Non-fiction

How to ‘do diversity’ when you’re lazy, ignorant, and/or malicious
by Tamika Thompson | Another Chicago Magazine

1. Throw around toothless terms like “diversity” and “inclusiveness,” while ignoring the fact that whiteness is at the center of your initiative.

2. If the notion of “diversity” is ever challenged, or if anyone suggests using the term “equity,” tell them emphatically that “equity” sounds too community organizer-ish and will scare people away (and by “people” you mean “white people,” but don’t say that part out loud).

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As Strong as They Come
by Tamika Thompson | Los Angeles Review of Books

Tears never fall from your eyes. You are the shoulder that others cry on. You do not feel pain. You never sleep in. You barely need sleep at all – no more than four hours. You rarely bleed, and, when you do, it is only a few drops – a panty liner, not a full pad. Compared to other women, with their “vulnerability and emotional outbursts,” you are so strong.

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Miss Sick of This Vs. Mama Cool
by Tamika Thompson | MUTHA Magazine

My four-year-old so often says, “Mommy, I need to tell you something,” that I almost missed what she had to share that day. I hurried her up the steps and out of her preschool, ensuring that we had enough time for her to eat a snack of cheese and pear, change into her leotard and tutu, and drive the four miles to her ballet class.

Even with my hand on her back in the sweaty space between her shoulder blades, gently nudging her faster, faster, “Let’s see who can make it to the car first,” faster up the stairs and out to the parking lot, I knew that her ongoing declaration was a parenting pop quiz. A way to make certain that her words mattered to me, that she could trust me. So, I accepted her test as I always do, no matter the pressing time constraints.

“Okay, Morgan. I’m listening.”

She was dawdling. To quicken her pace, I snatched up her paint-speckled hand, the yellow sparkling like gold on her brown skin.

“William spit on me, Mommy.” Her boisterous voice shrank to a pained near-whisper. “Not the William in my class. Not my friend William. The other William, in the other class. On my cheek, my hands, and right here.”

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Talking Race With a Toddler Who Wasn’t Talking About Race at All
by Tamika Thompson | “Motherlode,” The New York Times 

Recently, my 27-month-old daughter, Morgan, asked this: “Mommy, can you hand me the black one?”

Sitting with her on the living-room rug amid a mess of plastic building bricks, I realized that she was referring to one of her action figures.

Long before, and apropos of nothing, she had named two of her toys Sonkey and Donkey. And since the ponytail-wearing girl figures look alike, she has always treated them as if they were sisters. But this time, as she set up a colorful birthday party with imaginary cake and balloons for them to enjoy, instead of calling them by the names she had given them, she referred to one of them as “the black one.”

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Asleep on the Job
by Tamika Thompson | Primetime, ABC News

“That’s the reactor building,” my partner Dana Hughes said as we drove onto Pennsylvania State University’s campus. She looked down at the map. She looked up at the sign on the road. She looked down at the map again. She whispered, “This is it.”

It was about 11:15 a.m. and we had been driving for four hours. During the drive we went over our plan for the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor: Day One would be surveillance; Day Two would be a scheduled tour of the 1-megawatt reactor with low-enriched uranium.

“Let’s drive up there,” Dana said. I drove to the building.

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Nader/Gonzalez: ‘Open the Debates’
by Tamika Thompson | The Huffington Post

In their vice-presidential debate Thursday night, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Delaware Senator Joe Biden ended in a veritable draw, not unlike Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama in their first presidential debate.

But what if there were a third (and fourth) candidate on the debate stage? What might he or she add to the discussion?

Former San Francisco Board of Supervisors President and Ralph Nader running-mate Matt Gonzalez said third party candidates would offer Americans more of a “clash of ideas.”

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Green Party VP Candidate: ‘The Hip-Hop Community Has To Go Green’
by Tamika Thompson | The Huffington Post

In her acceptance speech as the Green Party vice presidential nominee in July, hip-hop activist Rosa Clemente said to applause “we can lead a nation with a microphone. Hip-hop has been that mic, but now the Green Party needs to be the power that can turn up the volume and blow the speakers out.”

Green Party Convention attendees likely knew a lot about Green Party presidential nominee and former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, but unless they knew the difference between KRS-One and Ludacris, they probably hadn’t heard of Clemente.

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