Jonathan Merritt calls out the GOP candidates who have offered lots of prayers for the victims of the San Bernardino shooting but no action…“Leaders will debate what should be done in the face of an epidemic of violence, but something must be done. A life of faith is a life of prayer and action, but never one without the other. Action without prayer is merely activism, and prayer without action is useless piety.”
THRESHOLDS OF VIOLENCE: How School Shootings Catch On by Malcolm Gladwell | newyorker.com
Malcolm Gladwell breaks down the psychology behind the ritualization of school shootings comparing them to that of a riot – when a group of otherwise non-violent people take to violence. He looks at the case of John LaDue, a teenager caught with explosives, ammunition, and a detailed plan of how he would kill his family and classmates. LaDue came from a loving family and showed no signs of violence or aggression. After a psychiatric evaluation, he was diagnosed with A.S.D. (formerly called Asperger’s syndrome) … “In the day of Eric Harris [Columbine], we could try to console ourselves with the thought that there was nothing we could do, that no law or intervention or restrictions on guns could make a difference in the face of someone so evil. But the riot has now engulfed the boys who were once content to play with chemistry sets in the basement. The problem is not that there is an endless supply of deeply disturbed young men who are willing to contemplate horrific acts. It’s worse. It’s that young men no longer need to be deeply disturbed to contemplate horrific acts.”
WHITE PARENTS NEED TO START TALKING ABOUT RACIAL VIOLENCE AGAINST AFRICAN-AMERICANS | chicagotribune.com
In racially segregated Chicago, a white mother gets into it with black protesters calling out the police over the shooting death of 17 year old Laquan McDonald, when her daughter cannot get into a store. Instead of using the experience as a teaching moment, many white shoppers out for Black Friday sales refused to converse or empathize with protesters…“It’s common in black households for parents to have frequent and necessary conversations about racial biases in hopes of keeping their children from becoming the next Laquan McDonald, Renisha McBride or Tamir Rice….But what are white parents doing to prevent their children from becoming the next Darren Wilson, Jason Van Dyke or George Zimmerman?”
A look at how tone-deaf comments and microaggressions discriminate people of color in the workplace…”In 2014 alone, the EEOC received 31,073 charges alleging race-based discrimination, but dismissed 71.4% of them due to a lack of reasonable cause. While workplace discrimination can be as overt as moving an employee off of a key assignment, or failing to promote them even though they are qualified, it can also be very subtle and very difficult to prove, experts say. Take “implicit bias,” where someone of one race may unconsciously treat someone from another race differently. For example, a white worker who becomes anxious around a black person. Then there are “microaggressions,” or tone-deaf comments about a person’s race or ability, like expressing surprise at how articulate a Latino colleague is.”
On the day Mark and Priscilla Zuckerberg welcomed their child into the world they also publicly posted a personal letter on Facebook about their $45 billion commitment to eradicate disease and reduce inequality. Jenny Anderson comments on the disconnect (for her) of making such a public statement within an intensely private moment and how the parents will learn that most of parenthood is not share-worthy and thankfully undocumented.
Seven guidelines for how to help. “#3 – Eat everything in your refrigerator.”
Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s comedy, SISTERS, will open the same day as Star Wars. The dynamic duo has made the best of it with a brilliant farce.
Christmas in New York is already in full swing with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, the tree at Rockefeller Center Plaza was lit this past Wednesday, and the holiday markets, fares, and ice rinks are buzzing. For an added touch of whimsy, check out the Holiday Train Show at New York Botanical Garden or New York Theatre Ballet presents Keith Michael’s The Nutcracker.