The Other Inconvenient Truth

Donald Trump chose Trump Tower, the place where he began his presidential campaign, as the place to plunge a dagger into his presidency. Trump’s jaw-dropping defense of white supremacists, white nationalists and Nazis in Charlottesville, exposed once more what many of us have been howling into the wind since he emerged as a viable candidate: That he is a bigot, a buffoon and a bully. He has done nothing since his election to disabuse us of this notion and everything to confirm it. Anyone … [Read more...]

Charlottesville, Los Angeles: Faith and Political Leaders Speak Out for Justice

He forfeited his chance for greatness,” said Wilma, a retired Los Angeles city attorney and congregant of Holman United Methodist Church, before the program began. She was referring, of course, to the president’s woefully inadequate response to the weekend’s events in Charlottesville. The president would not mention terrorism, nor racism, nor white supremacy, nor the anti-Semitic Nazi groups that openly paraded in the city that is home to the University of Virginia and to nearby Monticello, … [Read more...]

There Is a Better Way

One of the most difficult observations about today's national reality is that our nation is faced with a coup.  There is every indication the government has been commandeered by forces foreign to the values and hard fought triumphs to break open a system that had been closed to too many of its citizens. From insults hurled at Muslims, to accusations against immigrants, to false statements about transgendered persons serving in the military, to a roll back of Civil Rights legislation, to … [Read more...]

Making Affirmative Action White Again

Jeff Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee 20 years ago that affirmative action irritated people (he meant white people) because it could cause them to lose opportunities “simply because of their race.” This sense of grievance lies behind the Justice Department’s recent memo seeking lawyers to investigate “race-based discrimination” in college admissions. It also implies that all that stands between hard-working whites and success are undeserving minorities who are doled out benefits, … [Read more...]

Why Segregated Neighborhoods Persist

The long historical reach of racial housing policy. The major unfinished business of the civil rights movement, writes Richard Rothstein in his powerful new book, The Color of Law, is housing. Over the past fifty years, we’ve made considerable progress reducing discrimination in restaurants, hotels, transportation, voting, and employment, he writes, but residential segregation remains relatively high. A half century after the Kerner Commission found that “our nation is moving toward two … [Read more...]

Will Millennials Forge a Future for the Progressive Black Church?

At this summer’s Hampton University Ministers’ Conference, the century-old meeting for black clergy nationwide—the first since the election of Donald Trump—conference preachers did not shy away from political rhetoric in their sermons. But it was from the millennial preaching voices at the conference that political awareness was most passionate. Specifically, Rev. Dr. Brianna Parker, the pastor of Assimilation at Dallas’ Friendship-West Baptist Church, offered a scathing critique of the Trump … [Read more...]

The Bad Religion at the Heart of GOP Healthcare Policy

Even as Mitch McConnell’s last-ditch and putatively face-saving “repeal, then replace” maneuver fails, it’s important to remember that the anti-Obamacare gospel remains firmly in place among True Believers. VP Mike Pence, a “real Christian” in contradistinction to our Sinner in Chief, made the gospel teaching really clear in his speech to the National Retail Federation meeting, given at just about the same time that McConnell’s last gasp was tanking. Why must Obamacare be destroyed? asked … [Read more...]

Which Way America?

Violence, dislocation, criminalization, mass detention and incarceration, reduction of decency, and the mistreatment of women and children or any person should be seen as acts against humanity. Such behaviors begin the moment a human being is no longer seen as valuable or able to enjoy the fullness of life. Heart-wrenching details about historic and continuing realities of what it means to be Black in America should cause us to shudder. Poverty, poor quality education, high unemployment, … [Read more...]

Hangman’s Noose, Symbol of Racial Animus, Keeps Cropping Up

It was the beginning of the night shift last Wednesday at the United States Mint in Philadelphia, a secure facility that manufactures money, when a white male coin maker strode across the factory floor to the workstation of an African-American colleague. He was carrying a piece of rope. The rope had an official purpose: to seal coin bags once they were full. But the worker, who operates the machinery used to make coins, instead looped and twisted it into a hangman’s noose, according to Rhonda … [Read more...]

Religious Liberals Sat Out of Politics for 40 Years: Now They Want in the Game

In Nashville, a crowd of ministers carrying palm fronds occupied the governor’s office during Holy Week, demanding the expansion of Medicaid to cover more of the uninsured. In California and 16 other states, an interfaith network has organized thousands of volunteers to swoop into action when immigrants are arrested or houses of worship are vandalized. Across the country, religious leaders whose politics fall to the left of center, and who used to shun the political arena, are getting … [Read more...]