Archive for 2004

The Color of Deception: Race, Crime and Sloppy Social Science

Published on ZNet,, 11/19/04. Note: This rebuttal refers to the original Color of Crime Report by American Renaissance. A newer version of the report was recently released, and as such, a newer rebuttal will be forthcoming shortly, though the analysis herein is still applicable. “A lie can travel half-way around the world while the […]

No Such Place as Safe: The Trouble With White Anti-Racism

Published as a ZNet Commentary,, 7/23/04 I think I’ve figured out what it is I hate about those “racial dialogue” groups that seem to be springing up across the country nowadays. No, it’s not the standard radical critique that they tend to amount to all talk and little action: after all, our ability to […]

Working for the Man Every Night and Day: Black Conservatives and the Politics of Self-Abuse

Published in LIP Magazine,, 7/15/04 A few weeks ago, a young man approached me after a speech and handed me a small piece of paper. On it, he said, was the name of a book he thought I should read. Given that the student and I had previously gotten into a bit of a […]

Situational Ethics, Conservative Style

Published as a ZNet Commentary, 7/05/04 Conservatives never cease to amaze me. On the one hand, they accuse “liberals” and those of us on the left of basing our politics on emotion, while theirs, they insist, is rooted in logic. Yet they regularly stake out positions that are utterly devoid of anything resembling reason. So, […]

Personal Responsibility is a Two-Way Street: Bill Cosby and the Pathology of Passing the Buck

Published as a ZNet Commentary, 6/24/04 Perhaps Bill Cosby should have known better. After all, just because you’re a black man loved by millions of white folks, doesn’t mean you can actually count on those whites to receive your words in the spirit you say you intended. Such a lesson became obvious in late May, […]

My Life as a Resident Alien: Reflections on Reagan and “Feeling” Good About America Again

Published as a ZNet Commentary,, 6/13/04 Despite being born in the United States and living here all of my life, I guess I’m still not really an American. For if I were, then surely I would have “felt good” when Ronald Reagan was President, since, I’m told, Reagan made Americans feel good again. Lucky […]

Reagan, Race and Remembrance: Reflections on the American Divide

Published in The Black Commentator,, 6/10/04 If one needs any more evidence that whites and people of color live in two totally different places, politically and psychologically, one need only look at the visual evidence provided by the death of Ronald Reagan. More to the point, all one needs to know about this man […]

The Same Only Different: Reflections on the Myth of American Exceptionalism

Published on ZNet,, 5/13/04 Though I have little faith in his ability to detect (or even define) irony, it would be interesting to know what the President thinks about the decision to reopen the investigation into the murder of Emmett Till in Mississippi, in 1955. Especially since Mr. Bush has spent the better part […]

Profiles in Distortion: Misusing Data to Justify Racism and Privilege in Policing

An Analysis of Traffic Stops, Race and Media Deception in Nashville, Tennessee April 2004 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY On April 3, 2004, Nashville’s daily paper, The Tennessean, ran as its lead story an article entitled, “White women more likely ticketed when pulled over.” Therein, the author reported that based on the paper’s analysis of local police data, […]

White Whine: Reflections on the Brain-Rotting Properties of Privilege

Published as a ZNet Commentary, 4/20/04 To truly understand a nation, a culture, or its people, it helps to know what they take for granted. After all, sometimes the things that go unspoken are more powerful than the spoken word, if for no other reason than the tendency of unspoken assumptions to reinforce core ways […]