Vincent Simmons: ‘The Innocent Burn When Falsely Accused’

A few decades ago, while watching a Bollywood potboiler at home with my parents, I saw a central character react sharply to a concocted accusation–perhaps of theft–by the movie’s villain, out to frame him and send him to jail so as to clear the way for his other nefarious plots. As our hero responded toContinue reading “Vincent Simmons: ‘The Innocent Burn When Falsely Accused’”

Of Broken Windows And Broken Spines

It was a dark and stormy night. But I was not swayed by the forces and the voices that commanded me to turn back from this lonely road I had set out on. For I was righteous, and I knew I was on the right path. Yea, for even though I was midway through life’sContinue reading “Of Broken Windows And Broken Spines”

Nick Kristof Should Stick To High Profile Rescues

Nick Kristof writes on his Twitter feed: Activists perhaps should have focused less on Michael Brown, more on shooting of 12-yr-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland http://nyti.ms/1CHROG7 This is the kind of sensible, pragmatic advice that journalists like Kristof, safely ensconced in their opinion pages, are in the habit of handing out to unhinged radicals everywhere:Continue reading “Nick Kristof Should Stick To High Profile Rescues”

Darren Wilson’s Post-Police Career

Darren Wilson has resigned from the Ferguson, MO, police force. His stated intentions are honorable, possibly even noble: It was my hope to continue in police work, but the safety of other police officers and the community are of paramount importance to me. It is my hope that my resignation will allow the community toContinue reading “Darren Wilson’s Post-Police Career”

Let The Fire Burn, And Ferguson

Jason Osder‘s searing Let the Fire Burn–a documentary about the tragic standoff between the radical black liberation group MOVE and the Philadelphia city administration in 1985–is ostensibly a documentary about an America of thirty years ago, but it is also about the America of today. Last night, as my wife and I waited for theContinue reading “Let The Fire Burn, And Ferguson”

Parable of the Sower: Octavia Butler’s Parable

Octavia Butler‘s Parable of the Sower, the richly symbolic and subversive.story of Lauren Olamina, a prophet in the making, one finding her voice and her people in the midst of an America whose social order is collapsing around her, grows on you. ┬áThe story line is sparse: the US’ accumulated social, political and environmental dysfunctionsContinue reading “Parable of the Sower: Octavia Butler’s Parable”

The Central Park Five: Justice Gone Wrong

One night, late in April 1989, I sat in an apartment in Jersey City, discussing the Central Park jogger rape case with two friends. One of them, a black Haitian-American, expressed unease over the press and television coverage of the case, the use of the language of ‘wolf packs,’ ‘savages,’ ‘wilding,’ and all of theContinue reading “The Central Park Five: Justice Gone Wrong”

Steven Salaita And The Anger Of the Subjugated

In response to my post yesterday, which I crossposted over at the NewAPPS blog, a couple of readers there wondered about the analogy I had drawn between Professor F and Steven Salaita‘s cases. Reader Meir Alon suggested my comparison was ‘very wrong’, Darius Jedburgh said my comparison of Salaita was, indeed, ‘slanderous’, and yet anotherContinue reading “Steven Salaita And The Anger Of the Subjugated”

Calling Bullshit On ‘Outside Agitators’ in Ferguson

A few days ago, a friend on Facebook posted the following as his status: Would any of you be down to help me organize a march on Ferguson, MO? Dead serious. It’s something I hope would send a powerful message to the powers that be, but I’d need help getting it all together. I mean,Continue reading “Calling Bullshit On ‘Outside Agitators’ in Ferguson”

The Black Absence in Academic Philosophy

Jason Stanley recently posted the following interesting status message on his Facebook page: The first sentence of this article is “Nationwide, just over 5 percent of all full-time faculty members at colleges and universities in the United States are black”. If that is so disturbing as to give rise to this headline, what are weContinue reading “The Black Absence in Academic Philosophy”