Poem of the Week- My Heart can Take All Forms

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Smoking the Hookah by Rudolf Ernst 1894

My heart can take all shapes
It is pasture for the gazelles
And monastery for Christian monks
And temple for idols
And the pilgrim’s Kaaba
And the tables of the Torah, and the book of the Koran
And I follow the religion of love
Whatever the path is
Camels, that’s my religion and my faith
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The Free State of Jones: Classism and the Failure of Identity Politics

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Anyone with two eyes and an iota of social consciousness understands that our society is rife with issues of social justice. From the over representation of African Americans and Indigenous people as victims of extrajudicial police shootings, the prison industrial complex, income inequality, and the recent up tick in race-based violence, there is no shortage of social ills to address. Movements such as Black Lives Matter, the Brown Berets, and other groups in the liberal left seek to resolve these issues through demonstrations, social pressure, and the fight for representation near the seat of power. At the height of the civil rights era of the mid-20th century, the great aspiration was to not only acquire rights for the marginalized, but also to create opportunities for them to access the power and success they were denied for so long.  Through these movements we have seen openly gay elected officials, black police chiefs, and even indigenous judges.  It seems that we were almost at the mountain top. Coming off the high of 8 years of not only America’s first Black president, but also one of the most successful presidents in American history, liberals could sit back in self-assured confidence knowing that progress had won. Continue reading

Wait…Did That Just Happen?

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Congratulations to the United States of America! After a heated campaign season of historic (and sometimes preposterous) proportions, you have now selected your new Commander-in-chief for the next four years. The person you have selected has been endowed with the power to improve, or destroy your lives, to make peace or prolong war, to secure your future, or destroy it. The world was watching. Despite a few incidents of violence at the polls, you did it. This election has taught us a couple of interesting lessons about the state of modern politics and the climate that right social conditions mixed with a strong enough voice can create. It also taught us that in the interest of protecting the rights and freedoms of all, especially the marginalized, there has to be a change in the way we approach the politics of power. There is a lot at stake, and politically concerned citizens need to be willing to deal with discomfort in the interest of what is right.

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