Two days after the grand jury's decision not to indict Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown, there appears so little to be thankful for. Decades of overaggressive policing are all too common in all too many communities that some may want to give up. But today, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, be encouraged that even in the midst of such profound sadness and darkness, there are still glimmers of hope and things worthy of gratitude: We can be grateful for the young activists of yesterday and today, our country's ability to transform for the better and our own capacity to effect meaningful change. Peaceful, nonviolent protest is part and parcel of our American tradition -- from Selma to Montgomery to Occupy Wall Street. And in each of these instances, our young people have stepped up and stood on the front lines for justice. For each of them, we can be grateful.
Through daily moral consciousness we must all counter the proliferating voices of racial and ethnic and religious division that are regaining too much respectability over the land.
From 12 to 50 it's assumed we're packing, assumed that like the Hulk or zombies we possess superhuman, virtually unstoppable destructive power. So where an average citizen may disagree, even argue and berate a police officer, treating them as the public servant that they indeed are, a black man, if he wishes to continue living, must channel his ancestors.
We now all have the chance to examine the evidence -- released last night -- in the grand jury's decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson, who fired multiple bullets into Michael Brown. But the verdict on America's criminal justice system is already in for many Americans: guilty, for treating young black men differently than young white men.
I want to offer a special thanks to the technologists of the world -- all those who work anonymously in the world's labs and engineering departments to come up with the circuits, code, and contraptions that have combined to change life as I know it.
In some places, the police seem, and act, like an occupying force. If the law does not represent you but only governs you, you are a subject, not a citizen. So what are the "blessings" that Americans should "gratefully acknowledge," as Abraham Lincoln put it in the 1863 proclamation creating the first national Thanksgiving?
We are in a state of emergency, a time of challenge and controversy, but not because of the protestors. That state of emergency will continue until we stand, become uncomfortable, and demand a justice system that addresses the manifestation of pain in protest, the further chipping away of respect, and the real state of emergency our country faces.
As we sit around our holiday table, we can celebrate the manifold opportunities to teach our parents, children, grandchildren and guests that it would be a terrible waste of life if all we focused on was our own personal blessings without simultaneously raising to consciousness all that needs 'tikkun.'
Many American children won't have a safe, stable home this holiday season. Homelessness among families with children isn't an intractable problem; federal rental assistance -- like the Housing Choice Voucher program -- is an effective solution. But funding is seriously inadequate and has faced significant cuts.
Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks, and being grateful and kind is not something we should restrict to this time of year. It's a gift that keeps on giving all year long -- not just for those we interact with, but for ourselves as well.
It occurred to me that afternoon as I was heading toward a stroke that no amount of facts or evidence was going to change this guy's mind and that neither of us was going to leave unscathed. I took the easy way out and said, "I'm sorry, but I've stopped arguing with people who are impervious to reality," and left it at that.
You don't have to feel like an outsider this holiday season. Join the party and live full out. Just make sure you devote more time to your health than you do to your indulgences and then you can start your New Year without any guilt for how you ended this year.
I don't think the fate of Darren Wilson as a human being really means anything to the ruling class. At the end of the day, people like Bob McCulloch aren't protecting Wilson so much as the system that he stood for.
Have you ever seen Penn Station on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving? It's like that scene from I Am Legend, multiplied by that scene from World War Z, divided by your happiness and raised to the power of eleventy-bajillion grumbling Garden Staters.
Even if the federal government declines to prosecute Wilson, it is highly probable that the Justice Department under a 1994 federal law will take the Ferguson police department to federal court itself. Once there, upon a showing of a pattern of civil rights violations, they can force reforms under consent decrees with federal monitors.
Unplug, shut down, get together with friends and family face to face, and be thankful for this crazy life. That's what the holidays are about -- celebrating life and those close to us who put the color in it.
When it comes to Thanksgiving, librarians enjoy pumpkin pie and the Thanksgiving Day Parade as much as the next person. But it should come as no surprise that for the librarians at The New York Public Library, one of the things they're most thankful for are books.
I can't speak. My country has scarred me once again. How can I go to work in the morning on a train full of people who care not? At a workplace of people who missed the story because of football or reality television?
Double chocolate pavlova could be the ultimate sweet ending to your feast. No one will miss the pumpkin pie.
As education becomes dematerialized, demonetized and democratized, every man, woman and child on the planet will be able to reap the benefits of knowledge. We're rapidly heading toward a world of education abundance.
Cooking is one of my favorite pastimes, but cooking a big meal without a plan can take time away from family and friends and add stress to the season. Most of us would rather watch the Bears play the Lions from the couch, not from the kitchen. With that in mind, here are a few tips for removing stress from Thanksgiving and adding more time to focus on family.
Thanksgiving is a lifestyle that you can cultivate every single day of your life. Gratitude has been the key to every success and every victory in my life. Here are a few secrets about the power of gratitude.
Thanksgiving is undoubtedly the busiest travel time of the year. This year, let's strive to not get yelled at by TSA officers and not get dirty looks from the people behind us! To get through security as quickly as possible, all you have to do is follow these tips.
The workers covered by the president's orders already have paid a price, however. They know that any day, their families may be torn apart. They work hard and pay taxes but the risk of being caught and deported keeps them on the fringes of society.
Estimates vary, but somewhere between 10 and 16 million Americans are defrauded each year in this way. Thanksgiving can be an awkward time of year for some victims, since family members account for more than 30 percent of the identity thieves.
Besides giving us insights, surveys and findings, can more social scientists like these few but important examples change some routines to provide strategies, tactics, and solutions that can more practically flow from their knowledge to action?
Decades of segregation and inequality in Ferguson, as well as most American metropolitan areas, have fostered a racial inequality exacerbated by the criminalization of not just poverty, but the criminalization of black and brown bodies. Too many whites are too willing to believe that a black body poses a threat.
I have a neuromuscular autoimmune disease called myasthenia gravis. Like other friends of mine with MG, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and other illnesses, I have to weigh the joys of being with loved ones against the risks of getting a cold or the flu, which can lead to relapses, hospitalization, and weeks (or months) bedridden.
As you feel the dry, rough skin of your father's hand, or perhaps the pudgy, sticky fingers of your nephew in the palm of your own, you may find yourself feeling both uncomfortable and comforted. When was the last time you held their hand for so long?
On Nov. 18, in Kiev, philanthropist Victor Pinchuk was awarded the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Medal of Honor by the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine for his contributions to Ukrainian-Jewish understanding and cooperation. What follows is a version of my remarks at the ceremony.