Disarming the Lethal Knot of White Fear

Dear White People: Earlier this week, in another outrageous, egregious miscarriage of justice, the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury failed to indict the white police officer who killed a 12-year-old black child, Tamir Rice. And once again the justification for letting a uniformed murderer go free is that the officer believed he was in mortal danger. … Continue reading

Failing White Kids

There’s long been a prevailing sentiment among white people of my generation, expressed in some version of the following: “Our race problem is mostly a matter of time. Racism will whither as the older white U.S.-Americans die off.” Other versions of a similar sentiment show up when folks tout the demographic changes poised to dramatically … Continue reading

Reparations? Or Charity?

This is a reparations moment. That’s not to say it’s newly or uniquely such a moment (as if we haven’t long been in a reparations moment). It’s not. But it’s worth asking this right now: If something as entrenched in U.S.-American culture as the acceptability of flying the Confederate flag could finally be upended and … Continue reading

White Anti-Racist Parenting

Last night at a vigil I heard a black elder in my community trace herstory through the bombing of a church that claimed the lives of 4 young black girls, the murder of Emmet Till, through the civil rights movement and the murder of King and connected it all to Charleston. She then wondered aloud … Continue reading

A Liturgical Die-In

From Jen: In days such as these words can seem so inadequate for naming what it is we are experiencing and the visions of life, justice and truth for which we long. Moving through ritual, liturgy, and the body is another powerful way we can and must move. This blog post describes such a liturgy–a liturgical … Continue reading

At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Verdict in the Michael Brelo Case

I cannot turn away or close my eyes to what I beheld on Saturday as I watched the verdict in the Michael Brelo case being rendered by Judge P. O’Donnell in Cleveland. The nearly hour-long justification for exonerating Officer Brelo on all counts was bone chilling to behold. In every respect, it amounted to a … Continue reading

Protests Don’ts and Do’s

“How does standing on a bridge yelling about police violence in Des Moines help Black folks in Baltimore?” “Okay, this is all well and good, but what are the next steps? When are we going to take action?” “It’s hypocritical for folks who’ve never said or done anything about police brutality before to suddenly show … 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

Dear North Miami Beach Police: #UseMeInstead

Last week, I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed and came upon a photo of a clergy colleague in her clerical collar. She had posted the photo to an event called “North Miami Beach Police, use our pictures for your target practice.” I had heard about how the North Miami Beach Police Department has been … 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

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