I really struggled during my first year of law school. My midterm grades were not good at all. I almost quit but for a meeting with my Torts professor. The conversation started with him say, “I’m not quite sure what to do with you.” We then went on to discuss my lastest essay test results. He said he started to give me an “F’ but had changed his mind because he realized I was a tangential thinker.
So first I’ll give you the dictionary definition followed by how my professor explained it to me.
Definition of tangential. 1a: touching lightly: incidental, peripheral tangential involvement also: of little relevance arguments tangential to the main point. b: divergent, digressive.
I still remember how he explained it to me. He said he had asked a question about a forest. Now, most students would write about the forest. A few more students might talk about the trees making up the forest. But not me. I’m special. I bypassed all of that and told him about the dewdrop on a leaf, on a branch, of a tree in that forest. And I was right. It just wasn’t the answer he was looking for.
After that huge epiphany, I had to work even harder to reframe my thoughts to answer the question with the ” standard” answer. And if you’ve spent any significant amount of time around me, you know I still struggle with it.
Sometimes it sucks standing out when all you want to do is fit in. But I digress. (Get it?)
I use to watch some of the things the president does and think to myself, “why would he do that?” Or “what was his advisors thinking?” I said in the past I thought it was being out of step and tone-deaf. Now I believe that it is a brilliant strategic move. I believe magicians call it misdirection.
Recently, his campaign announced he would hold a rally in Tulsa, OK on June 19th both of which have a special place in Black History. That was followed by announcing that his administration was going to strip healthcare benefits for transgender people. Not only did this go back on the campaign promises he made to the LBGQT+ community when he was seeking the nomination, but the announcement also coincided with the anniversary of a mass shooting inside the Pulse nightclub, a gay nightclub in Florida, where 49 people died and many more were injured.
Such insensitivity 3 times in a row can no longer be explained away as a coincidence. I believe all these announcements were carefully planned. With each announcement came the natural outrage, protests and discussions that diverted attention away from the event that started everything that is currently happening in this country and around the world. Video footage of a black man narrating his death by a police officer who held his knee on this man’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.