the success of other people of color.  It's what you do for each other, how you take each other into account, that makes up a lot of what we have come to call "white privilege."

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 79

Friday, July 14, 2017

Quote of the Day

When we're trying to relate to someone in their difficult time, our most common instinct is to compare it to our own situation ... when doing so, it may seem altruistic to help someone not feel alone.  But in fact, comments such as "I know how you feel" or "That's so much like what happened to me" can close off opportunities to learn what the person in crisis is feeling.  As one divorced person said: "My mother believed that my divorce would be just like hers.  She didn't want to, or couldn't, see that my divorce was different, that I am different!"  As someone who lost both parents said: "In general, I'm surprised by how folks are quick to start telling their own story but not really care about yours."

-- Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell, There Is No Good Card for This, p. 190-191

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Quote of the Day

By leaving no options for an outsider in the world, a bully culture engineers its own destruction.

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 51

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Quote of the Day

One of the great perks of being white in America is the capacity to forget at will.  The sort of amnesia that blankets white America is reflected in an Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman lyric sung by Barbra Streisand: "What's too painful to remember we simply choose to forget."  The second stage of grief flashes in the assertion "it didn't happen."  Instead of "forget it," there is "deny it."  Civil rights icon Joseph Lowery often says that we live in the fifty-first state, the state of denial.  Denial is even more sinister than amnesia because there is some concession to facts that are then roundly negated.  Here is where the gaslight effect goes wild.  Black folk are made to feel crazy for believing something they know to be true.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 78

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Quote of the Day

Loss doesn't have an expiration date.

-- Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell, There Is No Good Card for This, p. 134

Monday, July 10, 2017

Quote of the Day

On this continent alone, some of us grew up Christian, some of us Jewish, and some Unitarian.  Some of us were raised Buddhist, some Quaker, or Muslim, Hindu, or Wiccan.  Some of us were even raised Scientologist.  Many of us have been taught that our own mythology is the right, or only, one.  This makes coexistence way tougher than it needs to be.  Mythologies with more power than others to enforce their beliefs bully the world and make it difficult, or nearly impossible, to live differently from their traditions and from their ideas of purity and righteousness.  Ideally, nobody would wanna impose their beliefs on anyone -- we would just try to prevent meanness and preserve everyone's right to pursue happiness.

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 49

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Quote of the Day

President Donald Trump chose "Make America Great Again" as his 2016 campaign slogan.  It sounded the call to white America to return to simpler, better days.  But the golden age of the past is a fiction, a projection of nostalgia that selects what is most comforting to remember.  It summons a past that was not great for all; in fact, it is a past that was not great at all, not with racism and sexism clouding the culture.  Going back to a time that was great depends on deliberate disremembering.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 77-78

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Quote of the Day

Remember how burdensome and unlovable a person in need can feel?  There's nothing like being in a shitty or scary time and hearing from others that they love you.  In person, via text or email, written on a cake, however and how often you can do it, say I love, admire, respect you, or express whatever kind of adoration you actually have for a person.  It can't go wrong.  And it's sorely needed, and deeply appreciated.

-- Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell, There Is No Good Card for This, p. 130

Friday, July 7, 2017

Quote of the Day

Some of us have never felt included or welcome in whatever system of belief was bullying us, even the one that we were a part of.  Some of us were forced to seek out mythologies that sang to us from the popular culture in the voices of movie stars or television characters.  We have looked for myths that include us in great novels, music, the latest comic book, or even some stupid advertising campaign.  We'll look anywhere for a mythology that embraces people like ourselves.

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 48

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Quote of the Day

Slavery made America a slave to black history.  As much as white America invented us, the nation can never be free of us now.  America doesn't even exist without us.  That's why Barack Obama was so offensive, so scary to white America.  America shudders and says to itself: The president's supposed to be us, not them.  In that light, Donald Trump's victory was hardly surprising.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 76

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Quote of the Day

Knowing what to say, and when to say it, starts with these two very simple principles of supportive communication:

1. You can't solve the problem.
2. You'll never know how they feel.

-- Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell, There Is No Good Card for This, p. 102

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Quote of the Day

Two hundred years after the founding of this country, why are those of us who don't fit into some either/or told that our pursuit of happiness doesn't count?  Are we going to continue nit-picking over exactly which happiness is legal and important, and which happiness is illegal and unimportant?  Who has the right to say whose happiness is right?  It all comes down to the mythology we grew up with.

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 48

Monday, July 3, 2017

Quote of the Day

Beloved, white racial grief erupts when you fear losing your dominance.  You get mighty angry at our demand that you live up to the sense of responsibility you say others should have -- especially black folk and people of color.  You often tell us to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, to make no excuses for our failures, and to instead admit our flaws and better ourselves.  And yet so many of you, beloved, are obstinate to a fault, intransigent and thin-skinned when it comes to accepting the calling out you effortlessly offer to others.  Donald Trump is only the most recent and boisterous example.

-- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop, p. 73-74

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Quote of the Day

When the silence of listening is uncomfortable, it's not because silence is a problem.  It's because you aren't used to it.

-- Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell, There Is No Good Card for This, p. 94

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Quote of the Day

All the world's great civil rights movements have sought to harmlessly break some cultural bully standard.  And all the outlaws who survived those civil rights movements have learned an important lesson.  We understand that we can be outsiders and be miserable about it, or we can be outsiders and enjoy the fuck out of ourselves until we're old and weird and happy just being our geeky, freaky, outlaw selves.  Understanding that is how we stay alive in a world that doesn't like who or what we are, what we look like, who we love, or how we act.

-- Kate Bornstein, Hello, Cruel World, p. 45