The On Being Project

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Jerry is twenty years younger than me, but I call him my big brother because he’s forever saying things so wise they really tick me off. As I read that line about getting hooked on anger and fear, I thought, “Damn! He’s seen into my soul again and got me dead to rights.” In my religious tradition, there’s only one way forward when you’ve seen your own failings: Confess, ask forgiveness, forgive yourself, and try to get it right next time.\

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My confession is simple. Daily, I get hooked on my anger about our arrogant and unprincipled president, the poisonous aquifer of white nationalism into which he has consciously tapped, and his endless assaults on almost everything I hold to be good, true, and beautiful. \I also get hooked on my fear\, but it’s not about “those people” our president wants us to fear. I fear this president and the harm he’s done to my brothers and sisters in the U.S. and abroad, to American democracy, to world peace, and to the earth itself.\

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Jerry doesn’t say that there’s anything wrong with anger, and I’m glad for that. If I weren’t angry about what’s going down in Washington, D.C., I’d feel like I’d become dumb and numb — and I refuse to go there. Being dumb (and I include myself here) is what got us into this disgusting and dangerous mess, and \going numb will keep us in the mess\ while it gets worse and worse.\

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Anger isn’t the problem. The problem is getting \hooked\ on anger — addicted to an emotion that gives you a fleeting high but leaves you feeling worse, all the while robbing you of well-being and creating an insatiable desire for the next hit. Being hooked saps me of energy and harms my health. Worse still, it diverts me from \taking personal responsibility\ for what’s going on right now. Here, too, Jerry’s mettā meditation spoke to my condition:\

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\“Grant me the wisdom to see my own \unconscious biases\ that continue to unintentionally and inadvertently make me complicit in this staggering rise of hate and callousness. May I never forget that hate and callousness have been as much part of this American experiment as joy, hope, and love. That while this experience may be new to my consciousness it has been a part of the lives of my fellow Americans who have lacked the access to money and power that come with privilege.”\\

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Some will say that Jerry is calling for a fruitless exercise in self-flagellation. I beg to differ. He’s calling us to self-examination, to self-awareness. It’s a call that goes back at least as far as Socrates:\

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\“The unexamined life is not worth living.”\\

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To which I’d add, the unexamined life is a threat to others.\

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So, for the umpteenth time, I’m trying to come to terms with my own complicity in white privilege and the injustice and inhumanity that flow from it. When white people like me ignore or deny all that, it’s just another way of aiding and abetting it.\

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Isn’t the evidence clear-cut? A lot of things that are easy and safe for white folks are \difficult or dangerous for people of color\ — from being pulled over for a broken taillight to trying to rent or buy a home in certain communities. Being president while black is obviously more perilous than it is while white. If Barack Obama had said \any\ of the most egregious things our current president has said, or had had any similar business- or family-related “irregularities,” his political career would have gone down in flames. White privilege is a no-brainer.\

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But my confession needs to go deeper than owning up to white privilege. Like many people of my race, I carry unconscious elements of white supremacy. If I want to help stem that bloody tide, I must become conscious of that fact.\

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No, I don’t belonged to or support the KKK and its kin, whose beliefs and actions are evil to the core. But it’s a cop-out to equate white supremacy with its most toxic forms. Doing so takes the onus off people like me to come to terms with reality — our country’s and our own. How could a nation built in part on the enslavement of human beings not have a cultural substrate of white supremacy? How could white people rooted in that ground not be tainted by that toxicity?\

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If I look at myself closely and honestly, I find a form of white supremacy that’s subtle but pernicious. For a long time I held an unacknowledged assumption that “white is normal,” that white ways are the “normal” ways.  All other ways are “exotic” at best, often “strange” and even “off-putting,” and sometimes “scary.”\

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I suppose all subcultures believe their ways are normal. But in a nation grounded in the enslavement of black people, only we white people get support for that illusion. We don’t need a “white history month” to celebrate our contributions to civilization, we don’t need to encourage each other to believe that “white is beautiful,” and we don’t need to proclaim “white lives matter.” In America, where white people have ruled supreme from day one, all of that comes to us free of charge.\

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In a world where white people are a minority group, the arrogance of “white is normal” is breathtaking — and like all arrogance, it distorts one’s view of self and world. For example, for 50 years, I’ve written and spoken about the dangers of the American tendency to “other” those who are not white, straight, Christian, etc..\

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But not until the last decade or two did I understand that \I\ am “the other” to many — I reserved that category for people who don’t fit my delusional “norm.” I didn’t hate or fear “the other,” but seeing “otherness” in everyone but me and “my people” is the road to a sense of superiority and even uglier destinations.\

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Does all of this make me guilty of something sinister simply because I was born white? Of course not. No one is born guilty of anything. The guilt comes when I deny that being white gives me social advantages and crimps my capacity to see the world clearly and engage it honestly. Denial keeps me from owning my own arrogance, putting on corrective lenses, and fully joining the fight against the pestilence of white supremacy.\

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Is there any hope for white illusionists like me? As far as I’m concerned, this entire column is about hope — because hope opens up as soon as we gain self-awareness, confess our role in creating injustice, and reach deep for ways to release the better angels of our nature.\

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Another friend and mentor, \Valarie Kaur\ — a Sikh interfaith leader and civil rights activist whose family has suffered xenophobic violence — is helping me understand what hope in action looks like through her \Revolutionary Love project\. In a recent newsletter, \Valarie wrote\,\

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\“White supremacy is as old as America. But so are acts of Revolutionary Love — and every act of love inspires another.”\\

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Then she spoke to the skeptics:\

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\“If you cringe when people say love is the answer, I do too — I’m a lawyer. In America, we only talk about love as a feeling that happens to us if we’re lucky. If love is just a good feeling, then of course it is too fickle, too sentimental, too fleeting to be a force in the face of injustice.”\\

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Through a feminist, woman-of-color lens — inspired by the Sikh concept of the warrior-saint — I believe that Valarie is redefining and reviving the great tradition of nonviolent action in terms that speak to \“the fierce urgency of now.”\ Revolutionary Love is not romantic, but embodied, courageous, and demanding.\

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To describe it, Valarie draws on the experience of becoming a mother — from the labor pains that can feel like dying to a lifetime of being gentle and fierce in nurturing and protecting the child you love:\

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\“Mothering, a capacity that exists within each of us, helps us redefine love, not just as emotion but as a form of sweet labor. It calls us to wonder about others, listen to their stories, respond to their needs. We employ many emotions in that labor: Joy is the gift of love. Grief is the price of love. Anger is the force that protects it.\\

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\When we practice love beyond the threshold of the home, it has the potential to transform the world around us and within us. But love must be poured in all three directions to be revolutionary. Revolutionary Love is the choice to enter into labor — for others, for our opponents, for ourselves. I believe Revolutionary Love is the call of our times.”\\

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When I find myself once again “biting the hook of anger and fear,” and have the guts to ask myself why, I come up with only one honest answer: being hooked drains me of morale, energy, and courage, thus \sparing me the challenge of committing acts of revolutionary love.\\

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So — awakened by Jerry Colonna and inspired by Valarie Kaur — I’m practicing a daily two-part gut-check:\

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\1. Where am I today with my “white is normal” delusion?\\

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\2. Today am I willing to risk that warrior-saint love that, as Valarie says, “has the power to transform our interior life, our relationships, and social conditions”?\\

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When confession opens the door to hope, and you step through, the next step is action. If you wonder what Revolutionary Love in action looks like, I urge you to \view “Divided We Fall,”\ Valarie Kaur’s documentary. If you want to join the movement, you can \sign the Declaration of Revolutionary Love\.\

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The world needs this revolution. America needs it. People of color need it. And white people like me need it, perhaps most of all — if we want to live our lives in service of the twined causes of love, truth, and justice.\

\n","excerpt":"\

Our columnist turns a critical eye to his own convictions about race and white privilege. He finds there’s always room to face our hubris — and in that humbling experience, we find hope to do better the next time around.\

\n","terms":[2,452,7,37,10,5654],"metadata":{"additionalAuthors":[{"id":4,"slug":"parker-j-palmer","description":"\

is a columnist for \On Being\. His column appears every Wednesday.\

\n\

He is a Quaker elder, educator, activist, and founder of the \Center for Courage & Renewal\. His books include \\A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life\\, and \\Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation\\. His book \\On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old\\ will be published in June.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

\is founder and senior partner of the \\Center for Courage & Renewal\\. His books include \\\Healing the Heart of Democracy\\\, \\\A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life\\\, and \\\Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation\\\.\\

\n","name":"Parker J. Palmer","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/•Parker-J.-Palmer-Photo—Sept.-2017.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parker_Palmer","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/parker-j-palmer/","positionTitle":"columnist","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@ParkerJPalmer","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}],"featuredMediaType":"featured_image","secondaryImage":0,"secondaryImageUrl":"","videoUrl":"","addPoetry":0,"poetry":"","newsletterUrl":"","prevPost":{"id":36032,"slug":"trent-gilliss-theres-useful-tension-in-our-life-together","title":"There's Useful Tension in Our Life Together","date":"2017-10-17 09:00:03","path":"/blog/trent-gilliss-theres-useful-tension-in-our-life-together/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/trent-gilliss-theres-useful-tension-in-our-life-together/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/34684044915_65a9045997_o.jpg","author":{"id":2,"slug":"trent-gilliss","description":"\

was the founding executive editor of On Being Studios.\

\n","guestDescription":"","name":"Trent T. Gilliss","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/bio-trentgilliss_0.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/trent-gilliss/","positionTitle":"founding executive editor of On Being Studios","hometown":"Minneapolis","postalZipCode":"55405","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@TrentGilliss","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"nextPost":{"id":36050,"slug":"omid-safi-the-problem-with-asking-where-are-you-from","title":"The Problem with Asking \"Where Are You From?\"","date":"2017-10-18 16:22:40","path":"/blog/omid-safi-the-problem-with-asking-where-are-you-from/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/omid-safi-the-problem-with-asking-where-are-you-from/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/eunice-lituanas-242757.jpg","author":{"id":65,"slug":"omid-safi","description":"\

is a columnist for \On Being\. His column appears every \Thursday\.\

\n\

He leads spiritual tours every year to Turkey, Morocco, or other countries, to study the rich multiple religious traditions there. The trips are open to everyone, from every country. More information is available at \Illuminated Tours\.\

\n\

He is director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center. He specializes in the study of Islamic mysticism and contemporary Islam and frequently writes on liberationist traditions of Dr. King, Malcolm X, and is committed to traditions that link together love and justice.\

\n\

Omid is the past chair for the Study of Islam at the American Academy of Religion. He has written many books, including \Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism\; \Cambridge Companion to American Islam\; \Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam\; and \Memories of Muhammad\. His forthcoming books include \Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Traditions\ and a book on the famed mystic Rumi.\

\n\

Omid is among the most frequently sought out speakers on Islam in popular media, appearing in \The New York Times\, \Newsweek\, \Washington Post\, PBS, NPR, NBC, CNN, and other international media. He can be reached regarding speaking engagements at \[email protected]\.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

is Director of Duke University's Islamic Studies Center and weekly columnist for \On Being\. He is the editor of the volume \Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism\ and the author of \Memories of Muhammad\.\

\n","name":"Omid Safi","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/omid_safi_2012_media_photo_trees_background.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"http://www.onbeing.org/column/omid-safi","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/omid-safi/","positionTitle":"Columnist","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"ostadjaan","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"dateGmt":"2017-10-17T21:50:15","guid":{"rendered":"https://onbeing.org/?p=36001"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-10-17T21:53:24","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/parker-palmer-owning-up-to-my-toxic-biases/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/945209480.jpg?fit=3446%2C2102&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"","photographer":"Mari Lezhava","photographerUrl":"https://unsplash.com/photos/q65bNe9fW-w","license":"Unsplash","photoUrl":"https://unsplash.com/photos/q65bNe9fW-w","imageLicenses":"Public Domain Dedication (CC0)"},"path":"/blog/parker-palmer-owning-up-to-my-toxic-biases/","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"http://onbeing.org/blog/parker-palmer-owning-up-to-my-toxic-biases/","disqusIdentifier":"36001 http://onbeing.org/?p=36001","disqusShortname":"on-being","disqusTitle":"Owning Up to My Toxic Biases"},"jetpackRelatedPosts":[{"id":36368,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/trent-gilliss-how-might-we-face-our-own-hubris-better/","urlMeta":{"origin":36001,"position":0},"title":"How Might We Face Our Own Hubris Better?","date":"November 1, 2017","format":false,"excerpt":"A Harvard dean lists his five essential questions of life. Our editor-in-chief shares his key readings on the question of being better men, the gift of facing one's hubris, and the challenge of living in a vitriolic age.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":7650,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/what-i-said-when-my-white-friend-asked-for-my-black-opinion-on-white-privilege/","urlMeta":{"origin":36001,"position":1},"title":"What I Said When My White Friend Asked for My Black Opinion on White Privilege","date":"July 23, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"We can begin to understand each other by asking the right questions — and listening to the stories we receive in turn. Lori Lakin Hutchinson sheds frank and essential light on the reality of racism in America.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":9495,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/grieving-the-space-between-us-video/","urlMeta":{"origin":36001,"position":2},"title":"Grieving the Space Between Us (video)","date":"January 21, 2014","format":false,"excerpt":"What happens when we choose anger and hatred over vulnerability and love? A short video with a World War II veteran who tells a personal story about being confronted by the German enemy and the power of music.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]}],"headerMeta":[{"property":"title","content":"Owning Up to My Toxic Biases"},{"property":"og:title","content":"Owning Up to My Toxic Biases"},{"property":"og:url","content":"https://onbeing.org/blog/parker-palmer-owning-up-to-my-toxic-biases/"},{"property":"og:site_name","content":"The On Being Project"},{"property":"og:type","content":"website"},{"property":"fb:app_id","content":"2007187426218054"},{"property":"twitter:card","content":"summary_large_image"},{"property":"twitter:title","content":"Owning Up to My Toxic Biases"},{"property":"twitter:site","content":"@onbeing"},{"property":"description","content":"Our columnist turns a critical eye to his own convictions about race and white privilege. He finds there’s always room to face our hubris — and in that humbling experience, we find hope to do better the next time around."},{"property":"og:description","content":"Our columnist turns a critical eye to his own convictions about race and white privilege. He finds there’s always room to face our hubris — and in that humbling experience, we find hope to do better the next time around."},{"property":"twitter:description","content":"Our columnist turns a critical eye to his own convictions about race and white privilege. He finds there’s always room to face our hubris — and in that humbling experience, we find hope to do better the next time around."},{"property":"og:image","content":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/945209480.jpg?resize=1200,630"},{"property":"twitter:image","content":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/945209480.jpg?resize=1200,630"}],"headerTitle":"Owning Up to My Toxic Biases | On Being","searchExclude":false}},"36725":{"id":36725,"date":"2017-11-15T17:30:43","modified":"2017-11-15T16:42:04","slug":"omid-safi-we-can-do-better-than-not-all-men","author":65,"title":"We Can Do Better Than “Not All Men”","content":"\

There are lots of men watching in baffled fascination as the \list of male celebrities\ who have been exposed for their vile history of sexual harassment grows. Quite a few of them are responding with “Not all celebrities are like that.” Not good enough.\

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There are lots of men reading the accounts of women bringing forth the painful experiences of ongoing sexual harassment in the \#MeToo narrative\ and responding with “Well, I am not like that,” or the set-your-timer-and-wait-for-it “Not all men…” Not good enough.\

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There are lots of Europeans \ watching 60,000 people (including Neo-Nazis and white nationalists) march in Poland\, chanting anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim slogans. They are watching as Neo-Nazi/anti-immigrant political parties garner significant percentages in election after election in Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Greece, Hungary, and elsewhere. Their response is “Not all Europeans…” Not good enough.\

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There are lots of Muslims watching as \Muslim preachers\ and \intellectuals\ are exposed for sexual harassment, and they respond with “Not all imams…” Not good enough.\

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There are lots of Buddhists watching the horrors that have been unleashed upon the \Rohingya Muslims\, and their response is “\Not all Buddhists\….” Not good enough.\

\n\

There are lots of Jews and Christians watching the ongoing brutality of a \50-year Israeli occupation\ in Palestine, and their response is “Not all Jews…” Not good enough.\

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There are lots of Christians \watching other Christians defend\ the sexual assault of minors as Biblical practice, and their response is “Not all Christians.” Not good enough.\

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There are \lots of white folks\ watching the almost daily assault on black lives, the widening wealth gap between black folks and white folks in this country, and their response is “Not all white people…” Not good enough.\

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There are lots of sports fans watching teams sign mediocre quarterback after quarterback, as \Colin Kaepernick\ is blacklisted from the NFL. They respond with “Not all team owners are racist.” Not good enough.\

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Let’s be clear. This both is and is not about what is in our hearts. Yes, it all starts with the heart. Racism, sexism, anti-Muslim bigotry, homophobia, classism, colonialism, anti-Semitism: These are spiritual ailments. These ailments do have a basis in our inability to see the full humanity of fellow human beings.\

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Our task should never be to humanize one another. We can’t humanize what is already fully human. The better question is: What’s keeping us from seeing and acknowledging the full humanity of one another? This is about \removing the plank out of our own eyes\ and each other’s eyes, rather than “elevating” a human being to a status they already hold: the status of being human.\

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So yes, there is a part of addressing racism, sexism, and more that is at the level of the heart, the level of spiritual realization. This is \what Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel called\ (using the gendered language of his generation) an “eye disease”:\

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\“From one single man all men are descended. To think of man in terms of white, black, or yellow is more than an error. It is an eye disease, a cancer of the soul. The redeeming quality of man lies in his ability to sense his kinship with all men.”\\

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Here is the key realization. Racism is not merely about prejudice. In the classic definition, racism is prejudice plus social/institutional power. Racism is not merely an “eye disease,” a “heart disease,” a prejudice against another block of humanity. It is also about power. It’s about laws, systems, structures, and institutions. \As Ibram Kendi explains in a profile by The Undefeated\:\

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\“‘We have been taught that ignorance and hate lead to racist ideas, lead to racist policies,’ Kendi said. ‘\\If the fundamental problem is ignorance and hate, then your solutions are going to be focused on education, and love and persuasion. But of course [Stamped from the Beginning] shows that the actual foundation of racism is not ignorance and hate, but self-interest, particularly economic and political and cultural.’ Self-interest drives racist policies that benefit that self-interest. When the policies are challenged because they produce inequalities, racist ideas spring up to justify those policies. Hate flows freely from there.”\\

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Racist policies reinforce colonial, economic, or ethnic exploitation, and in turn codify racism.\

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Sexism is not merely about what individual men do or do not do. That’s why “not all men” can never be the final answer. It’s about a system of privilege that positions all men above all women, regardless of what individual men do or how many individual women have resisted that system and risen above it.\

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Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King, emphasized that same point in a \recent social media post\:\

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\“Racism is not a feeling. Racism is not dislike. Racism is not merely “something they said.” Racism is the exertion of power to, based on race, devalue, dehumanize & dictate the course of a human life or a group of human lives through systemic, social & situational manipulation.”\\

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One of the great insights of Dr. King is that we have to link together love and power. Something catastrophic happens when love and power are divorced from each other: Love without power is anemic and sentimental; power without love is reckless and abusive. To deal with the very serious challenges of racism, sexism, anti-Muslim bigotry, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and more, is a matter of hearts. This is about more than our hearts; this must extend to the transformation and redemption of our institutions and structures.\

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Only then can we link together love and power, bringing love into the public places until it is called justice. Only then can we move towards building the Beloved Community.\

\n","excerpt":"\

On joining our individual reckoning with injustice with the practical work of changing the broken structures that affect our lives. \

\n","terms":[2,338,8,573,1734,37,42],"metadata":{"additionalAuthors":[{"id":65,"slug":"omid-safi","description":"\

is a columnist for \On Being\. His column appears every \Thursday\.\

\n\

He leads spiritual tours every year to Turkey, Morocco, or other countries, to study the rich multiple religious traditions there. The trips are open to everyone, from every country. More information is available at \Illuminated Tours\.\

\n\

He is director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center. He specializes in the study of Islamic mysticism and contemporary Islam and frequently writes on liberationist traditions of Dr. King, Malcolm X, and is committed to traditions that link together love and justice.\

\n\

Omid is the past chair for the Study of Islam at the American Academy of Religion. He has written many books, including \Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism\; \Cambridge Companion to American Islam\; \Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam\; and \Memories of Muhammad\. His forthcoming books include \Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Traditions\ and a book on the famed mystic Rumi.\

\n\

Omid is among the most frequently sought out speakers on Islam in popular media, appearing in \The New York Times\, \Newsweek\, \Washington Post\, PBS, NPR, NBC, CNN, and other international media. He can be reached regarding speaking engagements at \[email protected]\.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

is Director of Duke University's Islamic Studies Center and weekly columnist for \On Being\. He is the editor of the volume \Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism\ and the author of \Memories of Muhammad\.\

\n","name":"Omid Safi","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/omid_safi_2012_media_photo_trees_background.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"http://www.onbeing.org/column/omid-safi","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/omid-safi/","positionTitle":"Columnist","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"ostadjaan","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}],"featuredMediaType":"featured_image","secondaryImage":0,"secondaryImageUrl":"","videoUrl":"","addPoetry":0,"poetry":"","newsletterUrl":"","prevPost":{"id":36711,"slug":"trent-gilliss-reinvigorating-our-public-life","title":"Reinvigorating Our Public Life","date":"2017-11-15 16:51:35","path":"/blog/trent-gilliss-reinvigorating-our-public-life/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/trent-gilliss-reinvigorating-our-public-life/","featuredMedia":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/alessio-mumbojumbo-176695.jpg","author":{"id":2,"slug":"trent-gilliss","description":"\

was the founding executive editor of On Being Studios.\

\n","guestDescription":"","name":"Trent T. Gilliss","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/bio-trentgilliss_0.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/trent-gilliss/","positionTitle":"founding executive editor of On Being Studios","hometown":"Minneapolis","postalZipCode":"55405","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@TrentGilliss","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"nextPost":{"id":36735,"slug":"courtney-martin-a-lesson-in-unfussy-boldness-from-my-mom","title":"A Lesson in Unfussy Boldness from My Mom","date":"2017-11-16 16:32:04","path":"/blog/courtney-martin-a-lesson-in-unfussy-boldness-from-my-mom/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-martin-a-lesson-in-unfussy-boldness-from-my-mom/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/paulette-wooten-223048.jpg","author":{"id":3,"slug":"courtneymartin","description":"\

is a columnist for \On Being\. Her column appears every Friday.\

\n\

Her newest book, \\The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream\\, explores how people are redefining the American dream (think more fulfillment, community, and fun, less debt, status, and stuff). Courtney is the co-founder of the \Solutions Journalism Network\ and a strategist for the TED Prize. She is also co-founder and partner at Valenti Martin Media and FRESH Speakers Bureau, and editor emeritus at Feministing.com.\

\n\

Courtney has authored/edited five books, including \\Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists\\, and \\Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: How the Quest for Perfection is Harming Young Women\\. Her work appears frequently in \The New York Times\ and \The Washington Post\. Courtney has appeared on the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and The O’Reilly Factor, and speaks widely at conferences and colleges. She is the recipient of the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics and a residency from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Centre. She lives with her partner in life and work, John Cary, in Oakland, and their daughters Maya and Stella. Read more about her work at \www.courtneyemartin.com\.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

\is the co-founder of the \\Solutions Journalism Network\\ and a strategist for the TED Prize. She is the author of six books including \\\Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists\\\ and, most recently, \\\The New Better Off\\\.\\

\n","name":"Courtney E. Martin","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/CourtneyMartin.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/courtneymartin/","positionTitle":"columnist","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@courtwrites","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"dateGmt":"2017-11-15T22:30:43","guid":{"rendered":"https://onbeing.org/?p=36725"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-11-15T22:42:04","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/omid-safi-we-can-do-better-than-not-all-men/","featuredMedia":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/7997001417_216e3521f6_b.jpg?fit=900%2C600&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"","photographer":"Charlotte Gonzalez","photographerUrl":"https://www.flickr.com/photos/gonzale/7997001417/","license":"Flickr","photoUrl":"https://www.flickr.com/photos/gonzale/7997001417/","imageLicenses":"© All Rights Reserved"},"path":"/blog/omid-safi-we-can-do-better-than-not-all-men/","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"http://onbeing.org/blog/omid-safi-we-can-do-better-than-not-all-men/","disqusIdentifier":"36725 http://onbeing.org/?p=36725","disqusShortname":"on-being","disqusTitle":"We Can Do Better Than “Not All Men”"},"jetpackRelatedPosts":[{"id":21759,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/what-dave-chappelle-shows-us-about-muslims-as-healers-in-america/","urlMeta":{"origin":36725,"position":0},"title":"Dave Chappelle & Muslims as Healers in America","date":"December 13, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"A look at icons in our popular culture reveals the crucial work of healing at the heart of the Muslim faith.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":9540,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/is-male-model-posing-on-bed-sexy-not-if-hes-a-hasid/","urlMeta":{"origin":36725,"position":1},"title":"Is Male Model Posing on Bed Sexy? Not If He's a Hasid!","date":"November 4, 2013","format":false,"excerpt":"Is this Hasidic man posing on a bed for an American Apparel advertisement a sexualized image? Sarah Imoff argues why the media fails to see the context and places the model — and the tradition — on a pedestal.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":37261,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/omid-safi-the-characterization-of-sufism-as-a-separate-sect-within-islam-is-inaccurate-and-problematic/","urlMeta":{"origin":36725,"position":2},"title":"The Characterization of Sufism as a Separate Sect Within Islam Is Inaccurate and Problematic","date":"December 6, 2017","format":false,"excerpt":"Omid Safi explores the harmful good Sufi/bad Muslim construct in the way we talk about Islam — and calls for a greater understanding of the true breadth of the spectrum of Islamic thought.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]}],"headerMeta":[{"property":"title","content":"We Can Do Better Than “Not All Men”"},{"property":"og:title","content":"We Can Do Better Than “Not All Men”"},{"property":"og:url","content":"https://onbeing.org/blog/omid-safi-we-can-do-better-than-not-all-men/"},{"property":"og:site_name","content":"The On Being Project"},{"property":"og:type","content":"website"},{"property":"fb:app_id","content":"2007187426218054"},{"property":"twitter:card","content":"summary_large_image"},{"property":"twitter:title","content":"We Can Do Better Than “Not All Men”"},{"property":"twitter:site","content":"@onbeing"},{"property":"description","content":"On joining our individual reckoning with injustice with the practical work of changing the broken structures that affect our lives. "},{"property":"og:description","content":"On joining our individual reckoning with injustice with the practical work of changing the broken structures that affect our lives. "},{"property":"twitter:description","content":"On joining our individual reckoning with injustice with the practical work of changing the broken structures that affect our lives. "},{"property":"og:image","content":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/7997001417_216e3521f6_b.jpg?resize=1200,630"},{"property":"twitter:image","content":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/7997001417_216e3521f6_b.jpg?resize=1200,630"}],"headerTitle":"We Can Do Better Than “Not All Men” | On Being","searchExclude":false}},"37460":{"id":37460,"date":"2017-12-18T15:00:33","modified":"2017-12-15T17:35:57","slug":"sharon-salzberg-talking-to-our-enemies","author":103,"title":"Talking to Our Enemies","content":"\

I was sitting in the living room of my friend’s house scanning the titles of his books, listening as he described his well-considered intentions to talk to those he disagreed with politically. We are cordoned off in our silos, he said, and we rarely meet the people who have opposing views. This is the problem with our country now, he asserted — we no longer talk to one another and we don’t even \try to find common ground\.\

\n\

He then asked me if I shared his goal. I said, “I don’t want to harm people and I believe that hating anyone \inevitably takes too much energy\. I want to have conversations with those with radically different views from those I hold, but the truth is I also want to keep them from having power over my life.” Just then my eye fell on Vietnamese Zen teacher \Thich Nhat Hanh’s book entitled \The Art of Power\\.\

\n\

Saying I want that power is not an expected Buddhist response, but it is the truthful response from me even at a time when people are questioning modes of dominance in power, and urgently working toward a shift. \Riane Eisler\ is one, through the work of the \Center for Partnership Studies\. They describe their work as “moving from domination to partnership, from control to care, from power-over to empowerment.”\

\n\

I am inspired by that vision and want to help work towards it. At the same time, as long as in reality there is a dominance model at work, one that is deciding policy and affecting peoples’ lives every day, I’m also moved to work to try to make sure those who seek to harm me or others don’t have the power to dominate.\

\n\

My mantra for a long time has been “Vote, vote, vote.” I believe that \we each have to participate in the system as it is\: It’s what we’ve got, and through our elected representatives vital issues of peoples’ lives — like health care and civil rights — are decided every single day. This isn’t an academic exercise or an abstract consideration — hope is being whittled away for real people struggling just to live. I have never heard the word “despair” used so much as I have this year.\

\n\

I remember riding to New York City in a car from Massachusetts, watching on my phone as the Climate March made its way through the streets of Manhattan. I saw all these jubilant faces on Facebook and Twitter happy to participate in this show of solidarity, yet I kept thinking, “Do all of you vote?” As long as we refuse to exercise this power we will become subject to the actions of those who seek to keep it from us.\

\n\

This is why I don’t think of \sincere conversations\ as a singular remedy. In the same vein, I don’t think a new vision of power is remedy enough. Both are important, even essential. But in the heart of how things actually work right now I’d rather not have my life choices determined by folks who march on the weekends while waving Nazi flags.\

\n\

The Buddha said that \lovingkindness is the antidote to fear\, and this is something I repeated often in this year as people coming to talk to me described themselves as struggling with anger and fear. I want to do what I can to soothe people and at the same time inspire them to action, so that our actions can come more from a place of wisdom than hate. I’m very aware though, that no sooner would I advise that we should \meet the powerful chaos and fear with powerful love\ than a trans person or a person of color or, more commonly these days, a Jewish person, would write me to disagree. As one wrote, “Why should I listen politely to someone who hates me, who does not believe I should exist?”\

\n\

That response made me examine my approach, as did the demonstration in Charlottesville this summer. The men who marched in Charlottesville chanting “Jews will not replace us” and “blood and soil” touched a fear deep in the marrow that connects me to my ancestors, the \inter-generational transmission of trauma\. Those descended from survivors of genocide can feel that trauma even if they cannot remember its origin. The children of those who survived the recent murders in Sutherland, Texas could be affected by this, and their children as well.\

\n\

How does fear move across generations to reside in the bodies of those who never experienced the original trauma? In \\Lost in Transmission: Studies of Trauma Across Generations\\, one essay described the point of view of a sidewalk Santa who was ringing his bell on the streets of New York the Christmas after 9/11. He said he observed how parents changed the way they shepherded their children through the crowds, holding them tightly to their sides and more closely when the parents faced a person who frightened them. As those children maneuvered through the world clutched by mom and dad, they absorb their trauma. This how trauma ripples through the generations.\

\n\

I felt that within me watching the demonstrations in Charlottesville, and I expect that those who faced down that racing car in the street may transmit the terror they faced to their children and beyond. This is why talking to one another best takes place at the very least on the common ground that we each have the right to exist. Because that’s not always there, we work to keep power from those preaching hatred and division, and if we have power ourselves we choose to exercise it differently.\

\n\

In a recent episode of \Reveal\, \host Al Letson tested the common ground\. He was covering the antifa/Nazi conflict outside the U.C. Berkeley campus. Letson, a fit and muscular African-American man, walked with his crew right into the center of crowd where he saw a mob attacking a man, kicking and beating him. Letson leapt in to save the man on the ground. Only later did he find out that the man he rescued was one of the Nazis. He had saved the life of someone who did not believe Letson should exist.\

\n\

\\

\n\

Letson invited the man he rescued to the studio. Their conversation is well worth hearing, as it set both of them off their moorings. They confront each other and dispute facts, but the fact that Letson’s action granted them both the right to exist means that action created common ground. His conversation with a man who would be his enemy captures a rare moment when this new trauma they experienced together muffles the ones from generations ago that set up this conflict.\

\n\

The way that people talk about common ground, it sounds almost magical, as if one could define a space and all would come there with open hearts and minds to build on what they share. In these conflicted times our wounds and vulnerabilities, some of which occurred generations back, make it difficult for dialogue to begin or to succeed in creating a feeling of safety. That beautiful impulse my friend has to try to talk to his enemies may spring from his deeply-held convictions and a sense of his personal power. Yet for those who do not share his confidence, any encounter with political opponents may place them too much at risk to chance it.\

\n\

The actions we take when we are really disconnected come from a place of suffering. We can and should develop greater compassion for those we consider disconnected from themselves and the world, those who propagate hatred or bias. In addition to working on compassion for the frightened, fearful and disconnected, along with \building bridges and reducing your own hatred\, vote! Aside from anything else we do, we also should do everything we can to not foster the power to create harm.\

\n","excerpt":"\

Sharon Salzberg on how to relate to the people whose views we find repugnant and frightening and with whom we can’t imagine standing on common ground.\

\n","terms":[2,686,394,79,242,693,48,2067,37,5471],"metadata":{"additionalAuthors":[{"id":103,"slug":"sharon-salzberg","description":"\

is a monthly columnist for \On Being\. She is a meditation teacher and the cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She is the author of many books, including \Love Your Enemies\, \Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation\, and \Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace\. Her most recent work is \\Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection\\.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

is a meditation teacher and the cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She is the co-author of \Love Your Enemies\. Her other books include \Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness\, \Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation\, and \Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace\.\

\n","name":"Sharon Salzberg","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/SharonSalzbergHeadshot2015-1.jpeg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"http://www.sharonsalzberg.com/about/","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/sharon-salzberg/","positionTitle":"Columnist","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@SharonSalzberg","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}],"featuredMediaType":"featured_image","secondaryImage":0,"secondaryImageUrl":"","videoUrl":"","addPoetry":0,"poetry":"","newsletterUrl":"","prevPost":{"id":37489,"slug":"eugene-peterson-on-congruence-the-beauty-of-uniting-who-we-are-and-how-we-act","title":"On Congruence: The Beauty of Uniting Who We Are and How We Act","date":"2017-12-15 17:00:37","path":"/blog/eugene-peterson-on-congruence-the-beauty-of-uniting-who-we-are-and-how-we-act/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/eugene-peterson-on-congruence-the-beauty-of-uniting-who-we-are-and-how-we-act/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/4803854294_9dbda59daf_o.jpg","author":{"id":789,"slug":"eugene-peterson","description":"\

served as a pastor for 29 years. He is the author of over 30 books, including \Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer\, \The Pastor: A Memoir\, and \The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language\.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

served as a pastor for 29 years. He is the author of over 30 books, including \Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer\, \The Pastor: A Memoir\, and \The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language\.\

\n","name":"Eugene Peterson","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Eugene-Peterson-bio.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/eugene-peterson/","positionTitle":"special contributor","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"nextPost":{"id":37535,"slug":"parker-palmer-let-this-season-be-a-reminder-to-keep-your-heart-open","title":"Let This Season Be a Reminder to Keep Your Heart Open","date":"2017-12-19 15:00:32","path":"/blog/parker-palmer-let-this-season-be-a-reminder-to-keep-your-heart-open/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/parker-palmer-let-this-season-be-a-reminder-to-keep-your-heart-open/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/GettyImages-888000744.jpg","author":{"id":4,"slug":"parker-j-palmer","description":"\

is a columnist for \On Being\. His column appears every Wednesday.\

\n\

He is a Quaker elder, educator, activist, and founder of the \Center for Courage & Renewal\. His books include \\A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life\\, and \\Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation\\. His book \\On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old\\ will be published in June.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

\is founder and senior partner of the \\Center for Courage & Renewal\\. His books include \\\Healing the Heart of Democracy\\\, \\\A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life\\\, and \\\Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation\\\.\\

\n","name":"Parker J. Palmer","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/•Parker-J.-Palmer-Photo—Sept.-2017.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parker_Palmer","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/parker-j-palmer/","positionTitle":"columnist","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@ParkerJPalmer","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"dateGmt":"2017-12-18T21:00:33","guid":{"rendered":"https://onbeing.org/?p=37460"},"modifiedGmt":"2017-12-15T23:35:57","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/sharon-salzberg-talking-to-our-enemies/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/GettyImages-694611492.jpg?fit=5400%2C3444&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"Anti Shariah Law supporters engage in a shouting match with an anit Trump supporter during the March For Human rights and Against Sharia law demonstration in Oceanside, California on Saturday, June 10, 2017.","photographer":"Sandy Huffaker","photographerUrl":"http://www.gettyimages.com/license/694611492","license":"Getty Images","photoUrl":"http://www.gettyimages.com/license/694611492","imageLicenses":"© All Rights Reserved"},"path":"/blog/sharon-salzberg-talking-to-our-enemies/","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"http://onbeing.org/blog/sharon-salzberg-talking-to-our-enemies/","disqusIdentifier":"37460 http://onbeing.org/?p=37460","disqusShortname":"on-being","disqusTitle":"Talking to Our Enemies"},"jetpackRelatedPosts":[{"id":18697,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/krista-answers-a-listeners-question-about-conversation-with-a-trump-supporter/","urlMeta":{"origin":37460,"position":0},"title":"Krista Answers a Listener's Question About Conversation with a Trump Supporter","date":"November 8, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"Do conversations matter in this election? A lifelong believer in the power of conversation to transform conflict wrote to Krista asking for advice about how to understand the other side in this contentious election.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":36783,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/sharon-salzberg-how-to-talk-with-your-relatives-over-the-holidays/","urlMeta":{"origin":37460,"position":1},"title":"How to Talk with Your Relatives Over the Holidays","date":"November 17, 2017","format":false,"excerpt":"Sharon Salzberg's advice for difficult conversations with family at Thanksgiving? Practice listening from a place of generosity and love — whether you agree or not.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":9229,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/love-is-the-great-endeavour/","urlMeta":{"origin":37460,"position":2},"title":"Love Is the Great Endeavour","date":"August 17, 2014","format":false,"excerpt":"As part of a conversation with the Church of Ireland about the question of human sexuality, our special contributor confesses his \"gay agenda\": to love the gospels; to love repentance; to love words and courage and my partner; and to show love to each other on our great endeavor.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]}],"headerMeta":[{"property":"title","content":"Talking to Our Enemies"},{"property":"og:title","content":"Talking to Our Enemies"},{"property":"og:url","content":"https://onbeing.org/blog/sharon-salzberg-talking-to-our-enemies/"},{"property":"og:site_name","content":"The On Being Project"},{"property":"og:type","content":"website"},{"property":"fb:app_id","content":"2007187426218054"},{"property":"twitter:card","content":"summary_large_image"},{"property":"twitter:title","content":"Talking to Our Enemies"},{"property":"twitter:site","content":"@onbeing"},{"property":"description","content":"Sharon Salzberg on how to relate to the people whose views we find repugnant and frightening and with whom we can’t imagine standing on common ground."},{"property":"og:description","content":"Sharon Salzberg on how to relate to the people whose views we find repugnant and frightening and with whom we can’t imagine standing on common ground."},{"property":"twitter:description","content":"Sharon Salzberg on how to relate to the people whose views we find repugnant and frightening and with whom we can’t imagine standing on common ground."},{"property":"og:image","content":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/GettyImages-694611492.jpg?resize=1200,630"},{"property":"twitter:image","content":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/GettyImages-694611492.jpg?resize=1200,630"}],"headerTitle":"Talking to Our Enemies | On Being","searchExclude":false}},"39024":{"id":39024,"date":"2018-01-11T17:48:15","modified":"2018-02-02T15:44:06","slug":"courtney-martin-the-luxury-of-being-fascinated","author":3,"title":"The Luxury of Being Fascinated","content":"\

There is a scene in Black Lives Matter co-founder \Patrisse Khan-Cullors\’ new memoir, \\When They Call You a Terrorist\\, that punched me in the gut.\

\n\

Her brother, Monte, gets into a fender bender while off his anti-psychotic medication. Police, discovering a young man unhinged, shoot him with rubber bullets, tase him, and then charge him with, literally, terrorism. They take him to Twin Towers, the notorious Los Angeles County Jail that would later be exposed as a den of abuse and corruption, where he is kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. They give him Advil.\

\n\

When his court date finally arrives, Patrisse and her mother show up to support Monte. The bailiff warns them that he is in “alarming” condition — that he’s on a gurney, strapped down, with a spit net over his mouth. Indeed, when he is wheeled in, Patrisse and her mother see that he is in full psychotic break. She writes:\

\n\
\

\“To one side of me and just in front, three white men who are also in the court, I suppose for their family member or friend, begin to laugh. No one silences them. They look at my brother as though he is a freak show. They look at him as though he is not a human being. \\

\n\

\I am gripped with an encompassing sense of shame and humiliation. I don’t want to feel this way but here is all of our family’s pain on full blast before people who hate us. I try to stay centered, to say with my eyes, which are laser-focused on Monte, what the court will not allow me to say with my mouth. I love you Monte. I am coming for you. I won’t let them take you, baby. Just stay with me, Monte. Stay with me.” \\

\
\n\

Reliving this heart-wrenching, profoundly unjust moment alongside Patrisse helped me land on an important truth about my own consciousness. As a white person who has supported both Black Lives Matter and prison reform, I have had the luxury of relating to these movements in an \overwhelmingly intellectual way\. I am morally motivated, to be sure, but always from a fairly “heady” place.\

\n\

I have watched Ava DuVernay’s powerful documentary on the criminal justice system and how it is a direct extension of Jim Crow and even slavery, \\13\th\\\, and very likely described it as “fascinating.” Which it is. I have forwarded \an article about a prison in Finland\ to friends who are similarly \fascinated\ by this issue. I have even written about prison re-entry programs — \the amazing Homeboy Industries\ and an effort by design firm IDEO to rethink how California prisoners are equipped to re-enter the world, largely informed by prisoners themselves.\

\n\

And yet, for someone like Patrisse, whose own brother has been abused and humiliated so thoroughly by the criminal justice system, this is not a matter of intellectual intrigue or a design opportunity. This is a matter of human dignity, of life and death, of love and survival.\

\n\

If I imagine my own brother, who sounds quite similar to Monte in various ways, strapped to a gurney, his mouth covered by a spit net, sanity-saving medications withheld from him, I feel an uncontrollable rage well up in my body. I see myself in that courtroom and I can only imagine jumping out of my seat, clawing at the men laughing nearby or the closest police officer, or really anyone that played any role in my brother’s suffering. I can’t fathom what my mother would feel. As a mother myself, I can’t imagine myself behaving with anything but untamable anger and even violence were someone to do that to one of my children.\

\n\

And yet, that too, is a luxury. Patrisse and her mother didn’t have the option of expressing their rage. They were beholden to a system with the power to inflict even more suffering on him, and them, were they to express their own humanity in that moment. Monte was traumatized, without a doubt; so was his family. Our criminal justice system does that to people. Not people like me — white, economically privileged — but people like Monte and his family. And after reading Patrisse and her co-author, asha bandele’s exquisite words, I get that on a level that I never have before. I actually feel it in my body. It’s almost intolerable and \so necessary\.\

\n\

There is nothing wrong with informing yourself about the various unjust systems that operate in our American midst. But there is something disturbingly shallow about only relating to these systems as problems to be solved. It not only takes the urgency out of the solving, but it further dehumanizes in its own way. It turns a visceral indignity that real people — people as real as me, as my brother — experience into a “case study.” Of course we must understand the origins and contemporary contours of our country’s brokenness in order to fix it. But \those of us with some distance\ must be aware of the profound and very real pain that this brokenness causes and honor it. That pain is not a data point.\

\n\

\When They Call You a Terrorist\ has changed me. It has planted a seed of knowing that I must seek out ways to be an embodied ally, not just a fascinated one. That I must study the systems I want to change, but also create space for the spiritual practice of getting proximate to the pain that they cause. Not to take on that pain as my own, but to move forward with the gravity of its savage effects on beautiful humans like Monte.\

\n\
\n\

\You can read an excerpt of When They Call You a Terrorist, which is available in bookstores starting January 16, 2018, \here\.\\

\n","excerpt":"\

It is not enough to view social injustice as simply a problem to be solved, or a series of data points to be analyzed and understood. Allyship and activism require a deeper compassion, one that creates space for us to sit with each other’s pain. \

\n","terms":[2,5403,136,5710,334,2589,5711,933,5712,37],"metadata":{"additionalAuthors":[],"featuredMediaType":"featured_image","secondaryImage":0,"secondaryImageUrl":"","videoUrl":"","addPoetry":0,"poetry":"","newsletterUrl":"","prevPost":{"id":39023,"slug":"omid-safi-comfort-food-for-the-soul","title":"Comfort Food for the Soul","date":"2018-01-10 15:30:42","path":"/blog/omid-safi-comfort-food-for-the-soul/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/omid-safi-comfort-food-for-the-soul/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/15054876652_4ef35f3024_o.jpg","author":{"id":65,"slug":"omid-safi","description":"\

is a columnist for \On Being\. His column appears every \Thursday\.\

\n\

He leads spiritual tours every year to Turkey, Morocco, or other countries, to study the rich multiple religious traditions there. The trips are open to everyone, from every country. More information is available at \Illuminated Tours\.\

\n\

He is director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center. He specializes in the study of Islamic mysticism and contemporary Islam and frequently writes on liberationist traditions of Dr. King, Malcolm X, and is committed to traditions that link together love and justice.\

\n\

Omid is the past chair for the Study of Islam at the American Academy of Religion. He has written many books, including \Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism\; \Cambridge Companion to American Islam\; \Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam\; and \Memories of Muhammad\. His forthcoming books include \Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Traditions\ and a book on the famed mystic Rumi.\

\n\

Omid is among the most frequently sought out speakers on Islam in popular media, appearing in \The New York Times\, \Newsweek\, \Washington Post\, PBS, NPR, NBC, CNN, and other international media. He can be reached regarding speaking engagements at \[email protected]\.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

is Director of Duke University's Islamic Studies Center and weekly columnist for \On Being\. He is the editor of the volume \Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism\ and the author of \Memories of Muhammad\.\

\n","name":"Omid Safi","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/omid_safi_2012_media_photo_trees_background.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"http://www.onbeing.org/column/omid-safi","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/omid-safi/","positionTitle":"Columnist","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"ostadjaan","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"nextPost":{"id":39017,"slug":"jason-brown-lines-and-boundaries-an-orange-county-almanac","title":"Lines and Boundaries: An Orange County Almanac","date":"2018-01-12 12:47:02","path":"/blog/jason-brown-lines-and-boundaries-an-orange-county-almanac/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/jason-brown-lines-and-boundaries-an-orange-county-almanac/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/matthew-lejune-388966.jpg","author":{"id":1076,"slug":"jason_brown","description":"\

was raised in Yorba Linda, California. Grateful for his Mormon roots, in 2015 he converted to contemplative Catholicism. He has a B.A. from Brigham Young University in Anthropology, joint master's degrees in forestry and theology from Yale, and recently completed his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in Environmental Humanities. His scholarship and writing explore contemplative spirituality, monasticism in the American West, spiritual ecology, and the phenomenology of landscape and place. He blogs at \Patheos\ and his photography is on \Instagram.\\

\n\
\n\
\\
\n\
\n","guestDescription":"","name":"Jason Brown","avatar":false,"email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/jason_brown/","positionTitle":"guest contributor","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"dateGmt":"2018-01-11T23:48:15","guid":{"rendered":"https://onbeing.org/?p=37873"},"modifiedGmt":"2018-02-02T21:44:06","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-martin-the-luxury-of-being-fascinated/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/alex-iby-221654.jpg?fit=3855%2C5411&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"","photographer":"Alex Iby","photographerUrl":"https://unsplash.com/photos/NAtR6-ck7As","license":"Unsplash","photoUrl":"https://unsplash.com/photos/NAtR6-ck7As","imageLicenses":"Public Domain Dedication (CC0)"},"path":"/blog/courtney-martin-the-luxury-of-being-fascinated/","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"http://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-martin-the-luxury-of-being-fascinated/","disqusIdentifier":"39024 http://onbeing.org/?p=39024","disqusShortname":"on-being","disqusTitle":"The Luxury of Being Fascinated"},"jetpackRelatedPosts":[{"id":8027,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/hebah-farrag-the-spirituality-of-resilience/","urlMeta":{"origin":39024,"position":0},"title":"The Spirituality of Resilience","date":"February 25, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"The spiritual life of Black Lives Matter activists is rarely covered. An illuminating profile of Patrisse Cullors on the spiritual work of social change and \"her dedication to radical healing, spiritual practice and self-care.\"","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":36814,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/karissa-chen-my-grandfathers-fateful-goodbye-reimagined/","urlMeta":{"origin":39024,"position":1},"title":"My Grandfather's Fateful Goodbye, Reimagined","date":"November 24, 2017","format":false,"excerpt":"On reckoning with an unknown family past, searching for truth, and the stories we imagine to understand the ones we love.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]}],"headerMeta":[{"property":"title","content":"The Luxury of Being Fascinated"},{"property":"og:title","content":"The Luxury of Being Fascinated"},{"property":"og:url","content":"https://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-martin-the-luxury-of-being-fascinated/"},{"property":"og:site_name","content":"The On Being Project"},{"property":"og:type","content":"website"},{"property":"fb:app_id","content":"2007187426218054"},{"property":"twitter:card","content":"summary_large_image"},{"property":"twitter:title","content":"The Luxury of Being Fascinated"},{"property":"twitter:site","content":"@onbeing"},{"property":"description","content":"It is not enough to view social injustice as simply a problem to be solved, or a series of data points to be analyzed and understood. Allyship and activism require a deeper compassion, one that creates space for us to sit with each other’s pain."},{"property":"og:description","content":"It is not enough to view social injustice as simply a problem to be solved, or a series of data points to be analyzed and understood. Allyship and activism require a deeper compassion, one that creates space for us to sit with each other’s pain."},{"property":"twitter:description","content":"It is not enough to view social injustice as simply a problem to be solved, or a series of data points to be analyzed and understood. Allyship and activism require a deeper compassion, one that creates space for us to sit with each other’s pain."},{"property":"keywords","content":"justice"},{"property":"og:image","content":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/alex-iby-221654.jpg?resize=1200,630"},{"property":"twitter:image","content":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/alex-iby-221654.jpg?resize=1200,630"}],"headerTitle":"The Luxury of Being Fascinated | On Being","searchExclude":false}},"39025":{"id":39025,"date":"2018-01-16T13:00:08","modified":"2018-02-02T15:29:32","slug":"parker-palmer-great-power-lives-in-our-love","author":4,"title":"Great Power Lives in Our Love","content":"\

Earlier this week, Americans honored a man who helped change the lay and the law of this land. His life calls us to do everything we can to pursue his still unfulfilled dream of “\The Beloved Community\.”\

\n\

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of ideas, as reflected in his comments about love and power, delivered in his \last presidential address\ to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference on August 16, 1967:\

\n\
\n\

…Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose….\

\n\

…And one of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites, polar opposites, so that love is identified with a resignation of power, and power with a denial of love….\

\n\

…Now, we got to get this thing right. What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love….\

\n\

…It is precisely this collision of immoral power with powerless morality which constitutes the major crisis of our times….\

\n\
\n\

Here’s a question worth asking: \Am I using whatever power I have in the service of love — via my voice\, my vocation, my personal and public witness?\\\

\n\

Dr. King was also a man of action, non-violent action. Here’s another question worth asking: \Am I willing to engage in acts of love, truth and justice whenever I have a chance?\ Each of us has such chances every day — in our families, neighborhoods, classrooms, congregations, and workplaces.\

\n\

As we celebrate Dr. King’s life — and continue to feel the pain of justice postponed and denied — let’s honor his legacy by \joining love to power in our personal and public lives\. Let’s ask our political leaders to do the same. And let’s say NO to leaders who make it clear they have no capacity to honor Dr. King’s vision.\

\n\

Only then can we live up to our high calling as citizens — and our even higher calling as brothers and sisters in the human family. Across all our lines of difference and division, we must care for and about one another if Dr. King’s “Beloved Community” is to be \more than a dream\.\

\n","excerpt":"\

Parker Palmer asks us to consider: Are we using whatever power we have in the service of love? In remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy.\

\n","terms":[2,130,43,36,147,244,1676,1613,37,5713],"metadata":{"additionalAuthors":[],"featuredMediaType":"featured_image","secondaryImage":0,"secondaryImageUrl":"","videoUrl":"","addPoetry":0,"poetry":"","newsletterUrl":"","prevPost":{"id":39020,"slug":"miguel-clark-mallet-uniforms-dont-make-heroes","title":"Uniforms Don't Make Heroes","date":"2018-01-15 14:31:24","path":"/blog/miguel-clark-mallet-uniforms-dont-make-heroes/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/miguel-clark-mallet-uniforms-dont-make-heroes/","featuredMedia":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/option-4-copy-34.jpg","author":{"id":1038,"slug":"miguelclarkmallet","description":"\

Born in Germany during the same year that construction began on the Berlin Wall, Miguel Clark Mallet grew up as an Army brat on military bases across the United States and in Latin America. Early in life, he became fascinated with both spirituality and language, a connection fed by his years as an altar boy, and cemented by the nun in his 8th grade year of Catholic school who taught both his English and religion classes. Mallet originally studied journalism in college (he particularly enjoyed copy editing), eventually earning a bachelor's degree in English and then an MFA in fiction.\

\n\

He spent the bulk of the next 20 years as a college-level writing teacher and writing program administrator in North Carolina, Iowa, and Arizona, where he earned a Ph.D. in rhetoric and composition; he also had a short stint as a technical editor. Mallet's current interests center on the intersection of the personal, the social (especially involving race), and the spiritual, and on writing — its ambiguity and fluidity — as a means to explore that intersection. He believes in writing as a tool for both reflection, disruption, and transformation. Currently at work on both a speculative fiction novel and a long work blending verse, memoir, polemic, and fiction, he writes, runs, and lives in the Twin Cities.\

\n","guestDescription":"","name":"Miguel Clark Mallet","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Miguel-Clark-Mallet-bio.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/miguelclarkmallet/","positionTitle":"Special Contributor","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@Mar_de_Palabras","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"nextPost":{"id":38057,"slug":"omid-safi-the-art-of-learning-side-by-side","title":"The Art of Learning Side-by-Side","date":"2018-01-17 13:00:05","path":"/blog/omid-safi-the-art-of-learning-side-by-side/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/omid-safi-the-art-of-learning-side-by-side/","featuredMedia":"https://i1.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/6818959182_90febed71b_o.jpg","author":{"id":65,"slug":"omid-safi","description":"\

is a columnist for \On Being\. His column appears every \Thursday\.\

\n\

He leads spiritual tours every year to Turkey, Morocco, or other countries, to study the rich multiple religious traditions there. The trips are open to everyone, from every country. More information is available at \Illuminated Tours\.\

\n\

He is director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center. He specializes in the study of Islamic mysticism and contemporary Islam and frequently writes on liberationist traditions of Dr. King, Malcolm X, and is committed to traditions that link together love and justice.\

\n\

Omid is the past chair for the Study of Islam at the American Academy of Religion. He has written many books, including \Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism\; \Cambridge Companion to American Islam\; \Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam\; and \Memories of Muhammad\. His forthcoming books include \Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Traditions\ and a book on the famed mystic Rumi.\

\n\

Omid is among the most frequently sought out speakers on Islam in popular media, appearing in \The New York Times\, \Newsweek\, \Washington Post\, PBS, NPR, NBC, CNN, and other international media. He can be reached regarding speaking engagements at \[email protected]\.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

is Director of Duke University's Islamic Studies Center and weekly columnist for \On Being\. He is the editor of the volume \Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism\ and the author of \Memories of Muhammad\.\

\n","name":"Omid Safi","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/omid_safi_2012_media_photo_trees_background.jpg","email":"[email protected]","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"http://www.onbeing.org/column/omid-safi","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/omid-safi/","positionTitle":"Columnist","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"ostadjaan","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"dateGmt":"2018-01-16T19:00:08","guid":{"rendered":"https://onbeing.org/?p=37901"},"modifiedGmt":"2018-02-02T21:29:32","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/parker-palmer-great-power-lives-in-our-love/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/16133299150_f616d02681_o1.jpg?fit=2964%2C2308&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"","photographer":"ehpien","photographerUrl":"https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/16133299150/","license":"Flickr","photoUrl":"https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/16133299150/","imageLicenses":"Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs"},"path":"/blog/parker-palmer-great-power-lives-in-our-love/","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"http://onbeing.org/blog/parker-palmer-great-power-lives-in-our-love/","disqusIdentifier":"39025 http://onbeing.org/?p=39025","disqusShortname":"on-being","disqusTitle":"Great Power Lives in Our Love"},"jetpackRelatedPosts":[{"id":18584,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/what-would-brother-martin-say/","urlMeta":{"origin":39025,"position":0},"title":"What Would Brother Martin Say?","date":"January 19, 2017","format":false,"excerpt":"Channeling Dr. King, Omid Safi examines where our nation stands on the long journey toward justice.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":7957,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/justice-is-love-embodied/","urlMeta":{"origin":39025,"position":1},"title":"Justice is Love, Embodied","date":"March 24, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"Faith can be a salve for the soul in the face of the suffering we witness. But, Omid Safi reminds us, our spiritual love must be bolstered by how we stand for the weak and vulnerable in our midst.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":27321,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/omid-safi-where-do-we-stand-today-50-years-after-mlks-riverside-speech/","urlMeta":{"origin":39025,"position":2},"title":"Where Do We Stand Today? 50 Years After MLK's Riverside Speech","date":"April 4, 2017","format":false,"excerpt":"Fifty years ago today, on April 4, 1967, a reluctant Martin Luther King stood in Riverside Church in New York. Omid Safi on the promise of that moment and where we are today.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]}],"headerMeta":[{"property":"title","content":"Great Power Lies in Our Love"},{"property":"og:title","content":"Great Power Lies in Our Love"},{"property":"og:url","content":"https://onbeing.org/blog/parker-palmer-great-power-lives-in-our-love/"},{"property":"og:site_name","content":"The On Being Project"},{"property":"og:type","content":"website"},{"property":"fb:app_id","content":"2007187426218054"},{"property":"twitter:card","content":"summary_large_image"},{"property":"twitter:title","content":"Great Power Lies in Our Love"},{"property":"twitter:site","content":"@onbeing"},{"property":"description","content":"Parker Palmer asks us to consider: Are we using whatever power we have in the service of love? In remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy."},{"property":"og:description","content":"Parker Palmer asks us to consider: Are we using whatever power we have in the service of love? In remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy."},{"property":"twitter:description","content":"Parker Palmer asks us to consider: Are we using whatever power we have in the service of love? In remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy."},{"property":"keywords","content":"Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."},{"property":"og:image","content":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/16133299150_f616d02681_o1.jpg?resize=1200,630"},{"property":"twitter:image","content":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/16133299150_f616d02681_o1.jpg?resize=1200,630"}],"headerTitle":"Great Power Lies in Our Love | On Being","searchExclude":false}},"41507":{"id":41507,"date":"2018-01-26T14:00:20","modified":"2018-02-14T09:27:01","slug":"david-stowe-singing-together-is-sacred","author":1055,"title":"Singing Together Is Sacred","content":"\

This Saturday, February 11 , many Jews will celebrate \Shabbat Shirah\, the Sabbath of Singing, which commemorates one of the most vivid musical performances in the Hebrew Bible: the songs sung by Moses and his sister Miriam to celebrate the Israelite crossing of the Sea of Reeds (Red Sea) in their dramatic escape from bondage in Egypt.\

\n\

This \Song of Miriam\ exemplifies one dominant motivation for sacred music: collective celebration.\

\n\
\

“Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. Miriam sang to them: ‘Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.’”\

\
\n\

As a cultural historian, I have been studying the relationship between music and religious experience for two decades. Music has been crucial to religious experience across history and region.\

\n\

Sacred music has a unique ability to engage both body and mind. It brings people together in expressing gratitude, praise, sorrow, and even protest against injustice.\

\n\

More than three millennia after Miriam, singing continues to be a widely observed expression of thanksgiving and gratitude, whether or not couched in religious language or occurring in a sacred space.\

\n\

Jews and Christians sing psalms that celebrate the glory of creation and the god who created it; Muslims offer “\na’t\” in honor of the Prophet Muhammad; and Hindus chant “bhajans” to express their devotion to \Shiva\ or \Krishna\. In many American evangelical churches, pop-influenced congregational singing, generally referred to as “\praise music\,” \has replaced old-school hymns\.\

\n\

At the other end of the emotional spectrum, sacred music is the preferred medium for expressing mourning and lament. African-American churches commonly referred to such \songs of trouble and grief\ as “\sorrow songs\,” in contrast to the more upbeat celebratory “\jubilee songs\.”\

\n\

Indeed, the climactic final chapter of historian and civil rights activist \W.E.B. Du Bois\’ classic collection, \\The Souls of Black Folk\\, is titled “Of the Sorrow Songs.” He offers an eloquent tribute to the power of the spiritual, when he says,\

\n\
\

“And so by fateful chance the Negro folk-song – the rhythmic cry of the slave – stands to-day not simply as the sole American music, but as the most beautiful expression of human experience born this side the seas.”\

\
\n\

Many Hebrew psalms are classified as laments and have been sung by monastics and lay worshipers, Jewish and Christian, for 2,000 years. Islam has its own tradition of lamentation dirges, called “\nauha\,” typically sung by Shiite Muslims in mourning for the martyrs of the \Battle of Karbala\ in 680 A.D., which initiated a bitter succession struggle that still resounds through the Muslim world.\

\n\

The blues, which have so profoundly shaped American popular music — from jazz and rhythm and blues to soul — are regarded as a secular counterpart to the songs that arose out of conditions of chattel slavery, as the \theologian James Cone\ memorably explores in his seminal study, \“The Spirituals and the Blues\.”\

\n\

Just as the experiences of ecstasy and gratitude are heightened by giving vocal expression in collective singing, so the pain of injustice and uncertainty are relieved by vocal release through music.\

\n\

Former President Barack Obama too broke into what seemed like a \spontaneous rendition of “Amazing Grace”\ at the eulogy he delivered at the historic church in Charleston, South Carolina, following the mass murder of nine church members by a white supremacist in 2015.\

\n\
\"Christopher\
\People sing gospel music outside the historic Emanuel African Methodist Church following the shooting of nine people there in 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina.\\\ (\Chip Somodevilla\ / Getty Images / © All Rights Reserved) \\\
\
\n\

Sacred song is one of the most social aspects of religious practice. But it is also an intimate, embodied experience. The singer draws meaning from her or his core being: She feels the sound being produced as she hears it.\

\n\

Creating musical tone in one’s chest and throat provides sensuous pleasure, amplified by what \sociologist Emile Durkheim\ referred to as “\collective effervescence\” — the collective energy generated when groups come together in a shared purpose. This concept has been explored extensively by sociologist \Randall Collins\ in his work on \interaction ritual chains\.\

\n\

Personally, I have experienced this most intensely while singing \shape-note music\, which might be described as the heavy metal of American roots music (with a Calvinist twist).\

\n\

Worth noting in the Miriam singing we began with is the way in which singing and dancing are conjoined.\

\n\

Disembodied music of the sort we take for granted through MP3s and earbuds, or even sitting passively in a concert hall, is a recent historical development. The most intense experience of unity between body and music is called trance. “[\Trancing\] is a profound mystery,” writes ethnomusicologist \Judith Becker\.\

\n\
\

“You lose your strong sense of self, you lose the sense of time passing, and may feel transported out of quotidian space.”\

\
\n\

Ordinary worshipers often get at least a taste of this when they sing in community. Communal singing plays a role in the \release of oxytocin\, the “cuddle hormone” instrumental in the pleasures of social bonding.\

\n\

The Abrahamic faiths that trace their origins to the Hebrew Bible have a long history of linking sacred song to the struggle against injustice and oppression. This tradition comes out of the Hebrew prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Amos. Social protest is a strong thread in the psalms, which provided the central worship songs for Jews and Christians.\

\n\

My most recent book studies just one text, \Psalm 137\, which includes the famous line,\

\n\
\

\“How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?”\\

\
\n\

This is a psalm that mourns the plight of Judeans held captive in Babylon after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 587 B.C. This has been used as a rallying cry for religious and political movements for many centuries.\

\n\

And indeed it seems that music may play a part in the mass protests of the Trump era. Secular spirituals like “\We Shall Overcome\,” with its roots in the black church, are \always ready to be dusted off\. But this time, Woody Guthrie’s “\This Land Is Your Land\” has already been promoted by the political resistance as a reminder of the earlier, more inclusive vision of American nationhood. Lady Gaga even managed to take it into her Super Bowl halftime show \without raising alarms\. New versions of the Song of Miriam continue to be rewritten and sung as songs that celebrate triumph over oppression or injustice.\

\n\
\\"A\
\A woman sings at a protest in Washington, D.C. following the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014.\\\ (\Miki J.\ / Flickr / © All Rights Reserved) \\\
\
\n\

As \Becker says,\\

\n\
\

“You cannot argue with a song sung in soaring phrases, with drum rhythms you are feeling in your bones, surrounded by friends and family who are all, like you, structurally coupled, rhythmically entrained.”\

\
\n\
\n\

\\\"TheEditor’s note: the original version of this story inadvertently identified the Battle of Karbala as having taken place in 680 BC instead of 680 AD. \\This article was originally published on \The Conversation\. Read the \original article\ here.\\

\n","excerpt":"\

For Shabbat Shirah — the Sabbath of Song — a reflection on collective song as an intimate, embodied expression of the soul in sorrow, celebration, and resistance.\

\n","terms":[2,344,235,33,70,517,516,46,74,246,1164,37,210],"metadata":{"additionalAuthors":[],"featuredMediaType":"custom_image","secondaryImage":42786,"secondaryImageUrl":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/3330028112_c4dc42eaea_o-1.jpg","videoUrl":"","addPoetry":0,"poetry":"","newsletterUrl":"","prevPost":{"id":41479,"slug":"carolyn-friedhoff-the-value-of-quick-deep-conversations-with-strangers","title":"The Value of Quick, Deep Conversations With Strangers","date":"2018-01-25 15:07:11","path":"/blog/carolyn-friedhoff-the-value-of-quick-deep-conversations-with-strangers/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/carolyn-friedhoff-the-value-of-quick-deep-conversations-with-strangers/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Screen-Shot-2018-01-19-at-6.02.05-PM.png","author":{"id":1029,"slug":"cfriedhoff","description":"\

was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Upon realizing that she didn’t really \get\sports, Carolyn discovered classical ballet. She loved the discipline and independent flow that guided ballet technique — as a baby, some of her first words were “Me sola,” Spanglish for “Me, all by myself.”\

\n\

Carolyn chose to attend Carleton College, as invested in academics as she was in dance. All the way up in Minnesota, she found true friendship in wonderfully nerdy people. Carolyn majored in philosophy and cognitive science. While she cultivated her love for sitting and thinking about thinking (about thinking…), her desire to dance persisted. In attempts to study both of her interests at once, she stumbled into the field of Embodied Cognitive Science (even Carolyn is still a bit confused about what it is), and hasn’t looked back.\

\n\

Today, she enjoys being a college graduate, goat videos, dancing and reading, and walking through forests.\

\n","guestDescription":"","name":"Carolyn Friedhoff","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Carolyn.Friedhoff.jpg","email":"cfriedhoff@onbeing.org","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/cfriedhoff/","positionTitle":"Guest Contributor","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"nextPost":{"id":37769,"slug":"robert-wright-how-mindfulness-meditation-can-save-america-test","title":"How Mindfulness Meditation Can Save America","date":"2018-01-29 04:35:54","path":"/blog/robert-wright-how-mindfulness-meditation-can-save-america-test/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/robert-wright-how-mindfulness-meditation-can-save-america-test/","featuredMedia":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/tachina-lee-42980.jpg","author":{"id":467,"slug":"robert-wright","description":"\

is the author of \The Moral Animal\, \Nonzero\, \The Evolution of God, and \Why Buddhism Is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment\\. He has taught in the psychology department at University of Pennsylvania and the religion department at Princeton. He is currently visiting professor of science and religion at Union Theological Seminary in New York. He also runs \mindfulresistance.net\.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

is a journalist and scholar whose books include \The Moral Animal\and \The Evolution of God\.\

\n","name":"Robert Wright","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/robertwright.jpg","email":"robertwright@onbeing.org","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Wright_(journalist)","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/robert-wright/","positionTitle":"guest contributor","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@RobertWrighter","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"dateGmt":"2018-01-26T20:00:20","guid":{"rendered":"https://onbeing.org/"},"modifiedGmt":"2018-02-14T15:27:01","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/david-stowe-singing-together-is-sacred/","featuredMedia":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/15956580855_bfeb989724_o.jpg?fit=4347%2C3260&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"A woman sings at a protest in Washington, D.C. following the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014.","photographer":"Miki J.","photographerUrl":"https://www.flickr.com/photos/73886864@N08/15956580855/","license":"Flickr","photoUrl":"https://www.flickr.com/photos/73886864@N08/15956580855/","imageLicenses":"© All Rights Reserved"},"path":"/blog/david-stowe-singing-together-is-sacred/","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"http://onbeing.org/blog/david-stowe-singing-together-is-sacred/","disqusIdentifier":"41507 http://onbeing.org/?p=41507","disqusShortname":"on-being","disqusTitle":"Singing Together Is Sacred"},"jetpackRelatedPosts":[{"id":33566,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/krista-tippett-the-elemental-force-of-music-and-the-human-voice-a-place-where-grace-can-come-in/","urlMeta":{"origin":41507,"position":0},"title":"The Elemental Force of Music and the Human Voice: A Place Where Grace Can Come In","date":"June 16, 2011","format":false,"excerpt":"Bobby McFerrin's way of making music — \"catching songs\" as he describes it — points at the elemental force of music, especially the human voice, in what is human and what is sacred.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":5658,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/when-the-song-sings-the-singer/","urlMeta":{"origin":41507,"position":1},"title":"When the Song Sings the Singer","date":"August 24, 2012","format":false,"excerpt":"When Jews sing a niggun, Ethan Press writes, this wordless Jewish melody brings the singer into ecstatic union with the Divine.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":9339,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/live-video-communal-singing-at-on-being-on-loring-park/","urlMeta":{"origin":41507,"position":2},"title":"Live Video: Communal Singing at On Being on Loring Park","date":"May 29, 2014","format":false,"excerpt":"Join us for communal singing as we learn from choral director and conductor Tesfa Wondemagegnehu as talks more about the unbeatable joy of singing together. Tesfa will also lead us in the art of communal music-making. If a gun-shy singer like me will attend, you have no reason to be…","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]}],"headerMeta":[{"property":"title","content":"Singing Together Is Sacred"},{"property":"og:title","content":"Singing Together Is Sacred"},{"property":"og:url","content":"https://onbeing.org/blog/david-stowe-singing-together-is-sacred/"},{"property":"og:site_name","content":"The On Being Project"},{"property":"og:type","content":"website"},{"property":"fb:app_id","content":"2007187426218054"},{"property":"twitter:card","content":"summary_large_image"},{"property":"twitter:title","content":"Singing Together Is Sacred"},{"property":"twitter:site","content":"@onbeing"},{"property":"description","content":"For Shabbat Shirah — the Sabbath of Song — a reflection on collective song as an intimate, embodied expression of the soul in sorrow, celebration, and resistance."},{"property":"og:description","content":"For Shabbat Shirah — the Sabbath of Song — a reflection on collective song as an intimate, embodied expression of the soul in sorrow, celebration, and resistance."},{"property":"twitter:description","content":"For Shabbat Shirah — the Sabbath of Song — a reflection on collective song as an intimate, embodied expression of the soul in sorrow, celebration, and resistance."},{"property":"og:image","content":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/15956580855_bfeb989724_o.jpg?resize=1200,630"},{"property":"twitter:image","content":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/15956580855_bfeb989724_o.jpg?resize=1200,630"}],"headerTitle":"Singing Together Is Sacred | On Being","searchExclude":false}},"43317":{"id":43317,"date":"2018-02-09T15:11:44","modified":"2018-02-14T05:56:55","slug":"courtney-martin-the-problem-with-seeking-the-best-for-your-kids","author":3,"title":"The Problem with Seeking the Best for Your Kids","content":"\

Everyone wants the best for their kids. It’s an idea that almost no one — black, brown, or white, rich, poor, or something in between — would take issue with. In fact, most people think this is the bedrock of good parenting: pursuing the best for your own children at all costs.\

\n\

And yet, how often do we actually reckon with the real nature of those costs? When it’s all said and done, who pays the bill? Is the price right?\

\n\

The first time this tapeworm of a worry showed up I was sitting on a picnic table meant for toddlers, feeling very ill-prepared. I looked up at the owner of a private preschool in the \Rockridge\ neighborhood of Oakland and listened as she talked about the school’s commitment to “social justice.” It amounted to an annual fundraiser for poor families and \a rotating library of books with diverse protagonists\. She looked like someone who might be in my mom’s journaling group — white, in her 60s, unfussy, shoulder-length hair with plenty of unashamed gray.\

\n\

The two dozen parents scattered around her listened intently. You could almost see the wheels of strategy turning in their heads: \Is this school “the one,” and if so, how do I get my child in?\ They were all white, with a couple of Asian parents in the mix. When the owner asked if there were any questions, many of them asked about the pedagogical approach: How does the school handle introverts? How much unstructured time is there? Which foreign languages will the children be exposed to? They sounded very well-informed, but also painstakingly friendly. They wanted to be likable and memorable. They seemed to already know the unwritten rules of how to get opportunities in conditions of scarcity.\

\n\

Almost every preschool my partner and I contacted explained that they have very few spots open, that we were welcome to come on the tour but only with the understanding that the chance of being offered admission was very slim. It created a sort of city-wide preschool panic among the upper middle class. Frantic and still fairly new parents hypothesized as to what might actually endear a school to a particular family. Being likable, at the very least, seemed wise.\

\n\

Which is perhaps part of why I didn’t ask my questions, which were: How much does this place cost? Where are the black and brown parents? And if they’re not here, what does that mean?\

\n\

Later, I did some research on my own. That particular school cost $2,200 a month — $26,400 a year. Head Start, which is free, serves about 2,000 kids a year in Oakland, most of them kids of color (the city is 28 percent black and 25.4 percent Latinx). Some of the private schools I toured do have financial aid programs designed to diversify their student body. Which is great, of course. And not enough. One wonders how much these programs actually shift the racial and class dynamics at play in early education, as opposed to soothing the consciences of the mostly progressive, white parents who send their kids to schools that are unaffordable for most of the city’s families.\

\n\

Our daughter \ended up at a home-based “school”\ run by a family. It costs a fraction of the school we toured and doesn’t offer Mandarin or Tai Chi, but Maya seems genuinely happy and known there. Now four years old, she qualifies for transition kindergarten next year, so the tours have started all over, and this time, the stakes seem even higher. If we get her into “the right” school, then her younger sister will also get to go to that school. Our neighborhood school is 52.5 percent black, 19.9 percent Latinx, and 12 percent white and is “bad” according to all the official weights and measures. Parenting listservs are filled with cloaked, but ultimately clear warnings against sending your kid there. (Your white kid.) The neighborhood, traditionally working class black, has been rapidly gentrifying in the last decade or two. We’re part of the wave, having moved here just five years ago.\

\n\

So where does a parent like me, someone at an ethical crossroads in a time of racial and class upheaval, look for guidance?\

\n\

I don’t read a lot of parenting books. When I finally get my girls to sleep, all I want to do is read about childless women on daring adventures. But in a fit of desperation following one of my older daughter’s tantrums, I did order a stack of them. Sometimes I’ll pull one off the shelf and search for some insight. Almost without an exception, they are completely devoid of any discussions of the ethics of parenting, beyond the virtues of raising an empathic, nonviolent child (which does poor kids, socially segregated from your peaceful, compassionate kid a whole hell of a lot of good, it seems to me.)\

\n\

There isn’t even a stack of books to order and fail to read when it comes to my aspiration to parent in a way that actually challenges structural inequality. There are books on anti-racist parenting, most of which are painful to read. They feature endless lists of questions for self-reflection — “What are all my reference-group identities (race, ethnicity, national or regional origin of family ancestors, religion, gender, political affiliations, economic class, sexual orientation, ableness)? What does each mean to me? Which ones have most affected me at different points in my life?”\

\n\

This barrage of broad and overwhelming questions appears to be a hallmark of books aimed at white people fumbling to think and talk about race. I understand the authors’ intent — of course we can’t challenge structural racism if we haven’t scraped the scales from our own eyes while looking at our own lives. But that scraping, it seems to me, is never going to be inspired or internalized by a bulleted list.\

\n\

There are books on broader economic shifts and how parenting fits into that, like \Robert Putnam’s \Our Kids\\. These are worth reading, to be sure, but they take the de facto position that middle class parents are doing the right things for their own kids, just not the right things for everybody else’s kids — as if the two things aren’t related. The books don’t call anyone a “welfare queen” or a “deadbeat dad,” but the subtext is that parents experiencing poverty are screwing up.\

\n\

I can’t help but wonder — maybe all these white parents going on all these school tours are actually part of the problem? Maybe it’s not that parents of color should be on the tours, but that school tours shouldn’t be a thing at all? Maybe it’s these hoarding, anxious parents that are wrong while everyone else is just trying to live a decent life?\

\n\

I discussed some of the questions that were rattling around in my brain to my elder neighbor Louise recently over lunch. She doesn’t have children, so I described the conditions of the neighborhood school. I wondered aloud if the answer was to collectivize with other families to pledge to send our kids there and try to make it better. She nodded in her quiet way as she took a slurp of soup and then said, “It’s always better to join with others, but of course you also don’t want to go in with a colonial mindset — as if you all know what’s best for other people’s kids.”\

\n\

Louise, a white woman with nearly six decades under her belt of wrestling with her own racial conditioning, always has a way of kindly reminding me that I have much more wrestling to do.\

\n\

When I bring this issue up in various forms with parents I know that have older kids, a sort of resigned malaise takes over their faces and they almost always sigh audibly. These parents of pimply, emotionally-manipulative teenagers appear to see me, the parent of ratty-haired, emotionally-raw toddlers, as well-intentioned but in need of humbling. Just keep your own kids off drugs, they seem to be saying with their eyes. That’s enough work for one parenting lifetime.\

\n\

So far, I’ve gained the most from author, professor, and mother Eula Biss. If you haven’t listened to her interview with Krista Tippett yet, I recommend \the unedited version\. In an essay for \The New York Times\ called \“White Debt,”\ she writes: “Being white is easy, in that nobody is expected to think about being white, but this is exactly what makes me uneasy about it. Without thinking, I would say that believing I am white doesn’t cost me anything, that it’s pure profit, but I suspect that isn’t true. I suspect whiteness is costing me, as Baldwin would say, my moral life.”\

\n\

I crave that elusive, \white moral life\. For myself, but even more, for my kids. I don’t want to pass down a heap of good intentions and glaring contradictions.\

\n\

I can’t do this thing, this most important of important things, and not wonder about the political implications of my decisions. I want my kids to be happy and healthy, but I also want them to grow up with a sense that their mother is an unrelenting badass who fights inequity, not just with bumper stickers and sentiment, but with real, sometimes uncomfortable action. Four years into my own journey, I’m starting to grasp just how much parenting is a place where our values are most powerfully demonstrated, despite the fact that we publicly pretend as if it should be apolitical.\

\n\

Every person has to come to terms with — even if just to themselves — the gap between what they believe and how they live their lives. If you happen to be a parent, though, the gap can feel particularly wide and meaningful, the explanation even more garbled and urgent. Ultimately, you’re not just answering to your own conscience, but to your children. They will want to know, they might already want to know, why you did what you did. Why send them to this school? Why make the sometimes Herculean effort to get them into clean clothes and in these particular pews on a Sunday morning? Why live in this neighborhood? Why befriend these people and not those? Why care so deeply about certain rules and let other things go? Kids ultimately care, not just about how you shape them, but how your shaping of them shapes the world.\

\n\

I suspect that parents — largely white, economically privileged, and well-intentioned — have shirked their moral responsibility to the common good for decades under the cover of “everybody wants the best for their kids.” In a time of eroding public institutions and \soaring economic inequality\, we have normalized \a culture of private solutions\ whereby our children won’t have to endure the worst of American problems — public education, healthcare, criminal justice. By doing so, \we’ve\ inadvertently become one of the country’s biggest problems — a bloc standing between our current state when, as economist James Heckman puts it, “the biggest market failure of all,” is picking the “wrong” parents, and a more equitable future.\

\n\

But \knowing this and acting on it\ are two very different things. How do I make decisions that honor my children \and\ other people’s children? How do I avoid turning my kids into a political experiment? In the face of such massive structural inequity, is it self-righteous and/or foolhardy to focus on \individual decisions\? And how do I explore all of this — out loud or in writing — without making other parents feel judged? Or is the fear of offending our peers exactly what keeps us stuck in complicity to a system we know is broken and unfair?\

\n\

This essay will unfold over the next few months as a genuine journey. I want to travel it in conversation with you — the readers and listeners of this forum where nuance is prized and the ethical, examined life our common goal. I would love to interview parents who have made radical decisions outside of social norms, like sending your children to low-performing neighborhood public schools rather than pursuing more privileged options, or refusing to use your own connections to get your kids internships, or investing money into public goods — like community centers and parks — rather than enrichment opportunities for your own children. Do you ultimately stand by your decisions? What did you learn? How have your kids, your neighborhoods, your social worlds been affected?\

\n\

You can reach out to me at \stories@onbeing.org\.\

\n\

Biss also wrote that “whiteness is costing me my community.” Perhaps the whitest, richest thing one could do is attempt to pursue the moral life alone, as if it were a suburban home in our hearts that could be perfected with just the right amount of pruning. So let’s not do that. Let’s pursue it together.\

\n","excerpt":"\

How do our duties as citizens map onto our duties as parents? Courtney Martin on the tensions between what is best for her children and what’s best for the world. The first in a reported series on ethical parenting.\

\n","terms":[2,5403,747,33,298,794,37,10],"metadata":{"additionalAuthors":[],"featuredMediaType":"featured_image","secondaryImage":0,"secondaryImageUrl":"","videoUrl":"","addPoetry":0,"poetry":"","newsletterUrl":"","prevPost":{"id":43314,"slug":"kristin-lin-community-and-the-complexities-of-presence","title":"Community and the Complexities of Presence","date":"2018-02-08 15:47:40","path":"/blog/kristin-lin-community-and-the-complexities-of-presence/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/kristin-lin-community-and-the-complexities-of-presence/","featuredMedia":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/540154_orig.jpg","author":{"id":1100,"slug":"klin","description":"\

\Growing up in a Buddhist, Taiwanese household in Texas, Kristin was always fascinated by the power of conversation to connect the many contrasting microcosms around her. She carried her curiosity for human experience to Chicago, where she studied political science at the University of Chicago and edited the campus's long-form investigative journal. It was during her runs along Lake Michigan that she started tuning into podcasts; she has been an avid fan of \On Being \ever since she listened to her first episode, featuring Yo-Yo Ma.\\

\n\

\Kristin has worked at UC Berkeley and \The Wall Street Journal\, where she helped produce, write, and report for diverse sets of audiences. She feels lucky to contribute to a program that has so deeply and joyfully enriched her understanding of humanity.\\

\n\

\When she's not listening to podcasts or reading, Kristin enjoys cooking for crowds, penning her advice column, and chasing wonder in nature. She is still trying to decide her favorite installment of Richard Linklater’s \Before\ trilogy.\\

\n","guestDescription":"\

\Growing up in a Buddhist, Taiwanese household in Texas, Kristin was always fascinated by the power of conversation to connect the many contrasting microcosms around her. She carried her curiosity for human experience to Chicago, where she studied political science at the University of Chicago and edited the campus's long-form investigative journal. It was during her runs along Lake Michigan that she started tuning into podcasts; she has been an avid fan of \On Being \ever since she listened to her first episode, featuring Yo-Yo Ma.\\

\n\

\Kristin has worked at UC Berkeley and \The Wall Street Journal\, where she helped produce, write, and report for diverse sets of audiences. She feels lucky to contribute to a program that has so deeply and joyfully enriched her understanding of humanity.\\

\n\

\When she's not listening to podcasts or reading, Kristin enjoys cooking for crowds, penning her advice column, and chasing wonder in nature. She is still trying to decide her favorite installment of Richard Linklater’s \Before\ trilogy.\\

\n","name":"Kristin Lin","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Kristin.jpg","email":"klin@onbeing.org","publicEmail":"klin@onbeing.org","personalLink":"","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/klin/","positionTitle":"Editor, On Being Studios","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"nextPost":{"id":43428,"slug":"parker-palmer-to-live-and-to-love-in-birdsong","title":"To Live and To Love in Birdsong","date":"2018-02-12 17:05:49","path":"/blog/parker-palmer-to-live-and-to-love-in-birdsong/","url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/parker-palmer-to-live-and-to-love-in-birdsong/","featuredMedia":"https://i2.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/vincent-van-zalinge-390780.jpg","author":{"id":4,"slug":"parker-j-palmer","description":"\

is a columnist for \On Being\. His column appears every Wednesday.\

\n\

He is a Quaker elder, educator, activist, and founder of the \Center for Courage & Renewal\. His books include \\A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life\\, and \\Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation\\. His book \\On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old\\ will be published in June.\

\n","guestDescription":"\

\is founder and senior partner of the \\Center for Courage & Renewal\\. His books include \\\Healing the Heart of Democracy\\\, \\\A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life\\\, and \\\Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation\\\.\\

\n","name":"Parker J. Palmer","avatar":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/•Parker-J.-Palmer-Photo—Sept.-2017.jpg","email":"parkerpalmer@onbeing.org","publicEmail":"","personalLink":"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parker_Palmer","archiveLink":"https://api.onbeing.org/author/parker-j-palmer/","positionTitle":"columnist","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","socialLinks":{"twitterHandle":"@ParkerJPalmer","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":""}}},"dateGmt":"2018-02-09T21:11:44","guid":{"rendered":"https://onbeing.org/"},"modifiedGmt":"2018-02-14T11:56:55","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://onbeing.org/blog/courtney-martin-the-problem-with-seeking-the-best-for-your-kids/","featuredMedia":"https://i0.wp.com/api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/cel-lisboa-73969.jpg?fit=3960%2C2545&ssl=1","commentStatus":"open","pingStatus":"open","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":[],"featuredMediaCrops":{"archiveFeature":"","listViewItemSmall":"","listViewTwoColumn":""},"featuredMediaMeta":{"caption":"","photographer":"Cel Lisboa","photographerUrl":"https://unsplash.com/photos/us5m1-uOLfc","license":"Unsplash","photoUrl":"https://unsplash.com/photos/us5m1-uOLfc","imageLicenses":""},"path":"/blog/courtney-martin-the-problem-with-seeking-the-best-for-your-kids/","disqus":{"disqusUrl":"http://onbeing.org/theres-only-one-script-now-2/","disqusIdentifier":"38492 http://onbeing.org/?p=38492","disqusShortname":"on-being","disqusTitle":"\"There’s only one script now!\""},"jetpackRelatedPosts":[{"id":7918,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/parenting-like-a-citizen/","urlMeta":{"origin":43317,"position":0},"title":"Parenting Like a Citizen","date":"April 8, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"We're confronted with choices of wanting to do what's best for our children and our communities. But sometimes they come into conflict with each other. What do we do then? Courtney Martin on the intersections of public and personal life as she makes school choices for her daughter.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":18203,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/a-white-parents-lament/","urlMeta":{"origin":43317,"position":1},"title":"A White Parent's Lament","date":"October 14, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"Like all of us, Courtney Martin wants the best for her family, and rightly so. But from education to strollers, the best is often only accessible to a certain group. She reimagines responsible parenting as embodied care for one's own, as well as for the families of strangers.","rel":"nofollow","context":"In \"Blog\"","img":{"src":"","width":0,"height":0},"classes":[]},{"id":18181,"url":"https://onbeing.org/blog/afflicting-the-comfortable/","urlMeta":{"origin":43317,"position":2},"title":"Afflicting the Comfortable","date":"October 7, 2016","format":false,"excerpt":"Courtney Martin on C. 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is a columnist for \On Being\. Her column appears every Friday.\

\n\

Her newest book, \\The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream\\, explores how people are redefining the American dream (think more fulfillment, community, and fun, less debt, status, and stuff). Courtney is the co-founder of the \Solutions Journalism Network\ and a strategist for the TED Prize. She is also co-founder and partner at Valenti Martin Media and FRESH Speakers Bureau, and editor emeritus at Feministing.com.\

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is a columnist for \On Being\. His column appears every Wednesday.\

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He is a Quaker elder, educator, activist, and founder of the \Center for Courage & Renewal\. His books include \\A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life\\, and \\Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation\\. His book \\On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity, and Getting Old\\ will be published in June.\

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is a columnist for \On Being\. His column appears every \Thursday\.\

\n\

He leads spiritual tours every year to Turkey, Morocco, or other countries, to study the rich multiple religious traditions there. The trips are open to everyone, from every country. More information is available at \Illuminated Tours\.\

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He is director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center. He specializes in the study of Islamic mysticism and contemporary Islam and frequently writes on liberationist traditions of Dr. King, Malcolm X, and is committed to traditions that link together love and justice.\

\n\

Omid is the past chair for the Study of Islam at the American Academy of Religion. He has written many books, including \Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism\; \Cambridge Companion to American Islam\; \Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam\; and \Memories of Muhammad\. His forthcoming books include \Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Traditions\ and a book on the famed mystic Rumi.\

\n\

Omid is among the most frequently sought out speakers on Islam in popular media, appearing in \The New York Times\, \Newsweek\, \Washington Post\, PBS, NPR, NBC, CNN, and other international media. He can be reached regarding speaking engagements at \omidsafi@gmail.com\.\

\n","slug":"omid-safi","name":"Omid Safi","profileImage":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/omid_safi_2012_media_photo_trees_background.jpg","positionTitle":"Columnist","guestDescription":"\

is Director of Duke University's Islamic Studies Center and weekly columnist for \On Being\. He is the editor of the volume \Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism\ and the author of \Memories of Muhammad\.\

\n","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","twitterHandle":"ostadjaan","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":"","avatarMap":{}},"103":{"id":103,"description":"\

is a monthly columnist for \On Being\. She is a meditation teacher and the cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She is the author of many books, including \Love Your Enemies\, \Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation\, and \Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace\. Her most recent work is \\Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection\\.\

\n","slug":"sharon-salzberg","name":"Sharon Salzberg","profileImage":"https://api.onbeing.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/SharonSalzbergHeadshot2015-1.jpeg","positionTitle":"Columnist","guestDescription":"\

is a meditation teacher and the cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She is the co-author of \Love Your Enemies\. Her other books include \Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness\, \Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation\, and \Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace\.\

\n","hometown":"","postalZipCode":"","fellowYears":"","twitterHandle":"@SharonSalzberg","instagram":"","facebook":"","linkedin":"","snapchat":"","tumblr":"","medium":"","avatarMap":{}},"1055":{"id":1055,"description":"\

teaches English and Religious Studies at Michigan State University. His most recent book is \\Song of Exile\\. He's also the author of many other books, including \\No Sympathy for the Devil: Christian Pop Music and the Transformation of American Evangelicalism\\, \\How Sweet the Sound: Music in the Spiritual Lives of Americans\\, and \\Swing Changes: Big Band Jazz in New Deal America\\.\

\n\

 \

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