A Gift From a Faithless Angel

snowstorm

The office is almost empty at Melloni Solutions. Save for Nate, Paul and Jim Melloni himself, the staff has left for the holiday. Garlands of silver and gold line the doorways to each of their offices and a tree sits in the middle of the lobby in which the IT specialists both entertain clients and brainstorm. Interfaith displays line the big, central room as Nate wearily makes his way toward the front door. Through the glass he sees the driving snow. The lights on the shrubs at the end of the short walk to the parking lot are barely visible through the storm. Right up front is the bosses office, a sign of Jim’s openness with both staff and clients. Continue reading

Race and Cultural Liability in America

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Mixed in the ugliness since Bob McCulloch punted on indicting Darren Wilson has been a certain amount of hand wringing and derailment from self-professed allies. More or less well-meaning individuals have, in between desperate attempts to cling to a mythical view of the Civil Rights Movement, have admonished us that “we are all responsible for ending racism.” Those allies not actually part of the activist community can be excused, a little, for such a short-sighted view. They do not have the back ground in social theory, and certainly not critical race theory to see where this fails. Members of the left who are at least partially involved in activism should know better though. That they do not is frustrating, doubly so because they fuel the finger wagging from our nation’s cultural right and help perpetuate the hurt of racism in America. The implication is that black people in America are just as responsible for ending racism and that is just plain not true. Yes we should all be equally invested in it (though usually we are not, but we know which way THAT inequality weighs) but we are NOT equally responsible. Continue reading

Reflections on America’s Racial Clusterfuck

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“If you ain’t better than a n—-r, son, who are ¬†you better than?”
Gene Hackman’s Agent Anderson quoting his father in Mississippi Burning

The above sentence says it all. So much of the acrimony since Monday night’s announcement that Darren Wilson will not face justice, at least from a Missouri court, for his crime, so many of the cruel comments, posts, memes and tweets I have read all week, not just from strangers but from neighbors and family, can be summed up in the attitude of a fictional character based on an ugly reality of American life. The victim blaming, willful ignorance even in the face of Darren Wilson’s very disturbing testimony (more on that below,) the tut-totting of even supposed allies over riots (more on that too) are just symptoms of White America’s need, sometimes unacknowledged, some times very much acknowledged, to maintain a strict racial hierarchy Continue reading

So How Would You Do It?

immigration

France is a pretty cool country. It has universal health care, mandatory paid vacations, a decent, living, wage, and great culture. It’s not perfect, it struggles with race issues just like we do, and probably more because it does not enjoy our diversity. Still, I think I’d like to live there. Fortunately finding out how to get into France legally is pretty easy. I just get on Google and find the French Consulate’s website. It has all the information I need: whether or not I need a visa, how much it will cost, where to go, all the legal wrangling I may have to go through. It looks like a pain, but maybe I will do it. Like I said, France sounds like my kind of place, and I think I can relearn French. Continue reading

Short Timing It

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Thirty two hours and two shifts to go, that is what Bob thinks as he runs the mop down the base boards in the department store he works. He has not had a vacation in twelve years, paid or otherwise, bouncing as he has from part-time job to part-time job. None of his bosses until now have offered paid vacation, so when he took this job over a year ago, the first thing he did was plan. It did not take a lot of effort. Continue reading