Robert C. Koehler

Robert C. Koehler

Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. His book, "Courage Grows Strong at the Wound" (2016). Contact him or visit his website at commonwonders.com.

Articles by this author

Board of Election employees and volunteers wearing PPE (personal protective equipment) assist voters at the Brooklyn Museum polling site for the New York Democratic presidential primary on June 23, 2020. (Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images) Views
Thursday, August 06, 2020
Election Theft and the Reluctant Democracy
As election 2020 draws ever closer, the flawed, easily gamed nature of the American quasi-democracy becomes increasingly visible, thanks, of course to Donald Trump, our Fluhrer wannabe, who sees no need to hide his contempt for any result in November other than his own victory. Election theft could...
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Guns are the speech of the inarticulate. (Photo:  Apu GOMES / AFP via Getty Images) Views
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Standing Up to the Armed and Inarticulate
Here’s a quietly unsettling moment from the current cries for change churning across the nation: A teenage girl is at a grocery store in the small town of Marion, Virginia. Her brother, Travon Brown, age 17, had recently become both beloved and hated — the center of controversy — in the town,...
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Yeah, yeah, global warming, but what’s that compared to profit? (Photo: @MoBetter_B/Twitter) Views
Thursday, July 16, 2020
We’re So Certain of Our Colonialist Selves That We’re Destroying Our Own Planet
"There are so many . . . primitive tribes—they don’t understand anything." The global movement to end racism must turn its attention to the world’s most vulnerable cultures—the indigenous people of Planet Earth—who are still enduring the forces of colonial genocide. They are, after all, still...
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A person with a gun and a fist in the air as a form of protest to police violence on June 20, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia. Protesters for racial justice have called for statues of Confederate leaders, like General Robert E. Lee, be taken down. (Photo by Eze Amos/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, July 09, 2020
When All the Protesters Have Guns
Change. Now. I get that, and understand the symbolism of packed heat. A gun says: We mean business. But that symbolism stops as soon as the trigger is pulled. What the armed protesters could wind up with is a bitter present-day civil war and the blood-stained illusion of change. The country—and the...
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Not only are statues of Confederate generals finally coming down, but Christopher Columbus—colonialist conqueror extraordinaire—apparently has also had his day, with his statues coming down all over the place. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, July 02, 2020
Is the Nation Opening Its Soul?
Topple a few statues, remove some iconic names from American institutions . . . and the ghosts of the past start to escape from history, filling the present moment. It’s called awareness. Too much awareness can feel like chaos. Not surprisingly, a lot of people would prefer to stick with the old...
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Reinvest in people? Are we really ready for that level of common sense? (Photo: Shutterstock) Views
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Defunding 'Justified' Murder
Well, he deserved to die, didn’t he? He fought, he ran, he grabbed the cop’s taser and fired it. And he was intoxicated, apparently. And he was blocking traffic. “If an officer is hit with that Taser, all of his muscles will be locked up, and he’ll have the inability to move and to respond,” said a...
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Demonstrators protest the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police officer on June 3, 2020 in New York City. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, June 11, 2020
Globally Uprooting a Racist Past
"This was not an attack on history. This is history . It is one of those rare historic moments whose arrival means things can never go back to how they were." And the toppled statue of a 17th century slave trader, now at the bottom of Bristol Harbour, is suddenly more relevant than ever, as the cry...
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One day the whole nation will take to its knee. (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images) Views
Thursday, June 04, 2020
The Knee for Change
Is George Floyd today’s Emmett Till? Is the nation moving beyond, oh God, its third manifestation of “legal” racism? The first manifestation was, of course, slavery, which was eliminated via the Civil War. The second manifestation was the Jim Crow/KKK era, with its lynchings, black vote suppression...
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 Police need to be highly trained and thoroughly multi-racial. They need, indeed, to be the ones who take the lead as we rebuild our social system based on the sanctity of life. (Photo: Erik McGregor/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Policing and the Sanctity of Life
This is so much bigger than personal accountability. Yes, the four police officers present at the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis were fired the next day. The case is being investigated by the FBI. And the mayor of Minneapolis and lots of other politicians are talking about “...
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We must disarm our concept of social order. This means a different sort of training for police officers—less target practice, more psychological awareness. (Photo: Kevin Cortopassi/Flickr/cc) Views
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Rethinking Public Safety: Trust vs. Force
“Guns aren’t just a danger in and of themselves,” writes Noah Berlatsky at Quartz. “They enable a policing philosophy built on violence and forced compliance, rather than one founded on respect, trust and consent. That philosophy affects every police interaction, even those that don’t involve...
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