Good Guys With Guns

A picture of a gunAs a parent, I feel that I am constantly thinking about what can harm my children. I remind them to make eye contact with stopped cars as they walk across busy intersections, to take small bites and chew their food slowly as they eat, to not tip back in their chairs at the table, and so on. But I must admit that there is something unusually arresting about hearing my children talk about the “code red” drills that occur at their elementary school.  This is the term that the school uses to cue the children and staff to start a series of behaviors that are supposed to provide protection if an “active shooter” ever comes (which boils down to lights out, hide, and lock the doors). Hearing about this is not only terribly frightening, but it is also indicative of a very intriguing sort of way that we present reality to one another. Continue reading “Good Guys With Guns”

What Lil’ Wayne’s New Song Says About “Amerika”

Lil.WayneIn her latest post on BET News, Monica Miller discusses the timeliness of the release of Lil’ Wayne’s “God Bless Amerika” with the ruling of the Zimmerman trial. Miller notes how “Amerika” addresses ideas of nationalism, religion, and race that were prevalent during and after the trial and acquittal of George Zimmerman. To learn more about what she has to say, read her post here.

In Our Heart of Hearts

crystal ball

10. Understanding the system of ideology that operates in one’s own society is made difficult by two factors: (i) one’s consciousness is itself a product of that system, and (ii) the system’s very success renders its operations invisible, since one is so consistently immersed in and bombarded by its products that one comes to mistake them (and the apparatus through which they are produced and disseminated) for nothing other than “nature.” – Bruce Lincoln, “Theses on MethodContinue reading “In Our Heart of Hearts”

The Violence of Constructed Identities

A recurring assertion of the contributors to this blog, as evidenced in the quote on the banner from Jean-Francois Bayart, is that identity is not something inherent or static. Identity is constructed, malleable, temporal. The implications of this assertion are many, and the reality of violence, both recent and past, makes those implications even more significant.  Continue reading “The Violence of Constructed Identities”