Diane Lefer: When a community sees daily injustice and doesn’t see the rule of law equally applied, it becomes morally and ethically easier to choose to live in a lawless way.
David Love: Reading 12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today made me angry, not because the subject matter was brand new to me, but because it was far too familiar – not only as a black man, but also as a human rights advocate who worked with police brutality victims and their families back in the 1990s, and decided to go to law school as a result.
Michelle Alexander: The uncomfortable truth, however, is that crime rates do not explain the sudden and dramatic mass incarceration of African Americans during the past 30 years. Crime rates have fluctuated over the last few decades — they are currently are at historical lows — but imprisonment rates have consistently soared. Quintupled, in fact. And the vast majority of that increase is due to the War on Drugs.
The death of preeminent historian and race scholar, John Hope Franklin, and his life-long contribution to helping America understand the legacies of slavery and racial vestiges that have been carried forward, is a true loss. Franklin helped those who followed his work to understand that race is still the most entrenched socio-economic-political issue of our [...]
The election (and now the inauguration) of Barack Obama has inspired a widespread sense of awe at the scope and scale of change in race relations in America—and more than a hint of self-congratulation. The news media just can’t seem to resist trumpeting the example of interracial marriage. When Barack Obama’s white mother married his [...]