The Good, Racist People

I have been thinking about Ta-Nehisi Coates‘s op-ed in The New York Times ever since it was published. I’ve discussed it in my classes and plan on using it, permanently, in my Intercultural Communication courses. Do yourself a favor and read his piece. He provides one of the most compelling, self-reflexive questions we can ask ourselves– If a person is prejudiced, is s/he still a good person? I continue to carry his words with me on my imperfect journey through this world. In sum, “The idea that racism lives in the heart of particularly evil individuals, as opposed to the heart of a democratic society, is reinforcing to anyone who might, from time to time, find their tongue sprinting ahead of their discretion.”


Photo of the Week, 25 March 2012

The case of Trayvon Martin is troubling for so many reasons, first of which is that a 17 year-old who went to the store for tea and Skittles at the half-time of the NBA All-Star Game was shot dead.  We may never know the truth but enough has come out that leads me to believe that it’s a tragedy all the way around.  The news that Trayvon’s hoodie was part of George Zimmerman’s initial suspicion is even more troubling, akin to rape being ’caused’ by a women’s provocative clothing.  From Marion Wright Edelman to the Miami Heat, hoodies are becoming a political statement.


The ‘Best’ of 2011

In my humble opinion…

Best album: ADELE’s 21 is almost too easy to name, yet I can’t help myself. If you’re looking for something other than the phenomenal force that is Adele? Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars.
Best song: Again, if you’re not up for ADELE singing “Someone Like You,” then it’s a tie between “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys and “I’ve Got This Friend” by The Civil Wars.

Best book: The Art of Fielding. I never knew I could love a shortstop so much.
Best ‘celebrity’: Cory Booker
Best documentary: With no disrespect to Steve James and The Interrupters, I was most moved by Life in a Day.

Best episode of television: “Always” from Friday Night Lights. Don’t take my word for it. Time thought the same thing.
Best film: The Tree of Life was a stunning achievement. Both epic and experimental, Terrence Malick is a master.

Best personal moment: Praying for Strangers.
Best photograph: I’ll let you choose.
Best popular culture indulgence:Hey girl….
Best television show: Are you kidding me? Clear eyes, full hearts….

Here we go 2012. Remember, it’s about love. It’s about compassion and grace. It’s about kindness and faith. It’s not about luck. You get what you give. This year give good.


George Carlin 1937-2008

Counterculture comic. Obscene. Genius. Fearless.  Wise. Revolutionary.

Seven words to describe the man whose seven words defined an era and continue to impact those of us in the wake of his innovation. George Carlin should be the only one speaking about his own passing.

Saying he’ll be missed seems so lacking…


Green is Universal

What’s your carbon footprint?  When I checked mine, I was astounded at how large it was– 5 cubic feet more than the average.  And I consider myself a pretty faithful recycler, et al.  Check your own, and check the ways in which you can reduce it.  Off the bat I’ll tell you– compact flourescent light bulbs.

This comes via Universal’s Green is Universal campaign.  You can access all of their fantastic features and tips at:

In particular check out the resources section.  My favorite tip from the series?  Paying your bills online is an incredible green act.  Especially if you get your bills online, you eliminate the paper of your monthly bills, the paper for checks and envelope, the petroleum to mail the bill and the payment, and you save money via postage.  As the expert said– the only thing you use when paying your bill online is electrons.


Feminists = Fun…

Feminists Have More Fun

Jeanna Bryner
LiveScience Staff Writer
Thu Oct 18, 8:30 AM ET

Feminism boosts sexual satisfaction for both men and women, a new study suggests.

Busting stereotypes that peg feminists as ugly lesbians, a new study shows that having a feminist partner is linked with healthier, more romantic heterosexual relationships.

The study, published online this week in the journal Sex Roles, relied on surveys of both college students and older adults, finding that women with egalitarian attitudes do find mates and men do find them attractive. In fact, results reveal they are having a good time, maybe a better time than the non-feminists.

Both men and women are prone to holding negative views of feminists, the authors say. Along with the sexually unattractive stereotype, some women also view feminism as a movement for victims, or for women who aren’t competent enough to achieve success on their own merit, according to the Rutgers University researchers.

Psychologists Laurie Rudman and Julie Phelan carried out a laboratory survey of 242 Rutgers undergraduates and conducted an online survey of 289 older adults who had an average age of 26 and typically had been in their current relationship about four years.

Older adults have more life experience “and thus may be more likely to show an incompatibility between feminism and romantic relationships,” Rudman and Phelan write. While younger females likely grew up with the attitude that “women can have it all,” the researchers note older women may have come of age in the era following U.S. women’s suffrage (1919) or during the women’s movement that emerged in the 1960s.

The researchers looked at people’s perception of their own feminism, their partner’s feminism and whether they had positive views of feminists and career women. Other survey measures included overall relationship quality, agreement about gender equality, relationship stability and sexual satisfaction.

For example, relationship quality was measured with questions such as: How often do you and your partner laugh together? And how often do you and your partner quarrel? For stability measures, participants answered how often they considered terminating the relationship, as well as how often they thought their romantic relationship had a good future.

Among the findings:

College-age women who reported having feminist male partners also reported higher quality relationships that were more stable than couples involving non-feminist male partners. College guys who were themselves feminists and had feminist partners reported more equality in their relationships. Older women who perceived their male partners as feminists reported greater relationship health and sexual satisfaction. Older men with feminist partners said they had more stable relationships and greater sexual satisfaction.Overall, feminism and romance do go hand in hand, the scientists say.

While they aren’t sure how feminism works to enhance relationship health, the researchers have some ideas. Feminist men might be more supportive of their female partner’s ambitions than are traditionalists. Men with feminist partners may enjoy the extra breadwinner to share the economic burden of maintaining a household.