Miami University is a sick, sick campus in desperate need
of the largest group therapy session ever recorded, top-rung leadership
more palpably concerned with student safety and a less corporate
approach to media relations.
I was a ripe, sitting target for a bully when I entered
the fourth grade at Heritage Hill Elementary School in Springdale: I was
a shy 9-year-old; my single mother was settling her three kids after
abruptly leaving our father and bouncing about in a station wagon.
Like an Old Testament miracle, Chick-fil-A founders last
week reversed themselves and decided to stop contributing chicken
sandwich money to organizations spearheading the right-wing conservative
movement to dismantle same-sex marriage nationwide.
This election-era talk about lifting, taxing or not taxing America’s middle class doesn’t land or resonate with me. When I hear numbers like the possibility of $250,000 tax breaks for the
wealthy, it’s drowned out by the white noise poverty thrums through my
head or the rumbling hunger makes in my gut. It’s official: I am distracted by my own poverty.
There is a lot wrong in the brutal beating of Pat
Mahaney, a 45-year-old white man, by six black teenagers in North
College Hill. Sadly and somehow brilliantly, this is a teachable moment
about to pass us all by if we don’t start grappling with and then
telling some truths.
Like a lot of Cincinnati neighborhoods, mine — Walnut
Hills — is segregated and there are fine, even
invisible-to-the-unknowing-eye dividing lines separating beauty from
filth, danger from safety, white from black and the strugglers from the