You did not stand up.
Granted, America faced neither enemy bombers nor terrorist plot, but the threat to her was — still is — no less real. Your country needed you.
And you did not stand up.
You told yourself party was more important. You told yourself the courts were more important. You told yourself tax cuts were more important. And you...Read more
“Jared Kushner is under federal investigation for diverting money to terrorist organizations according to a guy I met at the gas station who told me he works for the FBI” is something I would never be allowed to publish.
“Donald Trump Jr. has an escalating cocaine dependency problem according to a woman I ran into at the supermarket who ...Read more
White people often do not understand white people.
Granted, that’s a counterintuitive claim. But it is regularly reinforced whenever one hears decent white Americans attempt to rationalize the misbehavior of their less decent kin.
One such effort turned up on social media a few days ago. Walker Bragman, a freelance journalist for, among ...Read more
“I didn’t know.”
Those were the first words my friend, a white guy named Dave, spoke to me the day after the first episode of “Roots,” which depicted the capture and enslavement of an African boy named Kunta Kinte. This was 43 years ago.
So you can perhaps imagine my frustration last year when the HBO miniseries “Watchmen” ...Read more
“Are you not entertained?” — Maximus, in “Gladiator”
It helps if you think of it as a show.
Certainly, that’s the way the man in the middle of it does. So just consider last weekend the latest bizarre episode in Season Four of the Donald Trump presidency. Call it “The One With COVID-19.”
Granted, it’s a favored conservative ...Read more
Asked about race at last week’s presidential debate, one candidate gave a very disappointing answer.
The other was Donald Trump.
Which is not to suggest Trump had satisfactory answers. To the contrary, asked by moderator Chris Wallace why America should trust him to heal its racial wounds, he was, as is his norm, nonsensical and miles wide ...Read more
“Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7
I received the news that Donald Trump and his wife had been diagnosed with COVID-19 in a text from a family member. It came with 31 laughing emojis, the kind with tears squeezing out of both eyes.
“It is what it is,” I texted back. This, of course, was an echo of Trump��...Read more
Just last week, the headlines were inescapable.
They stemmed from a story in The Atlantic detailing what amounts to the Republican Party plotting a coup. Which is to say, cooking up Electoral College schemes designed to keep Donald Trump in office even if voters turn him out. Even worse, Trump himself explicitly refused to say he would respect ...Read more
“We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was ‘legal.’” -- Martin Luther King
In other words, what is legal is not necessarily what is right.
With that in mind, I find myself struggling to imagine what justice for Breonna Taylor would have looked like. After all, last week’s refusal by a grand jury to indict...Read more
Ultimately, it comes down to a set of rules.
Meaning norms, practices, guidelines — some written as law, some just respected as customs — to which we all adhere, even when that gives advantage to those with whom we disagree. It’s a covenant pluralistic self-government demands. And it’s one America is in the process of shredding — as ...Read more
This is for the people who keep asking me about Chicago.
Other cities too, sometimes, but it is mostly the City of the Big Shoulders, with its spiraling murder rate, that sends many of you rushing to your keyboards. Why are black people so exercised about police killings of unarmed African Americans, you demand, but not about so-called “Black...Read more
LOS ANGELES - We gave a damn too late.
Sometimes, I think that will be the legacy of this generation. Or maybe I’m just tired of seeing people walking around without masks as if a pandemic had not taken almost 200,000 American lives. Then again, it could just be the smoke.
On a normal morning, the sky here is a metallic gray. Today, it is ...Read more
We weren’t going to normalize this.
Remember that? Remember the way many of us solemnly vowed we would always maintain the ability to be outraged, hold on to our capacity for shock?
Well, after almost four years that have passed like geologic time, that declaration feels like an artifact from another era, a Polaroid from back when the kids ...Read more
The American Cemetery at Normandy sits on a bluff overlooking the beach where, on June 6, 1944, American soldiers waded ashore to begin the invasion of France. The old battlefield is marked with shell craters and gun pits offering mute testimony to the fury of that day. In the cemetery itself stand endless rows of white crosses and the ...Read more
Kyle Rittenhouse is not a hero.
Granted, many on the right are working overtime to paint him as such. “He’s a good kid,” his attorney, John Pierce, told Fox “News” last week. “He’s a patriot,” a man who declined to give his name told Politico. “He’s a hero,” a man named Alan Endries said. But he’s not.
And the concocted...Read more
This is almost four months early.
Ordinarily, Christmas trees are looking peaked, and George Bailey has long since realized that he had a wonderful life when pundits begin to summarize the year and assign it a theme. But given the eight long months of 2020 we’ve already endured, not to mention the awful week just past, waiting seems an ...Read more
Glenn “Doc” Rivers is reportedly paid $10 million a year to coach The L.A. Clippers. It is not enough.
That’s not a statement of his market value, but an answer to those who think he had no business saying what he said last week.
Rivers, who is African American, gave an impassioned post-game speech on Jacob Blake, the Black man who was ...Read more
It comes early in an African American life.
Before “Pomp and Circumstance” is played.
Before the corsage and the limousine ride.
Before final exam, favorite teacher and science project.
Before first kiss.
Before any of that, someone has appraised you — millions of someones who have never met nor even seen you. And they have decided ...Read more
“If people were given the choice between democracy and whiteness, how many would choose whiteness?”
Taylor Branch, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian of the Civil Rights Movement, drops that question like a bomb on Page 352 of “Caste,” the new book by Isabel Wilkerson, herself also a winner of Joseph Pulitzer’s prestigious prize. ...Read more
Well, that’s one speech Melania Trump won’t be plagiarizing.
Donald Trump’s wife, who famously stole parts of her 2016 address to the Republican National Convention from a speech Michelle Obama gave before the Democrats in 2008, won’t find much to work with in Obama’s latest oration. That’s because the speech, a galvanizing capstone...Read more