Maybe we need to stop letting them
Living in Georgia amid a crucial run-off election, I became fatigued with the relentless campaign texts, mail, and political ads interrupting my video streaming. It ended with both Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff winning against David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler. This campaign season, like the last four years, has been a rollercoaster. That’s to be expected. But, between David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, I have never seen more race-baiting and fear-mongering in my life.
Perdue mocking Kamala Harris’s name at a Trump rally made me cringe. He knows what her name is because he’s served in the Senate with her. …
Since I was 15 years old, I wanted to leave Lansdale, Pennsylvania, the working-class town that fate chose for me to born in. It took me over 25 years to leave for good. When I made that decision, the journey called life only got better.
If you do the same, it can only get better for you.
When we live in one place our whole lives, we tend to only see from that vantage point. We tend to forget that a whole world exists beyond our little corners. I know being born in the North shaped a view of the South that was biased into my adulthood. …
Sometimes, you win when you lose.
The ending of a year inspires me to think about new beginnings. Many times, it inspires me to purge: clothes, shoes, things I haven’t used in six months and won’t use in six years. The same goes for thought patterns and ideas that don’t serve me anymore. Letting those go opens up my life in ways I hadn’t thought possible.
Many moons ago, upon receiving my teaching degree, I interviewed at my own high school. I showed up prepared and confident, wearing a pretty professional-looking business suit.
My confidence disappeared when I saw that a former classmate was also there for an interview. My negative self-talk took over right away. I started to think he probably would get the job instead of me. …
Don’t complicate it.
In 2015, I came to the realization that teaching no longer satisfied me.
That wasn’t fair to me. It wasn’t fair to the students I taught.
Before taking the plunge to walk away, I took a sabbatical researching Students with Interrupted Formal Education and wrote a scholarly paper for my school district. What I discovered along the way was that writing was all I wanted to do.
Still, I couldn’t resign because I owed my district the semester I took for the sabbatical. …
The road went ever on and led me here.
Considering the limited view I had of the South, it’s a wonder I moved to Georgia from Pennsylvania four years ago. Who could have guessed I would experience the most growth of my life in this place? As a visitor, I partied like a rock star. As a resident, I meditate like a monk. In the process, I became a proud, damn Yankee, although it took me a while to get here.
Three years after moving to the South, I learned the difference between a Yankee and a damn Yankee. …
Something to consider in these difficult times.
It’s hard to know what to say to people who think differently than you right now. Whether it’s politics, religion, or culture, when you don’t see eye-to-eye with people, it can create tense situations. As someone who has navigated between worlds my whole life, I learned how to meet people where they are.
For a lot of my life, I’ve experienced discomfort over my bi-cultural identity. I was born on American soil, making me American. Still, I embrace my South Asian side. I always have.
As my own unique ray of light, I didn’t always hit the mark by showing those sides at different times. Since I spent much of my pre-teen years as the only person of color in the room, I shared my heritage as much as possible. That led to my sixth-grade teacher telling me I was too pro-Indian, and she was Italian and didn’t talk always talk about it. …
Will it help them save the Senate?
As the 45th president refuses to concede the election, we remain a divided nation. Donald Trump’s subsequent legal action didn’t surprise anyone. He made his attempts to steal the election and not accept any results that weren’t a win for him transparent. The surprises here are the lengths some Republicans will go to promote a mass denial and placate the 73 million people who voted for him.
The cult of Trump is the sword that they will fall on.
Rep. Matt Gaetz tweeted about “clear instances of voter fraud all across the country.”
Senator Ted Cruz accused Pennsylvania of “breaking the law” and other illegal acts. …
2020 relentlessly serves up cause for cynicism. Between a pandemic, political unrest, and division, unlike anything I’ve seen in my lifetime, I’m having more WTF moments than ever. Considering the fuel the coming election results will add to the societal wildfire, the chaos will likely peak. Despite that, I made a conscious decision to shield myself from it.
Here’s what I’m doing.
I curtailed the amount of time I spent watching to 10–20 minutes if I do watch it. I am not equipped to handle all the world’s ills, and I don’t need to continuously remind myself of them.
When COVID-19 hit, I watched the news and read articles to learn as much as I could. I like to stay informed, generally. Now, it’s a matter of having the information I need to protect myself. In the middle of all that, I became a minor news junkie. …
We didn’t learn anything new.
After the presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, we all needed a shot of normalcy or just a shot. When the fiasco CNN’s Jake Tapper called a “hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck” ended, we had no more clarity than what we started with. So, the least we all could expect from the vice-presidential debate of 2020 was two adults having a conversation, which we got.
We also got Kamala Harris, the first woman of color to debate as a major candidate on the national stage. …
Your compassion, too.
I have come to an uncomfortable truth that I avoided accepting before. White supremacy and racism are not a deal- breaker or even a concern for more Americans than I realized.
During the 2016 election, when Donald Trump called Mexicans rapists, a colleague said to me, “Oh, he’s done.” Not only was he not done, but he also became our 45th president. I remember wondering why racism was overlooked. I rationalized that people didn’t think he was serious, that he was pandering to his base.
How else could so many be so uncaring?
Donald Trump proved how serious he was over and over again. After Charlottesville, he called people brandishing torches, screaming, “Jews will not replace us!” “fine people.” He topped that with putting Mexican and other brown children in cages. Before the debate, he put a stop to Federal racial sensitivity training calling it “anti-American.” …