What I Learned from Almost Being Arrested

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Almost three years ago I had a severely unpleasant experience with a police officer that left me completely shaken. Up until this point, I'd been given no reason to distrust cops. Ever since this moment, though, I've understood why many people have their reservations. If I could have an experience like this---and I'm white, educated, and middle class---I can't imagine how much worse it must be for those who are black, or poor, or in another marginalized group. As protests continue in Ferguson, … [Read more...]

Michelle Duggar Goes Full Anita Bryant

Save Our Children

Do you remember Anita Bryant? She became a household name in the late 1970s when she sought to repeal a recently-passed anti-discrimination ordinance in Miami. She founded an organization she called "Save Our Children," and capitalized on fear mongering about the fact that gay men and lesbian women would now be allowed to teach in public elementary schools. "As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children," she said. (For m … [Read more...]

The Militarization of American Police

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I just came upon a rather startling article that may help introduce this whole "militarization of the police" thing to those new to the concept. The article is titled "'It's a warzone in the US': Indiana sheriff explains why he deployed heavy armor in his county." Here is an excerpt:From the streets of Fallujah to Franklin, Indiana, heavily armored military vehicles have been rolled out for one and the same reason: many police officers in the US believe there’s a war going on … [Read more...]

Some Readers’ Experiences with Race and Police

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When I posted last week about white privilege and the Mike Brown story, I was fascinated as readers relayed their own stories and experiences with racism in the comment section. I want to take a moment to share two of those stories with you. This is Trinity91's story:It isn't just the south though. It's all of american culture. The south is just more open about their bigotry. I moved from New Mexico (where things are bad, especially in regard to police brutality) to the suburbs of Seattle … [Read more...]

What’s a Death Sentence in the Grand Old USA?

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Some weeks ago I read an article about a man who shot a home invader in the back as she fled down an alley, having already left the house. In the comments, readers pointed out that the woman had chosen to break into the guy's home, and that when he returned and found her there she initially assaulted him, and that she therefore deserved what she got. These things were ostensibly true, but here's the thing---they had no bearing on whether or not the man had been correct to shoot and kill … [Read more...]

Educating My White Privilege

Police Shooting Missouri

I started this post some time ago, but recent events have made me feel that now is the time to finish and post it. Several days ago black teenager Mike Brown was gunned down by police. He was unarmed and had his hands in the air, and still the police officer shot him again, and again, and then left him for dead.I have a lot of privilege. I am white. I was raised in an upper middle class family. I am cisgendered and present as straight. I grew up in an evangelical community that was 100% wh … [Read more...]

“And How Many Daddies?”

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I recently ran into my friend Amy and her son Joey when I was downtown for an event with my daughter Sally. Amy had a similar evangelical upbringing to mine, and is today happily married to her partner of fifteen years, Kate. Their son Joey is two. I've gotten together with Amy for lunch on occasion, and when we ran into each other again last week we repeated, again, that we should get out families together sometime---when we weren't so busy. I introduced Sally to Amy and Joey and then we parted … [Read more...]


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