Category Archives: Sociology

Atheists and Liars

I recognize but two religions, Atheists and Liars and I prefer the company of Liars, for it is they who weave the fabric that binds us all together. The time has come for Liars to step up.

Set aside those beliefs that would tear us farther apart and build on those that will make us whole again. You know the difference so stand up, join together and make your voices heard.

I can’t hear you!!!

Why Whites Can’t be Hate Crime Victims

Wow!  I didn’t expect anyone to actually come right out and say it.  It’s something that’s bothered me for a long time.  But during the July 13th broadcast of “CNN Newsroom,” Ebony Magazine Senior Editor Jamilah Lemieux stated that she disagreed with (President Obama’s) characterizing the shooting of Dallas police officers as a hate crime and using that term for “a group of people that have a history with African-Americans that have been abusive, and we can apply that to either police officers or to Caucasians, I think, gets into very tricky territory.”

Of course that isn’t what the law says.  But the tricky territory she’s talking about is how we all perceive the law.  For most of us we may say Civil Rights but we hear Black Rights.  Despite the awkward euphemisms her message is clear, “Whites can’t be the victims of a hate crime because they are the bad guys.”  She sees the law as a kind of declaration dividing Americans into two classifications, “the haters” and “the hated.”  What bothers me is I see the law that way too.  Now if an old white guy like me and a young black activist woman share the same perception of the law, perhaps everyone in between does too.

That would go a long way in explaining why we can’t heal old wounds.

Can’t we all just get along?

I’ve been attending an interesting “Bucket Course” with this title at Grinnell’s Drake Library given by Dr. J.R. Paulson. This quote by Rodney King, actually, “Can we all get along?” poses some challenging questions about human behavior. One of Dr. Paulson’s main themes is,

“Belief comes first, explanations for beliefs follow.”

The only problem I have with this is it demonstrates what Dr. Paulson calls the “framing bias.” The word “Belief” implies we are talking about something the individual believes to be true. I doubt that I am only speaking for myself when I say my beliefs are hardly ever grounded in truth and almost always represent a concession I have made “just to get along” in society. This makes Mr. King’s statement more an enigma than a question. Continue reading

When LaPierre says gun owners will not accept responsibility, he’s got it wrong.

Actually what National Rifle As­sociation CEO Wayne LaPierre said was, “Gun owners will not accept blame for acts of criminals.” It may seem like I’m parsing words here but the only difference between the two words is that “blame” implies we have no control over the situation and that simply isn’t true. And either way, he’s got it wrong, because the gun owners I know want to take responsibility and they only need a little help from lawmakers who just don’t seem to get it. Continue reading

The Deposit Advance Loan — How Wells Fargo and the FDIC both got it wrong

cakeYou might well imagine that when I proposed to my colleagues in the banking industry that 100% of the fees collected for deposit advance loans should be given back to the customers as dedicated long term savings funds, it was met with skepticism.  But I’m not so easily deterred.  I will admit it is a bizarre notion Continue reading

Bernie Sanders has earned the support of this long-time Republican

Bernie Sanders has earned the support of this long-time (50 year) Republican, by simply taking on the biggest issue facing the American people and the biggest threat to the American economy, income disparity. Raising the minimum wage is probably the only “quick fix” available to us now. In the long run I believe minimum wage has done more harm than good to the American worker and in fact it has created the need for a quick fix. Continue reading

“Race Together” Panacea or Mine Field

I have a great deal of respect for Howard Schultz who is known for using his influence to promote social reform, but I also see dangers in taking the road  proposed by the “Race Together” campaign.  On the surface it sounds like a good idea, but it seems to be less about promoting honest dialog and more about white people apologizing to black people. Continue reading