necessarily uncomfortable reading

I highly recommend it

I highly recommend it

My father has always been interested in economics/money/business issues, and being a black man, has of course dealt with those issues as they intersect with race.  So a couple months ago, when I saw that Latoya was reading a book called The Color of Wealth: the story behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide, I knew it’d be something he should read.  So I recommended it, and he bought it, read it, and loved it.  I wanted to read it, too, and by the time he was done with it – he definitely wanted me to read it.

So I started the book last month.  It’s only 291 pages, so I could get through that fairly quickly – except for the subject matter.

The book begins with an overview:  an introduction to the premise of the book, why it is important to look at the racial wealth divide in this country with a more critical gaze, and spotlights how ignorant most of us are about the facts behind the current state of US wealth.  I could totally get down with this.  I learned a lot, and got to laugh a little.

I was actually on a plane [with my mom] at the time, and I kept stopping to show her things, because it was so interesting.

Then I began to read chapter 2: Land Rich, Dirt Poor: Challenges to Asset Building in Native America. A few pages later I got to the section on colonization and treaty making, and I got tears in my eyes.  I tried to keep going, but I couldn’t.

I put the book down and didn’t pick it up again for a month.

Dad kept asking me how things were going with the book, I kept telling him that I hadn’t really looked at it in a while.  I told him how upset I was when reading about the atrocities of the US government against Native Americans.  This one chapter was bringing out a lot of uncomfortable feelings for me.

Finally, last week, I picked up the book again.  Made a little headway, and put it back down – still not done with chapter 2.  This morning, I told myself to just read it and get through it…and to write about why it was so hard to do.

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Artificial Intelligence American Idol is back on the air. These first few shows will continue the tradition of deeply humiliating many would-be stars as they pour their hearts out in front of Paula, Randy, and Simon.

I always feel guilty about watching these shows, and for the most part, simply fast-forward until I get to a good singer. [I love my DVR] But sometimes, I watch it all [or almost all]. Tonight’s inaugural episode was one such episode. I fast forwarded through a bit – I’m not really into getting to know all these people’s stories if they’re not gonna at least be in the top 24, so I just skip all that crap.

As this is the 7th season, we’re in for more of the same-ol, same-ol, tho. So there’ll be costumes to distract us from horrible voices, costumes to just get on tv, and clothes that look like costumes but are actually the chosen fashion of the contestants. As I do every year, I ask myself – do we really want to be on tv that bad? Really?

One guy showed up in a cape – to cover some strange body accessories framing a prodigious amount of chest hair. Simon was ready to dismiss strictly based on the “costume” reveal. And in this case, I’d have to say that’d have been the best option. Instead, Randy and Paula tried to be nice…kinda…and Paula made a comment about how distracting the chest hair was. The contestant actually offered to wax it and come back. She said, fine; Randy agreed; he went to find someone to wax him. This guy dutifully got his chest waxed – I mean…I know guys – who have hair – who have less hair on their heads. Shoot, I think this guy might’ve had about the same amt of hair on his head. Just terrible. Cuz you KNOW that hurt. Bad. And they let him come back, and of course he couldn’t sing. What a waste.

There was a girl who gave Napoleon Dynamite a run for his money. She could carry a tune, but she didn’t have a lot of control. All-in-all, just not show material. Not cuz she was a weirdo…I don’t think. Although I may have a subconscious ‘weirdo’ issue. There’s no telling. I think it was just her singing style and vocal control that just wasn’t where I think it should be. She kinda went ballistic once she left the judges, though. Started a diatribe about how they won’t let through any female dorks on the show. And, that is kinda true. There does seem to be a general formula. Continue reading