Category Archives: Race

Hands Up! Don’t Talk Back!

From the back of the bus, Dick Gregory saw the future 54 years ago: “The NAACP is a wonderful organization. Belong to it myself. But do you realize if tomorrow we had complete integration, all them cats would be outta work?” In 2016, a lotta cats need segregation – cultural segregation, law-and-order segregation, housing segregation. […]

Delusions of Black Americans

Barack Obama’s days as president are winding down, and with them go the false hopes of his black brothers and sisters who thought America would finally be theirs. It isn’t theirs. Neither is it mine, and it probably isn’t yours (whatever your skin color). As any ordinary non-black American could have told ordinary black Americans: […]

Garrison Keillor’s History Project

On this day in history something awful happened, and nobody remembers it anymore – except Garrison Keillor. And on this day in history something significant happened that changed lives, and nobody remembers it anymore – except Garrison Keillor. Also on this day, a poet, a novelist, a scientist, a musician, a politician was born. No […]

Secrets of the Urban Forest

Donald Trump wants to build a wall. I’d like to get rid of some rats. What we want has something in common, but one is much easier to condemn than the other. To most people, rats are disgusting and unwanted; they are disease carriers. The illegal immigrants that Trump wants to keep out are human beings. […]

Crime and Apathy

Winston Moseley died last week in a New York prison, and in an unusual twist it was his victim’s name that people instantly remembered – not his. And his victim wasn’t even a celebrity. Kitty Genovese was a 28-year-old bar manager in New York City and had just gotten off work early one morning in […]

Young Fascists Colonize Portland

She was a picture of Aryan perfection: Blonde hair, the color of straw. Creamy complexion. Pale eyes. Thin, colorless lips. Blonde on blonde on blonde. She followed me into the Saffron Colonial Cafe in North Portland where I had taken a seat for a late Sunday lunch. “I want you to know that what you said […]

Rev. Wallis Preaches to the Choir

These must be desperate times for Atticus Finch wannabes (the younger saintly Atticus, not the older racist Atticus). One Atticus clone, the Rev. James Wallis, recently visited Portland, Ore., to push his book: “America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America.” Wallis wants to help blacks by lecturing to whites. […]

San Bernardino: America’s Future?

SAN BERNARDINO – This hellhole used to be my playground. It says something about this city that in the days after 14 people were killed and 21 injured in a terrorist attack, some folks here were hoping the media attention might help San Berdoo turn around. A year from now when the media revisit for […]

The Ghosts of Evelyn Wagler

A young white woman’s car runs out of gas in the Dorchester section of Boston, and she walks to a service station for some fuel. While returning to her car, and carrying a full can of gas, she encounters six black youths. They surround her and bully her into an alley, shout racial slurs and […]

A Cop Shop Under Siege

If a mentally ill man – armed with a weapon or just his fists, legs and deranged anger – had burst into the meeting hall where the Community Oversight Advisory Board recently gathered, there’s no doubt who would have been expected to deal with him. The police. Five Portland police officers are on the 20-member […]