Paralleling a planet in flux, American voters (and European voters, for that matter) are like the Arctic — in meltdown. Conspiracists, nationalists, and folks swaddled in a coat of angry fear, won the day. That bottle of champagne in my refrigerator remains uncorked.
My first black friend was in high school. We teamed up because, like me, irreverence surfaced to her tongue and she hurled some pretty funny commentary about school and life. Our skin wasn’t an issue. More important was our shared teenage angst—you know, boys, make up, zits, bras, and cars. Last names and skin tones made no difference in my youth. I wasn’t raised that way. The person who influenced me most was my godfather, a tap dancer with deep Irish roots. […]