Journal and blog entries

  • 9 October 2005

    When third-party nonviolent intervention is undertaken by people with relative privilege, it runs the risk of failing to empower the local movements they aim to assist. They may indeed disempower to some extent those they seek to support by injecting racist or classist dynamics, however subtly, into the struggle itself.

  • 28 August 2005

    In June, I attended the 2005 Presbyterian Peacemaking Conference at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico. The conference, entitled “Transforming Fear into Love,” was designed to equip participants with the tools to speak truth to power, and offer ideas on how to build communities for the common good. This is the text of my report to the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church peacemaking committee and the Philadelphia Presbytery peacemaking committee, who together funded my trip.

  • 18 July 2005

    we shouldn't be flip about the shortcomings of progressivism in the twentieth century. woodrow wilson had a vision in the league of nations, but he was also an avowed racist. teddy roosevelt broke up the big combines and monopolies, but he also led an imperialist war that had lasting effects for nearly a century. these aren't just character flaws, either. this understanding of the world as something that needed to be "saved," "civilized," "pacified," etc. was a defining element of progressivism, from william jennings bryan on up to john f. kennedy.