Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.


Friday’s Questions

I woke up yesterday morning excited to read the Pope’s encyclical on environmental justice, but the headline I read crushed my spirit. Why is it that young white men who commit massacres with guns are deranged loners, but young black gunmen are products of a culture of thuggery and the breakdown of civil society?

• Come to think of it, how many mass murders have African Americans committed?

• Why have we long noted the power of social media to recruit young, disaffected jihadists but are only waking up to its power on young disaffected white supremacists?

• How many of the 170 bikers arrested for the murderous shoot-out in the Twin Peaks parking lot were raised in homes with no fathers? Did anybody ask?

• Why did California Governor Ronald Reagan enthusiastically sign the Mulford Act, a Republican-sponsored gun-control bill, in May 1967 (saying “there is no reason why  . . . a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons”)?

• Could it have been related to the fact that armed Black Panthers had just marched on the state capitol demanding their second-amendment rights?

• In fact, why did the National Rifle Association reverse 100 years of support for gun control (its president testified in 1938, “I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns”) around the time of Reagan’s election in 1980?

• Why did Clarence Thomas break with his conservative allies to support the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles' ban of the confederate flag on state license plates?

• Should we be concentrating on nation building here at home?

No answers this week. Only questions.

Romney, Thomas and a Flag

Breast Man