Jan Frazier

What if we were all made to get a close look at gun violence?

Recently on VPR, I heard it said that in order to identify the bodies of the children slaughtered in Texas, since they were too young to carry identification, it was necessary to have the parents do that unimaginable task.

The person speaking also said the weaponry used in the murders would have made a mess of those small bodies. I believe the speaker was himself the father of one of the kids murdered at Sandy Hook.

I understand why such photographs never see the light of day. But I find myself recalling the impact of Emmett Till's gutsy mother enabling the ghastly picture of her slaughtered boy to appear in the nationwide news. She insisted his casket be left open for all to see.

Notwithstanding how much remains to be addressed about racial inequity in this country, something surely did change when one mother made it impossible to continue looking away. And there is little doubt that the man who killed George Floyd is in prison now because the video footage of his murder was there for all eyes to see.

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The fullness of spring, in tiny increments

So much that used to matter, once upon a very long time ago, simply won’t anymore. Not if we’ve learned anything.

It's as if spring has never come before. How the call of the Canada goose high above my head, several weeks ago, flooded my eyes with tears. It's not as though the sound hasn't always filled me with celebratory welcome, like the sight and song of the first robin...

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We did not speak up

‘As much as a seed of moral integrity might have been struggling to take root in my youth, the more potent force was the need for approval, to adhere to societal norms’

My high school in Miami was comprised of two-thirds white kids and a third black, with a few Hispanics. It was the late 1960s, the era of school busing, with plenty of racial tension, and a good bit of turbulence on the streets and in the schools. At such...

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A diet based on real science makes good sense — and feels great

If somebody had told me, just a few years back, that one day I'd be eating a plant-based diet, I'd have rolled my eyes dismissively. Not me! I loved cheesy nachos and full-fat Greek yogurt, juicy steak, butter-dripping lobster. My idea of heaven was a bowl of rich crème brûlée. Do without these? What would life be without them? Longer, it turns out, and healthier. I eat the way I do now because I'm ravenous for more life. For if...

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Throw that banana peel far!

If you are about to toss an apple core or a banana peel out your car window, please take care to toss it a good distance from the edge of the road. The discovery of such a find might be a welcome thing for a foraging rodent or bird. But if it's too close to the road, it can put the feasting creature at risk from passing vehicles. Throw it far!

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Time to assert control over Selectboard

We, as the original petitioners, are only half way to a goal of defeating PAYT for Brattleboro. I'd like to ask all the voters who voiced their dismay and unhappiness over PAYT back when they were signing the petition for a referendum: please go to either the town clerk to vote absentee or to the selectboard meeting room on June 29 to vote no on PAYT. It's time to prove our value as individual voters and put our votes into...

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