Perspective is something with which we probably all struggle. Empathy is something else that feels like it’s in very short supply. I’ll share these couple of unrelated-related thoughts that popped into my head while reading the Deion part of the article ...

And ... first ... in the interest of full disclosure ... I’m a middle aged white guy from northern NH who grew up in teeny-est tiny-est more diverse southern NH. And I’m a lapsed Catholic. I offer that for ... perspective.

Thought number one: More than a few years back when I still killed some time on Twitter ... usually reading ... occasionally replying ... and rarely posting ... I came across a post from a somewhat prominent woman who is Jewish who said the phrase “... it’s all about the Benjamins” was antisemitic. I was aghast. I used that phrase whenever I was talking cynically about the power of money and corruption and ... of course ... I was always always always ALWAYS picturing giant banded stacks of banded $100 bills. So, no way. Not. Antisemitic.

And then I thought about it. Was it possible, I asked myself ... that this woman might have a slightly different perspective on the matter. Well ... it only took about two minutes with Mr. Google and a couple of genuinely horrific rabbit holes to understand my mental image of the phrase and the origins of the phrase were two entirely different things ... and other than to type the words just now ... I wiped the phrase from my verbal quiver. I can still be cynical about money and corruption ... but I need not, even if unintentionally, help to perpetuate such a terrible thing. Life lesson for Timmy: Listen to those who know.

Thought number two: My mother-in-law did not like me. At all. Ever. Many of the folks who knew her, grew up with her, were friends with her, loved her ... to a person ... assured me it had nothing to do with me ... she’d been in a couple of bad relationships and did not trust men. Period. End of story. “Don’t,” they assured me, “take it personally.” I took it personally.

My wife and I worked (and still work) double-extra hard to separate in-law nonsense from us. Most days we succeed. But I’m not gonna lie ... sometimes the relentless dislike and loathing was a grind. Sometimes it encroached on marital bliss. Sometimes it created stresses and pressures that didn’t need to exist (because, once again in the interest of perspective and full disclosure ... I am a delightful fellow). They existed. And they existed for one reason only ... I was a man. Gotta tell ya ... that felt entirely wrong and unfair.

Then one day I thought ... that’s ONE mother-in-law. One person. One person treating me unfairly for no other reason than my state of ... being. And I wondered ... how must it be to have not just one relative treating me that way ... but an entire system looking askance at me ... for no other reason than ... being. To equate one angry in-law (who, of course, had her own story, her own traumas, her own reasons) ... with the injustices of systematic racism is almost so laughable as to make me almost hesitate to share the thought ... because one is definitely not the other. Yet, the one led me to feel terrible on so many occasions ... that in drawing the analogy in my mind left me realizing I was incapable of truly being able to fathom, as a middle aged white guy, the weight of the racism that is baked into our culture.

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Thanks for the interesting thoughts, Jeff. Part of me thinks that color has nothing to do with it--that a pompous a-hole is a pompous a-hole--but now I'm wondering as a white man if we should just sit and listen more instead of saying anything at all.

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Jeff I see you're taking a healthy break from twitter. My question is why only 7 episodes of Winnjng Time, season 2. Show is really taking off. Sad we're "cheated" out of 3 episodes.

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very complicated issue and would like to send private email if kosher. Ty

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Thanks for the tip on Emilia Cuevas Diaz' I Used to Dance in the Rain. It was well done.

And, I can see she won't be transferring any time soon to Oregon or the U. of Washington.

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