A Story About the Blessings of Social Media

Over the past few years, I’ve heard people complain quite often that social media—especially Facebook and Twitter—is destructive to relationships as well as the individual. Whereas I can see how this can be true in some instances, I do think the criticisms have gotten the lion’s share of the attention. In my experience, the discussion has drowned out some very positive things about social media. Personally, I think social media has some great benefits, so much so that I’d even call them blessings.

Sometime in the past year, I was having a conversation with a high school student named Jason*. He shared with me that he doesn’t like it how sometimes social media gets a bad rap. He said that if it hadn’t been for social media, he would not have the social skills that he has today.

Jason went on to explain that prior to social media, he had a lot of difficulty navigating the social landscape. He even confessed that he had significant bouts Continue reading

everything is beautiful*

My daughter drew this a while ago, but it’s by far my favorite drawing. I like that she depicts herself as flying. Really captures her personality. Peyton told me the girl standing on the ground is mommy, and that she’s wearing purple because that’s mommy’s favorite color.

Every morning when I see this picture on the fridge as I leave for work, it reminds me to try to look for beauty in everything. I hope she & Brandon never lose that sense of wonder; I hope it only deepens in me.

Minority Births a Threat to National Identity?

Brandon at birth.

Today, on the Time website, Christopher J. Ferguson published an article titled “What You Need to Know About the New Census Numbers on Hispanic Births.” Here are some of my initial thoughts.

First, I find this development to be an extremely beautiful one. It is wonderful to see America becoming more diverse. This article, however, is terribly troubling and telling.

First, it’s titled “What You Need to Know About the New Census Numbers on Hispanic Births.” Who exactly is he referring to when he says you? I have my hunch.

Then the subtitle reads, “The data has gotten attention because of fears that it threatens our national identity, but it signals a blending of culture more than anything else.” I can tell you that for Hispanic and other minority US CITIZENS, this does not feel like a threat. But besides that, it is not a threat but an evolution of our national identity. And finally, why does this author feel the need at all to assuage any of these supposed fears? Why does he feel this need to calm people down by calling it a “blending” rather than a threat? This subtitle and article marginalizes a massive segment of the US population, and it shows a gross ignorance that is inexcusable for a psychology and criminology professor at Texas A&M International University.

Finally, this article makes me wonder, why do some in the majority population feel so threatened by this development? Could it be they finally realize that the country is in fact still profoundly racist and that reality has concrete implications for minorities?

What is most ironic is that the author who penned this article is probably oblivious to how his words come across to minorities. At least to me, that’s the only thing that explains how this article even saw the light of day.

NOTE: I am not saying this author is being deliberately racist; but, his language does betray a racial ignorance that is symptomatic of a country that is racist from its individuals all the way through its structures and rhetoric.