Admittedly, from the street, the Golden does not wow you.
I AM PROUD TO SHARE MY ADVOCACY FOR EQUITY, MY SHAMING OF BIGOTRY, WITH ALL – REGARDLESS OF THE CONSEQUENCES
"Republicans buy shoes too.” That was Michael Jordan’s famous reported response to why he didn’t use his immense influence, talent, stardom and wealth to speak up for progressive causes or speaking out against policies and politicians that continue to hurt marginalized people.
MJ, famous for years for being apolitical, has a right to do whatever he wants to. Years after retiring, he broke his silence and condemned the deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement. If had his bank account, I would not have waited so long to be fearless in calling out discrimination both overt and subtle -- damn the celebrity, fame, adulation and shoe contracts.
Actually, I’m pretty sure Jordan’s sofa change is worth much more than my accumulated net worth from 55 years on this planet. And I take discrimination and inequity to task almost daily…on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, this blog and in nationally-published essays.
Most often, I take on policy and design that continues to enslave people with disabilities in poverty, underemployment, unemployment, substandard housing and worse.
I also have no trouble calling out local, state and federal officials for any act that is corrupt, hateful, arrogant, abusive or unethical.
More than a dozen friends have quietly, privately told me to knock it off. That I have probably offended a potential client or killed the chance for repeat business from a client who loves bullying, bigoted politicians and “leaders.”
They tell me I can ill-afford to rail against paving over park land, sweetheart deals to billionaires, bigoted/biased policies, demagoguery and other things infecting government on all levels.
Acquaintances have pleaded with me to take down posts that outline why Donald Trump is a white supremacist, a liar, a crook, a cheat, a person who mocks people with disabilities and plots to take away what little access to health care and social safety net that remains for them.
Maybe I’m a fool. But I’m a fool who sleeps soundly. A fool that will leave this world with his good name.
I am trained as a journalist. My DNA screams to me to shine a light on evil, corruption, hatred, racism, sexism, homophobia.
People are willing to think whatever they want, vote for whatever authoritarian, destroying of democracy that appeals to them.
But if they cannot work with me because I believe in social justice, in affordable housing, in a vast safety net, in equity in planning, transit, parks, infrastructure and mobility for all – then that’s their problem.
My work arrangements are like mini marriages. We have each other’s back. We can confide in each other. Trust, honesty and decency are treasured.
It is our duty, as Americans, to fight for equality. To shame elected and appointed officials who spew hatred and damage lives.
I honor that duty with most every word that comes out of my mouth, with virtually each word I type on my keyboard.
If that renders all my experience, talent, creativity and collaborative spirit void, then so be it.
Guess I’ll never have the wealth of Air Jordan. Guess we’ll have to get by with one small house, flying coach and investing wisely.
I cannot, will not, compromise my values for the dollar.
MoMA show will feature Prof. Barnes' designs
Assistant Professor Germane Barnes will explore the expansive identity of blackness within the built environment as part of an exhibit opening in spring 2021 at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.
The exhibit, featuring 10 black architects-designers, was planned before the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against police brutality and all racially motivated violence against black people. It is much more relevant since the killing of George Floyd and the renewed fight for equity and equality.
“MoMA has the oldest (museum) architecture department in the country. It is supposed to be modern and less old guard than other museums. “(But) it’s my understanding that there are fewer than five works in their permanent collection from black artists & architects,” said Prof. Barnes, who also is Principal at Studio Barnes Design Firm in Miami. “That is both alarming and serious. This show is certainly a step in the right direction, but there needs to be continued efforts in this vein.”
Prof. Barnes has explored black culture themes in exhibits in Miami looking at the traditional use of the front porch and the dining table. He said all those ideas will be wrapped into his portion of the 10-artist show at MoMA.
Click here for the full story:
FOR DISABILITY ADVOCACY, URBAN DESIGN, TRAVEL AND MORE
When I started this blog a decade ago, I figured I’d post a few times a month.
It would be a place to share some photos from the road.
A spot to publish parts of stories cut by editors.
It would be a forum to fight for wheelchair access.
It could be a format for circulating ideas on urban design, architecture and planning.
I never guessed it would have more than 250,000 unique readers.
Nor would I have thought I’d make more than 2,700 posts and counting.
I certainly didn’t expect to have readers from more than 100 nations – despite virtually every post being in English only.
I couldn’t have dreamed that the entire volume of text would equal more than the word count of three non-fiction full books.
Or that I would post so much street photography that it would lead to a gallery show.
The images here are from Islamic Cairo.
Some of the mosques, madrassas and markets date to medieval times.
I hope you can become a follower of my blog.
I hope you can share its stories demanding better quality of life and built environment for people with disabilities.
Here are some stories on Universal Design, Inclusive Mobility and the ADA: