But allow the power of the internet to fall into the hands of those who deliberately heat fear into hatred, prejudice into racism, and we’ll move further and further from the kind of attitude change we seek.
I don’t know how to start this new year that feels already old. The usual resolutions seem irrelevant, the questions bewildering, the answers out of reach. I don’t know how to fix the mess the country has gotten itself into, a mess that is heading toward another crisis on Election Day. I can only […]
As I continued my browsing through old blogs, I also found this 2014 blog. It’s also worth reprinting (with some revision) if our goal is understanding; it gives a far better way to talk about race: Race in America—in Fiction Earlier in this series of blogs I talked of the rewards of reading novels […]
Browsing through old blogs, I found this seven-year-old blog (Dec 5, 2014) that seems to sum up my feelings today pretty well. Here, with some revisions, it is: I watch today’s protests and feel very old, very frustrated, and very discouraged. I watched the same explosions and protests in the 1950s, 1960s, and […]
I’ve been hard on identity politics and its role in polarizing the nation, so I want to be clear. Race is a critical issue for the country, and one that needs to be addressed. I understood and supported Martin Luther King and the peaceful protests of the Sixties Civil Rights movement of the […]
I watched the Reagan years with an ever-increasing sense of impending doom. I say watched because I was an outsider to the economic and social changes, living in one of the separate worlds, bubbles–the slices George Packer describes. I was teaching at the University of California, Santa […]
George Packer sums it up: “… if I were to put it in a single sentence, I would say: Inequality undermined the common faith that Americans need to create a successful multi-everything democracy (p.38).
Confrontation forces attention on neglected issues. It also polarizes. When people turn the language of opposition into the language of enemies, they have turned the language of democracy into the language of war and legitimized acts of war on the democracy. Too many of the protests for justice, legitimate and needed, have turned into revenge […]
In browsing through old blogs, I came across this “bogey” tale which seems particularly apt for today. Friend and author, Priscilla Long, who writes a fascinating column in the American Scholar, shares this story by author, Brian Doyle, on the origin of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Findings – Summer 2006 Findings: A Bogey Tale […]
The changes brought by the Sixties extend far beyond the political. In fact, the political may be a reflection of the upheaval in the cultural and social fabric of the nation. It was as though pressure had built until the seams of conventional life burst: the unspoken became spoken—shouted through the streets. […]