In Defense of Jay Z

Full text available at Cultural Weekly

Teaching Trayvon

Also available on Cultural Weekly

I am a college professor who often teaches about race and ethnicity. Last week one of my classes reached the point in our syllabus where we were to discuss Civil Rights and Black Power. Having taught this before I know it can be tricky. One of the great things is that my students – most of whom are under 21 years old – have so benefitted from the struggles of the 1960s that their lives rarely contain the racial violence of those whom we study. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to demonstrate the ways racism and racial violence are still prevalent in our society. Trayvon Martin’s murder made this reality horrifyingly clear and made the 1960s seem less distant for my students.

The Socially Networked Buddhist

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I have five email accounts, Google+, Facebook, a Fan Page, and at least 4 blog sites all because everyone else has. And I was raised in a Buddhist community.

Charlie Sheen is Still Winning

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Charlie Sheen continues to work and win. But what about women in Hollywood?

Caylee Anthony or Alexis Glover?: Race and the Murder of Children

Also available on The Cultural Weekly

Everyone seems to be upset about the outcome of the Casey Anthony trial. Given the media circus – and what has been divulged about the facts of the case – the outrage seems justified. What we know is that Caylee Anthony is dead and it appears that her mother must have had something to do with her murder. The murder of a small child is a horrible act. It is even more terrible when a parent or guardian – whose duty it is to protect that child – is responsible. But the lesson of the Casey Anthony trial is not just one of a (possible) miscarriage of justice or a murderer who beat the system. It also tells us a lot about the value of some children in our society and the lack of value of others.