Here's a picture of Donald Trump last night holding up a Bible. At least, I think that's he. Whatever. He was certainly thinking of these words of Jesus: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. "Blessed are the meek, … Continue reading Bible in Hand…
No, I didn’t see the riots coming, but I am not surprised by them. You should not have been, either. What are you going to get when you combine a government that only cares about the extremely well-to-do and a rock-solid base of about a third of the country and an economy that suddenly pulls … Continue reading What the Hell Did You Expect?
In the sixties, the police were the enemy not just of people of color but of many young Americans overall. The police riots in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, the “field day for the heat” in 1966 on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip memorialized by Stephen Stills in his “For What’s It’s Worth,” Canned … Continue reading Our Police, Or Others Policing Us?
This is from a PowerPoint I created to use in my classroom. I was going to present it this spring when classes suddenly went online and I changed my syllabus completely. The events of this past week made me return to it, particularly the horrific killing in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a killing that would … Continue reading A Lynching: The Story, the Press, and Maybe the Truth
When we moved back to Atlanta in 1961 after most of a decade in Ohio and Indiana, I noticed a racial divide that bothered me then and has bothered me ever since. Suddenly, all of the people doing household and service chores were black. There were no white landscapers and many more of our neighbors … Continue reading The Mistake of Race in the Pandemic
Taking place in West Africa (in Mali, Burkina Faso and Togo) in the 1980s, Hard As Kersene is the story of four years away from home for a young American. It contains war and tragedy and alcoholism. When I first published Hard As Kersene, I did it without much editing and in a chapter order that, … Continue reading Hard As Kerosene, Revised Edition
Back when I was writing The Cult of Individualism: A History of an Enduring American Myth in 2012, I was desperately hoping that, against all evidence, the dominant white cultures of the United States could begin to cross the barriers between them. I thought that, just maybe, I could help that happen by describing the … Continue reading What I Got So Wrong