Colin Kaepernick, Woodrow Wilson and Effective Protest

Colin Kaepernick, Woodrow Wilson and Effective Protest

The Colin Kaepernick protest reminds of a recent episode of Malcolm Gladwell’s new podcast series, Revisionist History. In an episode called Generous Orthodoxy, he examines what it means to protest. His first example was of a 98-year old Mennonite minister took on his church over gay marriage. The minister supported his gay son’s decision to marry and was subsequently excommunicated from his local church. For a man who had dedicated his entire life to that church and still believed in Jesus, it was a tough blow. His son had left the Church but at his father’s gently urging, he had eventually come back to Christianity, to Jesus, through a different road. The minister wrote a letter to his church which gained a lot of attention for its grace and humility. He didn’t lose his religion but nor did he stand down from loving and supporting his son.

new-exhibit-at-princeton-university-revisits-woodrow-wilson-cad14d32dab77f46The other example was from campus protests at Princeton where people battled about whether to remove references to Woodrow Wilson. Wilson was a former President of Princeton, former President of the United States and failed architect of the League of Nations. A significant man, by any measure. He was also an avowed and committed racist. (Srsly it’s pretty bad). Students at the university protested against naming the School of Public and International Affairs after Wilson. They claimed that his very mention was an affront to the ideals of the university; that references to him left them feeling unwanted. Others supported keeping Wilson’s name at the university and only emphasizing his great achievements. And still others tried to suggest a compromise – keep his reference and mention both his great achievements and his racism. Those who protested did so vociferously and with great stridency (screaming that the university owed them nothing! and that they were owed everything by the university!). There is real pain in their voices when you hear it. But ultimately, they lost and Wilson’s name has stayed prominent at Princeton. Read more about Colin Kaepernick, Woodrow Wilson and Effective Protest

Muslim or Black in America

Muslim or Black in America

I think, if there’s one thing I will like about President Obama’s term coming to an end, it is that perhaps the extreme right-wing of this country will go back to their classic culture wars tropes – wars on the poor, black people and a little misogyny thrown in for good measure. Actually a lot of misogyny if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee. (Yes, the Left has its own classics so shut up).

Eight years of people screaming about creeping shari’a law. Eight years of the President supposedly being a Muslim and facilitating the rise of militant Islam in the USA. Eight years of not understanding what the hell the President Obama’s speech in Cairo meant. Eight years of people posting stupid bullshit taking the President’s tolerance completely out of context while throwing their hands up in the air saying, “No really I don’t hate Muslims!”

Did you hear that [insert geographic location] was bombed the other day? Whodunit? Too late – almost every single Muslim in the USA already thought, “oh please let it not be a Muslim!” How relieved I was when the Oklahoma City bombing was found to be done by a non-Muslim. Praise Jeebus!

But I was struck tonight, after reading another half-assed attempt to tar and feather Islam and President Obama, that this ain’t shit compared to what blacks in this country have and continue to endure. Read more about Muslim or Black in America

Karma’s Not a Bitch, Your Dogmas Are…

Karma’s Not a Bitch, Your Dogmas Are…

Every once in a while, I like to put on Chris Rock’s comedy special Bigger & Blacker. If you haven’t seen it, do so. Rock talks about the breakdown of the family, the battle of the sexes, political scandals, gays, racism, healthcare, insurance, school violence, gun control, sex, etc. It’s a comedy special so you take it with a grain of salt but even though some of the references are old, the overall themes are still relevant.

The special was on Comedy Central last night and here’s a great quote from it:

It don’t make no sense to be a racist, sexist, or nothing, but…. it don’t. It doesn’t. It don’t make no sense ’cause whoever you hate will end up in your family.

That’s right, you don’t like gays, you’re gonna have a gay son.

You don’t like Puerto Ricans? Your daughter’s gonna come home with ”Livin’ la vida loca!”

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The more dogmatic the person, the bigger the fall. No where does it come more into focus than in family life. In addition to the examples cited, I’d add religion or ethnicity to the mix.

Read more about Karma’s Not a Bitch, Your Dogmas Are…

The Career Prospects of a (White) One-Legged Busboy

The Career Prospects of a (White) One-Legged Busboy

I was thinking about the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires teams with a head coaching vacancy to interview at least one ‘minority’ candidate during its hiring process. Many have decried the rule as a case of the dreaded (and idiotic) “reverse-racism” and the spirit of the rule has been violated many times by well-meaning organizationsRead more about The Career Prospects of a (White) One-Legged Busboy[…]

The Darker the Flesh, the Deeper the Soul

The Darker the Flesh, the Deeper the Soul

I read a post over at Girl You So Well Spoken detailing an apparent casting call for a Ciroc commercial seeking “light-skinned african americans”. Now that it’s been discovered and publicized, Ciroc is taking to denying, denying, denying having made such a request for their commercials but the larger point still remains. Unfortunately, it’s notRead more about The Darker the Flesh, the Deeper the Soul[…]