Can Anyone Tell Me What CRT Really is? Anyone?

Photo by Zaini Izzuddin on Unsplash

I have a new goal: I want to attend all of the school council meetings around the country that are being inundated with cries of “this is Critical Race Theory!” and ask each person to define it. Show your work. I want them to get into the real nitty gritty of the subject. Do you think they could?

My hypothesis would be no. It seems like every few years, the national talking points turn something relatively obscure or mundane into a terrifying subject that causes everyone to react viscerally when they…


Or Why We Like to Panic

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I was teaching a class on aging recently, and one of my older students sounded off with a common refrain about “kids these days” and how they were lazy, too sensitive, and didn’t want to work for anything. This was going to be a huge problem when they reached adulthood! What if they can’t even take care of themselves? They spend all their time being offended!

I’ve been teaching for almost 15 years, and I have heard iterations of this since my very first class. Before that, I heard it constantly lobbed at my…


Why Gen X Has No Time For This Nonsense

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Fox News had a story this week that seemingly begged Gen X-ers to stop the rampant “cancel culture” that is “plaguing” our country. That sound you hear is an entire generation sighing in unison. Leave us out of it.

Cancel culture, you say? Ask any X-er about this term, and they could write you a dissertation on the canceled culture of their own youth.

We watched as Dee Snyder and his flowing locks took on Tipper Gore and her Washington Wives when they tried to cancel our music. …


Insurrection Goes to Washington

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I woke up yesterday morning exhausted from watching the election returns from Georgia; I finally called it a night around midnight when they called the race for Reverend Raphael Warnock. I remember feeling joy; the first Black senator from Georgia? What an awesome sight to see. Maybe that arc is bending toward justice after all.

As we are in the midst of a global pandemic, my children are home doing virtual learning, so the day got going quickly. No rest for the wicked. I chugged down a few cups of coffee and ushered everyone to their…


Why Individuals and Structure Have to Work Together

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On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we hit some grim milestones. 200,000 positive COVID tests. Over 2,000 deaths. The highest number of people hospitalized since the pandemic began. The dark winter has certainly begun.

And, yet, that same week, we saw a dramatic uptick in the number of flights around the country. People packed into airports to travel to family and friends. Photos of large, maskless gatherings packed the social media feeds. Black Friday saw decreased traffic but not pandemic decreased traffic. Lines and packed parking lots were still in plentiful supply.

In…


The Danger of Coronavirus Fatigue

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As we look around, we see a real phenomenon emerging: I call it COVID fatigue. Everyone is tired. We are all overwhelmed. While we have experienced it differently, we are all suffering from trauma. Everyone wants to go back to “normal”. It can be easy to do that for an evening or even a few days. You get together, you have fun and laugh, and you go about your merry way. What COVID? We are all fine!

Until you aren’t.

The reality is pretty grim. We had a major wave of coronavirus infections in March…


“The Best Doctors in the World Around Him”

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A telling thing happened today. In the midst of a major wave of coronavirus infections, the Trump team is still holding massive rallies throughout the battle ground states. On CNN, Alisyn Camerota asked the Trump 2020 press secretary, Hogan Gidley, this question: “Hospitals in WI are near capacity. Does that give you any pause about going there and holding a big rally?”. His response? “No, it doesn’t … the VP has the best doctors in the world around him”.

What?

The best doctors in the world. Let that land for just a…


Photo by Steve Shreve on Unsplash

As the presidential race reaches its fevered pitch, a new line of attack has emerged from the right: Joe Biden as a father. It’s a strange thing to watch because one of the hallmarks of Biden’s 40+ years in public service has been that he’s a good dad. He emerged from remarkable pain and suffering and did the work to be a good single father. We have all heard the stories of his commute from D.C. to Delaware each day and night; he simply couldn’t leave his boys when they needed him most. …


Relative Poverty and the COVID-19 Response

Photo by Mihály Köles on Unsplash

“How can you say that? There are children starving here!”. My student was incensed; I had just explained the concept of relative poverty to the class. The idea is that poverty is an intractable part of our society; we cannot eradicate it because there are those that will always have more and those that will always have less. We, thus, have to find a lesser degree of poverty based on our how our wealth and income are distributed. As I explained that the worst poverty in the U.S. would be considered average or even…


Being Dad in a Presidential Debate

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

There were so many viral moments in Tuesday’s Presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Moments played over and over again because they get likes and clicks. “Just shut up, man”. “Stand back and stand by”. Words that will be burned into our history, even as we are shocked and repelled by them. It seems obvious that we have never seen a debate quite like this one; neither the moderator or one of the candidates could get a word in edgewise. As so many people noted: it was a mess.

But there was…

Jennifer Graham

Sociologist. Writer. Observer. Explorer.

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