Callie Crossley Commentary

Commentary
5:37 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Is America Ready For Drones? I'm Not!

A DJI Phantom commercial drone with a Go Pro camera attached underneath.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

My cousin got a drone for Christmas. He’s a gadget geek, and drones are all the rage especially for early adapters of cutting edge technology. It seems to me the popularity of drones has shot through the roof in less than a year. Wasn’t it just a year ago when Amazon president Jeff Bezos made big news when he revealed that Amazon hoped to use drones to make same day deliveries?

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Commentary
12:01 am
Mon January 19, 2015

The Blood, Sweat, And Tears Shed At Selma, Alabama

The real Martin Luther King in real life at the start of the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965.
Credit History.com

Audiences are flocking to see Selma the new Hollywood movie depicting the story of the voting rights campaign in 1965. It’s the story of Bloody Sunday, and the marches from Selma to Montgomery. It is history I know well. It was my great honor to chronicle the events and the people for the documentary series, “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954-1965.”

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COMMENTARY
1:00 am
Mon January 12, 2015

Don't Expect Emotional Closure From The Tsarnaev Trial

In this courtroom sketch, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, second from right, is depicted with his lawyers, left, beside U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr., right, as O'Toole addresses a pool of potential jurors in a jury assembly ro
Credit (AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins)

Week two of jury selection for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and I’m still wrestling with why so many believe his trial will bring closure to the marathon bombing tragedy. Don’t misunderstand-- Tsarnaev must stand trial for the crimes for which he is accused.

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COMMENTARY
12:00 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Castro's Not The Issue — It's The Cuban People

Old Havana, Cuba
Credit Jialiang Gao / Wikimedia Commons

I was a one-time smuggler. I trafficked hand-rolled Cuban cigars. I inched my way through customs dripping with nervous perspiration. I was re-entering the country from Canada, and was petrified my stash of premium Cohibas would be discovered. They were a special gift for a loved one. They were in my boot. It was years ago and that episode ended my cigar smuggling. But if the just announced change in Cuban policy had been in place then, I could have legally bought those cigars here.

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COMMENTARY
1:00 am
Mon December 29, 2014

On Squaring The Past Before Embracing The Future

Credit flickr

I discovered recently that when it comes to greeting the New Year there are two kinds of people. They form two camps of folks– those who only look back, and those who only look forward.

I’m in the look back camp. I just can’t put the old year to bed without a thorough review. I need time for a deep reassessment, a revisit of key experiences during the past 12 months. Some of my friends unkindly call this rehashing. Some have even gone so far as to suggest my new mantra should be the song ‘Let It Go’ from the movie Frozen. No matter. I know what works for me.

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COMMENTARY
1:00 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Dear Young Black-Lives-Matter Protestors

Black Lives Matter protesters in Los Angeles.
Credit Nick Ut/AP via NPR

I hear you. This is YOUR movement. You are the young people who have organized the silent vigils and noisy demonstrations of thousands in Missouri, Berkeley, Boston, and New York.  It is you who have inspired a demographic rainbow of white, black, Asian and Latino in protests at state capitals and courthouses, chanting "Black lives matter".

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COMMENTARY
1:00 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Meet Cosby's Accusers With Belief, Not Skepticism

Bill Cosby as Cliff Huxtable

I’m surprised there is only one "show-me state" in America.

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COMMENTARY
8:57 am
Mon December 8, 2014

It's About Race

A demonstrator holds his hands up on campus at Boston University Dec. 1, 2014 during one of a series of nationwide in the wake of a grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer who killed 18-year-old black Michael Brown.
Credit (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

“What is my future now? What is my future now?” The tortured screams of a New York City demonstrator last week — a young black man driven to the streets in fury and frustration. He was one of hundreds clogging thoroughfares and blocking traffic to protest another Grand Jury’s refusal to indict a police officer, this time for the choking death of Staten Island’s Eric Garner.

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COMMENTARY
3:19 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Darren Wilson Was Not Indicted, But Ferguson Was

Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., hold up a photo of their son, Michael Brown, as a young child during a news conference Monday, Aug. 11, in Ferguson, Mo.
Credit Jeff Roberson/AP via NPR

Whether or not you believe that Officer Darren Wilson intentionally shot teenager Michael Brown, know this-- what happened to the teen was not an isolated incident.  

Not in Ferguson, where two other young black men have been killed by police since Michael Brown, and where there have been years of complaints about police harassment and excessive force. And not across the country, where the list of fatal shootings of unarmed black young men has grown since Brown’s death.

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COMMENTARY
5:00 am
Mon November 24, 2014

The Internet: 'If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It'

Professor butts and the self-operating napkin.

  Patience may be a virtue but, sadly, not one I possess. Anything in my fast paced life that slows me down –like a sluggish connection to my Wi-Fi network --drives me crazy. There I was the other morning counting down the seconds until the spinning beach ball stopped and the connection locked. Those few seconds of downtime felt like minutes.

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COMMENTARY
4:01 am
Mon November 17, 2014

The Great Immigration Disgrace: A Step Forward

In this June 25, 2014 photo, a group of immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are stopped in Granjeno, Texas. The epicenter of the recent surge in illegal immigration is a 5-mile slice of deep South Texas th
Credit (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Enough already. I’m tired of the very serious issue of immigration reform being kicked around like the proverbial political football.

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Commentary
12:01 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Ebola: A Nasty Psychological Cocktail

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nothing makes sense when fear takes over. Which explains why 7 in 10 Americans—according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll---want mandatory quarantines for health workers who’ve treated African Ebola patients, even if they have no symptoms. And why a Pew survey found 41 percent of Americans overall say they are worried about Ebola. Worried about a virus that almost none of us will ever be exposed to, and had hardly thought about a few months ago.

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COMMENTARY
9:53 am
Mon October 27, 2014

The Massachusetts Election By The Numbers

Credit hjl / Flickr

Seven, 17, 23, 25, one. Seven, 17, 23, 25, one: no, not my lottery picks, but numbers I’ve been thinking about in the countdown to next week’s election. Let me explain.

Seven: It’s just seven days until November 4 — voting day — and I’m getting hoarse trying to talk folks into going to the polls. For any number of reasons, chiefly apathy and anger, people I know are saying they are not paying attention to this election.

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COMMENTARY
1:00 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Pinkwashing Breast Cancer

Credit Wikimedia Commons

I hate to be the skunk at the pink garden party. But, some truths must be told about October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the proliferation of pink to mark the annual event.

Thirty years ago breast cancer awareness was a grass roots movement. The pink ribbon was originally peach, designed by 68-year-old Charlotte Haley whose grandmother, sister and daughters were sufferers. Her effort to inform lawmakers and others about the need for more research funding morphed into Breast Cancer Awareness month a massively marketed national campaign.

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COMMENTARY
5:00 am
Mon October 13, 2014

The Ghost Of Charles Stuart Still Haunts Boston

Credit Associated Press

The ghost of Charles Stuart still haunts Boston.

Twenty-four years ago, this month, Stuart, faked a car jacking, killed his wife and unborn baby, and claimed a black man committed the murder. His lie sparked a months long random stop and frisk of every black man in Boston within sight of a policeman.

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COMMENTARY
5:00 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Hyatt: A Cold Case Of Worker Abuse

The Hyatt Regency in Cambridge
Credit WIkimedia Commons/Fletcher6

Their victory is bittersweet. Five years after being fired by Hyatt Hotel, 98 former Boston area housekeepers will split a $1 million settlement.

The hospitality workers union filed suit against local Hyatt hotels after they replaced the housekeepers with lower paid workers.  Hyatt then asked the housekeepers to train them, saying they were vacation fill ins. The replacements were also cheaper $8 an hour versus the housekeepers’ $15 plus benefits. The housekeepers took their story public, and their protests to the streets.

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Local News
8:55 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Child Abuse Vs. Loving Discipline

Where I come from, every kid knows what a switch is.

Memphis is smack in the middle of the Bible Belt where "Spare the rod and spoil the child," is a religious prescription and a cultural assumption. A rambunctious child is always disciplined with more than a good talking to. A "pop" on the behind — sometimes a belt, and sometimes a switch, a small tree branch stripped of leaves.

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COMMENTARY
4:15 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Ferguson Speaks 'The Language Of The Unheard'

Duane Merrells walks with an upside down flag in a protest Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo. Brown's shooting has sparked more than a week of protests, riots and looting in the St. Louis suburb. (
Credit AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

This commentary was originally published on August 25, 2014.

Tear gas and curfews and cops armed for battle --- a scene reminiscent of the too recent history of this nation’s racial strife.

It might as well be 1964, remarked one observer of the Ferguson, Missouri crisis.

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COMMENTARY
8:41 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Obama Disappoints By Delaying Immigration Reform

President Barack Obama
Credit AP Photo

Only a politician on his way out of office can afford to disappoint.

And so it was two weeks ago lame duck President Obama backed away from his promise to take executive action on immigration reform. To be precise, the president characterized it as a postponement of his longstanding promise, one he said he would fulfill later in the year. Translation: right after the November midterms. A more nakedly political decision would be hard to imagine.

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COMMENTARY
5:00 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Pathology, Fear, And Janay Palmer Rice

Janay Rice appeared at a press conference with her husband Ray Rice at a press conference last week after the Ravens let him go.
Credit Patrick Semansky/AP

 

Will somebody please check on Janay Palmer Rice? I fear she is possibly in more danger now than before her husband, star football player Ray Rice, knocked her out cold. 

The elevator surveillance tape revealing the knockout punch and his dragging her unconscious body stirred public outrage and shock. The Baltimore Ravens were forced to fire the popular running back, and the NFL was forced to suspend him indefinitely.  The tape went viral, and once again, brought front and center the issue of domestic violence and football culture.

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COMMENTARY
8:35 am
Mon September 8, 2014

When The Buses Rolled: Embracing Busing's Legacy

Motorcycle police escort buses to a school in Boston on Oct. 10, 1974.
Credit (AP Photo/Frank Curtin)

When the buses rolled, neighborhoods were war zones and children fodder. When the buses rolled, weapons were rocks and spit and taunts.

When the buses rolled, some shouted “never”, others demanded, “right now.”

Forty years ago this week, the first buses assigned under the city’s desegregation plan rolled out onto the streets of Boston.

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COMMENTARY
5:00 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Roxbury Innovation Center Gives Dudley A Much Needed Boost

The Roxbury Innovation Center in Dudley Square.
Credit City of Boston

Location, location, location—that’s the well-known adage in real estate. Where a property is located determines its value.

And location has made all the difference for Boston’s Innovation District enhanced by being part of a revitalized waterfront, while Cambridge’s nerd/entrepreneurs have turned Kendall Square from its academic bookishness into a hip tech haven. That same transformative energy is the vision for Boston’s latest innovation hub soon to be located smack in the middle of Dudley Square in Roxbury. 

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COMMENTARY
5:00 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Why The Boston Public Library Needs Its Head Examined

Credit Flickr/LearningLark

I know a guy who frequently stole books from the Harvard Coop. This was the '80’s, when Harvard Square was alive with the shouts of “free the people.” This guy saw himself as a robber intellectual, and the five-finger discount as an honorable way to stick it to the man.

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COMMENTARY
5:00 am
Mon August 11, 2014

'Simple Fairness' Is Required For Tsarnaev

This courtroom sketch depicts Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev during arraignment in federal court Wednesday, July 10, 2013 in Boston. The 19-year-old has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction, and could face the death penalty.
Credit Margaret Small / AP

“Where would you go?”  The questioner demanded, briefly pausing an animated conversation. “Where would you go to find a place where they don’t think Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is guilty?”

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COMMENTARY
12:01 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Why The Obamas Keep Returning To Martha's Vineyard

President Barack Obama and daughter Malia ride their bikes in Manuel F. Correllus State Forest in West Tisbury, Mass., after first lady Michelle Obama, with daughter Sasha, passed by first, Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, during their family vacation on the island of Martha's Vineyard.
Credit (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The First family is once again headed to Martha’s Vineyard. Except for the re-election summer two years ago, they’ve come every year since the president has been in the White House. And I think I know why. But first, when it was announced they would return, an islander named Robert took to the pages of the Martha’s Vineyard Times practically shouting a common question.

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COMMENTARY
1:44 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Vino Commerce Coming to Taxachusetts

Red red wine.
Credit iStockphoto via NPR

I’m generally a glass half empty person-- unless it’s a glass of wine.

But full glass or no, I may have many more options for what I’m pouring into my glass. State lawmakers finally approved a bill allowing Massachusetts consumers to receive direct shipments from out of state wineries.

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COMMENTARY
5:00 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Vino Commerce Coming to Taxachusetts

Red, red wine.
Credit iStockphoto via NPR

I’m generally a glass half empty person-- unless it’s a glass of wine.

But full glass or no, I may have many more options for what I’m pouring into my glass. State lawmakers finally approved a bill allowing Massachusetts consumers to receive direct shipments from out of state wineries.

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COMMENTARY
7:56 am
Mon July 14, 2014

California Protests Against Undocumented Children Recall Boston Busing

In this June 25, 2014 photo, a group of immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are stopped in Granjeno, Texas. The epicenter of the recent surge in illegal immigration is a 5-mile slice of deep South Texas that has become a hot spot for migrants, human smugglers and drug cartels.
Credit (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

“They are our children now.” A simple message on a sign in Murrieta, California, a quiet sentiment in the deafening crowd of angry demonstrators.

Protestors yelling “Send them home!"

"Them": some of the unaccompanied minors fleeing Central America for the U.S.

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COMMENTARY
8:35 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Fixed Nurse-Patient Ratios Are Needed In More Than Just The ICU

Nurse Danielle Zamerelli checks patient in the intensive care unit at Emory University Hospital Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Atlanta.
Credit (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

If you have ever had a loved one in a hospital intensive care unit, you know. In that sterile scary room, the nurse can be the most important person.

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COMMENTARY
5:16 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Dear New England: I Know Barbeque, You Don't

Credit Memphis in May

It’s barbeque time, and take it from someone who knows. What passes for barbeque around here is, well, not good.

Why do I know? I’m from Memphis where barbeque is imbued in the spirit and soul of the community. The French call it terroir, that environmental “ it” factor which gives their wines that Frenchy essence.  The essence of barbeque is bred in the bones of the people from the River City.

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