reflections on race, religion, history & social change

December 5, 2019

These days, when policy questions of epochal magnitude face governments everywhere and the constitutional order in a number of countries faces grave crises, my thoughts turn often to Baha'u'llah's counsels to the world's legislators.

In his remarkable Tablet to Queen V...

October 8, 2019

A couple of weeks ago at an interesting forum hosted by the SC Human Affairs Commission and the SC Collaborative for Race and Reconciliation, seated next to the Vice-Chair of the Waccamaw Indian People, an African American state legislator, and an advocate for children...

November 6, 2018

As a Baha'i, I consider voting in civil elections to be a sacred duty, one part of a life of service aimed at fostering justice, peace, and prosperity for all. 

As a professor of United States history, I am also acutely aware of the long and twisting tale of voting rig...

September 19, 2018

Although I've been watching and listening and learning intently, I haven't said much publicly about the #metoo movement--in part because as a white man with a Ph.D. I'm trying not to inadvertently de-center the voices of those most concerned, who are routinely doubted/...

August 31, 2018

In recent days the sitting governors of South Carolina and Florida have each referred to their political opponents as animals.

It is no coincidence that these same political opponents overwhelmingly represent African Americans.

This would just be more of a tired old stor...

April 27, 2018

Freedom of movement on one’s own two feet is a fundamental human right.

It was so basic to English common law that the Founders didn’t even bother to mention it in the Bill of Rights. (Oh, that and the pesky part about 20% of the non-Indian population being enslaved at...

November 27, 2017

The case was filed in 1993, when I was still in high school. Abbeville County School District v. State of South Carolina, brought by 39 poor, rural, and more-than-average black school districts alleging that the state's antiquated school funding formula unfairly disadv...

April 8, 2017

Apr. 8, 2017

Deflection. Deception. Disinformation. Disavowal. Duplicity.

Sadly, these appear to be the new normal in the highest offices of the honored government of my country, the United States. And there is little on the horizon to indicate anything but more of the...

January 30, 2017

As a Baha'i I attempt to adhere scrupulously to my faith's prohibition on involvement in partisan politics. To make a long story short, a faith whose central teaching and primary goal is the oneness of the human race can't employ means that are inconsistent with its en...

November 8, 2016

"America's achievement in government, commerce, industry, science, and culture staggers the imagination. No less staggering are the evils that have grown in her soil. These, however, must not blind one to the vast potential she possesses to serve the highest interests...

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