Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
ANATOMY OF TORTURE — Historian Christopher Dietrich on the 100-year-long history of American torture; Jeffrey St. Clair on the implications of giving impunity to the CIA’s torturers; Chris Floyd on how the US has exported torture to its client states around the world. David Macaray on the Paradoxes of Police Unions; Louis Proyect on Slave Rebellions in the Open Seas; Paul Krassner on the Perils of Political Cartooning; Martha Rosenberg on the dangers of Livestock Shot-up with Antibiotics; and Lee Ballinger on Elvis, Race and the Poor South. Plus: Mike Whitney on Greece and the Eurozone and JoAnn Wypijewski on Media Lies that Killed.
Archives by Tag 'Racism'
Human Rights Need Not Apply
BEN NORTON
What do xenophobia, bigotry, racial profiling, apartheid, torture, mass incarceration, private prisons, and 21st-century slavery have in common? They are all intimately linked, featured prominently, in a web of lies, greed, and capital. Welcome to the Land of the Free, th...
What Would the Rev Martin Luther King Think of Obama’s Presidency?
CLANCY SIGAL
Any of us who participated in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom will celebrate its 50th anniversary...
Hollywood and Black America
LOUIS PROYECT
Recently ‘ The Butler and Fruitvale Station, both Harvey Weinstein productions, arrived at my local “better” movie theater and settled down next to Woody Allen’s latest navel-gazing exercise. At the same time HBO was running The Help, a 20...
Oprah Got a Brand New Bag
CECIL BROWN
Oprah told a story on Entertainment Tonight that she was shopping for handbag in Switzerland. The clerk didn’t want to show a 38,000 handbag to her because she said “It’s too expensive for you.” “This shows,” said Oprah “that racism s...
On Organizing Against Police Violence
AJAMU NANGWAYA
“Organization is the weapon of the oppressed.” – Kwame Ture (aka Stokely Carmichael) Racialized working-class communities and individuals and Indigenous peoples in North America know the daily reality of ...
The New Freedom Vote
ROBIN D.G. KELLEY
Exactly fifty years ago, Civil Rights activists in Mississippi launched one of the most significant acts of direct democracy in U.S. history.  After two bloody, grueling years of trying to register black voters in the face of massive retaliatory violence, Bob Moses and A...
A Very Short History of Driving While Black
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
The issue of racial profiling by police briefly grabbed the attention of the press in June of 1999 when New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman fired the head of the state police after he accused blacks and Hispanics of being more likely to be drug dealers and therefor...
Leaving the Land of the Free (for Whites)
ANA G. CALDERON
The murder of an unarmed black teenager has ignited an intense social and political debate throughout the United States of America. George Zimmerman’s acquittal of manslaughter and second degree murder has brought the topic of race back into front page news every single...
Why the Progressive Response to the Zimmerman Verdict Falls Short
ANDREW TILLETT-SAKS
The death of Trayvon Martin and acquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman, unleashed widespread discussion and protest of racism in America. The response has been rightful outrage; protestors filling streets and indignant polemics filling the media. Yet a lion’s share o...
My Weekend With Bernie (Goetz)
MISSY BEATTIE
“That sounds like something Bernie would do. This is Bernie,” I’d said to Charles, years ago. He shook his head no. Before we met, Charles lived in NYC, where he got his PhD. That’s how he knew Bernie, both at NYU in the department of nuclear enginee...
In Order to Address Racism, We Must Confront the Drug War
SHARDA SEKARAN
This past week has brought an intense time of reflection and critical self-examination for many Americans. In the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict, there have been emotionally-charged conversations about the way young black men are viewed in the U.S. and how valued th...
Black Humanity on Trial in America, Again
HORACE CAMPBELL
“Let us banish from our minds the thought that this is an unfortunate victim of injustice. The very concept of injustice rests upon the premise of equal claims.” — Richard Wright The above quote from the author Richard Wrig...
The Real Purpose of the Drug War
ALEXANDER COCKBURN and JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
A heart in love will decipher every squiggle in a letter as a kiss. In the final days of the 2008 campaign and in the opening ones of his administration, Obama and his top legal aides seemed to the eager ears of marijuana legalizers on the West Coast to be opening the doo...
The Lone Greenhorn and the Magic Injun
MICHAEL DONNELLY
The Lone Ranger. I had to see it. I’ve been reading a lot of critiques over the lame Native stereotyping and yes, there is validity to the complaint. But, I’ve also been talking with friends who went to see it and liked it — Native friends, as well as non-Native...
Black Skin, White Justice
GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER
“A feeling of inferiority? No, a feeling of not existing. Sin is black as virtue is white. All those white men, fingering their guns, can’t be wrong. I am guilty. I don’t know what of: but I know I’m a wretch....
Who’s Afraid of Black Men’s Eyes?
JOHN ESKOW
On Memorial Day, in Miami, a 14-year-old black kid named Tremaine McMillan was walking down the beach with his mother–and bottle-feeding his puppy–when cops blocked his path in ATVs.  A few minutes before, the kid had been rough-housing in the surf with a fri...
The Swedish Riots
RITT GOLDSTEIN
Dalarna, Sweden. The Swedish riots appear to have ended, but while most of the media fumbles about to understand what happened, the answers arguably seem to have been provided 12 March, over two months before the unrest began.  At that time I interviewed...
The Silent Death of the American Left
JEFFREY ST. CLAIR
Is there a Left in America today? There is, of course, a Left ideology, a Left of the mind, a Left of theory and critique. But is there a Left movement? Does the Left exist as an oppositional political, cultural or economic force? Is anyone intimidated or re...
The Invention of the White Race
JEFFREY B. PERRY
Theodore W. Allen’s two-volume The Invention of the White Race, republished by Verso Book...
Why “African-American” is a Patronizing, Even Racist Term
M. G. PIETY
I do not like the expression “African-American.” It’s patronizing, condescending, and racist. It was coined, rumor has it, to help counteract the corrosive effect of racism on the self-esteem of black Americans. But how is that supposed to work? In practice, I w...
Racism and Sexual Violence in Indonesia
ANDRE VLTCHEK
My good friend, a Chinese Indonesian lady, recently got grabbed and assaulted, in the middle of Jakarta, in broad daylight. When it happened, I was in Japan and we exchanged several messages, and emails.  This was not the first time such a thing had happened to he...
Freedom is a Constant Struggle
MIKE MILLER
Books considered in this essay:  Thunder of Freedom:  Black Leadership and the Transfo...
The Rhetoric of Entitlement
M. G. PIETY
There’s been a lot about affirmative action in the media recently because the Supreme Court is considering a case that challenges the constitutionality of any consideration of race in university admissions decisions. The poster girl for the case is 23-year old Abigail N...
Combatting Sexism in the Technology Community
ALFREDO LOPEZ
Sometimes a story breaks that touches so many issues that one is left with mouth agape. The recent news involving technology “evangelist” Adria Richards is one such story and it’s burning across all kinds of media and cutting an intense divide within the...
Firebombing Eritrean Centers in Sweden
THOMAS C. MOUNTAIN
On Sunday night February 24 three Eritrean community centers in Stockholm, Sweden were firebombed and burnt to the ground following a vicious attack on the Swedish Eritrean population by a program broadcast by Stockholm television station SVT. The pogrom style “d...
Back to the Jim Crow Future
KEVIN ALEXANDER GRAY
The Voting Rights Act (VRA) signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 struck down laws supporting Jim Crow segregation and other measures designed to disenfranchise or disempower black voters.  When Congress enacted the law in 1965, it determined that racial di...
On the Wings of Intolerance
VIJAY PRASHAD
Narendra Modi is a big man. He does not seem his 62 years – energetic and brash, larger than life. There is something in him of Bhima-parakrama, of terrible prowess. It is this edge that makes many uneasy with him. It also earns him the enthusiasm of those who fa...
Joking About Slavery at the Oscars
LEE BALLINGER
During the last night’s tedious Oscar telecast, host Seth McFarland was talking about portrayals of Abraham Lincoln in film. He first noted Daniel Day Lewis in Steven Speilburg’s Lincolnand then Raymond Massey in the 1940 film Abe Lincoln ...
HIV-Positive Inmates Too Expensive for Private Prison Operators?
CHRISTOPHER PETRELLA
Defenders of the for-profit prison industry reflexively insist that privatization—or the process of subjecting “correctional services” to market pressures—will naturally generate efficiencies as companies respond to competitive forces. They claim that the “marke...
Meditations on Christopher Dorner
DOUGLAS VALENTINE
The death by fire of Christopher Dorner evoked a rush of memories dating back to September 1971, when, in the wake of the Attica Prison Massacre, I began making plans to migrate from New York State to California. At age 21, I had no master plan, other than to get f...
The Execution of Christopher Dorner
GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER and MIKE KING
If the murder of Oscar Grant on an Oakland transit platform marked the dawn of the Obama era, the cold-blooded murder of former Naval reservist and Los Angeles Police officer Christopher Dorner might just mark the end of whatever optimistic hope people can muster in his a...
Throwing Light on the Dark Side of Dorner’s Rampage
LINN WASHINGTON, JR.
On September 10, 2012 the Los Angeles Times published an article with the headline: “LAPD to hold meetings on use of force policies.” Top Los Angeles police officials announced those community meetings to counter growing criticism about videoed brutali...
Ted Nugent’s State of Disunion
DAVE MARSH
Ted Nugent is slated to make a live appearance tonight at the State of the Union speech, arriving as a guest of his Congressman, Steve Stockman, who recently announced he was pursuing impeachment of the President. Presuming Ted shows, and presuming the Secret Service lets...
Object Lessons on Chronic Poverty in America
JOHN GRANT
In The New York Times February 6th on pages 20 and 21, across from each other, there were two tragic stories centered around the themes of sex, race and power. You might call them love stories, though they were definitely not Hallmark card or Harlequin romances....
Dr. King Had Other Dreams
TOM and JUDY TURNIPSEED
On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery bus.  Martin Luther King, Jr. was 26 years old; Coretta had just given birth to their first child. E D. Dixon, another Montgomery pastor, asked to host a meeting in Ki...
The Presleying of Abstract Art
CARLA BLANK
Elvis Presley borrowed so much from James Brown that when James Brown saw him perform he said, “That’s me up there.”  Like music critics who give credit to Elvis Presley for the creation of rock ‘n roll, ignoring Ike Turner or Chuck Berry, the same kind of chauvi...
The Wilmington 10 Pardon
LAMONT LILLY
On Dec. 31, outgoing North Carolina governor, Beverly Perdue, pardoned The Wilmington 10 – Rev. Benjamin Chavis, Connie Tindall, Marvin Patrick, Wayne Moore, Reginald Epps, Jerry Jacobs, James McKoy, Willie Earl Vereen, William Wright, Jr. and Ann Shepard – who had se...
The Irrational, Racist Fear of China
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Libya are in shambles, crushed by the heavy boots of Western imperialism. But we are told to fear China. The entire nations of Indochina were bombed back to the stone age, because Western demi-gods would not tolerate, and fe...
Of Black Men and White Middle-Class Feminists
ISHMAEL REED
During an interview with Chris Hedges carried at the site Truthdig, I cited Eve Ensler as the type of middle class white feminist who singles out black men as the leading culprits in the practice of cruelty to women, a theme that has earned hundreds of millions of dollars...
A Reign of Terror on People of Color
KIM NICOLINI
I saw my first film of the new year last night – The Central Park Five, a documentary about the five ...
Hollywood’s Nigger Joke
CECIL BROWN
I had little dog, his name  was Dash I’d ruther be a nigger than be white trash –African American saying In order for a joke to work, Mary Douglas, the eminent British anthropologist, wrote that one had to have a soci...
Yes We Cannabis
HELEN REDMOND
The cracks in the American cannabis control system just got wider with the states of Washington and Colorado passing referendums legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for adults. It is nothing short of historic in a country that arrests over 850,000 people every ye...
The Cancer of Police Violence
MIKE KING
Police brutality and murder are arguably the most visible, direct and clear expressions of racialized state power in the United States.  To say this is an epidemic, however, as many have, is somewhat of a simplification.  An epidemic is an indiscriminate force of natu...
Mitt Romney and the Gift of White Supremacy
COREY D. B. WALKER
“White supremacy was all but world-wide . . . [t]he using of men for the benefit of masters is no new invention . . . [t]he imperial width of the thing, – the heaven defying audacity – makes its modern newness.” W.E.B Du Bois, Darkwater:  V...
The Ideology of Hatred
NEVE GORDON
After 9/11, hate began colonizing new spheres, operating as a social and political force that manipulates and mobilizes entire publics in very specific ways. In order to understand the recent events in Gaza you should read Niza Yanay’s new book ...
“Kick-a-Nigger” Politics
KEVIN ALEXANDER GRAY
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to car...
Muslim Protest and the Language of the Unheard
SOHAIL DAULATZAI
“Why did one straw break the camel’s back? Here’s the secret, there’s a million other straws underneath it.” – Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), “Mathematics” The controversies around “free speech” and Muslims th...
Anti-Latino Laws Ignite The South
LAMONT LILLY
In its original format, Alabama’s Beason-Hammon Act granted school resource officers the right to badger 5th graders on the basis of their immigration status. The state of Alabama, which passed the Beason-Hammon Act (or HB 56) in June of 2011, was the only state in the ...
Why Georgia Isn’t on Obama’s Mind
BENOIT BRÉVILLE
Every morning at six, Russell Stanton, in his forties, gets in his pick-up and drives round the local agricultural businesses in the hope of a day’s work picking peaches, peanuts or corn. On a humid August night, Stanton kept leaving his air-conditioned motel room for a...
The Schism in France
BARRY LANDO
Paris. France is in deep trouble. This country has spent several billions of Euros over the past 11 years sending its troops, planes and ships, to join the War against Terrorism in Central Asia. Now, however, the French are finally discovering the threat o...