“An Inferno That Even the Mind of Dante Could Not Envision”: Martin Luther King on Nuclear Weapons

Although Martin Luther King is most famous for championing racial and economic justice and nonviolent protest, an aspect of King’s thought that has received relatively less attention is his opposition to the ultimate tools of violence, nuclear weapons. Historian Vincent Intondi, in his work African Americans against the Bomb: Nuclear Weapons, Colonialism, and the Black … Continue reading “An Inferno That Even the Mind of Dante Could Not Envision”: Martin Luther King on Nuclear Weapons

Racial Discrimination and Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Navajo’s Struggle against Uranium Mining

A long struggle against injustice took a new turn this fall when a group of Navajo activists moved forward with an appeal to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The New Mexico-based activists are trying to stop the Canadian company Laramide Resources, and its US subsidiary NuFuels, from mining for uranium on Navajo Nation land.[1] … Continue reading Racial Discrimination and Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Navajo’s Struggle against Uranium Mining

The Forgotten War: The Libyan War and Its Legacy

Of the 21st century wars waged by the United States, the Libya War is perhaps the most forgotten one. The 2011 war waged by the United States, France, Britain, and other nations to overthrow the regime of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi lasted only about seven months, in contrast to the years of US involvement in … Continue reading The Forgotten War: The Libyan War and Its Legacy

Hard Questions about the Response to Terrorism: Looking Back on September 11th

Andrew Young, the civil rights activist, politician, and diplomat, was present in Selma, Alabama, during the “Bloody Sunday” violence of March 7, 1965. When hundreds of Black Americans and others tried to march for voting rights only to be beaten and tear-gassed by Alabama state troopers, Young helped the wounded and others retreating from the … Continue reading Hard Questions about the Response to Terrorism: Looking Back on September 11th

People Standing against Tanks: The Civil Resistance of August 1991 and Its Ambiguous Legacy

Nonviolent civil resistance helped change history 30 years ago this August. When a group of hardline Communists within the Soviet Union attempted a coup in August 1991, they were met with significant resistance from other Soviet citizens, including both ordinary people and elites. The civil resisters ultimately prevailed over the coup plotters. The failed coup … Continue reading People Standing against Tanks: The Civil Resistance of August 1991 and Its Ambiguous Legacy

No Combat Experience, No Opinion: Parallels in Pro-bombing and Pro-choice Rhetoric

Paul Fussell, a literary critic and World War II veteran, wrote an essay in the 1980s with the arresting title “Thank God for the Atom Bomb.”[1] A passionate defense of the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Fussell’s essay is still sometimes invoked today by bombing supporters.[2] However, Fussell’s argument is seriously flawed—and notably … Continue reading No Combat Experience, No Opinion: Parallels in Pro-bombing and Pro-choice Rhetoric

Making a Nonviolent Revolution: Review of Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know

Certain historical episodes of nonviolent resistance to injustice are famous: the Indian struggle for independence; the American civil rights movement; and the Arab Spring uprisings come to mind. However, many people who are aware of such episodes are not familiar either with the larger history of nonviolent resistance or with how such resistance can be … Continue reading Making a Nonviolent Revolution: Review of Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know

Lethal from the Start: Uranium Mining’s Danger to the Most Vulnerable

Nuclear weapons kill directly when they are exploded in wartime or in tests.[1] They also kill indirectly: obtaining uranium, the metal used to produce both nuclear power and nuclear weapons, can expose people to radiation or other hazards. The results are often harmful, even lethal. As with nuclear testing, the people exposed to these hazards … Continue reading Lethal from the Start: Uranium Mining’s Danger to the Most Vulnerable

“The Affairs of a Handful of Natives”: Nuclear Testing and Racism

While nuclear weapons haven’t been used in war for over 75 years, they have still killed and hurt people since 1945. Testing of nuclear weapons has exposed many people to radiation, with its terrible health consequences. Further, the people harmed by nuclear testing have frequently been from different, far less powerful, ethnic groups than the … Continue reading “The Affairs of a Handful of Natives”: Nuclear Testing and Racism

The Danger That Faces Us All: Hiroshima and Nagasaki after 75 Years

The nuclear age turns 75 years old this summer. Over seven decades have now passed since the first test of a nuclear weapon in Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16, 1945, and since the first use of nuclear weapons in wartime, against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima (on August 6) and Nagasaki (on August 9). … Continue reading The Danger That Faces Us All: Hiroshima and Nagasaki after 75 Years