Posts Tagged ‘police brutality’

Black Power’s Gonna Git You Sucka: Right-Wing Paranoia and the Rhetoric of Modern Racism

Prominent white conservatives are angry about racism. Forget all that talk about a post-racial society. They know better than to believe in such a thing, and they’re hopping mad. What is it that woke them up finally, after all these years of denial, during which they insisted that racism was a thing of the past? […]

White Privilege (the Remix): A Play in Three Acts

Surely by now you’ve heard the news. Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. — who TIME Magazine has named one of the most influential persons in the United States, and who is arguably the most cited black scholar on the planet — was recently arrested. This, after breaking into his own home, in Cambridge, Massachusetts […]

Color-Blind, Power-Oblivious: Eric Holder and the Whitewashing of Racism

It was all too predictable that Attorney General Eric Holder would be attacked for his recent remarks about race in America. To suggest that the nation is still haunted by the specter of racism is unacceptable it seems, especially since, with the election of President Obama, we have ostensibly entered the “post-racial” era. But in […]

They Shoot Black Men, Don’t They?: Sean Bell and the Internal (and Eternal) “Logic” of Racism

In case you were still wondering, black and brown lives count for very little in this country. If they did, then the officers who killed Sean Bell wouldn’t have walked away free men last week, deemed by the judge in their case to have done nothing wrong–not even to have engaged in reckless endangerment–by shooting […]

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 […]

Thin Blue Lies: Police and the Art of Propaganda

Published on Alternet,, 8/3/01 Image is everything, or so the commercial says. In an age of public relations, how one is portrayed can be every bit as important as the substance of one’s actions. Thus, it should come as no surprise that along with politicians, entertainers and corporate executives, even police departments have joined […]

Of Danger and Double Standards: Police, Prison and Preferential Treatment

Published on Alternet,, under the title, “Shot by Cops? Not if You’re White,” 5/22/01 After my recent article excoriating the Cincinnati police for their well-documented brutality against black residents (including the shooting of an unarmed young man wanted for seatbelt violations), I received many irate e-mails from folks proclaiming that I just didn’t know […]

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, […]

A Tale of Two Cities: “Rational” Racism, Amadou Diallo and the Rest of Us

Published as a ZNet Commentary, March 22, 2000 They are two places that appear wholly unrelated to one another, and yet, as will be seen, share quite a bit in common. On the one hand, we have New York City, whose police, thanks to acquittals in the Amadou Diallo shooting trial, have been given carte […]

The Trouble With Tolerance

They came in the mail again, even though I never ordered them: those personal address labels that say, “Teach Tolerance.” You know, the ones sent out by the Southern Poverty Law Center: America’s favorite civil rights organization. You know, the one run by Morris Dees: America’s favorite crusader for, well, tolerance; which, in turn, is […]