Essay Archive

Reeking City on a Dung Heap: Donald Trump’s Cynical Worldview and Its Threat to American Democracy

You can tell a lot about a person by the way they see the world and others in it. Those who view the world and its inhabitants as basically good, and who remain relatively hopeful about the better angels of our nature, though occasionally caught off guard by the less salutary aspects of the human [...]

On MLK Day, the Question Is…

Which Dr. King do you honor today? The one who said that white Americans had betrayed their professed commitment to ethicality and equality — and that the country had bounced a check to black folks, which black folks were coming to cash — or the bland and sanitized apostle of color-blindness sold to you by [...]

Alt+Right+Delete: The Disingenuous and Contradictory Rhetoric of White Nationalism

So now we know: White nationalists have been working more on their wardrobe than tightening up the rhetoric and logic with which they defend and present their worldview. Case in point, Richard Spencer, the Nazi flavor-of-the-month and white nationalist leader whom the media has deemed the movement’s bright and shining star. Although for a while [...]

Discovering the Light in Darkness: Donald Trump and the Future of America

“One discovers the light in darkness. That is what darkness is for. But everything in our lives depends on how we bear the light. It is necessary, while in darkness, to know that there is a light somewhere, to know that in oneself, waiting to be found there is a light. What the light reveals [...]

Tim Wise on WGN (Chicago), 9/2/16: Colin Kaepernick, Racism and the National Anthem

My appearance on WGN (Chicago’s) Morning News program, September 2, 2016, to discuss Colin Kaepernick, the National Anthem, and his ongoing protest against police violence. For some reason, the chyron at one point says Tim Wise: “Dear White People,” (the name of an excellent movie that I had nothing to do with), rather than “Dear [...]

Patriotism is for Black People: Colin Kaepernick, Donald Trump and the Selectivity of White Rage

So just in case you were wondering, when a white man bellows that America is no longer great, and in fact is akin to a “third world” country, and that many other countries are better than we are at all kinds of things — and this is why we should elect him, so he can [...]

No Real Angels in Hell: Police Violence, Black Lives and the White Obsession With Perfect Victims

It is increasingly apparent that white Americans hate the Constitution. Not all white people and not the entire Constitution of course; but certainly a frightening lot of us and some of the most important parts. We love the Second Amendment — at least in so far as it protects our right to bear arms, even [...]

Armed With a Loaded Footnote: How the Right Rationalizes Racial Disparity

Possibly the only thing worse than racism itself is the pseudo-intellectual way in which some seek to justify it. For instance, consider the standard conservative response to those of us who argue that the criminal justice system is the site of significant racialized unfairness. Whether the subject is racial profiling, stop-and-frisk rates, arrest rates, rates [...]

Still a Nazi After All These Years: The Return of David Duke (with Audio)

For so many reasons, I really didn’t want to have to write this. But here we go again. Twenty-six years after his first run for the U.S. Senate in Louisiana, lifelong white supremacist, Neo-Nazi and former Klansman David Duke has once again thrown his hat in the ring for the job. As tempting as it [...]

TwitterStorm on David Duke

Here is the Twitter storm I released on David Duke yesterday, after he announced he was running for the U.S. Senate again, in Louisiana. As most of you know, I got my start doing antiracism work in the fight against Duke in 1990 and 1991. This is just a brief and incomplete timeline of Duke’s [...]