Is America Islamophobic? Better yet, has America become more Islamophobic in the five years since the Park51 controversy? Much of the evidence points to a sobering answer.
We hoped racial bias and bigotry would die out with future, more enlightened generations. But time hasn't rendered racism extinct. It's just been tucked away for the sake of its survival.
In a world that is saturated in patriarchy and gender based violence, imagine how powerful and life saving it would be if men, masculine presenting people and cis-gender identified people started standing up as allies too.
At 10 a.m. this past Sunday, bells all over the city of Charleston rang out in memory and mourning of the nine people murdered last week. The bells may not be ringing today, but we have an opportunity to continue the commemorative spirit of unity by our actions.
A reminder never to be silent in the face of injustice and hopelessness; never to be resigned to a status quo that accepts a widening gap between rich and poor, black and white, and too many atrocities like this one in Charleston.
Southerners claim a deep allegiance to the good old United States of America, but ironically celebrate their ancestors' efforts to dissolve the very union of states whose flag they now so proudly fly. You cannot simultaneously love the United States and love the idea of dissolving the bond between states that constitute the country.
We live in a society plagued by racial division, where the instigating half of the population actively ignores and denies the problem--evidenced by the slew of high-profile Republicans and FOX News pundits calling the Emanuel AME Church shooting "an attack on religious liberty."
After 400 years of slavery, lynching, segregation and the complete whitewash of the word "swag" and all our best dance moves, haven't we suffered enough?
Irregardless of our faiths, our ethnicities, where we are from, together we come in love. Together we come to bury racism, to bury bigotry, and to resurrect and to revive love, compassion, and tenderness.
No one is more vested in seeking justice than the courageous family members of those nine innocent victims who were slaughtered in a place that was their sanctuary. Anyone who thinks that forgiving Dylann Roof is an act of weakness has no clue what forgiveness is all about, nor what kind of inner strength it takes to do such a thing.
Dolezal's white-to-black "passing" is the complication of both white guilt and white rage in an era of Affirmative Action.
"White Gunman Sought in Killing of 9 at Black Church in Charleston, S.C." It reads like a headline from another age. From 1963, to be precise -- the year another appalling hate crime was carried out against a strikingly similar target.
South Carolina flies the Confederate flag in its state capitol. To many, that flag is a symbol of a violent, racist past. A nostalgic celebration of a time when blacks were actively oppressed, enslaved, and brutalized while government officials looked the other away - or even actively participated.
Is it really happening? Are we actually witnessing the burning of churches and mosques on a regular basis in the Jewish state? Impossible! It can't be happening!
Consider hate crimes and domestic terrorism as sides of the same coin. We desperately need to organize and address the multiple elements of both. Understand what is happening online.
As I watch the television coverage of the families of those murdered, I am amazed by their faith and their commitment to forgive the man who took the lives of their loved ones. They should be an inspiration to all of us.