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Good Racists, Part 1: The Paradox of Sin and Redemption

I follow different authors and activists on Twitter and Facebook. Sometimes, I will see something that just absolutely makes me feel uncomfortable. Even defensive.

Recently, in a story about discrimination, several people commented on the "violence of white feminism." The thrust of the comments was that white women often co-opt and corrupt the feminist movement, and that at their very core, white women are destructive and even dangerous to black people.

This made me angry. Immediately, I started firing back in my head. "But that's not me! I'm an ally. I care about racism. I'm not racist. I'm not violent. I'm the good one."

Discomfort serves a purpose. I told that to my students recently. Often times, when we are uncomfortable, we are hearing or experiencing something profound. When we are uncomfortable, we  find ourselves at a crossroad. We can choose to dive deep into our feelings and analyze the situation or retreat and defend. Practicing the…
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The Haze of Love

Is it just me, or does thinking about this world sometimes leave you with such a feeling of deep sorrow that it depresses your soul and rapidly squeezes the air out of your lungs, leaving you gasping for a breath that never seems to come? 
These thoughts flood in after instances like today. Senseless acts of violence and terrorism hold our world hostage and fear spreads like a wildfire, touching person after person, child after child, mother after mother, brother after brother, sister after sister, father after father, and on and on and on and on and on. 
We call it evil, though more and more that word has been diluted by the sheer amount of...well, evil...that tends to fill our lives. I'm not sure what to call it now. I'm not sure how to name it so that it doesn't seem like that well-worn dirty shirt sitting at the bottom of our laundry basket. How do we name something so incomprehensible?
Madeline L'Engle called it "Echthroi" and probably produced, at leas…

The White Problem: A Letter to My People

Dear White People,

Thank you in advance for reading this. I feel like I need to give you a little bit of background before I jump right into it.

I began teaching Intro to Sociology three years ago. It's just an 8-week, 4-hour course, each Monday. As I have a master's degree in social work, I have a pretty extensive understanding of the subject matter, but I am relatively new to teaching it. Each year, I tinker with the lectures and the final project I assign. I hope my students gain, not only a wider and better understanding of social systems, but also a passion for truth-seeking and research.

It's called social science for a reason--nothing happens in our society that can't be tested and supported by facts, figures, and absolute truth.  I say absolute because, in the age of fake news, Google-scholars, and disbelief, we have adopted a dangerous habit of ignoring any truth that challenges our preconceptions, only accepting stories that fit our narrative (a phenomenon t…

Days All of Them: Because I Love and Hate Writing and I'm a Procrastinator

After the month long break on this blog, all I have to say is, intention does not equal outcome. I know this well, but I am who I am, goshdarnit, and I will never change.
I completed Whole 30, and got through it relatively unscathed. (And 12 pounds lighter.) The main question people have asked is how I will continue to integrate what I learned. This is difficult to answer, primarily because by the time I reached the end, I was mentally exhausted.


Throughout the whole experience, I seemed to encounter obstacle after obstacle. I started with a stomach bug, then promptly started my period, had three seizures, came down with strep throat, and took HJ to the ER for vomiting and fever. Those 30 days seemed to stretch on for eternity. But for someone who struggles with completing what she starts (for example, a blog that she committed to updating daily), finishing Whole 30 without any slips or cheats was one of the greatest achievements of my life. Seriously.


I learned a lot about myself, a…

Days 6, 7, 8: Because I Am Worn Out

I have no energy for blogging right now. Is that a side effect of Whole 30? I was also feeling some anxiety this weekend and yesterday, which I'm pretty sure is the sugar withdrawal. Other than that, I feel very accomplished. I am still scared out of my mind that I will accidentally miss an ingredient and have to start over. I'm almost 10 days into this thing!

This is all I'm blogging for now. I want a nap. Tonight's post to be announced. But yes, I am still on track!

Day 5: Getting the Hang of This Barely

Short post tonight! We are tired at the Shetler household.

So today was a lot easier than I thought it would be, especially compared to the last few. Seriously, I feel like something has been working against me. I started with a stomach bug, and have had headaches, allergies, and seizures, and a sick baby. I keep wondering why am I doing something that stresses me out so much? I don't know. I'm hoping to know 25 days from now.

Breakfast: Two eggs, sausage, and blueberries
Lunch: Proscuitto wrapped mangoes, raisins, cashews, and blueberries
Dinner: Spicy shrimp lettuce wraps with tomato and creamy ranch dressing

(And, confession, I had a couple handfuls of nuts before bed. Since snacking is not encouraged, especially before bedtime, I feel like this is something I need to notice and work on. Maybe a larger dinner so I'm not hungry? Or go up to bed right away instead of looking to graze?)

On to important things. Please pray for the people in Charlottesville tonight as white…

Day 4: That Didn't Go As Planned

This is a quick update since I'm typing from my phone, in bed, utterly exhausted. HJ caught a horrible stomach bug and due to her AIN, she needed to be seen in the ER to confirm it wasn't a bacterial infection. After several instances of throwing up and a fever of 100.6, she was given some medicine and we were sent on our way. (This was actually a surprise since we've been told that any fever warrants a 2-day hospital stay. Miraculously, though, her neutrophils were at 1490 (!) which are 1400 more than she's typically been hanging out at. Still neutropenic, but on the line. That happens sometimes when kids with AIN get sick, but we're hoping it's a sign of some healing.)

Through all this stress I've had a couple of seizures, so hopefully, things will calm down soon. We got back home about 10:30 PM. Since we didn't go to the hospital until about 4, lunch and breakfast were on track, but dinner was quickly going off the rails. I hung in there though and …