It’s Time to Drop the Charges

PC: Alex Slitz

By Chris Keeve and Jeremy Porter, originally published in the Lexington Herald-Leader, July 14, 2022

The charges against Emma Anderson, Erin Doherty, Bradley Milford Lopez, Erin Price, Aiiden Robinson, Sarah Williams, James Woodhead and Liane Woodhead being prosecuted by outgoing Fayette County Attorney Larry Roberts—with trials and hearings this week—are yet another watershed moment in which Lexington must face its past and choose its future. The Constitution of Kentucky, Section 1 Sixth Part, codifies what we also find in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “The right of assembling together…” While rights are not given by the state, only acknowledged by them, this right was demonstrated in full force in Lexington, just like many United States cities, in the summer of 2020. When it came time to protest in the streets of Lexington following the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery (among too many others), thousands of folks showed up–and their protests crystalized around the campaign for Lexington Police Accountability.

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Lost in Awe and Wonder

By Chava Redonnet, the bulletin for Oscar Romero Inclusive Catholic Church, July 17, 2022

This morning I waited by an elevator with a man from one of my dementia floors. He is someone who used to have things to say, but is increasingly silent and usually asleep. When I do a service on his floor, he sometimes wakes up to join in the Our Father, or clap along to a song, but that’s about it.

The elevator was taking a long time. I took out my phone, and pulled up a picture to show him while we waited. You might have seen it – that wonderful deep space photo from the Webb telescope, that seemed to be all over the internet this morning. I wasn’t sure if he could see it, or understand what it was, but I told him, and showed him the tiny photo. “It brings tears to my eyes,” I told him.

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Hope Will Spring

From the concluding paragraph of Imani Perry’s exquisite South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation.

If America is to be salvific, it can only be so because underneath our skyscrapers lie the people who have tasted the red clay, the loamy soil. Lashed, hidden, running, captured. Crucified for gain, bloodying the soil. If their dreams can became “we” dreams, hope will spring. “Greatness” is such an egotistical and dangerous word. But in the land of big dreams and bigger lies, we love greatness anyway. And if we want it, if we aren’t afraid to grab it, we have to look South, to America.

The Plumb Line

By Rev. Roslyn Bouier (above on the mic), the Executive Director of the Brightmoor Connection Food Pantry, Pastor of Trinity-St. Mark’s, UCC, and new church start founder The Beloved Community, UCC. These remarks were given at a press conference yesterday (July 7, 2022) where community leaders called out the latest counterfeit report coming from the Detroit water department, which has shut-off water to more than 170,000 homes over the past decade. The water department just approved an “affordability plan” with little input from experts and few details about how it will be funded and implemented. They refuse to release the full plan to the public.

I am a frontline provider—

I am a Detroit resident—

I am a pastor—

Community leader, advocate for food, water, housing, and basic needs—

I am a mother, grandmother—

But above all of these I am first and foremost a human-being and responsible for my neighbor and doesn’t that count for something?

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Take Up Your Red Nose

Image: Matilda’s Debut, Summer 2014, Photo by Joshua Sage.

by Veena Vasista. This first appeared in Geez 64: The Holy Fool.
I arrived to my forties wonder-full.

Wondering how to love. Wondering, as a long-time human rights activist, how we can possibly create liberation when we continually replicate the oppression we claim to be dismantling. Wondering how to be free from suffering.

I’d been journeying along life’s spiral with neck tensed, shoulders curved, and legs weakened from bearing a heavy cross of beliefs: Vulnerability is shameful. I am repulsive and disgusting.

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Not Without a Fight

By Alicia Crosby Mack, re-posted with permission from Facebook (June 24, 2022)

It is not lost on me that the architects of our present harm are using the Christian faith tradition as their vehicle for violence.

This is my tradition. This is my Christianity.

I will not distance myself from them as a form of absolution but will say this is violent & wrong.

In this moment I resolve to more fervently commit myself to justice, freedom, and agency for all because faith should be a balm for healing, not a bludgeon for to gain & keep control or force others into submission.

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Games for Fun and Liberation

by Tim Nafziger. This first appeared in Geez 64: The Holy Fool.

I’ve included a mix of light party games, games that have become widely popular in the board gaming community and a few less well known games with a liberation orientation. I’ve roughly ordered them from simplest to most complex (with the exception of the last game on the list). In other words, if you are looking for a game for a party, start at the top. If you are looking for a satisfying compex gift for a board game geek, start at the bottom.

Code Names, Vlaada Chvátil (2015) I’ve seen this game delight again and again at parties. It is a team game where a clue giver on each team tries to give one word clues that connect disparate words together. It takes a minute to understand and join in and offers suspense and intrigue in just the right doses.

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Abolition Week!

Scalawag Magazine is hosting its third annual Abolition Week. This is re-posted from the Scalawag site today, a piece written by Jordan Gass-Poore called “I’ll Never Have Closure: What TV Gets Wrong About Having a Dad in Prison.”

I have 45 minutes to write this. 

If I don’t do it by then, I’ll chicken out and go back outside for another smoke. 

There’s this memory that keeps playing in my head that I’ve tried to suppress many times, but the more I try to block it out, the slower it gets. My dad is sitting next to me in the car. He’s yelling, not quite at me because his eyes are on the road and the bottle in his hand. I couldn’t even get his attention when he was mad at me. 

I’m 4 years old. I don’t know yet that the clear liquid in the bottle he’s drinking from is gin. I think it’s water. My dad drives the car magically; his hands aren’t on the steering wheel. One hand holds the bottle, the other hand rests outside the window, a cigarette between his fingers. 

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