Just as the Republican Party is poised to take control of Congress, a key official's actions and words remind us — just in time for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday — that it remains implacably hostile to what King represented and what the holiday stands for.
Now, in the season that's supposed to exalt goodwill toward all, comes fresh evidence of the important role the white majority's unwillingness to consider black Americans as their counterparts across the color line plays in maintaining the racial divide.
From nearly the moment he was attacked by a New York City police officer July 18, the world has, via that chilling video, watched Eric Garner die. Are we now about to see the "traditions" that led to his death and — thus far — have enabled his killer to escape justice die, too?
The latest proof that the lethal Ebola virus is not a threat to the American public was greeted with deafening silence from Republican officialdom, the conservative echo chamber and their mainstream media allies, who had ginned up the Ebola "crisis" with the-sky-is-falling exaggerations, half-truths and outright lies.
Three reports released this month on the arrest activities of the New York City Police Department should ratchet up the already significant questioning of the department's use of the "broken windows" approach to policing.
The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month let stand the state of Texas' latest attempt to use the old tactics of the Jim Crow era and rig state and national elections in favor of the Republican Party by denying black and Hispanic voters access to the ballot.
To read and hear much of the commentary and charges from conservative pundits, talk-show jockeys and Republican members of Congress, one would think Ebola is on the verge of spreading like wildfire.
Thomas Eric Duncan's death was sufficient to trip yet another outbreak of a different kind of horrible virus that has been coursing through American society for the past six years. This virus shows itself as the workings of a diseased mind, not a diseased body. I follow the lead of others who’ve called it "Obama Derangement Syndrome."
Amid heightened concern in the U.S. about the ferocious Ebola disease, two prominent Republican office holders last week seized upon the proper concern over a Liberian national in Dallas testing positive for the virulent disease as a chance to show they think the GOP's political cesspool has no bottom.
What was Alessandra Stanley, the longtime television critic of the New York Times, thinking that caused her, in that now-infamous article, to mislabel Shonda Rhimes, the TV hit maker, the paragon of the "Angry Black Woman" and traffic in the most misguided attitudes about black artists, black women and black people in general?
The lack of overall progress is bad news for black Americans, for the old truism still applies: If white America has a cold, black America has pneumonia.
Do you know what little respect black and Hispanic residents of New York City have for following the rules that make living in the city bearable — for not “loitering,” or not riding their bicycles on the sidewalk, or not spitting on the street, or not walking through parks after dark, or — my particular favorite — having a license for their dogs?
We ought to regard the nation's criminal justice system as a distant cousin of the former Soviet Union's infamous gulag archipelago.
We've now moved to a new stage of the racist reaction to the police killing of Michael Brown: the largely overt assertion that he deserved to be killed.
The flurry of polls released last week revealed that sharp disagreements exist between Black and White Americans about the killing of Michael Brown by a White police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9, about the street protests that have followed, and about several issues of how police interact with civilians.
In the midst of a crisis when America's national government needs to act swiftly, one can count on the Republican Party, driven by its reflexive anti-Obama mania, to oppose any positive action.
Last week, the Supreme Court issued two decisions that the Court's conservative majority and the larger conservative movement pretended were about "religious freedom."
How much is a person's innocence worth?
The racism and sexism Donald Sterling has so bluntly put on display multiple times now, along with other recent developments, has underscored that these forms of bigotry in America, while less powerful than before, are still widespread and will be for a long time to come.
Increasingly for many of its residents, New York has become a city full of high anxiety about where they can afford to live.
Beyond the laughable hypocrisy of Cliven Bundy asserting that "the Negro" is too dependent on government largesse, his words underscore that American conservatism's central motivating force from the long-ago past to the present has always been the oppression of "the Negro."
Hank Aaron, the major leaguer who 40 years ago broke Babe Ruth's titanic home-run record, recently spoke the truth about the source of some of the opposition to President Obama the politician and the man — and in doing so, illuminated a blazing truth about American society as a whole.
Could you use an additional $24,000 in your yearly wages? How about nearly $19,000? Or even just another $11,000 to $12,000? Those figures are what you get — or rather, what women who work full-time don't get — because of the pervasive "wage gap" between women and men.
Last week the U.S. Supreme Court added another layer of bricks to the wall conservatives are trying to build to transform the American political system from a "one person, one vote" democracy into one that is ruled — via legislative enactments and judicial decision-making — by the wealthiest individuals and corporate entities.
Question: What do you call someone who believes White shopkeepers and owners of other large and small businesses have the “right” to discriminate against Black people? Answer: Rand Paul.
Now, the world knows something of the story of Solomon Northrup, a "free" Black American from New York who was kidnapped by slave-hunters in the 1840s and for the next 12 years suffered the life of a captive in America's man-made hell of Negro Slavery.
Arizona's Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, after nearly a week of reading the political tea leaves, vetoed a bill Feb. 27 from her state's GOP-controlled legislature that its advocates stated had the innocuous purpose of shoring up protections for the "free exercise of religion."
It all seems so familiar, doesn't it? A Black man, or woman, or child is murdered by a White person — and America's criminal justice system compounds the tragedy.
Arnold Pinkney's business acumen and civic activism validated to an extraordinary degree the Civil Rights Movement's promise of what destroying the barriers to Black Americans' full participation in American society could produce.
Isn’t it time to think of the Republican Party’s quest for the presidency as haunted? That'd be a good question to put to Chris Christie, the latest GOP “golden boy” trying to get his feet out of the political clay.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. hasn't been this alive since 1968.
A virus has been sweeping through the ranks of the conservative movement in recent years — and it seems to be getting worse with each passing week.
It's the current American reality that's become a nightmare for millions upon millions whose lives, occupations and economic stability once seemed to embody it.
Is American society willing to let the 21 million American children — one quarter of all American children — who live in households that get food stamps endure not just less to eat, but actual hunger?
Just as the holiday season begins, when the thoughts and actions of some focus on compassion for others, we could be about to witness the government's forcing the poor to go hungry — the product of political horse-trading in Washington that has erased a critical portion of the already-meager subsidy the federal food stamp program provides the more than 47 million Americans who receive it.
Last week's elections for the governorships of New Jersey, where the Republican incumbent won, and Virginia, where the Republican contender lost, have thrown into sharp relief two political dynamics it's important to not lose sight of.
Before assuming the presidency in 1960, John F. Kennedy barely paid attention to any Black American beyond his valet, and he intended to follow that approach during the first four of what he expected would be his eight years in office.
The federal jobs reports for September issued last week showed the year’s slow — and therefore, disappointing — rate of job growth has weakened just a bit more.
Now that the GOP-manufactured economic crisis is over (for the several months, anyway), one might say the lesson for the Republican Party is best expressed by that old warning: Be careful what you wish for.
Given the political gridlock in Washington that's pushed the country to the brink of economic calamity and caused needless distress to millions, one might think America has rarely been more polarized, more “dis-united.” Actually, the opposite is true.
Amid all of the economic pain the Tea Party-Republican coalition’s action are causing millions of Americans, we should not forget that the most important thing pushing the radical right wing is not opposition to Obamacare or any other administration policy. Instead, its most important motivation is rooted in a bizarre fantasy: that Barack Obama was not born in the United States.
Surely, there’s no little historical irony in the fact that two events occurred last week that were reminders that as far as Black Americans are concerned, justice in this country often remains, as the old saying goes, a sometime thing and a long-time thing.
In office just nine months, Ted Cruz, the junior Republican senator from Texas, has already established himself as that body’s most divisive force since the witch-hunting, 1950s demagogue, Joe McCarthy.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn't there by himself.
I’ve long believed a succinct modern definition of marriage can be found in America’s Declaration of Independence — as “the pursuit of Happiness.”
Last week, the Supreme Court's conservative faction revealed more clearly than ever before its true colors. It showed that in the political war over America's future it supports those who want to return to the exclusionary policies and practices of the past.
If homeownership is, overwhelmingly, the foundation of individuals' and families' economic security in America, Black Americans face a profoundly difficult predicament.
Fifty years ago this month, two of the chief characteristics of the modern Civil Rights Movement were dramatically, tragically illuminated in Jackson, Miss. by an assassin's bullet.
One would be hard-pressed not to acknowledge that Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, has had a spectacular business career, the kind that is often described as affirming the claim that America is a land of golden opportunity. And yet, the very achievements of women like Sandberg have simultaneously underscored the reality that women are still under-represented in the society’s decision-making positions.
It's no coincidence that in the next few weeks the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on a challenge to affirmative action in higher education and also a challenge to the most important provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.