Category Archives: Culture Wars

What kind of mother would let her child read the local newspaper?



(You can’t see me, but I’m pointing at myself)

See, over in the upper right hand corner of the May 16 edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune is a commentary titled “Yes, a child might belong at a protest.” I wrote it in a rage on May 14 in response to news that a 10-year-old child at a evening protest in Minneapolis was maced by police and the person being blamed for this event was NOT, in fact, the officer with the mace can but the boy’s mother.

It’s always the mother’s fault, isn’t it? Think about it:

  • Sybrina Fulton killed Trayvon Martin–not George Zimmerman.
  • Samaria Rice killed Tamir Rice–not Officer Timothy Loehmann.
  • Lesley McSpadden killed Michael Brown–not  Officer Darren Wilson.

If these women were 100% PERFECT ALL-AMERICAN GOOD MOTHERS™, their children would be alive. Because in this country, bad things only happen to bad people.

(or to brown or black people, which to many are the same thing.)

As of this writing there are 192 online comments posted, and the vast majority are awful:


Far Left Loon

Some are hilarious:

radical left

Some are bewildering:

Caucasian males

But one made ALL of the crappy ones worthwhile:

Susan Responds
When I told my daughter, the newspaper reader, that the boy’s mom wrote in with a comment, she was very happy for me. “That is so cool,” my 10-year-old protest veteran said, and she hugged me.

I may not be 100% PERFECT but damn, that made me feel like a GOOD MOTHER™.


What kind of mother would take her children to a protest?


The mother in the YouTube still shot, on camera with her family at 4:10:



The mother in this photograph:




These mothers:




This mother:




The mother of these two darlings:







If you come for Susan Montgomery for taking her kid to a Black Lives Matter action, you better come for me, too.

Leave your nasty, judgy, self-righteous comments in the space below.

I can’t wait to read them.




Why this middle-class white mom is boycotting the Mall of America


As a white, middle class mom of two with a certain amount of disposable income, I can safely say that I’m the Mall of America’s target market.

2013-06-04 19.01.15

 I’m the dork in the glasses, with my goofball daughter by my side

I buy Converse at Foot Locker, jeans and hoodies at Old Navy, and birthday presents at American Girl and the Lego Store. I fork over my Visa card when my kids and their friends want to ride the Pepsi Orange Streak or Jimmy Neutron’s Atomic Collider at Nickelodeon Universe. The multiplex on the fourth floor is where I enjoy Pixar films and endure movies based on comic characters. When Elliott wants a Blizzard but Miriam wants a Philly cheesesteak, I give them the cash they need to navigate the food court, then I order myself lattes at Starbucks as my reward for a job well done.

At least, I USED to do these things.  I haven’t set foot in the Mall of America since 25 people were arrested by mall police in the infamous December demonstration by Black Lives Matter Minneapolis. This is the longest stretch without a megamall visit since I became a mother 15 years ago. My boycott was informal, but since the city of Bloomington has decided to file criminal charges against 11 of the protesters, including unprecedented demands for $40,000 in restitution fees, I joined BLMM’s nationwide call to boycott the Mall of America until these ridiculous charges are dropped.

I may pretend that I’m the trendy Shop Local type who wouldn’t dream of stepping foot in a 2.8 million square foot shrine to capitalism, but at my core I’m just another boring mom looking for a reliable way to entertain her kids. The megamall is an affordable getaway for us, a Cinnabon-scented playground for us to while away our minimal cares.


2013-12-26 15.41.24

You’re never too old for the Lego Store

And my cares are quite minimal, indeed: If I turn my pale complected son loose there, my greatest fear is that he will blow his entire allowance at the iCandy Sugar Shoppe. I need not fear that he will singled out for harassment by mall security and/or Bloomington Police. Racial profiling at the megamall was an issue long before Michael Brown was shot to death in Ferguson last August; the mall might not have been happy about a demonstration occurring on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year, but it could have welcomed the activists and shown the world that commerce and cooperation need not be mutually exclusive.

Instead, Mall of America leadership overreacted, as did the city of Bloomington, looking like a group of spoiled brats who demanded a Death Star Lego set for Christmas and got stuck with another stupid X-Wing fighter. “But I told you what I wanted from you, Mom!” sobs the frustrated child, who stomps and cries and looks for someone, anyone to blame for this indignity.

I’m not a kid, I’m an adult; I know the letter of the law states that the Mall of America is private property. I also know that the letter of the law states every citizen’s right to equal protection, whether they shop at Nordstrom or not, but all you need is an open heart and an open mind to know that isn’t reality in America today.

If the Mall of America has enough pull with Bloomington to have these charges filed, it can also ensure that they are dropped. Dare I suggest that the mall invite Black Lives Matter activists back for a public forum, perhaps in the Rotunda where the initial protests began?

I would be there, with a Starbucks coffee in my hand, an Old Navy hoodie on my back, and a Visa card burning a hole in my wallet.


Liberals who opt out of public schools

From Chapter 8, “A Liberal’s a Liberal Until She Sends Her Kid to Public School”:

Agreeing with Rush Limbaugh is like getting a root canal; it’s astonishingly, even mind-bogglingly painful, but rare. Still, it does happen. And I agree wholeheartedly with Rush when he says that liberals who opt out of public schools are big fat hypocrites.

A core tenet of American liberalism is a support for fully funded public education, from Head Start to college. Yes?

1992, Bill and Hillary Clinton shopped around the whole of the District of Columbia to find a suitable school for young Chelsea. Did they visit Amy Carter’s alma mater, Rose L. Hardy Middle School? No. For in 1992, DC schools were generally assumed to be disastrous, failing, underfunded, and worst of all, unsafe. Chelsea would matriculate at Sidwell Friends, a highly ranked private school. Thomas L. Friedman wrote the following in the New York Times on January 6, 1993, shortly before Clinton’s inauguration:

Friends of the Clintons said today that the decision was based on their conviction that they simply would not sacrifice their daughter’s education to make a political point. The District of Columbia school system is notoriously underfinanced, overcrowded and far from ideal, and many parents in the District — white and black — who can afford to do so send their children to private schools.

What sacrifice, exactly? Did anyone wonder if the presence of Secret Service officers might help maintain peace at George Washington Elementary? And really, was there any doubt that Chelsea’s preteen intellect would dwindle and die if she were to attend such a school? She was, after all, the daughter of Yale Law graduates who could lay the world quite literally at her feet. Would she lose IQ points at Rose L. Hardy, or would the school, energized by her presence, rise to meet her?

Like it or not, . I would feel differently, perhaps, if the Obama sisters were hidden from the limelight as strenuously as the progeny of the late Michael Jackson, their faces covered even while dangling from hotel balconies. But everyone remembers that the children of the candidates in 2008 were officially a Big Fucking Deal. Chelsea Clinton flat-ironed her hair and showed the world she was All Growed Up. Adorably round Sasha Obama had dimples so deep you could serve soup in them. Meghan McCain blogged and Tweeted her fingers off in an attempt to prop up her doddering old man. Joe Biden and John Edwards both lost children in terrible accidents, as the pages of ladies’ magazines recounted in breathless, image-softening detail. Then there were the antics of Track, Bristol, Pillow, Trigger, and Bamm-Bamm Palin, public relations disasters all.

If a child is offered to the public, the child can be parented by the public. If a child is trotted out as part of the campaign, the voters can expect that child to live that parent’s ideology. Am I surprised that the little McCains went to private schools in Phoenix? Nope. Am I gravely disappointed when the Obama girls march into an elite prep school that native District of Columbians cannot access? Yep.