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DEAR PROFILED: You can go to the local news media to tell them what happened and ask them to investigate. Sometimes local news programs take on discrimination issues and help shine a light on poor practices. You can report the club to the local police precinct, though it doesn’t sound like what they did is an obvious crime.
Beyond that, you can use social media to post about what happened to you and encour- age people to boycott the club. A groundswell on social media can work to draw attention to bad behavior. Finally, you and your friends can personally invite others not to spend their time or money in places that have discriminatory practices. This works best when you can develop a diverse coalition of supporters — not just Black men. You need allies who are willing to speak up. Good luck.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My family members
arranged for me to go on a five-day camping trip with them in September without consult- ing me first. They said the reason that they didn’t ask me was because they knew I would say no. I still do not want to go because I don’t like camping and I have a big project due at work around the same time, but this is clear- ly a huge deal to them. Should I prioritize work or family in this situation? — Family Trip
DEAR FAMILY TRIP: If you can figure out how to get your work done and go on the trip, that would be a generous, peacemaking role to play. Your family obviously wants to spend time with you. Going camping takes you away from the busyness of work and personal dis- tractions. Although you don’t love to camp, do your best to carve out this time for them. Be positive and fully present when you are together. Be sure to get your work done so that it doesn’t become a cloud over your head that you either lord over them or worry inter- nally about completing. Planning is every- thing.
Hopefully this trip goes well, and you become a little more amenable to the idea of the family trip. That’s when you can remind your family to include you in the planning next time so that you don’t have to compro- mise on work or family responsibilities.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to [email protected] or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndicatio