Nate Parker and The Issue of Rape

Nate Parker....I’ve just finished reading several articles about the Nate Parker controversy relating to his having been accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 1999 when still a teenager and while being a student at Penn State ( one of the most thoughtful was one in Slate). Parker was cleared and his co- writer, Jean Celestin, who was then his classmate was also accused, convicted and given a 6 months sentence. He was eventually cleared upon appeal. After reading all these points of view I am left with a question: Is our reaction to Nate Parker, the actor, writer, director of the movie Birth of a Nation, a movie about a rebellion led by Nat Turner, meant to make a statement about the history of African Americans, based on his case or is it a product of our current heightened Continue reading

PS on Private Prisons Post

Last week as you may have read the Justice Department issued a memo stating that contracts with private prisons will be phased out. Federal prisons are a small percentage of the whole prison system, which is mainly under the jurisdiction of the states. But federal prisons do manage detention camps for illegal immigrants, camps that have come under much criticism for their horrendous conditions. So while the DOJ directive is a necessary first step, and is to be hailed, its impact is small, certainly not immediate, and the need for getting rid of private prisons all the more relevant.

“Survival of The Nicest”

survival of the nicestI ran across “ Survival of the Nicest” (published by The Experiment in 2014) at least a year ago and then somehow forgot about it until I read about it again in a newsletter I receive. It’s not the kind of book one should forget, it speaks about how altruism could actually help human kind with its struggles. Its full subtitle is “How Altruism made us Humans & Why It Pays to Get Along.” You may not read this book, but regardless you ought to Continue reading