Jean Paul Sartre

The Absurdity of Their Replies

“Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.”

Jean-Paul Sartre

Douglas Adams

An Awful Lot

“It takes an awful lot of time to not write a book.”

Douglas Adams

I have never featured a quote by Douglas Adams here on my blog, so I wanted to rectify that today. Arguably, Adams’ most famous quote observes the whooshing noises deadlines make as they pass, but I wanted to go in a little different direction and find something a little less well-known.

I liked the implied question here. It gave me pause, and I found myself in a moment of personal reflection. As writers, it’s important to give ourselves grace (especially in 2020). Still, I think it’s equally important to reflect on how we’re managing our writing and being honest about where we’re putting in an effort.

Frederick Douglass

Agitate ×3

“Agitate! Agitate! Agitate!”

Frederick Douglass


“Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground.”

—Frederick Douglass


“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”

—Frederick Douglass


I’m featuring three quotes today, and I could have featured a lot more. Douglass was prolific, wise, and arguably one of the greatest minds in America’s history. (Read up on him.) Over the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking a lot about Douglass’ words. I kept coming back to how poignant his speeches and writing remain over a century later. The work ain’t over. Racism, bigotry, and prejudice still plague our culture. The fight goes on. Lip service, phrases, quotes, and black squares on social media mean nothing without action. All lives won’t matter until Black Lives Matter, too.

Language of the Unheard

The Language of the Unheard

“Certain conditions continue to exist in our society, which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

“Stop Police Killings, Selma March—Steve Shapiro, 1965”

Justice for Eric Garner. Justice for John Crawford III. Justice for Michael Brown. Justice for Ezell Ford. Justice for Dante Parker. Justice for Michelle Cusseaux. Justice for Laquan McDonald. Justice for Tanisha Anderson. Justice for Akai Gurley. Justice for Tami Rice. Justice for Rumain Brisbon. Justice for Jerame Reid. Justice for George Mann. Justice for Matthew Ajibade. Justice for Frank Smart. Justice for Natasha McKenna. Justice for Tony Robinson. Justice for Anthony Hill. Justice for Mya Hall. Justice for Phillip White. Justice for Eric Harris. Justice for Walter Scott. Justice for William Chapman II. Justice for Alexia Christian. Justice for Brendon Glenn. Justice for Victor Manuel Larosa. Justice for Jonathan Sanders. Justice for Freddie Blue. Justice for Joseph Mann. Justice for Salvado Ellswood. Justice for Sandra Bland. Justice for Albert Joseph Davis. Justice for Darrius Stewart. Justice for Billy Ray Davis. Justice for Samuel Dubose. Justice for Michael Sabbie. Justice for Brian Keith Day. Justice for Christian Taylor. Justice for Troy Robinson. Justice for Asshams Pharoah Manley. Justice for Felix Kumi. Justice for Keith Harrison McLeod. Justice for Junior Prosper. Justice for Lamontez Jones. Justice for Paterson Brown. Justice for Dominic Hutchinson. Justice for Anthony Ashford. Justice for Alonzo Smith. Justice for Tyree Crawford. Justice for India Kager. Justice for La’vante Biggs. Justice for Michael Lee Marshall. Justice for Jamar Clark. Justice for Richard Perkins. Justice for Nathaniel Harris Pickett. Justice for Benni Lee Tignor. Justice for Miguel Espinal. Justice for Michael Noel. Justice for Kevin Matthews. Justice for Bettie Jones. Justice for Quintonio Legrier. Justice for Keith Childress Junior. Justice for Janet Wilson. Justice for Randy Nelson. Justice for Antronie Scott. Justice for Wendell Celestine. Justice for David Joseph. Justice for Calin Roquemore. Justice for Dyzhawn Perkins. Justice for Christopher Davis. Justice for Marco Loud. Justice for Peter Gaines. Justice for Torrey Robinson. Justice for Darius Robinson. Justice for Kevin Hicks. Justice for Mary Truxillo. Justice for Demarcus Semer. Justice for Willie Tillman. Justice for Terrill Thomas. Justice for Sylville Smith. Justice for Alton Sterling. Justice for Philando Castile. Justice for Terence Crutcher. Justice for Paul O’Neal. Justice for Alteria Woods. Justice for Jordan Edwards. Justice for Aaron Bailey. Justice for Ronell Foster. Justice for Stephon Clark. Justice for Antwon Rose II. Justice for Botham Jean. Justice for Pamela Turner. Justice for Dominique Clayton. Justice for Atatiana Jefferson. Justice for Christopher Whitfield. Justice for Christopher McCorvey. Justice for Eric Reason. Justice for Michael Lorenzo Dean. Justice for Breonna Taylor. Justice for George Floyd. Justice for… Justice for… Justice for… Justice for… Justice for…

How long do we let this continue? How long do we allow society to choose tranquility over justice? How many people do you know, more outraged over property damage than they were over the murder of a black man? Racism has never gone away, we’re just able to record it now.

#BlackLivesMatter


FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT:  AP Photo/Julio Cortez