race

South African police officers hold protesters back during the funeral procession for Nathaniel Julies—who was shot by police—in Eldorado Park, near Johannesburg, on Sept. 5.

In South Africa, Police Violence Isn’t Black and White

The killing of a coloured teenager in Johannesburg exposed the fraught state of race relations in South Africa—and how the racial hierarchies created by apartheid continue to plague the country.

Top U.N. officials visit a refugee settlement in Kenya

The U.N. Has a Diversity Problem

Westerners are overrepresented in senior positions across the world body.

A statue of Christopher Columbus, which was toppled to the ground by protesters

How Bad History Feeds Far-Right Fantasies

Justifying colonialism’s atrocities plays a toxic role in politics today.

Two members of the Black Panther Party

The Case for Black American Self-Defense

Pacifist injunctions obliterate the history of, and need for, armed protection.

A demonstrator holding a Lebanese flag

Our Top Weekend Reads

Why partition may be the only solution to Lebanon’s woes, what the bestselling book “Caste” ignores about India’s caste structure, and Britain’s distraction from its real economic problems.

A police officer wearing a face mask stands guard at the Capitol in Havana, on September 1, during a curfew imposed to contain the resurgence of COVID-19.

Cuba’s Government Needs to Look Within as It Denounces U.S. Racism

Fidel Castro claimed the revolution eliminated racial discrimination, but it is alive and well.

French President Emmanuel Macron walks into a room with a relief bust of the French author and philosopher Voltaire during a visit to the newly restored Château de Voltaire à Ferney in eastern France, on May 31, 2018.

Voltaire Spread Darkness, Not Enlightenment. France Should Stop Worshipping Him.

The celebrated philosopher was an unapologetic racist and anti-Semite who inspired Hitler. The recent removal of his statue in Paris was long overdue.

Passersby walk under a surveillance camera that is part of a facial recognition technology test at Berlin Südkreuz station in Berlin on Aug. 3, 2017.

Defunding the Police Might Leave Americans More Surveilled and Less Secure

Technology in policing might appear more benign than rogue cops or racist judges, but a look at global trends gives pause.

“Mom told me what happened, what a scare!” Fran, the digital influencer, says to her aunt over a video call. Her uncle and their family’s maid contracted COVID-19 from guests, who came over for a birthday celebration. The family “spared no expense” on medical care for the uncle, who survived after 12 days in an intensive care unit. The aunt is categorical: It wasn’t the guests who infected him; she blames the maid. “You know how it is in the favela, everyone crammed in,” she says. “She brought COVID to us.” The maid dies in a run-down public hospital and is replaced by another one right after. “New maid—I have to teach her everything. How annoying,” the aunt laments. “Hahaha, I know how it is. But thank God the worst is over now,” Fran says. “Life carries on.”

A New Comic Exposes Racism Amid the Pandemic in Brazil

“Confinada” critiques the disproportionate toll the coronavirus has taken on poor and Black Brazilians—on top of ongoing systemic inequality in the country.

Protestor holds a Black Lives Matter sign in Italy

As Europe Reckons With Racism, Italy Still Won’t Confront Its Colonial Past

Italian forces used chemical weapons and committed war crimes in Africa—but the country’s sordid history is not taught in schools and is rarely discussed by politicians or intellectuals.

Police form a line during a protest near the British prime minister's residence on Downing Street on Nov. 14, 2018, in London.

To Downsize Bloated, Too-Powerful Police, Look at These Examples

Communities around the world have shifted to a lighter policing model to reduce tensions and curb violence.

Manifestantes carregam cruzes com os nomes das vítimas —que inclui João Pedro Mattos Pinto, 14, morto em casa pela polícia em Maio—nas ruas de São Gonçalo. Brasil, 5 de Junho.

A polícia violenta e racista do Brasil

Apesar de constituírem mais de metade da população, pessoas negras continuam lutando pelo seu direito de viver.

Protesters hold crosses bearing the names of victims—including that of João Pedro, 14, who was killed at home by police in May—in the streets of São Gonçalo, Brazil, on June 5.

Brazil Must Address Its Own Racist Police Violence

Afro-Brazilians make up over half of the country’s population, but they are still fighting for their right to live.

U.S. Flag Burning Protest

When It Comes to America’s Race Issues, Russia Is a Bogeyman

As talk turns once again to Russia’s role in stoking racial tensions ahead of an election, the United States would be wise to look within.

Protesters raise their fist and give the finger from the statue of Marianne on Place de la Republique in Paris on June 13, 2020.

France Was Officially Colorblind—Until Now

The country is upending its national identity by finally starting to acknowledge race.

Civil Rights activists carrying “I Am a Man” placards are blocked by National Guardsmen during a protest in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1968.

Our Top Weekend Reads

America’s founders missed an opportunity to abolish slavery, attacks on the press are increasing in democratic societies, and Trump’s maximum pressure campaign against Iran isn’t working.

George Washington and some of the more than 300 enslaved people who worked at Mount Vernon

How America’s Founding Fathers Missed a Chance to Abolish Slavery

They swept the issue under the rug, and even Thomas Jefferson realized that civil war was inevitable before he died on July 4, 1826. But history could have taken a different direction.

Police in riot gear stand in formation during protests on May 29 in Louisville, Kentucky.

These Countries Reformed Their Brutal, Biased Police. The U.S. Can, Too.

Well-meaning reforms are often blocked and rarely succeed. But there are ways to make them stick.

People walk down 16th Street in Washington after volunteers painted "Black Lives Matter" on the street near the White House on June 5.

Seeing Race In a Pandemic

How the physical environment affects our experience of difference.