McCain—Survivor, hero, villain, family man.

I've been thinking about Senator John McCain—survivor, hero, villain, family man? In mourning the passing of a one-of-a-kind U.S. senator, I've concluded he was a complex character, defying pigeon holes.  McCain—more than a survivor, hero, villain, family man. I get the impression that McCain was inventing himself as he went along.—1st. A rebel and later a poor student at Annapolis, frustrated that his family pigeon holed him as a Navy Man  given that his dad and grandfather were … [Read more...]

What does Bullying beget? Start of a multi-part series.

Karl here with an answer: Bullying begets violence: This is the first of a multi-part series of guest posts by two experts in the fight against bullying. In keeping with the themes of this website, they will at various times discuss the connection that violence, discrimination, and privilege have to bullying. It is often a way station to violence and the crimes of murder, rape, and the like. Dr. Louise Hart and Kristen Caven—my guest bloggers— have written The Bullying Antidote, a positive … [Read more...]

Lust, blue collar crime, and A DEATH IN BELMONT.

I've been reading a lot of true crime books lately as well as finishing up a series of paintings I call "The Seven Deadly Sins."  Currently, I'm reading Sebastian Junger's A death in Belmont, and my painting of "Lust" in the series seems especially apropos. You see, the book is about the sex-crazed Boston Strangler who terrorized parts of Boston during the 1960's. Blue collar crime...and lust. Here's a summary of the book: A fatal collision of three lives in the most intriguing and original … [Read more...]

Understanding White Privilege – its sociological origins.

 In an effort at understanding white privilege from an historical perspective, I wrote a post back in January. In this post, I'm into understanding white privilege from a sociological perspective. For a variety of reasons, one engaging perspective of this sort by sociologist Alan G. Johnson starts off with the notion that the British were instrumental in the development of the idea of racial superiority. According to Johnson's perspective,  the British were not the first to believe that … [Read more...]

Am I privileged? Try these exercises.

I'm writing a book about how the American criminal justice system treats "privileged" murderers  different from others.  The murderers' privileges in my book (working title "Four Murders & a Funeral") start  with being white males and in some cases end with being privileged in yet other ways.) Because of my book topic, people often ask me what I mean by "privilege." Well, here's a definition from a white male who's also gay, and you wouldn't be alone thinking 'maybe he's not privileged if … [Read more...]

To “Check your privilege,” watch Dominick Dunne on the Justice Network.

As I write my current book, I'm outraged at the light sentences given to several of the privileged murderers I've gotten to know over the years. (I'm a criminologist and embrace the "check your privilege" movement.) For these reasons I've developed an affinity for Dominick Dunne. He's the late American writer, investigative journalist, and producer who covered the trial of his  daughter's murderer. Like me, Dunne was incensed at the verdict (acquittal of  2nd-degree murder charge in favor of … [Read more...]

Scary NFLer—victim of bullying, discrimination, or mental illness?

I'm disturbed and saddened that discrimination and/or mental illness has taken a serious toll on a bullying victim I've featured in prior posts.    Ex-NFLer Jonathan Martin graduated from Harvard-Westlake prep school in L.A. and then Stanford. He joined the Miami Dolphins in 2012. But during his 2nd year with Miami, he became the center of a scandal involving harassment and bullying on the part of his teammates Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey.  Hero, villain, or fool? Things … [Read more...]