Faked hate crimes? They hurt

If “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett is guilty, as Chicago police have charged, of falsely claiming that he was the victim of a hate crime, he has done a grave disservice to the many Americans — black and brown, Muslim and Jew, gay and transgender — who have been or will be the actual victims of […]

Lessons of NYPD’s “friendly fire”

The death of New York City police Detective Brian Simonsen, who was fatally wounded Feb. 12 in a “friendly fire” incident, is tragic. The officers whose shots struck their fellow officers — not only killing Simonsen but also wounding another, Sgt. Matthew Gorman — are unlikely to ever fully recover emotionally and psychologically. They killed […]

The racist history of blackface

February is the time for the ritual observance of Black History Month — a brief period when schools, government institutions and even commercial enterprises feel compelled to commemorate a handful of famous black folk who made substantial contributions to American history. It’s a gimmick, an awkward and superficial observance aimed at ameliorating the centuries spent […]

Abrams’ push for voting rights

Stacey Abrams, who will deliver the Democratic response to the State of the Union address, is a dynamic speaker, a skillful political organizer and a gifted legislator. Those qualities no doubt played a role in the decision to choose her to rebut President Donald J. Trump. There is also little doubt that race and gender […]