the BLOG of stuart mcdonald

Twitter Church — April 10
April 12, 2010, 12:04 am
Filed under: Ministry, Stories, Think About It | Tags: , , , , ,

The other night, after having a great brunch with a friend, and doing some homework, I got a little overwhelmed with life, even to the point of becoming a tad depressed. Then I talked to my dad. Both of them. My dad called me on the phone and we had a wonderful conversation just about all that’s going on in both our lives. It was nice to know that we were struggling with some of the same things. We were open, honest, and vulnerable about our lives. And it felt great.

Then we prayed and talked to our Heavenly Father. It was just what we both needed. I don’t know about him, but I was crying so hard by the time we finished — I mean that ugly cry too — that I couldn’t even breathe out of my nose. But I felt so much better. Like a weight had been lifted off my shoulder. There was little doubt in my mind that my Twitter family needed to hear what I had just received. Below is what I shared. (If you’d like the high-res photo, click here)


Modern Day School Segregation: Is Race To Blame?
April 6, 2010, 11:39 am
Filed under: race, Think About It | Tags: , , , , , ,

In America, race and class are inextricably linked. Whether by chance, or more likely, by purpose, that is the reality that we must live with. Most of the children who attend New York’s Lower Laboratory School for Gifted Education and Straus School, and their parents, know this all too well.

Straus and Lower Lab inhabit the same building in New York’s Upper East Side—P.S. 198—yet the two schools couldn’t be more different. The only thing they share is the building. While they utilize the same halls and bathrooms, the two schools never interact, even during lunch or recess. There’s an even more striking area they don’t share—the front door. Lower Lab, along with its student and teachers, gets to use the front door while the Straus students are forced to go around the side of the building to use the back door.

In Steven Thrasher’s article, “Inside a Divided Upper East Side Public School,” published in New York’s Village Voice, he describes the scene at P.S. 198 by saying, “If you’re a white student and you arrive at the public elementary school building on 95th Street and Third Avenue, you’ll probably walk through the front door. If you’re a black student, you’ll probably come in through the back.” Continue reading

Are You Married To The Process
April 2, 2010, 11:58 am
Filed under: My Life..., Think About It


A few days out of the week I volunteer at an elementary school in Southwest Atlanta. It’s different from the area where I grew up and went to school in almost every way I could imagine — student demographic, parental involvement, median family income, housing situations, etc. Needless to say, over the past few months I’ve learned quite a lot from the kids and the teachers. In fact, probably more than they’ve learned from me.

Yesterday, I had a chance to work with a fifth grader; we’ll call him Bobby. He is struggling in a lot of areas — reading comprehension and math primarily — and is definitely not on par with his grade level, and is nowhere near ready to enter middle school in the fall.

That morning, our focus was math. Me and math have never been the best of friends. I understood it and had little problem doing it, but it was by far my least favorite subject. So, when the teacher said multiplication and simplifying fractions, I couldn’t help but groan a little on the inside. But, I didn’t let it show. Continue reading

Would You Adopt A Child Of Another Race?
March 12, 2010, 11:11 am
Filed under: race, Think About It | Tags: , , , , , ,

Adoption is not something to be entered into haphazardly. One must consider all the possible outcomes, occurrences, and obstacles that may arise. This is even more true when a family (or individual) is considering a transracial adoption (when the race of the adopted child is different from that of one or both adoptive parents).

This is not a new issue in the United States. Transracial adoptions nearly stopped for 20 years, from the early 70s to the 90s, when they were condemned as “cultural genocide” by the National Black Social Workers Association (NBSWA). In 1994, after the Metzenbaum Multiethnic Placement Act (which banned any agency receiving federal funds from interfering with adoptions based on race or nationality) was passed, we saw a significant rise in these adoptions. This act, as well as the Interethnic Adoption Provisions amendment, were designed to eliminate racial discriminations within the adoption system. (1) Continue reading

When Interracial Dating Goes Wrong
February 16, 2010, 11:11 am
Filed under: race, Relationships, Think About It | Tags: , , , ,

mixed couple

While browsing YouTube the other day, I noticed an interesting ad, placed below a video entitled, “Single black women find the search for love is especially difficult.” The ad pictured a Black woman with a shirtless White man next to the text, “AfroRomance — Where love is more than skin deep.”

I didn’t want to assume that it’s placement was intentional, so I refreshed the page at least half a dozen times, even closing the browser, opening it back up, and going to the page again, and each and every time I saw the exact same ad. I even went so far as to have four other people check the page, but we independently saw the same thing. No matter how we tried, there was no escaping AfroRomance.

It seemed that YouTube, with it’s consistent ad placement was saying: “Hey Black women, you know your pickings are slim with all the black men being either unemployed or incarcerated. Not to worry, come try out this interracial dating site and find you a nice White man!” (Ok, perhaps that wasn’t the intent, but that’s certainly how I took it.) Continue reading

My Thoughts on John Mayer and the “Hood Pass”
February 12, 2010, 10:10 am
Filed under: race, Think About It | Tags: , , , , ,

In a recent interview with Playboy magazine, John Mayer made a few comments that caused a bit of an uproar and plenty or backlash on Twitter. It seems that more than a few people have wanted my thoughts, so here’s my obligatory “the White boy speaks out on John Mayer” post.

But before we get started, if you haven’t already, I’ll let you read the full interview for yourself (here) and then come back and join us.

Obviously his use of the n-word was out of line for the simple reason that he’s White. Whether he has a “Hood Pass” or not, he is still a White man in America using an incredibly powerful, racially charged, derogatory term that comes with, at least when said from the mouth a White person, years of oppression, slavery, and notions of inherent inferiority attached to it. A “hood pass” may give you a pass to come into someone’s community but doesn’t change the color of your skin. Continue reading

What’s The Rule With Ex’s?
January 26, 2010, 10:10 am
Filed under: Relationships, Think About It | Tags: , , , ,

I had a dream last night that led me to think about how we relate to those we’ve been romantically involved in after we’re no longer involved with them and how should our friends respect the relationship that once was. In simpler terms — what’s the rule with friends and ex’s?

Let me give you a quick recap of what happened in my dream so this will make more sense: A group of friends were all at a movie together. On one side, I was sitting next to “W,” my ex (really, she’s not an “official” ex, only because we were never boyfriend/girlfriend, but we do have history), because we are still amiable. (I’m that way with most women I’ve had a relationship with. I don’t understand those who absolutely abhor their ex’s… but that’s another post.) On the other side of her was our friend “M,” who has, at some point, expressed some interest in her to me, but did so without knowing that her and I got as involved as we did.

So we’re watching the movie, and at some point I look over to see them all in each other’s faces making out. I immediately get a little ticked off. Not so much that I make a scene — instead I just get up and leave. (Now, I would say that, for me, that’s not a typical response, but having never been in the exact situation, I couldn’t tell you.) Continue reading