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Author: Kenneth Cole

Surfing Comes Home to Milwaukee: Forging friendships in the frigid freshwater waves of Lake Michigan

With Winter upon us and as the ice shelf builds, extending further out into Lake Michigan, for a time thoughts of walks along the beach, playing in the water or surfing seem as alien as the landscape that forms with each subzero day. But in the eyes of hundreds of individuals across Lake Michigan they long for the day when the temperatures rise, ice melts and the waves crash once again. Those who surf put their boards up and the dialogue between them on dryland becomes merely relegated to texts or a familiar name tagged or clicking “like” on...

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When Meaning Well Is Not Enough: The Devolution of Our Society and the Road to Hope

Kenneth Cole Milwaukee Independent For those who love America 2018 draws to a close not with a whimper, or a bang but with tearful regret. The highest gun death rate in our nation’s history, death by dehydration of seven-year-old Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin in U.S. custody, the elevation of men accused of sexual assault to the highest office in the land, and a spike in hate crimes and assassinations of people of color like never before. If nothing else, 2018 has proven that the devolution of American society was a rather easy task. Not done at the hands...

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Turning a blind eye to the silent embrace of hate

SILENCE. More than 10,000 spectators crowded around a tree on a hot summer night in Indiana, 1930. Some smile, a few stare blankly into the camera, while countless others marvel with silent and sadistic awe at the sight of two Black men hanging by a rope. The line between witness and perpetrator blurred, but the depravity remains in sharp focus. The silence haunts. Those in the photograph are tintype evidence of crimes committed nearly one hundred years ago in the name of justice and white supremacy. Their faces unfamiliar, but the setting, pace, and rhythm of the atrocities on...

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Helping those exercise their Constitutional right to vote is what Democracy looks like

Shortly after sunrise on November 6, cars began pulling into the grass and gravel parking lot of St. Timothy’s Baptist church in Milwaukee to participle first hand in the process of American democracy. A rainy and overcast day, folding tables in a church basement, sharpies, handmade signs and name tags were all simple markers that belied the profound sense of community. It was a shared vision and purpose that formed within minutes of the first volunteer’s arrival. For a solid 12 hours, volunteers across Milwaukee and those from the Shorewood Solidarity Network supported Rev. Greg Lewis and this year’s...

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To Censor a Mockingbird: We are better than Atticus Finch

“What White people have to do is try to find out in their own hearts why it was necessary to have a nigger in the first place. Cause I’m not a nigger, I’m a man. But if you think I’m a nigger it means you need him. The question you gotta ask yourself, the White population of this country has got to ask itself, if I’m not the nigger here and you invented him – you, the white people, invented him – then you have to find out why. And the future of the country depends on that.” –...

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A Time of Reckoning. A Time for Change: Good Men Must Do More to Stop the Cycle of Abuse

After the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford on Capitol Hill, good men must do more. Today, men must find a way to convey to the women who grace our lives; our daughters, sisters, mothers, wives, and friends, that we will listen and that we believe them. Today, men must speak to one another; to our sons, brothers, fathers, and friends. We must each examine the extent to which we are part of the systemic victimization and abuse of women. The entitlement, hatred, and fear that were displayed on September 27, 2018, was orchestrated by an all-male cast of...

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