Surely I am not the only one noticing the impact of outrageous acts of violence on American culture. For a year we have watched Vladimir Putin perpetrate a brutal war on innocent Ukrainian civilians, with no consequences. For years we have watched his friend and buddy Donald Trump get away with egregious illegal behavior, with no consequences. We have watched helplessly as innocent black men and women have been beaten to death by police, and innocent men, women, and children are shot to death by lunatics waving around military-style weapons. And now we watch as our strongest allies are persecuted in Congress by scheming, power-mongering Republicans who only sit in Congress because of their invalid victories in gerrymandered districts.

The effect of these images in my consciousness is an enormous sense of powerlessness. Perhaps that is the intention: the news media sets out to make us feel as helpless and powerless as possible, so that we become vulnerable to the power-hungry.

The other night I went to an event held by a powerful lgbtq+ organization at a hotel in Times Square. I had jumped through the hoops of applying for press accreditation, and had received a confirmation that my materials had been received. Yet, when I arrived at the press table for the event, my name did not appear in the system. As we were going back and forth trying to figure out the source of the problem, security staff magically appeared. Suddenly I was surrounded by six or more large, burly white men who were bent on removing me from the building. ME! A little old black lady who came to cover this lgbtq+ event. Images of Tyre Nichols' murder flashed through my mind as I attempted to grasp the reality that these burly white men saw me as a threat, and probably would feel justified in inflicting violence against me.

It is not in my nature to get loud or belligerent, thus giving them a reason to justify throwing me out. Someone neglected to inform these security men that they were there to protect this group from potentially threatening homophobes, and not from a member of the press.

Ironically, the "big boss" who was called to the scene was an immigrant - probably Mexican or Puerto Rican - who could hardly speak or understand English. It was useless for me to try to explain the situation to him. He was there to remove me, and not to understand me.

The need to dehumanize is running rampant. 

We have all seen how testosterone whips these men up into a frenzy, and within a few minutes, someone ends up dead. Something is seriously wrong with society when white men need to attack a black woman just to feel better about themselves. 

Luckily, later that night I happened upon a Facebook post about a black woman pioneer in the 1850s. The post was prefaced by the statement: 

"I am convinced, Black women have ALWAYS been entrepreneurs. We had/have no other option(s)."

Clearly these security men had nothing else to do, and were chomping at the bit to unleash their power on a helpless, elderly female. When I try to imagine such a mindset, I totally draw a blank. I can't even imagine wanting to inflict violence on someone who has done nothing wrong, who was simply the victim of some kind of technical error. But this rush to judgment is, usually, typically male. It is interesting to point out that this national organization has a recently-appointed black woman president, but as far as the rest of the administrative staff is concerned, men are still making most of the decisions. Congressmen and senators were supposedly present, some of whom were scheduled to give speeches. Unfortunately I cannot comment on this as I was not allowed to see if they came or not. 

If such a prestigious political organization is allowing Nazi-style tactics to be used in their name, maybe it is time for the administrators to evaluate whether or not some of their personnel should remain in their positions.

Or maybe they have become corrupted by their own power. Trust and believe that I will be keeping my eye on this organization. Stay tuned...


Nina Kennedy is a concert pianist, orchestral conductor, and award-winning filmmaker. She holds a master’s degree from the Juilliard School. Her memoir, Practicing for Love, is a 2021 Lambda Literary Award Finalist. The sequel, Practice What You Preach, is available at


  1. "We have seen far too many instances of people of color being treated inappropriately by members of law enforcement. [...] Too many people get dehumanized in that process, that interaction they have with people in law enforcement."
    -- Former Attorney General Eric Holder


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