One of the great privileges I had this year was meeting outgoing Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans. He recently received the Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for being the first Southern mayor to reckon with the Confederate legacy of his city and take down monuments of those who were allegiant to the Confederacy. In reflecting on actions he’s now had to defend many times over, he says, “There is a difference between remembrance of history and reverence of it.”
It’s the start of another year’s hurricane season, and the effects of Maria’s devastation in Puerto Rico still loom large – as hundreds of empty pairs of shoes in front of the capitol in San Juan stand as a mute display of mourning and protest.
A couple of my students just completed a documentary about a police corruption case in western Massachusetts. But in the movie, people who spoke on camera were either unwilling – or maybe too afraid – to condemn a police chief jailed for embezzlement.
As Father's Day approaches, my inbox once again overflows with advertisements urging me to GET DAD THIS WIDGET! GET DAD THAT TOOL! I guess the alternative is to disappoint Dad on his special day or something equally horrifying.
I shuddered when I learned that more than 700 children, including toddlers, have been taken from their parents at the United States Mexican border. This inhumane policy would act as a deterrent against illegal immigration, we are told.
Our brave little state has a penchant for conspicuously courageous leadership: prohibiting certain forms of slavery in our constitution, maintaining the voting rights of incarcerated individuals and convicted felons, civil unions, same-sex marriage, and fair and impartial policing by Vermont State Police.
2018 has been declared The Year Of The Bird - the one-hundredth anniversary of the landmark agreement between Canada, Mexico, and the United States to protect the birds that migrate across the continent.