Return of the Hood

We tend to think of our common, American past, as a series of moments of shared quaintness — pocked with unimaginable lightning strikes of violence that we’d rather soon forget — and so we have.

Where once we cringed at the white robe, and the Hitler salutes of those Anti-Americans who were landed, and living among us, we now have them — fresh faced, cauterized, and smelling of Pine-Sol and Mothballs — all around us, Heiling Hitler, but not the rest of us; seeking a clawback return to a time they never knew, and a place they never dwelled, and yet, they seek validation, and exclusive membership, in a grog of hate that bears the sealing wax impression, and the tacit approval, of our President of the United States of America.

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Call me a Nigger from the North

If you are easily offended by history, and the muscle memory mnemonics of words like — nigger — then you should not read the rest of this article. Over the many decades we’ve been publishing original work online, one word keeps popping back up for examination in various memes. Yes, that word is — “the N-word” — and we just call it like it is here, because that’s how Nigger has been used in the context of life beyond the Uncanny Valley.

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The Nebraska Abolitionist: When Slave Owners Won the Day

When I was in sixth grade in Nebraska — around the time Alex Haley’s ovaricRoots” novel was making its debut in the world conversation about America’s shameful treatment of slaves — our teacher, who was Lily-white born and bred and a staunch conservative from Oklahoma, decided to hold a “historical” debate with a bunch of 11-year-olds on the topic of abolition.

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How a Big City Teaches Multicultural Tolerance

As we tumble headlong into the dire possibility of a Trump Presidency, I am reminded of the salient, if silent, lesson some of us learn when moving from a small town to the urban core of a Big City: If you want to get along with everybody — like everyone anyway, even if you don’t — and never badmouth anybody, even if you want to.

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Describing Skin Color in American Sign Language

Talking about Race in any situation — even in a university setting where teachers and students should feel safe to be blunt and congenial — can pack a certain, uncomfortable, stigma when bringing up the matter.

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Elissa Reilly Slater Wins Big Brother 15!

Elissa Reilly Slater was evicted from the Big Brother 15 house last night, effectively ending her chance to win half a million dollars, but she kept her morality and dignity intact and that, to me, is more precious than Big Brother blood money, and as far as I’m concerned the real, true, and only winner of BB15 is Elissa even though the show runs for another two weeks.

From the start of the show, Elissa was marked.  Her horrible sister Rachel was a previous winner, and professional whiner, and there are few Rachel Reilly fans in the Big Brother world.  Elissa was tagged by the other houseguests as being favored by the producers — and she was, just because of her shared bloodline with a previous winner — and it didn’t help that Elissa, a doppelgänger of her sister, denied being Rachel’s sister when asked.  A lie from the clean start can never really take you to the dirty end in victory.

That said, Elissa, a premier athlete of a Yoga instructor, bided her time and played the game as well as she could all alone.  She tried to make alliances.  She wanted to team up.  Nobody would have her.  Nobody listened to her insight or wisdom.  She was written off as a sibling airhead by everyone in the house — even her supposed “friend” Helen — who dictated to Elissa without ever hearing her.

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Is Paula Deen a Racist?

I have been following the saga of Paula Deen as she tries to answer cries against her obvious, inbred, Racism, and her multiplicity of firings from many companies as spokesmodel for their brands.  Do we want to punish Bigots and Racists by removing them from the public eye?  Or do we want them to be heard, so they can be forced into public recantations and corrections?  Slate magazine creates this interesting take on the problem of Paula Deen:

Paula Deen is America’s racist grandma, and we should treat her as such. Racist Grandma may be racist, but she’s also your grandma. You can’t just disown her.

And, contrary to what some might think, having a racist grandma isn’t entirely bad. No doubt there are many white families where racism is passed down generation to generation like some cancerous gene. But for others, seeing that gene and knowing you’re predisposed to it is a warning sign, a nagging reminder to take preventive measures for yourself. I say let’s push racist Grandma back to center stage and let her keep talking.

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