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Author: Kenneth Cole

The Ballot or the Bullet: Honoring each resident of Milwaukee who faced martyrdom for Democracy

“And when I speak, I don’t speak as a Democrat or a Republican, nor an American. I speak as a victim of America’s so-called democracy. You and I have never seen democracy – all we’ve seen is hypocrisy.” ― Malcolm X, The Ballot or the Bullet On April 7, 2020 tens of thousands of Wisconsinites put their lives on the line to exercise the very right that countless Americans died for. They broke nearly a month long quarantine from family and friends, marked by working remotely, home schooling, and a plethora of sacrifices to help flatten the curve and...

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Kenneth Cole: The chickens have come home to roost in a capricious America

The early morning hours of February 5, 2020, are ones you will likely look back on with fondness and nostalgia. Because the hours and days that follow will be different. Remember that morning. “What did you do to stop this?” they will ask. And the vast majority of us will realize we did nothing. Others will sheepishly say they protested, knowing that it was only by sliding their thumbs across a screen. Those who marched, spoke out or wrote letters will ultimately realize they did not do enough. None of us did enough. In many ways democracy died on...

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Kenneth Cole: Finding Hope in Our Divided State of America

A new decade begins and America finds itself more divided than ever. Stepping back from the brink of war with Iran, and a president impeached due to extortion and failing to honor his oath of office. A divide marked by a growing acceptance of white supremacy, misogyny, lies, and corruption in the Oval Office. One side of the divide appalled and concerned by such developments. The other seemingly comfortable in their dalliance with racism, silent, and tacitly endorsing these actions. Millions of Americans increasingly entrenched in their beliefs, honing their respective narratives and fortifying themselves as the divide deepens....

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Kenneth Cole: The new kind of talk parents struggle to have with their kids

And just like that, it was time to have “the talk” with my daughter. Seems like only yesterday she said her first words. Not too long ago when she took her first steps. And just a few years since she rode her bike unsteadily as I ran behind her. They grow up so fast don’t they? If we’re lucky. This talk was not about the birds and the bees. That talks is patiently waiting in the wings. This talk was a far more challenging one, and one my wife and I hoped would never come. But, this is America,...

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On saying goodbye to a dying America

I’m saying goodbye to America, the land that I love. As I stand beside her, I realize that this goodbye is hauntingly familiar. So many of us have done this before. We say goodbye to those we love as their health fades. We look in their eyes and struggle to recognize the person we once knew, now occupying a body that is frail and weak. No longer powerful, but succumbing to a sickness that sadly has taken over. We say goodbye, yet we are not the ones leaving. The mourning spent in reflection of what was and imagining what...

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