On the New York City police shootings: December 2014

The Haymarket Affair
The Haymarket Affair

via historian Mark Naison:

The assassination of police officers is not only morally reprehensible, it has a history of undermining the legitimacy of non-violent mass protest movements against social injustice. No better example of this can be found than the Haymarket Affair of 1886, which took place in the midst of a nationwide mass protest movement for an eight-hour day. One tiny, but highly visible, component of this protest movement were anarchists, who claimed that the armed force of government would always be used against workers and urged that workers arm themselves against the power of government and use dynamite as their weapon of choice to neutralize police, the army and state militia. The anarchists numbered several thousand among a movement of millions, including the 600,000 member labor reform organization The Knights of Labor, yet one one fateful day, their influence proved to be deadly. A huge eight-hour day rally in Chicago was taking place, when some person or persons, threw live dynamite into a line of police who had arrived to break up the rally, killing more than 10 police officers.

The national wave of revulsion against this bomb attack proved so great that it completely destroyed the eight-hour movement, contributed to a precipitous decline in the membership of the Knights of Labor, and put organized labor on the defensive in the United States nearly a decade.

I am not saying this to suggest that history always repeats itself, but to warn that legitimate non-violent movements raising important issues can be undermined by immoral and irresponsible acts of violence launched by those who can be linked to the protests, even tangentially, by the authorities of the time.

Is Empathy Enough?

Screen shot 2014-02-18 at 9.51.51 AMIs Empathy Enough?
Racial Justice and the Moral Imagination in the 21st Century

Monday, February 24, 2014 at 6 p.m.
Pope Auditorium  |  113 W. 60th St.  |  Fordham University  |  New York City

Racial justice remains elusive a half century after the monumental Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Where the law falls short, could an enriched culture of empathy produce the needed transformation in the American conscience?

Join us for a forum that mines the arts, history, and theology to explore the power–and weakness–of empathy as a force for social change.


Pun Bandhu
Award-winning actor who has worked on Broadway, Off Broadway, and in TV and film;

founding member of AAPAC (Asian American Performers Action Coalition), an organization formed to combat racism in the entertainment industry

Rubén Rosario Rodriguez
Theologian and author of Racism and God-Talk: A Latino/a Perspective

Ariela Gross
Historian, legal scholar, and author of What Blood Won’t Tell: A History of Race on Trial 
in America

Aimee Meredith Cox
Department of African and African American Studies, Fordham University

RSVP: crcevent@fordham.edu  |  212-636-7347

This forum coincides with Fordham Theatre Program’s Mainstage production:

We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915

by Jackie Sibblies Drury  |  Directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh

Performance Schedule
Wednesday through Friday, February 19 to 21, at 8 p.m.
Thursday through Saturday, February 27 to March 1, at 8 p.m.