My beloveds . . .

My beloveds…..I say this with love and gentleness. I am in mourning (as are you)…but I say it calmly and gently (even while the blood in my body is running ice cold). We must organize. We must organize. We must begin (and continue) to organize right now. Each of us need to plug in somewhere, … Continue reading

Life in a Swing State….

Life in a swing state….   ….with people I otherwise deeply respect vowing to sit out this election (whether because they supported Bernie or because the whole two party thing is corrupt and should be conscientiously objected by NOT VOTING) in my FB feed. Finally wrote this today [yesterday] after various posts (from people I … Continue reading

Would the Real “Sooner” Please Stand

It’s right to have shuttered the Sigma Alpha Epsilon House and expelled two students involved in last week’s raucous—joyous, even—celebration of white supremacy on a fraternity bus. But it’s right for one reason and not for another. The reason it’s right has to do with environment, which is different than the logic of punishment (that’s … Continue reading

I Took My Kids to the Protest

“Children don’t belong at protests.” I’ve heard many perspectives on this issue in the years I’ve hovered around activist spaces. They all bounced around in my mind as I debated whether to take my own kids (ages 6 and 4) to one of the Des Moines protests after Darren Wilson was declared a free man … Continue reading

What Would Rosa Parks Say (WWRPS)?

The temptation to comment on the violence in Ferguson is almost irresistible. It doesn’t matter if we’re condemning it, worrying about it, lamenting it. We feel the need to say something about it while commenting on Ferguson’s resistance. Most of us should resist this temptation mightily. When Detroit burned in 1967, “the mother of the movement,” … Continue reading

Life Imitating Art

I find it highly ironic that the number one movie in the country right now is about an oppressed people that rise up in revolt against their government, attempting to destroy their capital, and rioting against the establishment that has forced them to live in poverty, to struggle for their lives against a police state … Continue reading

Whose Violence?

The Grand Jury verdict will be announced today. Almost all of the reporting in the media keeps reiterating the message that a failure to indict will likely result in “violence.” Keeps claiming that “violence” is what everyone is bracing for and hoping against. Let us remember that this is not a neutral description. And let’s repeatedly ask: whose … Continue reading

The Wrong Question

Questions are some of the most powerful tools we have. The way you ask a question, or what question you ask, has the power to shape what comes next. Questions can control a conversation: closing down certain possibilities, opening up others. I ask my young daughter: “What did you do at school today?” She looks … Continue reading

Hands Up. Don’t Shoot.

This past weekend, Michael Brown – another young and unarmed black man, was murdered. By the police. In response, his community of #ferguson, Missouri responded en masse. The predominantly African American community has taken to the streets and given voice and body to the shared grief, indescribable outrage, and deep wounds suffered by African American … Continue reading

It mattered today

Renisha McBride’s life mattered. The way she died mattered. And, the man who murdered her was just found guilty. This murder was a tragedy. Nothing about it is worth celebrating. But in the wake of the ongoing despair that sets in when we actually name it: the epidemic of deadly violence against women and men of color … Continue reading

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