When Your Atheism Is Really about Attacking Minorities

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Minneapolis, Minnesota, is home to at tens of thousands of Somali immigrants, the largest concentration of Somali immigrants in the country. The community was largely formed by the result of refugees from Somalia's civil wars. Relatively new immigrants with few preexisting networks, some 82% of Somalis in Minnesota live near or below the poverty level. They frequently have low levels of education, and have faced challenges integrating into American society made worse by the surge of Islamophobia … [Read more...]

John Crawford III Denied Justice

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I have to admit to feeling a bit sick. I just saw two things in very close proximity. The first was a headline announcing that Beavercreek, Ohio, police were cleared of wrongdoing in the shooting death of John Crawford III. The second was the surveillance video of that shooting, which occurred in a Walmart.Crawford had picked up an unloaded BB gun off a shelf and was swinging it gently, point down, while standing in an aisle talking on the phone. The autopsy report found that Crawford was … [Read more...]

The Hijabi on the Bus

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Yesterday morning I posted about atheism and Islam, and then went in to work for a few hours. After I finished I read the comments on that post, some of them critical. Then I got on the bus to head home---and in a moment that serendipitous, I found myself sitting next to an olive-skinned woman wearing hijab. I live in a university town, so this is a common sight. Coming right after reading comments arguing that Islam inherently oppresses women, it felt refreshing, somehow. She had a stroller w … [Read more...]

Progress, Slowly

Langata Health Facility staff fill out paperwork for babies abou

In light of WORLD Magazine's recent treatment of a women's college decision to accept trans* women---not surprisingly titled "Women's College Redefines 'Women'"---and other less-than-uplifting news on the transgender and gender fluidity front, I thought I'd post something encouraging I noticed during a visit to the health center at my own institution.I filled out the form as you can see for myself, but was surprised and pleasantly impressed by it---impressed enough that I felt the need … [Read more...]

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...]


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