Empathy turned to fear and resentment

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In 1741, white New Yorkers panicked due to their fear of a potential slave revolt. That fear refutes all the nonsense we often hear about how the stark immorality of the slave system was perceived differently back in those days, and how we should all be more generous toward the defenders and exploiters of slavery because things were different back then and (white) folks just didn’t know any better. They knew. That’s why they were scared [Read more...]

Empathy, entitlement and leadership: Why you should never vote for someone who drives like a jerk


It’s very easy to imagine that someone could be an incompetent driver and still become a good governor. It is impossible, for me, to imagine that someone could be a total jerkwad driver and still become a good governor. [Read more...]

For Sen. Portman, Sen. Kirk and the rest of us: The next big step is the important one

President Barack Obama and Republican Sen. Mark Kirk greet one another at the State of the Union in January 2013.

What we earlier saw with Sen. Mark Kirk is still true for Sen. Rob Portman. It is good to see his perspective change due to “direct personal relevance,” but it would be better if he could learn to expand his perspective even without it. That’s the next necessary step, the next epiphany awaiting these senators. How can we encourage that next step? [Read more...]

Empathy is a long climb

Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk climbs the stairs of Chicago's Willis Tower during a charity event in November. The senator is recovering from a major stroke he suffered in January 2012.

“[Sen. Mark] Kirk required aggressive rehabilitation services at one of America’s finest facilities for patients recovering from stroke. Such a profound physical ordeal – and one’s accompanying sense of profound privilege in securing more help than so many other people routinely receive — this changes a person.” [Read more...]