Currently Reading

March 2019

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Blog powered by Typepad

« The Official Interview Game | Main | And Nothing Even Fell Apart! »



sometimes I really despair for this country.


**sometimes I wonder how one lives in a world like that…like this.**

With great difficulty Rob. This is one of the reasons our mental health systems and criminal justice systems are disproportionately attracting black people.

My experience of being a black man in this world has left me feeling schizoid, paranoid and unwelcome...on a daily basis PLUS I have developed one of those faces that says 'if you even think about messin'with me...' however I am as gentle as a pussycat. I could relate stories of my own personal experience of racism that would make you feel nauseous.

It is true that legislation has stopped many people from acting out their racist fantasies but it can't change their attitude.

I do pray and hope for a different future for our children.


Thanks for the book info as well...I think I'll get a copy myself.


Ya know, wasn't it 30+years ago that MLK prayed for a world without this crap? How much longer....


When I was in college I went to Mardi Gras a few times. I remember at one parade that was (fairly) family friendly and there were lots of kids mixed in with the drunken college kids competing for trinkets. As the floats went by, I was in a friendly competition for some beads with this little black boy standing next to me. At one point, I had the attention of the guy on the float and he was trying to hand me some beads but the little boy was jumping up and down in front of me. The guy on float leaned down and said: "Get away nigger, I'm trying to give them to the lady." This little boy was all of 8 or 9 years old. I was so shocked that I just walked away. In retrospect, I probably should have done was taken them and given them to the little boy, but I didn't think that fast on my feet.

That has always stuck in my mind. What kind of idiot has such hatred in his heart that he would talk to a child like that?


I have no patience for racism whatsoever, none at all. We jumped through hoops to adopt our biracial daughter, living in an area that had a reputation from the former grand wizard of the KKK who used to live here. (He died in the early 90s, hopefully a slow and painful death. NOTE: Big entry on my blog about that.) Surprisingly, we have not heard any negative comments, only positive support. Our area is becoming more diverse and it's wonderful. I've always got my back up, though, waiting for that comment.

And I'm cynical. Because I am not racist, I wonder when people tell me how cute she is if they are saying oh look, your little black baby is cute or if they really think she is cute. It's something I think about. I also hate it when people say, oh you've done such a wonderful thing adopting a biracial baby. Like she was doomed to a life of a crack ho or something if us whiteys didn't come along and rescue her.

Racism is just stupid. It's like saying I have green eyes and you have brown, therefore, you are a superior person to me. It defies logic.

As Peter said, I can tell you stories of when my daughter's birthmother (white) was looking for a house to rent with my daughter's birthfather(black) in the Detroit suburbs. It, too, would make you sick.

An irony? I am Italian and my husband is Brit, came here when he was ten. A hundred years ago, my family were dirty Wops. My husband was ridiculed for having an accent.

Didn't MLK teach anyone anything?

Rob, I commend you. You always make me think and I write about my daughter's Dora the Explorer purse with the banana in it.


I couldn't finish that book because it was too sad. I agree with you about the unimaginable cruelty of human beings. I just watched two hours of American Experience about the final year of WWII, in both Europe and the Pacific. It was terribly painful to watch. My husband is a military history buff so he has spent a lot more time learning about this stuff than I have. My reasoning for avoiding it is that it's too painful for me to comprehend. Each time I see footage of actual soldiers experiencing these horrors, I think about how each one of them was someone's brand new baby, and had a first word, and walked for the first time, and laughed and enjoyed a bright sunny day, and now they are being slaughtered in horrifically cruel ways. On both sides - the Americans perpetrated horrors and so did the armies they fought against. It is shocking and terrifying. It gives me nightmares to even think about it for a few moments, and for many people it informs their entire lives. Makes me shudder.


Flowers for Algernon. I haven't read that since I had to, in high school. It broke my heart on so many levels that I haven't been able to pick it up again. It was a difficult book, and the way it reveals human nature makes us very uncomfortable.

We live in an imperfect world, don't we? And sometimes people go out of their way to make it even more imperfect. To think someone would take all that effort to stop on a highway and scream an insult, or similiar activity, just boggles my mind. And it hurts, even though I'm not the one being insulted.

How to live in this? Day to day, not tolerating this hatred, and reaching out in big and small ways in normalcy and love.

Scot McKnight

Rob, Never even heard of the book. But I remember you talking about that experience on (I-294 I believe).

I'm now reading Os Guinness' new book, Unspeakable. He goes after this very theme: why evil and suffering?

Along with the question of Why racism? is the question: And why in the Church? Where there is supposed to be the company of the redeemed. I loved Smith/Emerson's Divided by Faith and their new one, United by Faith.

My own answer to this includes the conclusion that Education helps, but not enough. Humans can't be educated into morality. It takes grace, lots of it.


Wow, Rob. It looks like you hit a button on this one. As you know, I grew up outside Pittsburgh. What you may not know is that my early years, from about ages 4 through 8, were spent in the projects of 'Sliberty (East Liberty for the rest of yins :). Not exactly a ghetto, but definitely low-income housing.

I can vividly remember times when I was in imminent danger of being beaten because I was white. Most of the kids I played with were black but I did have one white friend. As the two of us would walk home from school, we had to always be aware of "safety" routes we could take if we were confronted on the primary route. I had nightmares for several years after moving away.

How does one live in a world like that? As best one can. There’s not a lot one can do about another’s ignorance except recognize it for what it is and avoid it if possible. It’s a shame, especially when young kids have to learn how to deal with it. I can barely imagine how that father felt.

One thing I find interesting, though, is that some teens today use terms for each other we would never think of using. Kids are being called “Jew-boy” by non-Jews, “Chocolate” by whites and “The Mormon” by non-Mormons. This is done openly and seemingly without malice; the names are apparently received without hurt. Is this a good thing? It’s hard to say whether these are really terms of endearment, even in the specific circumstances in which I’ve heard them. But somehow it just doesn’t seem right.

The comments to this entry are closed.