To Two of My Heroes, My Father and My Grandfather

I am so lucky to be able to say that everything I do- my activism, my writing, my search for justice- and everything I am has been deeply molded and influenced by two amazing men, my grandfather, Philip Rothman, and my father, Jay Rothman.

Pop, Aba, the two of you taught me what it means to struggle for a better world.

Pop, I will always remember the stories you told of having black friends decades before most of the severely confused white American world realized that “all men are created equal” actually means that all men (and women) are created equal.

Aba, I still cannot extract from my head your tale of bopping the head of the elementary bully who would not stop picking on the smallest kid in class (even though I’ve come to believe, quite strongly, and surely thanks to both of you, also, in nonviolence :))

You both taught me what it means to be an anti-sexist man, an anti-racist with white skin, to be aware of my privilege, to criticize and challenge systems and structures, to break rules that should be broken and to ground my actions in something more important than my self, whether that be secular-humanism or religious-universalism.

You both taught me how to laugh- to laugh at myself, first and foremost, even as self-serious as all three of us are, and also to laugh at the world, to laugh when struggling, to laugh with friends and with family.

The two of you had such a role in forming who I have become, and I am so grateful for all you have taught me and given me. I can only hope that I grow up to be anywhere near the father, grandfather, man and human being that the two of you have modelled for me.

Happy societally-commercialized-but-still-really-nice-Fathers’-Day.

I love you (and the incredible partners you both were lucky enough to find, who will get their own post on societally-comericalized-but-still-really-nice-Mothers’-Day).