This Must Stop.

This is a photo of a Black Man.  The photo was taken and posted in response to yesterday’s decision in the Trayvon Martin murder case – the jury-based decision finding the man who killed the unarmed teen not-guilty. Look at this man. Depending on your life experience – your own ethnicity and gender, your experience with people who are similar to and different from you, the extent to which you are willing… Read More

Then Ernie Leans on Bert’s Shoulder while They Watch the News

So, I want to go back to last week’s Supreme Court decisions –back to the cover of the New Yorker  and the mixed reaction – from effusion to raging – it received.  We all know the controversy is less about Bert and Ernie than about the decision of the Supreme Court (or at least 5/9ths of it) to affirm and obviate the unconstitutional nature of that law passed in California amending that… Read More

The VRA and Racism “the country’s original sin”

What a week. With a 68-32  margin, the U.S. Senate passed immigration reform – a heartening step even in the face of the subsequent response by the usual suspects in the House of Representatives rolling their eyes and offering sound bites that essentially communicate (again…), “in your dreams.”  In what likely stands as a more inspiring demonstration (and interpretation) of democratic action, Texas Senator, Wendy Davis together with thousands of citizens of… Read More

Violence May Thwart Public Voice, but the Ideas Won’t Go Away

My sister in Gainesville, Florida is recently back from Turkey — Istanbul and a rural city where she and her daughter worked a while on an organic olive farm.  The olive work was only perfect for getting to know the culture of rural Turkey a bit, but it was also the only way for these two women to travel together.  The younger is a college student, the older (celebrating her 50th with… Read More

Succession – We’re in Great Hands

This week’s blog is a montage.  My qualification to put these images together here with my ideas about what I’ve seen and experienced of the Student Alliance Project arises only from the generosity with which the young adults of this thriving community organization have informed and befriended me as an ally. Last night I attended a celebration.  There were hundreds of people in a room that barely held them, sitting at circular… Read More

“Good Job, Dad” — Change 4 Years Later

“The first step is faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Martin Luther King, Jr “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” Barack Obama Sasha Obama hugged her dad after he took the Presidential Oath of Office yesterday.  “Good job, Dad,” she said.  “I did it,” her father responded. Then today, President Obama stood before… Read More

Today’s December 10

It’s the end of the day, and unlike most days between November and July the sky outside my window is vivid with sunset colors – you know those indescribable shades of pink and purple, hints of orange, red, yellow, even bits of green.  I’m in Portland, OR where I live and work – and walk and dance and chit chat with neighbors and laugh and cry with friends.  Today I’ve done all… Read More

Birdsong in Oregon and VOICES FROM DECATUR

Here we are in December – already.  Here we are nearing another turn of season; this time to winter.  I’ve been noticing how the calls of birds really do become less present as the days shorten and the weather cools. Maybe it’s an effect of spending the last four years listening to what everyday people have to say.  It’s for sure not boredom or lack of distraction.  But here’s what noticing the… Read More

“We have to talk about these things”

I am back in Portland.  Three weeks, now.  Shortly after my return I receive email with the subject line:  yes-youmadeit/Dr. Dapo!  My dear and long-time friend, Dr. Dapo Sobomehin (voice 90 in 100 Voices – Americans Talk about Change), wanted to get together for coffee.  This morning we finally made it to the corner of Hawthorne and SE 37th for a few hours of catching up. Every time we meet, I am compelled… Read More

Where are the White People?

Sometimes I turn to internet sources for news updates.  Huffington Post, NYT, stories posted to facebook, local papers’ websites for learning about where I am along the road.  Often there are stories with photos of crowd scenes.  Some are international, but I’m thinking today of domestic stories – Occupy, Tea Party, vigils, protests on the National Mall or at statehouses across the country.  In the case of crowd photos from the U.S.,… Read More