Category Archives: Current Events

How Far We’ve Come and How Far We Still Have to Go

We are so pleased to share this guest post by one of our very favorite people ever: Dr. Fatimah Salleh! Dr. Salleh was born in Brooklyn, NY. She is the oldest of seven children.

Dr. Salleh first learned to love the scriptures from her grandmother, Madeline Riley. It was Nana’s Bible stories that captured Dr. Salleh’s attention.

Dr. Salleh received her Bachelor of Arts in History at Utah State University. She earned her Masters in Newspaper Journalism at Syracuse University and her PhD at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in Mass Communication.Dr. Salleh is currently in her senior year at Duke University pursuing a Master’s of Divinity .

Dr. Salleh is the mother of four children. She has been married to her husband, Eric, for 14 years.

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A Little Less Self-Congratulations — A Little More Work

2016-02-01 18 09 10Earlier today the LDS Church’s Newsroom issued a news release entitled, “Effectiveness of Church Approach to Preventing Child Abuse,” which contained these statements:

The Church has long had a highly effective approach for preventing and responding to abuse. In fact, no religious organization has done more. Although no one system is perfect and no single program will work with every organization, the Church’s approach is the gold standard.

I take issue with those statements.

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The What, Where, When, How, and Why of Black History Month

Historical Background:

  1. Black History Month is celebrated during the month of February in the United States and Canada.
  2. The first organized observance of Black history in the United States occurred in 1926 and was called “Negro History Week.”
  3. Dr. Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History spearheaded the establishment of Negro History Week to highlight and bring attention to the contributions of Black people throughout American history, contributions that had been largely ignored.
  4. Dr. Woodson chose the second week of February because it included the (reported) birth dates of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, two men whose lives had greatly impacted Black Americans and whose birthdays had historically been celebrated in Black communities.
  5. In 1976, as part of the United States Bicentennial Celebration, the United States officially recognized the expansion of Negro History Week to Black History Month.

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Another Lesson in White Privilege

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A Facebook page called “The Good, the Chad, & the Ugly” shared this post today. When I saw it I felt compelled to share it with an added comment, to wit: 

Another day. Another lesson about white privilege. Will I ever complete this course? ‪#‎ComplexionfortheProtection

I then felt compelled to share some other thoughts.

When my oldest daughter was in kindergarten, her class would do a little chant/song at the end of the day to identify what they had learned.

The teacher would ask: “What did you learn at school today?”

The children would reply (in unison): “Sharing, counting, coloring,” or whatever they had learned that day.”

The children were eager to learn, eager to share what they had learned, and eager to return the next day to learn some more.

I, too, love to learn. I especially love the fact that I can receive all sorts of lessons and learn how to do all sorts of things from cooking to carpentry, from weaving to woodworking, and from sewing to sanding, all while enjoying the comfort of my own home.

There are some lessons, however, that I no longer need to learn.  White privilege is one of them.

Believe me, I know all I need to know about white privilege.  I can recognize it in all of its forms.  I can even recognize it when it masquerades as something else.  I can recognize it even when it does not recognize itself.

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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

In Response to the Maple Mountain Drill Team…

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Dear Editor,

Recently the drill team at Maple Mountain High School in Spanish Fork put on a display of racism and white privilege that would make the Washington “Redskins” proud.  I am an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota and we do not appreciate the exploitation of our culture by ignorant non-Indians.  The Maple Mountain drill team not only dressed themselves offensively, but dared to mark up their faces in caricature of our traditional dancing.  I assume they attempted to translate their drill team routine into something that might remotely resemble the spiritual expression that the hoop dance is for Native Americans, and they only succeeded in proving that racism is alive and well in Utah.

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

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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