Here in the dog days of August, when we have so much racial tension in the air, and a Presidential candidate for a major political party stoking racism as much as he possibly can, it can be really, really hard to find some honest to goodness good dialogue out there.
But if you look hard enough, it’s there. I was alerted to this four-minute C-Span clip the other day on Twitter, and it’s really pretty fantastic.
“I’m a white male and I’m prejudiced,” began a caller from North Carolina to a C-Span show with guest Heather McGhee, an African-American woman who runs a public policy organization called Demos.
The caller went on to explain his biases and why he feels the way he does, and asked “What can I do to change?”
McGhee almost visibly is taken aback, but she calmly explains to the caller a few simple things he can do, such as getting to know an African-American personally, and turn off the news that almost always over-represents African-American crime.
It’s a simple exchange, but it struck me as really important. There’s no yelling, no name calling, just an older white gentlemen trying to change his ways, and an African-American woman offering suggestions to help.
If we turn down the volume just a little bit and listen to each other a little more, who knows what may happen.
**Next up today, there are a lot of things wrong with what the Little League World Series, held in late August every year in Williamsport, Pa., has become. ESPN televises WAY too much of it, and often horribly zooms its camera in on an 11 or 12-year-old crying in the dugout because of his team’s loss. The pressure on these kids is often unfair, and there are lots of way-too-intense coaches who intimidate their players.
Which is why I love happy stories like this one. Isaiah “Bugsy” Jenkins is a pitcher for Bend North, an Oregon team that advanced to Williamsport this year. Isaiah was pitching a great game on Monday when, in the fifth inning, he started to struggle.
His coach and Dad, Joel Jensen, came out of the dugout for a pep talk. What he said was simple and beautiful. Watch the very short video above.
Good job, Coach Jensen. That’s how it’s done.
**And finally today, lots of American students and teachers are already back in school, while some, like the ones here in New York, still have a few more days of summer vacation.
So I thought it’d be nice to salute the hard-working educators who go so far above and beyond to help their students. Upworthy.com profiled 11 of them, including this biology teacher (above) who wears wacky outfits to get her students interested in learning about the human body.
Teachers are awesome.