Chelsea Green Publishing

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Racial Transparency: The First African-American President and More

Immediately after Barack Obama’s innaugaration, I tuned into Black Entertainment Televsion, thinking that it would be interesting to see what the African-American community had to say about the election of our first African-American president. I was deeply moved by the impact this had on the African-American community. I deeply appreciate the symbolic and very real significance of this accomplishment, too. After a while, I flipped to the conventional news coverage. It was, to say the least, remarkably different. There I listened to discussions of the Obama kids’ clothes, the music, and the fumbled oath. Of course, there were comments about the historic significance of electing an African-American, a community that has suffered deeply since their forced conscription to provide free labor for America’s plantations and farms. Slavery was a shameful epoc in American history. The maltreatment of African-Americans that continues today is reprehensible as well. As I listened to the news coverage, though, it struck me that I didn’t vote for Barack Obama because he was African-American. I wasn’t voting for the symbolic or the very real significance of this opportunity, although it was important to me. I voted for this dignified man with an unpresidential name because he was a bright, forward-thinking, articulate and diplomatic person who showed great promise as a leader. Race didn’t matter to me, even though race — racial justice, to be more exact — matters very deeply to me. Others I’ve spoken to have expressed a similar sentiment. Race didn’t matter to them, either, even though ending racial injustice is one of their top priorities. We’re proud to have an African-American president and truly grasp the significance of this election. The  fact that we didn’t look at Obama as an African-American, but a promising leader, signifies the great progress we’ve made. We see a man or a woman for what they are. To many who believe deeply in treating all Americans fairly, regardless of race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation, racial transparency is a good sign.

Recovery from the Economic Crisis Will Be Slow, Be Patient

I’m constantly amazed at Wall Street, which acts like an extremely skittish horse — panicking when it encounters the slightest scare – in response to every bit of bad news. Television journalists and skeptics of the nation’s new economic recovery plan aren’t much better. They’re hammering away at the economic recovery plan, sowing seeds of […] Read More..

Making the Perfect Plaster

Over the years, a number of individuals who’ve read my books on natural building (The Natural House) and natural plasters (The Natural Plaster Book) have contacted me for advice on their projects. A few have grumbled about the the arduous task of making flour paste to add to their earthen plasters. Flour paste makes an […] Read More..

Efficiency is a Form of Renewable Energy Too

As America seeks ways to gain energy independence and combat global warming, we must be sure not to ignore the low-hanging fruit on the energy tree: energy conservation and energy efficiency. As individuals, as businesses, and through our government, we must focus first and foremost on making our homes, businesses, and vehicles as efficient as […] Read More..