A Toast Story
Quote 1: The smallness of her cafes is another device to stoke interaction, on the theory that it’s simply hard to avoid talking to people standing nine inches away from you. And cinnamon toast is a kind of all- purpose mollifier: something Carrelli offers her customers whenever Trouble is abrasive, or loud, or crowded, or refuses to give them what they want. “No one can be mad at toast.”
Quote 2: Carreli’s early years with her illness were, she says, a blind struggle. Undiagnosed, she worked her way through college- three different colleges, in different corners of the country – by booking shows for underground bands and doing stints at record stores and coffee shops. But her episodes were a kind of out. Landlords evicted her. Relationships fell apart. Employers either fired her or quietly stopped scheduling her for shifts. After a while, she began anticipating the pattern and taking steps to pre-empt the inevitable. “I moved when people started catching on,” she says. By the time she hit 30, she had lived in nine different cities.
Quote 3: She called the shop trouble, she says, in honor of all the people who helped her when she was in trouble. She called her drip coffee “guts” and her espresso “honor.” She put coconuts on the menu because of the years she had spent relying on them for easy sustenance, and because they truly did helpher strike up conversations with strangers. She put toast on the menu because it reminded her of home: “I have lived so long with no comfort,” she says. And she “Build Your Own Damn House” on the menu because she felt, with Trouble, that she had finally done so.
Quote 4: At bottom, Carrelli says, Trouble is a tool for keeping her alive. “I’m trying to stay connected to the self,” she says. Like one of her old notebooks, the shop has become an externalized set of reference points, an index of Carreli’s identity. It is her greatest source of dependable routine and her most powerful means of expanding her network of friends and acquaintances, which extends now to the shop’s entire clientele. These days, during a walking episode, Carreli says, a hello from a casual acquaintance in some unfamiliar part of the city might make the difference between whether she makes it home that night or not. “I’m wearing the same outfit everyday,” she says. “I take the same routes every day. I own Trouble coffee so that people recognize my face- so they can help me.”
Do you think that identities force us to reduce ourselves and other people to abstractions?
Kwame Anthony Appiah
I think it can certainly do that. Especially when you forget that identity groups are incredibly diverse and that even people who share significant identities differ in all sorts of other ways. White people, for instance, are incredibly diverse, and one reason is that some of them are men and some of them are women, some of them are straight and some of them are not, and so on.
There’s an interesting argument in the book about how identity-based movements that define themselves in opposition to dominant cultures are bound to cement their marginality. Can you say a bit about what you mean here?
Kwame Anthony Appiah
If you allow your identity to be totally shaped by your opposition to a dominant culture, as many racial groups have done because of the history of racism and xenophobia, you can become locked into that minority status. The first time a group becomes conscious of itself as an important social group, it is because they realize that they’re all being subjected to something.
Quote 3: But if you define yourself through the act of opposition, then you’re letting the oppressors set the terms. And it might be better — though of course it’s proper to resist the racism, the xenophobia, the homophobia, the sexism — to give your identity an affirmative content.
First, you come together as a group to protect yourselves, but later you can develop an identity with positive content that isn’t based purely on hostility to your oppressors. That is far better in the long run.
Quote 4: My response to a lot of the complaints people make about identity politics is that I don’t know what politics looks like without identity. There was never a truly pre-identity politics era. The question is not whether to do identity politics or not do identity politics; it’s about which identities we activate and how inclusive or exclusive they are.
Identity- the fact of being who or what a person or thing is
Politics- the total complex of relations between people living in society
Culture- the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group
Quote 1: To describe the new civil rights, I return to the source of my argument. What most excited me about gy civil rights was its universal resonance. Unlike other civil rights groups, gays must articulate invisible shelves without initial support of our immediate communities.
Quote 2: The universal rights of persons will probably be the way the court will protect difference in the future. I predict that if the court ever recognizes language rights, it will predict them as a liberty to which we are all entitled, rather than as an equality right attached to a particular national-origin group. And if the court recognizes rights to grooming, such as the right to wear cornrows or not to wear makeup, I believe it will do so under something more than akin to the German Constitutions right to personality rather than as a light attached to groups like racial minorities or women.
Quote 3: This paradigm captures my coming-out experience. My gay self. The self, was hidden behind an ostensibly straight false self. Yet it would be wrong to cast the closeted self as purely inimical to the gay one. In my adolescence this false self protected the true self until its survival was assured.
Quote 4: In an era when the supreme court has closed many civil rights doors, it has left this one wide open. It is much more sympathetic to “liberty” claims about freedoms we all hold to than “equality” claims asserted by a subset of the population. It is easy to see why. Equality claims- such as group-based accomodation claim- inevitably involve the court in picking favorites among groups.
Paradigm- a typical example or pattern of something
Equality- the state of being equal
Multiculturalism- the support of several distinct cultural or ethnic groups within a society
Quote 1: Law is also an incomplete solution to coerced assimilation because it has yet to recognize the myriad groups subjected to covering demands outside traditional civil rights classifications like race, sex, orientation, religion, and disability. Whenever I speak about covering, I receive new instances of identities that can be covered. This is winnicott’s point- each one of us has a false self that hides a true one. The law may someday move to protect some of these identities. But it will never prove them all.
Quote #2: For these reasons, I am troubled that American seemed increasingly to turn toward the law to do the work of civil rights precisely when they should be turning away from it. The real solution lies in all of us as citizens, not the in the tiny subset of us who are lawyers. People who are not lawyers should have reason-forcing conversations outside the law.
Quote 3: Such conversations are the best- and perhaps the only- way to give both assimilation and authenticity their proper due. These conversations will help us chart and stay the course between the monocultural american suggested by conservative alarmists and the balkanized American suggest by the radical multiculturalists. They will reveal the true dimension of civil rights.The aspiration of civil rights has always been to permit people to pursue their human flourishing without limitations based on bias.
Quote 4: We must use the relative freedom of adulthood to integrate the many selves we hold. This includes uncovering the selves we buried a long time ago because they were inconvenient, impractical, or even hated. Because they must pass the test of survival, most of the selves we hold, like most of our lives,are ordinary. Yet sometimes, what is consequential in us begins to shine.
Homophobia- dislike against homsexual people
Myriad – countless number
Adversarial- characterized by conflict
Quote 1: “But racism is the child of racism, not the father.And the process of naming “the people” has never been a matter of genealogy and physiognomy so much as one of hierarchy. Difference in hue and hair is old.” (pg. 7)
Quote 2: “But this banality of violence can never excuse America, because America makes no claim to the banal. America believes itself exceptional, the greatest and noblest nation to ever exist, a lone champion standing between the white city of democracy and the terrorists, despots, barbarians, and other enemies of civilization.” (pg. 8)
Quote 3: “When the journalist asked me about my body, it was like she was asking me to awaken her from the most gorgeous dream. I have seen that dream all my life. It is perfect houses with nice lawns. It is memorial day cookouts, block associations, and driveways.” (pg.11)
Quote 4: “The fear was there in the extravagant boys of my neighborhood, in their large rings and medallion, their big puffy coats and full-length fur-coated leathers, which was their armor against their world.” (pg.14)
Physiognomy- A person’s facial expression
Mennonite- members of certain christian groups
Deceitfully- deceiving or misleading
Between the World and Me
Quote 1: “To be black in Baltimore of my youth was to be naked before the elements of the world, before all the guns, fists, knives, crack, rape, and disease. The nakedness is not an error, nor pathology. The nakedness is the correct and intended result of policy, the predictable upshot of people forced for centuries to live under fear.” (17)
Quote 2: However you call it, the result was our infirmary before the criminal choices of the world. It does not matter if the agent of those forces is white or black- what matters is our condition, what matters is the system that makes your body breakable.” (18)
Quote 3: The streets transform every ordinary day into a series of trick questions, and every innocent answer risks a beatdown, a shooting, or a pregnancy. No one survives unscathed. And yet the head that springs from the constant danger, from a lifestyle or near-death experience, is thrilling.” (22)
Quote 4: I think I felt that something out there, some force, nameless and vast, had robbed me of… what? Time? Experience? I think you know something of what that third could have done, and I think that is why you may feel the need for escape even more than I did.” (24)
Infirmary- an institution to care for those who are ill
Plunder- to steal goods from a person or place
Society- a group of individuals with social interaction
Between the World and Me 2
Quote 1: The streets were not my only problem. If the streets shackled my right leg, the schools shackled my left leg. Fail to comprehend the streets and you gave up your body now. But fail to comprehend the schools and you gave up your body later. (25)
Quote 2: I remember sitting in my seventh-grade French class and not having any idea why I was there. I did not know any french people , and nothing around me suggested I ever would. France was a rock rotating in another galaxy, around another sun, in another sky that I would never cross. (26)
Quote 3: A year after I watched the boy with the small eyes pull out a gun, my father beat me for letting another boy steal from me. Two years later, he beat me for threatening my ninth-grade teacher. Not being violent enough could cost me my body. Being too violent could cost me my body. (28)
Quote 4: It does not matter that the “intentions” of individual educators were noble. Forget about intentions. What any institution, or its agents, “intend” for you is secondary. Our world is physical. Learn to play defense- ignore the head and keep your eyes on the body. (32)
Compliance- the action or fact of complying with a wish or command
Hyperbolic- exaggerated; hyperbolical.
Dogmas- a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.
I Just Wanna be Average
Quote 1: Younger black families were moving up from Watts and settlings by working-class white families newly arrived from the south and the midwest. Immigrant Mexican families were coming in from Baja. Any such demographic mix is potentially volatile, and as the fifties wore on, the neighborhood would be marked by outbursts of violence. (12)
Quote 2: One early christmas they got me a small chemistry set. My father brought home an old card table from the secondhand store, and on that table i spread out my test tubes, my beaker, my Erlenmeyer flask, and my gas generating apparatus
The End of Race
Quote 1: What it means to be mixed is not at all obvious genetically, but for official purposes it means that a person’s ancestors fall into more than one of the four “racial” categories identified on U.S. census forms: black, white, native american, and asian or pacific islander. Intermarriage is a cumulative process, so once an individual of mixed ancestry is born, all of that person’s descendents will be mixed. (251)
Quote 2: When everyone is marrying everyone else, when the ethnic affiliation of most people can no longer be ascertained at a glance, one imagines that ethnic and racial tensions would be diminished. But spending some time in Hawaii shows that the future will not be that simple. Despite the high rate of intermarriage here, ethnic and racial tensions haven’t really disappeared. (252)
Quote 3: Archaeological evidence shows that people first reached the previously uninhabited island of Fiji about 3,000 years ago. They sailed to Easter Island, their farthest point east, in about AD 300 and to New Zealand, their farthest point south in about 800. (254)
Quote 4: “We didn’t know we were different.” They communicated using a pidgin that combined words from many languages. The German kids taught the other kids to polka in the camp social halls. The Japanese kids taught their friends sumo wrestling. When the Japanese emperor visited Hawaii after World War 2, according to a widely told if hard-to-verify story, he was so impressed to see wrestlers of all different nationalities in the dohyo that when he returned to Japan he opened the county’s sumo ring to foreigners. (255)
Geneticists- an expert in heredity
`Mongoloids-relating to the broad vision of human kind including people of East Asia
I Spent 5 Years With Some of Trump’s Biggest Fans
Quote 1: After a 20-minute drive along flat terrain, we pull into a dirt parking lot beside a red truck with a decal of the Statue of Liberty, her raised arm holding an M16. A man waves from the entrance to an enormous warehouse. Warm, attractive, well-spoken, Sharon has sold a lot of insurance policies around here and made friends along the way. (2)
Quote 2: When I asked people what politics meant to them, they often answered by telling me they believed (“I believe in freedom”) or who they’d vote for (“I was for Ted Cruz, but now I’m voting for Trump”). But running beneath such beliefs like an underwater spring was what i’ve come to think of as a deep story. The deep story was feel-as-if-it’s-true story, stripped of facts and judgements, that reflected the feelings underpinning opinions and votes. (4)
Quote 3: but her youngest brother had just dropped out of high school, and while very bright and able-bodied , had not found his way. Her father, a plant worker who’d left her mom when Sharon was a teen, had remarried and moved to a trailer in Sulphur with his new wife, a mother of four. Looking around her, Sharon saw family and friends who struggled with bad relationships and joblessness. Some collected food stamps. “I don’t get it,” she said, “and it drives me nuts.” (9)
Quote 4: We have our American dream, but we could lose it all tomorrow. Being middle class didn’t mean you felt secure, because that class was thinning out as a tiny elite shot up to great wealth and more people fell into a life of broken teeth, unpaid rent, and shame. (16)
government: the governing body of a nation, state, or community
Liberal: open to new behavior or traditional and willing to discard traditional values
dictator: ruler with total power over a country