race

Towards a Catholic Nationalism

From the beginning of Donald J. Trump’s quixotic presidential campaign, political and media elites have attempted to browbeat the “dangerous” new nationalist movement like an unruly child. First, it was National Review’s “Conservatives against Trump” symposium, which excommunicated its Trump-voting readers for their infidelity to the dogmata of movement conservatism. Now a similar proclamation has [...]

When Identity Politics Replaces Stories with Mirrors

Marley Dias is the new media darling. She is an articulate 11-year-old in sixth grade in Orange, NJ. Miss Dias has gained attention because of a book drive she launched, #1000blackgirlbooks, by which she hoped to collect 1000 kids’ books with a black girl as the protagonist. Miss Dias was annoyed that her teacher never [...]

The Case Against Same-Sex “Marriage”

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on April 28 about whether there is a “constitutional right” to same-sex “marriage.” For the first time in history, our nation faces a dizzying prospect—that its laws, its courts, and the coercive power of the state that upholds them, could be turned against supporters of traditional marriage by [...]

Yes, Virginia, Santa Has a Face

Last year’s media war fought over the skin color of Santa gave us much to think about regarding racial agendas, cultural customs, and the relationship between popular tradition and concrete history. Some choose to think of Santa as being white, some choose to think of him as being black, and some choose to think of [...]

What’s in a Name?

The Montagues and Capulets placed great store in their brand names, even to the point of stabbing one another, but the Capulet girl was a wistful voice: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet." Move from Verona across a few centuries to the [...]

Sanger’s Racist Legacy Lives on in New York City Schools

In 1930, Margaret Sanger’s Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau allied with the Urban League to bring birth control services to the women of Harlem. By 1939, Sanger had raised thousands of dollars to support an expansion of the initiative she named “The Negro Project.” Targeted toward reducing an African-American population described in Sanger’s June, 1932 [...]

Rising Black Social Pathology

The Philadelphia Inquirer's big story Feb. 4 was about how a budget crunch at the Philadelphia School District had caused the district to lay off 91 school police officers. Over the years, there's been no discussion of what has happened to our youth that makes a school police force necessary in the first place. The [...]

Slouching Toward Disneyworld

I remember writing in 2008 that the race was consistent only in its unpredictability. That’s the only resemblance this presidential race holds to the last. There is no comfort in any political camp right now. They each feel equally emboldened and vulnerable. Just as they did in the Democratic primary in 2008. That’s not bad [...]

The Republicans’ Cow Pie Bingo

  The Republican presidential race now moves from New Hampshire to South Carolina, but it's really taking place in an upside-down Lake Wobegon — where all the men are homely, all the women are weak and all the candidates are below average. We are often told that modern campaigns generate rivers of pointless trivia and [...]

Santorum’s Demographic Edge

I do not pretend to know the intricate details of the Republican primary presidential race – reading about caucuses and the insane amounts of money spent on advertising leave me yearning for the simplicities of New Zealand’s intimate electoral system where every person gets two votes. (We see the slippery slope in action here – [...]

The Empty Manger

  This year, as every year, the crèche has sat empty of God. The shepherds knelt, the angels sang, the ox and ass and eager lamb looked on, even Joseph and Mary stared down adoringly—at a vacant manger. There was no Infant here. When people knelt before this nativity scene to pray, they closed their [...]

Bad Poetry, Bland Theology: Let’s Write a Hymn!

Few parishes can afford to replace or restore the lost art so many pastors ripped out on the pretext that it was "pre-conciliar."  In some cases – I'm thinking of a church in Appalachia with hand-carved relief sculptures of the local flora and fauna – the loss is irreparable.  But poetry doesn't cost a thing. [...]

Obama, Romney Change Tacks in Week of Political Risks

  It was a week of risk-taking in the 2012 presidential race. Barack Obama, his job approval languishing in the low 40s, delivered a much heralded speech in Osawatomie, Kan., framing the choice between the parties in class-warfare terms. That's a risky strategy. Democrats haven't won a presidential election on class warfare since 1948, when [...]

Cain and the Liberals

  Republicans by the boxcar load adore him. You know what that means if you're a certain kind of Democrat, and the "him" in question is Herman Cain. It means Cain lovers -- even or perhaps especially, folks in Dixie, who might have lynched him 80 or 90 years ago for his uppity ways -- [...]

Romney Buoyed by Good Luck — and Hard Experience

Napoleon is supposed to have said that the quality he most valued in his generals was luck. In the current race for the Republican presidential nomination, Napoleon's favorite would clearly be Mitt Romney. One lucky break after another has helped Romney maintain front-runner status or something close to it in polls of Republican primary voters [...]

A Colorblind America

Could anyone have imagined even a few years ago that the 2012 U.S. presidential race might end up as a contest between two black candidates? I certainly couldn't have. Yet, with Republican candidate Herman Cain's recent surge in popularity, the possibility is there. This says a great deal about race in America -- all of [...]

Hearing ‘God’s Call’

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is being urged to seek the Republican presidential nomination. There is a genuine groundswell for Christie. Asked last week at the Reagan Library whether he will enter the race, Christie gave a very interesting answer. Citing the example of Ronald Reagan, he stated: “I know, without ever having met President [...]

Scandalous Education

Last December, I reported on Harvard University professor Stephan Thernstrom's essay "Minorities in College — Good News, But...," on Minding the Campus, a website sponsored by the New York-based Manhattan Institute. He was commenting on the results of the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress, saying that the scores "mean that black students aged [...]

Is Rick Perry the Best of the Worst?

  The Republican presidential field looks less like an assemblage of candidates than a collection of fatal mistakes and irreparable flaws, with occasional embodiments of one or more of the Seven Deadly Sins. Mitt Romney? A flip-flopper who inspired Obamacare. Tim Pawlenty? A too-bashful critic of Romneycare, with a sleepy persona. Newt Gingrich? Serial adultery [...]

America’s New Racists

The late South African economist William Hutt, in his 1964 book, "The Economics of the Colour Bar," said that one of the supreme tragedies of the human condition is that those who have been the victims of injustices and oppression "can often be observed to be inflicting not dissimilar injustices upon other races." Born in [...]

Like Lambs

I knew I wanted him the minute I laid eyes on him. He was comically rotund, with round, dark, knowing eyes and a fluffy fleece. He was a lamb. Not a real one, of course, but a large stuffed lamb, an Easter decoration or a child's toy. There, in the grocery store, I stopped my [...]

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