Is Forgiveness the Basis of a Healthy Democracy?

An Iranian Philosopher Posits That Only Absolving Others of Blame Can Open Dialogue and Rebuild Decency

Why do we have such difficulty thinking about forgiveness? Read the news on any day and you’ll find stories of war, injustices present and past, and attacks on democracy. It’s apparently a world of apathy and lack of empathy for one another. Forgiveness is not a virtue of this de-civilizing world. But it is the responsibility of outsiders like philosophers and artists to think about forgiveness because it is a powerful personal and political tool that is essential to democracy, to peace, and for personally coming to terms with the …

The Racism That Changed My Life

My L.A. Childhood Was Tough. But Seeing the Struggles of South Africans Inspired Me to Help Kids in My Own Backyard.

I first learned black history from Ms. Gilliard, my teacher at 96th Street Elementary School in Watts, who selected me to present the “I Have a Dream” speech in a …

Mandela and Tyrants: a Defense

South Africa’s Statesman Stayed Loyal To Some Nasty Friends. But His Calculations Were Not Amoral.

In late 1992, when I was a student living in China, Nelson Mandela, two years out of prison but not yet elected president, paid a visit to Beijing University. This …

Sorry L.A., Pretoria Has Better Jacarandas

Crime Specialist Angela Hawken of Pepperdine University Undergoes Interrogation in the Green Room

Angela Hawken, Ph.D. is associate professor of economics and policy analysis at the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University. A transplant from South Africa to Los Angeles, Hawken has …

Closing God’s Window

A Short Bus Trip Through Small-Town South Africa

When we see glimpses of Africa, it’s usually because of a conflict, a safari, or a charity drive. Lanre Akinsiku, a writer from California, is spending a year traveling around …