Author Archives: James Shearer

Sick and Tired of Bullies? Me too.

Sick and Tired of Bullies? Me too.

I’ve always hated bullies. There’s something about them that triggers rage inside of me. I’ve encountered them all my life in a variety of places: school, work, even in activism. My stepfather was a bully. He abused my mother for years, even after their divorce, until her best friend and I put an end to

The Forgotten Crisis: Nobody Thinks It Could Happen to Them

Sometimes when I talk to groups about homelessness, unless they’re activists, I get a blank stare, like I’m talking to a bunch of empty chairs or an empty room. I get it: homelessness isn’t sexy or trendy like climate change, gun control, LGBTQ rights, or even animal rights for that matter. Those are all important

Awakening

Over the last few years I have felt disconnected from the black community, not coming from them but me. It wasn’t on purpose, mind you. I wasn’t as young people call it these days “cooning;” that means Uncle Tom for you folks that aren’t up on street slang. I railed against everything that affects us,

Melting Pot

As I stood listening to Elizabeth Warren alongside thousands of others at the Families Belong Together rally at Boston City Hall, I started thinking, “How in the hell did we get here?” A question that sadly I ask myself a lot these days. I’ve never really understood the whole hatred against immigrants thing, since the

Stand Together

I said I wouldn’t criticize Mayor Marty Walsh and the City of Boston about the Point-in-Time Count (homeless census). I lied. I mean I really wasn’t going to say much of anything more than  what I said in my last column, then I read that the mayor was looking to get a raise; not only

Stand Together

I said I wouldn’t criticize Mayor Marty Walsh and the City of Boston about the Point-in-Time Count (homeless census). I lied. I mean I really wasn’t going to say much of anything more than  what I said in my last column, then I read that the mayor was looking to get a raise; not only

What Comes After Trump? Lots of work.

I was scanning through news stories the other day when I came across a really sad and horrible story. In Florida, a black family was awarded a measly four dollars in damages in a wrongful death suit after a deputy shot the father through a garage door—his own garage door, by the way—because of a

Looking in the Mirror: Part Two

A few years ago a woman I was dating asked me this question: “Why are there hardly any women selling Spare Change?” It was a question I had heard before and for the life of me I couldn’t answer it. I remember mumbling something about I didn’t know if the board of directors or anyone

Looking in the Mirror: Part One

The other day I was thinking of one of our former editors, the first black editor Spare Change had in over 20 years, when he came aboard he began to take the paper in a new direction. Let’s just say there was a lot more color than the paper was used to, and there was

The Poor People’s Campaign: Putting Humanity Before Politics

Before Martin Luther King’s tragic death 50 years ago this month, he had begun organizing what he would call the Poor People’s Campaign. The focus was to bring economic justice to all poor people regardless of their race. Though the campaign continued after King’s death, it never had the success he envisioned. Now 50 years

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