News & Politics

The Power of "I Am..." One Year after Charlie Hedbo

A year ago, after the massacre at Charlie Hebdo, one of the most prevalent responses was the declaration “Je suis Charlie”, I am Charlie. Soon after as the terrible assault unfolded, some added the phrase “Je suis Juif”, I am a Jew, to reflect the victims of the Kosher market taken over by the same attackers. That incident also led to “Je suis Ahmed,” a reference to the Muslim police officer who was slain while protecting Charlie Hebdo’s offices. Other versions of the ” I am” tag have become familiar elements of......

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It Takes a Village, and Other Things I Want to Believe

On September 13th, 2001 you checked out “It Takes a Village” from the public library in town. Not this one. This one. You probably had your toddler with you – maybe in your arms – as you walked along the shelves. Because who in their right mind could have let their kids out of sight in those days after the attacks? You had thousands of children’s books at your fingertips that day. You could have picked any one of them – about princesses, trucks, penguins, or anything in between – and yet......

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Talking About Donald Trump: Why We Should Channel George Orwell

Donald Trump makes me think of George Orwell, but perhaps not for the reason one might expect. My association is not with the totalitarian state described in Orwell’s book, 1984, and its dictator, Big Brother. Rather, it is with the author himself, and the value he attributed to words, their import and the responsibility human beings have when using them. George Orwell was first and foremost an opponent of using language in a sloppy or unthinking way. For Orwell, without clear and precise expression, there could be no clarity and precision in......

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