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Author: Pardeep Kaleka

Pardeep Singh Kaleka: The Gift of Our Wounds

Our journey began in America when I was 6 years old. When my mother, father, brother, and myself immigrated over, our status simply read “Resident Alien.” Coming from a small and humble faming town in Northern India, this was probably an improvement from the life that we would have led had we stayed, or was it? It can be concluded that this is probably the mindset of nearly every immigrant. The idea that this American Dream will lead to a better life. The year was 1982 when we moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a small manufacturing town, built on beer...

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A former police officer, educator, and massacre survivor speaks out against arming teachers

Mass shootings have taken a toll on the collective wellbeing of American psyche. It has been over a month since the Marjory Douglas High School shooting that claimed 17 lives, and we continue to feel disgust stemming from our inability to make any real progress or changes to create safer societies. Judging by the large scale student activism, numerous walkouts, and planned marches encouraging continual civic engagement, this debate is far from over. Complicating matters is the recent school shooting where the gunman was mortally wounded by the school resource officer in Maryland, saving countless lives. So what do...

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The Post Traumatic States of America and our communal fear

The tragedy in Parkland, Florida continued the recent trend of nearly one school shooting for every school day in America. While suffering, pain, and trauma has always been a part of our human experience, it seems lately we are being constantly bombarded by bad news. Everywhere we turn there are scrolling headlines of hate and constant memes of misery. This latest tragedy involved a known threat, who took the lives of 17 people with the use of an AR-15 assault rifle. Immediately, the trauma loop began. Denial and disbelief, prayers and condolences, anger over legislation, rationalization of the shooter’s...

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Seeing Lent through the lens of a Non-Christian perspective

Being raised as a non-Christian person of faith in a Christian-dominated society has always been a navigational challenge, and with the politics-infused dogma of the latest political cycle it will remain so. I recall the first time attending Sunday mass as a boy. I was about 12 years old and my friend’s grandmother insisted that I attend with their family. She was well meaning and my immigrant parents obliged. When we got to the church, most of my thinking revolved around the differences between my experience with Sikhism and exposure to Christianity. We sit on the floor, and Christians...

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Smartphone habits of kids becoming a danger to Milwaukee’s public education

One of the most pressing questions parents face these days is when do we purchase our child’s first mobile phone. This parental decision can be equated to the past pressures of when do we allow our child to get their driver’s license or start dating. My daughter just turned 12 years old and she asks about all sorts of things. Lately, her inquiry has centered around when will I purchase her first mobile phone. She constantly talks about her friends who have had smartphones for years already, and paints her mother and father as unreasonable because we are making...

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Trump, his Shadow Self, and our own dark denial

It has become painfully clear to the world that our President is racist. Using words to describe his temperament is the first step to defining his condition. Hanging a label around his neck offers a type of relief that exonerates our personal anxiety about the situations surrounding him. But it does not address the lingering issues beyond Trump, that persist in a world where we see ourselves and others through the lens of comparative worth. The toxicity of viewing another human as having less or more worth than another is nothing new. Even a superficial look through a history...

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