Recently in Peace and Justice Category

Backlash Against Women?

October 10, 2007

Interesting book review covering a new work by Susan Faludi on post-9/11 anti-feminism, partially comparing and contrasting with Bruce Springsteen's new album. The first reaction I had was: do her grim facts really paint the overall picture of the treatment in America? Most of the news coverage I read, see, or hear does not comport to her view of reality — but maybe I just don't pay enough attention to news outside the New York Times, NPR, and the local nightly news.

Relating Racism, Sexism, and the Penal System

October 1, 2007

I'm on a conference call about facilitating interfaith dialogues on the topic of non-violence in religion. I'm multi-tasking as I listen to the introductions; if you've been on many conference calls you'll probably understand the need for multi-tasking.

I wanted to write some useful introduction, but its just not there. So instead, I'll just point you to an interesting op-ed, Jena, O. J. and the Jailing of Black America, and share an extract:

Until we view this social calamity [black incarceration rates] in its entirety — by also acknowledging the central role of unstable relations among the sexes and within poor families, by placing a far higher priority on moral and social reform within troubled black communities, and by greatly expanding social services for infants and children — it will persist.

On Organizing a Response to Linguistic Violence Against Religion

September 5, 2007

Responding to an e-mail discussion that started with the article Islamic Fascism: The Propaganda of Our Times.

There is little doubt that the language we use and hear shapes our perceptions — and action — in the wider world (cf Sapir-Whorf hypothesis). Is it accurate to call someone who is a "terrorist", who is a Muslim, and who is motivated by his religious beliefs, an "Islamic terrorist?"

Making Sense Out of Senseless Grocery Shopping

April 22, 2007

I recall one day in the spring of 2002, shopping at the H.E.B. grocery store on Riverside Dr. in Austin, TX, being struck by the horrible nutritional value on display on the conveyor belt before me. The shopping list seemed to consist primarily of donuts, chips, soda, and a few other items of questionable healthiness (white bread, milk, beef, no fruit, ...). Surreptitiously, I looked up at the woman buying these things, probably to feed her family (I don't remember thinking she seemed particularly overweight herself). I thought to myself, "what mother would feed these things to her child?"

Imus and Justice

April 12, 2007

I've been thinking about writing about the Imus thing since I heard about it. Hesitated not just because of time, but because its so overdone. Well, even though I know they'll never know it, I want to thank NBC and CBS (and their advertisers) for doing the just thing and removing Imus from the airwaves and twisted copper cables.

Chairman Uncle Ben

April 2, 2007

The New York Times writes about the Uncle Ben's company's new advertising campaign, featuring "Uncle Ben" as the chairman of the company. I had no idea that "Uncle" was a racially biased way of getting around calling someone "Mister". I figured the butlerish image wasn't all on the up-and-up, but it has more negative connotations than I realized.

(Trying to) Take Ownership as a White Male

March 26, 2007

Over dinner tonight my wife and I were talking about the paucity of major news coverage of women's rights and justice. In the U.S., it seems that you are more likely to find an in-depth look at the current status of women in Afghanistan in a "fashion" magazine than in Newsweek or the other news weeklys. That is definitely a sad state of affairs. We talked about how so many people seemed to have felt that the plight of women was instantly and completely rectified after the overthrow of the Taliban.

Photo used by permission of Flickr user lakerae

Save Darfur Fundraising Campaign

February 28, 2007

Save Darfur is having a fundraising campaign, with 10 hours to go. So I thought I would help them out by pasting their e-mail appeal here.

New Goal, 10 Hours Left

Help us raise the $88,142 we need to reach our new $300,000 goal by midnight tonight.

Your gift will help us expand our crucial efforts - click here to donate now.

For the Reverend Martin Luther King...

January 15, 2007

Today, "MLK Day," I would like publicly to remember the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a man with more than just dreams, a man who better than just about any American of his century knew that hard work and sacrifice can truly shape reality in the direction of our dreams. He was a man whose philosophy I have admired even if I do not explicitly agree with all his religious views. He was an imperfect man, with some well-documented flaws — but knowing this makes him no less the hero. Rather it makes him a human hero instead of a merely mythologized one.

Help Stop Genocide in Darfur

January 5, 2007

I know you're aware that the situation in Darfur is horrible — and has been so for several years now. Hundreds of thousands dead. More refugees than any country other than Palestine or Afghanistan. A weak insurgency (with combatants who really need to put down their arms) countered by a government propped up by high oil prices and tacit Chinese support… a situation in desperate need of real peace keepers. That's where we are today, about three years into the conflict.

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