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Author: Pardeep Kaleka

Kids in Cages: Reflections on our disunited state and culture of unrequited love

The journey of many immigrants is one that longs for opportunity. On this 243rd Anniversary of Independence, I reflected on what opportunity really means; past, present, and future. Yesterday morning, July 4, I woke to invitations for attending parades, television programming around our collective patriotism, and wishes for a Happy Independence Day. As I drove around, I noticed many engaged in a prideful remembrance of the stars and stripes, the red, white, and blue, and everything that could be barbecued. Many would agree that we currently live in a Divided States of America. However, what happens when you –...

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Governor Tony Evers brings proclamation of love and support to Sikh Americans in Oak Creek

On Saturday, April 27 another faith community was again targeted by yet a hate-attack inside their place of prayer. One dead and three others injured. The Congregation Chabad Synagogue in Poway, California was left mourning the senseless violence committed by the hands and of an openly anti-Semitic 19 year-old armed with an AR-15. The “Thoughts and prayers” pouring in worldwide for our Jewish brothers and sisters has become routine in the American ritual of mourning lives lost because of the spread of mass violence. The sad irony is that these terrible acts are being committed in places of prayer....

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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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