Girls: Do You Have A Library Card And A Passport?

Garrick McFadden
9 min readApr 20

“I asked her out, she said ‘No way’” — Girls by The Beastie Boys

Photo by Nicole Geri on Unsplash

Do you have a library card and a passport? It is a simple question, yet it yields so much information. A library card suggests someone who is rooted in their community. It reveals someone who needed or wanted to borrow something tangible in today’s information technology age. Something that they could grasp and hold.

Some people use the library for movies or music. Others might want to borrow a book. Then there are those who want to attend one of the many classes or lectures that are offered at our local libraries.

The insight one can glean from someone having a library card is endless.

Passport ownership is more binary. If someone does not own a passport, they have never left the United States of America. It also declares that they have never had any plans to travel, which they put in motion.

Everyone has dreams. What separates people are those who take at least one step to manifest those dreams. In order to leave the United States and enter any other country, you need to have a passport. It is the foundation of international travel. It is even more significant than having money. You can research the perfect vacation. You can say that you are saving money to go on the trip of a lifetime, but if you have not actually done the menial work of obtaining your passport, are you even serious about your dream?

A passport is not a promise that you will leave our shores. The passport makes the possibility that you can leave real. A passport moves the mythical someday closer to today.

One of my dear friends is my age. He is single and tries to impress women after he has summoned the courage to interject himself into someone else’s conversation. Somehow he will steer the conversation toward his dream trip of visiting Europe and going to France to see the cemetery where the lead singer of The Doors is buried (Jim Morrison). This bluster might be impressive to some people, but after listening to his itinerary for over a decade, it has lost its luster. I find it depressing.

Nonetheless, the flavorless game he is trying to spit is not for me but for the women he thinks he is impressing. Hours spent watching…

Garrick McFadden

I am a civil-rights attorney. I write about #whiteness, #racism, #hiphop, policing & politics.