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I don’t think that name calling is a useful communication strategy, however, there do appear moments when people need to — or want to — or can’t not — use a label. So, if you just can’t stop yourself from wanting to call someone out for racist behavior with a pejorative label, you can call them a bigot.

Bigot — a person who is obstinately or unreasonably attached to a belief, opinion, or faction, especially one who is prejudiced against or antagonistic toward a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular group.

I can’t summarize…

Image Courtesy of Daily Yonder

When I talk about Austin’s mythical liberalism — I don’t mean ‘liberalism so epic it has earned its own myth’, I mean mythical as a synonym for fictitious or fictional, as a word that connotes delusion.

I moved to Austin, Texas in 1997 to attend graduate school at The University of Texas at Austin. After graduation I worked at the university full time for twenty-one years and recently accepted a position working for Austin Community College. I’m a dedicated public servant and most of that service has been for the people of Texas. I’m not a native, but I’ve lived…

Toby Melville/Getty Images/TNS

When I watched the Oprah interview with Meghan Markle and Harry David (yes, that is her husband’s name), I felt like the time to write this article had come. I had just finished reading Caste by Isabelle Wilkerson along with taking in work by Ibram Kendi, Jill Lepore, Ijeoma Oluo, James Baldwin, Heather McGee, John Meacham, Ava DuVernay, Resmaa Menakem, and many others out there diligently working to understand, talk about, and heal the cultural ills that we face as a people. While I write this from an American perspective, when I say ‘face as a people’ I aspire to…

Zombie with TV for a head.
Zombie with TV for a head.
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I can’t lie friends, I’m melancholy. Trump is out of the White House, melancholy. The U.S. has rejoined the Paris Climate Accords, melancholy. End to border wall construction, end to Muslim ban, end to harsh treatment of asylum seekers, rejoining the World Health Organization. Damn it, still melancholy! Why? The incoming administration has clearly, unequivocally, and systematically begun working on all the most urgent issues that need addressed. The daily drama of having Donald Trump on the screens and airwaves in my life is over, and I am relieved, but I am still melancholy.

I am melancholy because we, the…

Trump rioters occupy the West Front of the Capitol and the inauguration stands on Jan. 6, 2021. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Trump rioters occupy the West Front of the Capitol and the inauguration stands on Jan. 6, 2021. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Trump rioters occupy the West Front of the Capitol and the inauguration stands on Jan. 6, 2021. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

To every pundit, journalist, politician, and fellow human who keeps saying, “This isn’t America.” or “This isn’t who we are.” or “This isn’t American.” Please stop, reflect, and reconsider so we can change the narrative and grow past this moment. Denial is an obstacle to healing.

This IS the America where a race-based caste system pits poor and working-class people against each other every day to vent the pressure created by a culture of exploitation. This culture of exploitation is a relic of the history and culture of colonialism, privilege, oppression, and slavery. …

Plover Bird & Crocodile (from Shoe:Untied)

My family has a “Black Lives Matter” sign in our front yard. Our neighbors two doors down have a sign that reads, “In This House, We Believe: Black Lives Matter, Women’s Rights are Human Rights, No Human is Illegal, Science is Real, Love is Love And Kindness is Everything.” This difference highlights a serious challenge: what is our attention capacity and how does that inform our ability to define effective strategies for justice movements?

There is a valid perspective that compares the second (In this house…) wording to other not so similar — or sympathetic — signs: ‘All Lives Matter’…

N.K. Jemisin, author of The Broken Earth Trilogy, Book III — The Stone Sky

“Ah, my love. An apocalypse is a relative thing, isn’t it? When the earth shatters, it is a disaster to the life that depends on it — but nothing much to Father Earth... When a slave rebels, it is nothing much to the people who read about it later. Just thin words on thinner paper worn finer by the friction of history. (“So you were slaves, so what?” they whisper. Like it’s nothing.) But to the people who live through a slave rebellion, both those who take their dominance for granted until it comes for them in the dark, and…

Introducing a gun into a scene produces an expectation that the gun will be used.

The Armed

If you carry a weapon into a scene, one thing is clear: You believe that there are possible circumstances where using that weapon is the best and most appropriate response to the situation. You likely also believe that violence should only be used as a last resort to solving any problem. What you have not yet grasped is that the latter belief contraindicates carrying a weapon into any situation, period. In what other areas of your life do you bring the LAST THING you’d want…

Drawing: Plowing a Field
Drawing: Plowing a Field
Image courtesy of IRRI

I struggle, as I suspect do many of you, to find ways to live in this mad world that are sane. No matter where you find yourself on the spectrum of political, social, economic, educational, cultural, religious, racial, gender, ethnic, or national identity — when you look around at what is going on in our world, you feel that we (all of us together) could and should be doing a better job of “this”. …

Eric Hepburn

Enthusiastic & energetic listener, reader, researcher, writer, talker, maker, problem solver, relationship builder, and engager.

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