During the historic Free Speech Movement period at Berkeley, beginning in the autumn of 1964, I was a graduate student in physics at Yale University. There was no doubt that Berkeley students were playing a leadership role for us all across the country.
At Yale, the focus was primarily on civil … More >
We are a long way from knowing precisely what happened in Ferguson, two weeks ago, but one thing is clear: The town’s name has become yet another synonym for the chasm of experience dividing white and black America. Time and again, young African-American men have been fatally shot by police … More >
Michael Brown was buried Monday (August 25, 2014) in St. Louis, near his hometown of Ferguson, Mo. As the world knows by now, two weeks ago the 18-year-old recent high-school graduate was shot six times and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. Michael Brown was unarmed, and the reasons for … More >
Although the “facts” are still in dispute, it’s not presumptuous to add Michael Brown of Ferguson, Missouri to the list of young black men and boys killed by overzealous police or armed civilians: Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Oscar Grant, Jordan Davis and so many more, including young … More >
The questions raised by racism and xenophobia go straight to the heart of what it means to be human, for they involve dehumanization. Prejudice means we implicitly embrace a definition of humanity that includes some — usually those who most resemble us — and excludes others.
That’s why Susan T. Fiske … More >
Thanks to the persistence of my wife who has insisted for some time that as residents of the East Bay we must see it in the theater along with fellow East Bayers, our whole family saw this remarkable film a couple of weeks ago. The film moved me to tears … More >
Feeling ambivalent about the Fourth of July? You’re not alone.
“I don’t mean love, when I say patriotism,” writes Ursula K. Le Guin in her classic 1969 novel The Left Hand of Darkness. “I mean fear. The fear of the other. And its expressions are political, not poetical: hate, rivalry, aggression.”
In … More >
Archaeology has witnessed a number of recent new discoveries that make this an exciting time to be studying human evolution. In this piece, for example, Dr. Chris Stringer discusses how technology is accelerating — even upending — our understanding of human origins. Accordng to Stringer, though, the scientific community remains in … More >
On June 15, the novelist Stephen Marche published a thought-provoking piece in The New York Times entitled, “How to Read Racist Books to Your Kids.”
I empathized with the issues he faced — I’ve also felt ambushed by racist imagery when reading classic children’s books to my multiracial child — … More >