from The Great Debate:

At the Oscars, a force stronger than explicit racism explains lack of black nominees

February 26, 2016

Oscar nominees are shown in this combination of file photos. Director Spike Lee and actress Jada Pinkett Smith said on January 18, 2016 they will boycott next month's Academy Awards ceremony because black actors were shut out of nominations, and the Academy acknowledged it needed to do more to promote diversity. The Oscar acting nominees announced on Thursday lacked black performers for a second straight year, leading to the revival of the Twitter feed #OscarsSoWhite that emerged in 2015. From top to bottom (L-R) are best actor nominees Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon, Michael Fassbender, Eddie Redmayne, and Leonardo DiCaprio; best actress Brie Larson, Saoirse Ronan, Charlotte Rampling, Jennifer Lawrence and Cate Blanchett; best supporting actor Mark Rylance, Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Sylvester Stallone and Mark Ruffalo; best supporting actress Alicia Vikander, Rachel McAdams, Rooney Mara, Kate Winslet and Jennifer Jason Leigh. REUTERS/Staff/Files      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX22ZJ7

Oscar nominees are shown in this combination of file photos. REUTERS/Staff/Files

No people of color are nominated in the 20 major Academy Award categories this year, an omission that led to the Twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite and a renewed conversation about diversity -- and racism -- in Hollywood.

from The Great Debate:

Quest to tear down statues over past racism is intellectually vapid

January 21, 2016

The statue of Cecil John Rhodes is bound by straps as it awaits removal from the University of Cape Town (UCT), April 9, 2015. UCT's Council voted on Wednesday to remove of the statue of the former Cape Colony governor, after protests by students. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings       TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTR4WMJ3

The statue of Cecil John Rhodes is bound by straps as it awaits removal from the University of Cape Town, April 9, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

from The Great Debate:

Racism is also a reproductive rights issue

December 5, 2014

A female protester, demanding justice for Eric Garner, sports a face mask in Brooklyn, New York

Generally speaking, Americans understand reproductive rights as being about abortion, and sometimes, about birth control. In the mainstream understanding, reproductive rights are about the right to prevent or end unwanted pregnancy. But reproductive rights are about more than pregnancy. Reproductive justice is not just a matter of making sure that women only become mothers if and when and in the manner they choose – it’s also a matter of making sure that, when they choose to bring children into the world, they don’t bring them into a world that is disproportionately dangerous for those children.

from Nicholas Wapshott:

Sterling: Defying a century of progress

May 6, 2014

A supporter holds a photo cutout of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling while standing in line for the NBA Playoff game 5 between Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center in Los Angeles

The punishment of Clippers owner Donald Sterling for being caught expressing his racist beliefs -- “It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” -- was swift and severe. The National Basketball Association, the players and a large majority of the team owners were quick to come together to condemn Sterling’s primitive remarks.

from The Great Debate:

Cliven Bundy: Racism entwined with government antipathy

April 28, 2014

Conservatives would like us to believe that hatred of government and racism are totally separate phenomena. That one has nothing to do with the other. They're wrong.

from The Great Debate:

Bundy: Counterfeit hero

April 25, 2014

The shelf life of heroes isn’t what it used to be.

Once upon a time, a hero would burst upon the scene -- a Charles A. Lindbergh, a Babe Ruth, a Red Grange, an Audie Murphy, a Neil Armstrong -- and he would not only receive reverent acclaim, that acclaim would last for decades. Sometimes forever.

from Nicholas Wapshott:

What Mandela meant

December 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela will be remembered as the person who, more than any other, brought an end to apartheid, the heartless policy of “separate development” in which white, black and South Asian South Africans were obliged to live apart. It is part of his towering achievement that the very notion of racial segregation is anathema to democrats throughout the civilized world. He will be mourned as a freedom fighter and the father of his nation, whose wisdom, patience and courage tormented his oppressors and finally drove them to accept that racial discrimination should have no place in a system of government.

from The Great Debate:

Obama takes on the presumption of thuggery that permeates Martin case

July 24, 2013

Everyone looks to their president for protection against calamity, and black voters are no different. One little discussed fact of the Obama presidency is how it has been a singularly disastrous economic period for the first black president’s most loyal constituency: black people.

from India Insight:

Justice delayed for Punjab beating victim

July 9, 2012

Burundi national Yannick Nihangaza was brutally beaten in April by allegedly drunk youngsters, and left for dead in Jalandhar, a city in Punjab. Nearly three months later, the 23-year-old Nihangaza lies in a vegetative state at a hospital.

from Full Focus:

Russia’s untouchables

February 1, 2012

Russia’s demographic situation is one of the many factors contributing to uncertainty in understanding the future of the country. As one of the world's only developing countries with a decreasing population, the Russian economy relies on a large influx of migrant workers to fill the gap. Photographer Denis Sinyakov documents the divisive issue of immigration.