Should you dare to read some of the comments attached to some of the stories about Hoffman’s choice today, you will plenty of disgust that a man who was able to support a serious drug habit adamantly refused to leave any money to his own children. But he placed his faith in his children’s mother to provide for them, and the intention seems clear – forgoing the trust fund was not a punishment, but a gift. It was a hope that they would grow up to be curious, independent, contributing human beings. Why else would he also have stipulated in his will that “It is my strong desire [that] my son, Cooper Hoffman, be raised and reside in or near the borough of Manhattan [or] Chicago, Illinois, or San Francisco, California. The purpose of this request is so that my son will be exposed to the culture, arts and architecture that such cities offer”? He didn’t want to leave his children mere money. He wanted to leave them the things money can’t buy – experience, diversity, opportunity. And that’s a legacy they can be proud of.
Police violence against racial minorities may never stop. Racism has been an indelible feature of American society and police-minority relations since slavery. Indeed, police arms, chains, and ropes are not new to the necks of black men, as well as black women and Latino/as. The killing of Eric Garner not only symbolizes the tight hold racism has on our society and individual psyches, but it is also a reminder of how normalized violence against non-white bodies is in the media and across racial/ethnic groups.
Policies like raising the minimum wage, since two out of every three minimum wage workers is a woman, many of whom are the heads of their households. Equal pay measures that can help narrow the pay gap, and begin to rectify a lifetime of lost wages. (Women with a college degree or higher lose $713,000 over a 40-year period versus a $270,000 loss for women who did not finish high school, according to data compiled by the Center for American Progress.) Paid sick time and paid family leave, so that staying home with your kid for an afternoon won’t mean risking your job.
A breath of fresh air. Few and far between. At the end of the day. Most of us immediately recognize these as clichés, whether we use them or not. Most of us also agree that English is suffused with expressions that are widely considered to be clichés, even if we can’t arrive at a consensus about just which of many expressions deserve the label “cliché” or, for that matter, how cliché should be defined.
So I explained to him that I’d come to realize, after 10 years of marriage, that family was not about who had which name. Our marriage was in the details, the mundane daily activities of caring for children and going to work and packing lunches. When we’d first moved in together, before we’d gotten married, we fought about who left wet towels on the bed and whether the shower curtain should remain open or closed post-shower. But now we move together as a single unit. We have over a decade of in-jokes and knowing glances and arguments together, and sometimes we communicate paragraphs with a single look.