Do Western Lives Matter More? Let’s Talk Terrorism.

I'm incredibly saddened by the terrorist attacks in Brussels this week. There is way too much senseless death in our world. Political violence of this sort is difficult to grapple with, because the underlying causes are complicated enough to make it difficult to do more than damage control. We have to find ways to stop the violence at its root, which is much harder than simply tightening security. It's also complicated because we live in a world of increased technology, and identifying and … [Read more...]


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Compassionate Bigotry and the Future of Anti-Gay Rhetoric

In recent weeks, a Townhall.com article from June 2014 has resurfaced. I read the article based on its title---5 Truths You're Not Allowed To Say About Gays In America---and have decided to give it a once-over here on the blog. While the article is now twenty months old, many of the themes it covers are very much at the forefront of current debates over LGBTQ rights. Further, the article's entire approach seems to me emblematic of hew rhetorics opponents of gay rights have used in recent years. … [Read more...]


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A Tale of Two Photography Projects

Almost two weeks ago, a young French-Moroccan photographer was killed in an Al Qaida attack in Burkina Faso. According to NPR's article on the subject, Slain Photographer Sought 'To Give Life to the Forgotten': Among the 30 victims of Friday's al-Qaida attack on a hotel and restaurant in Burkina Faso was Leila Alaoui, a French-Moroccan photographer known best for her powerful portraits of Moroccans and intimate, sensitive images of migrants and the displaced. She and her driver, Mahamadi Oue … [Read more...]


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Martin Luther King Jr. and the Complicated Legacy of Our White Past

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. day. Yesterday was also the day I told my six-year-old daughter that her great-great-grandfather was a member of the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s. Once she got it---I had to explain what the KKK was, after all---her response was one of utter horror. Or rather, one of horror mixed with bewilderment. "Why?" she asked. "Why?!" When I told her that her great-great-great grandmother used to boast that black people weren't allowed in her county after sundown, her … [Read more...]


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Rejecting Witch Hunts and Embracing Criticism

I was raised in an evangelical home. I embraced my parents' and church's beliefs wholeheartedly. I was the sort of evangelical teen who hung out in the church library looking for new apologetics books to read. I was dedicated, and passionate, and wholehearted in my beliefs. As a young adult, these beliefs crumbled and fell through my fingers and I looked around, bewildered. How could I have been so very wrong, I wondered? That experience taught me something important---that I could be completely … [Read more...]


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Matt Walsh, Police Brutality, and Victim Blaming

We often talk about victim blaming as it relates to rape, but victim blaming plays a similar function when it comes to police brutality as well. In both cases, we as a society look for something the victim must have done wrong, some way that they surely must have brought what happened on themselves. In the case of rape, we as a society ask whether they drank too much or send the wrong message through their clothing or behavior? In the case of police brutality, we as a society ask whether they … [Read more...]


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On 911 Caller’s Racial Bias and Police Brutality

While we often talk about police responsibility in cases of police brutality, we rarely talk about the responsibility of those who make the calls that result in acts of police brutality. For example, police who shot and killed John Crawford III while he was shopping in Walmart with his girlfriend were responding to a 911 call that claimed Crawford was threatening people with a gun, claims store surveillance tapes revealed to be false. While police were still in the wrong---they shot Crawford on t … [Read more...]


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