France’s World Cup win is a victory for immigrants everywhere!

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I’m sitting at my computer this morning in Paris, France thinking about how life often gives you exactly what you need to follow your life’s purpose. If you are a follower of my blog or a first-time viewer, let me share with you that I’m passionate about social issues.

When I had to choose a direction for my University degree in Ottawa, Canada, I chose social work. I remember the textbook, of all things. It was huge and thick and hardcover. Lugging it around seemed like I was carrying the issues of the world with me every day. But in essence, at that time, the issues were swept under the rug. We didn’t have social media to shine a light on racism, immigration, #MeToo, workplace inequality, wage disparity, universal healthcare, poverty, sex, and child-trafficking. I could go on and on and on.

I came to the realization this year after publishing many books and novellas, that in my action series or even romantic thrillers, I find a way to build my stories around world events, social issues. I shine a light on the problems in ways that keep my fans engaged, but I also humanize things like racial or gender discrimination, exploitation, government corruption, immigration, the Mexican people, and many more subjects.

I never completed the degree in Social Work. One day I put down the book and cried. I’d been reading about prostitution, and never opened it again.  I felt I could work for years as a social worker and never make a difference in peoples’ lives. I’ve only recently been thinking about this with the event of the World Cup. Each book in my Code Raven Series reflects on things happening in the world and how Luke Raven uses his vast personal fortune to deal with things in ways the governments never could. The issue closest to my heart, partially because I live full time in Mexico, is the racism experienced by the Mexicans in the United States. I know discrimination, illegal immigration, separation of parent and child–these are very real challenges the world faces today; and it’s not only in the United States of America.

I have a son and two-year-old grandson in Paris. I look at my darling Félix and wonder about the world he will inherit. When I made my plans for Paris, I had no idea the World Cup was being played. I can get caught up in writing and forget the world around me. I’ve written about Paris, France and it’s racism and the migrant camps. The violence of terrorism and the migrants living in tents, trying to find a country that will and can accept them is, unfortunately, a worldwide issue. Next month DISPLACED will come online with Samaar-codenamed Luci. I worked hard on that plot, and by its title, you know that the novella centers around immigration; but the story is a fast-paced action/thriller with a strong human interest element. I cried in sections during the writing of that book. Being in Paris while France won the World Cup is my reward for writing this story!

Why? Because I am here, walking the streets, feeling a tremendous collective and inclusive energy. When France won the semi-finals I was out in the streets wandering past the cafes, it was totally incredible! I shared the passion, the excitement and the pride of the French people.

Now it’s up to all of us to learn from this and carry the love for our fellow man into the world. After all, only WE can be the difference that can change the world.

 

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/15/opinions/france-world-cup-win-immigration-diversity-joseph/index.html

 

Raise your voice. Say NO to racism.

 

I was looking for a live blog on the France/Croatia FIFA 2018 Final and came across a video that ripped my heart to pieces and had me crying so hard.

I don’t have a lot of great memories of my early childhood, but I remember one thing my mother taught us: in our household, there is zero tolerance for racism. And I’ve lived my entire life feeling strongly about culture and race, and ashamed of the inequalities and destructive racist world that exists today.

I’ve never understood how cruel man can be to a fellow human being. I told my kids when they were young that even what they felt might be a harmless joke about a group of people is unacceptable in our world. I grew up in a white household with Anglo Saxon parents, a freckle-faced blond child with ringlets and pretty blue/green eyes. I never experienced what it was like to be lesser than anyone else. I never knew the painful rejection so many have because of the color of their skin or the place on this planet where they were born. I’ve made a lifelong effort to be inclusive of culture and race all around me. On a gut level, I don’t understand racism. When I witness prejudice, my heart aches.

So here I am, writing a blog at the very same moment I should be enjoying the FIFA finals listening to all my French neighbors singing and rooting for the championship. I know it’s crazy, but I also believe in messages. The video down below popped up on my radar and I had to watch it. I’ve finally stopped crying; but it hurts me so much, and I feel so frustrated that racism exists in the world, particularly in such an inclusive sport as Soccer/Football.

Last week I was invited to do an author podcast interview for RRBC Rave Reviews Book Club an extremely supportive group that I’ve been a member of for a couple of years.
Before I realized what I was saying, I got on to the subject of this year’s most beautiful insight. After writing three poetry books, a memoir, and several novels, this is what I’ve learned about myself. Every book or novella I write tends to deal with an important social issue as a plot or a side plot. I’ve delved into insatiable greed, murderous megalomaniacs, indiscriminate espionage, cyber-hacking, illicit money-laundering, savage drug cartels, brutal ISIS and the insanity of racial intolerance. My list is endless. And within these stories I’ve also woven into my plots, racism, the way nations like Mexico, where I live, are marginalized and grouped into a label as a country of rapists and drug cartels. I’ve addressed child sexual exploitation, women who purchase sex and the men who service them, the refugee/migrant crisis, mixed-race relationships, ageism, sexism, sex trafficking; and the underbelly of the human condition. I know my stories consist of entertaining, fast-paced, thrillers, and contemporary romance themes; but they are also more than that. And through this creative medium, I hope to shine a light on these important issues.

This year I realized that writing it out is how I deal with the hurt and pain I see around me. It’s my way of making my mother proud, of letting her know that I have taken up the challenge and will not sit idly by while warmongers and racists control the direction of governments and world thinking.
I’m using my writing voice to increase awareness that we are all human beings trying to get by in a world that creates pain and heartache for something as unimportant as the color of our skin, or the status of our families, or the sexual preferences of our children, or the country where we were born.

And I, for one, am sad today, when I should be rejoicing a well-deserved FIFA win for France, a sport that should unite the world and not be a stage for ugly racism.

And this is what made me cry.

 

 

And still I offer my congratulations to FRANCE. I’m in multi-cultural Paris right now and the whole city is rocking! And as Mish, a friend in my WIP Layla 2 believes: Football can unite the world!

I hope you’re right, Mish, I hope you’re right.