Category Archives: Commentary

Gadfly is not an Expletive

One of the “tenets” in this Flawed American Democracy is that symbols, words, and appearances have taken precedence over what they are supposed to represent – the factual, the substantive, the reality.

The periodic open expressions of racism against African Americans, for example, do not change in the least way my level of contempt, up or down, for the people and the institutions that perpetrate, perpetuate, exacerbate, or tolerate our unfair conditions in this country. For me, the reality is worse than the expressions. Continue reading Gadfly is not an Expletive

Shutting down did not shut Us up

by Rev. Traci D. Blackmon,
Executive Minister for Justice and Local Church Ministries

Just weeks ago we experienced a three-day government shutdown. The U.S. government ran out of money and, in the absence of an approved budget, effectively forfeited its ability to fund itself. A short-term funding measure turned the lights back on, but we are rapidly heading towards our next self-imposed funding deadline. At which point, another showdown looms. In the background of all these manufactured crises, major pieces of legislation are awaiting Congress’s attention. Disaster funding, money for community health centers, and the fates of thousands of young immigrants all hang in the balance. This political gamesmanship has (as it always has) the most deleterious effect on the most needful among us. Continue reading Shutting down did not shut Us up

Adam Clayton Powell–A major African American leader

by Wornie Reed, Ph.D.
Director, Race and Social Policy, Professor, Sociology & Africana Studies, Virginia Tech

Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., was one of the most important figures in African American life in the twentieth century, yet he is not well known to many black or white Americans today. He was a major civil rights leader, and arguably the most powerful African American politician of the century. He was a very bright star whose flame went out in the early 1970’s, and now he is forgotten. Continue reading Adam Clayton Powell–A major African American leader

To fear or not to fear–this is the question…

February has become widely acclaimed as Black History Month. However, for those of us who chronicle Black History (at least 52 weeks a year) it affords the opportunity to reach ever increasing audiences with information on otherwise little known contributions of African-Americans throughout time to the arts, sciences, technology, industry, agriculture, the military and to every area of development of this comparatively youthful nation. Continue reading To fear or not to fear–this is the question…

Racism in the American Context

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.

Over my nearly 60 years of traveling across America and the world, I have noted that there are belief-systems spawned by the superiority-inferiority syndrome held by some persons about others unlike themselves that we loop under the general rubric of Misanthropy – hatred or distrust of human beings.  Racism is a specific form of misanthropy and it is on a continuum which moves from beliefs to actions. Continue reading Racism in the American Context