The Northeastern United States—home to abolitionism and a refuge for blacks fleeing the Jim Crow South—has had a long and celebrated history of racial equality and political liberalism. After World War II, the region appeared poised to continue this legacy, electing black politicians and rallying behind black athletes and cultural leaders. However, as historian Jason Sokol reveals in All Eyes Are Upon Us, these achievements obscured the harsh reality of a region driven by segregation and deep-seated racism.

In the year 1900, in what this pundit believes to be one of the most cogent and powerful essays, Theodore Roosevelt claimed that no one is justified in doing evil for reasons of expedience.  Alas, in little more than a century later, expedience is fueling a return to the most vicious and inhumane practices of this self-proclaimed ‘democratic republic’s’ self-scarred history, in a succession of prejudicial efforts, to deny African-Americans and others of similar color, access to the civil rights ostensibly enjoyed by everyone else.  Conservative Republican officials and others of their ilk, at every level of government, from local through county, state and federal, are eagerly involved in this hateful denial, made even more detestable by their own outspoken claims of innocent ignorance.

Stephen Gottlieb: Reactions To Obama And African-Americans

Oct 21, 2014

 Several people recently hopped the White House fence and were caught with weapons. Many treat Obama as if he can’t do anything right. Some insist they want him to lead while making it impossible to do that. From the beginning of Obama’s presidency, Republicans in Congress focused on bringing Obama down by blocking everything he did regardless of the merits. That’s unique in our recent history. He’s even been criticized for taking a vacation – though Obama has spent far less time on vacation than his predecessors – plural – and was obviously doing the job of governing even while taking some time with his family. What’s going on?

A National Moment of Silence takes place tonight, with the country again debating race, violence and the role of the police.  The fatal police shooting of St. Louis-area teenager Michael Brown set off a wave of unrest and protests. Four unarmed black men have been killed by police in the last month, including Eric Garner, who died after being placed in a chokehold on a New York City street.

We have come to that point in our nationhood, where our cohesion is at serious risk.  To paraphrase John Dunne, no one of us is an island, entire to itself; everyone is a part of the main, because we are all involved in humankind.  He was right, because in Latin, ‘homo’ translates as a male or female person or fellow creature.  Yet, despite all of our inclusive rhetoric, there are still those among us, who would reverse the democratic process in this fragile democracy to the most despicable meaning of “State’s Rights,” in which those of color are excluded and denied inclusion, except as sub-human members of the work-herd, as the ‘State’s-Right’ politicos once considered them.

Herbert London: Hypocrisy, Thy Name Is NBA

May 14, 2014

L’affaire Sterling is nearing an end. Almost every sentient human being is aware of Don Sterling’s rancid racist comments. He has been banned from the NBA forever and he is being forced to sell his team, the Los Angeles Clippers. All of this is known. Adam Silver, Commissioner of the NBA, has been heralded for his quick, and “appropriate” action. The legendary Michael Jordan summarized the view of players and owners by noting: “As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views. As a fellow player, I am completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA – or anywhere else – for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed.”

The same week as an international firestorm over racist comments by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the question of what people can and cannot say — and where potentially offensive conversations take place — is echoing closer to home. The Albany City School District dismissed an employee after she re-tweeted a viral tweet on her personal account. 

4/28/14 Panel

Apr 28, 2014


  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, political consultant Libby Post and WAMC Newsman Ray Graf.

Topics include:
Ukraine Latest
Phillipines Accord
Pope Canonizations
Clippers Controversy
South Korea Resignation

City of Troy NY Police Department

The FBI has elected NOT to investigate a Capital Region police force.

The FBI has no interest in looking into Troy Police involved in the January 25th brawl at Kokopellis Night Club.

Troy Police Chief John Tedesco says he was notified by officials from the bureau on Tuesday that they will not be investigating the actions of the police officers who responded to a call from the club.

    A 2006 report commissioned by Brown University revealed that institution’s complex and contested involvement in slavery—setting off a controversy that leapt from the ivory tower to make headlines across the country.

But Brown’s troubling past was far from unique. In Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities, Craig Steven Wilder, a rising star in the profession of history, lays bare uncomfortable truths about race, slavery, and the American academy.