Over the past nine months, the FBI has arrested five African Americans suspected of sympathizing with ISIS. These arrests necessitate an examination of why some African Americans might be drawn to violent extremist groups.
It is a fact that the story of America cannot be truthfully told without the story of people of African descent. If we are going to close the gap and confront racism, we need to learn and understand others' history and way of life.
There are currently a myriad of issues with NYC's high school system. The SHSAT shouldn't be blamed for them, nor exorcised with the intention that its disappearance would solve serious problems that still need to be addressed.
Stretch anything far enough and it'll begin to tear, fragment, break apart. That, I suspect, may be a reasonable summary of what's been happening in our twenty-first-century world. Under stress, things are beginning to crack open.
On Monday, the New York Times published a deeply upsetting piece titled, "1.5 Million Missing Black Men." The numbers are shocking and offensive.
The comments beneath Ben Affleck's Facebook "mea culpa" for having his slave-owner ancestor cut from the PBS show Finding Your Roots were pretty typical.
Just because I don't see it day-to-day or have not experienced it first hand doesn't mean it's not very real.
Israel's Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) has demanded that notoriously racist club Beitar Jerusalem, the bad boy of Israeli soccer, retract recent statements that it would maintain its policy of not hiring Palestinian players because of opposition by the team's militant, racist fan base.
Reading the news these days might lead one to believe that white folks, particularly straight male white folks, are a beleaguered minority in America. It reminds me of a Martin Mull "middle class blues" parody years ago, where Mull sang with faux anguish about his martini being too warm. Pity us poor people of privilege.
Though some think of prophets as those who foresee the future, more often than not biblical prophets are speaking into the present day, and critiquing the powers that be.
If you've spent any time online you've seen them. They barge into every discussion about racial issues like belligerent drunks in a bar, arrogance emanating from them like a stench, armed with statistics "proving" that Blacks are the most violent ethnic group on earth.
When I hear someone say something prejudicial about one person or a group of people, it's as if they are saying it about all of us. If they are attacking one group today, then they'll be attacking another group tomorrow. Everyone gets a turn.
It is important to know where the flaws in the system are before you are faced with a headline-grabbing instance of police brutality in your city. If your police system has these sizeable gaps in civilian protection (and chances are they do) then there are issues of police misconduct and brutality happening in your city right now, whether you hear about them or not.
Racism, homophobia, the refusal to regard women as equals -- these beliefs will only end if we keep talking about why and how they're problematic, and force those who hold them to own them -- and face the consequences.
The cellphone video "reality footage" just doesn't stop. Black men are shot, killed, handcuffed. The shortcomings of their prematurely terminated lives soon become public knowledge, vaguely justifying the shocking wrongness of the officer's action -- always poisoning the grief.
For National Poetry Month 2015, here is one of my poems: "My Laundromat"//I will buy a Laundromat//so that//I can take the perfectly blue and green//rounded sphere which we call planet Earth// and give it a very needed cleaning.