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Who knows of Tommie Smith and John Carlos?

unless you were living and watching the 1968 summer olympics, you probably have no idea who either of these men are. for me, watching them on the medal stand –for the 200 meter dash, with black gloved hands raised in the black power salute– was a true learning experience. i realized i lived in a seriously and dangerously racist society. after their imbroglio of the olympics, the story of tommie smith and john carlos was rarely mentioned. (to learn more about these two brave men, read this terrific article from GOOD magazine.)

[below, the medal stand for the men’s 200 meter dash. l2r: peter norman (australia) silver medalist, tommie smith (usa) gold medalist, john carlos (usa) bronze medalist.]

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it’s 2012 now, and one would hope racism would have ebbed by now; unfortunately it’s resurging and rearing its ugly head even more dangerously. with the presidential election coming up, i am seeing and hearing (i live near atlanta, ga) things that make me want to sit in a corner and just CRY. people i know are saying very racist and scary things on facebook. they don’t say them out loud or in conversation as there is an unwritten rule in the south: no one talks about religion or politics. it’s considered “impolite.” on facebook or unsaid, the racist undercurrent is like tinnitus: you can still hear the shrill sound that doesn’t end.

in 2008 i had such optimism about the future. i watched the inauguration of President Obama and the parade following, sobbing through hours of televised coverage. i was crying because i was so happy that FINALLY something happened in the united states with which i could connect, of which i could be proud. the country had elected a black president, and he and his family were smart, beautiful and likable. hope.

my biggest question about racism (then & now) is WHY?? why is racism still so prevalent? why is a black president so threatening to so many people? why do people think the color of one’s skin is equal to one’s worth? we should have learned by now. we should have left this nasty business behind long ago. for those still clinging to this outrageousness, i ask you to take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself WTF?¬†give yourself an opportunity to stop hating. please stop hating.

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so, sarah silverman, stephen covey and marissa mayer.

i posted it on twitter and facebook and i may as well post it here. i wish i had sarah silverman’s balls. she is proposing to sheldon adelson that he donate the $100 million (earmarked for the romney campaign) to president obama in exchange for a sexual favor that includes scissoring. the visuals alone from my words are starting to make me a bit ill. i admire ms. silverman’s fortitude, strength and ability to look the other way when it comes to politics.

on the other side of the ethical coin, stephen covey died today. of course there were tributes pouring in from everywhere, but i’ve never been a fan of the man. the planners and datebooks his retail establishments churn out are quite good, but business advice laced with the LDS morality and values? naw, i’m good. i don’t need seven steps to anything. to be clear, i believe to avoid any unpleasantness, religion should be kept separate from EVERYTHING. (i had to use shouty capitals because the religious right is trying to fold in christianity as part of government and i’m not having any part of that. apparently sarah silverman isn’t game for it either.)

and the best news for women of power everywhere: marissa mayer was named CEO of yahoo! today. she was quite influential as a google executive, where she helped shape the google of today. at thirty seven, this is kind of a big deal for the feminists and business women; she’s young and likeable. and she’s been an overacheiver, it seems, since birth. i wish her well and will watch her management of yahoo! with great interest. oh, and she’s pregnant with her first child! take THAT, glass ceiling!!

and today, my dear friend eorah myers passed away. she’s the friend whom i’ve been boo-hooing about for the last few days. of course i am sad, but she was really sick. she had cancer. and i found out from mutual friends that she was at peace with herself and the world. i was even able to get some messages to her before she passed via my friends mary ianucci and jimmy wilnewic. so she’s gone. but never ever will she be forgotten, as bright sparks rarely are. be upstanding and raise a glass to a dear friend of many: eorah!

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