Tag Archives: vision

Farewell, Mr. Mandela

Farewell, Mr. Mandela,

We never met. I never laid eyes on you in person.

But I saw and heard you on television. I read words about you. And I read your words.


steadfast pursuit of justice
enduring commitment to the people – all the people – of South Africa
understanding of the possibilities opened by forgiveness
willingness to look beyond what is to what could be

touched and awed and inspired me
and countless others.

I give thanks for you,
for your life, and
for your work.

I give thanks that,
though half a world lay between us
we shared life on this
little brown, green, blue rock.

I pray for your family
for you friends and colleagues
for the people of South Africa
for weavers of dreams
and workers for justice
who grieve at your death.

May we know comfort as we mourn.

May we have strength to join you in the struggle for freedom, justice, and dignity for all God’s children.

May we experience your presence accompanying us in that struggle.

Farewell, Mr. Mandela, farewell.

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Filed under Antiracism, Current Events, Human Rights

White and Yellow

A short time back, I subscribed to Grace Ji-Sun Kim’s blog –  Grace Ji-Sun Kim ~ Loving Life.

In today’s post (24 April 2013), Grace reflects on race and privilege and racism.

She begins with an experience on a plane trip with her daughter. A brief encounter while leaving the plane brought the reminder that:

… an Asian is always already viewed as a foreigner no matter how long they have been living in this country.  Even fourth or fifth generation Asians are viewed as the “perpetual foreigner.”  Asian Americans have been depicted as “perpetual foreigners,” “unassimilatable,” and other stereotypes that reveal historic and persistent racism experienced by this racial/ethnic group.  For example, almost every Asian in America has been afflicted with the perpetual foreigner syndrome.  Many have been asked, “Where are you really from?”  This loaded question, which I shall call the “really-question,” differs from the usual one, “Where are you from?”  The really question figuratively and literally ejects the Asian American respondent to  Asia, because the assumption behind the question, even if the questioner is oblivious to it, is that Asian Americans cannot be “real” Americans.

From the experience on the airplane, Grace proceeds to explore being viewed as the “other” or a “perpetual foreigner.” She considers the social construction of “whiteness” and white superiority and white privilege. Race, as she notes, intersects with gender, sexuality, age, sexual orientation and more.

Her story and reflection remind me to remain ever vigilant about the role of privilege in my life. In so many ways, I am privileged.That brings me responsibility to challenge the systems and structures that create the privilege and give it to me. Sometimes I do not do that well. Sometimes I do. Always I must pay attention and try to do better.

Grace closes with a vision:

I envision a world for my daughter in which people of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and social classes can come together in harmony and love.

The reality of my privilege challenges me to work to overcome racism and other systems of domination and strive to create another world. The vision encourages me to do the same. Check out Grace’s post and see how it speaks to you.

See you along the Trail.



Filed under Antiracism

An ancient message

Walking to the office yesterday from Grand Central,

I chose to use 43rd Street

where I viewed again

an ancient message of






See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Photo