When we went to Cuba in 2005, I was not a mother, I was not nursing and I had never been covered in baby snot or toddler vomit. It doesn't seem like so long ago and I am not a different person, but it is hard to be here when my friends and part of my heart are in D.C., working so hard for justice, accountability and all that I hold so dear.
What we've been witnessing is the decline of state-society relations in which citizens no longer believe in their leaders, governments or certain policies -- and they are speaking out in violent and non-violent ways. There's a recurring feeling that there must be a better, more legitimate way to govern.
This year, Urban Outfitters sold a "vintage" Kent State sweatshirt tastefully splattered with red paint while Donald Sterling's racial comments cost him his NBA franchise. It's been a raucous year in the public arena, expressed perfectly by a parade of PR blunders that is as impressive in scope as it is in sheer absurdity.
Initial protests in the aftermath of the grand jury's decision not to indict Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown created awareness about widespread racial discrimination in law enforcement and excessive police violence. Recent protests, however, have taken on a more cynical, counterproductive tone.