What will it take to change our culture?

This is my university, as it was about 130 years ago. UMM was only established as a university in the 1960s, and before that it was an agricultural school, and before that, it was a Catholic school for Indians — one of those places dedicated to ‘helping’ the poor backwards people of the continent to assimilate into superior white culture by taking their children away and raising them the White Man’s Way. For the past week, students have been busily chalking the outlines of the old buildings around campus, as part of a project to remind us all of our history as an Indian boarding school. I am glad to see that we don’t whitewash this shameful part of our past, and that my university tries to make amends by offering free tuition to Indian students — but nowadays we don’t force them to attend, it’s entirely voluntary, and the curriculum isn’t about telling them how bad their culture is.


Jennifer Raff writes about another side of America’s history with indigenous people.

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Don’t become a police officer unless you respect the citizens you will protect

What is wrong with our police? They think they’re an occupying military force trying to control the citizenry. This is a destructive and incorrect perspective, and it’s leading to obscenities like the ongoing oppression in Ferguson and elsewhere, and now this latest absurdity: a women arrested for kissing her husband.

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The treatment of immigrant women is disgraceful

Here’s a horrifying statistic for you (Warning! Autoplay video at that link!).

Before they can reach the American Dream, many migrant women have to survive a Mexican nightmare. A staggering 80 percent of Central American girls and women crossing Mexico en route to the United States are raped along the way, according to directors of migrant shelters interviewed by Fusion.

That’s up from previous reports by non-profit organizations like Amnesty International that estimate the number at 60 percent.

So the conservative estimate is 60%? Yet the Republican perspective on these people is that they are lazy moochers who parasitize American society — when they’re actually strong, ambitious people who have survived a harrowing struggle to get here.

Thus, reddit and 4chan

I learned something this evening that explains a lot of human phenomena.

People are stupid. Young people in self-reinforcing groups are especially stupid. Would you believe that teenagers are taking something called the “fire challenge”: they douse themselves with an accelerant, like rubbing alcohol or gasoline, and set themselves on fire. This is egregiously idiotic — kids have suffered serious burns and even died playing this game. At least his is people harming themselves, although if you’re someone who has taunted friends into risking severe injury, you are a very bad person.

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A little bit of hope in a very typical story

Angel Mario Vega, a student at Minnesota State University Moorhead, tried a too-typical stunt: he got a couple of young women (one of them under age) disgustingly drunk, literally carried one of them to his dorm room, set up a camera, and filmed himself raping her. Oh, and of course he bragged to his buddies about it and invited them to come watch. Stupid and a rapist, that usual sweet combination.

But then something interesting happened.

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“What I really admire about you black folk…”

If you ever find yourself using that line, thinking it excuses you from accusations of racism, stop. Just stop. Think about what you are doing: you are taking a diverse group of people, categorizing them by the color of their skin, and are about to make a sweeping generalization about all of them.

You know what that is? It’s racism.

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