Tag Archive for William Loren Katz

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How a Classic Movie Fueled US Racism

A scene from "The Birth of a Nation," D.W. Griffith's 1915, silent movie classic, depicting the "renegade Negro," Gus, played by white actor Walter Long in blackface, in the hands of the Klan. (Photo credit: Museum of Modern Art, Film Stills Archive.)

A century ago, there was a surge in lynching and other white racist violence against blacks across the American South, combined with a burst in Confederate pride, actions and attitudes fueled by the widely proclaimed movie, “The Birth of a Nation,” as William Loren Katz recalls.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in December 2014 focused on the Senate report about the CIA’s torture of detainees, the failure of President Barack Obama to share important facts with the public, the continued racism in America, and the victory of “perception management” over an informed electorate.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in November focused on the Right’s successful political deceptions, America’s refusal to address its grim history, Israel’s drift toward greater repression, Ray McGovern’s mysterious arrest, and developments in Syria and Ukraine.

Legacy of Whites Killing Black ‘Demons’

The autopsy drawing of Michael Brown's body after the 18-year-o;d was gunned down by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

The police officer who killed Michael Brown convinced a St. Louis grand jury not to indict by likening the unarmed 18-year-old black man to “a demon” who looked “mad that I’m shooting at him” – language reminiscent of an earlier era when whites saw blacks as frightening sub-humans, writes William Loren Katz.

The Politics of Thanksgiving Day

Original Thanksgiving as depicted by Jennie A. Brownscombe

Thanksgiving Day is rooted in a myth of friendly cooperation between Native Americans and European settlers, celebrated a year after the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts and nearly starved. But the reality was more of one-sided generosity and two-faced betrayal, as William Loren Katz explains.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories in December 2013 focused on the Saudi role in terrorism, the importance of national security “leakers,” the collapsing case pinning an infamous Sarin attack on Syria, and the renewed war over “the war on Christmas.”

Racism Through Rose-Colored Glasses

President Theodore Roosevelt

Many Americans tend to whitewash their country’s ugly history of racism – all the better to feel good about “exceptionalism” – but even sophisticated writers can ignore this grim reality when praising their favored presidents, as William Loren Katz explains.

A Black American Fighting Fascism

In the years before World War II, as the U.S. military remained segregated, an African-American soldier was chosen to lead an integrated American army. But it was not an official U.S. government command, but rather part of the volunteer effort to stop fascism in Spain, as William Loren Katz recalls.

A Civil Rights Battle over a Streetcar

Even after the Emancipation Proclamation freed African-American slaves in the Confederacy on Jan. 1, 1863, racial bias was common even far from the rebellious South. Later that year, blacks fought to get access to horse-drawn streetcars in San Francisco, writes William Loren Katz.

Mother of the Sit-Down Strike

From the Archive: During the late-Nineteenth-Century struggles against America’s Robber Barons and the Ku Klux Klan, Lucy Gonzales Parsons was a brave fighter for human rights. In recognition of International Women’s Day, we are re-posting William Loren Katz’s account of her remarkable life.