My friend Himanee Gupta-Carlson asks, “Could there be a way to think of America differently?”
She offers a model for doing just that in her honest, sometimes painful, always graceful book Muncie, India(na): Middletown and Asian America. It is part memoirs, part ethnographic study -- personally engaging, academically thorough. Read More
I’ve been a Post subscriber since we moved to Denver almost six years ago. Every day I find at least one story that makes me glad to find the paper in my driveway. Besides, no one can harvest my personal data when I’m holding ink-on-newsprint in my hands Read More
Scores of people crowded into a ballroom and sat at tables furiously taking notes, even more furiously tapping out tweets and urgently asking questions at a Sunshine Week workshop on ensuring information flows freely. Read More
Let’s say I were like the journalist Mahmoud al-Sawadi in Ahmed Saadawi’s Frankenstein in Baghdad, who lucked into a period of preventive detention and had time to dive into the “many books he had bought but had never read and others he wanted to reread.”
I’d reread Frankenstein in Baghdad. I just tore through it, enchanted by Saadawi’s tone, empathy and perspective. Read More
Women have stepped up, taken risks and died in war after war.
Eight U.S. military women were killed during the Vietnam war. By 2013, when then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced women would no longer be barred from direct ground combat roles, more than 150 American women had died serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Toward the end of 2015, Defense Secretary Ash Carter made an announcement that was historic if long-expected given what Panetta had said two years earlier: The U.S. military would allow women to serve in all combat roles, even as Army Rangers, Green Berets, Navy SEALS, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers.
Army Sgt. Wakkuna A. Jackson, a 21-year-old from Jacksonville, Florida who was assigned to a support unit of Fort Drum’s 10th Mountain Division, was killed August 19, 2006 when an improvised explosive device detonated near the vehicle in which she was riding in a convoy vehicle in Kunar, Afghanistan. As the death of Jackson and others make clear, years before the way was cleared for women in combat, many had already been in harm’s way. Read More
Emily Smith, who directed a project to help military veterans re-connect with civilian life, told me: “A lot of these guys feel they don’t fit into society anymore.”
For some veterans, it may be because they find it difficult to reconcile themselves to the violence they committed on their nation’s behalf. Others feel civilians cannot or do not want to understand them. Read More
The past is not past. In addition to living in the shadow of racism and prejudice, we live with the light of the example of people like Minoru Yasui. Yasui was a young lawyer in 1940s Oregon when wartime hysteria was fueling racism. In an act of civil disobedience that presaged 1960s civil rights activism, Yasui went out after a curfew that had been imposed on Americans of Japanese descent and demanded to be arrested.
Yasui said later: “This is the United States of America, founded in liberty, dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. As an American citizen, as a lawyer, I felt that we owed at least the obligation as a citizen to tell our government they are wrong! That is the sacred duty of every citizen, because what is done to the least of us can be done to all of us.” Read More