Not when our ancestors got clocked over the head, beaten, attacked by dogs and given dumb-ass tests like guessing jelly beans to get there. I’m not saying he has to go outside with a handmade sign and walk from Lake Shore Drive to I-94, but if he can scream at his teammates about a ball going into a net, he can know why it was a terrible idea for that alderman to win. I get that he doesn’t want that level of influence, but it seems convenient to want to ignore so much of your identity and everyday life while wanting to be known as the “winner” of another. Then again, that’s a personality specification. I don’t mind ruffling folks’ feathers (including ones I have worked with) if it’s for the better good of a community I’m in. Others would rather keep the peace or say “I’m not in it.” My mother is a peacemaker in that sense. She shakes her head at all the political and social debates I push my way into. On my birthday, on the way to a theater, I grabbed her hand and fixed myself at the front of some random group’s anti-Trump parade. They didn’t even know who I was and only spoke Spanish. She screamed, “Shamontiel, we better not end up in jail on your birthday!” Meanwhile I’m all at the front yelling in Spanish right along with them. Some people want to be activists. Others don’t.

Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit to read about her.

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