In this life, there will be days when you are “freshly minted” and days when you are alone on a deserted street, crumpled up into a ball, lying in a puddle, pieces of you torn. No one is worth more or less than you, and nothing that happens so long as your heart beats and you draw air can change this. No human life–male, female, gay, straight, transgendered, black, white, asian, hispanic, physically challenged–is worth more or less than any other.
- If you’re not racist but you’re a racist apologist, you’re part of the problem.
- If you’re not racist but you’re racist tolerant, you’re part of the problem.
- If all of your social interactions occur within the bubble of invisible privilege, and you genuinely believe your advantages are purely the result of meritocracy, you’re not a racist… You’re a carrier.
That was before the divorce. Before Betty, before Tatiana, before Daphne, and long before Zara. Sleep set the precedent, having loved and subsequently abandoned me. Like others who followed in her wake, I clung vainly to the hope that someday, she’d return. In the aftermath, her wayward daughter rushed in to occupy the space she rightfully claimed as her own. I don’t recall giving her a set of keys, but Insomnia let herself in at will; coming and going as she pleased.
I probably know more about women than the next guy, but that’s because the next guy knows bupkis. Guy friends have often likened my friendships with the opposite sex to time inside an enemy camp, learning about them from the inside. What meaningful relationships with women have taught me is: they’re not the enemy. What I lack in insight, I’ve gained in compassion.
Very carefully, I removed the blade from the exacto-knife in my hand, and placed it inside my mouth, between my cheek and gum. “During my first week of high school I learned how to have a conversation with a razor blade inside my mouth” I said, smiling. “I mention this only to say: your standing over me as I try to concentrate is probably not helping me finish this any faster.”
Who’d you come up with? Jay-Z? P-Diddy? Shaquille O’Neal? Tiger Woods? Kanye West?
Now let’s play the same game, but with one minor qualification: Name five black men who aren’t professional athletes or entertainers, with a net worth of over $100m.
You’ve got ten seconds. Go.
Who’d you come up with this time? Alphonse Fletcher Jr.? Quinton Primo? Kenneth I. Chenault? R. Donahue Peebles? Ulysses Bridgeman, Jr.?
Congratulations if you recognize any of those names. Generally speaking they aren’t mentioned in “mainstream” media. If a rapper farts into the wind it makes the 11 o’clock news, but when’s the last time you heard an interview from the CEO of American Express?