Thomas Chatterton Williams

  • Another Country

    Midway through Camus's absurdist classic The Stranger, the pied-noir protagonist, Meursault, famously shoots an unnamed Arab on a French-Algerian beach for no better reason than that the sun is in his eyes. His subsequent trial and conviction revolve around many things, mostly his cavalier behavior on the day of his mother's funeral, but one thing that barely if ever comes up is the inherent and inviolable humanity of the man he has killed. They may have lived (at least superficially) in the same society, and swum in the same warm waters, but Meursault was fundamentally a citizen of the French

  • A Whiter Shade of Hate

    After the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, online activists produced a jarring Internet meme, juxtaposing photos of the Islamic State’s atrocities with historical images of those of the Ku Klux Klan. However strained this connection may be, its visual impact is undeniably arresting. On the KKK half of the screen, one sees the familiar, terrifying image of hooded Klansmen, crosses hoisted as they marshal together and ride, every bit as inhuman as the balaclava-clad Islamists we’ve grown accustomed to fearing in our own age of ethno-religious and racial confrontation.

    But much