Posts Tagged ‘indigenous persons’

Anywhere but Here: Examining the Crimes of Thee, but Not of Me

Published as a ZNet Commentary, 11/08/03 Imagine that in Germany, public officials and teachers decided to develop a school curriculum about the horrors of racism and intolerance. Now imagine that this curriculum never mentioned the Holocaust of European Jewry, or Germany’s persecution of homosexuals, Romany, persons with disabilities, or any of the other groups singled […]

Preferring Our Violence Wholesale: Riots and Destruction in Black and White

Published on, June 30, 2003 I don’t know why these things amaze me, but for some reason they always do. Before the ashes were even cool from the recent riots in Benton Harbor, Michigan, much of white America had decided that it knew what was behind all the mayhem; at least if the white […]

Honky Wanna Cracker? Examining the Myth of “Reverse Racism”

Published as a ZNet Commentary, June 30, 2002 Recently, while I was speaking to a group of high school students, I was asked why I only seemed to be concerned about white racism towards people of color, and not racism from people of color towards whites. We had been discussing racial slurs, and several white […]

Some Folks Never Felt Safe: The Truth About National Unity

Published as a ZNet Commentary, October 8, 2001 “United we stand,” comes the proclamation from political leaders and national media. “Americans are pulling together like never before,” say still others in the wake of the horrific attacks of September 11. American flags are popping up everywhere: on lapel pins, car antennae, hastily printed T-shirts, and […]

Breaking the Cycle of White Dependence: A Modest Call for Majority Self-Help

Published as a ZNet Commentary, May 19, 2001 The experts call it projection–when someone subconsciously realizes that a particular trait applies to them, and then attempts to locate that trait in others, so as to alleviate the stigma or self-doubt engendered by the trait in question. It’s a well-understood psychological concept, and explains much: like […]

Racism, White Liberals and the Limits of Tolerance

Published in LIP Magazine,, 12/04/00. Let me get this straight: If three white guys chain a black man to a truck and decapitate him by dragging him down a dirt road, that’s a hate crime; but if five white cops pump nineteen bullets into a black street vendor, having shot at him 41 times, […]

Freeh’s Blind Mice: A Critical Look at Tolerance Training, FBI Style

Published as a ZNet Commentary, September 24, 2000 That I’m no Biblical scholar is an understatement of monumental proportions. Yet I recently found myself, for reasons I’ll explain shortly, thinking of the following verse from the book of Matthew, if memory serves: Why behold the mote in thy brother’s eye, but consider not the beam […]

When Anti-Racism Strikes Out: Understanding the Difference Between Individual and Systemic Racism

Published as a ZNet Commentary, February 26, 2000 When it comes to discussions of racism, or any other “ism” for that matter, often we miss the forest for the trees. Such was the case recently, when it was reported that Atlanta Braves relief pitcher, John Rocker, had cut loose with a string of racist, xenophobic, […]

(Mis)Remember When: Whiteness and the Recollection of History

Published as a ZNet Commentary, July 3, 1999 For the writer, there is nothing so frustrating as to find oneself at a total loss for words. To know there are a million things that need saying, and yet you can’t think of a single one. Having experienced this often, I’ve devised a few strategies by […]

The Devil Made ‘Em Do It: Social Crisis and the Misuse of Faith in America

Published as a ZNet Commentary, June 1, 1999 I go through airports about two hundred times a year. As such, I overhear lots of comments from other travelers. Usually they’re of a particularly banal sort, screamed over a cell phone that seems permanently attached to the ear of one of a few thousand interchangeable corporate […]