Essay Archive

…More Thoughts on the Myth of American Exceptionalism

So in following up the earlier post on the pathology of patriotism, I figured it might be worth re-posting links to a few additional older essays, all of which addressed this subject of “American Exceptionalism.” It is that, after all, which Rudy Giuliani and other right wingers accuse President Obama of failing to endorse (when [...]

Patriotism is Still a Pathology (Revisiting an Old Essay, More Relevant Now Than Ever)

In light of the recent ventilations of Rudy Giuliani, to the effect that President Obama doesn’t “love America” like “the rest of us do” — because of the way the president has framed, among other things, the actions of ISIS and our response to it — I thought it might be worthwhile to revisit an [...]

Another Day Another Hate Post…

Can people be this illiterate? Even white nationalists? I find myself wondering this today, having come across a new posting from the Council of Conservative Citizens (which despite its rather innocuous sounding name is a well-established hate group), encouraging people to show up at my speeches over the next several months and challenge me, presumably [...]

Take Two Seats: What’s Really Behind Jewish Anger Over “Selma?” (Guest Commentary by Stacey Patton)

The following is an essay by author and journalist Stacey Patton, which I have decided to publish on my site for a few important reasons: first, because as with all of her work, this piece is hard-hitting, analytically on-point and presents a vital perspective that needs to be heard; and secondly because despite the above, [...]

Not Just a Joke: Reflections on Free Speech, Violence and Mislabeled Heroism

Many years ago, when discussing the issue of hate speech and how it should be addressed on college campuses, my friend Paul Gallegos at Evergreen State College smiled and said, “Ya know, just because speech is free, doesn’t mean that it has to be worthless.” It’s a concept and a phrasing that has stuck with [...]

A Serious Question About Free Speech, “Heroism” and Violence

Post by Tim Wise.

Of Makers and Takers Revisited: The Right’s Latest Lies About Dependence on Government

On the one hand, I get it. Census Bureau reports can be pretty dry and a bit vague. They tend to be heavy on facts but pretty open-ended as to how one might interpret those facts. Census researchers aren’t paid to explain what the numbers suggest in most cases; rather, they are charged with compiling [...]

Of Matriarchs and Misinformation: Fact-Checking Conservative Lies About Black Women

In the wake of recent police killings of young black men — John Crawford, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice most prominently — there has been much discussion about the way in which large numbers of white Americans, and especially white police, view African American males. The criminalization of the black male body has [...]

We Don’t Need Nice, We Need Justice: Racism and the Moral Blindness of White America

This past week, Chris Rock noted in an interview that in his estimation, America is producing the nicest white people in its history. Perhaps. But if so, this only suggests the pitiable limits of niceness and its utter irrelevance for the production of something approaching justice, or for that matter even insight. And if so, [...]

Far More Than Anecdote: Quantifying Racism and White Privilege in the Criminal Justice System

“Personal anecdotes don’t prove anything. The justice system isn’t racist. Black people are arrested more often because they commit more crime. Period. End of story.” So read the message in my inbox this morning, sent by someone who had happened across my essay about Ferguson, the grand jury decision in the Darren Wilson case, and [...]