Rev. William Barber II is the Voice of the Moral Minority

I had this whole post in my head... about Trump's unbelievable Tweet criticizing the mayor of London. Our president implied that Mayor Khan dismissive of the recent terror attacks, saying that they were "Nothing to worry about." When in fact, the Mayor actually said that London citizens should "not be alarmed" by the increased police presence. I was going to write a post discussing the importance of context in all things. In addition to being insensitive and opportunistic, Trump's statement was w … [Read more...]

Threats Foreign and Domestic: a Manchester Bombing and a Maryland Murder

This is a post about terrorism. It has no artful nuance. No snarky edge, no hilarious sarcasm to offset a painful truth, and probably not even a little bit of poetic syntax to make it go down easier. I'm just going to say some things that are true.Last night, kids were killed in a terrorist bombing. Kids at a concert. This was a callous act of violence, perpetrated by extremists who have no regard for the sanctity of human life. They are blinded by their hatred and find some sick form of … [Read more...]

This One Is Different, and It’s Also Just the Same: On the Death of Jordan Edwards

Last night, Jordan Edwards--a 15 year old football player and outstanding student--was shot and killed by a police officer in Balch Srings, Texas. Even as the story continues to unfold, a few things are clear. In some ways, this one is different.But in some fundamental ways, it’s the same story we hear far too often. Or rather, a story that happens far too often, but about which we hear far too little--because the majority of police killings (especially of young black men) do not turn into v … [Read more...]

Nazi Apologists and Klan Support: The New Normal for this GOP

So, this is where we are:This week, Rep. Steve King issued a confounding Tweet in which he shared a comic--from a European source widely recognized as racist-- and said that we "can't restore our civilization with someone else's babies!" (Meaning, stop letting all these immigrants and Muslims into our country). For this sentiment, he was congratulated by David Duke, the same former KKK leader who publicly endorsed Donald Trump in the campaign (and whose support, for the record, Trump never r … [Read more...]

Good Samaritans, Good Immigrants, and Bystander Problems: Sermon for Lent 1

Maybe they were feeling a little disgruntled… After all, the Samaritans in the neighboring village had just been terribly inhospitable to them. Maybe that’s why the Samaritan, transformed by the narrative powers of Jesus, becomes the unlikely hero of this story. But “unlikely” is the operative word here. Even though "Good Samaritan” has become a blanket term for generic do-gooder in our modern day, secular culture, we cannot understate the inherent ‘bad guy’ implication that the term Samaritan c … [Read more...]

Close to Home: The Human Cost of Racist Rhetoric

Early spring in the Midwest means that my neighborhood has been a picturesque snapshot of American virtue lately. Kids riding bikes and playing basketball; families walking and running together on the trail; birdsong and jump ropes and sidewalk chalk; those first brave buds emerging, hoping not to get hammered by a mid-March blizzard.This is the kind of place where kids walk to school, people run out for an errand and leave their doors unlocked, and if you see a police car in front of a … [Read more...]

When Inclusion Becomes a “Divisive Political Issue”

One of the school districts in the Kansas City area has banned teachers from wearing safety pins.Two weeks ago, responses to that headline might have been... Are they worried kids will use them as weapons? Did someone poke their eye out? What if there's a wardrobe malfunction? Is everything dangerous now??But now we can add safety pins to the list of inanimate objects that have become loaded with social implications. Along with Starbucks holiday cups and Target bathrooms.The safety pi … [Read more...]

The Country Needs Us, And We Need You: A Call to Action

Guest Post: by C. Shawn McGuffeySince the election I have been saddened. Luckily, I am fortunate enough to have a loving partner, family, friends, and students that reach out at precisely the right times to keep me intact. My good choices keep reaping benefits.And as you can see from the picture, I’ve also been acting, organizing, and participating. I am so proud of the many community members that are still doing the work to make this world better.Many of us, however, still have n … [Read more...]

How Trump is Making Misogyny Great Again

Last week, women's health experts and other commentators detailed the “abusive behaviors” exhibited in Trump’s debate performance. And all the lights came on. So THIS is why he’s so hard to watch, I thought. This is why our stomachs turn when he talks; when he belittles opponents and unleashes verbal tirades and refuses to stay on topic. He’s not just unpleasant. He is a predator. And any woman who’s ever been in an abusive relationship--physical or otherwise--can see it a mile away.So when … [Read more...]