What I would say to student activists (Mizzou, pt. 2)

UPDATE:

I believe that that there are appropriate ways and times to say things and inappropriate ones. It does not matter only if what you are saying is true, but also how you say it and when.

After I published this post, I heard from a friend who questioned the helpfulness of my writing an “open letter” like this addressed to black student activists. This friend (who is white) recently spent a week with black activists, and has a much firmer grasp than I do on the backgrounds and goals of the Black Lives Matter movement and the campus protests. She wrote the following to me:

Our brothers and sisters do need our dialogue and our teamwork. But writing a public post that critiques them isn’t dialogue or teamwork, just like complaining about your husband on Facebook isn’t dialogue or teamwork, and isn’t exactly helpful in bringing about marital unity or reconciliation.

My friend makes an excellent point. Continue reading “What I would say to student activists (Mizzou, pt. 2)”

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What I would say to conservatives regarding the recent campus protests (Mizzou, part 1)

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Multi-day student protest at Mizzou

Last week, stories of student protests against campus racism took over our news (at least until ISIS struck Paris). Independent protests began at the University of Missouri and Yale. Students of color from colleges around the country then followed suit and staged protests on their own campuses. Many lauded this strategic student activism that brought immediate change to campuses. Others, particularly conservative commentators, decried the strident tone of the activists and a campus culture that seeks to silence those with unpopular opinions.

I’d like to look at both of these responses, in turn. I am going to boldly wade into this discussion because there are two points I have not seen made. In this post, I will examine conservative reactions to last week’s campus protests. In a follow-up post, I will explore the strategies of the student protestors and then boldly make one suggestion.

Many conservative commentators have suggested that the student protests were simply the whining of an entitled generation whose members think they should never get their feelings hurt. Continue reading “What I would say to conservatives regarding the recent campus protests (Mizzou, part 1)”

Why I broke the rules and bribed my kid with a candy bar

Every parent of my generation knows the rules.

One of them is that you should never bribe your child, especially with processed sugar. Another is that you should never, ever put pressure on your child to succeed. These are two cardinal parenting rules in my white, American, college educated culture. We don’t want to be those intense, overbearing parents who demand that their children Achieve! Nor do we want to be the slacker parents who abandon all nutritional sense and give in to our children’s whining for sugar.

I brazenly broke both of these rules this past weekend. And did so in good conscience. With nonchalance, even. Continue reading “Why I broke the rules and bribed my kid with a candy bar”