I’m on my cross-country kNOw THEM America bicycle trip through August 2016, getting past THEMification in my own country. I’m updating the progress map below weekly and posting images, reflections, learnings and experiences to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Astoria, OR – Minneapolis, MN, 2108 miles as of July 12, 2016
This site is dedicated to the most-dangerous four-letter word in the English language. This word carries a sharply stinging insult and leaves lasting bitterness. When we stop to really think about it, we realize the damage this word can do, yet it has become so engrained in our daily speech that it seems nearly impossible to erase from our vocabulary. Adults everywhere should know better than to use this four-letter word, and yet we rarely make concerted efforts to keep our children and ourselves from saying it. Wars throughout history have been started and fought over this word, millions have been enslaved, and genocides have threatened the existence of entire populations as a result of its deep embedding into our cultures. What is this four-letter word? – Them.
In over a decade of travels throughout the world, I have spent time with people on all sides of conflicts. Through our interactions together I have found that individual stories are the key to dispelling stereotypes, fighting misconceptions, and dispelling preconceived notions. This site is designed to be a means of increasing real understanding and humanizing the “other side” by sharing the insights I have gained from these personal interactions. I echo the words of Mark Twain in saying that “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.”