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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Pope Francis Presides over a Church Still Fighting to Keep Accused Sex Abusers from Going to Trial

Over the past week, I've seen a lot of lauding of Pope Francis' efforts to fight poverty, global climate change, and war. There is very little recognition that the Catholic church is involved in lobbying against laws that would extend the statute of limitations, allowing victims of sexual abuse that occurred decades ago to find justice. Statutes of limitations in some states are as little as two to three years, which has made it impossible to prosecute priests (and others) for past sexual abuse. … [Read more...]


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Dear Jesus: A Letter on Anger and Christianity

Dear Jesus,We need to have a chat. You see, I've been reading the gospels and I have been struck by how angry you constantly were. Have you paused to read through your sermons before delivering them there to read for tone? This sort of anger is really unbecoming. I understand that there are injustices in the world and that you want to fight them, but this is not the proper way to go about things. You are attacking those on your side and participating in unseemly protests, and frankly, Jesus, … [Read more...]


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