A group of African-American clergy have issued an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump, urging him to “reconsider this appointment especially as you step into your role as President in a nation struggling to move past a deeply divisive campaign.”
The letter, organized by National African American Clergy Network co-chairs Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, Dr. T. DeWitt Jr., and Dr. Otis Moss Jr., came before the announcements today of Sen. Jeff Sessions to Attorney General.
The high school I went to, on Long Island, taught me a lot about race. I learned about overt racism, and what we now call microaggressions.
Over a quarter of a century later, I am under no delusions that we live in a post-racial society.
An early scene in Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation depicts the wedding of two slaves. As the bride and groom dance joyfully with each other in the midst of a circle of their fellow slaves, the group around them sings: “You got a right, you got a right, you got a right to the tree of life.”
Several scenes later, Nina Simone’s Strange Fruit plays as the camera pans out slowly to show a massive live oak tree full of lynched black bodies. It’s a nauseating image, and the two scenes draw a heartbreaking connection: In this world, oppressed people claiming their right to the tree of life can be a death sentence.
I don’t need to remind you, but I will, that this is the mentality of slave owners — the muscle memory of oppression that beats in American hearts still, in quiet and loud ways, and leads the systems of this nation to marginalize those who look different than the most privileged.
The Republican National Convention got underway July 18, and those who were anticipating drama did not have to wait long.
Even before the official start of the convention, Stephen Colbert stole the stage to announce the commencement of the “Republican National Hungry for Power Games” while imitating a character from the dystopian novels and movies, The Hunger Games.
Best known for his role in "Grey's Anatomy," Williams stole the show on a night featuring a surprise performance by Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar.
I cannot think of a better way to honor the victims of the Charleston massacre, and the Jesus they worship, than by insisting on another form of justice for Roof.
I knew that the problem of race in America was one of the two main engines that mobilized his project in Christian ethics. The other was the threat of war. In the 1980s, Glen put together a method of doing Christian ethics in the context of the Cold War that was meant to help foster clarity in conversation and allow unspoken influential preferences to be recognized. As he understood it, we are much more than reasoning, rational minds; we are a complex amalgam of different contributing factors, including our core convictions, community loyalties, things we are passionate about, people we trust, and political commitments. Indeed, many things are at play in all of our ethical decisions.
New initiatives are seeking to curb what is often portrayed as a growing epidemic of heroin use in America. But as Ekow Yankah wrote in a brilliant piece last month, titled “When Addiction Has a White Face" this new attention to the plight of the addicted and the justification from law enforcement that “these are people with a purpose in life” has only come when the faces of addicts are no longer black and brown, but white.
Did you know that Oregon was founded as place for white people only?
Yes. Yes, it was.
In a complicated twisting political tale of pre-Civil War American history, enshrined in my state’s constitution were explicit and clear black exclusion laws.
For the second year in a row, every Academy nominee in an acting category is white.
Forget Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation. Or Michael B. Jordan in Creed. Or Bernicio Del Toro in Sicario. Or Will Smith in Concussion.
The 93% White, 76% Male Academy wasn't interested.
Straight Outta' Compton was also lauded as a potential best picture nominee, but was only nominated for Best Original Screenplay, which was written by two white writers. Similarly, only Sylvester Stallone was nominated for Creed, a film with a black lead actor and a black director.
Editor’s Note: A lot has happened this year, and there has been much to cover — much to lament, much to praise, and much to record into history. It has been our privilege and honor to write, edit, and read along with you. In no particular order, here are our 15 favorite stories of 2015.
Jim Wallis is determined to bring ongoing conversations about race in America to his fellow white Christians.
“If white Christians acted more Christian than white,” he writes in his latest book America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America, “black parents would have less to fear for their children.”
Below, you can watch the trailer for the book, which focuses on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., where hundreds of civil rights demonstrators were attacked by armed policeman in 1965.
There has so far been no official accounting of what happened to Smith the morning of Nov. 1 on the second-floor landing of the Marbury Plaza Apartments in Southeast D.C. The Medical Examiner’s report tells part of the story, but there is still so much more unknown.
"I'm no longer stating that my son was beaten to death. My son was tortured to death. There are more injuries in the coroner’s report than I could visibly see with my eyes. There were injuries on my son’s back. He was hemorrhaging — the back. The back of his head was busted,” said mother Beverly Smith.
Banners posted at predominantly white churches across the country in support of the “Black Lives Matter” movement have been vandalized — some of them more than once.
Since the Unitarian Universalist Association passed a resolution last summer affirming the movement, 17 of more than 50 congregations that have posted signs have seen them vandalized or stolen.
The Rev. Neal Anderson, senior minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Nevada in Reno, said his largely white congregation posted its fourth sign after the third one was stolen on Halloween weekend. The first banner was vandalized in August.
“For me the vandalism was sort of this physical and visible sign of white supremacy,” he said of the first act of vandalism.
South Carolina sheriff Leon Lott announced Wednesday afternoon that Ben Fields, the police officer who violently arrested a 15-year-old black female student at Spring Valley High School, has been fired.
"It's not what I expect from my deputies, and it's not what I tolerate from my deputies," said Lott.
Although Lott removed Fields from his police force, he also commented on the behavior of the student.
On the morning of Oct. 26, a student at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina was flipped out of her desk and tossed across the room by school resource officer Ben Fields.
Fields is already facing an outstanding lawsuit filed against him for "recklessly targeting African-American students with allegations of gang membership." But in 2014, Fields received a "Culture of Excellence" award for being "an exceptional role model to the students he serves and protects."
Campus police officers at the University of Mississippi removed the state flag from its campus this morning, days after resolutions from the student body, staff, and faculty urged such action, according to a press release from the University of Mississippi.
It is the first predominantly white institution of higher education in the state of Mississippi to ban the flag.
The student senate was the first to pass the resolution, after 3 hours of "respectful and impassioned debate" culminating in a 33-15-1 vote in support of removal.
Police are stepping up patrols and trying to develop a profile of whomever has set six fires outside churches in predominantly black neighborhoods since Oct. 8, Police Chief Sam Dotson said.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri and the Anti-Defamation League suggested a racial motive may be at play. In a prepared statement, the ACLU of Missouri’s executive director, Jeffrey Mittman, called the fires “domestic terrorism.”
“It is a sad truth that, throughout our nation’s history, African-Americans often have been met with astounding violence when they demand equality,” he wrote.
“Those who commit this violence seek to instill fear. This is why arson against predominantly black churches has been a frequent tool of white supremacy.”
The social theory of the hegemonic male lays claim to the idea that there is a particular type of individual that our culture caters to and strives to be. When looking at the lack of gender and racial-based diversity in the U.S. film industry, I believe that this is a valid claim to make.
The hegemonic male is a white, cisgender, intelligent, handsome, and powerful man who has achieved great economic, political, and/or social status. He is the ideal and standard by which many in our culture aspire to become—for good or for ill. (Think Don Draper.)
According to this theory, everyone is in competition to be the most hegemonic male that one can be. However, it’s difficult for an individual to ever feel as though he has reached this status, as it always feels like more power is possible. Furthermore, it’s impossible for women, people of color, or members of the LGBTQ community to gain any traction in this competition as their race, ethnicity, gender, and/or sexual identification does not line up with the supposed ideal. This competition among members of our culture, while not often articulated, often leaves many individuals feeling unfulfilled. It is virtually impossible to live up to the social norms and expectations set before them.