I believe in redemption- I couldn't do the work that I do if I did not believe that we are not defined by the worst thing we or our societies have ever done. However, while forgiveness can (not should) be extended to all, people like Amber should have to work towards real atonement for the harm they've caused us. This is solely the work of the perpetrator, the victims owe them nothing- no emotional labor and no hugs.
When Haitians took to the streets it was to send a message that the people fundamentally understand what it takes to take on an oppressive Goliath and they’ve taken down ones bigger than the IMF before.
My first hour in Haiti as a Haitian-American female aid worker was a detailed lesson on how sex abuse and the exploitation of vulnerable Haitian people is systemic in international development. A complete seismic shift needs to happen for the #Oxfam scandal to become Haiti's #metoo moment...
After watching I Am Not Your Negro, as a current expat, I was not surprised that James Baldwin left the USA of the 1960s and 70s and went into a self-imposed exile in France. I reached out to fellow black expats and asked them a simple question: Do you feel freer outside of the US? I was taken aback by the overwhelming responses I received:
There is plenty of blame to go around: The Democrats failed to speak to the fears of majority, dismissing them as inconsequential. The average white voter failed to realize that we minorities have been drowning in this Titanic of America with them, not on the lifeboats with the 1%.
I stood there shocked as he walked away, the realization of what just happened sinking in. It was not yet 8 a.m. in the morning and I had already experienced racism, sexism, paternalism, and classism all before I’d even had breakfast.
Today, with the murder of Alton Sterling, I scrolled through my timeline and again viewed the familiar disconnect as my white friends live in an America where the police serve and protect and my black friends live in one where the police harass and kill. That is our reality.
The fact that Panama celebrated and embraced its citizens of Afro-descent this month in a region that often hides or derides its African roots is noteworthy. Yet it's how the people themselves embrace their African roots through music, food, dance, and discussions that made this month exceptional!
The exoticism of black bodies in the Caribbean has led to some of the black men preferring to date white women exclusively as their meal ticket to economic stability. It was in a local club in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica where I’d finally had enough of this...