The NRA On The Dallas Shooting

The National Rifle Association has issued the following statement in response to the shootings in Dallas: Today is a great day for the Second Amendment, that everlasting guarantee of our right to bear arms and take them up against a tyrannical government. For months and years now, we at the National Rifle Association have watchedContinue reading “The NRA On The Dallas Shooting”

Men Writing As Women, And Vice-Versa

A few days ago, I excerpted a passage from James Baldwin‘s If Beale Street Could Talk (Bantam, New York, 1974)  in which the central character, a young woman named Tish, describes her–and her boyfriend, Fonny’s–perceptions of Bell, the policeman who has sent Fonny to jail. Tish: But I was beginning to learn something about theContinue reading “Men Writing As Women, And Vice-Versa”

James Baldwin On A White Policeman’s Eyes

In James Baldwin‘s If Beale Street Could Talk (Bantam, New York, 1974) Fonny, a young black man, is in jail for rape–his supposed victim’s eyewitness identification is probably mistaken; ‘outside,’ his pregnant girlfriend, Tish, wonders about the policeman, Bell, who arrested Fonny. Bell had wanted to arrest Fonny for assault ever since he had violentlyContinue reading “James Baldwin On A White Policeman’s Eyes”

RIP Muhammad Ali: Once And Always, The Greatest

Muhammad Ali was the first Black Muslim American I heard of. Before his name entered my immature consciousness,  I did not know Americans could be Black or Muslim. (This revelation came to me during a classroom trivia quiz; ‘Muhammad Ali’ was the answer to the question ‘Who is the world heavyweight champion?’) It is hardContinue reading “RIP Muhammad Ali: Once And Always, The Greatest”

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”

The Trials Of Muhammad Ali

We all know the story: In 1967, three years after winning the heavyweight title, [Muhammad] Ali refused to be conscripted into the U.S. military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War. The U.S. government declined to recognize him as a conscientious objector, however, because Ali declared that he wouldContinue reading “The Trials Of Muhammad Ali”

An Officer’s View On The NYPD Protests: Still Blinkered

Steve Osborne, proudly standing with his back to the Mayor and the city of New York, comes to tell us why the New York City Police Department has been throwing an extended tantrum that would put a toddler to shame. (Interestingly enough, the NYPD has given itself a ‘time-out’ and like harried parents everywhere, weContinue reading “An Officer’s View On The NYPD Protests: Still Blinkered”

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.  The story line is sparse: the US’ accumulated social, political and environmental dysfunctionsContinue reading “Parable of the Sower: Octavia Butler’s Parable”