Essay Archive

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 [...]

What Does It Mean to Be Wrong For So Long? Reflections on Black Reality and White Delusion

Although there was no such thing as polling back then, I suspect that if you had asked a representative sample of Londoners in the early 1770s whether or not the American colonists were getting a fair shake from King George, most would have said yes. It is doubtful they would have thought much about any [...]

Criticism is Not Hatred, Deference is Not Love: Reflections on Policing and the Cult of Authority

At the risk of sounding preposterously trite, I love my daughters. I love them the same way my parents loved me, I suspect, and their parents loved them: unconditionally and forever. That said, I also see their flaws and shortcomings. They are teenagers after all and human beings, and their membership in both clubs provides [...]

BLAZE-ing Prattles: Reflections on White Rage and the Beauty of Black Truth

Perhaps it’s too easy. Indeed, it might even be considered a waste of valuable energy to respond to the childlike ventilations of Tomi Lahren. Oh wait, you’ve never heard of Tomi Lahren? That’s probably because the 23-year old host of her own show on Glenn Beck’s Blaze Network is the host of her own show [...]

Sorry For His Family…Moving On: Brief Reflections on the Passing of Antonin Scalia

While I revel in the death of no one, I cannot abide the hagiographic nonsense that is presently being offered by persons across the spectrum about how recently departed Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was “passionate” and brilliant, ad infinitum. There is nothing brilliant about putrescence, nothing insightful and worthwhile about venality posing as insight. [...]