Tm Munkeby is a member of The Reporters Inc’s Advisory Committee. To learn more about him, click here.

The ‘U’ in USA

The Election Finds America Divided; Only Education Can Unite This Union

December 2016


We may have to consider another word for the “U” in U.S.A.

The word “United” – well, we don’t seem so much anymore.

A few suggestions:

How about “Unwelcoming States of America”? Each wave of immigrants washing ashore has had their issues welcoming the next group of foreigners as they made their way to our borders. The Limeys, Swedes, Pollocks, and Fins didn’t like the Wops, Micks, Frogs, Spics, or Hebes. And those folks, in turn, didn’t welcome the Krauts, Russkies (Commies!), Chinks, Wetbacks, Japs and Ragheads. And although the crackers kidnapped them and brought them here, they now want the blacks to go home. Sweet…let’s try to justify that one! Now, of course, we have the “fugees” (short for refugees) literally washing up, uninvited, on the world’s shores, which I’m sure will (or probably has) spawned a flood of new slurs.

Or, we could call them the “Underpaid States of America”. It appears a lot of honky men are angry, feeling they’re worth more…without any consideration for bitches, wetbacks, or spades, of course.

Or then there’s the “Unscrupulous States of America” idea. Head of the class in this America (actually asshole of the class) being Wall Street greed-hounds, who most unscrupulously used their knowledge of our, apparently, most precious commodity—money–to slyly pick our pockets and pad theirs. Do they rationalize: “Tough shit, losers. Lose your job; lose your home; lose your (more…)

Autumn is an author, national trainer and online educational facilitator. Her firm, Yellow Wood Pathways, is launching a new series of workshops in January called LifeSpeaks. One of the first offerings is “Get Real: A White Person’s Guide to Racism,” a program designed to help the community understand all that comes with white privilege, in a non-judgmental and safe environment. Autumn is also hard at work writing a novel and memoir titled, “Lies My Father Taught Me and Other Stories of Love.” Autumn and her husband Chris live in Lakeville, Minnesota.

The Color Blind Myth

Smacked in the Face with My White Privilege

December 2016


“Privileged? Oh, hell, no. I grew up doing without many tangible things that “privileged” people have. I lived in subsidized housing, ate dinners paid for with food stamps, was eligible for a governmental summer work program that taught teenagers work skills, went to college on grants and loans. I grew up with a mother that had mental health and alcoholism issues that shadowed hope. There was no solid ground in my childhood. There was nothing privileged about my earliest years.”

Yes I did. I said that.

Another day. I’m having dinner with several of my colleagues, in an out-of-town restaurant and the conversation turned to parenting. “I’m getting ready to have ‘the talk’ with my son,” one woman said. There were murmurs and nods of support. I tried to not show my shock. Her son was 6. What would cause her to talk to a kindergartner about sex?

Yep, I thought that.

The conversation continued. It was animated. Frustration that bordered anger tinged the words. It became clear that they weren’t talking about the birds and bees. I finally interrupted because I have learned in my aging that asking (more…)