Robert C. Koehler

Robert C. Koehler

Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. His new book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound is now available. Contact him at koehlercw@gmail.com or visit his website at commonwonders.com.

Articles by this author

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Thursday, March 19, 2015 - 6:45am
Rocka My Soul
And suddenly the glass case shattered. You know the one, perhaps. I’d been agitated by it for the past hour or so, sitting as I was maybe 25 rows back from the stage at Chicago’s ornate Auditorium Theater, watching the Alvin Ailey troupe dance their hearts out, moving their bodies with such lithe...
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Thursday, March 12, 2015 - 6:45am
Frat Boys on the Bus
“You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me . . .” Yeah, something had to happen. The cellphone video went public and the frat boys on the bus, who were just having a little politically incorrect fun, y’know, singing about Jim Crow exclusionary practices and, well, lynching,...
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Thursday, March 5, 2015 - 8:45am
White Terrorism
The president doesn’t “love” America? Would that it were true. Would that Rudy Giuliani’s five-star Republican nightmare actually paced the Oval Office, pondering how to disarm, demilitarize . . . defang American exceptionalism. Would that the president felt a responsibility to the global future...
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Thursday, February 26, 2015 - 12:30pm
Peace Behind Barbed Wire
As media ownership converges and technology “unites” us, the concept of national identity grows ever easier to exploit — and therefore, I fear, increasingly, and dangerously, simplistic. This is the war on terror. This is the war on crime. They march on, despite the magnitude of their failures...
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Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 7:15am
Endless War Is Alive and... Bleeding
Good and evil leap from the headlines: “Egyptian planes pound ISIS in Libya in revenge for mass beheadings of Christians.” It’s nonstop action for the American public. It’s the history of war compressed into a dozen words. It’s Fox News, but it could be just about any mainstream purveyor of current...
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Thursday, February 12, 2015 - 7:30am
The Sorrow and Sociology of Dead Children
Experts have put urban violence under the microscope. You might call it the sociology of dead kids. There’s a lot less here than meets the eye, or so it seemed when I read about a new study by researchers at Yale called “Tragic, but not random: The social contagion of nonfatal gunshot injuries.” It...
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Thursday, February 5, 2015 - 6:15am
War and Perpetual Adolescence
The urgency I feel isn’t any longer to stop a particular war but to interrupt endless war: to interrupt the narrowly focused geopolitical conversation, conveyed to us over and over by media stenographers, in which lethal intervention — wherever — is always the first and only choice. The uncertainty...
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Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 6:30am
Healing the Criminal Justice System
“It’d be really hard to have a higher recidivism rate than we have in Cook County.” Maybe this is the place to start a brief meditation on changing the world, or at least Chicago . . . known to some of its residents as “Chiraq.” The speaker is Elena Qunitana, executive director of the Adler...
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Thursday, January 22, 2015 - 6:45am
We're Killing Us: On a War in Two Directions
“Sometimes they have drug and alcohol problems and when they feel that the VA is ignoring them, not answering the phone, failing to return calls for assistance or there are long wait times, they get more and more disgruntled. The VA is ripe for a mass killing but no one is listening to us.” The...
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Thursday, January 15, 2015 - 6:30am
Partners in Terror
“Je suis Charlie. Tout est pardonné.” Muhammad in tears adorns the new cover of Charlie Hebdo: “I am Charlie. All is forgiven.” This is bigger than satire. I take a deep breath, uncertain how to write about last week’s insane shooting spree in Paris. My daughter and her husband live there. “Things...
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