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Voting activists at the US supreme court. ‘Quashing racist laws does not eliminate racism, only its explicit and codified enforcement.’ Photograph: MCT /Landov/Barcroft
The US supreme court thinks racism is dead. It isn't
In 1999 apartheid's last leader, FW de Klerk, explained to me his motivation for writing an autobiography. "I wanted people to look at our history in its proper time frame. The same mistakes that we made were still being made in the United States and the ex-colonies. Then we carried them on for around 20 years longer. It was a time when we thought it would go away."


Supporters of the Voting Rights Act listen to speakers outside the supreme court. Photograph: Win Mcnamee/Getty Images
On the Voting Rights Act, the colour-blind have been led by the blind
One of the greatest cheers at an otherwise lacklustre Republican convention in Tampa last year was for Condoleeza Rice, who gave a glowing autobiographical account of her achievements in the third person. "A little girl grows up in Jim Crow Birmingham," she said, "the segregated city of the south where her parents cannot take her to a movie theater or to restaurants, but they have convinced her that even if she cannot have a hamburger at Woolworths, she can be the president of the United States if she wanted to be, and she becomes the secretary of state."


US President Barack Obama shakes hands with former President George W Bush at the dedication of the George W Bush Presidential Center in Dallas. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters
Is Obama worse than Bush? That's beside the point
Not long after the story into the National Security Administration's spying programme broke, US president Barack Obama insisted the issues raised were worthy of discussion:
Everyone Loves Mandela


Police officers stand guard outside the US consulate in Hong Kong during a demonstration of support for Edward Snowden, who is accused of leaking sensitive National Security Agency files. Photograph: Gareth Gay/Getty Images
The whistleblowers are the new generation of American patriots
When Darrell Anderson, 22, joined the US military he knew there was going to be a war, and he wanted to fight it. "I thought I was going to free Iraqi people," he told me. "I thought I was going to do a good thing."


An Oromo family visit the seaside in Brighton, having come to the UK as refugees from Ethiopia under the UK Government Gateway Protection Programme. Photograph: Howard Davies
100 Images of Migration: journeys of the century
While travelling along the US-Mexican border a few years back I met a man in New Mexico who called himself Quasimodo and patrolled the frontier in search of undocumented immigrants.


Alabama
An epochal moment for civil rights in a single day: 11 June 1963
In the early morning of 11 June 1963, Attorney General Robert Kennedy examined maps of the University of Alabama's Tuscaloosa campus as his three young children played by his feet. Within 18 hours, his brother, the president, had given an impromptu national address on civil rights, the Alabama governor had confronted the federal authorities on national television and blinked, and one of the movement's most prominent leaders had been gunned down outside his home.
The Guardian Audio Edition: The hypocrisy at the heart of the Bradley Manning trial - 4 June 2013
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Bradley Manning is escorted out of a courthouse in Fort Meade, Maryland. Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP
Hypocrisy lies at the heart of the trial of Bradley Manning
In 2009 the American ambassador to Tunisia spent the evening at the home of Mohamed Sakher el-Materi, the president's son-in-law. By any standards the dinner was lavish – yogurt and ice cream were flown in from St Tropez – and the home was opulent. In a cable, made public by WikiLeaks, the diplomat wrote: "The house was recently renovated and includes an infinity pool … there are ancient artefacts everywhere: Roman columns, frescos and even a lion's head from which water pours into the pool. Materi insisted the pieces are real." By Tunisian standards it was particularly obscene. El-Materi owned a tiger and fed it four chickens a day.
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Who Are We – And Should It Matter in the 21st Century?
book review
The more power an identity carries, the less likely its carrier is to be aware of it as an identity at all.
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