Tag Archive for racism

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MLK and the Curse of ‘Moderation’

A mug shot photo of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

From the Archive: When Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. went to jail to focus national attention on the injustice of segregation, he was stung by criticism from Christian clergy who feared upsetting the status quo and urged “moderation,” prompting his historic rejoinder from the Birmingham jail, as Rev. Howard Bess recalled in 2014.

Anger and Ugly Faces of Bigotry

An historical photo of "black-face" participants in a Mummers Parade.

Millions of Americans feel disenfranchised by the political establishment – numbers reflected in the populist candidacies of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders – but this sense of betrayal often pours out in ugly expressions of bigotry, as Michael Winship observed.

The Complex Legend of Frank Sinatra

Frank-Sinatra

Frank Sinatra was a complex and flawed individual – known in his later years for alleged mob ties and angry outbursts – but he also was an extraordinary artist who spoke out against racism and bigotry at a time when such stands were controversial and risky, as Michael Winship recalls.

Why US Police Are Out of Control

A screen-shot from a video showing Walter Scott being shot in the back by a North Charleston, South Carolina, police officer Michael Slager on April  4, 2015. (Video via the New York Times.)

Exclusive: U.S. police forces are so out of control there’s not even a reliable database on how many times police officers shoot citizens. So, beyond racism and fear of guns, the problem includes fragmentation in law enforcement and gaps in training among the 18,000 police agencies in the 50 states, notes Daniel Lazare.

Whining White Southerners

Confederate battle flag flying on the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse.

Exclusive: Some brave white Southerners, including the son of segregationist Strom Thurmond, have spoken out against Confederate symbols like the battle flag, but many whites still react with fury at calls for retiring those symbols and other honors bestowed on Confederate leaders, writes Robert Parry.

Trump’s Fixation on Rape and Color

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump

Real estate and entertainment mogul Donald Trump has soared to the top tier of Republican presidential candidates after a rant about Mexican immigrant “rapists” – not the first time that Trump has mixed the explosive topics of rape and color, leading Jeff Cohen to ask if Trump is a “serial racist.”

How to Eradicate Racism

Accused mass murderer and white supremacist Dylann Roof shown burning an American flag.

The massacre of nine black churchgoers in Charleston and a rash of arson at other black churches across the South show that despite conservative self-serving claims – and liberal wishful thinking – about racism becoming a thing of the past, much more work needs to be done, says Lawrence Davidson.

Confronting Southern ‘Victimhood’

Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Exclusive: Many white Southerners are getting their backs up again over demands that the Confederate flag and other symbols of slavery be removed. But the core problem is that the South never admitted that slavery and then segregation were wrong, instead offering endless excuses, writes Robert Parry.

Shaking Off the Symbols of Racism

Accused mass murderer Dylann Roof in a photo holding the Confederate battle flag.

A century and a half after the Civil War, many U.S. politicians still pander to Confederate sympathizers and hesitate to object to the South’s racist symbols, an attitude shaken by the murders of nine African-Americans in a Charleston church, as William Loren Katz describes.

Fear and Loathing in Baltimore

Freddie Gray. (Photo from the Gray family)

Freddie Gray’s fatally broken spine, while trundled up in a Baltimore police van and taken for a “rough ride” to hurtle him around and inflict pain, was just another case of an unarmed black man’s fate in modern America, except that a prosecutor finally took a stand against police brutality, writes Marjorie Cohn.