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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

What The Students Teach Us Every Day

It's not my habit to write about readers' hate mail, which is as much a part of daily life as toothbrushing, and just as boring.

Hate mail comes with a columnist's job. After 18 years of doing this, I know that nothing riles a certain percentage of readers — universally right-wing and white, and usually male — more than a woman who is paid to give her opinion. Social media has magnified their voices but not their credibility. There's no masking uninformed rage, which has always been the hallmark of the intellectually lazy.

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On Thanksgiving, Please Choose Love (And Caution)

Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year.

It's a holiday with none of the pressures of Christmas. I cook a lot of food and give a lot of hugs. Nothing makes me happier than our house full of the people I love.

This preamble is brought to you by a columnist who wants you and those you love to be here for next year's Thanksgiving.

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‘I Just Wanted To Let You Know’

I first heard from my old high school friend in an email in October 2011. Subject line: "Ashtabula High 1975."

"I am in complete shock over what has happened to compassion in the country I call home," Philip Kachersky wrote. "It is not the same country that I was raised in in Ashtabula in the 1960s and '70s.

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‘I Want To Feel America’

They waited in the pouring rain on Wednesday, six feet apart and some of them without umbrellas, to cast their ballots in central Florida.

One masked man caught the attention of another voter, and his video account made it to the ABC News Facebook page.

"You see how important this election is," the man narrates as he zooms in on a solitary voter getting soaked. "You see this? Unfazed. Us? Oh, we've got our umbrella." He zooms in closer on the voter. "Unfazed," he says again. "That's how important it is."

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After The Election, Hobby Therapy

A new right-wing lie, promoted by Donald Trump Jr. and making the rounds on social media, is that you never see people with Biden signs in their yards flying the American flag from their porches.

A conservative neighbor shared a version of this on his Facebook page, and the only reason I heard about it was because another neighbor wondered aloud if the man had ever looked out his own windows. A few doors away, here we are, with a Biden sign in our yard and an American flag whipping in the air over our front steps.

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This Isn’t How A Winner Talks About The Election

On Wednesday, this was the exchange between a reporter and President Donald Trump at a news conference.

In the White House, we must note:

Reporter: "Will you commit here, today, for a peaceful transferal of power after the election?"

Trump: "We're going to have to see what happens. You know that I've been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster and — "

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A Request To Keep A Pandemic Diary

Since April, I've been telling my students that their generation will be the ultimate storytellers of this pandemic, as COVID-19's legacy will surely endure for decades. This semester, I've taken it a step further and required them to keep pandemic diaries.

Their weekly 500-word entries will help me gauge their writing progress and give me glimpses into how they are doing in this challenging time. Just as importantly, they will create a written record of who they were — in their lives and in this time in history.

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How Polite Of Melania Trump

I don't care about Melania Trump's past life as a model. She has a right to do as she wants with her own body. Any attempt by liberals to shame her for that is an act of hypocrisy.

I don't care what she wears or how she looks. She is glamorous and beautiful, which has nothing to do with her character.

I would never mock her accent, because that's the stuff of racist right-wingers, the ones who shout at Latinos to speak "American" even as they show barely a passing familiarity with the English language.

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Finding Our Hope In Her Ambition

In 2016, I wanted Hillary Clinton to be our next president, and I was sure that she would be.

I was devastated.

In 2019 and early 2020, I wanted a woman to win the Democratic Party's nomination for president. Instead, one qualified woman after another failed to get enough votes, and now Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee.

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Let’s Avoid A Duel Over Religious Dogma

On Thursday, President Donald Trump landed here in Cleveland and had barely plodded across the tarmac before declaring that Joe Biden would "hurt God."

I struggle for the words to convey my joy.

That Trump thinks Biden could inflict injury on God gives us a good idea of just how much he fears Biden. The clock is ticking, Mr. President. It's too bad the White House staff forgot to give Preacher Trump his Bible prop as he brayed into the wind. That visual worked so well for him last time.

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‘Walk With The Wind’…And Vote

What a moment in America.

On Thursday, three former U.S. presidents — George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama — walked into Atlanta's storied Ebenezer Baptist Church to deliver tributes to civil rights icon John Lewis, who died on July 17 at age 80.

Earlier this week, the current president of the United States refused to honor Lewis even in Washington, where Lewis' body lay in state in the Capitol rotunda on the Lincoln catafalque, a platform built in 1865 to hold the casket of Abraham Lincoln.

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For John Lewis, We Will Carry On

The first time I met John Lewis, in 2003, it was as the new girlfriend of his colleague in the House of Representatives. He had just sat down at his assigned seat in a room full of dinner tables, but as soon as he saw Sherrod and me walking toward him, John stood up and pulled me into a hug.

"You're the reason he can't stop smiling," John said.

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It’s Not A Debate — Wear A Mask

If you're still opposed to wearing a face mask in public, this column is for Very Special You.

I don't mean that sarcastically. One of us believes we're magically immune to this highly contagious virus, and it sure isn't me. I've never felt that special a day in my life. So, lucky you.

Except you probably aren't that lucky.

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For Dreamers. A Temporary Reprieve

On Thursday, the Supreme Court stopped President Donald Trump from inflicting the devastation that candidate Trump had vowed to inflict on 700,000 young immigrants in this country.

This is a temporary reprieve, which makes this another reason why this year's presidential election is the most important one in our lifetime, no matter our age. Casting our vote is our last chance to stop the most dangerous man to inhabit the White House before he burns to the ground whatever remains of the American dream.

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My Mother The Essential Worker

On the eve of my junior year in high school, my mother returned to the job she'd held before she became pregnant with me, at age 19, and married my father, who was also 19.

At age 36, Janey Schultz was once again a nurse's aide at the public hospital in our small town of Ashtabula, Ohio.

Today, we would call her an essential worker.

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Shhh, White People — And Listen

One morning earlier this week, my friend Kate and I were walking through our Cleveland neighborhood when our conversation, conducted at a safe distance from each other, turned to the funeral of Tamir Rice.

Only Pastor Kate would think to remember my story from that day.

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Annie Glenn, American Hero

In 2012, Annie Glenn and I were doing what we so often did, which was to sit side-by-side in a quiet place offstage, waiting for our extroverted husbands to finish speaking to a crowd.

We had been close friends for six years by then. My husband, Sherrod Brown, was running for reelection to the U.S. Senate. Annie's husband — that's how I always introduced him, to his delight — was former senator and astronaut John Glenn, who often joined Sherrod on the campaign trail.

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