Archive for July, 2009

Rationalizing Racial Oppression: How the Right Misuses Crime Data to Justify Unequal Policing

It is understandable that honest and decent people may disagree about the circumstances surrounding the arrest last week of Henry Louis Gates Jr. in Cambridge. For some, Gates was to blame for what happened. He became belligerent with Sgt James Crowley, and thus precipitated his arrest on charges of disorderly conduct. Others point out that […]

Denial is a River, Wider Than the Charles: Racism and Implicit Bias in Cambridge

If you wish to gaze upon the depth and breadth of America’s racial divide–particularly the canyon-like gulf between white folks and black folks–you need look no further than the recent incident involving Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., Cambridge police officer James Crowley, and now, President Obama who weighed in on the matter a few […]

“Racial profiling & the Henry Louis Gates incident” (Part Two), CNN, 7/26/09

Tim Wise on CNN, discussing racial profiling and the Henry Louis Gates incident in Cambridge, MA. (Part Two), July 26, 2009

“Racial profiling & the Henry Louis Gates incident” (Part One), CNN, 7/26/09

Tim Wise on CNN, discussing racial profiling and the Henry Louis Gates incident in Cambridge, MA. (Part One) July 26, 2009

White Privilege (the Remix): A Play in Three Acts

Surely by now you’ve heard the news. Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. — who TIME Magazine has named one of the most influential persons in the United States, and who is arguably the most cited black scholar on the planet — was recently arrested. This, after breaking into his own home, in Cambridge, Massachusetts […]

Off the Deep End: Reflections on Private Clubs, Public Prejudice and Racism 2.0

On the one hand, racism is so deeply embedded in the history and structure of the United States, that it shouldn’t be particularly surprising when a story emerges, indicating that indeed, said racism has bubbled to the surface yet again. But on the other hand, sometimes a story finds its way into the public realm, […]

Of Fireworks and False Memories: Reflections on History, Race and Nation

“…the past is all that makes the present coherent, and further…the past will remain horrible for exactly as long as we refuse to assess it honestly.” (James Baldwin, 1952) I have this fantasy, the indulgence of which I resist, due in part to the impracticality of it, but also (and mostly) out of a general […]