Tuesday November 24, 2015
July 3rd, 2015
Suppose African-Americans marked their heritage with flags depicting Nat Turner’s rebellion of 1831, in which slaves massacred about 60 whites before the uprising was crushed? The flag wouldn’t be celebrating the murder of whites, of course, but would simply commemorate a factual milestone in black history!
In the worst possible way - responding to an unspeakable act of racist barbarism - we have stumbled into one of our all-too-rare "Reconsider the Confederacy" weeks. This year's week looks as though it will lead to the relegation of the Confederate battle flag to museums and history's dung heap, where it belongs.
When they announce that they are running for president, deliver their stump speeches, make their ads or head out on their "listening tours" trailed by caravans of reporters, we get to hear how the candidates talk to everyday Americans. But when they talk to big-dollar donors, unless someone breaks the rules, we almost never get to hear those conversations.
Could this, at last, be the end of the Civil War?
Or, as some fans of Southern heritage call it, the War Between the States?
Or the War of Northern Aggression?
Does genetically engineering crops — creating seeds with the DNA of other species inserted in them, like a tomato with DNA that includes genes from a fish — violate religious principles?
People with a vested interest have tried for years to speak on the Vatican’s behalf on this question. Now, Pope Francis has weighed in.
Is it my imagination, or are half the governors in the country running for president?
On the Republican side they’re piling up like ... those huge stacks of walruses we see off the coast of Alaska now that there’s global warming. A stack of governors! Different from the walruses only in 1) lack of tusks, and 2) failure to believe that melting ice floes are a serious problem.
In addressing the egregious hate murder at the hallowed Emanuel A.M.E. Church Charleston, S.C., President Obama struck a somber note of anger -- moderated, however, by a sense of futility over the prospect of stemming the gun mayhem that wrought it.
When Pope Francis unveiled his letter to the world about how we must stop trashing the planet, he nearly broke the Internet.
The pithy document included hundreds of zingers, including this line: “Whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market.”
We live in a time of stunning transformations. In recent weeks we’ve seen Bruce Jenner transition from a male Olympic medalist to Caitlyn Jenner, a self-assured woman gracing the cover of Vanity Fair.
Free speech may allow us to do many things but just because we can doesn't mean we should. I refer to flying the Confederate flag. How ironic that it should be such a prominent issue as we prepare to celebrate this nation's birthday. That wonderful document created by our forefathers (our foremothers were not allowed in but that is a story for another time) offers us many freedoms and possibilities but it also carries responsibility.