The Summey Machine

[This column appeared first in the Charleston Post and Courier and is reprinted here with the author’s kind permission.] It is often the little things that tell you the most about how — and particularly why — business gets done in this town. Our Civics 101 lesson starts with the most mundane of chores of local government […]

This is what community looks like

It feels as if tonight, for a couple of hours, we’re enacting what MLK called the beloved community here at the Charleston Area Justice Ministry (CAJM) meeting at Mount Moriah Baptist Church on Rivers Avenue.

“Paying Twice” For A Racial Bias Audit That Council Won’t Vote On

On June 20, one day after the Post & Courier published my op-ed, the Mayor’s office issued a press release disputing factual statements I’d made. This press release contains several erroneous statements, some of which were contradicted by the Mayor during the June 20 council meeting. This document is still on the city website–it was […]

Charleston City Council’s Surprising Conversation

On May 23rd, during the Citizens’ Participation portion of the Charleston City Council meeting, members of the Charleston Area Justice Ministry (CAJM) spoke about the need for the city to hire an external auditor to investigate racial bias in the police department. At CAJM’s Nehemiah Assembly in April, we highlighted this issue in more detail and […]

Transparency, Whiteness, and the Unspeakable

In order to explain why the city of Charleston needs an external audit of its police department, I first need to ask a question. Why is it so hard, for many of us, to say that any police officers ever did anything wrong? We’re willing to criticize presidents and doctors and teachers if we believe […]