It would be uncool of me to withhold actionable intel from my fellow citizens in their time of need. And if you are a person who has a bumper sticker on your car or a sign in your yard with any variation of the slogan “Back the Blue” on it, you are in need. I understand how condescending that sounds but it is only fair that you extend to me the patience and courtesy that I extend to you when I resist the temptation to blindside you with an aggressive public debate about that silly black and blue ‘American’ flag…


Frederick Douglass would have HATED ‘critical race theory.’ But before any conservative ghouls reading this piece blow a head-gasket celebrating this observation, let me advise you to break with prevailing practices and read WELL below that headline. Any rational person who truly knows who Frederick Douglass was and what ‘critical race theory’ is could easily imagine there being some cosmic connection between the two entities; some metaphysical transformation whereby Douglass’ immortal soul left his body near the end of the 19th century and returns as a spiritual inspiration for elite scholars and engaged citizens in the 21st. …


Ta-Nehisi Coates has done some undeniably valuable work over the last ten years or so. Some would even say his work is brilliant. Certainly, the MacArthur Fellowship Program selection committee has made that determination, awarding Mr. Coates the “Genius Grant” in 2015. For those who are unaware, that is a prize of $625,000.00 that this philanthropic organization awards to a select few people each year just for being so much smarter and more talented than the rest of us. And he has sold a boatload of books while becoming the primary Black intellectual of choice for the elites of both…


This is not a conspiracy theory per se, but I am alleging a conspiracy of sorts involving Senator Joe Manchin. A quick note before I begin the unraveling: a subconscious conspiracy can be significantly more impactful than the “grassy knoll” type of conspiracy. They may never be quite as sexy, but they tend to have razor sharp teeth. Those involved in subconscious conspiracies tend to do a much worse job of covering their tracks, leading to dramatic public fallout in real time. Refer back to this point when NY Attorney General Tish James indicts and convicts Donald Trump on insurance…


While we were laughing, we should’ve been listening more closely

Chris Rock told a joke during his 1996 Emmy award winning HBO stand-up comedy special ‘Bring The Pain’ that carries greater relevance 25 years later than any of us could have possibly foreseen. In pointing out the sparse population of Black people in America as a whole, Rock quipped about the limited number of localities where Black Americans actually live. “Black people don’t live in but about 10 places in the whole country… (a)in’t no Black people in Minnesota! The only Black people in Minnesota is Prince and Kirby Puckett!

Of course, the audience laughed heartily because jokes that land…


Dear Mr. Smith:

I am writing to you about the curious case of Kwame Brown and the central role that you have played in its unfolding. While this letter is directed to you, it is open to the world because the implications of the message I am delivering are quite broad and far too impactful to keep private. Although there are many other players in this peculiar parlor game, I am singling you out for this communication because- for better or worse- you are one of the most highly visible and influential Black voices in all of American media. I…


As always, my friends, we must beware of convenient narratives and conventional wisdom. Major media outlets love both because, quite frankly, they are easier for the public to accept and easier for the outlets to produce and promote. But if we want real insight and actionable analysis we have to interrogate those narratives and challenge that wisdom. This has never been more true than it is in this fight that has broken out between Liz Cheney and the GOP. The irony behind this Cheney-GOP drama is the most perfect illustration of American social and political culture that we have seen…


Relax, my friends. I have no illusions about winning this battle. But it is core to my ethos to take up a fight on principle even when defeat is virtually locked in before the first jabs are exchanged. Because I know how determined so many of my brothers and sisters are to continue using the word ‘nigger’ or one of its many variants I want you to know I don’t expect you to stop. And even more, I think no less of you for it- to the extent that my opinion means anything.

Since we do share some common history…


The more I have listened to John McWhorter during his media blitz promoting his new book “Nine Nasty Words,” the more I am reminded that he is supposed to be a guy that I hate. It must be part of the sales pitch that his public relations team advances: A Black truth teller who says the things that Black AND White liberals are enraged by. The funny thing is that actually listening to the points that he is trying to make is unlikely to draw out the level of hostility that is advertised. I hope I don’t cost him book…


This is hard to write but it is necessary. The depravity of Derek Chauvin and the callous complicity of the three cops guarding him while he murdered George Floyd on a public street in broad daylight was a disgraceful display. Every stakeholder in America should have felt deeply ashamed that such a thing could ever happen in our country- regardless of any price that these ghouls may pay for their deeds.

David St. Vincent

David Saint Vincent is the founder of CARGO, Citizens’ Alliance for Responsive Government, a progressive think tank based in Atlanta, GA

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