Another week, another mass shooting

Late last month, the United States recorded yet another mass shooting. This one took place on a Friday afternoon in Virginia Beach, when a not-so-civil servant mowed down several of his co-workers at a municipal building. The shooter killed 12 people before he was shot dead in a gun battle with police. That sort of […]

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 […]

Let Mollie Tibbetts rest in peace

A young woman named Mollie Tibbetts was murdered last month in Iowa. She went for her daily jog in the hamlet of Brooklyn, where she was home from college for the summer, and she didn’t return. Her body was found earlier this week in a field. That’s simply awful. Her family and friends are likely […]

The Pope blasts the death penalty

In 1988, Walter McMillian was convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sentenced to death, charged with the1986 murder of Ronda Morrison in my hometown of Monroeville, Al. McMillian was a poor black man, so local authorities found it relatively easily to dragoon him for the murder of a young white woman, despite the […]

Crime is falling, fear is not

Mobile, AL. — Listening to some campaign commercials, I’m swept into the 2013 horror film, “The Purge” — which portrays a terrifying evening of violent crime. Here in Trump country, politicians running for posts from sheriff to attorney general are pledging to bring an end to what the president has infamously called “American carnage.” Steve […]

The brutal truth about lynching

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again. — Maya Angelou On July 5, 1933, Elizabeth Lawrence, a black school teacher, was lynched in Jefferson County (Birmingham), Alabama. A mob of white men dragged her from her home, burning the house down as they left, […]