Essay Archive

How Racism Explains America’s Class Divide and Culture of Economic Cruelty (An Excerpt from Under the Affluence)

The following is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Jeopardizing the Future of America (San Francisco: City Lights, 2015). _____ That the United States has long had a less complete system of social safety nets than most other industrialized nations is by now well established. [...]

The Eyes of Our Whites: Racial Perceptions and Racial Reality in Ferguson and Beyond

You really can’t have it both ways. You cannot praise the Justice Department for, in effect, exonerating officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown—and argue how that report proves that the black community’s outrage over police racism was manufactured—and yet ignore the Department’s companion report (or even worse, criticize it as the [...]

Responding to a Young Reactionary: White Privilege, Judaism and the Making of Sloppy Analogies

After a quarter-century of antiracism work, either as an activist or educator, there are a few things I’ve learned about the reactionaries and right-wingers at whom my work has long been aimed. First, that they won’t go away just because we ignore them, or decide that their arguments are unworthy of intellectual consideration. Especially in [...]

…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 [...]