Sense of Decency

Listening to others, seeing things through their eyes.

By WILLIAM D. SUNDERLIN The abolition of slavery in 1865 through the 13th amendment, together with the 14th amendment (citizenship for all people born in the U.S. including formerly enslaved people) and the 15th amendment (the right of citizens to vote) ratified soon thereafter, supposedly laid the foundation for racial equality in the United States. …

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By JIM McKEEVER A few summers ago, as our Sunday morning running group mingled and stretched before our weekly long run, the subject of Ultimate Fighting or Mixed Martial Arts came up. I think there had been a highly publicized fight on TV the night before.  One runner, whose well-muscled physique indicated a serious dedication …

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soy de aquí y soy de allá I didn’t build this border that halts me the word fron tera splits on my tongue from “Where You From?” by Gina Valdés By DENNIS HARROD Hope is the last thing you’d expect to find in the faces of people trapped in the border city of Tijuana. They’ve …

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By JIM McKEEVER On Jan. 7, the day after pro-Trump insurrectionists invaded the U.S. Capitol, my West Coast brother went on his regular shift driving for Meals on Wheels. The first client he spoke with, a man in his early 80s, asked how my brother was dealing with the shock of what had happened at …

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By JIM McKEEVER As our book club sat around a cozy backyard fire one evening in the summer of COVID, a member used a metaphor that has stuck with me, and I think with the group as a whole. We were discussing ways of communicating with — and to be honest, persuading or convincing — …

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By MIKE DONOHUE On the day Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election was announced, I saw a sad sight that affirmed something I’ve suspected for a long time. I was driving through the country and passed a large house. A man, the owner I presume, was up on a ladder, taking down an …

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By DENNIS HARROD If I had a nickel for every house with at least one sign supporting Democrats or Black Lives Matter on Allen Street in Syracuse, I’d have at least $1.50. If I had a nickel for every house with a Trump sign, I’d have … well, a nickel.  “Being a Republican around here,” …

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By JIM McKEEVER The summer of 2020 was one of violence. More violence — and deaths — seem inevitable with the approach of the Nov. 3 elections, widely viewed as a referendum on the current administration and its policies.  Anxiety and tension have risen with more videotaped incidents involving police officers and Black men, threats …

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By JIM McKEEVER A character in Linda Britt’s play, “American Dreams: Immigration Stories,” delivers a searing monologue challenging the sanitized view of American history, its omission of brutal European colonialism and the centuries of suffering it caused people of color who were here first or brought here as slaves. The character, a young woman who …

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By JIM McKEEVER Weeks after several other Black Lives Matter signs on a fence in my village had been ripped down, one remained — “No Freedom Till We’re Equal.” Its creator had taken some care with it, using different paints, tape and plastic ties to attach the sturdy foam board to the fence. Its message is …

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