Radio Raheem is still dead: A Ferguson reader

Screen shot 2014-11-25 at 3.20.24 PM

Responses and reflections from Syreeta McFadden, Leonard Pitts, Ezra Klein, Chauncey DeVega, Zandar, Jamelle Bouie and more, plus links to all the grand jury evidence released so far. [Read more...]

The lie of ‘the Black Problem’ is not just immoral, it’s illogical


In a sane universe, or a moral one, it would not be not reasonable to claim that the mere presence of an unarmed dark-skinned person was a basis to fear for one’s life. In a sane world, such fear would be regarded, rather, as the very definition of racial prejudice. In a reasonable world, the claim that a lethal response was necessary due to the presence of an unarmed black man would be rightly understood as a confirmation of racial prejudice — as a confession of it. [Read more...]

Everybody knows.


Take one last look at this Sacred Heart before it blows. [Read more...]

Rudy Giuliani discusses his Black Problem

Screen shot 2014-11-24 at 2.22.54 PM

The point here is not simply that what Giuliani is arguing is racist, but that he has accepted a framework that doesn’t allow for any thought or response that could ever be anything other than racist. The framework of The Black Problem allows for different degrees of white supremacy and slightly different gradations of racism, but the construct redefines the subject in such a way that any non-racist response is prohibited. Any such response is, for people like Giuliani, unimaginable. [Read more...]

The praying hands prey with deliberate cunning


Some Thursday night linkage, including: Glenn Beck is worried about the Black Problem; Ta-Nehisi Coates on Bill Cosby; the hidden curriculum of housekeeping wages; the ghosts of the Satanic panic; and G-L-O-R-I-A in excelsis at the Vatican. [Read more...]

G.K. Chesterton and the machinery of bigotry


G.K. Chesterton was a brilliant man with a nimble wit. He had education, Jesus, and a sense of humor — three things that it seems out to preclude crude prejudice and hate. Yet instead of allowing these things to rescue him, Chesterton turned his formidable intellect, religious fervor and wit to the service of an ugly and obsessive anti-Semitism. We need to learn from that, because the lies Chesterton told himself in service of the idea that the world had a “Jewish problem” are precisely the same lies that white America has been telling itself for centuries to maintain the idea that we have a black problem. [Read more...]

A ‘Yankee abolitionist holiday’


“This theatrical national claptrap of Thanksgiving … has aided other causes in setting thousands of pulpits to preaching ‘Christian politics’ instead of humbly letting the carnal Kingdom alone and preaching singly Christ crucified.” So said Virginia Gov. Henry A. Wise in 1856, preaching a “non-political” religion that was utterly and completely political. [Read more...]

State lotteries and truth in advertising


State lotteries are exempt from truth-in-advertising laws. And this, I think, offers some promise for changing the politics of state lotteries. This is a way of taking them on without prompting a defensive response from either entrenched constituency — the Losers or the Free-loaders. We don’t attack the lotteries themselves, we attack their exemption from truth-in-advertising laws. [Read more...]