dad and son at the beach

The Man They Wanted Me To Be

The idea of what a man should be like, or should be all about, has certainly changed over the years. It’s changed in my lifetime. But there are some ideas of manliness that are still out there, and they’re hurting men just as much as they hurt others. Growing up, the most macho of men in my extended family wanted me to be a certain way. I was lucky in that the men who counted let me be me. Now, it’s up to me to teach my daughter what being a man is all about, so that one day she can deal with men and — if she so chooses — can choose a man who’ll be her partner in achieving wonders.

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Back in 2017, I received a message from one of the automated bots I’ve deployed to the web to look for information for me to consume. As I was working on my doctoral dissertation on homicides in Baltimore, one bot reported that a firebombing had occurred in Baltimore, killing two teens.

The main suspect in that firebombing (and a shooting at the same location a few days before that) was Mr. Antonio Wright, a 27 year-old Black man. After being named “Baltimore’s Public Enemy Number One,” Mr. Wright turned himself in to the authorities. Throughout his arrest and trial, he continued to assert that he was innocent.

A few weeks ago, Mr. Wright was found not guilty on all counts. Because of his background and this incident, Mr. Wright was advised by his lawyer to move out of the area, start anew somewhere else:

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The Parent Ren, Part VIII: A Man Raising a Woman

When I think of how hard it must have been for my mother to raise me, I think of the one time we went to the state fair in Juarez. There was a band playing some very loud music, and there were a lot of people dancing and having a good time. Mom and I rode some of the rides…

The Villains You’ll Encounter

I’ve been in the presence of supervillains only a handful of times in my life. The latest was a few weeks ago when antivaxxers descended on a talk by a well-known pediatrician and vaccine developer. Their leader cannot be described in any other way than as being a supervillain. He’s good with words. He’s charming. And he certainly seems to…

Epidemiology for Non-Epidemiologists?

Epidemiology is the basis for much of the work that goes into public health. From the research that gives us the evidence we need to conduct good public health policy, to the work that is done investigating outbreaks, we use epidemiology to help us understand what we are seeing. It’s a scientific branch (or a branch of medicine) that helps…