Bigfoot, the Lochness Monster and Institutional Racism

As a historian, a classroom teacher, and aware person I cannot tabulate the amount of time I have spent trying to convince white people that racism exists. I am a white enough person that I had to be educated – but luckily that intervention happened at a young enough stage of development that it became…

OITNB – Season 4 – how may we repent

I postponed watching this latest season of Orange is the New Black because at the end of last season the plot established the role of private prisons, taking over the establishment where the women live in the series, the last scene has the women exuberant in a brief freedom facilitated through a hole in the…

for non-Black folks

A powerful new call for the empowerment and respect of Black people has been issued. It has transcended grassroots activism, permeated discussion of culture and power, made demands on those in political positions, and inspired a creative response from artists. For non-Black folks it can feel alienating, aggressive, “disrespectful”, divisive… But I have never understood…

white people should never be the lead singer

I am going to attempt to lay-out a critical theory to collective redemption. Some weeks ago the mainstream media got ahold of some delicious mangled carcass, and like hyaenas, screamed and pulled and gnawed it apart – I refer to that Dohezal lady. Now the fact that a substantial quantity of people know what I…

one must earn and keep the public trust

Amidst the discussions of relations between police and the public there has been a incongruous parallel made between the actions taken by individuals vs. those of the police. To be police is a profession. The uniform, the academy, the obligations and policies are particular to partaking in that profession. And the actions taken by police…

East African frostbite

On some national public radio, feel good story about the immigrant experience and programs that help newly arrived immigrants cope with the freezing Minnesota winters, they talked with one of the teachers, an East African man who had arrived 15 years prior. He talked on the point of how impossible it is to imagine finger…

#columbusing and the pleasure principle

First I have to express my dismay at not coming up with the term – columbusing. It fully expresses something that I often think and speak about, the historical and modern day colonizing projects of white people. But now that we have the term, it is time to proliferate it.

public impotence yet aroused by tragedy porn

Things I have learned this week through simply a cursory read of my Facebook feed and pre-chewed news sites.: Israel is invading Gaza, once again the Ukraine has weapons, one strong enough that is took down a commercial airplane on that plane were key researchers trying to solve the riddle of HIV/AIDS Tracy Morgan is…

memory in a double helix

I forgive the Nazis. My DNA was marked by the fear and hatred generated in Germany. Parts of my DNA were destroyed by those people. A book was written espousing why my father and grandmother and grandfather and cousins ought to be viewed as subhuman. People gained and maintain power and wealth from the insistence…

scrutiny

Anyone in the public eye is forced to have their complete life susceptible to prying eyes. The public is seeing the C- on the Presidents report card, the mistress in the downtown apartment, the strange sexual deviances and each and every mistake of the people who attempt to have a public persona. In this era…

where racism lives

As I try to educate this new generation of young people about history and systems of inequality, I encounter a resistance. It is not an overt denial nor an ignorance, and it has baffled me for some time. Young people today have access to more ideas and information than ever before. But within this data…