Commentary

Late Tuesday, news broke that yet another unarmed American, a black man named Walter Scott, was killed by a white police officer. As with Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, and Rodney King nearly 25 years ago, the brutality was captured on video for the world to see. The New York Times put the damning evidence at the very top of its homepage and it quickly spread throughout social media networks provoking outrage, disgust, horror, grief. These reactions have come most vocally from black Americans.

Earlier this month, the United States marked the 50th anniversary of the Selma voting rights marches. While much has changed since, racial wealth gaps have persisted over the past 30 years and even grown since the Great Recession. Today the richest 10 percent of white families own 65.1 percent of the nation’s wealth.

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“Put some mustard on it.” That’s the advice that Chicago McDonald’s worker Brittney Berry allegedly received from her manager after suffering a scalding burn on her arm from the grill used to make eggs. And this was no minor burn – she was eventually taken to the hospital in an ambulance, and had to miss work for six months.

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It’s Women’s History Month—what a nice idea to recognize that women actually make history and aren’t just along to make dinner for the history-makers! In 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared seven days in March to be National Women's History Week, and President Ronald Reagan followed suit. In 1987, Congress expanded the commemoration on the calendar, giving women a whole month.  We have come so far. (...)

The United States is becoming much more racially and ethnically diverse. At the same time, it’s becoming more unequal in terms of wealth and income.
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The Department of Justice’s report on its investigation of the Ferguson, Mo.
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Recently, chilling videos surfaced online of young University of Oklahoma students, members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, reciting a racially-charged chant. The story appeared surprising for numerous reasons. Among them, education is supposed to reduce racial resentment (or at least temper outward expressions of it), and young people, known as Millennials, are supposed to be uniquely tolerant. The incident offers an opportunity to reevaluate how we think about racism in America, and how we can fight it.

Age Doesn’t Matter

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In preparation for the 2016 presidential election, Democrats appear united around one candidate, while the Republican contest remains far from secured. Many on the left, who view Hillary Clinton’s stances as a tame brand of liberalism, have attempted to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., to run. But the progressives do not need a charismatic leader. Instead, they need to invest in unleashing the disgruntled progressive majority.
When discussing race, the conservative argument is best expressed by the famous words of Chief Justice John Roberts: “The best way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” Translation: America has done bad things in its history, but those bad things are gone now, so we should move past those horrors and look forward.
 
Conservatives believe that if blacks and Latinos simply work hard, get a good education and earn a good income, historical racial wealth gaps will disappear.
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Fifty years after Bloody Sunday, I marched to the top of the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Mrs. Amelia Boynton Robinson, Congressman John Lewis, President Barack Obama, and many others.