Thank you for being a reader! Looking back on 2021

It’s been a year! As I sit down to pen this, the news just broke of Betty White’s passing, days before her 100th birthday. In a world defined by our divisions, the collective love—and now collective grief—at the passing of a true icon oddly gives me hope. Perhaps all is not truly lost. 

Betty, thank you for being a friend! A friend that spans the generations. 

We entered 2021 hopeful that the pandemic of 2020 would quickly pass, once we were all able to get vaccinated. For a brief time, there was hope that, indeed, we might return to that place called “normal.” However, the arrival of the Delta variant and the rise of the permanently ignorant dashed our hopes and now we wrap up 2021 with the most contagious variant yet, Omicron. 

The United States is once again showing our greatness by posting record-shattering numbers of COVID cases at a time when testing is harder to come by than my 20s abdomen. 

Joe Biden, who won the 2020 presidential election and who earlier this year we thought might be our way out of this pandemic, has simply washed his hands of this mess; at the same time the CDC is giving out advice so questionable that any reasonably intelligent human knows to disregard them going forward or at least take what they say with the biggest grain of salt. Since, no doubt, this latest surge might be in part due to the CDC telling the American people it was safe to gather over the Christmas holiday, assuming all parties were vaccinated, boosted, and tested prior to gathering. 

The great American racial awakening of 2020 gave way to the average white person in 2021 deciding to move on, thus opening the door to a more vicious and virulent racist who is committed to keeping the next generation of white youth racially and historically ignorant. In fact, these rabid racists are so illiterate that they believe critical race theory is a tool to indoctrinate white youth, instead of a legal framework for seeing the intersection of race. 

Climate change is moving at warp speed and this planet is probably doomed but hey it’s a balmy 35 degrees on December 31 off the coast of Maine, so who cares? People hate being cold and they hate snow.

Lastly, if the world wasn’t just a dumpster fire of epic proportions already, the media landscape has shifted so much that soon, the anesthetization of America will be complete. As long as your immediate day is not impacted and the Zuckerberg machine keeps you feeling good, you can just stay in your bubble and ignore the world. Not a great strategy for our collective survival or liberation, but it has its place I guess. 

All that said, in this changing media landscape where the voices of the disaffected and marginalized are becoming harder to find as our platforms are fading away—either swallowed up by corporations who eventually whitewash us, or the reality that high readerships don’t necessarily mean financial support to pay for operations—I am thrilled to still be here as we enter 2022. Thank you for being here!

In a few days, this site turns 14(!). In internet media years, we are old timers. This site was born  in the era of the mommy blogger, the majority of whom have long given up blogging and front-facing media work.

In the early days of this site, I made the decision to stay independent, which has meant never accepting ads or being a part of any network. Instead, when I did decide to monetize, our strategy has always been: If readers enjoy what they read, we ask that you support the work at a level that is meaningful to you. Honestly, it is scary, especially during the pandemic, as many readers have had to pull back support.

2021 has been a lean year—lean enough that every month, I hold my breath, hoping to not have to dip into my personal reserves to keep us afloat. Some months are better than others but in recent weeks, I’ve seen that several platforms with readership far larger than BGIM have had to cease operations due to a lack of financial support. These are sobering times all around and at the same time, there has never been a greater need for a diversity of voices on race and politics.

So as we enter and settle into this new year, I thank you. Thank you for being a reader, and if applicable, being a supporter. If the spirit moves, we would love your support or even increased support in 2022. However more importantly, thank you for your commitment to a racially just and equitable world. Stay safe in 2022!

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