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social justice

Maryville residents look for way through violence during tense times

Starting conversation

MARYVILLE, Mo. — With every act of violence committed against law enforcement officers and every video circulated of a person in a minority group killed at the hands of a police officer, tensions multiply and divide.

Now Maryville residents face the fallout, searching for the best way forward.

Nodaway County Prosecuting Attorney Bob Rice held a press conference Wednesday morning to make a public statement of support for law enforcement officials. Rice said he was motivated to do so by violence against law enforcement officers over the past three weeks in Dallas, Baton Rouge, and recently Kansas City.

“As I monitor the events throughout the nation, it seems to me that there are organized calls for violence against police,” his written statement reads.

These “organized calls,” Rice said, come from “certain groups” operating to create chaos.

Although Rice never mentioned the Black Lives Matter movement specifically, other officials around the country blame the group’s rhetoric for increasing anti-police sentiment.

In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke attributed the violence against law enforcement to the movement. Clarke said that since the movement began two years ago, the anti-police sentiment has “fueled this rage against the American police officer.”

Supporters of the movement counter these statements online, in nonviolent demonstrations, and in public statements that Black Lives Matter doesn’t condone violence to anyone. On the movement’s official website, it states, “it is not an anti-police-officer movement” and is not an “anti-white proposition.”

The website does specify that the movement rejects the idea that disrespect is criminal, and that it questions giving officers the “benefit of the doubt when it comes to policing black communities” due to broken trust with law enforcement. Continue reading “Maryville residents look for way through violence during tense times”

Social Justice and Spirituality in Rebecca Harding Davis’s Early Atlantic Monthly Writings

picnic literature
Reading and taking notes.

In my master’s thesis, I examine three of Rebecca Harding Davis’s writings published by The Atlantic Monthly from 1860 to 1862. Davis begins with questioning capitalist claims of building a middle class in “Life in the Iron Mills.” In less than two years, the censure of Davis’s first work softens in a more merciful tone in her first novel Margret Howth. By the time Davis published the short story “David Gaunt” in 1862, her message of tolerance becomes more overtly political as it questions the necessity of the Civil War and foreshadows the trials of Reconstruction. The sole character type that escapes harsh reproach in these stories manifests in the plain female who is not merely tolerant but without prejudice regardless of race, class, gender, or politics on the basis of attempting to follow the teachings of Jesus. Followers of Jesus, Davis posits, can practice social justice without turning into zealots or Pharisees.

I presented a version of the third chapter February 22, 2013 at the Tenth Biennial Conference of the Constance Fenimore Woolson Society that met jointly with the Rebecca Harding Davis Society. Alas, I have yet to submit any of it to a journal. That’s one more thing on the list.

Any interested scholars should contact me!

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