Author Archives: kalani

Doers of the Word: Chapters 3 and 4

Welcome to our discussion of the book “Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) by Carla L. Peterson. If you are confused about this Black History Month segment, please see our post from last week that outlines the book discussion concept.

Doers of the word

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we are all products of our time and environment. Everything we do…every thought we think…every action we perform…all of our earthly experiences are shaped by where and when we live. As I sit here typing this on my computer, I remember back to my freshman year of high school when I was quite literally among those lucky few in the very last class of students to use manual typewriters in our typing class. Students today certainly don’t learn to type on old-fashioned type writers. In fact, they don’t even really NEED typing classes…they learn to type before they learn to write, and almost everyone I know has at least one computer at home! Incredible. We are products of our time and environment, and today we live in an environment where, thanks to the Internet, the world and all the information therein is at our fingertips. Continue reading

Tamir Rice’s Death Was Not the Result of “The Perfect Storm”

tamir-riceToday we learned that the police officer who killed Tamir Rice will not be indicted for his murder. When explaining the decision not to indict, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty said,

“Simply put, given this perfect storm of human error, mistakes and miscommunications by all involved that day, the evidence did not indicate criminal conduct by police.”

So…the Perfect Storm caused Tamir’s demise, eh? I’ve been sitting with that, and here’s the conclusion I’ve reached: Continue reading

Project ‘Ofa Atu: The Path of Love in the Wake of Tragedy

ofa atu main

In the wake of tragedy, many paths open up to us. Our reactions in vulnerable times sometimes send us down a destructive path because we are too steeped in our own pain, fear, and sadness to recognize where the path we’ve chosen will ultimately lead. Often, we react in fear and pull inward, rooting ourselves in mentalities of scarcity, attitudes of exclusion, fear mongering propensities. We’re seeing this today in the attitudes of many people following the acts of terror and tragedy that are occurring more and more frequently. In this tense and scary climate, people seem less inclined to show love and extend olive branches of peace right now, and in the aftermath of the unthinkable, I think that it is natural to want to turn away, to want to rid your circle of others who seem unlike you in some key way. It’s natural to choose isolation and to allow anger and fear to guide your actions. But, is it right? Continue reading

We Are All Connected

Several years ago, I was working as a 9th grade World Geography teacher, and I somehow got involved in a conversation about economically disadvantaged students. I remember one colleague going on and on about how “those kids” were a drain on community resources and how we as teachers shouldn’t have to be responsible for students who clearly don’t want to be at school, and whose parents are not supportive of their children’s educational needs. I remember sitting quietly for a while and taking it in before asking her whether she thought our collective shunning of “those kids” would have any negative impact on her life personally. She immediately said that it absolutely would not have any effect on her life, and that we should just send those kids home and let them lie in the beds they were making for themselves. She went so far as to say that kids like that LIKE living in poverty because they don’t know any better, and that attempts to pull them out of the cycle would be fruitless because when things got hard they would just revert to what they have known from birth. At this point, I got angry. Continue reading

Remembering Tamir Rice

tamir rice

Several months ago, much to the dismay of my two young sons, I imposed a No Toy Guns policy in our house. On a particularly upsetting night, I ceremoniously marched an armload of NERF and water guns out to the big trash can, plopped them down into the receptacle’s slimy, stinky depths, and shut the lid, effectively ending the ongoing “but what if I don’t ever point them at anyone and I only shoot at non-living things” debate that had long been a source of hope for them and wariness for me. I told them it was because they shoot at their little sisters and make them cry, and that was definitely part of my concern. But, if I’m honest, I would have to throw away virtually all of their toys if I tossed out everything that made someone cry, got used as a weapon, or was misused in a way that was potentially harmful to someone’s health. So, no, the No Toy Guns policy was not instituted solely to protect my little girls from the evils of the foam-tipped NERF bullet. Continue reading

Ride or Die is Overrated. Yeah, I said it.

adam levine

I was sitting in the car at a red light today, and Locked Away by R. City featuring Adam Levine came on the radio. And all of a sudden, I was furious. FURIOUS. IRATE. INCENSED. You get the picture. Here are the lyrics, just in case you’ve been living under a rock or you hate Adam Levine (who am I kidding…no one hates Adam Levine):

If I got locked away
And we lost it all today
Tell me honestly, would you still love me the same?
If I showed you my flaws
If I couldn’t be strong
Tell me honestly, would you still love me the same?
Continue reading

For Those Left Behind

Let’s talk about supporting the women and children left behind when a man goes to prison, shall we? Today seems like a good day to do it. I didn’t sleep much last night, and I woke from my fitful rest with a heavy heart and a mind full of memories. Yesterday two families experienced a tragedy – one man’s life lost and another man’s life forever altered as the result of a deadly fight. Continue reading