If the United States was the country we pretend it to be, there would be no angst over the 2020 Presidential Election, because if the United States was that country, Donald Trump wouldn’t be president, because as the cliché goes, “we’re better than that.” The reality is Donald Trump is the p…

What drew St. Louis’ civic leadership and professional class to Better Together like moths to a flame? It’s their belief that the single biggest impediment to St. Louis’ ability to grow and prosper is its fragmented local government structure. The way St. Louis city and county are politicall…

To win the World Series or an NBA championship requires a team to win four games in a seven-game series. All the games are important, but the most pivotal game in a seven-game series is game five. If the series is tied two games apiece, the winner of game five takes a one-game lead with two …

The legendary Japanese director Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 masterpiece “Rashomon” shows how four people recount different versions of the story of a man’s murder and rape of his wife. It reveals the complexity of people and the relative nature of truth when dealing with an objective reality. I re…

I have purposefully stayed away from commenting on local politics because local politics can be mean and vicious, and the reason it’s so mean and vicious is the stakes are usually so small. I also try not to be unnecessarily cruel, and if I wrote about the local political scene, I’d sound li…

The reaction to the recent resignation of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is being treated like a defining moment in American history. While I don’t think it rises to that level, I do think Vice President Joe Biden’s description of the signing of the Affordable Care Act would apply. Th…

Last Saturday, I did a brief phone interview with Keith Willis for his Saturday morning Community Connections program. I was surprised and pleased that the first thing he wanted to talk about was what going on at the border. It is Keith’s raising an issue that I’ve given some thought, but no…

During last year’s Democratic mayoral primary, I was regularly asked by a diverse cross-section of the black community, “Why can’t black politicians, why can’t we as a community, get behind one candidate in order to capture the Mayor’s Office?” While I would tactfully explain why they were a…

The black community was forged in the crucible of slavery, but our modern political culture and identity were shaped in post-Civil War America on the anvil of Jim Crow. To understand the historical political development of the black community, you must recognize the only thing the defeat of …

In legislative bodies there is something called a privileged motion. A privileged motion is a motion that’s recognized over ordinary business because it concerns a matter of great importance or urgency. This week I want to put aside the regular business of this column for a point of personal…

The root of community comes from the Latin communis, which means shared in common. A community can be defined as a social unit that shares common norms, values, language or religion that are the foundation of an identifiable culture that creates a shared identity. They also share a sense of …

I wrote two commentaries about my perspective of the economic reality of the St. Louis region, “100 of years decline and us” and “Why we’re not like Atlanta,” to illustrate a point about the importance of context. If you want to understand why St. Louis is what it is today, you have to under…

Over the next 12 months, St. Louis’ African-American community will participate in three elections that will play a major role in defining the contours of our future possibilities. In August, they will play a decisive role in who will be the next St. Louis County executive. They may again de…

In March of 2011, Governor Jay Nixon appointed me to the State Board of Education representing the 1st Congressional District. My term expires in June of this year. The majority of black children who attend Missouri public schools live in the 1st Congressional District. Because of this I fel…

American politics and American sports at the national professional level are both active spectator events with relatively few players. Because both politics and sports have a huge fan base, both command a considerable amount of attention. Just because a lot of us talk a lot about politics an…

None of us living today has ever experienced a year like 2017 or a president like Donald Trump. That’s not the same thing as saying 2017 is some unforeseen, new phenomenon. Trump is not an anomaly; he is as fundamental to America as baseball and apple pie. Newton’s third law of motion tells …

Every now and then the people prevail over power and privilege. That’s what happened at the November 21 State Board of Education meeting in Jefferson City. The meeting was called for the purpose of terminating  Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven and, despite Governor Eric Greitens hav…

One of the things about reaching a certain age in life (polite way of saying getting old) is you regularly receive word that people who have been part of the fabric of your life have passed on. Last Saturday, August 19, national media informed us that Brother Dick Gregory had joined the ancestors.