Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas Around the World!

Arabic: Milad Majid

Brazilian: Feliz Natal

Chinese: (Cantonese) Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun

Ethiopian: (Amharic) Melkin Yelidet Beaal

French: Joyeux Noel

German: Froehliche Weihnachten

Italian: Buone Feste Natalizie

Japanese: Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto

Korean: Sung Tan Chuk Ha

Spanish: Feliz Navidad

Tagalog: Maligayamg Pasko. Masaganang Bagong Taon

Thai: Sawadee Pee Mai or souksan wan Christmas

Urdu: Naya Saal Mubarak Ho

Vietnamese: Chuc Mung Giang Sinh

Yoruba: E ku odun, e ku iye'dun!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: The Reason for the Season

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Take Down Tolerance Tuesday

I'm adding Take Down Tolerance Tuesday to my meme box. People talk about tolerance and inclusion together often as if they are interchangeable. I think they are related, but different. According to, tolerance is a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one's own. I think the distinction between tolerance and inclusion is eloquently stated in this exerpt from the What is Inclusion? article by Shafiq Asante(I encourage you to go to the link and read the entire article.):

Inclusion is recognizing our universal "oneness" and interdependence. Inclusion is recognizing that we are "one" even though we are not the "same". The act of inclusion means fighting against exclusion and all of the social diseases exclusion gives birth to - i.e. racism, sexism, handicapism, etc. Fighting for inclusion also involves assuring that all support systems are available to those who need such support. Providing and maintaining support systems is a civic responsibility, not a favor. We were all born "in". Society will immediately improve at the point we honor this truth!!

Tolerance acknowledges the fact that we are different and implies that a person will "tolerate" you. Meaning, they are not choosing to exclude you, but they are not necessarily choosing to include you either. When I look at it this way, inclusion is so much more favorable than tolerance. I think about the times in my life when I have just tolerated people, especially ignorant people. Then I think about the times in my life when I'm sure people were just tolerating me. Both cases are unfortunate, and my goal is to work towards inclusion and being what fellow blogger from the desk refers to as a filler instead of a dipper.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ignorancist Mission #1: Failed

Yesterday I went to Walgreens to print out some picture cards for Christmas. Thus began my first ignorancist test. I asked the cashier to call someone to the photo counter and waited for that someone to arrive. A couple of minutes later a man who seemed to be the "manager" came out of the back office and asked me if I had been helped. I told him that I was waiting for someone to help me with my photos because I didn't see a place for me to stick my flashdrive to download my pictures. He said he didn't think that it was possible for me to use my flashdrive, and I explained to him that the person I spoke to on the phone earlier from their photo department told me that I could. Here's how the conversation continued:

Manager: Was the person male or female?

Me: Female I believe.

Manager: Young or old?

Me: Silence

Manager: White or Black?

Me: Silence again with raised brows. In my head I was saying, "You've got to be kidding me! Is this fool for real? How the heck am I supposed to know if the person was young, old, black, or white. I did not call via video phone. Apparently there is some code in speech that allows us to know a person's age group or "color" just by hearing their voice, but I'm sorry to say that I am not aware of it.

Manager: Couldn't tell, huh?

Me: Shaking my head no, with the same expression on my face.

Manager: I'll get someone to help you.

He disappeared into the back again. I waited a minute and decided to leave. Mission failed! My dilemma: Do I waste my time on this man who I will probably never see again in my life or do I talk to him about how his line of questioning was inappropriate and really ignorant? I felt like I should be exerting my energy on people who I actually have to interact with regularly. But now I'm thinking, would it really have been a waste of my time? I don't know. It's really not about me.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I am openly passionate about race. Unfortunately, my passion has often been mistaken for racism. I am honest about my feelings on race, and I understand that it can make people feel uncomfortable. At times I get angry at the ignorance that I witness on literally a daily basis. Therefore, I am making a new confession. I am not a racist, but I am an ignorancist. I CAN'T STAND IGNORANT PEOPLE! Now, this totally contradicts my quest for not just tolerance, but more importantly inclusion. I admit that I have major issues with confronting ignorant people because I feel like they are living in the dark and not worth my time. However, I do realize that this is unfair, so my new goal is to work on accepting ignorant people and engaging them in meaningful conversations that bring them into the "light". This is an imperfect journey, and I plan on keeping you updated on my progress. Please let me know if you have any helpful hints to assist me along the way.