Archive for 2005

Racism, Free Speech and the College Campus

Published as a ZNet Daily Commentary, December 31, 2005, and on Civilrights.org, December 23, 2005 As has been the case every year for as long as I can recall, an American college campus is once again embroiled in controversy over the expression of racism in its hallowed halls, and what it may seek to do [...]

Framing the Poor: Katrina, Conservative Myth-Making and the Media

Published on Counterpunch, www.counterpunch.org, October 27, 2005 During the flooding of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, many a voice praised the media for its supposedly aggressive coverage. The fact that Anderson Cooper cried on camera, or that Geraldo evinced outrage (imagine that), or that even Fox’s Shepard Smith waxed indignant at the [...]

Flipping a Bird: Or, Why People Shouldn’t Trust Guys Who Play With Pigeons

An Online Debate With John “Birdman” Bryant The following is an online “debate” between Tim Wise and John “Birdman” Bryant, concerning an article written by Wise, to which Bryant responded. Bryant is an internet-based commentator on issues of race, whose perspective is decidedly racist, white supremacist and anti-Jewish. In addition to spinning yarns about the [...]

Rethinking Superiority: Reflections on Whiteness and the Cult of “Progress”

As of this coming year, high school students in Philadelphia, PA will be required to take a course in African American history in order to graduate. In a recent column, I lent my support to the new prerequisite, and responded to those who have attacked the plan, most of whom have criticized such a course [...]

No, Not Everyone Felt That Way: Racism and Reflections on the History We Learn (and Don’t)

Published as a ZNet Commentary, 9/9/05 When I was a kid, I remember my maternal grandmother defending Richard Nixon for the crimes of Watergate, because, as she put it: “He didn’t do anything any worse than what every other President did.” Knowing, even at six, that this was hardly a morally compelling justification for one’s [...]

A God with Whom I am not Familiar

Published on Counterpunch.org, 9/2/05, and widely syndicated, nationally This is an open letter to the man sitting behind me at La Paz today, in Nashville, at lunchtime, with the Brooks Brothers shirt: You don’t know me. But I know you. I watched you as you held hands with your tablemates at the restaurant where we [...]

Of Disasters, Natural and Otherwise

The city I called home for ten years is dying: a slow, agonizing, all-too-terribly public death, before the eyes of the nation and the world. It is dying, as are far too many of its people, because our national leaders only have the stomach, or the talent (or both) for killing, as in Iraq or [...]

Animal Whites: PETA and the Politics of Putting Things in Perspective

Published on Counterpunch, www.counterpunch.org, 8/13/05 Although I have long supported the vast majority of the goals set forth by the animal rights movement, I have to admit that, on a personal level, the animal rights activists I’ve encountered almost never fail to come off as insufferable jerks. The smug moral certitude with which so many [...]

Darken Up, Asshole: Reflections on Indian Mascots and White Rage

Published on Counterpunch, www.counterpunch.org, 8/10/05 All I wanted was a lousy beer. OK, a few lousy beers. Is that too much to ask? Of course, I suppose it was partly my fault. After all, I had taken my laptop with me into the bar, having just come from the library, where I’d spent the day [...]

Faith of the Faithless: The Real Meaning of “Intelligent Design”

Published on ZNet, www.zmag.org, 8/3/05 As a child reared in the very buckle of America’s Bible belt, I can clearly remember hearing people speak of how Jesus was “in their hearts,” and was the cornerstone of their lives. Coming from most, the sincerity with which such proclamations were made was touching, even if I, as [...]