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I wish I can say that I created this meme but I really got it off of Facebook. This is so totally awesome that it really needs to be seen by more Americans.

I’m starting to think that the Germans had it right when they banned the swastika flag and all kinds of pro-Nazi propaganda following World War II. While things aren’t 100% perfect in Germany, you don’t see a German film equivalent of Gone With the Wind that openly pines for the days of the lost Nazi regime in a postwar society, you don’t see Germans argue that the swastika flag is a part of “German Heritage” and the Jews must tolerate its display in public places, you don’t see monuments erected to honor Nazi generals like Kurt Daluege, you don’t see Adolf Hitler statues erected anywhere in that nation. Because the Germans were so thorough in their de-Nazification efforts, you don’t see Germans openly proclaiming how much they want to see the return of a mythic “Third Reich” where everything was perfect for the Aryan Race.

Unless the United States of America undergoes a similar campaign to get rid of all vestiges of its Confederate past, crap like what happened yesterday in Charlottesville will happen over and over again. And that includes HBO’s attempt to do this alternate history where the Confederate States of America won the Civil War. That’s because, as this tweet so succinctly puts it:

Until the U.S. begins an earnest drive to get rid of every last vestige of the Confederate States of America and everything that it stands for, it’s up to various individuals to shed a light on those pro-Confederate, pro-Nazi assholes. So far a Twitter user known as YesYoureRacist has been busy exposing the identities of those white men who were photographed in Charlottesville and that effort has gotten results (so far one man has lost his job and I’m sure that there will be more firings to come.)

Meanwhile, here’s a perspective on yesterday’s fuckery in Charlottesville from across the pond.

Passover

There’s no glory in overworking. It’s just imminent burnout.

Tesla is now worth more than Ford and Elon Musk is already rubbing it in to everyone who ever doubted him.

14 stunning embroidery Instagrams.

Magic moments marking 170 years of British photography.

A Singapore man who lives with more than 9,000 Barbie dolls.

YouTube will now block ads on channels with under 10,000 views.

This robot will literally make you a salad.

A beginner’s guide to microblogging on Mastodon, the open source alternative to Twitter.

An interesting story on how writing on Medium each week has changed one woman’s life.

A 27-year-old entrepreneur talks about how he launched a seven-figure snack business in 18 months.

3D knitting brings tech to your sweaters—for a price.

There’s more to tech stock photography than hokey gold bitcoins.

3D printing in-store is very close and retailers need to address it.

A comparison of six free web-based SVG editors.

Nine anime things that Astro Boy did first.

Chinese man “marries” sex robot he built for himself after he failed to find a girlfriend.

Seven integral WordPress plug-ins.

White toddler girl defends her choice of a black doll to a cashier at Target.

Animated vloggers like Kizuna Ai could be the future of YouTube.

Chobani founder, who immigrated to the U.S. from Turkey, stands by hiring refugees.

Brands see the future of fashion in customized 3D-knitted garments produced while you wait.

3D printing: Don’t believe all of the hype.

Five free graphic design tools.

Top 10 WordPress plugins for business sites in 2017.

Hollywood’s whitewashed version of anime never sells.

New robots just want to be your child’s best friend.

How to make a coin sorting machine from cardboard.

How Harvard Business School has advocated the propagation of immoral profit strategies.

Photos showing 100 years of people knitting.

Talking bendable Justin Trudeau doll for sale.

WordPress for Google Docs lets multiple users collaborate on content in real-time.

Six of the most innovative 3D printing companies.

GIMP is crowdfunding critical updates like high bit depth and layer effects.

This man makes amazing surreal animations from famous artwork.

Open Collective is a GoFundMe-like service for open source projects.

Philadelphia museum showing glass bongs as high art. The museum’s directors say that this exhibit is less about potheads and more about allowing an underground community of artists to showcase their work without fear of being stigmatized or prosecuted.

A look at one crafter who renders pop culture figures in embroidery.

Knitted knockers for breast cancer survivors.

A girl who lost her eye to cancer got the best lookalike doll.

Adobe is currently developing AI that turns selfies into self-portraits.

60 free and easy Easter crafts to make for this holiday weekend.

Improvisation is the heart of Cuban animation.

Researchers are working on robots that can monitor and care for the elderly, such as the animal-like MiRo.

As the ballerina moves, this robot paints the dance.

New tools makes 3D printed objects look less 3D printed.

How the sudden unexpected fame of the 13-year-old Cash Me Outside How Bow Dah Girl has highlighted the double standard between the way that white teens and teens of other races are treated.

A World War II era photographer in Poland documenting the Lodz Ghetto buried his negatives in 1944 in an effort to preserve his work. After the war he returned to the burial site and and found that more than half of the original 6,000 negatives remained intact.

Viddyoze is a fully automated video animation that allows marketers to create magnificent animations in just a few clicks.

Microsoft’s Top 10 grammar mistakes made in Word and Outlook.

This Lego-compatible tape will turn anything into a Lego-friendly surface.

This self-taught Polish embroiderer’s 3D embroidery creations using polymer clay are one-of-a-kind.

Open source prototype turns any room into a 3D printer.

YouTube takes on Facebook with real-time video sharing app Uptime.

The best free PowerPoint alternatives in 2017.

Just as liberals will go into political correctness, conservative extremists will delve into patriotic correctness.

Retirees knit small sweaters to keep chickens warm and cozy in cold weather.

Adobe’s plan to reinvent itself for the era of AI and VR.

More millennial dads watch parenting videos on YouTube than moms.

Experts say that psychopathic CEOs, enabled by protective investors and weak human resources departments, are rife in Silicon Valley.

Texas woman uses plastic bags to crochet sleeping mats for the homeless.

How the AxiDraw is designed to make handwriting obsolete.

Sixteen months later, YouTube Music is still a missed opportunity.

Uber’s “hustle-oriented” culture becomes a black mark on employees’ resumes.

How to get started with drone photography.

Can Japan make anime great again?

How (and when) to use Microsoft Word footnotes and endnotes.

A New York Times article about the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, which specializes in art from outsider and self-taught artists.

thesonwithtwomomscover

Not too long ago I had a friend of mine who was urging me to read this book that was written and self-published by an acquaintance of his who lives near him in Takoma Park, Maryland. My friend was so moved by what he read that he’s been going to great lengths to publicize this book and he’s trying to think of ways of having it get noticed by a real book publisher so it would get published and be more widely distributed across the country. (Which isn’t easy because the closest my friend has ever gotten to the book publishing industry is that he currently works for a public library. LOL!) He even made a video review of the book which he posted both on YouTube and Amazon.com.

So he gave me a copy of this book because he wanted me to read this book and write a review on it. I accepted this as a favor to him since he recently has helped me out in a few ways. I posted a review on Amazon, which is what my friend wanted, but I decided to post a longer version of it in this blog since not everyone visits Amazon on a regular basis.

The Son With Two Moms by Tony Hynes is the kind of book that can easily be of interest to both the African American and LGBTQ communities. This book is a prime example of intersectionality politics, where it delves into the complex yet related issues of classism, racism, and homophobia. At the same time this book provides a personal human perspective on such issues so it teaches a more powerful lesson than if one were to read about intersectionality politics in a college textbook that was written in an intellectual fashion by an emotionally detached academic.

Tony Hynes was born in Washington, DC to a poor struggling African American single mother who also had a nine-year-old daughter. (His biological father was already out of the picture by the time he was born.) His mother struggled with schizophrenia that grew so bad that she could no longer take care of her own baby. Other members of the family were unable to take the child in so he was sent to an orphanage by the time he was one. His luck would change dramatically the following year when, at the tender age of two, when he was taken in by a loving upper class childless couple and he moved to the couple’s home in nearby Takoma Park, Maryland.

What makes his story different from the hundreds of other stories of poor children being taken in by loving upper class childless couples is that the couple in this case were not only white but they were lesbians as well.

Once he moved in with his new family he started to blossom. He quickly made friends with two brothers from an Irish American family who lived near his new family and he excelled in soccer. Reading those chapters of his early life in his new neighborhood sounds like the typical childhood of someone who grew up in an upper middle class suburb. The only difference is that he happened to have two same-sex parents instead of a mother and a father.

His two moms went to great lengths to make sure that he had a relatively normal childhood despite his unusual family structure. They raised him in Takoma Park, which is a very liberal town that’s located outside of the DC border. Detractors frequently refer to it as “The People’s Republic of Takoma Park” simply because of its history of championing progressive causes, such as having the Takoma Park mayor and city council declare the town as a “nuclear free zone” back in the 1980’s in response to the Reagan Administration’s nuclear arms build-up. But the city also has a rich history of being welcoming to anyone who is perceived as “different” in mainstream U.S. society so it has attracted not only the LGBTQ community but also radical leftists, hippies, artists, and musicians. As a result, his family was accepted in a way that would have been impossible had he been raised elsewhere. I know for sure that had his family lived in my hometown of Glen Burnie (which is located 30 miles north of Takoma Park) he would’ve been subjected to intense bullying at both school and in his neighborhood on the basis of being a black boy with white lesbian parents. (Growing up in Glen Burnie I frequently heard all of the derogatory words being directed against African Americans and homosexuals.)

His moms raised him in a Presbyterian congregation that had mostly accepted his family (even though the main denomination at that time was less accepting of LGBTQ persons and, to this day, those who identify as LGBTQ are still cast out of more conservative congregations). That was a good thing because there are still many religions that consider homosexuality as a sin and there are also too many majority white congregations that aren’t very welcoming to people whose skin color is other than white. Such houses of worship would have never welcomed a family that consisted of two white lesbians and an African American boy. Hynes mentions in his book how one of his moms was originally a Roman Catholic until her parish kicked her out after someone told a deacon that she is a lesbian.

For added measure his moms also chose a private Quaker school in College Park in order to ensure that the students and teachers would accept him despite having two white mothers. The Quakers have long had a history of social justice (including advocating tolerance towards people who are different) and they were among the first religious denominations to accept the idea of both equal rights and marriage equality for LGBTQ persons.

This story may sound like a charming happy fairy tale on the surface, complete with the proverbial “And they all lived happily ever after” but, as Hynes made clear in his memoir, his growing up years weren’t all sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns. He admitted that he felt anger at having an absent father and being sent to an orphanage at an early age. He mentioned how some members of his Presbyterian congregation had snubbed one of his moms at a prayer circle once and there were fellow members who simply refused to accept that family as part of the congregation.

The most dramatic moment came when Hynes’ two moms managed to initially adopt the boy only to encounter a persistent challenge from a member of his original birth family who called herself his Grandma. She opposed young Tony being placed with them in the first place for these reasons: 1) living in Maryland would cut him off from his original family and community in DC, 2) he would be a black boy being raised by whites and his Grandma feared that he would be cut off from his cultural heritage, and 3) his would-be adoptive parents are a same-sex lesbian couple whom his Grandma considered as sinners and she didn’t think that such sinners should have any business raising children.

At first she told the court that she was his biological grandmother who would be willing to raise the boy. When the court found out that she was really his step-great-aunt by marriage who didn’t have any legal rights to the boy, she first tried to get his biological mother to file for custody then tried to get his absentee biological father to file his own custody suit (with the idea of having the boy live with Grandma once either parent got custody) only to have both parents fail to show up for a hearing.

In any case, his Grandma managed to get the adoption overturned. After years of legal maneuvering, both sides ended up making a compromise where the two moms and Grandma all had legal guardianship over the boy. The two moms would have physical custody of Tony but they would be required to send Tony to his Grandma’s house for a visit every other Saturday.

While it seemed like an ideal compromise, Hynes writes in his memoirs that, as legal guardians, there were certain things that his two moms legally couldn’t do that they could’ve done had the adoption not been overturned by the court. One example was having access to his birth certificate, which his moms couldn’t access because legal guardians do not have that right. As a result, Tony was unable to apply for a learner’s permit at 16 because the state required a birth certificate nor was he able to go on a class trip to Canada because he couldn’t get a passport without producing a birth certificate. Ultimately one of his moms waited until Hynes was 19 (when the state no longer had to notify the birth family of a pending adoption because he was over 18) to legally adopt him so the adoptive mom can request a copy of his birth certificate as well as having full legal family rights that are given to both adoptive parents and their adopted children.

There were times when he would be sent back to DC for the weekend to the home of the woman he called Grandma (in reality she was a step-great-aunt by marriage) and any other relatives who happened to be living with Grandma at the time. His Grandma was a far cry from the stereotypical cheerful doting grandmother. In fact she was a bitter chain-smoking old woman who would spend much of her time trying to convince young Tony that he was stolen from his family and his new family wouldn’t let him be around other black kids. At one point Grandma even had Tony’s mentally ill birth mother (who rarely saw her son since his birth) over at her home during one of his visits in an attempt at manipulating the boy into turning against his two white moms. To Tony’s credit he was able to resist Grandma’s frequent manipulation attempts and come to his own conclusions regarding his then-current living situation.

Tony Hynes would face another major challenge in his young life soon after his custody case was settled when one of his moms was diagnosed with colon cancer. What was even more sad and devastating was that it was the younger of his two moms who was diagnosed (she was only in her early 30’s at the time). Not only did Hynes write about his own feelings about seeing his one mom’s health decline but he also included excerpts from a journal that that mom kept at the time so the reader gets her perspective as well.

Ultimately that mom lost her battle with cancer and she died just a couple of months before Tony’s 12th birthday. From that point on he lived with his surviving mom in a single parent household and the trials and challenges that he and his mom went through are not unlike those of other children who have lost a parent to death or desertion. Hynes mentioned a situation in his memoir when he remembered how people used to literally gawk at his family when both of his moms were still alive and the family went out anywhere in public. After that one mom’s death Tony and his surviving mom received fewer stares when it was just the two of them who went out in public. Hynes admitted that he felt relief at not having so many people stare at his family unlike before yet he was also ambivalent because he deeply missed his dead mom.

The book shows how even the person who holds the most prejudice against the LGBTQ community can soften his/her attitude once he/she gets to know at least one person from that community and begins to understand that person’s humanity. Tony’s Grandma from his birth family is one such example because she had initially gone to great lengths to have Tony’s adoption overturned and gain custody of the boy simply because the adoptive parents were a lesbian couple. Many years after that custody case ended, one of Tony’s male cousins came out as transgender when that cousin arrived to a family Thanksgiving celebration dressed in women’s clothing. Tony’s Grandma immediately embraced that relative, which indicated that she was willing to accept her relative with unconditional love.

Hynes indicated in his memoir that there may have been another reason why his Grandma was more accepting of different people than she was in the past: Her health began to decline. Nearly a year after that Thanksgiving celebration his Grandma died at the age of 80. Ironically his Grandma died in the same hospital that one of his moms went to when she was battling the cancer that ultimately took her life. Amazingly Tony was able to look past his Grandma’s frequent attempts to turn the boy against his two moms and her overall difficult personality to realize that, in her own way, she loved him just as much as his two moms. He even tried to convince his older sister (whom Grandma used to frequently criticize about her weight as she grew up) that Grandma didn’t really hate that sister as much as his sister felt, which showed how much he was willing to let go of any past bitter feelings he may have had for his late Grandma.

The last few chapters of Hynes’ memoir deal with his efforts to lobby the Maryland General Assembly into adopting the resolution legalizing same-sex marriage and publicly giving interviews when that proposed law, known as Question 6, was placed on the ballot for people to vote on during the 2012 elections. The book ends with the voters overwhelmingly approving Question 6, which made Maryland the first state to have same-sex marriage become legal by popular vote. The back cover of the book mentions that Tony Hynes still lives in Takoma Park and he currently teaches autistic children at an elementary school in nearby Prince George’s County. Basically he turned out okay despite being an African American man who was raised by two white lesbians.

At times Hynes interrupts the narrative of his memoirs to explore the issues of same-sex parenting and trans-racial adoption. For an added perspective on the latter, Hynes interviewed three of his friends (a Latino, a Korean, and an African American) who were all adopted by white parents (except these parents were the traditional husband and wife pairs) and their varied reactions to their own backgrounds lets the reader know that there are many different ways that children of trans-racial adoptions can turn out once they reach adulthood.

As for same-sex parents, Hynes admitted that there were times he internalized the frequent societal equation of heterosexuality with masculinity. He also admitted that he felt the need to be straight just so he could refute the frequent belief that children raised by same-sex parents turn out to be homosexual themselves. The fact that he encountered such negative societal attitudes despite his moms’ extraordinary effort to raise him in a neighborhood known for its diversity speaks volumes about how much homophobia there still is in the United States despite the recent legalization of same-sex marriage.

Tony Hynes definitely has a way with words when it comes to writing his memoir. Here’s a sample paragraph of his writing style, which can be found on page 49 of the book. (This concerns his memory of one of his weekend visits in his Grandma’s home when his birth mother also happened to be there during that visit.)

No words were said for the next half-hour as the three of us sat in the room, our eyes glancing from the TV, back to our hands, and back to the TV again. Tom Brokaw’s voice ebbed in and out as Grandma flipped from channel to channel. As the day turned to evening she put the remote down, picking up a box of menthols on the table. She plucked a cigarette from the middle of the container then fumbled on the table for her lighter. After finding it under a spare napkin, she put the cancer to her lips and lit up, the smoke framing her face under a grey haze. She took a long drag and settled back into her chair, picking up the remote with vigor, aimlessly flipping through more channels.

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in learning more about how children of trans-racial adoptions and/or children who were raised by same-sex parents could turn out in adulthood. This book would be ideal to give to any acquaintance, friend, or relative who is adamantly against same-sex couples having children or having a couple adopt a child of a different race because this book refutes the notion that such children end up being completely screwed up in some way. The bottom line is that it’s not race or having gay parents that determines the outcome of a childhood, it’s the quality of the parenting, the quality of education the child received, and the neighborhood the child was raised in that makes all the difference of whether a child grows up to becoming a functional independent law-abiding adult or not.

This book is available in both print and various ebook formats. Here’s a short list of where you can purchase this book online.

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

Google Play

I wish I could say that my (along with others’) participation in the May Day protests in Baltimore had led to a total dialogue of reconciliation between people of all races and we Americans have decided to put the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow far behind and we are now living together in perfect harmony. But I would be telling a fairy tale if I said it.

I woke up early this morning and checked my cell phone, where my various news apps have suddenly gone off with what happened in Charleston. (For those of you living totally cut off from the news, here’s a primer of what went down.)

I’ve been to Charleston a couple of times (with the last time being in 2008 just before my hip replacement). It’s such a place full of cognitive dissonance. On the surface it’s a really nice seaside town with lovely architecture. There’s a lot of history as well with places like Ft. Sumter and the Old Slave Mart. People of all races seemed to be walking around and getting along with each other, including plenty of recent immigrant Latinos speaking Spanish among each other. This sign that I saw posted on a wall outside a kosher bed & breakfast for Jewish travelers is indicative of the Southern hospitality that’s so common in Charleston and other places in the Deep South.

Shalom Y'all

There’s the Charleston City Market where local artisans display their wares, including the straw crafts made by the Gullah people. I saw pro-Obama campaign signs in the windows of some of the houses located along the historic Broad Street. Located just a few miles outside the Charleston city limits is Cypress Gardens, which is such a photographer’s nirvana as these next few photos show.

Where is the Alligator? Cypress Gardens, Charleston, South Carolina 2008

Cypress Gardens, Charleston, South Carolina, 2008

Cypress Gardens, Charleston, South Carolina, 2008

Cypress Gardens, Charleston, South Carolina, 2008

Find the Swimming Alligator

White Bridge at Cypress Gardens

Then you hit something like this museum that’s run by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. (For the record, I didn’t go inside that museum but I did walk past it since it’s so close to the Charleston City Market.) When I went in a souvenir shop located near the Charleston City Market, I saw these magnets showing stereotypical black children (with thick lips and bug eyes)—one a boy eating watermelon and the other a girl dressed like Aunt Jemima—with the name “Charleston” written underneath the figurines. (My then-husband and I hadn’t gotten our first smartphones yet or else I would’ve taken and posted those photos.) On top of that, if you were to travel to Columbus you’d see that South Carolina’s statehouse still flies the Confederate flag alongside the U.S. and South Carolina flags.

Basically when you visit Charleston (and the rest of South Carolina, for that matter) you can be expected to go “How lovely!” one minute and “WTF?!?” the next.

There’s been a huge outpouring on Facebook and Twitter about what happened. The best writing I saw on this topic is this one that was written by one of my Facebook friends who is an African American man. He’s not a media personality so there probably won’t be a lot of attention paid to what he’s written. But it’s well worth the read because he articulated things far better than I, as a white woman, ever could.

DaShanswriting

And then there is this blog post whose link was posted by our outgoing Unitarian Universalist minister that was written by a white female minister called Dear White People.

http://www.nablopomo.com

This amusing blog post sounds like my own experiences with expectation vs. reality.

These well-preserved chalkboard drawings from 1917 were recently found in an Oklahoma City school. They provide insight over the educational methods used back then as well as showing some of the artistic talents of the teachers or whoever drew these really lovely and whimsical drawings.

Here’s an interesting critique on American Girl’s Addy Walker, an African American historical doll who’s depicted as being born into slavery, and the effects of that doll on African American children.

I’ve been critical about the recent changes in Etsy’s policies, such as allowing manufacturers to sell their wares on its site and I wasn’t surprised when I learned that Etsy recently got sued by its investors. Add this to the list of recent Etsy woes: Etsy’s stock has fallen by half in the two months since its IPO.

Here’s an interesting commencement speech given by film director John Waters, self-described as “The People’s Pervert.”

Lewd graffiti from ancient Pompeii. (NSFW.)

http://www.nablopomo.com

As posted on Us Magazine‘s website this morning:

An NAACP leader in Spokane, Wash., is under fire — and under investigation — after her parents claimed that she’s been lying about her race. As reported by multiple news outlets, including Spokane’s KXLY and KREMRachel Dolezal has identified as African-American, but her birth certificate lists a Caucasian mother and father, Ruthanne and Larry Dolezal, as her birth parents.

Ruthanne and Larry told KREM on Thursday, June 11, that their daughter is of German and Czech background, but was married to a black man and had adopted siblings who were African-American. They claimed she started identifying as the daughter of biracial parents following her divorce in 2004.

Read more: http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/naacp-activist-rachel-dolezal-accused-by-parents-of-lying-about-race-2015126#ixzz3crIEqvrz
Follow us: @usweekly on Twitter | usweekly on Facebook

As a white woman of nearly the same ethnic background as what Rachel Dolezal’s parents claim she is, I can get wanting to help nonwhites achieve the same equal rights that she had long enjoyed being raised as a white female in the United States. Especially if she was raised in a religious faith that emphasized social justice (like Roman Catholicism or Unitarian Universalism) or if she grew up with a close friend or two of a different race. What I can’t get is doing what her parents said she did.

I remember as a teen checking a book out of the library by John Howard Griffin called Black Like Me, which was about the few months in 1959 that Griffin, a white man, disguised himself as an African American while traveling around in the Deep South because he wanted to do an expose about the Jim Crow South at the time. But Griffin only pretended he was a person of color for a few months until he got enough information so he could proceed with his book. Rachel Dolezal continued her charade for years and still would’ve continued with pretending to be an African American had her parents not outed her.

I think it’s admirable whenever a white person can willingly put aside his/her white privilege, reach out to people of different races, and develop a deep empathy for them. Rachel Dolezal could’ve done a lot to educate her fellow whites in what it’s really like to live as a person of color had she remained true to herself and didn’t pretend to be someone that she really wasn’t. Thanks to her parents’ unmasking, her credibility is now tarnished and it’s such a shame.

Like I wrote earlier, I’m a white woman who has a nearly identical ethnic background of Rachel Dolezal (according to Dolezal’s parents). Late last year I attended the Justice For All March that was held in Washington, DC and organized by Rev. Al Sharpton which protested the brutal deaths of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, and Mike Brown—all at the hands of police. Last month I attended one of the May Day demonstrations in Baltimore protesting the brutal death of Freddie Gray at the hands of police and I actually took photos of police and Maryland National Guard units wearing full riot gear with their guns out ready to shoot at any moment. (When I told a friend about this later, he was so horrified by what I said to him that he told me that I could’ve been killed.) On the Cinco de Mayo I took a walk through the Mondawmim area along Pennsylvania Avenue until I reached the intersection with North Avenue because I wanted to take photos of the area one week after the riots erupted in the wake of Freddie Gray’s funeral.

I did all these things while still retaining my white identity. Not once did I make any attempt to pretend to be an African American woman because I would’ve looked ridiculous had I done so. My features are so white that any attempts by me to pass as a black person would make me look like I had just stepped out of one of those minstrel shows that used to be popular among whites before the start of the 1950’s Civil Rights movement but today would be considered racist. Or I would’ve looked like Grace Slick, a white singer with the Jefferson Airplane, when she briefly attempted to appear in blackface in the late 1960’s as a form of solidarity towards Angela Davis and the Black Power Movement but quickly dropped it when there was public backlash against her idea.

But it’s just as well that I did these things while remaining true to myself and my core identity because I didn’t have to keep any deep dark secrets like Rachel Dolezal allegedly did.

Just saying.

Update (June 15, 2015): Rachel Dolezal has announced her resignation as head of the Spokane, Washington chapter of the NAACP. I think it was inevitable given the media storm that has risen up all around her. Had she stayed, she would’ve spent more time trying to defend herself than actually doing the job that she was hired to do.

Lost among the media storm is this story that basically said that Rachel’s estranged parents are Young Earth Creationists and her father, Frank Dolezal, once worked for Creation Ministries International, whose leader, Ken Ham, also founded the infamous Creation Museum in Kentucky.

With a childhood like that, I can, to some extent, understand why Rachel Dolezal did what she did. She wanted to put her Creationist childhood past behind her in much the same way that I wanted to leave the place where I grew up, Glen Burnie, because of the harassment from the bullies and people who looked down on me like I was some inferior being who should’ve been snuffed out at birth.

But Rachel Dolezal went way further than I ever did in putting the past behind her. She actually claimed to be of a different race. That in of itself wouldn’t be bad if she had willingly done it out of a decision to honor and respect the African American community and she admired it so much that she wanted to be one of them. But there’s the issue of these police reports she filed where she claimed to have received hate mail when evidence indicated that the mail in question had never been processed by the U.S. Postal Service. Filing a false police report is a crime and could lead to prison.

Then there is the issue of Rachel Dolezal’s days as a student at Howard University. It’s not unusual to have white students attend a historically black college like Howard University. (A former white minister at my Unitarian Universalist congregation had decided to take a leave of absence so she could do some post-graduate course work related to her ministry. She said that she could’ve attended Howard as a legacy student because her late father, who was also white, had attended there back in the 1970’s. She ultimately opted to go to Meadville-Lombard School of Theology instead.) But she allegedly did it on a scholarship that was originally created for bright and talented African American students. If that’s the case, then she received the scholarship at the expense of an equally bright and talented African American person who could’ve used such financial help.

At the end, while I can sympathize with wanting to leave her past behind by adopting a new persona, I can’t go along with getting a scholarship that she wasn’t entitled to get nor can I go along with filing false police reports.

Just saying.

Update 2 (June 15, 2015): A few hours after I attempted to explain that I could understand why she wanted to leave her past behind by adopting a totally new persona since her parents were reportedly affiliated with the anti-evolution Creationist Ministries, I come across this story.

Smoking Gun report published Monday reveals that Rachel Dolezal once filed a lawsuit against Howard University for discriminating against her as a white woman.

WTF?!? I’m totally done with Rachel Dolezal and her story. This is so many different levels of fuckery that even the most expert psychiatrist in this country can’t fully unravel and heal. Then there’s this.

On top of that, reports have come out from people who said Rachel has even policed their own Blackness or their seats at the table as people of color. 3 or 4 people have come out to say they’ve had encounters where Rachel Dolezal has questioned how Black they are or whether they are worthy of speaking about white privilege in the black experience. You wanna talk about giant balls and nerve of steel. She is wearing a coat she tried on one day and decided she really liked the feel of it and then tells other people their coats aren’t worthy.  It is the pot calling the kettle unBlack and that takes some nerve and possibly some boldness that comes with white privilege.

Rachel Dolezal has totally dug herself a very deep hole and it’s going to take a very long time for her to get out of (that’s assuming that she even turns her life around). I’m totally out of here now.

The only silver lining I can see in this story is that blacks and whites can now find common ground and unite against her. Maybe this can lead to some more open dialogue between the two races and eventually America can move beyond its often complicated and poisonous racist past.

Just saying.

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Browse other free tutorials previously mentioned in this blog (along with pictures) right here.

Miscellaneous Links

In this story that has gone viral recently, experts now say that using the Times New Roman font on your resume is the equivalent of wearing sweat pants to a job interview. Wow! Who knew? I’ve been using Times New Roman font for serious work (such as promotional flyers) for years. I’ve always considered that to be a more serious, more professional font than—let’s say—Comic Sans. In any case, both Times New Roman and Comic Sans are among the worst fonts to use on a resume.

Here’s an interesting historical essay one of my friends recommended to me on Alternet.org titled The Murderous Scam White Elites Have Perpetrated on Blacks and Whites for at Least 4 Centuries. It definitely provides some insight on why racism in the United States is so hard to eradicate and why poor whites and poor people of color haven’t done much to organize together to take on the elite 1%.

These color photographs of a young woman wearing red are so vividly gorgeous that you’ll have a hard time believing that they were actually shot back in 1913.

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