Capital punishment, says the European Union, is both immoral and ineffective. They are right; it's been proven. So the question: can we talk, within the field of race and beyond it about our tendency to reward our hatred and not to work it harder.
A collection of brutally cynical thoughts intruded upon my encounters with this piece of Charleston's beauty. The deaths of nine people served as prerequisites to the moving displays of humanity that I witnessed. Yes, tragedy often produces unequivocal generosity of spirit.
We need an American identity built on a foundation of that shared history--not a whitewashed version of it, but one that can, as President Obama declared in Selma, "look upon our imperfections and decide that it is in our power to remake this nation to more closely align with our highest ideals."
When the disillusioned 21-year-old Dylann Roof shot and killed nine black worshipers at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, the tragedy quickly focused on the legacy of the Confederate flag and its tacit endorsement of racism. For presidential candidates courting southern conservatives, this called for high-wire political acts.
Newsome's action was a reminder to abandon the comfort and relative safety of insipid discontent. If we want more, we have to demand more.
We, the South, are not just Confederate flags and racist gunmen. We're not just BBQ and cornbread. We're not a collection of dunces because we drive slower than you do or choose to greet someone in a store rather than glare at them in silence. We smile and we don't take ourselves too seriously.
This week, in the words of President Obama, our union became "a little more perfect." On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of Obamacare, preserving health insurance for at least 8 million people...
This week, in the words of President Obama, our union became "a little more perfect." On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of Obamacare, preserving health insurance for at least 8 million people. In dissent, Justice Scalia -- whose opinions increasingly read like he's shouting them from the Court's front porch at passersby -- accused the majority of "jiggery-pokery." The next day, the Court ruled 5-4 to make marriage legal nationwide for same sex couples. As cheers rang out across the country, the president hailed the courage of those who "slowly made an entire country realize that love is love." But amid the celebration there was also sadness, as Rev. Clementa Pinckney was laid to rest in Charleston... Read More.
Novelist Patti Callahan Henry knows how to brew up a good story. She picks a great setting, such as a small coastal town in South Carolina. She adds in a bright and inventive heroine. She matches her with a worthy, but flawed hero.
We ought to question those symbols and names that lie atop the schools that constitute the very building blocks of our society. To otherwise remain silent, means we hand a victory both to those Confederate soldiers and to those like Dylann Storm Roof who remain influenced by them today.
We all have unfinished projects. One of mine is the documentation of the churches and music of people of color in Charleston. I grew up in what was then a virtually unknown town on the South Carolina coast. The racial divide was so omniscient that it was invisible to someone growing up in it.
Removing that symbol -- with very public dialog about why it needs to be removed -- is one step towards excising the larger, persistent social ill that is racism.
This past week has been one of those special times that prove how unpredictable the flow of events can be. It is an important realization, in our dark era in America, to recognize that our sense of what's possible is likely way too constricted. It tells us that it is never appropriate to yield entirely to despair because we "know" that there's no way things can turn around and get better.
Let's put an end to violence and killing, including sponsorship of terror, whether it comes in the form of an official state seal that legalizes killing, or as way of promoting ideological hate which gives cover to the unstable, unhinged and disenfranchised to kill.
If after 150 years we're finally going to consign the Confederate flag to the dustbin of history and to the exhibit cases of museums, we have to make sure we bury the entirety of what that flag stands for as well. It is too late to bring the traitors of 1861 to justice, but surely we can stop treating them as perverse heroes, and we can start calling the Confederacy what it really was.
Dear South Carolina, it's been six years since I left, and I still miss you dearly. But I don't miss everything. There was a time, growing up, when I thought I understood the scope of racism in the South. I did not. Your culture is not sporadically punctuated with racism. The two are intricately intertwined.