When a Photo Tells a Tragic Story

Two black kids hold "don't shoot" signs.

Photo via Anne Helen Petersen and MotherJones.com

I saw this image yesterday on Facebook and it left me speechless. I’ve not been able to find out who took it—even after a Google image search—but whoever the photographer was, he or she has captured the danger that African American children face every day.

This isn’t just Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, it’s America. And those of us who by the accidental privilege of our skin color don’t live the life these kids must face need to see them. We can’t shut our eyes any longer.

A new day has hopefully dawned in Ferguson, a new page in the story captured in this photo on Twitter this morning.

But how long until it happens again? Other black men have died violent deaths this week. We don’t know their names, or their circumstances, but we know that families and communities are morning them.

And in this way, all of America is Ferguson.

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Bloggerhood Etc. 8/19/13

Netflix search results

Image: Jennifer Fulwiler

This week’s best of the blogosphere, in no particular order.

Best Open Letter. “Netflix giveth, Netflix taketh away” by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary. A desperate mother, a screaming two year old, and a futile search for an animated sheep.

Best Advice. “‘Persecuted’ British Christians need to ‘grow up’, says former Archbishop Rowan Williams” by Hannah Furness in The Telegraph. Mild discomfort does not equal martyrdom. Now quit whining!

Best Satire. “Group Of Friends Engage In Passionate, Incoherent Discussion About Current Events” in The Onion. This conversation is happening somewhere right now.

Best Question. “If McDonald’s Can’t See How To Live on Minimum Wage, Who Can?” by Molly Fleming-Pierre in the USCCB Blog. Conservative Catholics may dismiss a post written by a lay person, but the demand for a just wage is an essential aspect of Catholic Social Teaching.

Best Reminder. “You don’t hate me. You hate my brand” by Rachel Held Evans. We are more than our online personae.

Best Sports Essay. Gridiron Olympians” by Kevin Fixler at SB Nation. Why do a few Olympians succeed in the NFL while so many more fail? Fixler examines this question in his excellent profile of Bills receiver Marquise Goodwin.

Best List (Tie). “10 Reasons why Johnny Depp Should Not Retire” and “10 Reasons why Johnny Depp Should Retire” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).

“What? He’s retiring or something?”

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What Would Jesus Cut?

An important question from Sojourners Magazine (click image to enlarge):

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops asks the same question, joining other Christian leaders in calling for a “Circle of Protection around programs that meet the essential needs of hungry and poor people at home and abroad.”

And the soon-to-be Blessed Pope John Paul II reminds us that “You must never be content to leave (the poor and vulnerable) just the crumbs of the feast. You must take of your substance, and not just of your abundance, in order to help them. And you must treat them like guests at your family table.”

“Like guests at your family table.” It’s not just enough to help the poor, you have to respect them. Treat them as you would treat Christ, because, if we take Our Lord at his word, they are Christ.