Working on the stage production of Claudia Rankine's book CITIZEN: An American Lyric -- about the "everyday" experience of racism -- has been teaching me unscripted lessons.
With millions witnessing an abundance of publicized killings of unarmed black men by police, along with several racially charged shootings claiming headlines across the country -- the national discourse around racism has expanded to incorporate the need for stronger gun control laws.
When we pretend that color doesn't matter, we're making people of color invisible and ignoring an essential part of their experience in a white dominant society.
Our nation has a gaping ache -- and we don't even know it. It's not unlike someone who goes to the doctor with mild complaints, only to be diagnosed with terminal cancer and dead in a few months.
With my retirement on June 30 barely a heartbeat away, it is, as the hash-tag says, getting real. Each day has the tinge of poignancy, of last times...
Without absolving or equivocating on America's hypocrisy on matters of race, racism and abuse of civil rights, it is ironic and equally hypocritical that Africans, who have little compunction about hacking one another to death because of differences, physical or perceived, are some of the loudest decriers of racism and bigotry in America.
...asked my 9 year-old last month. Otherwise absorbed in a rousing Fifa 15 match, he looked up from the iPad when the news upstaged Isco's corner kick.
While men do things to each other's bodies, and to women too, of course, women largely keep walking forward, shouldering all our mess.
If I could remake America, I wouldn't add a thing. She's got it all. Instead, I'd take away some things.
Is there even any value in my pain, frustration or trying to use my voice? Is there any point in trying to engage my fellow American in dialogue that can bring about awareness? Should I even waste my breath trying to explain to you why Black people are sick and tired of being sick and tired?
How do we eliminate the bias against black skin which seems to be so inextricably linked to issues of discrimination that have a real impact on the progress of African-Americans? Economic investment, legal reform and improvements in education are certainly needed. But, I also believe that positive multicultural media is part of the solution.
Some African Americans have argued with me that comparing the riots to the Arab Spring gives too much credence to the miscreant behavior of some black youths. But that's the problem. Inured to black suffering, we all have a double standard for African Americans.
I believe it is the height of hypocrisy to accuse our President of "rushing to judgment" while Hannity reports leaked stories and speculations that fit his narrative and right wing agenda that attacks the President and Democrats.
I do not advocate violence, as we all say, over and over again. But I am not a black teenage boy who may not live to become a man for so many reasons beyond his control.
Sponsored by Arts for Amnesty and California Endowment, there are over 30 events over the 10 days -- discussions, music, stage, film, workshops. It was an ambitious undertaking that I hope folks will get to check out accidentally or purposely.