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What if the government doesn't really deliver for us? What if its failures to protect our lives, liberties and property are glaring? What if nothing changes after these failures? What if the National Security Agency -- the federal government's domestic spying apparatus -- has convinced Congress that it needs to cut constitutional corners in order... Read More
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The passing of an era is barely noticed when it actually occurs. It's hard to imagine millions waking up one morning and celebrating the arrival of the Age of Enlightenment let alone the birth of the Renaissance. A similar demarcation has occurred regarding the Civil Rights movement. To condense a long story, with the end... Read More
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Some Respectable Right people have finally noticed the horrors committed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, basically because it has begun attacking mainstream Christian groups for “homophobia,” “transphobia” etc. etc. But this is invariably accompanied by pious claptrap about how the SPLC used to be OK. Nonsense. It was always a nasty racket. Thus the... Read More
Newsweek recently sounded the alarm in a long-form piece on what they view as a troubling new trend: Sixty years after Brown vs. Board, forty years after the end of busing, it appears that all the social engineering in the world can't make our multicultural dreams come true: Economist Tyler Cowen, who is a conservative,... Read More
[In 1963, historian Howard Zinn was fired from Spelman College, where he was chair of the History Department, because of his civil rights activities. This year, he was invited back to give the commencement address. Here is the text of that speech, given on May 15, 2005.] I am deeply honored to be invited back... Read More
Whose Streets? (Then and Now)
On a glorious afternoon in August 1963, after the massive March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom wrapped up on the national mall, President John F. Kennedy, prodded by Attorney General Robert Kennedy, welcomed John Lewis, Martin Luther King Jr., Bayard Rustin, and other march organizers to the White House for a discussion of proposed... Read More
It was one of the worst moments of the Vietnam War era in America. U.S. troops had just invaded Cambodia and the nation’s campuses erupted in a spasm of angry and frustrated protest. At Kent State University in Ohio, National Guardsmen had killed four students. In Washington that day in May 1970, the first of... Read More
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In Praise of Impractical Movements
Bernie Sanders's insurgent presidential campaign has opened up a debate about how social change happens in our society. The official version of how progress is won -- currently voiced by mainstream pundits and members of a spooked Democratic Party establishment -- goes something like this: politics is a tricky business, gains coming through the work... Read More
’m going to bundle up three stories here, and hypothesize that perhaps they represent a trend: America is edging its way back to segregation—led by blacks. First story. Last week I mentioned the excellent website CampusReform.org,which does great work exposing the absurdities of Political Correctness in our colleges. Here’s another one from them, dated January... Read More
Julian Bond, the black civil rights activist who was thrice elected to the Georgia legislature before the US Supreme Court finally ruled that the Georgia House could not deny him his seat, died on August 15. Julian Bond was a student at Morehouse College, one of the colleges that made up Atlanta University, when I... Read More
It gives me a double pleasure to have today’s double-barreled post -- an excerpt from a 1960 Howard Zinn piece on the young women of Spelman College turning into protestors and historian Paula Giddings vividly looking back on Zinn and the Spelman experience 55 years later -- on loan from the Nation magazine and up... Read More
[The excerpt from a longer 1960 piece by Howard Zinn and Paula Giddings posted at TomDispatch.com are from the Nation magazine’s 150th Anniversary Special Issue on newsstands in April. They appear here with the kind permission of the editors of that magazine.] Finishing School for Pickets , by Howard Zinn (August 6, 1960) One afternoon... Read More
The current African American civil rights movement is a mess, an incoherent collection of half-baked ideas, ill-advised public outrages and, to be kind, a troubled leadership. Long gone are the glory days when blacks and white allies worked for anti-discrimination laws covering public accommodations and employment, access to the ballot, ending school segregation, implementing programs... Read More
On Martin Luther King Day, 2015, how stand race relations in America? "Selma," a film focused on the police clubbing of civil rights marchers led by Dr. King at Selma bridge in March of 1965, is being denounced by Democrats as a cinematic slander against the president who passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.... Read More
Where is his replacement?
Today (January 19) is Martin Luther King Day, a national holiday. King was an American civil rights leader who was assassinated 47 years ago on April 4, 1968, at the age of 39. James Earl Ray was blamed for the murder. Initially, Ray admitted the murder, apparently under advice from his attorney in order to... Read More
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Recently while working on a paper concerning the English political journalist Walter Bagehot and his 1867 classic The English Constitution, I was struck by Bagehot’s heated objections to the Reform Act of 1867. An act introduced by the Tory government of Benjamin Disraeli and reluctantly supported by most Liberal MPs, it doubled the franchise in... Read More
"For the first time since President Richard M. Nixon's divisive 'Southern strategy' that sent whites to the Republican Party and blacks to the Democrats ..." began a New York Times story last week. Thus has one of the big lies of U.S. political history morphed into a cliche -- that Richard Nixon used racist politics... Read More
When Brown v. Board of Education, the 9-0 Warren Court ruling came down 60 years ago, desegregating America's public schools, this writer was a sophomore at Gonzaga in Washington, D.C. In the shadow of the Capitol, Gonzaga was deep inside the city. And hitchhiking to school every day, one could see the "for sale" signs... Read More
"Religious Right Cheers a Bill Allowing Refusal to Serve Gays." Thus did the New York Times' headline, leaving no doubt as to who the black hats are, describe the proposed Arizona law to permit businesses, on religious grounds, to deny service to same-sex couples. Examples of intolerance provided by the Times: "In New Mexico, a... Read More
Having read Jonah Goldberg’s turgid tome on the fascist danger spawned by American Progressives and Obamaites, and having listened to his rants against “big government” on Glenn Beck’s therapy hour, it seems to me that his column today, against Rand Paul as an enemy of property rights, raises doubts about Jonah’s “antifascist” persona. As everyone... Read More
Reading Ron Paul's magnificent dissent from House Resolution 676 and its intended celebration of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 shows the kind of reeducation (in the good sense) that we on the non-Left have to undertake to combat the managerial therapeutic regime. Contrary to the recent happy talk from paleos, the neocon establishment is... Read More
"It's hard to imagine that the practice of segregation still exists in the United States," bleated Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, a University of Florida law student in a column in the Los Angeles Times last week, "but it does." What's really hard to imagine is that any person old enough and bright enough to go to... Read More
Black History Month, previously known as "February," hasn't even begun yet, and already the Public Broadcasting System is treating the nation to propaganda fests about the Emmett Till case of 1954 and the anti-black "hate crime" in Jasper, Texas of 1998. Martin Luther King Day, just concluded, was merely a walk-up to what will be... Read More
If there's a shortage of hate crimes in your community, you can always try to dig one up from the remote past. In Duluth, Minnesota, the closest thing to a hate crime anyone seems able to find is the lynching of three blacks in 1920 by a white mob that believed them guilty of raping... Read More
Is Thomas Blanton, convicted last week of first-degree murder in the infamous Birmingham church bombing of 1963, really guilty? Who knows? So politicized have trials involving racial issues become in this country—the murder trial of O.J. Simpson is the archetype—that jury verdicts mean almost nothing today. In the Blanton case, even the chief prosecutor, U.S.... Read More
Perhaps without fully realizing what it was doing, the U.S. Supreme Court last week struck a small blow for American nationhood. By narrowly rejecting—for rather arcane legalistic reasons—the lawsuit of an immigrant woman demanding the right to take a driver's license test in Spanish, it actually helped protect the English language and the national bond... Read More
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