Why Washington, D.C., Is the Most Undemocratic of Capitals

The City's Slaveholding Past, and Disenfranchised Present, Make Its Residents Dependents, Not Citizens

Every year about 20 million tourists come to Washington, D.C., to visit the marble monuments of American freedom and democracy. Few of them, however, realize that the 680,000 permanent residents of the nation’s capital must endure the cognitive dissonance of being U.S. citizens while suffering from the political tyranny that inspired our Revolution: taxation without representation.

Created by constitutional fiat and controlled by Congress, the District of Columbia is the undemocratic capital of this democracy. Washingtonians have no representation in Congress, and the decisions of their municipal government are subject to …

More In: Civil Rights

Why Martin Luther King Had a 75 Percent Disapproval Rating in the Year of His Death

His Crusade to Confront Economic Injustice and the Vietnam War Angered Whites, While Younger Black Activists Had Lost Patience With His Nonviolent Tactics

According to an early 1968 Harris Poll, the man whose half-century of martyrdom we celebrate this week died with a public disapproval rating of nearly 75 percent, a figure shocking …

The Alabama Recording Studios Where Music Was Never Segregated

How the Muscle Shoals Sound Made a Rich Brew Out of Rock, Country, and R&B

Rod Stewart wasn’t pleased.

It was 1975, and the British rocker had traveled to Sheffield, Alabama, with a specific mission in mind: He wanted to record at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio …

How I Became the Voice of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

For 47 Years, I've Performed the Words of the Civil Rights Legend

A Biblical passage, Luke 12:48, states to whom much is given much is required. That is the attitude I have taken since I learned that I was given the gift …

The Lawyer Who Beat Back a Racist Law, One Loophole at a Time

Y.C. Hong Helped Chinese Immigrants Stay in America by Gaming a System Designed to Deport Them

Recent politics is full of debates about erecting walls on the U.S.-Mexican border or barring Muslims from entering the U.S. But excluding groups of immigrants based on a particular background …