Gaslighting in America

Cord Jefferson’s essay on gaslighting and crazymaking of minorities in America—mentioned: Kanye West, Jimmy Kimmel, Trayvon Martin, stop and frisk, and his own dark skin—is perfect. Everyone should read it. Let’s get everyone to read it. Print it out and leave in on your kitchen table. Leave it open on all of your tabs, then invite your friend to use your computer. Rent a small plane and drop copies from the sky.

(“There’s a form of mental torture called “gaslighting,” its name taken from a play in which a man convinces his wife that the gas lights in their home she sees brightening and dimming are, in fact, maintaining a steady glow. His ultimate goal is to drive her into a mental institution and take all her money, and soon the woman ends up in an argument with herself about whether she’s losing her mind. American race relations have a similar narrative: An entire set of minorities confident that the everyday slights they’re seeing are real and hurtful, and an entire set of other people assuring them that they’re wrong.”)

Encountering the Homeless in LA and NYC

Check out Cord Jefferson on the the importance and value of public transit as, if not an equalizer, a way to expose us to different people than we normally encounter, particularly the homeless: “One bad thing about LA, I think, is how easy it is to avoid homeless people … At least New York—being a place of walking and public transit—makes you regularly confront the fact that there are homeless people all around, and that many of them are not receiving adequate care.”

How Cord Jefferson Does Money

How do you do money, Cord Jefferson?

Cord Jefferson Talks About Money (Again)

“I put writer on my taxes. There’s a lot of joy in that for me.” Cord Jefferson’s longform podcast is really wonderful. He talks about money, which he has done before.

Bye Bye to the Republican Party

Cord Jefferson has a really great and thoughtful essay about his dad, a black man and a lifelong Republican: “My father spent his whole life living up to the standards Republicans ostensibly expected of him, because that’s what came naturally to him. But he can never be white, and, more and more, that seems to preclude him from inclusion in the party where he once found a home.”

The Cities We Leave

Cord Jefferson left New York City, and was glad he had the opportunity.

A Laid-Off Person Asks Cord Jefferson for Advice, And Cord Jefferson Responds

His advice is great. He is great. Here’s how he opens it:

Man, I’m very sorry to hear that. That is terrible, and I wish you the best.

There are about a million different ways to answer this question, depending on one’s circumstances, but here’s what I did immediately after getting fired last year:

1. Called my mom and told her not to freak out and that I was going to be fine – Because my mom is a worrier, I waited about 45 minutes after hanging up with her the first time and called her again to reassure her I was going to be OK. She said, “I’m so glad you called again. I was trying to lie down for a nap but I’m just so on edge now.”

2. Deposited my severance check – Hopefully you got a severance check. If not, to hell with that company.

3. Got a haircut – Try this. It feels good. I turned off my phone, sat down in the barber’s chair, and closed my eyes. When the lady asked how my day was going, I said, “It’s really great,” and I 90 percent meant it.

Read his whole response here. (Also: Last year we talked a bit about his Career Journey.)

Talking About Race And Class Not Easy, But Not Impossible

‪Cord Jefferson (formerly of GOOD, now West coast editor for Gawker) writes powerfully and accessibly about a lot of things, but especially, and uniquely, about race.

Jay-Z and Kanye Are Revolutionaries (Maybe)

Cord Jefferson's analysis of Kanye and Jay-Z as revolutionaries is required reading.