Justice

I want to love violently

I used to believe that violence was never the answer. If there’s one thing the last year has taught me, it’s that I don’t know much about anything. So many things I grew up certain of, I now know not to be true. That poverty is caused by laziness or lack of will. That the right way to approach racial issues is to say, “I don’t see color.” That distaste for politics is something to be proud of. That Abraham Lincoln was a hero for social justice and equality. Those are all things I once believed, hills I once may have been willing to die on. I’m not anymore. I don’t anymore. But “violence is never the answer”—that’s something I was always sure about. I have never considered myself a pacifist. While I don’t like war, I have always understood that sometimes war is a necessary evil, one that no…

My new top 8 favorite podcasts

Earlier this year, I wrote a post with my top 8 favorite podcasts. I stand by every one of those and still enjoy listening to the ones that continue on. But since writing that blog, I’ve received dozens of recommendations and now I rarely do anything without headphones on. Seriously — walking, cooking, biking, sitting on the train — you name it, I do it with a podcast in my ears. I remember once hearing that the most highly effective people regularly listened to educational audiobooks. Podcasts weren’t around when that study was done, but I’m willing to bet that they count as well. Listening to podcasts, at least the ones I like, stimulates and engages your brain. It exposes you to new ways of thinking and inspiring ideas, as well as information that previously may have only been in a more “boring” format. If you haven’t yet made it into the podcast…

The destructive myth of color blindness

I remember the first time someone told me the term “colored people” was offensive. I was 20 years old. Having grown up in a conservative, mostly white community in a small town, I just never knew. The conversation She was my roommate at the time, and patient enough to help me break down 20 years of sheltered ignorance. She explained all the terms that were offensive and why (some I knew; most I didn’t). Once, when I complained about how much I hated my big butt, she also told me that was some weird white people shit and you’d never hear a black girl complain about that, but that’s a different story. The reason I hadn’t known about “colored people” being offensive was because of a DC Talk song I had grown up listening to with the same title. When she and I had that conversation, it was the first time I realized that…

My top 8 favorite podcasts

I first got into podcasts when I started commuting last year. I get a lot of reading done in that time, but when I’m walking to and from the bus stop, waiting at the station, or riding the bus, I don’t really like to read. Instead, I listen to stories being told on the radio, just like my ancestors. Only unlike my ancestors, I listen to them through my tiny Skull Candy ear buds, not sitting next to a giant wood-paneled radio. Podcasts appeal to a whole heap of people, especially now that it’s really hard for us to just not do anything for a while (which is probably not good, but we’ll save the topic of society’s addiction to activity for another blog.) Without further ado, if you’re looking for something new to cut your boredom, help you learn how to be a better writer, or find out more about some cases of true crime,…

What brings us together

Many of you who regularly read this blog know that I have become very passionate about justice. It began by listening to the Serial podcast, which I’ve referred to many times, and then by reading several non-fiction books about the American prison system. I also joined the rest of the world in binge-watching Making a Murderer on Netflix. I’m guessing that since the concept of “vigilante justice” has exploded recently, and because amazing people like Bob Ruff (who did a follow-up podcast to Serial) have quit their jobs to dedicate their lives to getting innocent people out of prison, this whole thing about average citizens standing up to protest the fact that people just like them have had their futures ripped out of their hands is going to be around for a while. I followed Adnan Syed’s (the subject of the Serial podcast and, I believe, an innocent man who’s been in prison for 17 years for the murder of…

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