Available Now: An Uncomfortable Conversation

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#NowAvailable on Amazon

Amazon Paperback: https://goo.gl/kagX6r

Kindle: https://goo.gl/J2QAZw

Preview: https://wordsbyanthony.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/preview-an-uncomfortable-conversation/

Sometimes you just need to sit look each other in the eye and say what needs to be said.  You’ll also need to listen and respect what the other has to say.

I would love to hear what you think!

Thank you,

Derrick

Enjoy!

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Release Date: Friday Feb. 9

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Hello All,

I’d like to announce the release date of my latest book An Uncomfortable Conversation.  It will be available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions.  Thank you for all your support in this endeavor.

A preview can be found here: https://wordsbyanthony.wordpress.com/2018/01/28/preview-an-uncomfortable-conversation/

Love you all,

Derrick 😎

Preview: An Uncomfortable Conversation

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Hello All,

Thank you for taking the time to visit my little piece of the internet.  Below you will find a preview, the beginning of my new book An Uncomfortable Conversation.  Fair warning to those who have read my other books or are fans of my writing.  This is very different from what you have read before.  

 

An Uncomfortable Conversation

By Derrick Marrow 

 

Warning and Disclaimer: This is going to be a very tough read for some.  What you will see in the following pages is the truthful interaction between two men.  The publishing of this conversation is meant as the start of the conversation.  Hopefully a conversation you will find yourself joining into as you read through the pages.  It is meant as both a conversation for self-reflection and reflection on the outlook you have for others.  Hopefully you will take a look at your values, your truths and the respect we all should share.  Some of the words, the ideas presented in this dialogue you will agree with and some you will vehemently disagree with.  These are the words of two men who decided they needed to sit down, look each other in the eye and have an open honest conversation.  It might not have been easy but to have a real conversation each participant had to listen to the other person.  Not listen to react and counter argue but listen to understand.  Hopefully as you read you will find yourself sitting at the table with these two people.  Thank you for adding to the discussion.  Here we go.

 

 

Opening Lines of Communication

 

“How did we get here?”

“We got here because you offered to fight me.  As if I was going to take some threat from so random person online serious.”

“And that right there is the problem.  No I didn’t offer to fight you.  I offered you an invitation to talk.  What I said to you was and I quote ‘Enough of this back and forth over social media if you really want to talk we can do it in person.’  Now you took that as a threat and an offer to a fight but physical violence was never intended.  I think your initial response was sad but I can’t control how you perceive words that I never said and I never mentioned anything about fighting.  My question to you though is why?  What would make you think I would want to put my hands on you for something you said to me especially over the internet?  I’m a grown man with kids and bills.  I’m not some internet troll.  You could clearly see my picture, my face in my avatar and me putting my hands on you won’t do anything to make anything better.  It wouldn’t even make me feel better beating you up over something you said online.  Who does that?  But back to my original question.  Why did you think those words were an invitation to fight when no such words were uttered or rather typed?”

 “I read between the lines.  Your reply to my statement was gruff and abrupt.  It cut off the dialogue we were having.  To me the nature of the way the conversation went, I thought you were insinuating you wanted to fight?  And how was I supposed to know the picture was really you.  Do you know how many fake accounts there are in cyber space?  Safety is always my primary concern.  I’ve been in enough situations where exactly what you said turned violent.  When someone says let’s step outside there’s no mention of violence but you know what’s going to happen when you get out there.”

“But there was no outside to go.  We were in completely different places, different cities in different states.  So you read between the lines.  So are you sure you want to do this now.  Are you sure you’re safe.  Safety concerns aren’t a concern right now?  You don’t think I’m going to just go off and punch you now do you?”

“No.  Let’s just say I vetted you before I came here.”

“As you should.  As I did you.  So we’re here to have an honest conversation right?  To pick up where we left off which was nowhere really.”

“Yes.  I think we both have some things we need to say and maybe a few things we need to hear.”

“You know this is going to get heated at some points?  Are you really ready to hear what most people don’t want to.”

“I’m fully aware of what lies ahead today.  If you’re one hundred percent honest with me I’ll be one hundred percent honest with you.”

“I plan on being one hundred percent truthful.  If not this meeting will get us nowhere.”

“As do I.”

“I will not pull any punches.”

“I got it.  You wanted to talk, man to man, face to face, let’s do it.”

“Good.  Well let’s start with the truth right now.  If I wasn’t a black male.  And I’m not even a very imposing one.  I’m not six two, two hundred and fifty pounds.  I’m not built like a linebacker and I don’t cut much of an imposing figure by size.  Maybe by aura but not by sheer size.  But you couldn’t see that online.  So if I wasn’t a black man, or maybe portraying a black man since you weren’t sure if I was really me online, If I wasn’t a black man would you have thought I was asking you to a fight.  If were a woman.  An Asian man.  Another white man as yourself.  Would you have thought the same?”

“Truthfully?  If you were a woman.   No.  If you were an Asian man, no.  Unless your online profile said you were in the Triad or something, then maybe but realistically no.  Now this is going to surprise you a little.  If you were a white man, maybe, probably.  Unless you were an academic, a professor somewhere I would have thought the same thing.”

“I know what an academic is but I’m glad you said that.  Why?  Why out of all the people in the world you would have read into the posts of a white man, maybe, but definitely a black man in a violent nature?  Is that the way you see people?  Do you usually stereotype people based on their skin color?”

“It’s the way I see people online.  Everybody’s a tough guy on line.  Especially when you don’t agree with them.  The anonymity gives people courage to say things they wouldn’t say to your face.  But that’s why we’re here right.  To look into each other’s eyes and say it to their face?”

“To a certain extent yes.  But more importantly, hopefully, we’re here to learn.  I’m here to see things through the prism of your eyes, your upbringing, your history.  So let me ask you this.  The way you see people online, is that the way you see them in real life?”

“To a certain extent yes.  Minus the tough guy part but yeah I’d say so.”

“Do you even see what you’re doing?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean a minute ago you gave a nuanced answer to how you see people.  You didn’t put everyone in one lump sum.  You broke it down into I see my interactions with these people as this but these people as something different.  You simply stated yes you stereotyped me and all black people and all non-academic white people.  I’m, sorry all black males and all non-academic white males.”

“Whether justifiable or not we all fall back on stereotypes.  Can you sit here and tell me you don’t?”

“I can.”

“You’re lying.”

“You don’t even know me nor have you heard what I have to say yet you’re already calling me a liar.  A rational person would at least wait until they knew I lied before assuming I did.”

 “Everyone has stereotypes.  You don’t have to admit it to yourself but everyone does.  It’s an inherent part of life.”

“It’s not a part of life because they are not a part of nature.  Stereotypes are learned behavior taught by other people.  So not me.  I don’t have any stereotypes.  I don’t live my life that way.  And before you continue on with your argument let me explain why.  First I will agree with your point to a certain extent.  Yes, most people fall back on the stereotypes they’ve learned over the years.  But this is why I don’t.  It limits one’s self to look at others and think you know something about them because of a false set of data which is what stereotypes are.”

“Stereotypes are not false data.  They all come from a basis in reality.”

“From a false reality.  Listen, if I look at every white person or brown person or every female or every whatever category or person I’m referencing then I don’t look at you for you.  Who you really are.  I’m never going to give you a chance to be whatever you are because my vision is blurred.  Now once you prove who you are either positive or negative then that is another story.  But that’s the problem with stereotypes.  They are a narrative which ultimately almost never fits the person.”

“So you’re admitting some people fit the stereotype about their group.”

“How many people how you known that fit the stereotype you thought.  I’m talking about people you know, not what’s flashed on a tv screen because you never know the truth or the intricacies of what’s going on there.”

“None to be truthful.  But that’s because I would never let anyone like that in my circle.”

“Anyone like what?  See you’re doing it now.  You’re assuming I’m talking about stereotypical black people.  But there are stereotypes for every race, creed, religion, etcetera etcetera.”

“So you’re telling me you take everybody for who they are, you never had any preconceived notions, not a slight thought of who someone is just by looking at them.  By the way they dress or the way they’re acting?”

“I’m telling you it took me a long time to get there.  It took me many missed opportunities and many mistakes to get there.”

“Opportunities?”

“Not opportunities like this person may have some kind of financial windfall for me but opportunities to learn, to grow.  Women who would have been beautiful mates, a great girlfriend, maybe even a great wife.  Not that I’m mad because I love my wife.  She is a Godsend.  And there are other examples.  Stereotypes are nothing more than racism.”

“Whoa, whoa.  Now you’re taking it too far.”

“No I’m not.  Take out your phone and google racism.  What does it say?”

“Alright, let me look.  Ok, it says racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another, which often results in discrimination and prejudice towards people based on their race or ethnicity.”

“Now google stereotype.”

“It says, stereotype is any thought widely adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of behaving intended to represent the entire group of those individuals or behaviors as a whole. These thoughts or beliefs may or may not accurately reflect reality.”

“So both racism and stereotypes deal with a person, a single person looking at another different group of people and believing they know something about them.  Racists believe they are superior and most stereotypes, the damaging ones are where someone believes in something negative about another group enhancing their belief of superiority.  Both are learned behaviors past down from other people.”

“I see where you are going but every stereotype isn’t racist.”

“It may not always be a one-to-one comparison but more often than not they are.  That lady on whatever tv show that was didn’t say I’m going to Jew you down as a positive comment about Jewish finances.”

“She said that on tv and they let it get part their censors.”

“Yes sir but even that illustrates my point.  The people who were doing the checking didn’t even realize it was offensive.  At the minimum both ideals, stereotyping and racism are lazy.  And at the maximum both ideas are dangerous.  Both stop someone, a single person from dealing with another group of people.  And whether you want to admit it or not this country has a problem with both.”

“But not all people are either.”

“You’re right.  There is no such thing as every when it comes to people and that’s not what I’m saying anyway.”

“C’mon man.  Most stereotypes are based on the truth where racism, especially this definition is not.”

“Not true.  Most stereotypes are based on the amalgamation, you like that word don’t you, most stereotypes are based on the amalgamation of chosen aspects of different people bled to form the narrative of the author.  In other words most stereotypes are not true because they infer something from a small minority of people within a group and portray that thing to be the whole group.  Normally the stereotype only fits an infinitesimal number within a group of people and even then it’s patched together from different people to describe a person who never really truly existed.  For every stereotype you name, if you were to get a group of people the stereotype supposedly depicts the overwhelming majority of the people it wouldn’t fit.  You’d be hard pressed to find even one.  And even if you did the overwhelming majority would be pissed you described them as this false stereotype because it doesn’t fit who they are.”

“I could find you some that fit the description in every group.”

“That’s my point exactly though.  You could find me one, maybe.  And for everyone you find I could find you nine hundred and ninety nine thousand that it didn’t fit.  For example, you’re a white man, are all white people racist?”

“No, but there are some that are.”

“How many.  What do you think the ratio is of white racist people to white non-racist people?”

“That’s like asking how many ghetto black people are there?”

“See now you’re getting offended.  But what I’m not going to do is what a lot of black people have had to do all their lives and that is make you feel comfortable.  I’m not here for that and hopefully neither are you.  I’m not here to walk on the other side of the street because Becky doesn’t feel comfortable when she sees me walking down a street.  How do I know she’s scared, because she starts gripping her pocketbook tight.  She didn’t grab her pocketbook when you walked by her but me I’m a black man so she’s scared.  You can lock your car doors when I drive by like I’m going to jump out and grab you.  I’m not here to make you feel comfortable.”

 “Nobody asked you to make me feel comfortable.  So just because I said the word ghetto when referring to black people, that word touched a nerve.  So what if I said?”

 “Said what if you said what?  Go ahead say it.  I know what you want to say.  I give you permission go ahead say it.”

 “Nah, I’m good and believe me when I say I don’t need you permission.”

 “Then why don’t you say it.  What are you afraid of?”

 “I’m not afraid of nothing in this room especially no word.”

 “That’s good I don’t want you to be afraid of anything in this room especially me.  You’re going to respect me but I don’t want you to fear me I’m just here to talk.  But it always goes back to you thinking I have some penchant for violence doesn’t it?”

 Chuckles

 “Nah don’t laugh.  Say the word.  I want you to say it.”

 “I won’t say the word.  It’s disrespectful.  That’s definitely not what we are here for right?  But why is it ok for you to say the word and not for me?”

___________________________________________________________________________

 

Thank you for taking the time to read the preview of my upcoming book An Uncomfortable Conversation.  The full conversation will be available shortly. It is currently going through beta reading and a second round of revisions. Check back here for a release date shortly.  Sometimes you have to look someone in the eye and have an honest talk.  Hope to see you soon!

 

 

Happy New Years!

BDC96754-848C-43C9-8410-AC02950CB830Here I wish you all a Happy New Years!

May 2018 be fruitful.  May all your dreams, the ones you’ve been working so diligently on, may the blood sweat and tears bare results.  May all the seeds you planted in 2017 begin to sprout!

2017 brought many lessons, many trials, many hard times.  May you learn from those and shine in 2018!

To all my author friends (known, semi-known, and unkown) May your sales increase and you fan base grow.  Hopefully onto the big and small screens.

To everyone keep working, keep hustling, keep pounding, it will pay off.  Keep dreaming, keep praying, keep imagining, then return to the hard work!

To the best for us all in 2018!

Happy New Years!

Review: The Color Red by Amanda DeHaven

This was a really interesting read.  Different from my normal page turners nevertheless it was a really good solid book.  A strong story with a Christian message about belief and faith.

Written in a simple straight forward manner, the story about a young girl and her horse set in a rural country setting will warm your heart.  Like us all this girl is searching for direction and this book details and deals with her journey.

If you are looking to read a good Christian book try this one.  It is not overly preach and very touching.  As a city person myself I enjoyed being taking away to nature for a few pages.  Amanda has crafted a light touching poignant escape about a young girls growth in her Christian faith.

I Know I’ve Been Missing

Sometimes I’ll post frequently.  Sometimes like now it will be a while in between.  It’s not that I don’t have anything to say it’s just sometimes one needs to sit back and listen, take things in.  Sometimes another voice in a room full of screaming people goes unheard.

But my brain is always racing even when my mouth is quiet.  And yes I have opinions on what’s going on but the question is will you listen.

So for now I’ll leave you with this: work in progress

 

They say he was classless
Because he went to class less
Didn’t follow the masses
Didn’t make it to masses
But they couldn’t see his vision with glasses
On his cornea it was plastered
He saw the beauty in the abstract
A gift from the present thought absent

He was judged by the degree he never made
They never saw the price he was willfully willing to pay
Somebody always with something to say
Always somebody who wants to spit in the lemonade

They never saw the dragons he slayed
To step on the limb they were too afraid He didn’t fit in their box
He saw the beauty in the cliffs all they saw were the rocks

Never did he blame them he loved them they were fuel
Coming Soon

Derrick Marrow

Quick Review of Carolina Spirit by Bibiana Krall

From the beginning of this book I was hooked. Carolina Spirit drew me in with its details of southern living and life in this little town. The paranormal aspects piqued my curiosity and I was not mistaken for giving it my time or money.

Gracie is a wonderful character. Strong willed, strong minded and determined to find out what truly happened to her father while dealing/trying to help her mother through her grief and lost. From the moment you start reading the book you pull for Gracie and know she would go to the ends of the earth if she has to. She is a character you pull and cheer for. Imagine having to find yourself, find out the truth, find love, while dealing with the voices of ghosts.

I think hot recommended this book to everyone. I’ll be picking up another book from the author and if it like this one I will definitely be satisfied.

The author can Ben found at her website:

Bibianakrall.com

Conversation Aren’t Always Comfortable

facesBelow is a conversation which was had between two people yesterday Oct. 3, 2017 after the tragedy in Las Vegas. I have been given permission to post the conversation though I have removed their names. Each person’s message needs at line.  I found the conversation interesting and insightful and I decided to share it with you all. I welcome any thoughtful and respectful responses which will add to the dialogue no matter the opinion. The purpose of this is not to prove a point, the purpose is to communicate and listen. Then to hopefully improve our society. This is still an ongoing conversation. It only moved from email to in-person so this is where the paper trail ended.

Subject: Thoughts?

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/breakingnews/at-least-59-killed-in-las-vegas-shooting-rampage-more-than-500-others-injured/ar-AAsM6kd?li=BBnb7Kz

Do all lives matter?
————-
Of course all lives matter – you’re taking things out of context here

Again when people say black lives matter it doesn’t say other lives don’t matter – they are trying to direct attention to those being disproportionately affected

You should have asked about white on white crime
Or the fact as a country we are more worried about foreign terrorism then domestic terrorism when the overwhelming majority of deaths and attacks are domestic based
Or gun control maybe
—————

No matter what anyone says, hand guns are only good for killing other people. So gun control is something I can get behind. My 2 son-in-laws own hand guns and I have told them both that if one of my grandchildren gets hold of one or is involved in an accidental shooting, It will be their last day on earth!

Our discussions about these topics have given me cause to give all viewpoints careful consideration. After having done so, I will share something I have taught my children from a very early age, which I believe applies to all of these issues.

“There are 2 types of people in this world. Winners and losers. The difference between them is the Winners spend all their time focused on winning. The losers spend all their time talking about the winners. You choose which you want to be.”

Each of my children had this framed and hung on their bedroom walls before they were able to read and it stayed there until they moved out.

In addition, I firmly believe is that if where we live or work becomes someplace that makes us uncomfortable it is up to us to change the situation. My wife and I bought out first house in Bensalem. It was a nice Townhome with a beautiful yard. Over the course of 8 years, the neighborhood started to become one in which I did not want my children exposed to. Full of white trash. If I lived somewhere that a police officer pulled a gun on me for no other reason than the color of my skin, I would do everything in my power to move away ASAP.

Would the relocation be difficult due to finances, family (extended)? Yes, very much so! However, the lives and future of our children are paramount so no matter the sacrifice I would give up everything I know and own just to do what I believe is best.

Sorry if this is long winded, but as you both have said it is a serious problem!
—————
OK. This got longer than I expected:

I think what you just said is wonderful and excellently written.

The problem is you are not the problem.

First let me just say that 98% of police are great cops. But the problem is the 2%. We can argue the amount up or down but that’s not the point.

The problem is you can’t get away move away from the 2%. There are bad cops and/or scared cops (which are worse and more dangerous than bad cops) everywhere, in your township, in mines, in every city north south east west, everywhere. Look at the disparity of the locations of cops shooting unarmed black people. You can’t run from something like that which is endemic to the system. But again these heinous acts are being perpetrated by only a small fraction of the overall police force.

But policing isn’t the only problem we have in this society. We have bigger issues which effect this one. Why is it when some people look at a person from a specific group of people they judge them as a group and not an individual? Why are the rules not enforced across the board fairly and equally (see Brock Turner sentence)? Why can’t they call this mass murder a terrorist? But you know if you threaten a teacher they will arrest you for making a terroristic threat.

Look at the politicizing and rock throwing and blame each side tried to throw at the other after Las Vegas. What does black lives matter have to do with a white man who shot up a country concert?

These things there are no running from.

I tell my kids the same thing. There is way things should be and there is the way things are. They are two different things.

The way things are is reality. It is what it is and you have to deal with it in the now.
Then there is the way things should be or you hope for them to be. This you have to work and strive to get to, to change things. This is not a given. But even when working towards this goal you still have to live in the now.

I think the thing everyone needs to understand is that our realities are different yet they are both real. Just because something didn’t happen to you doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. If a tree falls in the forest and you don’t hear it did it really fall. Yes. It fell. Ask the bird who might have been living in that tree.
—————
Very long indeed. When I say my thoughts I do so honestly as do you. Something to consider…

When we are young, time goes by very slowly. As we get older, that same time fly’s by.

Rather than focusing on the behavior of a small percentage of people whose opinions we will never be able to change, everyone should focus on creating moments in time with our loved ones that will be memories remembered long after we are gone from this earth. Easier said than done.

Speaking as a parent whose children are off living their own lives I can honestly say the time I had with them was far too short. If one of my children stops by the house, it is the most exciting thing that I can experience. If they bring the grandchildren it is even better! I no longer worry much about what is happening elsewhere.

If there are behaviors that concern you and are important my suggestion is to organize a way to peacefully protest the issues that plague this great country. I am not suggesting that YOU Derrick Marrow do this but as a group of right minded people. Dr. King provided us with the template for effectively doing so. I truly believe that your opinions on what is happening in this country are spot on. I also believe the great majority of Americans feel exactly as you do.

It is my sincere hope that our children’s generation will continue to address these problems with ever increasing success.
——————

If there are behaviors that concern you and are important my suggestion is to organize a way to peacefully protest the issues that plague this great country.

The NFL players did that!