It’s Monday, July 1, 2019.

It’s the 150th anniversary of the birth of William Strunk Jr. He’s the guy who developed rules for writing that became “The Elements of Style.”

One of his students was E.B. White, who would write for the New Yorker. He revised and expanded Strunk’s text, which is why most students call the small book “Strunk and White.”

Now, of course, you’ll be tempted to see how many Strunk rules I break with this piece. So it goes.

If months are the determinant, it’s the second half of 2019. If days are, it’ll be the first half until just after 1 p.m. tomorrow.

Why 1 p.m.? Because of Daylight Saving Time. The year started in standard time, when the middle of the day was noon. But when we moved the clock forward, the actual middle of the day became 1 p.m.


When you’re 73, it’s not always easy to get gratification.

So this past weekend was a big thrill for Trump.

He was able to asskiss three of his most admired people – Putin, bin Salman and Kim. He had to travel halfway around the world to do it, but all the more time to build up the anticipation.

And he pushed his female alter ego, his daughter, onto a world stage that is not in the least bit interested in having her and for which she is not the least bit qualified.

Trump must be exhausted. He probably needs a couple of rounds of golf just to get the wherewithal to walk back into the White House.

Kamala Harris’ solid debate performance must have really scared Trump supporters.

They figured that their “man” would surely face Joe Biden or maybe, even, Bernie Sanders – two old guys who Trump might stand a chance of debating to a draw.

But then the former prosecutor from California showed her fearlessness and hinted that she probably would show less respect to Trump on a stage than she showed Biden.

So then came the online insinuation: Harris really isn’t African-American. Her father was born in Jamaica. Her mother is from India. 

As if that matters. But the fact that it kept creeping up showed an almost synchronized effort to take her down a bit – to the point that the other Democratic candidates came to her defense, a very laudable reaction. 

First of all, I’m not sure how the morons who started spreading this crap think Jamaica got so many dark-skinned people, but slavery had a lot to do with it. And those slaves came from Africa.

The idea of maligning Harris, I guess, is to somehow imply that she’s not a “pure” African-American because of how her family came together.

That might bother someone who advocates white supremacy because he thinks he’s all white. And that advocate somehow thinks people who are black or Asian are going to be bothered by the fact Harris isn’t all of one.

The ignorance of that is stunning. Unfortunately, it’s also real.

Let’s overlook the fact that, over millennia, the intermingling of people from all parts of the world has undermined the concept of racial or ethnic oneness.

It’s that interracial relationships are growing in America. In fact, I think that’s what scares these bigots the most – that families are no longer just white or black or Asian or native American or Latino.

Walk through Times Square or Disney World or Yellowstone and you’ll see diverse families. Couples – including mine, the union of an Italian-American man and a woman born in Hong Kong – that were outlawed in some states in my lifetime. 

And – and I’m admittedly a little biased – you’ll also see some of the most beautiful kids in this country.

In some ways, I think the Trump phenomenon is a monumental effort to reverse demographics. It might succeed at the margins – you have to think the growth rate for the Latino segment of the population is going to be affected.

But, in time, it’s like stopping the sun from rising in the east. This country is changing. And it might not be in my lifetime, but in the lifetime of my kids, caucasians will become a plurality instead of a majority.

America has always been a melting pot. Now, it’s just melting faster. Trump and his ilk are on the wrong side of history and science.


2 thoughts on “SAY WHAT YOU MEAN

  1. Steven Radwell says:

    Nice post Mark – I hope all is well with you & your family.

    On a related note, have you heard of a young political group (1+ years) called Changing the Conversation? It’s run by Adam Barbanel-Fried & we canvassed for Max Rose in NY11 during the midterms.

    It’s a pretty cool group that I’d love to tell you more about. Full disclosure I’m doing outreach for CTC as part of organizing for 2020 & I thought you might be interested.

    Lastly, I spent the day with Dave Goldman & family yesterday. His sister-in-law (our niece) got married at Snug Harbor on Staten Island; it was in many ways a beautiful day.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Best, Steve


    • Hi, Steve. Great hearing from you. I trust everything is well with you and yours.

      I certainly would be interested in hearing about your work with Changing the Conversation. I’ve been thinking about getting more involved in this election – I’ve had a Kamala Harris bumper sticker on my car for two months.

      But I’m also finding that it’s hard to make time for much else when I’m teaching, which is what I’ve been doing at William Paterson University the past five years. I have two classes this fall – Journalism and News Literacy – and keeping up with 30 or more students is not as part-time as the job description (and pay!) make it.

      I’d love to get together to talk about what we’ve been doing. If you’re feeling masochistic, I can convert some of my Mets tickets into a weeknight game – otherwise, we can meet in the city sometime.

      Send my regards to Dave – I last saw him when I visited the new HQ in Hudson Yards in May. And, of course, all my best. Let me know if you want to get together.


      PS: It might be best to contact me by e-mail at


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