'Dear White People' does not point the way toward a happy, huggy, post-racial future. Nor does it prophesy a revolutionary fire next time. And it does not pretend that “race” is a symmetrical problem to be solved by acts of reciprocal good will on both sides. This is in part a movie about racism, about how deeply white supremacy is still embedded in institutions that congratulate themselves on their diversity and tolerance. It is, in other words, about how the distance from a place like Winchester to a place like Ferguson, Mo., is not as great as some of us might wish or suppose.
—A.O. Scott, “Advanced Course in Diversity”
It’s easy to compartmentalize violence, to assume bad things are done by bad people lacking compassion and a moral compass. Nobody wants to believe the most dangerous people in their lives might be the ones they love.
Except that’s exactly what domestic abuse is, violence and psychological torment wrapped up in a blanket of seemingly earnest “I love you’s.
—Diana Moskovitz, "The Only Thing Unusual about Ray and Janay Rice Is That Anyone Noticed"
I’ve waited - sometimes patiently, sometimes in despair—for the story under pressure of concealment to reveal itself to me. I’ve been doing this work long enough to know that our feelings—that vast range of fear, joy, grief, sorrow, rage, you name it—are incoherent in the immediacy of the moment. It is only with distance that we are able to turn our powers of observation on ourselves, thus fashioning stories in which we are characters. There is no immediate gratification in this. No great digital crowd is “liking” what we do. We don’t experience the Pavlovian, addictive click and response of posting something that momentarily relieves the pressure inside of us, then being showered with emoticons.
—Dani Shapiro, "A Memoir Is Not a Status Update"
As a black person in America, it's getting exhausting to still have to explain, in the year 2014, your right to exist in this country. To explain that you are a human being whose value sits no lower than anyone else's. To explain our basic humanity. And perhaps worst of all, to explain exactly why we are outraged.
With a self-esteem and imagination as shaky as their vibratos, R&B’s new guard is a group of misogynistic morons more concerned with being cool, than suave; with charting a momentary meme than a classic song; with mistreating and degrading hoes, rather than seducing, and loving women. Rhythm and blues has become rhythm and bash.
—Aaron Randle, “Rhythm and Bash: Why Is Today’s R&B So Hard on Women?”