Little by little, we are getting closer to a deeper conversation about race -- and what we can do to correct our ugly history so that the actions of the future are not continuously bound by the racist policies and practices of the past. We are not there yet, but this issue isn't going away.
Early July still brings a bittersweet week for Bosnian-Americans. They are reminded by the Srebrenica genocide commemoration why so many had to flee Bosnia and Herzegovina and why they/we are so fortunate to have been welcomed in America.
The last thirty years have seen private sector dominance of government. The results are disastrous and clearly seen. Tax codes and laws were established to benefit specific corporations and industries, while creating barriers to entry for new technologies and small companies.
I remember when the news out of Ferguson, Missouri first came to us. I heard white friends and colleagues encourage each other to sit in a posture of listening. I honor that listening. White allies, I thank you for your thoughtfulness in this regard. Now allow me to be your stopwatch; time's up.
Our voice will always be our greatest weapon. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. I choose to speak life for those whose voices have been eternally silenced.
If we all are supposed to feel safer -- if crime rates are lower and people of all colors are supposed to be equal -- how can the force that's supposed to protect Americans be damaging such a large segment of our population?
Another week, another video--this time of a young African American woman wearing a bathing suit, holding only a towel. She is thrown to the ground and a white male police officer pulls her hair and sits on her back.
From a very young age, little girls in America are programmed to believe in world peace, as I was. We were rewarded by people much bigger and more important than us for expressing such selfless aspirations so early on.
All of the national media and cameras may not be on Ferguson, MO anymore but people are still building, organizing and protesting for change.
Continually Jesus drew our attention not to loving people "in general" but to specifically caring for those we would tend to discount or condemn. Black lives matter is exactly the kind of thing Jesus would say.
My cop friends tell me that in addition to institutional biases that can't be minimized, training is often antiquated and premised on the days of being "tough on crime," once the only approach to policing. Assuming my officer friends are correct, we can expect more incidents like Charlena Cooks', and that things will get worse before they get better.
While I'm encouraged that my recommendations are a part of President Obama's recent executive order on this issue, including banning the free transfer of certain military-grade equipment and imposing strict oversight and transparency measures, we cannot stop advocating for comprehensive reform.
Without absolving or equivocating on America's hypocrisy on matters of race, racism and abuse of civil rights, it is ironic and equally hypocritical that Africans, who have little compunction about hacking one another to death because of differences, physical or perceived, are some of the loudest decriers of racism and bigotry in America.
It will take all of us -- every system of government, allies from every background, families in every community -- to step up and bring about the day when all children are treated with revolutionary love within and outside of the classroom and prepared to lead us forward.
While the Task Force's final report, released this week, does include some smart recommendations that could improve the criminal justice system, they missed two key opportunities to reform police practices.
On Saturday, May 16, 2015, NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools held a conference titled, Race, Rights, and Responsibility: What Educators Can Do to Help Our Students Think Critically about Protest, Law Enforcement, and Civil Liberty.
Today my kids learn to deal with equally senseless attacks and murderous individuals. Once again, the vocabulary of measurement is dusted off. They practice the difference between Code Red, Code Green, and Code Yellow, and the instructions Lockdown, Closedown, Closed Campus and Shelter-in-Place.
If the voices and concerns of ordinary Americans aren't at the center of this debate, we can expect the ticking time bomb of urban unrest to explode in more and more communities. Without major reforms, the recent upheavals in Ferguson and Baltimore may simply be a precursor to a wave of 21st century riots.
Despite my effort, many historians continue to see only white soldiers' suffering and death during the war. But what about those who did not wear the Union blue or Confederate grey but died in the same war often alongside of white soldiers? How we might remember their death and suffering?
Recent events in Baltimore, Ferguson, New York or wherever an unarmed black man has died in police custody remind me of something I learned long ago when I was on the police beat: There is nobody better than a good cop. There is nobody worse than a bad cop.