Art, Poverty, and George Orwell


Little Rock       In the New York Times, A.O. Smith, one of their critics who writes frequently about movies, wondered at length in the paper where our artists were when we needed them now to weigh in on the issues of class, race, and galloping inequality in the United States.  Where was a new John Steinbeck […]

Got to Root for the Pope, because He’s Rooting for Us!

New Orleans    I don’t know if Pope Francis sees himself as a community organizer or not, but if he doesn’t, I’m pretty sure he’s vying for a position as head cheerleader, and I swear I can see him waving an ACORN banner in the stands.   John Russo, professor emeritus from Youngstown State and co-director of a center […]

Population is Moving to Bigger, Poorer, and Warmer Cities

Delhi, from The Hindu

Kiln     United Nations population estimates for the next five to fifteen years make it clear that in this period of rapid urbanization and increasing inequality by 2030 we will see huge population centers dominated by larger cities with poorer populations in warmer settings.   By 2030 more than one-third of the population […]

Private Corrections Industry in League with Public Officials Bringing Back Debtors’ Prisons

Kiln     The law is clear.  The United States Supreme Court held in Bearden v. Georgia thirty years ago in 1983 that probation cannot be canceled nor can jail time be given, because a defendant is too poor to pay a fine.  Yet, increasingly in these times when the shrinking of the state greets us coldly […]

Criminalization of America’s Poor and Minorities on Trivial Beefs

Vancouver       Over the last couple of days while traveling about I read on my Kindle a new book called, On the Run:  Fugitive Life in an American City, by budding sociologist, Alice Goffman, about a 6-year period of observation of a changing neighborhood in Philadelphia.  As the title makes clear the criminalization of this lower […]

Academic Proof Finally that More Diversity Equals More Community

New Orleans     On the streets in lower income and working communities, a generation of community organizers has argued that, everything being equal, our gumbo neighborhoods of mixed and matched families, races, and ethnicities in fact work, and work well, when people are able to organize together and act collectively.   The academic community has not been very […]