Voices

A closeup of a muscular Black man in a gray costume with sharp metal nails

Representation Matters: Long Before the Movie, Black Panther Validated My Black Self

“Representation matters” has become a catchphrase. Because it’s true. Here, one lifelong Black Panther fan explains why he’s so passionate about a superhero movie.

A young Brown woman holds up a sign that says "I am a Dreamer. You can't deport ideals" at a New York City protest

How the GOP is Using the Budget Process to Destroy Immigration as We Know It [OPINION]

Rinku Sen argues that the Congressional budget process is just a tool for the GOP to reach its ultimate goal—a radical reordering of 50 years of immigration policy that is transparent in its hostility toward immigrants of color.

An elderly Black man in a suit holds up a fist during a jazz performance

For a Conscious Black Child of the '80s, Hugh Masekela Brought Lightness to the Heavy Anti-Apartheid Movement

Being a kid during the anti-apartheid movement meant learning, in real time, that the oppression of Black people was global. Akiba Solomon gives thanks for the joy and lightness that the father of South African jazz brought to an intense international struggle. 

Purple solar panels on a huge white board

Energy Democracy: People Power for a Cleaner Planet [OPINION]

By putting power—literally—in the hands of the people, “energy democracy” could have potentially game-changing benefits for low-income people and communities of color. 

U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones, wearing a suit, sits at a table with a Black man in a fisherman's hat, a Black woman in a black wool hat and a Black man wearing a black and black khaki striped shirt

Black Alabamans Appreciate Your Thanks. Now Give Us the Power.

Doug Jones won the special senate election in Alabama because Black folks used our own homegrown tools that we have been building and refining for many years. It’s past time to substantially invest in Black political organizing infrastructure in the South.

Illustration of Brown man in green sweater and black shirt and tan pants on grey background

Hari Kondabolu’s New Doc Shows How the Racist Apu Character on 'The Simpsons' Still Haunts Desi America

Through his own experiences and those of actors such as Aziz Ansari and Kal Penn, the comedian explores the trouble with the animated Indian convenience store clerk in an hourlong documentary set to air on truTV. 

A Black man in a blue uniform shirt smiles

The Prison Reform Movement Must Center The Voices of Incarcerated People [OPINION]

Emile DeWeaver is the co-founder of Prison Renaissance and has been incarcerated for 20 years. He discusses the influence of activist and author James Forman Jr. on his work, and the importance of centering the voices of incarcerated people in the prison reform movement.

What I Learned From #MeToo: Stop the Instant, Harsh Critiquing [OPINION]

RaceBaitr editor Arielle Iniko Newton admits she was quick to dismiss #MeToo. Here, she reflects on how harsh, premature critiques of the online, decentralized campaigns so many of us use can hinder our growth.

Yellow and black police tape in front of grey cement road with yellow and white lines in front of brown buildings with navy text

Gun Control Advocates Cannot Win Without Fighting Their Own Racism [OPINION]

The National Rifle Association uses racism to make people of color the enemy. But the logic that gun control advocates lean on after mass killings—like Sunday’s massacre in Las Vegas—relies on racist assumptions of a different kind. Here’s what they need to challenge to secure meaningful, equitable gun control legislation.

A Black man with a mustache wearing a brown shirt in front of a photo backdrop with trees and a waterfall

UPDATE: Political Prisoner Herman Bell Has Moved Facilities, Returned to General Population and is No Longer Facing Assault Charges

On September 5, former Black Panther Herman Bell was assaulted by guards at Great Meadows Correctional Facility. He spent weeks in isolation, received inadequate medical care and was denied a scheduled family visit. Here, his daughter-in-law reflects on how vital these all-too-rare chances to connect truly are.

In an airport, a red sign with white writing that says "Security Checkpoint"

Airport Racism Has Stolen My Joy of Flying

For Nikko Viquiera, air travel once symbolized freedom. But racist and anti-immigrant sentiment has turned flying into a nightmare for this recent immigrant from The Philippines.

An Asian woman wearing a maroon shirt sits on a New York City subway train

'In Short, I Was a Slave'

Filipina nanny Edith Mendoza moved to the U.S. to care for a German diplomat’s family. She ended up working 100-hour weeks for $4 an hour and becoming seriously ill. She made it out in 2016. Here is her story, in her own words. 

A crowd of Black men raise their fists in protest

A Black Football Fanatic Explains Why Now Is the Time For Him to Kick His NFL Habit

Filmmaker, activist and former quarterback Byron Hurt has been obsessed with the game of football since he was a 7-year-old pee wee player. But recent events have convinced him to boycott an NFL he calls ”as toxic and racist as this nation’s current president.”

A Black woman with mid-length, wavy locs speaks at a table of people of color.

[OPINION] Why the Movement for Black Lives Is Using the Media to Build Empathy

Through real media representation and healthy debate, this movement led by Black, queer and gender nonconforming people is bringing democracy within reach.

I Almost Died in Charlottesville

Journalist and researcher Spencer Sunshine started observing racist hate events in the late 1980s. Last Saturday’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville almost killed him. Here, an unvarnished dispatch from the picturesque Virginia town—from the violent lead-up in Emancipation Park to the deadly aftermath downtown.

The cover of “Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color” and author Andrea J. Ritchie

EXCERPT: Andrea J. Ritchie on Why We Need a World Without Police

In this selection from her new book “Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women & Women of Color,” Ritchie breaks down the historical and contemporary factors that contribute to state sanctioned violence against women of color—and what it really means to be free.

Protestors

Police Shooting of Justine 'Damond' Ruszczyk Exposes a Vicious Double Standard [OPINION]

Black Lives Matter Minneapolis organizer Miski Noor argues that the White victim of police violence was afforded a benefit of the doubt that is withheld from Black, Latino, Indigenous and other marginalized people who are disproportionately the targets of state sanctioned violence.

R. Kelly dressed in red leather and black sequins

Seriously, Why Are Some of Us Still Defending R. Kelly?

The explosive Buzzfeed piece about R. Kelly running a “cult” of young women whom he abuses and controls has triggered familiar defenses from fans. Jamilah Lemieux calls bulls**t on all of them. 

Brown man in blue shirt in front of yellow and purple screen and black background

Hasan Minhaj Can't Cure Racism, But He Can Help Brown Kids Navigate It

Minhaj’s new Netflix special, “Homecoming King,” explores his experiences growing up in a South Asian-American family surrounded by Whiteness.

A colorful mural on the side of a home includes a sneering portrait of President Donald Trump

No, The Anti-Immigrant Border Wall Isn't the Infrastructure Project Americans Voted For [OPINION]

The United States already has the largest immigrant detention system in the world. Building a wall and expanding the deportation machine is not the infrastructure our country’s working families voted for or need.