Opinion / Columnist


Speaking now against the day

Numerous analysts have rightly noted the stunning speed with which the public-sector and private-sector rationale for displaying the marker of white supremacy and a treasonous rebellion eroded. There’s no question that indicates a sizeable number of white Americans in the ...

Jacob Lawrence’s “Migration Series” at MoMA

I recently wrote that several extraordinary developments of June — the tragedy at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church and its aftermath, and the two U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage and Obamacare — marked it as one in which momentous ...

Pride, prejudice and the Confederate flag

Immediately following the Charleston massacre businesses, politicians, and assorted institutions rushed to disassociate themselves from a flag made even more infamous by a 21-year-old Confederate flag waving madman. Sadly, it took a century and a half for them to do ...

Why the Confederate flag will continue to fly — for now

The shooting of 9 churchgoers in Charleston, North Carolina, and that state’s refusal to lower a Confederate Flag on state property in the wake of the shooting, have thrust the Confederate Battle flag into the national spotlight.

What part of democracy are they afraid of?

It’s not too soon to ask a critical question of citizens of voting age who tend to vote for Democratic candidates: Do you think you’ll be allowed to vote in 2016? The Republican Party in numerous states across the country ...

Dudley Williams and the beauty of discipline

Dudley Williams, the incomparable artist who danced with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for more than 40 years, passed away last week at the age of 76. I agree wholeheartedly with the well-deserved praise of Dudley Williams, the artist. ...

America’s true crime problem

The Justice Department’s scathing report on the management and practices of the Cleveland police force is the latest to show that police departments’ racist practices toward blacks and Hispanics is also both a cause and effect of bad policing: of ...

The Waco biker riot and the lexicon of racism

America’s present-day “racial divide,” has never been more strikingly displayed than in the refusal of much of the mainstream and conservative media to describe the May 17 biker riot in Waco, Texas as a riot.

The GOP’s lunatic center

The Republican Party doesn’t have a lunatic fringe. It has a lunatic center: a core bloc of white voters and officeholders whose extreme conservatism leads them to repeatedly indulge in outlandish conspiracy theories and, more seriously, propose and enact legislation ...

Trading away economic opportunity

The neo-liberal Washington consensus, from the International Monetary Fund to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, has concluded that the pressing challenge today is rising inequality in income and wealth. And, as all students of inequality understand, the United ...

Baltimore and the dynamic of racial déjà vu

The institutional and political resources devoted to creating and maintaining a sizeable class of poor black people whether in populous urban centers like Baltimore or small cities and towns like Ferguson become obvious at moments like this.

Death Row’s Other Killers

The exonerations of death row inmates underscore how widespread are the terrible flaws of America’s criminal justice system, and especially its ultimate evil: the death penalty.

The second slaying of Walter Scott

It's getting so predictable you can mail the script in. A young, or not so young, unarmed African-American is gunned down by a cop. It makes brief news -- except the news is not really news but the script.

Facing bad “Officer Friendly” while black

The popularly-held view of police as protectors and servants doesn’t ring true for blacks

Free speech hypocrisy

This winter the media’s been ablaze with stories about racist, homophobic and sexist slurs being hurled this way and that by college students and other adults. Revealingly, those that have captured the most attention all involve black Americans as the ...