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

As Jackie and Patricia explained, possible reparations include talking to kids in schools, writing letters to people harmed, doing work in the community gardens — and maybe getting that high school diploma, opening a bank account, getting a decent job. (Photo: Thomas  Hawk/flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, September 06, 2018
What Healing Looks Like When Justice Restores
“This isn’t rocket science,” Jackie Ingram said, humorously downplaying her involvement in the Restorative Justice Community Court , a pilot project of the Cook County Circuit Court, which has brought a new, healing-focused system of justice to her community this past year. My thought in that...
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"But we the people have not surrendered. We were outmaneuvered, gerrymandered, removed from the voting roster, but we have not surrendered." (Photo: AP/Bill Ingraham via Flickr) Views
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Reviving the Spirit of ’68
I was a hippie/bicycle delivery boy living in San Francisco when the Democratic National Convention was held in Chicago fifty years ago, so I absorbed the chaos, the police riot, from half a continent away, but I knew with absolute certainty that the nation was changing and I was part of it. We...
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"Forests are shrinking at a startling pace — every year, we lose a swath of forest the size of Massachusetts." (Photo: Andy Porter/cc/flickr) Views
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Recreating the Wilderness
The science gets ever more dire. The politics runs the other way. We’ve claimed hold of the planet, but cluelessly, like the sorcerer’s apprentice. Welcomed to the Anthropocene: the age of humanity intertwined with nature. “Climate change is not a problem we have to make go away, in a sense that...
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Thursday, August 16, 2018
The Right To Be Afraid
“He owned the gun legally and had a concealed carry permit.” That matters? In an otherwise neutral and informative article , this reads like a bit of legal fetishism. Another human being is dead, oh so needlessly and pointlessly, thanks to a moment of lethally armed anger in a convenience store...
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"So far this year the city has racked up more than 300 homicides, according to the Chicago Tribune. Something, as we all know, is out of control, in this city, across the country . . . and across the planet.." (Photo: AP) Views
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Poverty, Violence, and Spiritual Wildfires
“They take advantage of that opportunity and they shoot into a crowd, no matter who they hit.” The news this past weekend emerging from my fair city, Chicago, felt like news about wildfires sweeping across California: the sudden, hellish karma of climate change, that is to say, the gradual collapse...
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"We can’t cage children or slap them in chemical straitjackets and call it security." (Photo: David McNew/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, August 02, 2018
Border Security: Wall vs. Principles
Consider the limited thinking that produces a concept such as “border security.” The essential assumption here is that the United States of America is primarily a physical container – three and a half million square miles of freedom and prosperity, whoopee, but the supply is limited. Sorry, have-...
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"Back to every political and bureaucratic cruelty “our team” commits in defiance of the likely wishes of a true democratic majority."(Photo: Cleo Leng/flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, July 26, 2018
A World Designed by Playground Bullies
As the week’s news slaps against my consciousness like road slush, some fragments sting more than others. For instance: “According to the DOJ’s court filing, parents who are not currently in the U.S. may not be eligible for reunification with their children.” I can’t quite move on with my life...
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"They came into South Shore much the same way U.S. troops enter Iraq: armed and fearful, not part of the community but “in control” of it." (Photo courtesy of Ryan Harvey) Views
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Mixing Guns and Racism
In Illinois, as in all the rest of the states, it’s legal to carry a concealed handgun, unless you’re at a ballgame or in the library or a number of other designated public places. But one of those places is not the corner of 71st Street and Jeffery Boulevard, in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood...
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"Put forth real values and run on a commitment to real change, a la Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the young Democratic Socialist who won a shocking upset victory in her congressional primary." (Photo: Ocasio2018 Campaign) Views
Thursday, July 12, 2018
The Dems Could Win If They Stood For Something
The Democrats have been in turmoil for the last half century and then some, when they abandoned their racist base and supported the civil rights movement. Revved up by the spirit of the ’60s, the party began opening itself to further change, even daring to push beyond the financial interests of its...
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Wednesday, July 04, 2018
Womp, Womp: Racism in a Cage
“We offer your love to all of our children . . .” the Episcopal priest said, her eyes closed in prayer. Some 170 people were gathered around her, as she stood in a gazebo in a park in Huntsville, Ala. This was one of the 700-plus protests across the country last weekend, as Americans gathered in...
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