Guest Column

At a recent dinner for Human Rights Watch, it was speculated by people at my table that the reason there were fewer people attending than the year before was, in part, because of the HRW report that concluded Israel was guilty of apartheid-like treatment of Arabs in their territory. 

It can take a lifetime to feel that we’re finally in our own skin; that we’ve comfortably grown into the person we imagined ourselves being. Some people feel fully at ease with themselves early in life, but I think that’s uncommon. One important contributing factor is whether we care about what others think of us, both while we’re living and after we’ve passed on.

In early February, Walter Lay was shot to death in a Tampa-area dog park by Gerald Declan Radford, who goes by the nickname “Dec.” The men started out on decent terms and were part of a group of acquaintances that socialized daily while walking their pets. It was a source of joy and created a budding sense of community in the neighborhood.

The governor of Alabama banned my life’s work. Privileged, white, conservative politicians, like Florida’s Ron DeSantis, are trying to prohibit any education on diversity, equity, and inclusion in public schools, from kindergarten on. This is a much bigger deal than you might imagine.


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