Amanda's View: Ethnic

By Amanda Knox
 
On the morning of December 21st I scanned my Twitter feed as usual and came across this video. Like many other Twitter users, I was alarmed by what I saw: two young Muslim-American men were being escorted against their will off their Delta flight. One of the men, Adam Saleh, explained that the reason he and his friend were being kicked off was because neighboring passengers had overheard them speaking Arabic and had protested to the flight staff that this made them uncomfortable. Saleh’s camera panned over these passengers, who waved Saleh and his friend off the plane with glee. The camera then panned over other passengers who looked embarrassed and bewildered, and still others who proclaimed their dismay over how Saleh and his friend were being mistreated. “Because I was speaking a different language, you feel uncomfortable?” cried Saleh. “This is 2016! I’m about to cry right now!”
 

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Amanda's View: Newsletter

By Amanda Knox

Oh, but it is funny!
—this end-of-the-year newsletter,
Dad jokes, winks and wordplay
littered about, “Here’s the year
in a nut shell” looney-tuney.
And don’t forget it’s true!
 
Tim cracked his ribs twice,
golfing, hanging Xmas lights.
Kyle bought a jousting horse,
to everyone’s surprise.
Tim thought, Were we ever thirty?
Eileen went to Sheboygan
for her mother’s 94th.
 
How do we fill a year of boxes?
Golf balls putter into holes,
beer caps crack, lips pucker.
July shows Kyle’s sword impact
on Jordin’s axe, Leila’s armor.
Cackling, Chris and Gavin
write their zany worlds.
 
Some footnotes provide
hints of incredulity—
that parental color. For miles,
Kyle and Jordin drove
Seattle to Massachusetts
(to pick up Leila). Chris and Kyle
got inked with “brother” tattoos.
 
Why are there times of life?
Why do some things turn out?
Why, oh why, do others not?
(The Newsletter, with breezy script,
with welcome winks, accepts,
and proudly accumulates the days.)
 
They celebrated my birthday.
They chronicled my travels,
the Robinsons. They
rearranged their holidays
around words like:
“feuerzangenbowle”

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Amanda's View: Turning down the heat

By Amanda Knox
 
According to Wikipedia, the Cold War was “cold” because the U.S. and Russia never engaged in open conflict. Instead, they exerted their super political and military influence over lesser powers to outplay each other on a global scale, all the while upholding the threat of mutually assured destruction. It was a race of ideologies—West vs. East, capitalism vs. communism, democracy vs. dictatorship—with real stakes that were ever-present for everyone who was alive and aware between 1945 and 1991.
 
Not me, then. I was born in 1987, and the Cold War has always been a part of the past for me. I didn’t grow up with civil defense sirens, or get drilled in school about what to do in case of a nuclear attack. “The Russian threat” was a James Bond trope. In real life, I never felt like Russia was any more threatening than any other foreign country. The game was over. Democracy had won.
 

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