the Web Editors 8-03-2018

3. They Went Viral in the Videos of #LivingWhileBlack. Now They’re Running for Office and Becoming Activists

“It seems a new video emerges every week in the burgeoning genre of white people siccing police on nonwhite people for taking part in everyday activities … Now, some of the small but growing numbers of people featured in those videos are using the attention to run for office, become activists, form nonprofits or otherwise enter the fray of race, politics and social change.”

4. Is Neuroscience Getting Closer to Explaining Evil Behavior?

Why some people choose to do evil remains a puzzle, but are we starting to understand how this behavior is triggered?

This year’s 50th Anniversary of the Poor People’s Campaign provides a critical moment for our nation and people of faith and conscience to pause and conduct a moral scan of our nation’s progress in combatting poverty in America. Despite some progress, poverty in America remains deeply entrenched.

Jamar A. Boyd II 8-01-2018

Image via Shutterstock/ Lucas Maverick Greyson 

America’s allegiance is not to black and brown bodies. It is bound to prejudice, racism, militarism, and violence predominantly against people of color. And while Black Lives Matter rose as a voice and movement for black lives, the NAACP’s Youth & College Division amplified its voice, and black Americans across this nation cried out, the American majority kept quiet.

Abby Olcese 7-30-2018

Image via Eighth Grade IMDb page 

Most of us who managed to survive middle school regard it as the most awkward time in our lives, when we cared deeply about how others see us, but were just as deeply unsure of how we saw ourselves. Eighth Grade uses that to tell a story about perception, one which applies to adults as much as it does to 13-year-olds. Burnham’s film explores how we want to be perceived by others, the harsh ways we perceive ourselves, and the way we’re perceived by those who see us fully, and love us unconditionally.

Image via REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Down at the border, Amber Alert:
Children are taken, children are hurt.
Lord, this injustice must make you weep:
Why can’t their mothers sing them to sleep?
Stephen Mattson 7-27-2018

Photo by Jovi Waqa on Unsplash.

Few things are more holy or worshipful than helping others and working towards providing humanity with justice, peace, reconciliation, equity, safety, and empowerment.

the Web Editors 7-27-2018

5. Loneliness Is the Common Ground of Terrorism and Extremism

“What is the right way to deal with these lonely extremists? If Arendt is right, then the structural causes of loneliness run deep – often, far too deep for a few personal connections to make a difference.”

6. Inside the Cross-Country Journey to Reunite an Undocumented Mother with Her Three Children

The TIME documentary follows Yeni González, as grassroots activists banned together to get her out of detention in Eloy, Ariz., to her kids in New York City.

Jim Wallis 7-26-2018

In a time when bipartisanship seems like a forgotten dream, it is important for us to find and celebrate cases of lawmakers coming together, regardless of party and ideology, to address the many real and immediate challenges we face as a country. Especially on issues of importance to the faith community, we should encourage bipartisan cooperation that seeks justice and mercy for families, communities, and those otherwise marginalized across our nation. Recently, there have been two steps forward on this front, especially with regard to the work that Sojourners has been doing on immigration, poverty, and racism.

Lisa Sharon Harper 7-25-2018

FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Supreme Court is seen as the court nears the end of its term. June 11, 2018. REUTERS/Erin Schaff/File Photo

We don’t often think of our current-day allegiances existing within decades, even centuries, of struggle. Sometimes they do. With the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, President Donald Trump has pushed our nation to an existential point of decision about who we are and who we will be for at least the next two to three generations.

Apart from slogans, nothing seems different but license plates, laws governing cell phone use in moving vehicles, and the ability to buy liquor locally. If not for signs informing you of your whereabouts, you would not know the exact state you’re in. The mimosas bloom their otherworldly silken blossoms without deference to zip code. Catalpa leaves cascade like oversized green hearts from massive branches. Steeples rise from Baptist churches alongside Dollar Generals and barbecue places named for the folksy characteristics of those who ostensibly manage the pits. Heavy’s. Bubby’s. Grateful Ed’s. All of these things, the sweet smoky same, regardless of state line

via IMDB

A direct reboot of Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, which debuted in 2003, Queer Eye is, on its surface, a makeover show in which five gay men –– Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown, and Bobby Berk –– help transform their clueless subject, or “hero,” in five areas: grooming, fashion, food, culture, and home decor. But each episode becomes more than a makeover as the men of that Fab Five break through the hero’s walls and reach the root of their low self-esteem. That’s where the true emotions rise to the surface.

Image via Patrick Feller / Flickr

The July report by the Council of Economic Advisers uses an alternate way of measuring poverty, based on households’ consumption of goods, to conclude that poverty has dramatically declined. Though this method may be useful for underpinning an argument for broader work requirements for the poor, the much more favorable picture it paints simply does not reconcile with the observed reality in the U.S. today.

the Web Editors 7-20-2018

1. When a DNA Test Shatters Your Identity

The generation whose 50-year-old secrets are now being unearthed could not have imagined a world of $99 mail-in DNA kits. But times are changing, and the culture with it.

2. Shadow Politics: Meet the Digital Sleuth Exposing Fake News

Buried in media scholar Jonathan Albright's research was proof of a massive political misinformation campaign. Now he's taking on the the world's biggest platforms before it's too late.

Jim Wallis 7-19-2018

Image via Grigory Dukor/Reuters

Trump is more than a liar. He has always tried to change what people believe about the truth.

Dani Gabriel 7-18-2018

Image via First Congregational Church Facebook 

These recent events have catalyzed a movement, inspired by the leadership of members of color at First Congregational Church in Oakland, Calif., to encourage churches to divest from police. This means churches will stop calling the police and will start hosting activities to promote alternatives, such as restorative justice circles, self-defense classes, and mental health de-escalation trainings.

Kaitlin Curtice 7-18-2018

This leaves people of color and indigenous peoples trying to decide if it's worth it to participate, if we can handle another conference, if we can possibly share our stories to a room willing to listen first and do the work later. It is an honor to share our stories, but there is a weight along with it. There is energy expelled from our hearts and bodies when we say this is my story, this is what my ancestors endured to give you America.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The Watergate era triggered record growth in Americans’ collective dissatisfaction with government. But that record could still be broken.

Image via Ben Northern / Flickr

The ConversationThe idea of humanity, excluding no one, Arendt wrote, “is the only guarantee we have that one ‘superior race’ after another may not feel obligated to follow the ‘natural law’ of the right of the powerful, and exterminate ‘inferior races unworthy of survival.’” As she herself witnessed, the first steps are the abrogation of minority rights and the refusal of asylum to refugees.

David Swartz 7-17-2018

Image via Commonwealth Club / Flickr

Nearly 40 years ago, on July 15, 1979, President Jimmy Carter went on national television to share with millions of Americans his diagnosis of a nation in crisis. “All the legislation in the world,” he proclaimed, “can’t fix what’s wrong with America.” He went on to call upon American citizens to reflect on the meaning and purpose of their lives together.

Jessica Kantrowitz 7-16-2018

Lin-Manuel Miranda joins the Families Belong Together march in Washington, D.C., June 30. Terry Underwood Evans / Shutterstock.com

I look for his tweets in the morning, and I put off going to bed until he tweets at night. It’s evening now, and I’ve had a hard day, and struggled with my work, and I’m waiting for today’s benediction. I’m waiting to be told what I already know I will be told, because it is part of the liturgy, and because it will be a reprise of this morning’s tweet. Still, I’m eager to read the words.