Marijuana Legalization in Black and White: The Racial Cost of the Status Quo

My friend Matt was caught smoking pot with his friends in the high school bathroom. He got a slap on the wrist and spent a night in a juvenile detention center. After paying the fines, his parents never mentioned the "incident" again. Matt went on to receive a graduate degree from a top-tier university, and now he's a homeowner with a beautiful family and thriving career. He also happens to be white.I met my friend Jimmy later in his life at a homeless shelter. He was arrested at a young age … [Read more...]

How the Supreme Court ‘Decided’ the State of Race in America

Is Jim Crow dead? Do we live in a post-racial America? The Supreme Court seems to be saying: "Officially, yes."The Civil War ended with the surrender of the Confederate States of America. The American South went from holding human beings as property to a regime of formal equality with the stroke of a pen—but no one was under the illusion that a culture could change so quickly. The Union Army occupied the South in order to implement some measure of freedom and equality for the newly freed b … [Read more...]

Notes from the Margins: The Mindy Project–A Once in a Decade Opportunity

Each week in Notes From the Margins, D.L. Mayfield writes about the kingdom of God, marginalized people groups, and popular culture.The show Girls gets a whole lot of attention in the media world. Lena Dunheim, hailed for her emotional honesty and clear-headedness when it comes to body image, is at the top of the pack of in-demand writers and performers. Critically acclaimed and successful, Dunheim has hit the jackpot. She is funny, unapologetic, driven, and smart. Lena Dunheim is one of a … [Read more...]

Carolina Chocolate Drops: A Reminder That Nothing Is Black and White

American Music has never, ever, ever had a racial monopoly. Even though in the last few decades the media has reinforced the idea that Rap is “Black music” and Country is “White music”. Not too many folks would come right out and say that (“What about Emeniem and Darius Rucker?!” They might say…), but it’s a signature American unspoken norm.However, nothing could be farther from the truth. “White” Rock & Roll would be nonexistent without the Blues and the amazing African American musician … [Read more...]

Will My Son Be Black Enough for Rob Parker?

I'm a pretty mild-mannered lady. I go to church. I make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for my four kids. I love the library. However, there is a small list of people who I would really like to punch in the face. This week, ESPN analyst Rob Parker joined that list.I'm not a huge sports aficionado, and on most occasions when somebody on ESPN says something dumb about an athlete, I'm not likely to take notice. But Parker happened to hit a hot button for me. He felt the need to question … [Read more...]

Problematic Poetry about Precious Puritans

  “Forgive these wild & wandering criesConfusions of a wasted youthForgive me where I fail in truthAnd in Thy Wisdom make me wise” The great Alfred ‘Lord’ Tennyson had the good sense to preface his triumphant work   In Memoriam with a humble caution. Tennyson must’ve known that words, especially when written about the weakness of man, will just rub some people the wrong way. And often, the more poignant the words, the crazier the reactions tend to be.For example, Propaganda’s ‘Prec … [Read more...]

The Naked Racism of an Obama America

America is more racially divided today than when Obama took office. In this feature, Alan Noble explores the causes of this division and why it may be a good thing. Whatever you think of Barack Obama's presidency, the first African American to hold the highest office in the land has dramatically changed the way we view race in our country--or, at least, what it is acceptable to say about race in public.As a people who believe that all humans are made in the image of God, that before Christ … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: Why White Kids Are Eating Up Hip-Hop and Country Music

Each week in God and Country Music, Nick Rynerson gives country music a chance and examines the world of Americana, folk, alt-country, and popular country music. this scenario in your head: a rich, probably out of touch, record executive writes a song about partying, girls and living the good life and then hands it to the biggest name on his label to record. The song is a major radio hit and becomes everyone’s “favorite song” for ab … [Read more...]