Monthly Archives: April 2014

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Before You Turn the Page on Donald Sterling

 

 

There are a lot of sighs of relief and satisfaction today.

After an unauthorized recording exposing his racist attitudes found its way to TMZ, and after just about everyone connected to the league spent the weekend consumed with “WTF” levels of gawkery over his well-documented reputation for racism, and after swift sanctions against him were promised by newly-minted league commissioner Adam Silver, it’s official – L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned from the NBA for life.

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Believing Without Seeing

This post is, of course, inspired mostly by the annual celebration of Easter, the day that Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ. A small part of it was probably, on a subconscious level, influenced by the ABC freshman drama “Resurrection,” which is either based on or tangentially related to a really confusing number of TV serials and movies, all related to the phenomenon of people returning from the dead.
But mostly it’s me just doing what I do most and best… dwelling on the most trivial and arcane portion of a really important topic, mostly just because I can, and seeing where it leads me creatively.
So without further ado, I give you a brief two-scene play that attempts to partially answer the question, “what might the resurrection have looked like if it happened in our time?”
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What It’s Like Being Black In Portland

So it seems that a series of circumstances have all led me to reminisce, Pete-Rock-&-CL-Smooth-style, about my upbringing here in Portland Oregon, the undisputed whitest major city in America. Reconnecting with old friends from high school, being a little less homebound and a little more out-and-about in the city (which is a typical, if subconscious spring ritual), and responding to people emailing me about Mitchell S. Jackson’s March essay in Salon, about his experiences growing up here.

I’ve written about this issue before, but usually only tangentially. It’s not something I feel the need to discuss all that often, not because my experiences aren’t novel or interesting, but because there are so few genuine opportunities to talk frankly about racial issues without the issues being sidetracked or hijacked by local or national politics. I actually have several compelling interests that could incentivize my sharing what it’s like growing up here (at or near the top would be to promote my creative works). But in practice, it’s hard to do so without being burdened by the advancement of a particular agenda – as in, talking about diversity in the context of Why We Need To Do Such & Such About The Problem – or, more honestly, without bumming white people out.