TRM Blog: Race, gender and religion? Or ego, pride and control? Real-life intersectionality in Grinnell

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GRINNELL, IA — The straight white male history teacher could not have been more repentant. “I drew incorrect conclusions …. I misinterpreted … I did not paint an accurate picture,” he said of an attack letter he wrote about efforts to make Grinnell-Newburg’s public school curriculum more diverse and welcoming. “I failed to reach out… failed to take the time …. misinterpreted… had preconceived notions,” said Kent Kastendick. On he went, in at least 17 different ways, trying to pull back the wave of anger, suspicion and fear he inspired…

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Virtual ‘dog eat dog’ world of vaccine access calls for new tone, greater sensitivities (TRM Blog)

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We are now deep in the throes of pervasive vaccine inequity. No clearer illustration exists than a new suggestion floated to help boost the economy. “Restaurants and nightspots, hold an open night for the vaccinated!” suggested one heretofore trusted voice. “Entry allowed for anyone who can present proof of vaccination! Come on in, help restart the economy, show the world the benefits of getting vaccinated!” The rest of you? You are not invited. If you’re eligible to get an appointment and just can’t …. If your work schedule doesn’t allow…

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COLUMN: Gun control has racist roots, gun ownership now a need for activists

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The January 6, 2021 insurrection at our nation’s Capitol showcases the increasing boldness and violence of right-wing extremists. It also showed those extremists that they can engage in violent insurrection and some of the police officers present will do nothing more than take selfies with them.  The fact that Trump ultimately departed the White House doesn’t undo the emboldening of those insurrectionists or the millions of people who watched (and sympathized) from home.  The danger is surely higher now than it was a few months ago. Sadly, many people in…

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Iowa, Florida still seized by Trumpism, Republican culture wars (COLUMN)

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Iowa and Florida both went strongly Trump in the 2020 election. Both are led by governors who mimicked many Trump policies. Both have state Houses and Senates in Republican control. Both resisted mask mandates and have led the country in COVID-19 transmission rates. Both have a history of legislative bills targeting transgender people. In both Iowa and Florida, the battle against Trumpism remains in full swing. Read Sharon Hughes Kunkel’s pointed call to action. SARASOTA, FL. — In a thrilling turn of events, we won the White House and Senate,…

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EDITORIAL: The Biden-Harris era as an antidote to nihilism, full-spectrum

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Today’s the start of the Biden-Harris era. But more importantly, let’s make it the “End of Nihilism” era. Nihilism, the belief that everything is hopeless, is the ugliest ‘ism of all. It encompasses all the other ‘isms, encouraging a belief that nothing matters and there is no hope for a better world. It’s the one ‘ism that has the danger of uniting the far right AND the far left, white and Black, mystical pagans and fundamentalist Christians, jacked-up young adults and the frail elderly. Nihilism got a lot of fuel,…

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“Basic ethical principle that is equally good for everyone” is focus of two-parter

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Please partake of the information in this two-part attempt to close out The Real MainStream‘s commentary and analysis on the topics covered below! It’s been a tough conversation, but one focused (as the “Careless Whispers” blog states) on “a basic ethical principle that is equally good for everyone, including you.” Links provided: “Iowa City, Put Down Those Pitchforks:” Original Jan. 9 editorial Also, for broader context about The Real MainStream, here are links to other recent articles about other topics: • “Kindness Queers,” “queerantine kits” provide relief to LGBTQIA youth…

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TRM Blog: Challenging lessons for Iowa City, activists after rumor-post controversy

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An editorial we ran last week turned out to be a grand social experiment. The results, outlined below, aren’t a good look for progressives, liberals and the far left. But before we get to that: for anyone who started, fanned, flamed, continued or belatedly joined the witch hunt against Kelly Stucker and The Konnexion, start planning your “I was wrong” party now. Seriously, make it a party. A light-hearted affair. Enjoy the liberation of contrition. Let yourself laugh about it. Because after all, when you look back, it IS laughable…

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EDITORIAL: Iowa City, let go of your witch hunt ways

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I love how the universe works. Just the other day, over the holidays, I took the time to watch “Richard Jewell.” It’s a movie about the over-zealous, low-self-esteem, naive 30-ish guy whose unusual personal views left him the perfect target to be accused of the 1996 Olympic Park bombing from which he actually saved scores of people. Jewell was manipulated by law enforcement and mistreated by the media; the very cops he idolized and cared for turned on him publicly as an easy scapegoat. We have a slight parallel developing…

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Poignant live performance from ’90s dream pop Fishmans re-emerges

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In spite of such a difficult COVID-consumed year for all of us, the universe gave us unexpected gifts along the way. Some are bright and shiny; some are dark and stormy. Some are both. One of those dual-sided gifts for me has been discovering a 42-minute concert film that a commenter on RateYourMusic calls a “post-rock/dream pop/neo-psychedelia epic…. absolutely heavenly.” Known officially as “98.12.28 Otokotachi no Wakare” (“A Men’s Farewell”), this concert is, as video game developer Daulton Nelson writes,  “a mastery in progressive pop and psychedelic pop” and “an…

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Author and comic artist Huda Fahmy confronts Islamophobia with humor, wit

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Life in America can be challenging when you wear a hijab. Huda Fahmy shares her experiences as an obviously Muslim woman in America with humor and wit in her book “Yes, I’m Hot in This.” This comic collection of her experiences reveals the Islamophobia and ignorance that Muslim-Americans have to deal with. One recurring theme in Fahmy’s book is dealing with people who react with instant negativity and hatred when they see a hijab. Her comics show her responding with poise and witty comebacks, but Fahmy said that it’s always…

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