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Author: Pardeep Kaleka

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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Chardi Kala: A community reflects on six years since the Sikh Temple Shooting

In the memory of Paramjit Kaur, Satwant Singh Kaleka, Prakash Singh, Sita Singh, Ranjit Singh, and Suveg Singh. “How is your community doing?” is the most common question we have been asked since the 2012 Sikh Temple Shooting in Oak Creek. My reply has always been, “we are in great spirits, we are in Chardi Kala (Relentless Optimism).” While most respond with an understanding nod, I sometimes see uncertainty in their eyes. How can a community be doing well after one of the deadliest hate crimes was committed in a place of sanctuary? To Sikhs, there is nothing better...

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When the power of positive thought becomes toxic

The reality of our society lacking compassion can be hard to swallow, especially with the awareness that the condition may have always been that way. The recent headlines in the news regarding the separation of immigrant families has us once again questioning if Milwaukee’s society, and the very foundation of our country, has any compassion. There are two very polar opposite views on the issue, and examining them from both extremes of the spectrum offers a better perspective on the social forces at work. On one side there are those who are very sympathetic to the plight of immigrants...

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