When a friend posted this information on Facebook, I couldn’t help but to pray that it was all a joke. Let’s take a peek at why they’re having this march. According to the event website, the White Man March is meant to “spread information through activism,” and “make a statement that White people are united in their love for their race and in their opposition to its destruction.” The writer of the post Kyle then goes on to talk about how minority groups, he specifically calls out latino organization la Raza, hold monthly marches and gatherings all the time, as opposed to groups advocating for White interests that “remain relatively silent or hidden from the public.” Wow. Give me a break. Relatively hidden? How is that possible?! You, White people pretty much run the world still or have you forgotten?
Former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) has been “quietly visiting inner city neighborhoods,” for more than a year. Here’s what he learned: “inner city” men don’t want to work. He elaborated in an armchair radio interview yesterday with mentor and conservative septuagenarian Bill Bennett, saying, “we have got this tailspin of culture in our inner cities in particular of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work.” He even salutes the “inner city” cultural expertise of another septuagenarian, Charles Murray of “Bell Curve” infamy— thus rounding out 44-year-old Ryan’s homage to all beliefs precious and dear to a dying generation of Americans. Interesting strategy for a party that, according to its 2012 election autopsy, needs to win the next America in order to be relevant.
I will not be arguing to take away or strike down the first amendment. The first freedoms granted to the citizens of The United States are among the most beautiful and poignant expressions of individuality to date; however, there are exceptions to every rule. The government cannot abrogate your freedom of speech, unless you happen to be in a crowded movie theater (Schenck v. United States). Therefore, our freedom of speech has limitations.
Given the historical context of white supremacy from the Spanish Asiento to English culpability in the institution of African slavery in the American colonies, the modern use of the word “nigger” continues to carries with it collective memories of a violent and oppressive era. It is because of this past that the use of this word by white people is unacceptable. No other word inflames the passion of black Americans more than the word “nigger” as it is a constant reminder of the debased status of blacks in the United States and justice that never fully materialized in our so-called post racial society.
How do you decide if you’re going to write about your own experience or someone else’s experience. How do you figure out which experiences are OK to write about, and which are going to translate well to fiction?
I think my first general rule is that most of my experiences are not that interesting. It’s usually other people’s experiences. It’s not that entirely conscious. Somebody tells me a story or, you know, repeats an anecdote that somebody else told them and I just feel like I have to write it down so I don’t forget — that means for me, something made it fiction-worthy. Interesting things never happen to me, so maybe two or three times when they do, I have to use them, so I write them down.
You’ve lived in Nigeria and in the U.S. How is literary culture different in those two places?
I feel like Nigeria is still — in the 1960s and ‘70s we had this great, wonderful flowering of writing and then it went down during the dictatorship, so there’s something new about the writing that is being produced. It’s really in general about the cultural production, not just books — it’s also music and art, fashion. There’s something exciting and new and fresh and so many of the people who are producing work are free to make new things because some things haven’t been made yet. I think, in the U.S. there’s a much longer tradition and so I don’t think there’s that much — “excitement” is not the word. It’s not new, it’s not like a new kind of flowering.