Monthly Archives: January 2017

Beyond Legitimacy

Few people have more justification to question the legitimacy – not merely of Donald Trump’s presidency, but of our entire political system – than John Lewis. Born to sharecroppers in the violent, apartheid world of rural Alabama, he later had his head split open on Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge, named for a former Grand Dragon of […]

Elegy in Black and White (Part 2)

My discovery 40 years ago (Part 1) that white people living in an urban ghetto exhibited many of the behaviors – addiction, crime, truancy, teenage pregnancy – associated with inner-city black life came as a revelation to me. I wasn’t alone in my ignorance. The Moynihan Report (1965) had declared, “the Negro family in the […]

Elegy in Black and White (Part 1)

“I’m Ty,” he said as he launched himself from the top of the steps, a tiny human missile heading straight at me, standing on the floor below. It wasn’t the last time I would be startled by Ty’s combination of complete recklessness and complete trust. He was six. He had come, with his shy and […]

And so it begins

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?” (“Who will guard the guards themselves?”) Juvenal. It was a holiday, the first one of the year, and who knew these guys would be at work, or even in town? But there they were in a presumably smokeless room deep in the caverns of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. filleting […]