In these vitriolic political times a certain city in Northeastern NY, Plattsburgh, is on its best behavior. A dozen years ago Plattsburgh could boasts it had not only a Black university president, but also a Gay Republican Mayor, and a Woman as leader of the SUNY Plattsburgh University Police. If we consider diversity in significant leadership positions it doesn't get too much better than that, right? While in all three previous scenarios it wasn't about their identity, politically, their political identities greatly influenced their environments.
October 31, 2013
April 9, 2013
What an Interesting time to be an American, or even a so-called American. We are living through the era of a reelected Bi-racial president whom the country continues to insist is Black; a moment featuring controversy about an Academy Award nominated film about a rambunctious ex-slave who literally kills a whole lot of White folks when not kicking their racist-rears during his effort to reunite with his lady love; an ongoing dysfunctional debate over gun control in the aftermath of one of the most heinous crimes in American history; and a major college basketball coach caught on camera psychologically as well as physically bullying his athletes. What do all these things have in common? They each contribute to informing us about the construction of the American Identity, how that identity construction rules us, as well as the rules that apply in terms of how we respond to the many dimensions of our American Identity.
November 21, 2012
In the films Unfaithful and Closer, infidelity is a primary reason for tremendous strain on the marriages/monogamous relationships within both films. Julia Roberts and Clive Owen, Richard Gere and Diane Lane as married couples, and Jude Law and Natalie Portman as an unmarried couple all exemplify relational struggles similar to those we see and encounter daily. While relationships begin and end daily, often we don’t necessarily attribute a more sophisticated way of seeing differences as possibly beneficial to assisting couples in negotiating/navigating the often treacherous terrain that they must travel during their relationships.
October 7, 2012
Considering that the Wiley Wandering blog is about diversity and social justice topics we always stay true to that end. Also consider the fact that I teach elements of diversity & social justice in all my classes (Examining Diversity through Film; Examining Dimensions of Cool; The Philosophy of W.E.B. DuBois; African American Culture; Moral Problems/Societal Dilemmas). With that in mind what are the films which we use in class that you would recommend to other readers of this blog that exemplify Romance, Sex, Love, & Marriage (that isn’t pornographic) while also representing diversity & social justice, and why would you recommend them in terms of diversity & social justice? Now, keep in mind that the themes we cover in the class Examining Diversity through Film are Ability, Race, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Socio-economic Class, and Privilege.
August 26, 2012
Though most people seldom if ever process the socio-economic class implications of how they see race, once we stop and really ponder it, it is hard to deny the relationship. The pejorative phrase, “poor white trash” immediately conjoins the two so the need to unpack the phrase probably would feel like overkill. However, when we look at the word “nigger” the undertones of its meaning are vast if not duplicitous. Nigger originally meant property, which morphed into a problem for those who either had to compete against the so-called Negroes attempting to define themselves, or those who no longer had legally sanctioned control over niggers-as-property that of course were once viewed as second class if not the bona fide underclass; criminal (though as newly liberated without resources what were their options), and less than human (legally 3/5 of a person). While all of these aren’t always consciously in a person’s mind when they say or think “nigger,” subconsciously perhaps they are. At least, that is what I’ve discovered from teaching “The Philosophy of W.E.B. DuBois,” African American Culture from 1865 to the Present” and “Examining Diversity through Film” at a predominately white university, working around the country with Dr. Eddie Moore Jr. presenting The Nigger Word” workshops, and reading a plethora of scholarship on the topic. Has that definition changed? I would make the argument that is hasn’t. Subtlety being what it is, or isn’t, I would make the argument that a wealthy, well educated Black person who is bold enough to have been successful in America, could still be seen as a nigger subconsciously by Blacks suffering from self-hatred/internalized oppression. As well, many non-Blacks who think they are of a liberal mindset when it comes to race struggle with seeing once so-called Negroes as anything other than niggers the moment a Black person threatens to adversely affect their reality. This isn’t a reaction racially restricted to non-Blacks ways of seeing. Any seeming oppressive gesture by a White person, for many Blacks, is conveniently considered Cracker-like (as in the overseer cracking his whip over the back of a slave).
June 23, 2012
I recently received a phone call from Tabatha Finnegan, granddaughter of one of the North Country’s most active citizens, Harold Brohinsky. She informed me that this founder of the region’s Human Rights Commission and long-time local business owner was deathly ill and requesting a conversation with me. I immediately rearranged my schedule.
March 11, 2012
I know, just like most Americans, that the Obama presidency has not been inhibited by his race, that his being a bi-racial president, and as a result, also construed by many as a Black president, hasn’t affected him one iota. That is why I am asking my readership to assist me in proving that America is finally colorblind to our leaders racial difference. This is why U.S. Senator from Kentucky, Mitch McConnell’s statement that the G.O.P.’s number one goal was to assure that Barack Obama would only be a one term president could not have been associated with race. After all, Kentucky’s history of race relations could not have adversely influenced McConnell’s perspective on the ascendance of a two-term Senator to the highest political position in the U.S.
January 16, 2012
Where is it that you placed your dream
and why is it
that as a team
we always appear to be in a game
we cannot win.
How badly we need you to return
and coach again.
November 19, 2011
When you hold hands, situate yourself for a kiss with a potential lover that doesn’t happen though both want it, badly; when you actually do kiss, or don’t allow foreplay to become an afterthought; or actually put some thought into the style of love making that is apropos this coming Friday as opposed to last Sunday; do we really consider any and/or all those intimate gestures related to notions of diversity & social justice? How so? To what varying degrees and relative to what dimensions/themes of diversity are any of these actions?
October 18, 2011
Occupy Wall Street! Presently, is there a phrase more spoken in the world? Because of Steve Jobs and Steve Zuckerman it isn’t hard to believe that people who have reached the threshold of what they can endure would one day refuse to be oppressed anymore. More-so, that they would launch an international movement by occupying a high profile street to make a socio-political statement-is visionary at its best, and gangsta as a quest. I must admit that I myself have also been preoccupied.