Inequalities Abound: Betsy DeVos and School Closures

During confirmation hearings, DeVos didn't know the difference between proficiency testing and growth testing. This matters because of schools like my daughter's. Her school doesn't have the test scores of schools on the other side of town, and it never will, but this isn't the fault of the teachers---it's demographics. A school with a high rate of homelessness, a large number of English language learners, and high levels of poverty isn't going to make the same scores as a school filled with chil … [Read more...]


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Abortion Is Not a Bible Issue

Last week, Franklin Graham said the following: "It’s not a biblical command for the country to let everyone in who wants to come, that’s not a Bible issue." Well, I have news for Graham---following his logic, it's not a biblical command for this country to ban abortion, either. No, really. Comb the Bible. Nowhere does it say to ban abortion---not even in the Old Testament levitical code, which outlined the law for the nation of Israel. Using Graham's logic, I can deduce that it is certainly not … [Read more...]


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“People fear those they’ve wronged”

I wrote yesterday about conservative commentator Michael Savage's claims that white children would become "slaves in their own nation" in an increasingly diverse future---a future where non-Hispanic white Americans are in the minority. I wrote about my own experience living in a majority minority area---one where no ethnic or racial group comprises the majority---pushing back against Savage's absurd claims. But as I read the comments on my piece, I was struck by this point made by rea … [Read more...]


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Heroes

Yesterday I published a guest post by an academic who grew up in a progressive church. She wrote about the role religion can play in sustaining people in the face of bigotry or oppression. She noted that she is not religious. Neither am I, though I once was. But not being religious does not mean not having stories. It doesn't mean not having heroes. We do have stories, and we do have heroes. “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who li … [Read more...]


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Taking Practical Steps: Charities and Volunteering

A reader messaged me recently asking if I would put up a post for brainstorming about charities to donate to---charities that do good work, and don't spend too much on overhead. A lot of people, myself included, have been thinking this week about ways they can make a difference locally and across the country through donating to charities---especially those focused on immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, women's healthcare, and the environment---and through engaging in volunteer work.Let's b … [Read more...]


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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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