How must she feel now, Trayvon's mother? Like all mothers, I imagine she poured herself into her son, wanting him to have a satisfying life, to do good, and to make her proud. She must have imagined his future many times, many ways. It might still happen automatically now; maybe she has to stop her mind from imagining. Because how is it possible to lose a child, to really know that there is no future for Trayvon? Her son was shot dead for being in the wrong territory, for posing a threat to another man
Psychology + Zen = Philosophy and methods to relieve suffering and reveal happiness.
Psychology: We project onto others what we reject in ourselves. Some call it a Shadow. Healing comes from making the unconscious conscious, taking responsibility for our projections, integrating what is split off as our own thing.
Zen: There is no separate self. When we can be at one with every aspect, then we belong everywhere and we reject no one.
We heal the world by becoming intimate with our whole selves.
Entries in Racism (11)
A packed house, a teen nightmare, a sweet story of communion, and a deeply offensive work of not-art.
Not by Bread Alone features a troupe of deaf blind 'actors' ladling out friendly vaudevillian vignettes that feature pantomime, supertitles, and kinesthetic sign language. Also, they are baking bread. We learn that the deaf and blind "have dreams, too," dreams of love and marriage, and dreams of having hair done by a super duper stylist. Just like us.
Aghast as the movie finished, I sat in the dark watching the six other people in the theatre gathering their stuff. I think I was the only one with beige skin. If you still think that maybe we live in a just world, please try to witness the wreckage of The Central Park Five. Like most White people, I had forgotten or never much thought about what happened to the brown-skinned teenage boys who were wrongly accused of raping the White woman known as the Central Park Jogger.
Wahat al-Salam in Arabic. Neve Shalom in Hebrew. Oasis of Peace. The name evokes both longing and sadness. Just an oasis? In a human desert of outright wars and subtle destructions of the spirit, there is a place where people from opposing sides of what is arguably the most difficult conflict on earth choose to live in peace.
I wanted to visit this place because I am a very jaded psychologist--an optimist disappointed with the failure of ideals
Updated on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 4:40PM by Elena TaJo
One morning on the way to Ballet class, I hear the news that Black Americans are moving away from northern urban areas toward the South and into the suburbs. This interests me for what it will mean for diversity, so I remember it.
As we chitchat before class, Justina, a young Black woman just returned from a family visit to Tennessee, comments: "The South never changes." I argue briefly and then ponder her comment for the remainder of class. (You can blame all my mistakes on that!) When class is over I ask her what she meant. A graduate student in Social Psychology, she is frustrated by entrenched patterns: expectations shape behavior, behavior reinforces expectations, and the cycle perpetuates itself. Indeed, I agree. Except here she is, an exception.
Gales of laughter in the bus as he gets the first reaction--people on the street in some kind of shock and awe at a man using crutches to skateboard through the streets of New York. He is known as the Crutch Master, and the mastery is evident and spectacular. We are in the bus as the audience to his performance. Hooked up to cameras, a DJ, and a major sound system, it feels like a combination of a hip dance party and a sting operation.
So we are in the bus to watch the watchers. We desperately want to see people on the street react to our Crutch Master. We want their "Huh?" We want to see them dislodged from their complacency. We are hungry for it. Many of us standing, craning necks from window to monitor display, aching to see a bystander get shook up. Crutch Master is doing his best to deliver. Here he is bumming a cigarette from a Wall Street Trader. There he goes doing a jig for a tourist bus. We see the people try to resist, turn their backs, shake their heads. In the bus, we are cracking up, laughing forcefully at how people try to just keep going, how they can't recognize a true phenomenon, how they miss what is right before their eyes.
You just don't get it, said her eyes into my silence. My beautiful dark-skinned friend from a South American country had just told me of her troubles getting a Visa, indicated how hard she worked in a restaurant to support her dancing. I felt for her, so the distrust was painful. Was it distrust, or was I projecting my own?
Like most of my young dancer friends, she asks me nothing about my life, as if it is already established, not in question. If they did ask, they might hear
Is it good manners? Is it out of some sense of politeness that every column I've read about Michael Jackson makes a brief bow to the latter half of his life, then moves on to massage every detail of his splendid, brilliant early career? As in: whatever you want to say about the weird thing he became, you have to appreciate how he electrified the world with Thriller.* Is it good manners or is it that we don't want to face what his gruesome demise might say about us? About our culture, I could say, except we can't just dis the culture without taking some responsibility.
How do we understand what happened to him?
Updated on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 4:47PM by Elena TaJo
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks might be the saddest book I've ever read. If you don't know this story, here's the bottom line: A Black woman's cancer cells were taken and cultured without her permission and, because of their superhuman ability to thrive, spawned all variety of discovery and cure. She died, her disease almost neglected; her family remains dirt poor and deeply uneducated. In the absence of information from the scientists who benefited from Henrietta's cells, the family creates stories of heroism or victimization, depending on what's going on that day. What is usually going on is a fight for survival against overwhelming odds.
An email from my friend, John:
Today's lesson: Stick with your own kind. I know it sounds harsh but sometimes the consequences for not doing so can be quite intense. Black men should go to Black barbers.
It all began when I got my locks roots re-tighened about 2 weeks ago. It's so tough to find a really good black hair salon without the hair salon drama which seemly only occurs in the black salons. Anyway,