Creating a Monster

Conor Friedersdorf’s How the Conservative Movement Enabled the Rise of Donald Trump over at The Atlantic today is a must-read. In it he details something I have been shouting since last summer– that the space for Donald Trump’s vacuous populism was created by the GOP selling their soul to the right-wing infotainment complex. Conservative establishment talking heads […]

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God, Guns, and Glory

I caused a bit of a dust up back home with my piece “Why I Can Never Go Home Again.” A range of people reached out to me via Facebook, email, and text. The overwhelming majority were positive, saying I had captured the essence of their experience (white and black) and the sense of disappointment […]

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Jacksonian America

Americans, on a whole, are ahistorical thinkers. Despite our professions of love for the past, most of us have little knowledge of the traditions, competing ideologies, and causal factors that formed the world we live in. Where we invoke the past, we typically do so in shallow, presentist terms. This tendency leads us to make a […]

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Remembering the Dead

I sometimes hold it half a sin To put in words the grief I feel; For words, like Nature, half reveal And half conceal the Soul within. But, for the unquiet heart and brain, A use in measured language lies; The sad mechanic exercise, Like dull narcotics, numbing pain. In words, like weeds, I’ll wrap […]

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Why I Can Never Go Home Again

I was born and raised in Lima, Ohio. And in many ways, I’ve never left. Home weighs heavily on us all. Our early experiences deeply influence the way we see and understand the world around us. I had a charmed upbringing– safe, comfortable, and loved. My parents encouraged me in everything I did. They bought […]

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Legitimacy in Policing

The bloated, self-referential, corporate orgasm that is the Super Bowl has come and gone again. It brought with it all the usual nonsense– contrived “storylines” like the exuberant, emotional, athletic stylings of Cam Newton vs. the stoic, studied, precision of Peyton Manning (a narrative that didn’t even bother hiding its naked, insipid racism– wonderfully mocked by […]

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Erasure and Black History Month

Parul Sehgal, senior editor of the New York Times Book Review, wrote a wonderful piece on erasure in American culture yesterday. Sehgal makes a compelling case that we lack the capacity for imagining more than a single narrative (primarily that of the straight, white, Christian male), which is made evident across our artistic spectrum– from media coverage of crime to […]

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Losing the White Middle Class

Yesterday, conservative theologian R. R. Reno wrote an editorial for the New York Times entitled “How Both Parties Lost the White Middle Class.” For Reno, the populism of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders is the result of a broken covenant between the two parties and the white majority. The fear and anxiety of the white middle class, who […]

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