Category Archives: Writing

Protest

By Karen Petree
I don’t really take part in protests, probably for the same reasons I refuse to do the wave at ball games. I love them though. I love being there as an observer, the way it feels when a huge mass of people come together with a common energy. It’s kind of like a rock concert for those of us fascinated by politics.

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In the Shadow of the Confederate Flag

By Karen Petree

The Confederate Flag is an undeniable part of my heritage. It’s one of the six flags that have flown over my home state of Texas, where I sit to write this. It waves over theme parks I visited as a child, and the more well-known battle flag peppers old cemeteries where fallen soldiers rest. Under the shadow of this flag is a part of my heritage I once ignored or overlooked. Under the shadow of this flag I’ve locked my doors at red lights or moved to the other side of the street. Under the shadow of this flag, I’ve averted my eyes and feigned an uncomfortable obliviousness to racial euphemisms. Under the shadow of this flag, I’ve avoided close relationships with African-Americans, discomforted by the glare of privilege their observable experience mirrored back at my whiteness.

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What Alanis Morissette Taught Me about Life

By Karen Petree

Alanis Morissette performing at Terminal 5 in New York City in 2012.

June 13 marks the twentieth anniversary of the release of Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill, and like many a thirtyish year-old woman, I know I wouldn’t have made it through without the rock star my mother used to say sounded like a yodeling hippie.   But Alanis taught us it was okay to be angry, information that got a lot of us through our teenage angst.

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Law Will Let Texas Teachers Use Deadly Force against Students

By Karen Petree

opinion

classroomA newly introduced Texas law would allow teachers to kill their students.

Texas Republican state representative Dan Flynn submitted HB 868, The Teacher Protection Act, to the state legislature on January 22.  “An educator is justified in using force or deadly force on school property, on a school bus, or at a school-sponsored event in defense of students of the school that employs the educator if, under the circumstances as the educator reasonably believes them to be, the educator would be justified under Section 9.31, 9.32 or 9.33, Penal Code, in using force of deadly force, as applicable, in defense of the educator or students.”

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Just Looking

By Karen Petree

2048px-Stroop_Report_-_Warsaw_Ghetto_Uprising_06bHe’s not looking at me directly, as if he’s too afraid. But I don’t want him to. I stare at him apprehensively where he’s frozen for 1/100th of a second in 1943.

Though there are a lot of people in the group of Jews being evacuated from the Warsaw Ghetto, the boy is the main subject. He is a bit separated from the group, many of whom seem terrified but caught up in the action of moving. His hands are held in the air as if he were playing the bad guy in a child’s cops-and-robbers game. But his expression is one of dark fear most Americans are unaccustomed to seeing on the face of a child.

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