“Choices are a privilege defined by circumstance. In this country, the circumstance is always racism, oftentimes poverty. The two combined strip our choices away to the minimum.”
– Mychal Denzel Smith
(from his book “Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching: A Young Black Man’s Education”)
What?! June 2016 is the previous blog post to this one!
Well, it’s neither that I have forgotten about this blog nor that I don’t have anything to share.
My guess – life stuff (e.g., work, family, friends), including the 2016 presidential election and outcome. This post? A random list of things since June 2016 (and certainly not comprehensive), a few pictures, two things that continue to pop-up regularly as I navigate my thoughts, and why I’m posting. Oh! and Trump is a racist.
A few of my random tidbits since June 2016 include –
- continued consulting in the air quality and energy projects (power plants) sector, as well as working on a few small research projects of my own for community involvement and public participation
- co-authored a technical report for EPRI, the Electric Power Research Institute – Emission Control Technologies and Regulatory Issues Handbook for Simple- and Combined-Cycle Plants
- member of a project team that identified (under confidentiality) international best environmental performances for gas turbines, including plant-specific features, regulatory landscape, and emissions
- spending time with family and friends, with a share of birthdays, graduations, weddings, anniversaries, and funerals
- transitioned my calendaring and journaling practice to more of a bullet journal system (and yes, this takes time, especially after discovering the world of planners, pens, and stickers)
performed a different style of improv – improvised theater in a Spontaneous Sitcom format
- incorporating coaching – Behavior Design and Tiny Habits – more formally as part of my business, with my specialty area of An Improv Mindset for the Workspace … professional development endeavors towards creating human-to-human shared experiences – think interactions, environment, choices, and tiny habits and practices – for workspace cultural shifts, inspired by improvisation and servant leadership philosophies
- being a Certified Coach who, as part of BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits® and the Tiny Habits® Academy, has recently been hosting the 5-day email-based coaching to learn the tiny habits method
- working part-time at the San Francisco Haight Street store for John Fluevog Shoes
- reading quite a bit of non-fiction (books, blogs, journalists, researchers, etc.), particularly related to race and culture, including re-reading Jeff Chang’s Who We Be: The Colorization of America
- … and keeping odd hours throughout the day and night.
Why posting today? Just to get my thoughts/feelings out – I loathe that we have a racist President. And there are times where I just … don’t want. Don’t want to listen to the news and like-kind. Don’t want to read about ridiculous shitty statements. Don’t want to piece together uninformed decisions. Don’t want to interact.
But then there are the thoughts that swim in my head or events that trigger thoughts … for the better. This morning I had a conversation with a friend. I was reminded of two things that continue to pop-up regularly as I navigate my thoughts –
- narrative creation – What Favianna Rodriguez shared at a 2015 panel about the importance of culture and narrative (and this was BEFORE the presidential campaigns were in full swing) –
… people defining culture are creating laws, affecting laws, etc.
… culture surrounds us everyday … we form our opinions based on what’s around us, … allows us to define ourselves
… narrative correction is important and narrative creation is important
… stop being the NO culture … what does the YES look like?
- L.O.V.E. from Love Deez Nutz, or Why Van Jones Is Wrong and Maybe Even a Bit of a Bullshitting Magical Negro, or Happy Friday from My Corner of Trump’s America–Whatever You Like–I’m Tired by Michelle R. Smith – a post that shifted and impacted my thoughts about race, culture, allies, advocacy, and identity … and for which I continue to read Smith’s thoughtful writing
“So fuck using love as a weapon for fighting racism. Unless you’re going to make love into an acronym. Unless you’re talking about
Leveling with people about their bigotry;
Opting into confrontational political action aimed at definitive positive change;
Voting in every election, not just the Presidential election, so the political process can benefit the oppressed inasmuch as it can in America; and
Educating yourself about what the-hell the government is doing by reading real news and doing independent, academic research if necessary–yes–you should–knowing the shit that’s happening is that important–look at what just happened back in November. It was only a minute ago.”
After a morning of manifesting and visioning with several folks brought together by friend David Ngo, David and I spoke about collaborating on an endeavor. During my chat with David, I wept (anger, sadness, frustration) when I shared with him a few thoughts about the Trump Administration and DACA proceedings. Trump is a racist.
So to answer my question – “Why post today?” Partly, it’s a New Year thing. Partly, I have many thoughts about our racist President. Partly, I am finishing up Mychal Denzel Smith’s book. Partly, catharsis. Partly, I am awake and cannot sleep readily.