Feb 27th: Glamor and Grace at the Oscars


Today was another day of working conflict and abuse cases, and maybe I’m overly sensitive to this, but there does seem to be an uptick in hate speech in this country.

As Jewish cemeteries are being desecrated and bomb threats are expressed against Muslim and Jewish centers of worship, the silence from the White House is deafening.

And when our leaders are quiet, they essentially condone the hate, so people are saying things now that they may have thought in the past, yet now they seem emboldened and say it out loud… and share it with all their neighbors. After all, the President has their back.

Like the people who report a car break in and immediately blame a certain population group, even no one was seen or caught in the act. Or the man who wants a crime free hood and then adds ALL WHITE in caps. Or the woman who told her neighbors all Muslims and Mexicans should be herded together in California with a wall around it.

Interestingly, many of these noises come from people in states where there seems to be a lower number of Mexicans and Muslims than say the Bay Area or LA where I haven’t seen the same number of incidents of hate speech yet (in my work that is). To me, this is a manifestation how fear based this all is (irrational fear of the unknown, really), and much of that fear is rooted in fraudulent facts.

Enough. Did you see the Oscars?

Last year, the Oscars were mega boring– this year, the event was true entertainment. After weeks of Trump tweeting how great he is, I was struck by some of the speeches. I’m hungering for humility where people don’t go on an ego trip but where they say, I’ve made it to this point because of the family, friends, teachers, mentors and colleagues who supported me. This is not about me or about fame, some of the winners seemed to be saying, but this is about doing a job well. We can all learn from this.

There was glitz and glamor, as is so typical of these events but there was a strong undertone of grace, too– America’s grace that’s gone missing in action the moment the Obamas vacated the White House.

Thus I was immensely touched by the producer of LaLa Land who stormed to the microphone to correct the mistake of the Academy, handing the award over to the cast of Moonlight. A class act.

The real world, our world can learn a lot from tinseltown when they put on a display like that. Last night, they set the tone of what our discourse ought to be — it was one night only and ephemeral at that, but I’ll give it a special place in my heart to draw inspiration from, going forward.

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