People protest attempts to throw out ballots cast at drive-through polling locations in Houston, Texas on November 2, 2020. REUTERS/Callaghan O'Hare

The Electoral College system favors voters in a small group of battleground states, over-representing white voters while ignoring many voters of color. A growing chorus of legal and policy experts, along with the majority of Americans, believe it should change.

Adam Russell Taylor 10-29-2020

A person casts his ballot for the upcoming presidential election during early voting in Sumter, S.C., Oct. 9, 2020. REUTERS/Micah Green/File Photo

Racism is on the ballot next week. Democracy is on the ballot next week. These two things two are inextricably linked because racism has disfigured American democracy from the founding of our nation. The road to a more perfect union has been long and uneven. And this road requires that we continually become a more perfect democracy and more just nation. And while our democracy will never be perfect, we must continually defend the rights, institutions, and laws that help safeguard our freedoms and advance the common good. Increasingly this election represents a test of whether we embrace and will work to realize a truly inclusive, multiracial democracy with liberty and justice for all.

Illustration by Dave McClinton

IF YOU EXPECT a column about art, you may have turned to the wrong page. Though I would very much like to be writing about aesthetics, I’m afraid I cannot do so outright. The problem is simple: Our world is on fire, has been for a very long time, and we can no longer afford to avoid the why. Our country looks in the mirror and cannot recognize its face because its self-concept is built on lies. To be an American, it seems, is to be in a state of constant dissociation. Perhaps that is the fine print in our social contract—mandated distance from our inner worlds and the violence we inflict on each other.

But, if we are constantly looking away from ourselves, what are we looking at instead? The answer is, again, simple. We—this “we” primarily composed of white people—have traded a clear vision of reality away for the tawdry allure of images. Put frankly, we worship a portrait of America that has not yet come into being.

A pedestrian in Milwaukee, Wisconsin passes a sign urging people to vote. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

When we say the upcoming election is the most consequential election in our lifetime, it is not hyperbole or political spin, but a reflection of  just how stark the choices have become and the perilous nature of the crises that our communities, our nation, and our world faces.

Aaron E. Sanchez 8-06-2020

We live in the shadow of flags meant to forever hide us, to remind us we don’t belong.

People hold a sign during a demonstration against police violence and racial inequality in Chicago. July 24, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

What remains for all who’ve hit rock bottom is the long road to healing.


How did white people justify racism for so long in this country? Heather McGhee, the co-chair of Color of Change, the country’s largest online racial justice organization, talks with Rev. Jim Wallis about the legacy of racism in the United States and the lies that allow America’s original sin to be perpetuated to this day.

Brian Hamilton 7-01-2020

Credit: Shutterstock

The moral question is not what we meant to do. 

Lyndsey Medford 6-30-2020

Photo by Ben Neale on Unsplash

Before I learned my town’s true history, I cared about racial justice.

Brittini L. Palmer 6-30-2020

Men wearing protective face masks hold a photograph of Rayshard Brooks, the Black man shot dead by an Atlanta police officer, following his funeral, at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga. June 23, 2020. REUTERS/Lynsey Weatherspoon

Whether their blood cries out from Valdosta Ga., or the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison, their cries cannot go unanswered.

John Lewis with fellow protestors at Edmund Pettus Bridge, in JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE, a Magnolia Pictures release. © Alabama Department of Archies and History. Donated by Alabama Media Group. Photo by Tom Lankford, Birmingham News. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Good Trouble is a timely and deeply moving film, particularly in this moment of national awakening and reckoning around police violence and systemic racism, and as we approach what feels like the most consequential election in my lifetime.

Christina Colón 6-24-2020

The Reverend Eboni Marshall Turman preaches at High Point University in North Carolina. Photo courtesy of www.marshallturman.com. 

On the 155th observance of Juneteenth, a collective of Black church pastors and theologians released a theological statement to “emphatically repudiate the evil beast of white racism, white supremacy, white superiority and its concomitant and abiding anti-Black violence.”

Aaron E. Sanchez 6-24-2020

'We Serve White's Only No Spanish or Mexicans' sign outside a Texas restaurant. 1949. Credit: Wikimedia Commons 

This history runs through, into, and over my interracial children.

Amos C. Brown 6-16-2020

A man recites spoken word poetry at a makeshift memorial honoring George Floyd in Minneapolis,  June 1, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

In July 1952, when I was 11 years old, some of my relatives took me to witness the Billy Graham Crusade in Jackson, Miss. Ropes were strung across the athletic field and stands where more than 300,000 people would gather to hear him preach during those hot summer nights. The ropes had one purpose: to keep the crowd segregated by the color of their skin.

I am tired of white colleagues who have ignored the reports of microagressions and outright racism but are now posting black boxes on social media or reaching out to me with an “I love you.” They may mean well but it often feels so little and too late.

White churches need to enter conversations of racial justice with sobriety. 

Michael Rothbaum 6-04-2020

Terrence Floyd visits the site near where his brother George was taken in Minneapolis police custody and later killed, in Minneapolis, Minn. June 1, 2020. REUTERS/Eric Miller/File Photo

In Exodus, the Egyptians shed innocent blood. Then God made this blood visible for all to see. 

Meredith Brasher 6-03-2020

A protester holds a sign near near the Seattle Police Department's East Precinct in Seattle, Wash. June 2, 2020. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Looting is not the story. Murder is the story.


Whitney Parnell, Founder and CEO of Service Never Sleeps, talks with Rev. Jim Wallis in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd about systemic racism, white privilege, and the hope for our collective future.

Kierra Jackson 6-01-2020

Illustration by Michael George Haddad

PRESIDENT TRUMP “DISCOVERED” this spring that African Americans are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. “Why is it three or four times more so for the black community as opposed to other people?” he asked during a live coronavirus task force briefing in April. Black social media erupted.

One friend wrote, “The white man said it, but we have been screaming this for years.” Another person posted, “Blackness is not a risk factor. Anti-blackness is the comorbidity.”

I began to seriously consider the impact of race on health while becoming a registered nurse. Combating health disparities in the black community eventually brought me to midwifery. As a health care provider, the language of “comorbidity” (two or more chronic health conditions) and “modifiable health risk” (a risk factor for illness that can be lowered by taking an action) has become part of my vocabulary.

Following Trump’s question at the press briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, responded, “When you look at the predisposing conditions that lead to a bad outcome with coronavirus ... they are just those very comorbidities that are unfortunately disproportionately prevalent in the African American population.” A few days later, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams noted that minorities are not more predisposed to infection “biologically or genetically,” but rather they are “socially predisposed” to it.