December 8, 2019

1986 was a good year for music. Patti LaBelle’s “On My Own,” Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach,” Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name,” The Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian,” Cameo’s “Word Up,” Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors,” and Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” were sensations. Dionne Warwick and Friends sang the timeless “That’s What Friends are For.” And on October 21, 1986, Janet Jackson released the empowering hit, “Control.” Days later, on October 27th, President Ronald Reagan took another kind… Read more

November 23, 2019

I do not know which is more crowded: Atlanta or the Democratic primary for the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Recently, Deval Patrick decided in the midnight hour to “throw his hat in the ring” for the Democratic nomination. After spending $33 million in political television ads within one week, there is a high probability of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg adding his hat in the umpteenth hour, too. They are showing up on a Saturday at 9 pm when… Read more

November 13, 2019

President Trump was elected with a bold promise to drain the swamp. As a self-proclaimed political reformer, has he fulfilled his campaign promise, or has he become the Swamp Thing-in-Chief? Typical politicians charismatically tell the public what we want to hear and do not fare well on delivering. For the most part, masses of people seem to accept this dynamic. To drain the swamp requires forsaking one’s political career self-interest to doing what was best for the people. You know,… Read more

September 22, 2019

Once upon a morning,  I did something different in my routine: I watched the early morning news. I thought, “I have not watched the morning news in a while. Let me see what happened overnight.” Whelp, this bright and shiny dawn of  new day idea crashed and burned. While I slept, homicides, murders, assaults, fires, and mass pandemonium occurred in my area—at least, according to the local news. To sum up the broadcast: “The world is mostly a bad place…. Read more

September 14, 2019

Many of us have approached race like the Field of Dreams movie: “If we build walls to ignore race, the progress will come.” I have encountered people across race who share this colorblind belief. Colorblindness, the notion that one does not “see” race, has been touted as the opposite of racism, the answer to our racial problems and the balm to heal our racial wounds. It pretends to be cute, cuddly and kind to humanity. I argue that colorblind ideology is… Read more

September 7, 2019

It did not take long into my experience with organized religion to find out that questioning was frowned upon—well, certain kinds of inquiry. Inquiry had to fit within the narrow constraints of the religion or denomination. Danger lurked beyond the buildings, community and pages of sacred text, waiting to beguile the curious. Spiritual curiosity meant playing with fire. Was it? Is it? What if curiosity didn’t kill the cat? What if it gave the cat an extra nine lives? In… Read more

September 1, 2019

Ismail Ajjawi, a Palestinian 17-year old, was blocked from entering the United States allegedly due to his friends’ social media posts. He had travelled from Lebanon to start his Freshman year at Harvard University. Ajjawi said that he was detained and subjected to hours of questioning, particularly about his religious beliefs and practices, at Boston Logan International Airport. After searching his phone and laptop, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials cancelled his visa and denied his entry due to  his friends’… Read more

August 24, 2019

“What is the big deal?” It is a question that I have seen and heard repeatedly whenever the issue of respecting pronoun use comes up. Typically, the inquirers are cisgender heterosexual persons who frame their question in a way of dismissing or mocking LGBTQIA individuals. Pronoun use is a big deal. Even if someone does not want to be called a pronoun at all, it is a big deal. The pronouns and words we use are deeply attached to our… Read more

August 18, 2019

There must be something in the Bible about where two or more are gathered with food, Sam will be in the midst. I was on a walk at local park, when I came upon a church worship service that happened to turn into a picnic–a fun Church picnic. As I was trekking uphill, I had spotted a crowd of people sitting in chairs, some guy with a mic (who turned out to be a priest), and a band with string instruments…… Read more

August 10, 2019

Galveston, Texas officers on horseback led a handcuffed Black man by a rope for six blocks to the local police station. The police officers, who are White persons, had arrested Donald Neely for criminal trespassing. Video and images captured from the incident have sparked local and national outrage. Although the police chief, a Black man, apologized, various activists continue to call for termination of the police officers’ employment. Were these police officers saving the day or riding high on racism?… Read more

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