The most talked about book of American poetry of 2014 is Claudia Rankine's Citizen. In fact, it is hard to think of a book of poems in recent memory that has received more acclaim.
It's human nature to want to believe in the rightness of our own actions and intentions. But it's precisely human nature that is the problem; the fact that human evil is predictable does not make it excusable. We must be willing to consider ourselves culpable, and to put ourselves at risk.
Nothing will bring back the four lives that were tragically and unjustly cut short. But it's what we do now that will define our legacy as a nation.
You can talk all you want about being "color blind," while still unconsciously assuming that middle class white lives are the standard against which all other lives are to be measured.
Racial stereotypes -- faulty perceptions based on race -- have blunted black Americans' achievement in just about any area you care to measure: from education and employment to housing and economic success.
As we move toward Bethlehem this Advent season, in the wake of the grand jury rulings in Ferguson and Staten Island, I'm reminded of the rarely preached upon section of the story of the Wise Men.
One might think that, by turning Martin Luther King, Jr., into a cultural icon and electing a black president, America has bid farewell to its racist past. Recent events in Ferguson, MO, New York, and Phoenix, however, blow holes in that fantasy.
The night Darren Wilson walked away from an indictment in the shooting death of Michael Brown, I was banned from one of my favorite social-media groups, a group for gay dads. It seems that this group was not the place to talk about race, policing and what happened in Ferguson.
We need a bold inter-racial movement to demand social justice for all of America's sons and daughters. That movement is already underway.
The HRC should be just as vocal in its dissent about racial injustice as it is in celebrating the coming out of celebrities. If we are ever going to overcome the artificial divide between the African-American community and the LGBTQ community now is the time to fortify and publicly announce that solidarity.
As Chris Taylor points out in his terrific new book, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise, there has always been a political component to these motion pictures.
The manner in which law enforcement protects this country is a reflection of the values within our society, and everything from "stop-and-frisk" to racial profiling speak volumes of who we are as a nation.
The Tree Lighting will be fun and festive. I am looking forward to it. However, the texts from Isaiah, the Psalms, 2 Peter, and Mark push me to recall that casting Advent light in the darkness is not to be reduced to the fun and festive -- it is subversive. It is dangerous. It is protest.
I have come to the understanding that in many ways, looking up has been a convenient distraction from looking around. It allows me to opt out of facing the darkness here on Earth.
Skittles & Tea, Hands Up, I Can't Breathe, This sore's been festering so long its just about burst.
The efforts to deny the innocence of Brown and other black victims, in the name of preserving the innocence of the likes of Darren Wilson, of white America, and the nation as a whole is commonplace.