We All Need Healing

This morning I walked away from a school building that was on “external lockdown.” My children were inside. What a totally counterintuitive thing to do as a parent. But this seems to be kind of a new normal. My kids’ school is only 10 blocks from where one of two Des Moines area police officers … Continue reading

White Kids and Black Lives

There’s so much uncharted territory in parenting. But, raising white kids differently than most folks of my generation were raised? With few (any?) roadmaps? At a time when the failure of decades of “colorblind” white parenting and tepid attempts at “celebrating differences” is exposed by news cycles that bleed day-after-day with stories of Black people … Continue reading

Dear Police Chief 2

I didn’t have to wait long to hear back from the West Des Moines police chief. To his credit, he picked up the phone and called me. So, a few days after I sent my letter last week, Chief LaDue and I spoke on the phone for about a half hour. Chief LaDue explained the following to … Continue reading

Dear Police Chief . . .

I sent this email to the police chief in my city two days ago. I urge you to send something similar to yours and to ask folks who live around you to do the same. I intend to follow up over the coming days by sending him examples (which have trickled in) of police officers … Continue reading

Circling Up

“Malcolm X was a freedom fighter, and he taught us how to fight!” “Sandra Bland. Say her name!” “Black. Lives. Matter!” The New York City subway rang with chants and songs echoing off the tiled walls. Our coalition, gathered in the city for Union Theological Seminary’s Millennial Leaders Project, had just returned from Union Square … Continue reading

The Hair: Reflections by a White Parent

In infancy, it was the eyes. But ever since toddler-hood, it has been the hair. My son is eight years old. He was born with deep blue eyes and fairly bald—just a smattering of sand-colored hair. As he learned to walk, his hair began morphing into its current “tow-head” state. (That term comes from old … 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

Killings So Common They Don’t Have to Be Explained . . .

In the back of my mind there’s always a song or voice or quote floating around.  In the past few weeks the blend of lyrics are from Michael Jackson’s, “They Don’t Care About Us” and Sweet Honey in the Rock’s, “Ella’s Song.”  The voices include James Baldwin’s, Ruby Sales’, and Vincent Harding’s. This mash-up of … Continue reading

FOR WHITES (LIKE ME): GOT STRATEGY?

I have a hate/love relationship with Charlie Brown. For reasons that seem obvious to me I love the Christmas special and still miss the Great Pumpkin episode they used to air when I was a kid. But, I hate how mean everyone is to poor “Chuck.” (Yes, it took my four year-old asking why they … Continue reading

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