The Washington Redskins and the Potential for a Better Identity

It’s a little hard to believe that, in a culture so obsessed with political correctness and respect for all people, a team name like the Washington Redskins persists and can, in fact, be staunchly defended by large swathes of the populace. This month, amid rumors that a name change could be in the offing, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder wrote an open letter to the team's fans reaffirming his commitment to the name. “When I consider the Washington Redskins name,” he writes, “I think of what i … [Read more...]

Actually, People Say Really Nice Things About Miss America on Twitter!

I don't watch the Miss America pageant. There are two good reasons for this. First, I don't watch much television, and second, I think it's the weirdest thing. I know folks complain that the pageant tends to objectify women more than empower them, but I could easily be convinced that this isn't the case. Instead, the pageant reminds me of my old high school prom. All of these beautiful women are there in their beautiful gowns, but no one has a date. (I've always thought it'd be awesome to show … [Read more...]

What If The Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects Weren’t White?

As I write this, the massive hunt to find the remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has just ended. When the Tsarnaev brothers’ photos were circulated this past Thursday, catalyzing the extraordinary efforts to capture them, I experienced a number of emotions and thoughts. And among them was a reflexive, admittedly selfish prayer: "Thank you, God, that the suspects are not Asian or Asian-American."I was remembering 2007 when Seung Hui Cho unleashed … [Read more...]

Breaking News: ‘Accidental Racist’ Fixes Racism!

After a tumultuous 394-year history, the volatile racial tension caused by cultural misunderstandings (slavery), social stigma (slavery), and politics (slavery) is over. African-American ambassador LL Cool J and the white cultural attaché, Brad Paisley, signed the cultural armistice after lengthy deliberation on the two groups’ historic conflicts of interest (slavery). “The relationship between the Mason-Dixon needs some fixin,” commented Cool J before the summit. The release of their joint song … [Read more...]

A Post-Racial World? Not in the Ivory Towers.

Last fall, I received an email from my alma mater Williams College, a liberal arts school of 2,000 students nestled in Massachusetts’ Berkshire Mountains. The message informed alums of a hate incident on campus in which a racial slur and threatening message were scrawled on a dormitory bathroom. Although I was surprised that something like this could happen at a place like Williams, I wish I could say that the incident was an isolated one.Just in the past month alone, there have been racial i … [Read more...]

The Naked Racism of an Obama America

America is more racially divided today than when Obama took office. In this feature, Alan Noble explores the causes of this division and why it may be a good thing. Whatever you think of Barack Obama's presidency, the first African American to hold the highest office in the land has dramatically changed the way we view race in our country--or, at least, what it is acceptable to say about race in public.As a people who believe that all humans are made in the image of God, that before Christ … [Read more...]

Why Colonel Reb Had to Go

You should take a minute and read "Goodbye, Colonel Rebel." Seriously, stop what you are doing and read that article. If you can't read it now, bookmark it and read it later. It is a reflection piece by a black woman who attended Ole Miss in the early 80's. That's not so long ago. You should read about her experiences then, and the experiences she relates of those who went before her. It is a disgrace that we treat each other so horribly. The idea of denigrating a human being in such a way … [Read more...]

Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, Christian Silence & the Need for Radical Grace

“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” — Ida B. WellsOn February 26, 2012, a young man named Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by an armed neighborhood watch volunteer. Trayvon was not committing a crime at the time, nor was he armed.The shooter, George Zimmerman, was told not to pursue him by 911 operators, but he ignored that instruction.What exactly led to the shooting after that is unclear. The facts may suggest that the shooting itself and the way the case … [Read more...]