Last week, a lady did a semi-interview with me regarding why I blog. At first, the question seemed simple enough, and I wrote:
I blog because it gives me a space to express my views, and whether right or wrong, I just let my opinions rip … and tend to say the things that some people won’t.
Now, I don’t know if that’s enough. In that moment, I hoped to emit an air of humility and simplicity. In retrospect, I effectually dismissed my own deep and personal reasons for writing what and how I do. I recently had to confront and reflect on my own blogging practices, another effect of hearing Cornel West and Julian Bond speak about the past, present, and future of the NAACP. In their conversation, I found overt challenges to the status quo to simply lay down and accept the state of the world as is. Setting that high standard for what the world can achieve propels these men to strive for world peace, not just for Blacks or other colored people, but for humanity as a whole.
In the same way, I’d like my blog to reflect that philosophy. At a time when it’s become easy to settle into this weird mix of fatalism and misplaced optimism, we have to see ourselves as true agents for peace in our respective fields. My writing comes from a place where hostility and war have become localized and internalized to the point where war abroad doesn’t unnerve us, where we look at stories of abject poverty and corrupt government like a reflection and not a window, where we live in a much different place than the America mainstream America believes we live in, and where even with the slightest glimmer of hope, we wonder whether we’ll ever get taken care of.
But I can only hope to address one or two of these things at a time. No man can do much more than that. And almost conveniently, I happen to teach. With the dearth of people with my experiences out there in the millions of blogs out there, I blog because I want the people who have at least a similar experience to talk about those experiences with a frankness that’s not always attainable. Even when I’m not writing about education, I’m doing it from the lens of a young(er) Latino-Black NYC educator who’s prompting myself and others to think critically about the issues for ourselves and for what we deem the future.
The education part is really just me redefining what we consider to be under the education realm, and how so few of our kids actually find real-life implications for the lessons they ingest (or don’t) in the classrooms so many of my readers lead. None of this is easy to truly live. I still have a few pedagogical books lying on my shelf crying out to me to read. I’m sure there are a few students and administrators out there who might not be happy with me as a teacher, and that’s all well and good. But I can’t stop writing just to acquiesce to my detractors anymore than I can’t stop them from having their opinions.
I blog because in my little way, it gives me hope that I can address topics to guide the conversation, not simply postscript what’s already out there. Even after I’ve attained my goals, I know it’s about what I’m going to do now …
Jose, who just wanted to write today …