What I saw instead was a man who seemed to be at peace with himself and his life, who loved his children, art, film and new ideas. Sometimes when you have seen life at its ugliest, as Hopper surely had, you're able to come out the other side and drink in its beauty. I hope this was true.
I interviewed James Ellroy, the great American noir novelist, at LA's venerable Pacific Dining Car in April 2001. We were there to discuss his latest book, The Cold Six Thousand, but wound up tackling a myriad of subjects over our three hour lunch.
I lived and studied with black people, I felt comfortable around them and felt they accepted me, but I never had a conversation about race that made me uncomfortable. That changed when I met Chala Holland.
Memorial Day is, by federal law, a day of prayer for permanent peace. But is it possible to honestly pray for peace while our country is far and away number one in the world in waging war, military presence, military spending and the sale of weapons around the world?
I believe Ambassador Haley's place in American history should be more prominent. For a man who made American history six times, Ambassador Haley never spoke of his accomplishments or the past preferring to concentrate on the future.
If you were to look at my past and present passports, you'd see a host of nations stamped on it that the White House has historically considered an adversary, an "axis of evil" state, or a security threat.
"Museum of Biblical Art to Close, Despite Recent Crowds," a New York Times headline read on April 28. The reviews of its current Donatello show were very positive, but, as author Randy Kennedy explained, they could do nothing to help prevent the closing.
We can expect the right-wing echo chamber -- including Fox News hosts, Tea Party politicians, and Rush Limbaugh -- to attack Sanders for espousing an ideology that they'll likely describe as foreign, European, and un-American. But Sanders's views are in sync with a longstanding American socialist tradition.
Our nation owes a great debt to the young persons and older adults who protested against acts of actual or perceived police misconduct in Baltimore, Maryland; Staten Island, New York; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Ferguson, Missouri; Cleveland, Ohio; North Charleston, South Carolina; and other cities around the country. They are the moral conscience of our nation.
In the past year or so, there has been a tendency for white people opposed to any outcry against police brutality and ongoing racial discrimination to invoke MLK's words about the content of character being the yardstick to judge a man instead of skin color.
That things haven't gone deeper into the constant fear and violence that permeated the decade of the 1960s is a testament to the grassroots organizing that takes place around this country, in ever urban, suburban and rural area.
By focusing on what matters to you, you benefit and connect with others, who then feed that energy back to you. A virtuous cycle. THAT is how you profit from your passion.
During my childhood I was aware that I was different in color from the majority of people around me, but my father and mother emphasized brainpower, not color. Color was what you were, but not using your brain was a choice.
What happens next? A serious movement for political and social change has to cohere around the endemic violence. The changes must include better-trained police, an end to racial profiling, the demilitarization of the police and a national embrace of community policing. This is just a start. We need a new civil rights movement. Let it begin with a moment of silence.
So you know a good cop? Great. I hope there are more out there. But racism is a system, not one person.
As residents of Maryland and the nation brace for what could potentially be another night of civil unrest in Baltimore, it is important to pause and reflect on what has brought us to the current moment.