While some claim that Dylann Roof is mentally ill, the truly frightening possibility is that he is sane and sober -- that he was raised under a white supremacist culture and is acting out his racism in the most violent of ways.
Kennedy's June 11th report to the American people on race is often credited with setting the stage for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the clip below, Andrew and I debate whether President Kennedy deserves the praise that historians give him on civil rights.
Over the coming long months of public focus on elections, we need to talk about who owns democracy and what it means. College and university campuses, as well as other sites, have potential to be venues.
On July 4, 1776, the United States declared independence from Britain and a vigorous new democracy was born. This year, we celebrate our 239th birthday, and our Founding Fathers are probably doing somersaults from the grave and sputtering in wonderment, "Who knew?"
Despite the conventional wisdom that patriotism means "my country -- right or wrong" and is best displayed by blind flag-waving, to many Americans patriotism means loyalty to a set of principles, and thus requires dissent and criticism when those in power violate those standards.
A few weeks ago my wife, 12-year-old son and I traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend a family wedding. My wife recommended we go a few days early to show our son the different sites and memorials, so that's what we did.
The Pope follows in the tradition of Martin Luther King and others in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Keenly aware of the power of southern segregationists, they advanced a politics aimed at winning over the broad middle of American society.
As I argued recently, Pope Francis' climate encyclical, Laudato Si, shows powerful resources in Catholic and other faith traditions for addressing the challenge of climate change. But in immediate terms, it does little to affect the pessimistic public mood.
The city of Birmingham, which owns the building, appears to finally be on a path of restoration. To do so they've partnered with the National Trust for a two-year plan to improve the site.
While it is true that most of the great abolitionists were inspired by their Christian faith, it is also true that their opponents were inspired by their Christian faith. As a result, much contemporary racism is rooted in Christianity.
Those who feel utter disgust and anger, as I do, at the killing of nine innocent people in Charleston, S.C., have no other choice but to channel our anger in love-based constructive response.
This massacre occurred on the very anniversary of a failed slave revolt, a rebellion that played a significant role in the African American liberation movement in South Carolina. Last night, that church that was torn by bullets. Violence is not God's path. We must sing louder than weapons.
Unfortunately, sometimes high-minded rhetoric is empty. Other times, it dissolves into the cynical compromises of realpolitik. In these cases, cynicism increases; performance trumps substance, and most of us become ever more skeptical about the possibility of real social change.
The National Mall in Washington, DC is saturated with monuments and museums and, while there is little support for adding more to the Mall, there is support for continuing the tradition of building monuments in the city.
Dancing to Pitbull's "Fireball," 96-year-old Tao Porchon-Lynch and ballroom dance teacher Vard Margaryan wowed the "America's Got Talent" judges and audience on Tuesday, June 9, 2015.
So here we are in 2015. Rich folks and corporations are still calling the shots. It's not that there aren't important victories. There are. But until movements unite there will be no meaningful change.