Group of freedmen and women posing for a picture.

How Could ‘Freedmen’ Be a Race-Neutral Term?

An opinion from Justice Clarence Thomas exposed the limits of originalism.
Picture of two warring sides of the abortion debate in a heated exchange.

The Myth That Roe Broke America

The debate over abortion is an important part of the story of polarization in American politics, but it is not its genesis.
Whoopi Goldberg overlaid with black and white stripes on red background

Whoopi Goldberg’s American Idea of Race

The “racial” distinctions between master and slave may be more familiar to Americans, but they were and are no more real than those between Gentile and Jew.
Person filling out Florida voter registration application

Democracy Dies in Silence

Florida’s move to silence expert criticism of its disenfranchisement campaign echoes its Redemption-era assault on civil rights.
Image of a red elephant with text from the 1619 Project overlaid on it, against a black background.

Why Conservatives Want to Cancel the 1619 Project

Objections to the appointment of Nikole Hannah-Jones to an academic chair are the latest instance of conservatives using the state to suppress "dangerous" ideas.
Different colored pillars

The Capitol Riot Was an Attack on Multiracial Democracy

True democracy in America is a young, fragile experiment that must be defended if it is to endure.

For the First Time, America May Have an Anti-Racist Majority

Not since Reconstruction has there been such an opportunity for the advancement of racial justice.

The Fight Over the 1619 Project Is Not About the Facts

A dispute between some scholars and the authors of NYT Magazine’s issue on slavery represents a fundamental disagreement over the trajectory of U.S. society.

Civility Is Overrated

The gravest danger to American democracy isn’t an excess of vitriol—it’s the false promise of civility.

The Most Dangerous American Idea

No belief in the history of the US has been more threatening to democracy than the certainty that only white people are fit for self-government.

A Crime by Any Name

The Trump administration’s commitment to deterring immigration through cruelty has made horrifying conditions in there inevitable.

White Nationalism’s Deep American Roots

A long-overdue excavation of the book that Hitler called his “bible,” and the man who wrote it.

The Black Radical You’ve Never Heard Of

T. Thomas Fortune changed Black History, and seems to have been forgotten.

The Supreme Court Is Headed Back to the 19th Century

The justices again appear poised to pursue a purely theoretical liberty at the expense of the lives of people of color.

Trumpism, Realized

To preserve the political and cultural preeminence of white Americans against a tide of demographic change, the administration has settled on a policy of systemic child abuse.

How Cosby's 'Pound Cake' Speech Helped Lead to His Downfall

His moralizing accelerated the cultural backlash against him and provided evidence that would be used against him at trial.

Obama's Legacy of Impunity for Torture

Obama's desire to “look forward” on torture has enabled Trump to look backward in his appointment of a new CIA director.

Why Tamika Mallory Won’t Condemn Farrakhan

To those outside the black community, the Nation of Islam’s persistent appeal, despite its bigotry, can seem incomprehensible.

The Nationalist's Delusion

Trumpism emerged from a haze of delusion, denial, pride, and cruelty—not as a historical anomaly, but as a profoundly American phenomenon.

The Myth of the Kindly General Lee

The legend of the Confederate leader’s heroism and decency is based in the fiction of a person who never existed.

The Lesser Part of Valor

Preston Brooks, Greg Gianforte, and the American tradition of disguising cowardice as bravery.

Welcome to the Second Redemption

The accomplishments of the first black president will be erased by a man who rose to power on slandering him.