My daughter — a millennial, born in 1995 — was named for my grandmother, my father’s mother, who came to the US as a child, with her parents, from Uman, in Ukraine.

What my daughter’s cohort does not know or does not accept or does not understand, regarding the Holocaust, appalls, enrages, and terrifies me.

This is not about “education” or “history” or “morality” or any other abstraction.

This is deeply personal.

Some 130 miles away from Uman, in Kyiv, there was a ravine — since filled in — called Babi Yar.

During the Second World War, over a 36-hour…

Agreed (and thank you). One of the saddest developments in the last few decades is the "circular firing squad" on the progressive side. I don't see how we build the necessary coalitions to get real social justice work done if we keep booting people out of meetings b/c they aren't wearing fair trade, recyclable, shade grown, union made, vegan sneakers. That's all good stuff, but we get the work done by accepting . . . people--all of us flawed in a variety of ways. And--more to your point--I will eat whatever I have to eat, in terms of what I…

As I write this, a court in Minneapolis has just completed the process of seating a jury in the matter of Derek Chauvin, the first of four former police officers set to stand trial in the case of the death of George “I Can’t Breathe” Floyd.

Chauvin — as shown in that notorious and widely distributed video — kept Floyd on the ground, his knee on Floyd’s neck for almost eight minutes, as Floyd pled for his life; some five minutes in, he became unresponsive: Chauvin kept the pressure up for close to another three minutes.

The city, the state…

CVS is What’s Wrong with Healthcare in the US

CEO Compensation is Obscene:

Pharmacies are Understaffed with Underpaid Workers

Image by Jukka Niittymaa from Pixabay

In the US, we pay twice as much for medical care as just about any other country in the world, for worse results. And how we could possibly “afford” to cover everyone is an ongoing “conundrum.”

Hmm . . . perhaps we should look at CVS, whose CEO, Larry Merlo, got $36.5 million in total compensation, in 2019.

Break that down?

An hour of his “work” was “worth” about $17,600.

A worker — perhaps at CVS — getting the federal minimum…

We do not always wear our histories or identities or residency status as signs.

If "we know" that "white guys" are privileged and approach people on that basis--on the basis of appearance or demographic characteristics--that's . . . problematic.

You can't always know when you are "punching up" vs. "punching down."

And "racial shorthand" is dangerous.

Thank you for responding. Thought experiment: Guys who make fun of women in Tech/Management/Medicine represent no barrier at all to the safety, success, and comfort of women in those spheres, and have nothing at all to do with their underrepresentation. True or False?

I fully understand people reacting angrily to the fathers who change a single diaper and then wait for their lollypop and their pat on the head.

That’s not what/who I’m talking about.

Gloria Steinem once wrote: “Women will never be completely equal in the workplace until men are completely equal in the home.”

Not saying the work…

Photo by Maria Oswalt on Unsplash

The Left Should Stop Giving Ammunition to the Right

I get it.

“Reallocate public safety funding to privilege human services over more martial, reactive, and repressive modalities” may not quite have the pith and punch of “Defund the Police.”

And, “Comprehensive immigration reform should be thoughtful, humane, and precisely focused and calibrated, rather than centered on the use of force, family separation, and other punitive measures” is perhaps a little more wordy than “Abolish ICE.”

I get the appeal of the two- or three-word alternatives.


“Defund the Police” and “Abolish ICE” are STUPID slogans for progressives to get behind…

Michael Kirby Smith for The New York Times

Chavez, Dixon, Njuakom, Roumani, Uwakwe, Yoo

Nick Kristof has a piece in the New York Times (11 April 2020), “Life and Death in ‘The Hot Zone,’” that, along with an accompanying video, chronicles the hectic, Covid-19-born, horror of what is going on at two medical facilities in the Bronx — Montefiore Medical Center Moses Division and Jack D. Weiler Hospital — as New York City’s death toll from the virus, reported (ca. 800) and unreported (?), surges past a thousand people per day.

The article is a wrenching read and the video is difficult to watch.

For another day: “Racism and Resources,” “The Gutting of Public…

Photo by Giacomo Carra on Unsplash

Pulling Apart When We Should Be Pulling Together

I went to Trader Joe’s on Friday.

The sidewalk outside was taped off in six-foot increments and two staff members guarded the door. One cart out: One cart in. When carts were returned, they were swabbed down with disinfectant before being given to the next person to be admitted.

Inside the store, the same spacing was tape-enforced at the cash register. And the cashiers asked that customers remain at a distance until they had to either hand over (filthy!) cash or run a card through the (regularly cleaned) atm terminal.

I wore an N95 mask and gloves, my standard fashion…

Donald Unger

I write what I know and what I’ve lived: humor & chronic pain; politics & parenting; business writing & cultural analysis; and . . . ranting (a lot of ranting).

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store