Non-random links


There have been some brilliant, and touching articles posted online recently. These don’t deserve to be shunted to a “Randomness” post, which is for fun weirdness and simple beauty. These are deeper than that. So, here are some articles you might want to read:

First, everyone has been linking to Ta Nahisi-Coates’s post on “Compassion” and for good reason. If you haven’t read it, you should.

In this society, we view compassion as a favor, something along the lines of forgiveness extended to the humble and deserving. No. My compassion is utterly selfish, and is rooted in a craving for power. It is compelled by my curiosity, itself, just another name for hunger, for desire, for want of the great power of knowing.

Second, a post by Shweta Narayan called “Dissimilation”, about her experience as an Indian in British schools, and the way she was pressured to assimilate by people who would never really accept her.

My friends, in this period (maybe just the first 10 years of it) were the people who sometimes did not torment me, who sometimes let me sit with them without wrinkling their noses and edging away and tossing my books around the room, who sometimes called me Shweta rather than Pakkie or Shwetterpants or shitface.

Third, Myra McEntire writes “Speak Loudly – In Defense of Laurie Halse Anderson” about her Christian faith and her outrage that people are trying to ban YA books about troubling subjects from schools, in particular a book called Speak about a young girl who is raped and does not speak up about it.

Because for Christians, there is one Boss. Mr. Scroggins might need to surrender his Junior God badge.

Fourth, in the NY Times, Nicholas Kristoff sends a “Message to Muslims: I’m sorry.” If we expect moderate Muslims to apologize and denounce extremists, shouldn’t moderate American citizens do the same?

I hereby apologize to Muslims for the wave of bigotry and simple nuttiness that has lately been directed at you. The venom on the airwaves, equating Muslims with terrorists, should embarrass us more than you. Muslims are one of the last minorities in the United States that it is still possible to demean openly, and I apologize for the slurs.

That’s about it for today.