Good morning, Apexians. Like many of you, I am so so weary. What a day. What a week. What a year. It has been damn near impossible to get any work done for the past three months. (Thus the woeful state of Get Rich Slowly lately.)
Now the chaos has spilled over into the personal-finance community, a community that has always felt like a family to me, a community near and dear to my heart. It all makes me want to go crawl in bed for a few days…or years.
But I won’t. Instead, here are some stories I read yesterday. None of these are about money because I didn’t actually read any money articles yesterday. Instead, I was reading about race in the United States.
First off, most of my loyal readers know that I’m a life-long fan of the Portland Timbers soccer club. One of our players — Jeremy Ebobisse — was born in Paris but now makes the U.S. home. And oh yeah, he’s black. It’s been a challenge for him to move from France (which is not without its own issues) to the United States, where race is such a deeply-ingrained problem. He recently published an essay sharing his thoughts and feelings. It’s our first story today.
This isn’t meant for your comfort. [Jeremy Ebobisse on Medium] – “I hope I’m wrong and that we, as a nation, are ready to confront the legacy of slavery and racial discrimination in hopes of understanding where we are today…But there exists a cynic in me, a cynic that protects me from getting my hopes up, a cynic that reminds me that this will blow over in most minds and we will still be isolated in our fight for human and civil rights”
“It’s the end of the world and I can’t get anything done. [AskMetafilter] — “I and a lot of other people I know are having difficulty with accomplishing much during this time…We text each other about how we can’t focus, we’re glued to the news/social media, we can’t stop crying, we’re lonely and worried. No one’s getting enough sleep. My car insurance is overdue, but it hardly stands out in the swamp of ‘stuff I should be doing, should have done 2 months ago really’ and I wind up hyper-focusing on a craft project. I don’t need to be a star right now, but I want to maintain enough productivity to avoid work problems, and stay on top of my life basics.”
A sociologist examines the “what fragility” that prevents white Americans from confronting racism. [The New Yorker] — “DiAngelo addresses her book mostly to white people, and she reserves her harshest criticism for white liberals like herself…Not only do these people fail to see their complicity, but they take a self-serving approach to ongoing anti-racism efforts: ‘To the degree that white progressives think we have arrived, we will put our energy into making sure that others see us as having arrived.'”
What everyone should know about Reconstruction. [The Conversation] — “Most students get limited information and context about what African Americans have experienced since our ancestors arrived here four centuries ago. Without independent study, most adults aren’t up to speed either. For instance, what do you know about Reconstruction?”
To wrap things up, here’s a six-minute video in which black parents share how they teach their children to deal with the police.
For a long, long time I bristled at the term “white privilege”. I found it offensive. I thought it was some sort of made-up construct. But you know what? My parents never had to teach me how to deal with the police. And if I had kids, I wouldn’t have to teach them either. That’s white privilege.
I’ll be back tomorrow to finish the week. Friday’s edition of Apex Money may or may not be money-centric. We’ll see.