Help Me Not Be Such an Ass: September 17-October 15


Basically 10 things, plus this prefatory material, which doesn’t count, so I totally stuck to 10 things: Last night I had the honor of witnessing Jonathan Kozol speak at UWG (!!–the college of ed there turns out to be badass, I did not know), and I invite you to listen to him too–to be delighted, lit on fire, and possibly to have your ass handed to you, if you aren’t all about educational equity, down to your marrow, and acting accordingly. This would be perfect for your next hour-long car ride where you want to get a little misty eyed and fired up.

And now, a few things I have turned to in my eternal quest to just not be such a damned Ass:

1. My friend Briallen writes great and timely stuff, like: “When God Won’t Let You Do the Assignment”

2. This is almost more than I can bear to read, but that’s what we’re about: Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?

3. I LOVE reading reviews of why Stonewall is terrible. So…ok, maybe this has not so much expanded my mind, but whatever. Vanity Fair‘s is a great example of the “Stonewall Ain’t Shit” genre.

4. White Women’s Tears: a nice nuance on white fragility.

5. Angela Davis’ autobiography. She wrote it when she was 28, under pressure. A great read in many respects, including just for reinforcement of the historically significant events of the 60s. Buy the book (or borrow from me)…but here’s a PDF!

6. Slate’s Interactive history of the American slave trade. Just go see.

7. 9 Questions to Ask a Woman Before Asking Why She Doesn’t Have Kids. I don’t currently want to have kids… I do prickle when it’s asked a certain way…and I still want to ask other people, because it’s just interesting! (whee!). But…you know what else is probably interesting? The horrible panicked thoughts each person we meet might have had this morning before they got out of bed…but, we don’t ask, cause it’s not our business.

8. I Don’t Want to be an Excuse for Racist Violence Anymore: White Women’s Passive Role in Racist Attacks Like Charleston. If white men are going to believe or pretend they are defending white women, white women can say THE HELL YOU ARE.

9. Crissle West narrates Harriett Tubman’s Civil War espionage on “Drunk History.”  Oh my god. It’s amazing. I’ve watched it 10 times. And, I have subsequently become addicted to her (and her friend Kid Fury’s) podcast The Read. If you have some of your own white fragility you are ready to assault by listening to some wide-awake, insightful, hilarious people who do not give two shits whether you are white and fragile… The Read!

10. Aaron McGruder‘s “Black Jesus” on Adult Swim. McGruder is the creator of The Boondocks comic strip and animated series (which you should also watch on Netflix when you are down for kicking the ass of any white fragility you may have some more, and seeing animated versions of Cornel West and Henry Louis Gates Jr.), and just generally a serious goddamn culture creator. “Black Jesus” manages to be a lot of things at once, including hilarious, anti-capitalist, scathing, and heartwarming. Sacred and profane! “They know not what the fuck they do!” comes up a lot. It’s just really good.

Ok! So, that’s what I’ve turned to lately for help. If you have suggestions for not being such an Ass, I’ll always take them.



3 thoughts on “Help Me Not Be Such an Ass: September 17-October 15

  1. Always a treat to read through the …Ass series. In my Bible study this week, we heard about Saul chasing his father’s asses (sometimes I love the King James Version some people bring) and in the end the chase leads to him meeting Samuel who anoints him to be the first king of Israel…anyway, as we played with the symbols, king as ego, priest as spirit, perhaps, we considered if the donkeys might represent the stubborn will, in addition to playing an animal-trickster role. Anyway, when I read the title of your post today I thought about the stubborn-will and colloquial meaning of being an ass. Anyway, I should stop and get dinner ready! Thanks for your posts.

    > James Derkits > Blog: > Church:



    1. I have not written on it, but I do think about it, and I choose to capitalize Black and not white pretty consistently. The dude who says he does similarly out of respect echoes my sentiments, but as I reflect on it now, it also may reinforce whiteness as default, as nothing anyone needs to think about.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s