Why is Kylo Ren the Center of Episode VII Merchandise?

I recently came upon these shirts in the boys' clothing section at Walmart:The shirts both feature Kylo Ren, the primary villain of Star Wars Episode VII: A Force Awakens. I found myself suddenly curious. The heroes of Episode VII---the good guys---were Rey, a young white woman, and Finn, a young black man. But if you go to the Walmart website and google "Star Wars A Force Awakens shirt" there are half a dozen shirts prominently featuring Kylo Ren for every one shirt even picturing Finn. … [Read more...]


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Martin Luther King, Jr., Shape-Shifter

According to the Washington Post: Ohio’s governor says Americans shouldn’t focus so much on the highest-level people when there are ways to tackle many societal problems at the local and individual levels.Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) spoke Monday in Atlanta at the King Center on the holiday honoring its namesake, Martin Luther King Jr.Kasich says King got the attention of people in power through a “bottom-up” approach worth emulating. Kasich says efforts such as addressing drug … [Read more...]


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Test Scores Are Not Predictive of School Quality

I've written about this before, but I apparently need to do it again. I just read a rather terrifying article published by Michigan's Bridge Magazine about the results of the school choice programs Betsy DeVos and others have pushed in Michigan. For more than a decade, Holland Public Schools has watched its enrollment fall, prompting the closure – and demolition – of multiple schools.The decline is not the result of an aging community with fewer, school-age children. Rather, it’s largely a r … [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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White Children in a Majority-Minority Future

My daughter attends a majority minority elementary school. In fact, my daughter is the only white non-Hispanic child in her classroom. I volunteer regularly at my daughter's school, interacting with children of every color. I meet parents; we set up playdates. These children are my daughter's friends. I've dropped my daughter off at birthday parties where she is the only (or next to only) white child in the room.It is against this backdrop that I read a Right Wing Watch article about co … [Read more...]


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The Many Colors of Rogue One

When The Force Awakens was released a year ago, many people pointed to the diversity of the three young new rebel leads.Rey was a woman, Finn a black man, and Poe Hispanic. This diversity was especially striking given the whiteness of both the original Star Wars movies and the prequels---with the exception of Lando Calrissian in the former, and Mace Windu in the latter.Star Wars has always occurred against a diverse backdrop or both humanoid and non-humanoid characters, including al … [Read more...]


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My Evangelical Upbringing Had Ties to White Nationalism

Last week, NPR interviewed Richard Spencer, a "white nationalist" who wants to see the creation of a white ethno state. People were shocked at this interview---so shocked NPR had to explain why they aired it: Some of you have asked why we would air the views of someone who wants to create a “white ethno-state.” The short answer is that Donald Trump drew some of his support from people with such views. We want listeners to understand what the alt-right, and people such as Richard Spencer, beli … [Read more...]


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