Featured – Is History Being Too Kind to George H.W. Bush? The 41st president put self-interest over principle time and time again.
George Bush, Sr., has died, and our national media have begun the familiar rituals of presidential passings: round-the-clock pieties on cable news, fond tributes from associates, the inevitable softening of the rough edges. This isn’t surprising. In the case of George Bush, this balancing act means acknowledging not only his positive qualities and achievements—as so many news outlets have already copiously done—but also what may have been his defining political hallmarks. From his opportunistic criticism of the 1964 Civil Right Act, to his 1980 election season embrace of supply-side economics. David Greenberg / Politico Read more
America Is Racist. So What Do We Do Now? Activist Lawyer Bryan Stevenson Has Some Answers.
Over the years, Stevenson, who is 58, came to realize that holding America accountable for racial injustice extended beyond winning cases. As he and others have noted, the North won the Civil War in 1865, but it lost the narrative war. “We are taught a version of 19th-century history that is romantic,” says Stevenson. “The lion’s story will never be told if the hunter is the one to tell it.” Mary Kaye Schilling / Newsweek Read more
The United States Is Becoming a Two-Tiered Country With Separate and Unequal Voting Laws.
But the midterms showed that voting rights may finally be a political winner. Voters in a half-dozen states—including red and swing states—sent a clear message that voting rights matter. Ari Berman / Mother Jones Read more
Mike Espy lost his Mississippi Senate bid. But the discussions about racism can change things for the better.
The fact that so many people here — including many white people, if not enough of us — were openly outraged by Hyde-Smith’s disturbing approach to race is a stark change from the past. Donna Ladd / NBC News Read more
Cindy Hyde-Smith Is Teaching Us What Segregation Academies Taught Her.
Perhaps this is because for much of her life she has been hearing only one side of an argument and doesn’t know or care that there is a larger conversation to be had. What is notable is that taxpayer dollars financed these all-white schools at the cost of simultaneously creating poorly funded all-black public-school systems in the South. Noliwe Rooks / NYT Read more
Black Republicans Are the Only GOP Officials Who Seem Bothered by Racism.
On Thursday, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the only black Republican member of the Senate, announced he would oppose President Donald Trump’s controversial nomination of conservative lawyer Thomas Farr to the federal judiciary. Farr was involved in former North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms’ 1990 re-election campaign, which was accused of trying to intimidate black voters in the state, and he was hired to defend a voter identification law that a federal appeals court would strike down for “targeting African Americans with almost surgical precision.” Jemelle Bouie / Slate Read more
America’s dark history of organized anti-Semitism re-emerges in today’s far-right groups.
Hours after Robert Bowers allegedly walked into a Pittsburgh synagogue and killed 11 people, investigators told the media that Bowers appeared to have acted alone and fit what experts call the “lone mass shooter profile.” As I show in my book, “Hitler’s American Friends: The Third Reich’s Supporters in the United States,” anti-Semitic violence is never solely the product of a single deluded mind, as the United States’ dark history of organized prejudice reveals. Instead, it is the product of a unique culture of hatred that originated in the mid-20th century and persists to this day. Bradley W. Hart / Salon Read more
How white racism destroys black wealth.
There are a lot of reasons that home prices tend to be lower in black neighborhoods than in white ones. Decades of racist policies put in place by governments and private companies — segregation, redlining, deed restrictions, exclusionary zoning, the deliberate hollowing out of urban cores. Zillow data shows that the median listing price of a home in a majority-black neighborhood in a major metro area is around $184,000, while the median listing in a neighborhood where blacks make up less than 1 percent of the population stands at over $341,000. Christopher Imgraham / Wash Post Read more
James Baldwin’s ‘Beale Street’ Is Talking Louder Than Ever.
If Beale Street Could Talk, a movie directed by Barry Jenkins, opens in limited release December 14. The novel of the same name by James Baldwin and on which the movie is based was published in June 1974. It tells the story of Tish and Fonny, two very young (she’s 19, he’s 22) African-Americans in New York City who are in love, engaged to be married, then find the fragile trajectory of their lives thrown off by Fonny’s arrest for a rape he did not commit. Ben Fountain / The Daily Beast Read more
Rap’s Radical First Act.
David Nelson, Gylan Kain and Adiodun Oyewole christened their spoken-word collective the Last Poets on May 19, 1968, on what would have been Malcolm X’s 43rd birthday; they had been invited to recite their poems at a celebration in his honor. The three men were part of a flourishing Harlem artist community, and their poetry epitomized ideals of the Black Arts Movement — the multidisciplinary cultural front that was Black Power’s fraternal twin. Walton Muyumba / NYT Read more