I'm a traveler. I get on flights and, like most of us who have traveled on planes before, tune out the flight attendants as they give us the spiel on flight safety. (Though I glance up every now and then and smile because I want them to feel respected — kinda how I stay on the phone with the Democratic telemarketers long enough to say “thank you so much for calling — I can’t contribute today — have a wonderful day!”)
A few weeks ago, I placed a yellow, intersectional Black Lives Matter sign created by Matice M. Moore, a Black artist and activist located in Arizona, in a front window of our house in Atlanta, Georgia. I wish I could say the decision between me and my husband to take this action was an easy one.
In my ideal world, our discussion might have sounded like:
Me: “Should we get a Black Lives Matter sign for our house?”
Husband: “Absolutely! Black Lives Matter!”
We high-five and make the purchase.
A liberal college professor discovers the alternative right
“Straight out of Central Casting — I’m the liberal college professor, elbow patches included.” I make this crack to my U.S. Government students the first day of every semester. I am actually an Obama centrist. Dewey and Niebuhr, these are my heroes. I never felt the Bern. Institutions, for better or worse, are all we have. The perfect is the enemy of the good. Better is always better than worse — and then you die.
You get all kinds at the two-year college where I teach in New England: city kids from our blighted urban areas; blue collar suburban kids; middle-class kids looking to score their first 60 credits at a discount; and rural kids from our remaining farm towns. It is not uncommon to have gang members and militia kids sitting side by side. Hey, at least they agree on the Second Amendment….