What I learned about sex trafficking from an evening with two prostitutes…

from Rage Against the Minivan

“Men come from all over the world for our bodies. They don’t want to know us. They only want sex. But you came to know us. You heard our stories.”

We are swimming in privilege, but I refuse to swim in guilt. This encounter only strengthened my resolve to use my privilege, and I’m proud to share their stories here, because they want us to hear them.

Read here.

thinking things.

White privilege doesn’t mean what you think it means // Rage Against the Minivan

If I believed that “white privilege” was a term meant to diminish my personal achievements . . . if I thought “white privilege” meant that I had to apologize for things that happened before I was born . . .  if I thought that “white privilege” meant that I need to be ashamed or embarrassed for being born white . . . if I thought that “white privilege” dismisses the very real hardships and challenges that I’ve had in my life . . . if that was my understanding of white privilege, I’d probably be a little resentful about it, too.

Here’s what our fresh-faced Princeton undergrad gets wrong as he spends several paragraphs outlining the struggle of his own family:  the concept of white privilege does not deny individual hardships.

The phrase “check your privilege” is typically invoked when someone is being woefully ignorant or insensitively dismissive of the oppression of minority groups.  It’s not because someone wants a white person to apologize for being white, or dismiss someone’s opinion based on race.

But here’s how a privilege check usually works:

If I suggested that black people were over-reacting about Trayvon Martin, I might be told to check my (racial) privilege.

If I said that gay people should stop complaining about marriage rights because they are free to love each other and that’s all they need, I might be told to check my (hetero) privilege.

If I suggested that my kid’s school should stop sending home paper assignments and just let the kids do their homework from their own ipads, I might be told to check my (economic) privilege.

If I whine about the presence of handi-capped parking spaces at a concert venue, I might be told to check my (ability) privilege.

Being told to check your privilege has nothing to do with apologizing for being white. It has to do with being insensitive to the life experiences of others. “Check your empathy skills” might be a better phrase, but nonetheless, it’s not an attempt to shame someone’s race, but rather to point out that someone is refusing to acknowledge privilege differentials.

 

thinking things.

Chinese Line up for Fresh Mountain Air … Don’t laugh, this could be me this time next year…

Welcome to the Finger Wagging Olympics

Make no mistake: Donald Sterling is the villain of this story. But he’s just a handmaiden to the bigger evil. In our quest for social justice, we shouldn’t lose sight that racism is the true enemy.

So, if we’re all going to be outraged, let’s be outraged that we weren’t more outraged when his racism was first evident. Let’s be outraged that private conversations between people in an intimate relationship are recorded and publicly played. Let’s be outraged that whoever did the betraying will probably get a book deal, a sitcom, trade recipes with Hoda and Kathie Lee, and soon appear onCelebrity Apprentice and Dancing with the Stars.

What it Feels Like to Have Malaria

Whenever someone asks me why we should fight malaria, I have a simple answer: Because it kills so many people (more than 600,000 every year), and it leaves so many more people too sick to function, which holds back the world’s poorest from making the most of their lives.

thinking things.

photo (10)

we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them.

– albert einstein

I enjoy thinking.  Thinking about things might be one of my favorite things.

Except when it’s not.  That is usually around Friday from the hours of 2:30-5:30pm, after that I’m good to go again.

I like to read things that make me think.  I like to read things I don’t agree with, that I somewhat agree with, and things I unapologetically agree with.  So I will post links here to things I’ve read that exercise my brain, some will be a gentle stroll on a perfect 72 degree 46% humidity day while others will be that half marathon I did that one time that made me question everything that brought me to that point, or your version of that.  I possess the belief we cannot shelter our minds from what makes us uncomfortable in hopes that the world will just magically become a better place without thinking about the hard things.  Thinking allows us to then go DO hard things with hopefully more compassion, but maybe less certainty than we had before.  I think the snap judgement and shallow thinking epidemic permeating our media is revolting, which is addressed in the first link.  So let’s think on and then do things.

I like discussion too, especially the kind that doesn’t have easy, quick answers.

A few things that make me think:

The Culture of Shut-Up

The right to free speech may begin and end with the First Amendment, but there is a vast middle where our freedom of speech is protected by us—by our capacity to listen and accept that people disagree.

Portraits of Reconciliation

“These people can’t go anywhere else — they have to make peace,” Hugo explained. “Forgiveness is not born out of some airy-fairy sense of benevolence. It’s more out of a survival instinct.” 

PERPETRATOR:  “I burned her house. I attacked her in order to kill her and her children, but God protected them, and they escaped. When I was released from jail, if I saw her, I would run and hide. Then I decided to ask her for forgiveness. To have good relationships with the person to whom you did evil deeds — we thank God.”

SURVIVOR: “I used to hate him. When he came to my house and knelt down before me and asked for forgiveness, I was moved by his sincerity. Now, if I cry for help, he comes to rescue me. When I face any issue, I call him.”

 Devotionals for Holy Week: Love to the Uttermost

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. – John 13:1