Archive for 2002

Defining Democracy Down: Israeli Repression and the Language of Liars

Published as a ZNet Commentary, May 16, 2002 Webster’s New World Dictionary defines democracy as, “The principle of equality of rights, opportunity and treatment, or the practice of this principle.” Keep this in mind, as we’ll be coming back to it. Now, imagine that the United States Congress were to pass a law stating that […]

Taliban Jews: Some Extremists are More Equal Than Others

Published on ZNet,, 5/11/02 As tensions flare in the Middle East — the result of Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian territory, as well as a spate of suicide/homicide bombings by those resisting the occupation — much has been said of “extremists” and the actions of fanatics. In almost all cases, said terms have been […]

Anti-Semitism, Real and Imagined: Judaism, Zionism and the Struggle for Palestine

Published as a ZNet Commentary, May 2, 2002 Watching former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak to Congress a few weeks ago, I must admit, I was almost sucked in. No, not by his distorted version of reality in the Occupied Territories, nor by his opportunistic and transparently disingenuous comparisons between Yasir Arafat and Osama […]

Racial Profiling and its Apologists

Published in Z Magazine, March 2002 “It’s just good police work.” So comes the insistence by many — usually whites — that concentrating law enforcement efforts on blacks and Latinos is a perfectly legitimate idea. To listen to some folks tell it, the fact that people of color commit a disproportionate amount of crime (a […]

Riots of Our Own: The Invisible Whiteness of Majority Mayhem

Published on Alternet,, 2/25/02. So what’s the deal with white folks and beer? I mean, I love a good Nut Brown Ale, and have been known to sample at least a couple of the local brews in each town I visit. But really now: is maintaining a buzz so central to one’s existence that […]

A Dream Distorted: Reflections on the Hijacking of Martin Luther King Jr.

A slightly different version of this article was published on ZNet,, 2/15/02 Another January has come and gone, and with it, another celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year, as with the past ten, I once again had the pleasure of addressing a number of audiences during a two-week period of community […]

Selling the Police: Reflections on Heroism and Hype

Published as a ZNet Commentary, February 6, 2002 An e-mail arrives in my inbox, recommending a website that seeks to explain — one might say rationalize — the various killings of black men by Cincinnati police over the past few years. Its sender takes issue with some of my previous commentaries, wherein I cast a […]

Rationalizing Racism: Panic and Profiling After 9/11

Published as a ZNet Commentary, January 16, 2002 Random security checks. That’s what they’re called anyway: those extra bag searches and body scans being done at airports across the U.S., presumably to deter a new round of terrorist attacks. On each flight, a handful of passengers are pulled aside and given additional scrutiny, despite having […]