Pretending Public Space Is Private (After Rebecca Solnit) Print E-mail

digital divide 3(Times of San Diego March 3, 2024)

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how public spaces (trolleys, airports, music venues) no longer feel public, but temporarily accommodate people (us) who isolate and seem wholly removed from even looking at others—a club whose members are linked via their disconnection. Weird, I know. As if bus riders and plane passengers are hiding some secret (drug runners or deadbeat dads) or else feel guilty for a cultural misstep they’ll be canceled for.

Time During the Holidays Print E-mail

123 1(Times of San Diego January 6, 2024)

The other day an estate lawyer said to my partner and me that the older we get, the faster time goes. Psychologically, that’s so. But in what sense is this “psychology” true? Is it because we geezers have more to do in less time, and we’re worried we’ll run out of what we assume is our due, a squishy estimate at best? I think it means we’ve put off the unpleasant things, too busy reading and seeing friends and petting the cat, though we will, it’s in the bag, run out of time — and soon — to jump rope or climb ladders. Just as well.

When young, time is “on our side.” But as long as we have some left, isn’t it on our side as well? I have as much time as I have left, and it matters only to me what I do with it. Still, life is no help with its persistent pounding away, a disco score of measured pulses whether we recognize them as such or not. We get our share, our due, so speeding the plow or taking the siesta is purely a choice. It’s not time that moves at varying rates but our awareness — blithely, fastidiously — of its tick-tock.

Down to the River Jordan: The World the Enslaved Made Print E-mail

210929132117 slaves virginia(The Truth Seeker September, 2023)

Before the Florida Department of Education issued its curriculum directive this past summer that slavery in the United States produced “personal benefits” for the enslaved in the form of a well-stocked resumé of trades, useful after Emancipation in 1863, the board members might have consulted a seminal document in the literature of the oppressed—Angela Davis’s 1971 essay, “Reflections on the Black Woman’s Role in the Community of Slaves.”

These days we’ve rightly exchanged the conditional designation, “slave,” for enslaved person. Fifty years ago, Davis prophesized this nominative shift; she cataloged how Black women resisted the shackles. Among the first scholars to gather the evidence, she argued that a woman (daughter, mother, wife) was equal to a man in undermining the slaveholder, surreptitiously and openly, at her peril. “If she was burned, hanged, broken on the wheel, her head paraded on poles before her brothers and sisters, she must have also felt the wedge of this counter-insurgence as a fact of her daily existence.”

Once You Know Who They Are, You'll Know Who We Are Print E-mail

lyflyfyr(First published in Times of San Diego February 19, 2023)

The Negro is America’s metaphor. — Richard Wright

1 /

In the latest volley, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his educational propagandists are hellbent on removing the “radical elements” of the College Board-approved AP course on African-American studies for high school seniors. They plan to eliminate “contemporary topics,” meaning “instruction in” Black Lives Matter, mass incarceration, reparations, and critical race theory. I’ve been meaning to punch back at such suppression sooner than now but I, a White American, have been busy studying one of my favorite writers, the great African-American music critic and autobiographer, Albert Murray.

Will No One Rid Me of This Troublesome Orange Jesus? Print E-mail

Thinker Trump(First published in Times of San Diego October 2, 2022)

Now that I know that just thinking about classified documents will declassify them, my mind is being overtaken by thoughts I dare not think for fear that thinking them makes them come true.

Just the other day I was thinking about that famous line of Henry the Second, King of England, when in 1170 he supposedly said (though, remember, it’s not clear that he said it but perhaps only thought it and said later that he had said it), “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?”

Pro-Life? Not Exactly. More Like Pro-Birth. Life's Something Else. Print E-mail

D6xPCS3W4AAKXgf(Times of San Diego July 5, 2022)

Those who call themselves pro-life are, to say the least, a self-deceiving lot; they’ve been convinced — from without and from within — that all fetuses should go to term and be born, no matter the consequences to the safety of the woman, the child, the family, or the planet.

I wouldn’t call these people pro-life. They’re pro-birth. Better put, they’re pawns of politicians and so-called religious leaders, dominated by white Christian men, who use the pro-birth status to enforce outdated sexual mores and to handmaid women.

What's in His Wallet? An Addendum to the Texas Abortion Law Print E-mail

6c4d22f7c2a14f7c1a701e281e06dc54(First published in Times of San Diego September 9, 2021, later revised)

Everyone knows—or should know—how burdensome a pregnancy is on a woman. It’s especially hard now if you live in Texas where a fetal heartbeat detected at six weeks means by law the woman cannot terminate her pregnancy; she must carry it to term. The burden of having a child, whether planned for or forced, is made worse by the financial responsibility of raising that offspring, for parents and families, through childhood and adolescence, the next eighteen years. Would any man argue that such a load, for poor women in particular, is among the toughest things she’ll ever face?

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 6