April 28, 2015

The Ghost of Gulf War Syndrome

Wind is more than just wind in the deserts of Iraq. Wind stones. Wind sneaks into your ears. You understand the sickness of the first Gulf War a little better in the middle of a sandstorm because it’s here that you know through the sudden crunch in your teeth how the shit gets in. In the way that your tongue turns to paper and your nose starts to clot and your glasses ash, you start to know: what you bury in the ground, what you pile-drive deep into the earth becomes the earth, and when there’s no rain the earth […]
April 22, 2015

Murder at Camp Delta

I used to teach at North Carolina A&T, the historically black college that graduated the mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. A&T does not embrace Mohammed, or KSM, as he’s sometimes known, and who can blame them for excluding him from their brochures, their list of famous alumni like Jesse Jackson? Sure, Mohammed chose to go to a historically black college in the 1980s for a reason, but what does the story of race have to do with the Global War on Terror and this man who has been water-boarded more than one hundred and eighty times? Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, […]
April 15, 2015

We’re Not Going To Take It

Today college students and professors across the country will be staging a walkout. As most of us now know, higher education in America is crumbling, and it’s because our colleges and universities, stripped of funding in the global recession and terrified to speak up in a wartime climate, have taken on the toxic model of corporate governance that solves every financial crisis by placing the burden of the budget cuts on the lower class, the poor. I am poor.  I have taught at UNCG, Greensboro College, North Carolina A&T, Guilford Tech, and Guilford College. Everywhere, the story’s the same: the […]
April 13, 2015

The Rule of the Fool

Why did “the terrorists” assassinate “the cartoonists” in Paris? Why do most Americans get their news from entertainments sources like Fox News and Comedy Central? How seriously should we take satire? We are the country of the “Piss Christ.” Imagine the uproar if, in the near future, a young Iraqi (or American) were to laminate a portrait of Muhammad with urine. In a globalized free-market economy, our most dangerous export may well be our sense of humor. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the “Mastermind” of 9/11, the most prolific murderer of our time, received his entire exposure to America in North Carolina. […]
April 7, 2015

The Ruins of Iraq

A powerful argument for the humanities is to be made in the ruins of Iraq.  A citizenry that supports a propaganda of faulty intelligence and outright lies (the alleged connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda) is a country that cannot read. When such illiteracy leads to the death of a million Iraqis, we demonstrate that we are not only a country that cannot read, but also a people without will and imagination, what some might call a heart.  The ability to empathize, to understand and share the feelings of an other, has not been entirely lost, but as we continue […]