As of this month, over 27 NFL players have chosen to sit, kneel, or raise a fist of solidarity during the procedural playing of the US national anthem.
This has strangely been met with some very angry reactions. People who don’t know what’s going on see rich football players refusing to comply with the pledge and imagine it’s just a bunch of spoiled brats who haven’t seen combat and therefore don’t respect what soldiers are dying for.
Some people in America seem to hate Colin Kaepernick more than they hate racism. That is part of why he initiated this wave of lamentation and solidarity. Continue reading →
Back in the days when I was a post-doctoral fellow with the Lilly Fellow in Humanities and the Arts, I had a Valparaiso University office next to a young architectural historian named Louis Nelson. (Actually, we were also next-door neighbors on Valparaiso’s “famous” McIntire Court). Nelson left Valpo after a year in the program and headed off to Charlottesville to become a faculty member in the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia. Today he is a Professor of Architectural History and the Associate Dean of the school. Nice work.
Over at the website of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, Nelson argues that Confederate monuments should stay and be contextualized. Here is a taste of his interview with the website:
The national debate surrounding confederate monuments is often presented in very narrow terms – as a battle between those who want them to stay and those who…
“I wish I could say that the Charlottesville horror—those coddled little Nazi’s with tiki torches shouting “white lives matter” at a statue until someone was killed by a terrorist—was completely isolated from our culture, that this is not America. But it is America, because you’ve tolerated it for far too long. You’ve allowed the lunatic fringe, the alt-right, the conspiracy peddlers, and the petty rumor mill to influence you, hijack your religion, seduce your otherwise outstanding zeal.
I visited the campus of UVA one when I was a kid. It was a peaceful day, and I recall it as a mostly boring tour of a pretty campus and some pretty buildings. It was a history field trip, because something about Thomas Jefferson starting the college.
I remember those awkward history lessons about how when the college was founded people owned other people as slaves and treated them like animals. We knew this was wrong. When I was a kid, I knew racism was wrong, and if you asked me, I would tell you it’s wrong to drive a car through people for no reason. Continue reading →
Fall is almost here, near time for back to school, time for kids to get their shots.
SHOTS? You mean when the government makes you get stabbed by a needle full of disease and toxins?
Yes, I do mean that. And I do mean to have my children immunized based on every doctor recommendation our pediatrician gives us. Here are 25 reasons why I make this informed decision, and why I very strongly suggest everyone do the same. Continue reading →
[The following poem was composed in 2005 in honor of the demolition of a historic building on the campus of Freed-Hardeman University, and was originally published in the school literary magazine.] Continue reading →