Friday, January 2, 2015

Sharing Our 2015 New Year's Resolutions: I Promise to be More 'Angry', 'Rageful' and 'Bitter' in the Upcoming Year. What are Your Promises to Yourself Or Others?

I hope that you all had a restful and rejuvenating holiday and New Year's Eve (and day).

I was traveling--thus my delay in responding to posts here on We Are Respectable Negroes (WARN). 

As seen in the above picture, my teddy bear family member enjoyed too much revelry and frolicking as 2014 transitioned into 2015. He is a free spirit. But, I do worry about him: his vices may be his undoing.

My week spent at home in Connecticut was nice. I do apologize if my travels interfered with responding to folks here, and also sending thank you notes to those of you who made nice donations to the humble project called We Are Respectable Negroes and last week.

[I also apologize to a good friend of WARN who invited me to a tour of one of Yale's museums and that I could not follow through on given parental guilt regarding my time.]

Again. Thank you. Again. Thank you all very, very much. 

My thanks are not just for those who were able to make a monetary donation, but to ALL of you who comment, email, send positive energy, share my work with others, and are supportive in whatever way(s) are reasonable and possible.  

When I traveled back to my ancestral Connecticut home, I meditated on the past year as it transitioned into 2015; I realized how blessed I was to have such good and loving friends--cats included--who are my family; I smiled thinking about how the friends of WARN subsidized my trip home and enabled me to slip my mother a nice holiday envelope (monies that were left after covering the expenses and opportunity costs associated with the site); and yes, felt regrets about failing some of the promises I made my mother when I was in high school then, now being close to 40-years-old, wondering if I will ever make due on them all.

[Am I the only person who goes home to their parents and reflects on all that they wanted to do for them, but perhaps wonders if they will ever be able to fully follow through on those honestly made obligations during their childhood?] 

The New Near is a time of promises to ourselves, others, and to the universe in the form of "resolutions". 

Research suggests that these "New Year's resolutions" actually have weight and purchase because of the cultural rituals associated with them. I am a simple man not prone to the magical thinking and superstitions of "religion"...except for those known as the Force and Crom.

In the interest of being a common man, I will reach out to common folks' beliefs, and in doing so share some of my New Year's resolutions.

[Insert snark and obligatory laughter as I am the most common of common men, the child of a janitor and a private duty nurse, and a spiritual cousin to Dusty Rhodes.]

As Tim Wise and I discussed in the most recent edition of The Chauncey DeVega Show, one should be careful about reading the comments written in response to their online work on sites other than their homebases such as WARN and

Breaking that rule, I have made the following New Year's resolutions for 2015.

Some folks believe that I am "angry". As a working class black American, my 2015 resolution is that I promise to be even more angry whenever possible and appropriate. 

Some folks say that I am "bitter". As one of my friends explained, "bitter" is how white racists explain away black and brown folks who tell the truth in a way that cannot be explained away, because the empirical evidence is so damn overwhelming. In 2015, I promise all of my detractors that I will be even more bitter than I was in previous year.

Some folks say that I am possessed of "rage". Apparently, in reading some online comments, a belief exists among white racists, and others who are possessed of the white racial frame, that I am a dangerous and raging black man who channels his violent impulses by writing essays online and elsewhere. The fact that I try, and hope that I am, as cool as a cucumber in a freezer, in mid January, in Norway, is somehow less preferable, and maybe more frightening than their fantasies of Nat Turner and Denmark Vessey. 

Meditating on the realities of white supremacy and white racism occupy a very small amount of my mental energy and time. I embrace our shared humanity as my prime directive. Life is much better and happier by living through that mantra.

Surrendering to the madness of white racism is one of the primary means through which it is able to exhaust and destroy its foes: please do not yield to such insanity.

I try to draw inspiration and wisdom from the universe's many teachings and life lessons...oftentimes through ways, and in moments, that are the least expected.

As a ghetto nerd, I often return to the wisdom of Star Trek in its many incarnations for personal inspiration. 

In that spirit, Kahless, was/is the greatest warrior that the Klingons have ever known. 

His life communicated many valuable lessons to us all:
Long ago, a storm was heading for the city of Quin'lat. Everyone took protection within the walls except one man who remained outside. Kahless went to him and asked what he was doing. "I am not afraid," the man said. "I will not hide my face behind stone and mortar. I will stand before the wind and make it respect me." Kahless honored his choice and went back inside. The next day, the storm came, and the man was killed. Kahless replied, "The wind does not respect a fool".
In no way am I Kahless, he who is the greatest warrior to ever live. Am I the wind? Or, am I the fool who stood on principle against the wind, only to be killed by it? Only Fate knows. 

We shall see what the future holds.

For 2015, I promise all of you that  I will keep standing on principle, as I have for the last 7 years which We Are Respectable Negroes and have existed, that racism is a fact and not an opinion. 

Moreover, We the People of conscience have a deep obligation to fight for the Common Good. This principle is non-negotiable.

As I did in 2014, I am going to continue to say "yes" to the opportunities that WARN and your support have brought to me. 

What are your resolutions--be they big or small--for the year 2015? How are you going to make your small part of the universe a better place? Please share if you are so inclined.


Myshkin the Idiot said...

I've always admired your unrelenting, unforgiving narrative of American racism and conservatism. Please keep it going.

Resolutions are things I already have going on:
Unclutter my living spaces.
Keep fighting my back pain. (I will be looking for a disability lawyer this year. )

I joined a new facebook group called Let's Talk Politics
Interesting people there. The conservatives are all wild cards.

What a wild year in politics.

chauncey devega said...

I have always admired your goodness and sincerity and positive energy.

Uncluttering? What a sin :) Clutter is our friend.

Was 2014 any more of a wild year than 2013? I always ask myself for more perspective.

Stay strong in the New Year.

Hopefully other folks will chime in with their resolutions and sharing too.

Myshkin the Idiot said...

The clutter has gotten ridiculous. You'll be seeing my family on Hoarders ;-) in a few years if we don't get it under control.

I feel like the activism on the street in support of Eric Garner and Mike Brown made a much bigger impact this year than previous years.

Watching the conservatives double down on their cruelty has been very instructive.

chauncey devega said...

Matt Paxton, one of the founders of the Hoarders company featured on TLC has a great interview here:

all 4 parts are so revealing and insightful.

KissedByTheSun said...

I don't really make resolutions at new years anymore. Or I should say that I try to resolve to grow on a daily basis. I do want to become more versed in the Kalam Cosmological argument this year. I suppose that's a resolution of sorts.

DJ Orejon said...

I try not to make resolutions per se, but in 2015 I am focusing on spending as much time as possible with my son, graduating and passing the bar and trying to get my government relations business grounded in progressive policy work.