Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch

Harper Lee’s “Mockingbird” and racism

So the beloved Atticus Finch was actually a racist? The saintly small-town attorney of “To Kill a Mockingbird” was really a member of a local White Citizens’ Council, that network of retrograde organizations dedicated to white supremacy? The publication of Harper Lee’s “Go Set A … Click here to continue --->

flag and slave 2

For Fourth, let’s admit original sin: slavery

The Confederate markers continue to tumble — flags, statues, monuments. After Dylann Roof associated his alleged atrocity with the Confederacy, politicians fell over themselves getting away from its symbols. While a few supporters of the Old Dixie are resolute, most leading public figures want … Click here to continue --->


A reminder: Race doesn’t exist

The curious case of Rachel Dolezal has sparked furious commentary about her deceit, her arrogance, her narcissism. But I see something more in her strange tale: a reminder that race is but a social construct. As geneticists told us years ago, there really isn’t any such thing as race. Human … Click here to continue --->


Bigotry based on the Bible

There is nothing new about bigotry based on the Bible. I grew up under its lash. During the tumultuous days of the civil rights movement, white Southern preachers took to their pulpits to defend Jim Crow and its odious mistreatment of black citizens. They believed that God was on their side. So it … Click here to continue --->

Try to tell a 6-year-old about Selma

Television news reports have shown old video footage of the original marchers trying to make it across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The footage all ends the same way, of course: men and women beaten about the head and face, falling as the blows rain down. How do I explain that march fifty years ago … Click here to continue --->