I mentioned at the end of last month that I would participate in an online discussion dealing with racism, with a focus on racism leading to the death of young Black men at the hands of police. My interest in the topic, and the reason I agreed to participate, is based on my deep desire to see the racial divide in this country heal. And I believe it can’t happen without person-to-person dialog. So, I agreed to lead a conversation. I will expose myself, with all my biases intact I guess, to a mostly Black (that’s my assumption) audience and try to open communication with them in the interest of working toward healing. I realize I’m just one man who has little to no influence on the larger world, but (in the words of the sponsor), “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.” And I do believe that. I sincerely hope the people who read this post will be willing to commit to two hours to listen and, if they choose, participate in what I believe has the potential of being an important conversation about race and healing racial divides.
Here’s the text (with grammatical errors and spelling corrected…I can’t help myself) that appeared on the sponsor’s Facebook page today, announcing the event:
Can education trump racism? John Swinburn, the leader of the conversation on “Courageous Conversations About Education” – ‘Ask A Teacher’ says, “I wish I could change history…and I understand I enjoy white privilege; but I realize I can’t—simply because I’m a white man—understand the extent of privilege I enjoy.” Sunday, August 21, 7pm, ET; PHONE: (425)440-5100, Pin: 119398#; WEB: http://iTeleseminar.com/87694203.
I will be most grateful for my friends if they will contribute their time and open-mindedness to listen in and, perhaps, participate. Here’s the image promoting the event:
Phil, I’m seeking gratification through art, sculpture, and writing, with a bit of casual hiking and road trips and some longer travel thrown in for variety. Despite enjoying said diversions, they don’t seem to be as fulfilling as I might like.
As to assets, who know if I have enough? Time will tell. I figure the worst case is that we’ll have to suck it up and move into a studio apartment or rent a bedroom in a trailer-house in a mobile home park.
I look back at my career in association management as essentially wasted energy with few, if any, contributions to the greater good. Consequently, when presented with little opportunities to participate in something that might be meaningful, albeit in a microscopic way, I want to take them. It’s my attempt to atone for a misspent life.
I’m interested in how you’re crafting your retirement. I’m looking for the exit ramp, wondering if I have sufficient assets, wondering what I’ll do. With good health, for the nonce, I could plunge into hiking and paddling and similar gratification.
But you’re reaching for something more. WTF are you up to?