Not How The Story Ends This Time
When a bullet from the muzzle of a high powered rifle hits the flesh of a human target, the skin is instantly eviscerated by the speed of the bullet’s hot metal tip. The projectile rips apart muscles and arteries, and if the shooter is close enough, can shatter bone into pieces of meal and dust. Despite all of the protest march footage and protest rally speeches that are replayed over and over every year on the anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it is the vivid, violent, crimson colored image of a dead man lying on a balcony that sits in the front of my mind.
There is no little irony in the fact that today, Dr. King’s Auburn Avenue home in Atlanta, now a historical landmark, sits a few blocks away from Freedom Parkway.
I used to watch the civil rights documentaries on television as a young teenager in the early eighties. The angry white mobs seemed so distant, the hateful rhetoric of racist governors and police officers so foreign, there were times when I had to wonder if they weren’t all acting out parts in a play. Now, thirty years later, right here in Atlanta, the “city to busy to hate”, I understand why I could think that those newsreels of angry white people who expressed unimaginable amounts of rage against the idea that black Americans should be their equals in all aspects of American life might be make-believe. I didn’t know then what I know now, almost thirty years later – what it is to live among people whose flawed sense of moral outrage drives a constant public display of their anger.
Outraged Americans are building slowly towards the kind of toxic public environment that puts fingers on the triggers of high-powered rifles. Outraged Americans are nurturing private frenzies into the kind of venomous public environment that seeks at its nadir to once again eviscerate the flesh of a human target.
That’s not how the story ends, though.
Not this time.
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The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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