Our present legal system has evolved from legal and social structures that regarded certain categories of human beings as chattel. That immorality has never been officially disowned. It has never been fully and courageously addressed.
In the build-ups during World Wars I and II, the army had to quickly construct dozens of new forts across the country. Most were named for military heroes, and most of the ones in the south were named for Confederate generals.
Sometimes, upholding the Constitution and protecting the country it set out to establish might involve acts that appear to violate bits and pieces of it. We should talk about transparency, oversight, and striking a balance between liberty and security.
As we mark the Fourth of July weekend, let's pause amid the frolicking to ponder the meaning of independence and freedom -- and consider what Frederick Douglass had to say when called upon to give a widely publicized and much-anticipated oration on July 5, 1852.
Having lived in the Old World for a few years now, I have heard my country compared to an adolescent, with all the attendant charm and hubris implied. America was not born and raised like a child; it was founded and developed like a start-up company.
Founding Fathers, you got it together by making a few compromises. How's it working for you now? The bargaining chips you played then -- slaves, women, Native Americans -- are still being played today.
What I will be remembering -- and which I sincerely urge that today's politicians and media personalities read up on -- is the fact that the Civil War was actually postponed for decades by the most fierce ideological divide in our history.
Earlier this month, a horrifying story of human rights abuse and exploitation broke when Mexican authorities rescued nearly 300 workers from brutal forced labor conditions on a tomato farm in the state of Jalisco.
Sculptor Steven Weitzman was confronted with the same, nearly impossible, challenge that artists have faced repeatedly for thousands of years: How does one capture the eternity of a subject in a single image that allows the viewer to better understand and feel the subject?
Certainly Edward Snowden's crime is one of public relations. What he did by outing the NSA and its gargantuan surveillance operation was mess hugely with the American image -- the American brand -- with its irresistible combination of might and right.
So what does work? Short of going to war and wearing everyone down with death, misery, grief, infrastructure and economic ruin, what works? Negotiation. Mediation. Education that you will never get exactly what you want, and I won't either.
For collaboration to be possible, many groups with different beliefs must work together. This seems to make it particularly hard for those working within faith-based groups to speak out about the problems they've watched religion create.
Modern forms of slavery are now commonly referred to as human trafficking. This rebranding of slavery happened in earnest about two decades ago perhaps as an attempt by experts to better represent the contemporary attributes of this illicit industry.
While all African Americans are subject to certain kinds of discrimination and second-class citizenship, the intensity, frequency, and outcomes of this discrimination vary drastically by skin tone, and there are far greater "benefits" that come with lighter skin.
For decades, farmworkers have been leading a struggle for justice in our food system. Today, a recent string of victories by a farmworker group, together with the steadfast work of other groups, have taken the movement to a whole new level.