Don’t whitewash history at our children’s expense

This month, the New Hampshire Department of Education under Commissioner Frank Edelblut released four 3-minute videos which, it claimed, “provide a robust and complete story of American history and the Black American experience.” The taxpayer-funded videos were created in partnership with “1776 Unites,” a collection of essays in the conservative Washington Examiner whose stated goal is to “debunk the myth that present-day…

Will we teach our children facts or fear?

On a recent afternoon drive through Jefferson, New Hampshire, with the majestic Presidential Range in view, my ever-inquisitive 5-year-old son wanted to know about our nation’s third president. I paused and recalled what I had learned about Thomas Jefferson as a boy some 30 years ago. I thought of the towering bronze statue of Jefferson,…

It’s never too late, or too soon, to do the right thing

“Never give in charity what is owed in justice.” – Pope John XXIII We Americans are a generous people. According to the National Philanthropic Trust, we gave over $300 billion to charity as individuals in 2020. That’s nearly 2 percent of our nation’s GDP. And we are not just generous with our treasure: nearly one in…

Does systemic racism exist in ‘snow white’ New Hampshire?

According to Republican leaders in Concord, systemic racism does not exist in New Hampshireand talk of it should be banned in our schools, state agencies, and private entities that contract with the state. Even Governor Chris Sununu, who has pledged to veto the so-called “divisive concepts” language now in the state budget, recently denounced the term “systemic racism” as having “a lot of implicit biases in itself.” He…

We’re better, and braver, than this

In 1645 – decades before the colony of New Hampshire was independently established – historical records show that the purchase and sale of human beings began in the “Live Free” state. In that year, an African man was kidnapped in Guinea and brought to Portsmouth for a life of servitude. His European enslaver would later be punished by the local Puritan authorities…

Antiracist Reader: A New Year’s Resolution

Over thirty-odd years of literacy, I’ve read thousands of books by white people, mostly men. I don’t regret a single one.  Here’s what I do regret: As a white man constantly, if unconsciously, fed the standard American fare of white history, white knowledge, and white culture, it scarcely even occurred to me to seek out…

All is not well with our kids

My older son can’t get enough of music. At the tender age of 4, he’s always singing or playing his tambourine at home and asking me to put on music in the car, the louder the better.  When I play a favorite track at home, whether Bach or BB King, he sticks his face in…

When Will Democracy Come to Black America?

Like many a Fourth of July gone by, my family celebrated on Saturday with burgers and dogs and a side of democracy, as we remembered the timeless Declaration of our Founding Fathers that “all men are created equal” and governments derive “their just power from the consent of the governed.” But something was different this year….

When will we protest our privilege?

What do #racism and #whiteprivilege look like? I attended a predominantly white and wealthy university with over 5,000 undergraduates. Of the more than 3,000 students who were under age 21 at any given time, I would estimate at least 1,000 drank on a typical weekend. Considering we spent around 28 weekends on campus per year,…

It’s Not Enough to Not Be Racist

What if I told you the sad and ignorant man who called my wife the N-word in New Hampshire isn’t really the problem? What if I said that well-mannered “white” folk like you and me are just as much the problem as he? Let me explain. The term “structural racism” is redundant. Racism didn’t start…