Unheralded

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — A Conversation With Nicole Kassell, Director Of ‘Watchmen’

A few weeks ago, when Damon Lindelof accepted an Emmy Award for the HBO series “Watchmen,” he wore a dark blazer over a black T-shirt that bore the words, “Remember Tulsa ’21.” “We dedicate this award to the victims and survivors of the Tulsa Massacre of 1921,” Lindelof, the show’s creator, said as the cast and crew stood behind him. …


Unheralded

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — America And Race: When Sports Players Refuse To Play

Ever since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 24, and the subsequent national eruption of protest against police brutality, police shootings and systemic racism in the United States, we have all wondered what ultimately would come of this moment in our long, troubled history of race relations. Would this be another round of temporary protest followed …


TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — Kirk Herbstreit, Richard Rohr And Racial Reconciliation

It’s oddly wonderful to celebrate the words of college football commentator Kirk Herbstreit and Catholic writer and theologian Richard Rohr in the same blog post. But these are not normal times. On Sunday night, I came across Herbstreit’s stirring soliloquy about race on “College GameDay.” “If you’re a white player in these locker rooms, I think it’s really incumbent upon …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — Making Sure The Bad Guys Didn’t Win: A Conversation With Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum

On June 1, 1921, a white mob numbering in the thousands destroyed Tulsa’s uniquely prosperous African American community, known as Greenwood. About 300 people were killed and 10,000 left homeless. Photographs of the aftermath of that day in Oklahoma recalled Hiroshima after the atom bomb. Also part of Tulsa’s grim tableau in those terrible hours was the sight of flatbed …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Above The Fray Of Political Partisanship

“Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to …

LA VALLEUR COMMUNICATES: Musings By Barbara La Valleur — Let The Healing Begin

If you’ve followed my blogs for the past couple of months, you’ll remember I’ve been writing about the murder of George Floyd, how it’s impacted my listening, social justice events and what Toni Morrison calls “race talk.” I’ve shared my commitment for the world: That by 2021, people around the world are listening to each other and in action about …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — James Earle Fraser And The Legacy Of His ‘Vanishing Indian’

The American Museum of Natural History’s recent decision to remove the statue of Theodore Roosevelt from its Central Park entrance gives us all the opportunity to revisit and rethink a wide range of things we have taken for granted in American history and American memory. Although the Roosevelt debate has largely focused on the statue group’s depiction of him as …

CLAY JENKINSON: Future In Context — Theodore Roosevelt, His Statue And The Problem Of The Past

The American Museum of Natural History in New York City decided recently to take down the statue of Theodore Roosevelt that has been displayed in front of the museum on Central Park West since 1940. It’s actually a statue group of three men. Roosevelt is high on horseback dressed like a cowboy or Rough Rider. Flanking him, on foot, are …

RON SCHALOW: Wes Belter Smears Jim Shaw To Discredit Black Lives Matter

It was a feeble attempt at a rhetorical bank shot. Former majority leader and speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives Wes Belter — a big deal — went on a Trumpist rager under a false premise to reiterate Donald Trump’s sermon on the mount for those who didn’t get the racist message. Belter’s entire op-ed was exceedingly consistent in dishonesty …

LA VALLEUR COMMUNICATES: Musings By Barbara La Valleur — A Conversation Of Note

A few days ago while sitting on a bench waiting for a friend, I couldn’t help but notice a beautiful, barefoot little girl skipping through the water feature in front of the Hughes Pavilion at Centennial Lakes Park in Edina, Minn. Her cute summer outfit, light turquoise bib overall shorts and a pale pink T-shirt was topped off with a …

RON SCHALOW: You Might Be A Retrumplican …

If you rationalize the abject promotion of virus spread by jamming 20,000 adoring fans into a giant tuna can to “rally” by noting that some liberal bastards aren’t denouncing the transmission of the coronavirus by demonstrators as vigorously as the ego-driven “rallies,” you might be a Retrumplican. But there is no similarity, and it’s still not self-evident to the Retrumplicans …

TOM COYNE: Back In Circulation — Better Safe … But Sometimes, Sorry

On a warm evening in late May, my wife and I were in the midst of removing the remnants of our permanently damaged basketball hoop. After 25 years of wonderful service, that old bucket was crushed by a fallen tree last summer. Now, we were finally getting around to eliminating what was left of the pole. Because I never fancied …

LA VALLEUR COMMUNICATES: Musings by Barbara La Valleur — The Power Of Listening

What does it mean to “listen”? The verb “listen” means to give one’s attention to a sound. As a noun, it is an “act of listening” to something. Especially for the past few decades and even the past few centuries, it occurs to me that there hasn’t been a lot of listening taking place. George Floyd’s murder at the knee …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — ‘Sick From What I See’: An Excerpt From ‘The Burning: Massacre, Destruction And The Tulsa Race Riot Of 1921’

Margaret Dickinson’s mother was often too ill to care for her youngest child, so from the time Margaret was old enough to walk, the little girl accompanied her father to job sites, or to meetings with Tulsa power brokers, or to any of the other myriad engagements befitting the owner of the young city’s most prominent construction firm. Wilfred Dickinson’s …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Jefferson Watch — The Fierce Urgency Of Now

We need an honest debate about race in America. We now also need an honest debate about the uses of violence in the quest for justice. The shocking aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd has precipitated a national conversation about the paramilitarization of our police forces, the sad repetition of urban policemen killing black suspects in what — …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Jefferson Watch — Silence Equals Violence

I am writing these words on a quiet Sunday morning in Bismarck, North Dakota, because my conscience tells me that neither I nor any other white American can justify silence in the face of the police murder of George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis on May 25. Every American, and especially every white American, has to speak up now …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Active Listening

“What then shall we say about these things?” — (Romans 8:31) The Apostle Paul echoes what I feel this morning, faced with the task of writing a devotions as the pain, hurt and brokenness of our nation spills out the form of both peaceful protests and violence and looting. When then shall I say about these things? On my personal …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — The Painful And Lifechanging Education Of An Ignorant White Boy

I published a version of this essay a few months ago. Given current events, it bears repeating. In the year 2000, as part of the research for my book, “The Burning: Massacre, Destruction and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921,” I interviewed an elderly man named Richard Gary, who told me this story. On a day in early June 1921, …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — A Prayer For Black History Month

In the year 2000, as part of my research for a book on the Tulsa, Okla., race massacre of 1921, I interviewed an elderly man named Richard Gary, who told me this story. On a day in early June 1921, his father, a white Tulsa resident named Hugh Gary, loaded his young sons, Richard and Hubert, into the family Dodge …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — We Need To Refocus

You know, local newspapers and electronic media do a pretty good job of keeping us informed on local events. On national events, not so much. Take, for instance, the case of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat. He is accused of, has admitted to and then disavowed being in a picture in the 1984 yearbook of Eastern Virginia Medical School. …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — As We Grapple With Race, A Story Worth Retelling

In 2001, I published a book called “The Burning: Massacre, Destruction and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921.” Several months later, I decided that if I could poke around in the terrible race history of another city, I was obligated to do the same in my own, Fort Worth, Texas. My 2002 series in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram was titled …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Smirk Seen ‘Round The World

It is the smirk that haunts me. That self-satisfied, smug, arrogant look of condescension and feeling of superiority, for no reason other than the fact that he is privileged white boy wearing a red hat that claims that he wants to “Make America Great Again.” The story of Nathan Phillips, the Vietnam veteran and Omaha elder who chose to stand …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Election 2018: Racists 1, Potheads 0

A couple final (?) thoughts on the Nov. 6 election in North Dakota. * * * * * Did racism play a role in the 2018 North Dakota election? As I’ve said repeatedly over the past few months, North Dakota Democrats needed to focus ALL their messaging opportunities on two topics: Trump’s trade wars and Republicans trying to take away health …

RON SCHALOW: Politics Of Race And Fear Gave Cramer The Win

There were plenty of reasons that would provoke a normal North Dakotan to vote for the bigoted puffy suit of peacock feathers known as Kevin Cramer over the impossibly more competent, intelligent and productive Heidi Heitkamp. Mainly it was the letter behind Heitkamp’s name that was a provocation. Cramer had no record, so he relied on the letter “T” for …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — Roland Martin Remembers

Many years ago, Roland Martin and I were young reporters at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Roland quickly went on to become, well, Roland Martin, the ubiquitous personality on national television and radio, a longtime fixture of Sunday morning network talk shows. But Roland clearly remembers one part of our brief acquaintance. He and I had several important discussions about race …

PAM COSTAIN: You Wooed Me Back, You Broke My Heart, I Still Love You, North Dakota

After a 40-year hiatus, the stark beauty of North Dakota captured my heart and drew me home. I was awestruck by the vast ineffable horizons, the wheat and sunflowers undulating in the wind and the other-worldly color of the Badlands and buttes. Returning to my roots, I remembered why I loved the landscape, the land itself and the powerful Missouri …

RON SCHALOW: The Land With Two Brains

If Donald Trump had walked into a Minot working man’s bar before he became a fancy pants, popular stream of consciousness screamer, he would have ended up in the dumpster, with appropriate discoloration, in under 30 minutes. No self-respecting patron of the bar arts in the Magic City, would suffer a loudmouth, self-aggrandizing, lying dick for very long. Experienced drinkers …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Discrimination Is Alive In America

In the era of Trump, you don’t have to wonder about racial discrimination and profiling. It’s out of the closet and on full display. Native Americans (you know, the real Americans we somehow called Indians) were denigrated and their lands and culture stolen and just about destroyed by the Palefaces — the good old white guys! The racists are back …

RON SCHALOW: Don’t Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor Or Anyone Huddled

I don’t like to brag, but I’m not a white supremacist. I’m a pale pinkish beige, touch of gray, slight kale-green hue supremacist. Gray geese, they call the two of us in the press, although, honestly, they don’t pay any attention. Effing chromos, otherwise. Me, or I, except after c, and the other bloke in the mookie genus, Roy, are …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — The Right To Be Silent

In this country, we have the right to remain silent. But there are times where we also have the duty to speak out. We now live in a time when to remain silent is an act of cowardice, racism and bigotry. I’m not going to dignify this POTUS by quoting his recent disgusting statement referencing the entire African continent. He …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — You Pray … I’ll Vote

Given the Texas church massacre that was just committed by a man named Kelley … if you use the same rhetoric as the president, then all white Irishmen should be banned from this country. Of course, banning the Irish is an insane idea. But it’s no more insane than banning anyone else because their skin color, religion or place of …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Now’s The Time To Speak Without Fear

Many don’t have the desire nor the time to keep up with to the national news on the life and times of the associates of Donald J. Trump. If you’re not interested, that’s fine … but if you are, you can read the entire federal complaint against Paul J. Manafort Jr., and Richard W. Gates III at https://www.justice.gov/file/1007271/download. I have …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Me Too?

There has been quite a movement across this nation to focus on demeaning and horrible things happening to women in this country. To be sure, the stories on the national stage deserve the attention they are receiving. Let’s put the brakes on the current outcry, however. Let’s study the issues and do more than sensationalize and talk. Khizr Khan, an …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — When Media Are Shut Out, So Are The People

Scott Pruitt, newly appointed EPA administrator, comes to North Dakota for the first time. He is accompanied by Sen. John Hoeven, Rep. Kevin Cramer and Gov. Doug Burgum. Meetings are held on the publicly owned campuses of North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota, and the presidents of each institution are in attendance. In Fargo, the media …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Finding The Courage To Speak Out

This is my father (right), who was in the U.S. Army during World War II, the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam War.  As an 18-year-old, he got on the ship, the Queen Elizabeth, and shipped to England, where he fought against the Nazis and was on the beaches of Normandy. When I wonder if I have the courage to speak …

NATASHA THOMAS: Challenging Conversation Corners — Diversity Is Not A Destination

It’s time to talk about the “woke ladder.” The term “woke” goes way back, originally coined in the black community and now used widely to describe an awakened state of being, an awareness of systems at work behind closed doors that the less “enlightened” may not notice or acknowledge. In today’s call-out culture, verbal sparring between political and ideological opposites is …

CLAY JENKINSON: Anger And Hypocrisy

I find it interesting that for eight years the anti-Obama legions kept their eyes open at all times for signs that Barack Obama was “an angry black man.” If at any time, he showed the slightest impatience or raised his voice above a certain level, or spoke in something that could be thought to resemble black street English, the conservative …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot the Rapids — Living With A Trump Presidency

I knew he would win. I’ve known it since last fall when I heard two stories on NPR in the same week. One was on the use of language in the power of persuasion — a rhetorical feat Trump has mastered. The other story focused on how people turn to authoritative power when they are uncertain or scared. After hearing those …

RON SCHALOW: I’m Not Ready For Unity

“I’m not ready, yet, Orv,” groans Stanley. Orville sighs. “Everybody dies, Stan. We’ve been over this. Get over it.” “No, it’s not that. I’m ready to bite the dust at the drop of hat. Wear shirts, wash shirts. It’s getting a bit monotonous. Who drops their hat, anyway? And what type of a hat does it have to be? I …

NATASHA THOMAS: Challenging Conversation Corners — Power, In The Age Of DAPL, BLM And The 2016 Election

There’s a lot of extreme emotion in the air this week. It’s tangible. I see it across my social media feeds and dripping between words spoken and unspoken at home, work and play. Most people I know, myself included, are in a constant state of vacillation between disappointment, rage, despair, determination and just plain old fatigue. Other people are rejoicing, …

NATASHA THOMAS: Challenging Conversation Corners — New Life, New Challenges

It’s been some time since my last post on Unheralded. There are a few reasons for this: The start of the fall semester is always a busy time, especially since it follows a summer PhD residency for me, the second — of three — of which I completed just this past July.  But ultimately, the heaviest hitting contributing to my …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — There Are More Horses’ Behinds Than There Are Horses

In February 1999, the U.S. Department of Justice published a report that I have never before seen. Among its revelations: American Indians experience per capita rates of violence that are more than twice those of the U.S. resident population as a whole. In the category of murder, blacks lead the way by a vast number, followed by Native Americans and …

Tony J Bender: That’s Life — Are We Talking Yet?

Hate devours everything around it and, eventually, the haters, too. Twelve white officers down in Dallas. Five dead. Two more black men dead at the hands of the police. Are we talking, yet? Sure, we are. Past each other, seeing everything in black and white, when it’s much more complicated than that. For a start, let’s stop patting ourselves on …

TOM COYNE: Back In Circulation — Empathy And Respect Are Lost Virtues

I woke up today feeling sad and depressed. An aging, white guy nearing retirement, I probably don’t deserve to feel this way. After all, I’ve had the tremendous fortune of living in a free and powerful country. We weren’t rich, but our family had enough money to live in a relatively safe neighborhood, I attended a good school and eventually …