Author Archives: franleeperbuss

Moral Panic

I think of the children of undocumented immigrant workers. Years ago, Juanita’s tiny, two-year-old daughter, Cecilia, stumbled over to me where I sat on a kitchen chair. She looked at me from her small face with her brown-black eyes. The … Continue reading

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Welfare

Many years ago, I was a single parent with three children under five. I worked four part time jobs trying to support them. When I was unable to get child support and my child care fell through, I went on … Continue reading

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Nativism

On July 22, 2006, my husband an drove across the desert in our air conditioned car. At the same time, eleven-year-old Olivia Luna Nogueda and her older sister, Marisol, seventeen, attempted to cross the Arizona desert from Mexico on foot. … Continue reading

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God’s Plan for Justice

Maria Elena Lucas, a farm worker and union organizer, found meaning in the everyday work of her people. She saw their hard lives as part of a larger struggle that included God ‘s plan for justice in this world. Nearly … Continue reading

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New Movement

About twenty years ago I knew Catherine McGowen, a retired cleaning woman from a hospital in Montgomery, Alabama. A small African American, she had been one of grass roots activists in the civil rights movement. She was raising two young … Continue reading

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The Politics of Abortion

Maria Elena Lucas, an ex-farm worker, poured her heart out into the spiral bound, green notebook. Dating her inscription March 16, 1990, she declared, “I . . . refuse to believe God is a man or that there is only … Continue reading

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War on Drugs

Shortly after Ronald Reagan promoted the “War on Drugs” in 1982, I met a young African American woman locked in jail in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She had been arrested in a drug sweep and charged with prostitution. In the background, cells … Continue reading

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