• The Political Animal

    Talkin’ Shit about Race: Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman

    Had I served on George Zimmerman’s jury I believe I would have voted to convict him of manslaughter. I form this belief independent of Trayvon Martin’s race or any conviction about Zimmerman’s racial animus or suspicions. I would have voted to convict George Zimmerman of manslaughter had Trayvon Martin been white. Had Trayvon Martin been white, I would still think George Zimmerman culpable for his death. We do not need to demonize Zimmerman to do it, nor do we need to rehabilitate him in order to reject unsupportable claims about a depraved mind based on racial suspicion. In the record of George Zimmerman’s 43 calls to police over an 8…

  • The Political Animal

    A Campaign of Willful Blindness on Terrorism

    . This article first appeared in the Algemeiner on May 2, 2013.   On April 15, 2013 at 2:49 p.m. two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Most of us know the details, more or less – the three dead, 264 wounded and maimed, the days of fear, of investigation and pursuit, the two Chechen brothers, one a radicalized Muslim now dead, the other apprehended. The very next day, time unknown, Tim Wise, “anti-racist essayist, activist and educator,” posted to his website “Terrorism and Privilege: Understanding the Power of Whiteness.” Fewer than twenty-four hours after the bombs went off, Wise had written 1002 words stating three lessons of the…

  • The Political Animal

    Said the Sad Red Earth

    . I’ve been lying low, collecting evidence… Brought to mind by recent events for David W. Blight And Allison Scharfstein in their Op-Ed at the New York Times, the little known proposal by Martin Luther King, Jr. to President Kennedy in May 1962 to issue another Emancipation Proclamation, to end segregation. Kennedy took it under advisement and never acted before it was too late. Even Lincoln did not act until the nation was already at war. Marriage equality is not a matter of localized state ordinance governing a mundane civil procedure. It is a human and civil right to be addressed federally and universally. Even the partisan pollsters know what is coming. But the…

  • The Political Animal

    Incoherence on Race and Culture

    Christelle Nadia at The Republic of Dissent begs to differ (dissent, as it were) with my post The Churchill Doctrine. Before I differ with her differing, let’s examine, first, how she does her differing. She begins by characterizing the post – or what she quotes of it; this point is unclear – as “self-indulgent fluff.” What precisely the indulgence is to the self in what I wrote goes unelucidated, just as the self-involvement in the indulgence remains unidentified. That I am fluffy I do not dispute. You would know if you were near me. Nadia does not address the inciting idea of my post, or its final cause, so her…

  • Culture Clash

    Ten Questions for Monday

    The weekend is over. Back to work. Should Shirley Sherrod sue Andrew Breitbart? What damages and punitive award, if any, would you think appropriate? From what you know, how would you compare the moral character of Sherrod and Breitbart? Is the NAACP’s asking Tea Party leaders to repudiate racist elements in the Tea Party an equivalent of conservative politicians’ asking the NAACP, in reaction, to repudiate the New Black Panthers? How much should people be responsible for their associations? What kind of associations? Should bloggers be considered responsible – in the matter of their reputations – for the character of their commenting sections? If objectionable comments are occasional? Frequent? Posted…

  • The Political Animal

    “At Long Last, Have You Left No Sense of Decency?”

    We won’t fool ourselves. It is not just a cruel world. It is often a monstrous one. So what is one woman’s job and reputation? Decency and honor are not the defaults among us. They are the achievements. We don’t fall from grace. We rise to it. And we have been here before, many times. Martin Luther King, Jr. was no saint, his contemporaneous and later critics tried to tell us. No, he was a man, a great man – great because he raised himself out of the tar pit of our creation, broke his head through the baseness that clings to us like primal muck, and managed to become…