I’m on a bit of a political tear this morning, so if you’re feeling mellow or need to be apathetic, I’d suggest you tune back in tomorrow, when I hope to have worked through this fury. But if you’re pissy and ready to roar, read on.

Last night, I heard – as part of the Cecil College Speakers Series – a great presentation by Ray Winbush. He was talking about the systemic racism in America – how to be racist you have to be part of the white supremacy that operates here. He was also pointing out the ways that racism pervades society – see this month’s Vogue cover. Dr. Winbush was clear to say that not all white people are racists; but he did make the clear point that we all live in a racist system. I walked out of that talk thinking – finally, someone speaks the truth and articulates what I’ve always known. Now I can fight against it.

Then, Leslie at Work-In-Progress pointed out the huge disparity between male and female Pulitzer winners, as did Francine Prose did a few years ago in Harper’s.

And then, I looked up statistics on the Congo, as Winbush suggested last night. More people have died in that conflict than in any war since World War II. Check out this video by Alexander

My point is mentioning these things is not to say that any of us can fix all of these problems. But we can try, and we can know about these things, and we can speak about them. Sometimes bearing witness is all we have, and sometimes it is enough because it has to be.

As a writer and a teacher, I believe it is my job to show these things for what they are – injustice, prejudice, genocide, apathy – and I hope you will do the same.