Bitter, Sweet, Hurt, and Uncle Louis.

Losing my uncle Louis was indeed bittersweet. One day (I know not which–because the days often blend together), I paced my grandmother’s home. I asked myself. Why are there no Christmas decorations up? And then I understood quickly, Christmas is not in packaging, in witty references to Santa, aboard the Polar Express, or present in the pomp that reflects our gayest apparel. It’s hard to celebrate when you’re blue. And I’m just blue right now.

Christmas is about love. Love, that I definitely wasn’t feeling when I realized my Uncle Louis joined the spirit world and left this temporal place.

I felt sorrow. But I also felt a since of completion…and the urge to be thankful that someone else’s life struggle was finished. Funerals are not for the people who died. They are for those left behind—-the survivors that have to keep living in the wake of such immediate finality.

When I think of my uncle’s influence on me, I think of the blues. And boy did “UNC” and grandma have it. They struggled together to share even when sharing could pull them apart. They called me: the deacon or “DEAC”.

I never wanted the name. They just gave it to me. That blessing and curse, hoisted like a lasso upon me, because both my uncle and his sister believed me to be a spirit healer.

I could receive them. And I often did. I received all their blues. One can be blue, even when the smile is easy. My grandma stayed awake worrying about my uncle. She was worried in the morning, worried at noon, worried in the middle of Family Feud. And when he sat in the chair next to her, She could let loose her frustration. For she is the female Rodney Dangerfield to his very visceral Lenny Bruce. She could let down her hair and be brutal with her sibling, knowing some strange condition that he might not see.

And as my grandma loved him…

I was there to take my grandma’s side when people broke her heart, there offering good-natured encouragement when strife was unavoidable. With holly decked and tree-trimmed, I’d be the singer, the teacher, the muse, the friend, and the partner-in-crime. At gatherings, I’d try to focus the good, even when the good seemed lost. I was the bartender, the YES-MAN, and the regrettable referee.

But it’s adverse in the middle trying to radiate gentleness in many rough and tumble situations.

Little Milton bellowed: “Hey, hey. The blues is alright.” And the blues is alright—–unless it masks some deep unresolved psychological trauma.

I have vivid memories of my uncle sharing his troubles with everyone. He shared his blues with his sister, the woman I’m indebted to in spirit and truth for teaching me about hard work. When you’re as close to your sister as my uncle was to our grandma, you can’t help but feel compassion for the plight of two people so intimately intertwined. I don’t feel sadness or regret. I just feel ambivalence.

I’ll miss the fish and potato salad he offered me. And he liked to fry his “sack-a-layed”. I’ll miss the grilled steaks that he made. I was afraid to touch anything in his kitchen, for fear that I wouldn’t put it back the way I found it. I’ll miss the handshakes. I’ll miss his laugh—-that was bigger and boom-ier than a Kentwood speaker. I’ll miss how he made my grandma smile brighter than the sun.

I’ll miss the random visits that I couldn’t prepare for. HE WAS ALWAYS AT OUR HOUSE! I’ll miss his pride after cutting lots of grass on a HUGE, MONUMENTAL tractor. I’ll miss the joy he felt in playing music, the comedian he was at his house parties. I’ll miss his mini-sermons about how his method of doing things was the only method. I’ll miss the stories about his life that I didn’t get to hear because some of them were too painful.

I will miss our telephone repairman. I’ll miss his presence at holiday memorials and Jehovah’s Witness congregations. He said to me that if the Library made me happy, I should stay there.

He also said that: If graduate study helps me become the professional I aspire to be, I should be courageous and go for it.

He did impact my life in a complicated way, a way that explains why many of us are so nomadic, never truly stationed at a fixed destination. We are all searching for something. And what we search for isn’t always what we need.

But we grab at anything that eases the silences in our hearts: a cocktail hour, a secret rendezvous, a forlorn song, or a special fishing hole. We will never be able to conceptualize why wanderers journey beyond the sea, cruise to God knows where, with God knows who. Only the ticket-holder knows where that trip is headed.

He was a Navy man. Maybe that’s why he loved to ramble on and on about how fun his cruises were. He accepted me as a man—-in his own way, at his own time. I am glad I waited. It was an albatross’s journey. We reached a reasonable place where acknowledging my Cerebral Palsy wasn’t as a big a deal to him as he once imagined.

I loved him with a fear that ebbed and flowed between intimidation and honor, between sympathy and cynicism.

All I know is that:

I loved him the best way I could. And I loved HARD even when I could not rightly love myself. He was a father to me, in his way. But all is well in my heart. I can only hope that he found peace on his way to meet the great I AM.

Goodbye, Uncle Louis. “Deac” will miss you.

You are not happy

Many people exhaust themselves understanding me.  No, really. Astrology nuts say that Sagittarians are wild-cards. And if you have played UNO before, you know that “WILD” cards make any UNO game unpredictable. The “WILD” card can stop a player in his or her tracks when UNO has already been called. The “WILD Draw Four” can be the difference between a new UNO winner, and a player left holding half the deck. I’ve had to take comfort in my “WILD” status, because it doesn’t go away.  I’m either left holding half the deck, or I win in a blaze.

But if I let jealous people tell my story, they’ll say: Harold is not very happy. 

I cannot be happy. I’m in my 30s. I’m single. I’m a creative. My career isn’t “high powered”. I don’t know “EVERYONE”. The people I do know are their own pacesetters. So therefore, I must be UNHAPPY with the life I am building, and therefore impossible to “help”.

So let’s clarify: I’m choosy with my relationships. I’m not a person that “NEEDS” an elaborate schmooze fest to “feel important”.

Like a wild animal, the archer blazes with fire to hit the target. I’m in a wonderful place whenever I can just HIT THE TARGET. Hitting the target matters.In college, a “hit” would be getting the degree. If I’m at work, a hit might be a salary increase. If I’m writing, a hit is “publishing more copy”.

I believe it’s only fair that the inept exhaust themselves with their obsession with my differences. I’ve never been a fish that you can take care of in a bowl. I’ve never been my “assigned role”, even when I act the part well. I’ve always had changing options about serious issues, and I have always had to learn on my feet. It’s quite hilarious to me how the more I know myself, the more I’d rather just hide. And it’s not that I’d hide from everyone. One can be a people person and be “picky” about people.

I’d hide not because I’m afraid. I actually hide because I  sometimes anticipate that those who want my resources are writing a devious story. That story always casts me as  some silent partner in a heist that eventually costs me more than I could pay. 

My father recently told me in just a few words:

Son, I think you’d be happier if you do just like this person. (He laughed to try and hide his seriousness.) Why am I so perceptive now?

(The other person was a sibling of mine.) The sibling had recently started a job. And I was instructed by my father to mimic that sibling because somehow the professional life I’m making is “embarrassing” or “counterfeit” or it’s not, to quote Bonnie Raitt: “something to talk about”. 

But I am happy.

I don’t know if I want you to talk about my career if you can’t be positive about it. Please don’t embarrass yourself anymore than you already have.

Someone once told me that I wasn’t happy because I was unwilling to be victimized by a relative.

To which I replied: Oh, I have enough. I call “phony” on the whole crazy lot of you. 

I’m happy that I’m alive to the resentment others throw at me because I’m happy with my flaws.  I am happy that I didn’t get stuck in a marriage, hemmed with child support. I’m happy that I’m not mentally ill. I’m happy that I understand that people don’t just behave their anxiety away. I’m happy that I can figure myself out, without owing the whole world an explanation. 

I used to believe that being visible was a sure way to build happiness. But even the visibility of Instagram and Facebook does not guarantee the true gratification of REAL joy.  Sure, I could flood every feed with pictures of the wonderful things that I am doing. But the things that make me happy aren’t the things I need to plaster all over my social media platform, all the time-everytime. 

I listened to Anderson Paak’s new song “Tints”. The lyrics juxtapose the symbolism between the tinted windows , and the erected shadows needed to survive in a world intent on taking all your treasures. 

The line I love says: I been in my bag adding weight, tryna’ throw a bag in a safe”. 

As a person, I’ve had to pad my bag of creative, mental, and spiritual power with rocks and bricks. I’ve had to add dead weight to my treasure because sometimes it’s as though I’m existing in a land of vultures who really seem convinced that they are not robbing my time and space. If my life’s a car, I’m confining my light in one small space while every window is tinted obsidian.

Some believe that in order to be happy, one has to perform a role… make nice with everyone, not stand on your principles. But I have principles, even if the grand game plans to fight like hell to make them go unacknowledged. 

For me, being happy does not being “perfect”. Having joy, doesn’t negate the problems I still have, or the anxieties I still face. I can still be upset that I was disrespected and misrepresented, and still forgive and love the person that committed that offense.

Of course, there are complicated things in my past that I have asked God to forgive me for. But everyone does dirt when they are “young and ill-informed”. I believe that some people live to capitalize on the simple-minded, because that’s the only story they’ve got. 

 I’m still that wild-card… aware of so much more than people want me to see. And I’ve accepted my role as an actor, but it’s high time for the producer to appoint an understudy. Because I’m very full of joy, I just refuse to breathe in all this dead spiritual food. 

I cannot stomach the denials, the silences, the shame, the ridicule. I don’t need to talk about others to love who I am. And I don’t need a lover to know that I am not ready for a relationship. 

Like Britney Spears sang years ago: “I need me. I need space.” 

I don’t need anyone to tell me how to be. I just need each one to concentrate on healing themselves. I can’t heal you…. I do well to heal me. 

I am healing every year. I’m happier every year because I’m working through my past. And I love the guy who writes, reads, geeks, and sees that so many idiots just need therapy and maybe some good medication. No, you aren’t bad people. I just won’t fix your problems for you. I’m not gonna help you live in denial. 

If you’re so happy, I don’t want it. I’ll stay over here with my books, my Kindle, my Pacific coast fascination,  my tea, my coffee, my writer friends, my musicals, my librarians, my Chromeo, my, Weezer, my Ted Schmidt cardigans and vests, my Khaki-pant love-affair, my NPR, my anime.

I’m happy to be connected and I’m learning to be content. I’m getting my life together. And it’s not a personal vendetta, if I’d rather not write my story as embedded act in the gloom of these other ones. 

I am happy… I’m just not sacrificing my own peace, to make you happy. I know what that’s life. I gave more than 20 years to such an equation and came away with regret, bitterness, and insanity. 

Again, I’m happy… I think you’re just grieving because I’m not nearly as stupid as you manufactured me to be. 

About the wildcard thing. I know it was expected that I’d be afraid to abandon my comfort zone. Well, I can tell you. I am not scared anymore. If you lose me… it won’t be because I abandoned you. It will because you assumed that shaming me was better than healing yourself. 

Stay classy, not brassy.

Harold

Confusing Conversation

It’s bad when a person cannot even be consistent in his or her lies. Maybe I majored in language because I got tired of being perceived as a disabled dummy. And maybe I wanted to ensure that if any person changed my narrative—I could at least level the adversarial playing field with some spiritual and contextual wisdom.

I believe every language has weird exceptions. We, English speakers plural words differently and have odd problems addressing gender and sexuality in written and oral communication. The funny thing about English is: The ability to side-step the context of words is woven into this language’s history.

Am I surprised we are twisting narratives around? No.

The way we deal with the rampant inconsistencies of confusing conversation is simple. We had better know our own story like we breathe air. We’d better make friends with our faults, so we’re prepared for when, like a volleyball, they are lobed at us. I’m getting my own story straight because I cannot predict when an unforgiving, spiritually dead person is gonna use it against me.

Whenever thrill-seekers attend theme parks to board roller-coasters, there is a high chance they will see a message that says: Watch your step.

That’s not just an empty clause. We can make it empty if we throw our bias toward it, but that doesn’t change what it says.

When we speak, write, and talk… the words that make our conversations multiply right alongside the probability that… these words might become vacant.

Attending to your balance is also watching how far from the ground you travel. It’s also a warning about the constancy of change. If things are changing faster than you can understand, maybe the object is to keep you confused… so that you won’t see the endgame. It pays to know as much about your steps as possible. But if there are several confusing conversations to get you away from the main event, how can you know who is fooling you, or why they are fooling you?

Sometimes rhetoric can become so overloaded with symbols and idols, that the meat of the dialogue is LOST or worse subtracted altogether.

What about conversation prompters like “national media” or “the media”. It depends heavily on who you’re asking to speak, and how far from the ground they are. The conversation around those terms informs who is talking and what their passions truly are.

People in my past confused me all the time using different conversations to draw me away from the main story… to throw my mind, will, and emotion into subservience.

When you are confused about the rhetoric, the conversation—the artistry surrounding the word and speech about any topic—there is a fear and lack of discipline that can be used against you.

As a disabled person… older and rife with many misgivings, I make it my own business to know my own story, because if I don’t other more powerful people around me will use my disability to make me feel and think like an arrogant, angry criminal.

What is the best way to stoke anger among people who are otherwise well-intentioned?

Make them feel like their story is on the verge of being re-written, like their cone of influence will die. Make them doubt the validity of their roots, so that they will be manipulated to your side.

This is why conversation, language, and more broadly RHETORIC… is still powerful. The more people that are destroyed because they don’t ask the pivotal questions, the easier it is for one person or group to reap all the rewards. We can be confused to believe we have it worse than we have it, especially if we have never been been broke… never been on the verge of having NOTHING in our bank accounts. It’s easy to ask to borrow from a bank with an immaculate credit line. And it’s easy for a rich liar to convince ill-informed people not to watch their steps.

So I encourage every one to watch his or her steps not for me, but because we’re living in a selfish time, when the overload of rhetoric has totally compromised the ability of quality conversation, when fear is transcending discernment, and idols are replacing worthy ideas. Rhetoric isn’t graceful anymore… but it’s the people’s fault.

Words are weapons when people give them license to be such. I know my story… and I’ll be ready when people grind up my words into confusing conversation.

Joints

While several people around me celebrate a different joint, their blunts and papers to Mary Jane… I worry about my ligaments—the joints that I nurse like a concerned parent over a flailing, expressive baby. I delicately balance having Cerebral Palsy with being an expansive outgoing, and very disjointed person. I must consider every hour of every day, making sure that I am NOT stressing my joints out. I have to move but what is too much?

My bones, muscles and I tow a moving line between exercise and over-exertion. I can clean a home. I can push a lawn mover. I can drive as long as I really know where I’m going. And there is fear built in to these joints I’ve got.

Because as I age, the line between enough and too much moves wildly like a Tourette’s patient with spasms included. There are days when I exercise just enough. And conversely, there are days when my joints react in confusion because I got too excited about what I was doing… and my mind won over my body’s lingering, persistent limitations.

So while you guys are smoking your blunts, I’m giving myself tough love about what my joints can and cannot do. You people only have joint problems when you’re old. I’m not old and I’ve had to deal with pain in my joints as a child.

And no I have never needed marijuana to cope with Cerebral Palsy. I know we all are different, and I know some of you guys are going to be angry with me. But I have never used a drug like marijuana to cope with my very permanent disability.

My pain rating varies. If only I could use that celebrated J.D. Power rating system to give everyone a comfortable star rating of what happens in my daily life with this developmental problem that I didn’t ask for, you guys would get it.

But I’ve lived with these “creative” muscle joint problems for over three decades and I cannot always predict what my own muscles are going to do. I rely on faith, balance, and lots of delicate therapy, and several conversations with Jesus, GOD and myself. Sometimes, all these things aren’t enough.

Some people use joints to cope. I use my joints to linger, to traipse, to frolic, to jog, to amble, to press, to move along. I can’t kick. I used to move a ball around on grass when I was a little tike. These were sparse moments when I did some edited form of physical education. And there was this one time when the spherical shape of the ball became nuisance enough to knock me down. It’s funny how joints are space between things. We use drugs to space out, but I’ve never been truly separated from my Cerebral Palsy. I’ve tried many things to bridge the gap.

I’ve done the performance anxiety thing, they self-motivation thing, the pray it away-thing, the fool yourself and act like it isn’t there-thing. The watch others so you don’t watch yourself-thing. But there was always a space for people to conclude: Poor him, he’s like that dis-reputable establishment of a person that makes a great stew, but can’t tie his shoes.

I don’t have to pretend to be a ghost, or apparition. My disability spaced me out. There is always a space between the disabled and other people. The irony is that I’ve fought hard to find my space, my point of connection, or my point of location.

And as an adult I’m more out of joint with many of the people I’m supposed to find the space between. So books are my connection. Words are my heroes. Because in effort to find location, and the space between start and finish…

I’ve existed in a Uncle-tom establishment that says without a word: even the way you experience your Cerebral Palsy is too much for us.

Sometimes I can’t meet at the meeting place of people like me because my routes and roads are just too confusing.

As a man with Cerebral Palsy, I’ve discovered that by definition my personality is maybe more of semi-conductor than I once believed. See, when people see disability…

They tend to see a blind person. We are blind as bats. We’re looped in with the autistic, as adults quartered off on a separate planet.

But a joint is joining together, not a separation. I’ve realized recently that the social study of myself isn’t the same as the psycology of myself. Words and writing can’t fill what electrified, motivated people bring to the psyche of my disabled life.

My joints made me an other.. but my friends, and my people made me a somebody. Who are my people? Any person that helps me take a break from being a person with CP! Nothing matches the people who make you feel accepted, loved, appreciated, and supported.

And if a joint supports movement, I want to move toward the one or ONES that makes me know the electricity that makes life more than just a collection of days, tasks, and accomplishments spread over a nomadic journey.

I found one person that allows me to move at a stride that’s mine. No, we’re not dating. But like the universe, this person helps my joints do that semi-conducting — still banging, still blazing toward self-ACTUAL, still reaching for SKY.

I don’t understand how cannibus turns us into thrashing cannibals. But if I can accept arthritis before I’m 70, shouldn’t these ignorant nutcases who blame me for just existing, accept that I didn’t choose where my humanity links with the universe collective?

No Reluctant Readers

On October 17th, I met a truly fatigued Kwame Alexander in the middle of his national book tour. He began his book-talk at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library heavily jet-lagged. It was life-affirming to see what passion looked like in the eyes a full-time poet, educator, and author.

As I gathered my wits for the event, I reflected upon my goal to maintain a catalog of living African American writers with careers in literature.

I need to see persons of color—like Alexander, working to demonstrate that writing is not a hapless hobby with ephemeral purpose.

In my experience, people tend to celebrate fiction and non-writers that are not African-American, far too often. Such a practice gives black Americans the illusion that only dead black men and women succeed in contributing to literary conversations. One of my missions as a writer is to debunk the myth that only the dead black writers matter.

We celebrate Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, and Phyllis Wheatley… but those people—while notable in their own right—are dead. And black men and women need to see contemporaries continuing in the name of writing and rhetorical excellence.

Writers like Kwame Alexander are very critical to inspiring writers like myself.

Alexander traveled with his own musician and a unique bag of tricks, among them getting teens and young people excited about poetry, his first love.

Middle-schoolers were reading his collection with smiles on their faces. They were enjoying reading by connecting funny rhymes to life-changing stories.

He also shared how Louisiana will always be special for him. I was surprised to learn that his spouse calls the Hammond area her home.

Then, he said something I’d never forget. He proclaimed: I don’t believe in the term, reluctant reader. My jaw dropped. His answer to a long-standing criticism about reading had shattered a glass wall that I’d been scaling. He reminded me that there is a bridge between reading and writing that must always be crossed. He opined that because his parents made him read for punishment—even his father’s dissertations—he was never made to believe that people acquiesce to reading. He said parents are often the bridge between a child who reads or not. His experience has shown him that if children and young adults are not reading it’s because parents have not found the medium that propels their children to literature.

I hold his view, that a learning person cannot escape the necessity of the read word. I was inspired by his journey as an author to continuing realizing the beauty of language, words, and overall the binding connection of poetry, prose, and puns to people. Every person has a different relationship with words, but the notion that reading has no job to perform will never hold true.

Kwame Alexander’s newest book “Swing” is out now. It’s a mediation of Jazz set in poetic voice, chronicling a story between two close friends trying to find their “cool” in a world that doesn’t understand them.

I had Mr. Alexander autograph my copy of “Solo”. He shared that Solo was his personal love letter to the enduring power of Rock music, a love letter that resounded well with my own nerdy, weird, and wild heart. Although Alexander writes young-adult books, I can joyfully say that he captured my nomadic imagination. And I am not and will never be a “reluctant reader”.

Knowledge

For years I believed that knowledge was the safeguard against people getting the wrong impression about my Cerebral Palsy. I believed that if I learned enough, read enough, studied enough, and contributed enough, people would give me a break. I kept coaching myself through the mental abuse.

I told myself like a mantra: Read, write. Show everyone that you can think with the best of them. But denial does not die so easily. I was born in the 80s, at a time when Cerebral Palsy was new. I grew up in the 90s and became an adult after the millennium.

So, when I came upon an episode of Law and Order involving autistic, bright, and disabled people, my heart paused. The story focused on a mentally-handicapped person sent away by his family. The father of the family told his wife and investigators why sending his son away was “the best thing”. Even for a noticeably mentally-challenged person, the pain of denial is not easily remedied. Even after having two college degrees, I have to forgive the denial of those around me.

It’s as though knowledge cannot save or fix the gap that human connection should fill. So I devour books and I am honored to work in a learning institution, the public library.

My mother taught me. My father taught me. Several women gave me tough love.

But sometimes even these disciplined few had knowledge make them arrogant, deceptive people.

I often read Martin Luther’s King’s “The Purpose of Education.” And I reflect upon that essay accepting that people have gotten more ignorant as more information circulates.

Cutting through the crud of data thrown at every one of us, is getting harder. King says “it’s hard to think for yourself and guard against the swamp of propaganda.” (The Purpose of Education, 1947)

It difficult now because knowledge can be manufactured to suit the biases of others.

All it takes is a small seed of dis-content to spoil a progressive idea that might save a small group of humans from a confused world.

And if people are not judging me for my major (ENGLISH), a knowledge that few care to understand the science behind… they malign me for continuing to read and write.

But my education isn’t about exploiting people. Because the mind is limited, I’ve realized that no matter how much I learn, so people are just permanently lost.

Knowledge can inflame hostility to change. And this is how we got to where we are in my nation. Some of us want to change or progress, but only when the change cannot threaten our security. Humans are creatures of habit and when habits get too comfortable, people get scared. And fear paralyzes options that can be new opportunities.

My grandfather said: You never stop learning. All my kids graduated and I still don’t know everything. I lost him in 2009. I can be arrogant. I can be stubborn but my education hasn’t taken my focus away from building good character.

I am continually mournful when I see businesspersons, layman, educators, and academics using their knowledge to justify poor character decisions. I had to understand personally the consequences of knowledge without character, degrees without commitments, consistency without compassion.

I think knowledge loses value if we cannot point to growing better people as a product of it.

I’m still healing myself from learning that even knowledge can make one sick. If my personal gain is just for the sake a lampooning those that I think are better than me, I should have never gone to school.

Humanity is limited on accomplishment and potential. Education is important, but education with balanced perspective is knowledge’s true path. I’ll never stop missing my grandfather because he had peace, understanding that EDUCATION shouldn’t be a license to attack and disparage.

With the skills I have, I care about people. I’ll never let a love for information stop me from deliver respect to all people. Education isn’t everything. And there are different kinds of education. They all have some value. But we all are motivated by good and evil. Information and education can never blight the toxicity of factions. Even educated, disabled, people like me face prejudice. Were it not for my education, it would not be half as focused on what voices to edit out of my mental computer. And that is a skill education teaches us. We’ve got to survive, and it’s easier to survive with a healthy, working thought process.

Trauma

Right now, I’m considering brewing some coffee while taking in LANY’s “Malibu Nights”. I’ve often said to myself that although I live in Louisiana, my soul exists somewhere within a hybrid universe consisting equal parts California and New York.

The Kavanaugh controversy touches me in the worst way. I’m scared to digest news because my mind keeps going back to Donald Trump mocking a disabled reporter.

Because I’m a Jesus-respecting Christian, I’m waiting for the day I can be completely cleansed of my anger.

It’s been over 24 months and it’s almost totally gone. I think it’s gone because I refused to let my faith become some tool of idol worship.

I’m imperfect and I know that there are errors–seen and unseen— I’ll make in life, love, and influence. I am as human as Donald Trump is, but humans struggle imperfectly when trauma rips them in several pieces.

The pieces we become after traumatic experience usually require some miracle from God. We usually need some Holy Spirit, and some kind of therapy which takes other helpful humans to eventually re-assemble ourselves into something like victory.
Trauma is pain, mental or physical with long-term effect. I’ve been traumatized about the President ever since he made fun of that reporter. And he seems to keep making fun of people. That’s just his way.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve accepted that he is our President.

I have placed his office on a shelf labeled “bizarre” because I have to live in the world with people who are determined to be kind, compassionate, and humane no matter what party they belong to.

If I allow the pain surrounding the chaos he causes to destroy me, I might as well just stop writing, stop reading, stop learning, stop dreaming, and leave America.

But then I would be letting an utterly misguided and slightly disturbed white man run my life, and there’s only so much he can do. He’s only one person, and the nation’s kindness product does not begin and end on his actions or in-actions.

The argument was made by many people, perhaps even Senators that what one does in high school should be overlooked when considering the character of a person.

Apparently, when you’re about to be a Supreme Court justice your high school or college faux-pas cannot haunt you. I’ve seen collegiate people lose valuable positions over their pasts.

I’ve seen people lose employment opportunities because they falsified academic records.
My own high school errors prevented me from starting college until at least 2007. And every action after that point almost prevented my transition to 4 year institution.

So excuse me, if I’m not joining the bandwagon of hurt social pariahs. Maybe, if there are enough public opinions that say you didn’t do something, you didn’t do it.

My point is this: When you have enough money and power to silence people because you “need” your position for a hair-brained scheme, you will bow to the trauma. You’ll lie to accomplish a goal because smart people like a person that they can manipulate, who is emotional and easily played. They like someone who they can exploit using “feelings”.

So why does it bother me that a disabled reporter from the New York Times was ridiculed by the current President?, it’s because I am disabled, and I realize that if a journalist at age 57, could be mocked openly by someone who represents my country, then so could I.

More prescient, I cannot shake the sense that some people are obviously using “white privilege” to craft a narrative that says that white Supreme Court Justices do not make character defining mistakes in college or high school that determine their overall trajectory in life.

Shame to these people I’d say.

As if Christina Ford’s problem were enough to concern me, It’s more idiotic that the House and Senate Republicans are not vocal about his behavior on television as much as he’s vocal about what everyone else does to him.

That should have been enough. I’m confidently certain Obama would never have been able to openly mock people with such voracity, and Clinton’s just a nasty woman.

But Trump invigorates people who are afraid that non-white people would run the country. I don’t discriminate against anyone. Because I’m a Creole man, I’ve never willingly treated anyone with discrimination that I was aware of.

But it’s hard to visualize Trump world without a black box. That black box is: White lawmakers are making all the pronouncements. The optics suggest that there are no other immigrants people smart enough to make rules in a country chock full of immigrants. But I have to stop myself from thinking that this is an actual reality.

The black box—whether with carbon-copy African-Americans, Latinos, is never reality. And the more we feed stereotypes, the dumber we get.

College taught me that black box thinking—that notion that just because this group more likely does A, then everyone like them does A, too—was toxic. That is the problem that separates humanity from its greatest potential. Don Lemon taught me that black gay men could be successful, smart, and not destructive and vindictive.

Reggie Watts taught me that black nerds who improvise constantly can be hilarious. And he shatters the black box because he’s French, German, and black.

The trauma, for me, is others forcing me to believe that a liar like our President can actually benefit traumatized people who seem set on this weird reclamation of a past that was never really there to begin with. I’m wondering how many more books have to be published before the traumatized people wake up. Maybe they don’t want to wake up. My American Government professor was right. Politics is important enough that remaining neutral seems to reflect that of a person that is clinging to life support.

I’m a writer and I have to write my truth. As a disabled person whose days are different based on the condition of aches and pains. I remain traumatized by American chaos. How do you heal trauma. THERAPY. This is my therapy. Characters on the page from a guy who studied a language and observes factions in the fabric of an American vision that is built on the backs of the guy that struggles to pay for food, books, utilities, and a rough while the image of a “inherited wealth” runs the nations goodwill into the ground.

Forgive them because they think they know what they are doing. And after you forgive them, educate yourself about what’s going on… and VOTE.