American Politics

<i>The Brother</i> and I

The Brother and I

What is black cinema anyway?

The questions one has to ask to define such a thing are those that few people feel comfortable asking, let alone answering: Is the money that financed the film in black hands from the beginning? Will the rewards find their way to black hands in the end? In the meantime, will black audiences have the film marketed to them, have places where they can easily see it? Will they identify with its themes and aesthetics? It’s all just posturing until those questions are answered.

The Accidental Neoliberal

The Accidental Neoliberal

Against the old sincerity

I left college in 1997 with a motto, Czesław Miłosz’s “What is unpronounced tends to nonexistence,” and a corollary, that pronouncing things might bring them into being. What I wanted to pronounce was politics. To me, that meant making all my book-learning come alive in a shared awareness that people create, preserve, or degrade their own world, joined to a sense that its justice or injustice, peace or violence, belongs to everyone.

Fear and Aggression in Florida

Nobody bothered to point out that if Trayvon had attacked his murderer, he would have had the law on his side…How many other times had policemen or others stopped him for nothing? How much fear can we endure before aggression starts to promise relief? Sometimes I envy those whose first instinct is to attack. By hitting back, they take an active role in shaping their lives.

The Friedmans

The Friedmans

Jesse pled guilty. He spent thirteen years in prison, he was paroled as a Level 3 sex offender, and then he filed an appeal to vacate his conviction. He said he was innocent, that he had only submitted the guilty plea because of the impossibility of receiving a fair trial. A lower court had rejected this appeal, and on the second page of its ruling, the circuit court concurred. “We affirm the judgment of the United States Court for the Eastern District of New York,” the judges wrote, “because we conclude that the grounds asserted in the petition would not justify habeas corpus relief.” Jesse had waited too long to file his appeal.

Sex Class Action

Sex Class Action

When do women count as a "class" in the eyes of the law?

Too many women find themselves isolated in their experiences of prejudice, left to whittle offenses down in their minds to nothing worth complaining about — to accept each experience as “a fluke,” in the words of one Wal-Mart supervisor in Alabama, who told deli manager Gretchen Adams that there was nothing he could do about a sexist pay discrepancy.