#CelebrateJackie

For the 24 hour period ending at 5:00AM Pacific time tomorrow, Daniel Handler will match all donations to #‎SupportWNDB up to $100,000, and in the first 7 of those hours we’ve raised FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. This is not a celebration of Mr. Handler, to be clear. I accept his apology for his enraging comments at the National Book Awards ceremony, I’m glad his money will be put to good use, and I believe in the value of making an effort to atone for mistakes, even those as hideous as the one he made, but I don’t celebrate him or his matching gift.

I celebrate Jacqueline Woodson, for the honor she rightfully received, and for the remarkable literary achievement that is BROWN GIRL DREAMING. And I celebrate the people whose gifts are truly the heart and soul of the #‎SupportWNDB campaign: all of us who’ve been doing this work, and that goes way back before We Need Diverse Books came into being. The matching gift has value, but it only has value in that it’s following up on the commitment, ferocity, and generosity of the people whose gifts are being matched.

Handler’s words should never be forgotten. He’s making amends, but he is not an example to follow, a leader, or an inspiration. He’s following OUR example. WE are leading him. WE are the source of inspiration. And to state it personally, all of you inspire me. Thank you. Thank you for unmistakably demonstrating that we will not let these offenses go by unchallenged. Thank you for leading the way.

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2 thoughts on “#CelebrateJackie

  1. Thanks for this personal response, Mike. Lisa Yee has a great discussion going on her FB page today – circling back, like your piece, to the value of this work (we all have a LOT more work to do) and the achievement of Jacqueline Woodson in her beautiful book and its recognition with the National Book Award.

  2. Great post, Mike. You said it perfectly and I certainly hope Mr. Handler does not think he can buy his way out of this mess his ugly words created. My fingers are crossed that next time he opens his mouth and considers spewing such hurtful nonsense, he will think twice, for he will know that the rest of us will not stand for it. Rise up. #SupportWNDB

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