America is struggling in the aftermath of police killings of black men in Ferguson, New York City, Cleveland, Florida, and more…and more. Today Time published an essay by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar entitled “Why I Have Mixed Feelings About MLK Day.” Few celebrities utilize their celebrity status for the well-being of society. Mr. Abdul-Jabbar does.
I reprint the beginning of it below. I encourage you to click through and read the whole thing.
[Full disclosure: I have no interest in the NBA, but I have been a fan of this intelligent and articulate man for years. In fact, I included “Kareem” in Cheesie Mack Is Sort of Freaked Out as the middle name of one of Cheesie’s friends, Glenn Philips…and he, according to Cheesie, is the smartest kid in school.]
Abdul-Jabbar’s essay begins:
I have mixed emotions about Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For me, it’s a time of hopeful celebration — but also of cautionary vigilance. I celebrate an extraordinary man of courage and conviction and his remarkable achievements and hope that I can behave in a manner that honors his sacrifices. And while Dr. King still has his delusional detractors, who have a dream of dismissing his impact on history, it’s not them I worry about.Continue reading “MLK Day and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar”→
I end each Cheesie Mack school presentation with a Q&A. And I can count on certain questions always being asked:
“How long does it take to write a book?”
“How did you come up with the idea for Cheesie Mack?”
Those are not surprising. But I also always get questions you might not expect:
“How old are you?” (I award a Georgie 4 President sticker if the questioner can guess my age within ten years. Their answers have ranged from 16 to 96!)
“Are you rich?” (Often this question is disguised…e.g., “What model car do you drive?”) Continue reading “Are Authors Rich?”→
There is very little to recommend California’s Interstate 5 except straightness and speed.
In a midsummer’s sunset somewhere south of Buttonwillow, I am rolling at 80, glazed by oncoming lights and nearly listening to bad luck and worse love on a Country FM out of Visalia. I lift, drink, and am down to an inch in my water bottle.
Suddenly a below-decks clang-clank yanks my eyes to the rearview, and there’s something bouncing along behind me in the road dusk, losing ground. A non-conscious thought hikes my foot off the accelerator, and I coast into senses and an immediate inventory: there is no smoke, no smell, Continue reading “On Balance”→
New Hampshire has held the first-in-the-nation presidential primaries since 1920. With the first presidential “beauty contest” in 1952, our citizens have personally met the candidates and by popular ballot have declared their preference for their party’s nominee. Since 1960, Dixville has been the first community in the state and country to cast its handful of votes in national elections. On election eve 100% of the eligible voters gather in the Ballot Room of The BALSAMS. At midnight polls open and a few minutes later promptly close. The results are broadcast around the world.
—Roadside marker text…NH Route 26
It is both a privilege and a responsibility to vote. The few citizens of Dixville Notch, NH, take their franchise seriously and have gained notoriety therefrom. So, this year…will it be…”How goes Dixville Notch, so goes the nation”?
We respond to our kids’ boredom by providing technological entertainment or structured activities. But that’s actually counter-productive. Children need to encounter and engage with the raw stuff that life is made of: unstructured time. Continue reading “Hurray for Boredom!”→