The Common Good

Blitzer, like so many white people, doesn’t know Martin Luther King. He misses King’s point. If white people want to reference King, we need to stop using him to condemn black violence. We need to stop pitting a black man against black people. It’s patronizing. It’s demeaning. And it misses the point.

A protestor marches for Freddie Gray in a rally. All photos by JP Keenan / Sojou

Police escorted the protestors across the city. One unnamed officer told Sojourners, "I'm not always a police officer ... I would have been out here walking too."

I become a flexible version of my truest self, the self who loves words but can’t use the long ones and who gets all fired up but makes sure her voice doesn’t get too loud. It’s a terrible place to find oneself, in an identity limbo that feels impossible to explain at the best of times, never mind in 800-something words while America is holding its breath.

In his speech “The Other America,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “a riot is the language of the unheard.” I don’t condone violence in any form, but we must understand the source of the riot’s fire this time if we have any hope to dismantle its tinder before the next one.
Bruce Jenner at a 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians" party in 2010. s_bukley / Sh

Here’s what I learned from the transgender woman I met: You don’t respond by mimicking harsh judgment. You don’t mock the mockers, marginalize the marginalizers, or scapegoat the scapegoaters. Rather, you respond by mediating God’s unconditional love to them.

Sarah Silverman, Photo by Jeff /

I’ll admit: It seems uncomfortable to joke about rape. The line is very thin. However, as Clementine Ford so brilliantly remarked: “Rape is uncomfortable. This is why we need to keep talking about it, and we need to keep disrupting people's comfortable lives with it, because the result of that is that they actually do start to change.”

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When clickbait lures and controversy sells, what does it mean to read with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper – or our newsfeeds – in the other?

In this new series we explore a question Gareth Higgins raises in the May issue of Sojourners: How do we unlearn our own attraction to scandal and sensationalism while still working for social change? READ Higgins’ essay "A Newsfeed of Fear" and join the conversation online using the hashtag #FeedFear.