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Author: Pardeep Kaleka

Pardeep Kaleka: Our habituation to mass murder and violence is a bitter soup of inaction

I woke that Friday morning, March 15, to a barrage of notifications on my mobile phone. Another mass murder was committed in a place of prayer by a self-proclaimed White Nationalist who live-streamed his attack on Facebook. The social media feed described multiple dead and injured in a New Zealand Mosque. My concern centered on the families directly impacted, and before I could even truly reflect, my phone was ringing and dinging from various media outlets. CNN, Newsweek, and a local TV station wanted an interview. I immediately recorded a video response with my wife to express our condolences,...

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Pardeep Kaleka: The State of Learned Helplessness in the American Soul

When anything happens there is always someone around to offer an explanation, regardless of if it is good or bad. Our brains naturally focus on the “why.” However, that is the analytical part of our being, not the emotional part. We need to feel, but that process can become derailed when we overemphasize the explanation. I long ago observed the need for many in Western society to give very long and tangential explanations about the abuse that they have endured. I often wondered why people created these so-called “trauma loops.” I have since then learned that over-intellectualization and the...

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Nathan Phillips: Why does the Elder beat the drum?

Since the January 18 video from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC went viral on social media, we have all struggled to make sense of the images and their meaning – shaped by our own personal lens and amplified by our social silos. On that day, three elements crossed paths: Nathan Phillips, a Vietnam Veteran and Elder of the Omaha Tribe, Covington Catholic High School students, and a group of Black Hebrew Israelites. As we all attempted to digest what we watched in this encounter, our underlying subconscious was exposed. I was not exempt to the...

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Pardeep Kaleka: The public persona of success can actually mask a private misery

Pardeep Kaleka Milwaukee Independent We are living in a time where it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish the believability of people. Social media is helping to foster a society of influencers, condoners, and amplifiers. It seems the more followership a person has, the more they are celebrated for their public persona. However, this public persona of success can actually mask a private misery. Over my past twenty years of public service in Milwaukee, I have often found myself thinking about how suffering can both help and hurt people. Help in the manner that pain can create genuine bonds...

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Stochastic Terrorism: How the politics of spreading fear can lead to deadly violence

Stochastic Terrorism is a little known term but well utilized strategy to incite violence. After the attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue, it is a term that we should get more accustomed to using and identifying. Popularly defined as “the use of mass, public communication, usually against an individual or group which incites or inspires acts of terrorism which are statistically probable but seem to happen at random.” Stochastic Terrorism has been a strategy utilized to justify anything from historical genocides to contemporary violence. I call this type of Terrorism the Eddie Haskell effect. Eddie Haskell, the fictional...

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Confirmation looping on social media shows the predictability of fearful behavior

Over recent weeks I have found myself very hesitant to post anything on social media, and I especially recognize my refrain from posting controversial material. While part of this is due to having limited energy and time, and not wanting to exhaust that on the world wide web. However, another crucial factor I feel is that social media is decreasing my ability to be creative. It is incidentally making me boring and predictable by subconsciously posting topics for the yay-sayers. I am also seeing this play out in our daily lives, as our social media posts garner very predictable...

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