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Cities Paying for Grades

When I was growing up, children were expected to get good grades in school because it showed they had a love of learning and were dedicated to being a proper part of society; however, that didn’t mean some Lincoln, Nebraska children with smart parents were not paid $200 USD for an “A” grade, $175 for a “B” and so on along a sliding scale in 1980’s dollars.

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Crimes of Birth: Dying Black in the Urban Core

It has always been treacherous to be Black in America — and if you’re a Black Man in America — your chances for even average survival are slimmer than your White peers.

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Salome in Antiquity: To Cure To Kill Today

We are fast moving into the world of quick curing so we may better kill and that is a strange disconnect in a society where we are required to claim our care for each other.

Like Salome in antiquity — who was rewarded for her dance with the granting of any wish from King Herod — chose a false cure for a certain death and a killing from her own curse. John the Baptist never saw his beheading coming until he appeared on a silver platter.

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Normal Discrimination and Average Power

Michel Foucault is one of those certain talents where a quirky mix of genius, talent and savantism all congeal in the mind of one person to shed the powerful glow of meaning and context on the rest of us One of Foucault’s passions in life was his love of words and his research into the power of labels.

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The Agent and the Script

When I was but a wee lad at Columbia University in the City of New York as a freshly married, newly-out-of-college, first year graduate student studying theatre — I was pleased when a “Big Name” agent from a “Bigger Name” international talent agency came to one of the plays I wrote and wanted to “take a meeting” with me about representation. You live for moments like that in the hard life of the theatre.

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Strangers on a School Bus

A city loses its innocence in increments — not in batches. I was alarmed to learn my hometown — Lincoln, Nebraska — recently had an incremental loss of its innocence blared in headlines and broadcast in frightened feelings. The incident happened between two strangers caught in the February chill on a Lincoln Public Schools bus. The city was irrevocably changed.

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Incarceration Nation and the Carceral Citizen

According to the annual report from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in every 32 American adults were doing hard time, were on probation or on parole last year.  2.2 million were incarcerated; 4.1 million were on probation; nearly 800,000 were on parole.

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