Tag: Baltimore


Fish, Phones and Bumper Stickers: Our Week in Wisdom

On The Wisdom Daily this week (May 18 – May 22), we explored bumper sticker irony, the tech industry’s strong push to keep private smartphone data protected from government overreach, the longing to spend our time and energy on purposeful endeavors, and the candid new video giving young Black men and boys a voice. Did you grow wiser this week? We hope The Wisdom Daily played a part.   Coexisting Beyond Bumper Stickers – Brad Hirschfield Walking with a friend the other day, I noticed these bumper stickers on the back of......

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Getting Real About the Black Experience

I was in Baltimore this past weekend for the bar mitzvah of my close friend’s grandson. The site of our last racial hot zone, Baltimore is still reeling from the recent unrest over Freddie Gray’s death (tourism is reportedly down; some students are turning down Baltimore universities where they’ve been accepted for 2015-’16), while at the same time, people I spoke with repeatedly told me things are returning “back to normal.” But as I drove out of Baltimore, it struck me that I went an entire weekend without having a conversation with......

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Hope, Harm and Honesty: Our Week in Wisdom

On The Wisdom Daily this week (May 4 – May 8), we discussed the enduring outrage and inequality so evident in Baltimore, the refreshing candor of a reformed racist, the illusion of words being “harmless” because we want them to be, the brave gender transition of a famous American icon and the “Deflate-gate” scandal in the NFL. Did you grow wiser this week? We hope The Wisdom Daily played a part.   Words of Hope and Action, Inspired by Baltimore – and Amy Grant – Brad Hirschfield Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan, has......

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In Baltimore, No Simple Answers

To paraphrase Baltimore native H.L. Mencken: “For every complex question there is a simple answer. And it’s wrong.” It’s entirely human to want to understand something like the rioting in Baltimore by reducing it down to a single point, or at least a small but closely related universe of points. We should resist that temptation, because Mencken was right: We’d be wrong. A conservative commentator: “I hate to say it, but this is the outcome of creating a class of citizens who become increasingly dependent on the government for their well-being. The......

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Words of Hope and Action, Inspired by Baltimore - and Amy Grant

Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan, called for a day of prayer for Baltimore on Sunday. With the city curfew lifted by way of recognizing that any immediate threat of violence is largely passed, it seems like the Governor’s idea is a good one. Rather than giving so much attention only to what’s going most wrong (the “if it bleeds, it leads” approach), a day of prayer invites everyone involved to focus on what we hope can be better, and that for which we’re already grateful. Aspiration and gratitude: two of the most urgently......

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The 'Bare Vineyards' of Baltimore

There was a powerful confluence for me while studying last week’s assigned Torah portion alongside news coverage about the April 19 death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. In Baltimore, Gray locked eyes with police and ran; when he was apprehended, officers radioed for a vehicle for transport. By the time the police van pulled into the precinct station, Gray had three broken vertebrae and a fractured voice box. He died of spinal injuries a few days later. Demonstrations drew thousands of peaceful protesters. But in the aftermath of Gray’s funeral, Baltimore burned (a......

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From Standing By to Understanding: Black Lives Matter

I have been in and out of sleep all night. I wake automatically reaching for the remote to see if it has gotten any worse. I hold my blanket up so that only my eyes can see, pretending somehow that if I cover enough of myself, only parts of the news will infiltrate my soul. It’s too late, though. All of me is infected. All of us are infected. Baseball, the telltale sign of hope springing eternal, played in a silent Camden Yards – fans locked out for fear of violence. Curfews......

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