Tag Archives: racism

Identity Politics

I’ve recently learned I’m a “privileged, cisgendered, white male.” This feels somewhat alien to me still – but it’s new so I’m willing to try it on and figure out what it means in today’s definitional taxonomy of “identity politics.” Like the few obese kids I knew growing up in Vermont or later at prep school, the only imposed identity I’ve ever known in my seventy-three years has been as a fat person. I was often isolated, teased, or “baited,” as they said at Exeter, where I was known as “Dumbo.” It was painful and gave me a sense of what it meant to be “other.” I believed in my “otherness” until I lost weight – for a time – …
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We have two criminal justice systems. One under-incarcerates white, wealthy males and sports heroes who steal, cheat or take drugs. Some are never arraigned, nor convicted, or spend easy time in Allentown. The other over-incarcerates the poor and uneducated accused of property and addiction crimes, exacerbating the sense of futility among those struggling to make a go of it and lowering the ceiling on their belief in the American dream. Jailing the powerless only diverts resources from education and economic development initiatives that might help prevent more economic and addiction crimes. And if indeed we are a white, Christian nation, as a loud minority insists, then how is it that we are one of the few civilized countries left that …
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