Years ago, like many New Yorkers, I got into the habit of saying I was “socially liberal, fiscally conservative.” However, I have forced myself to stop leaning on this cliché, as its brand has been somewhat diluted.

If you are okay with criminalization of black people and over-policing of black communities, then you are not socially liberal. If you are okay with living in predominantly white neighborhoods and sending your kids to predominantly white schools while living in one of the most diverse cities in the country, then you are not socially liberal. If you’re unhappy about the looming prospect…


It’s not often we have a chance for a do-over, a chance to right history’s wrongs. Like the proverbial Hollywood movie where the character gets a chance to go back in time and fix a seminal mistake (i.e., Mr. Destiny, The Family Man, See You Yesterday, etc.), our country now has that chance. Not technically to rewrite history, but to take stock at a similar inflection point and make the right decisions this time (or, at least, less problematic ones).

The Kerner Report

In 1968, America was at a boiling point. The country had been plagued by mass protests and…


When I read about Joe Biden’s , I couldn’t help but chuckle. It would all be so sad if it weren’t so predictable. It brings to mind some words from Malcolm X, which is timely given that last week (May 19th) marked Malcolm X’s 95th birthday.

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Image: Matt Rourke/AP

Happy Birthday, Malcolm X!

Malcolm X was frequently critical of white liberals. He often said that, while white conservatives were “growling wolves” in their open antagonism of blacks campaigning for their rights, white liberals were foxes. Malcolm, ever the master of vivid imagery, said to keep your eye on the fox


I need a distraction, as old movies and sports clips are no longer cutting it for me. So let’s pass time by speculating about the future. Not just the rash of babies named Karona Vyruss Johnson or divorces in a few months (or both, for those particularly volatile relationships), but the world of movies. With any major event comes the inevitable series of movies depicting it, or at least incorporating it. Without further ado, here are my predictions for COVID-19-themed movies.

Spike Lee’s Thoughtful Movie About the Inequalities Laid Bare by COVID-19

It’s becoming depressingly apparent that black and brown…


Once a day my wife and I take our newborn daughter, go to our local track and work out. I dribble my soccer ball, sprint on the field, run on the track and jump on the stairs. She does stretching, walking and calisthenics. We take turns watching our daughter, who is covered up and usually asleep the whole time in her stroller. One day, a man about twenty meters away signaled for the ball, and next thing I knew we were having a kickabout. It was great fun, but my wife kept glaring at me from the track, where she…


Around the world, people are giving rounds of applause to the seemingly tireless healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic. While this is a thoughtful and well-deserved gesture, it’s worth a reminder about the immigration angle. We should take a snapshot of the praise being lavished upon healthcare workers, many of whom are Caribbean immigrants, and then bring up that snapshot during the next wave of anti-immigrant sentiment.

UK: Windrush Generation and NHS

In the UK, for example, people are applauding the workers of the National Health Service (NHS). But over the last few years, as a result…


Dear Pandemic:

Thank you for your application for American citizenship. While I was initially skeptical given your origin in China and your coming of age in Europe, several new issues have since come to light.

First, while the novel coronavirus doesn’t care about race or nationality, apparently you have been preying disproportionately on black and Hispanic victims. This is the case in New York, Los Angeles, and Louisiana, and we’ll probably see a similar pattern in other areas once we receive detailed data. …


While contemporary soccer fans debate whether Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest player of all time (the answer: both!), and while older fans debate whether Pelé or Diego Maradona is the greatest player of all time, I’d like to take a moment to appreciate the next level of current players beneath the Messi/Ronaldo/Virgil van Dyke stratosphere. Think of these players as the character actors of the soccer world. And just like every movie is vastly improved by the addition of a Jeffrey Wright, Kevin Pollak or Paul Giamatti, so are teams (and fans) greatly enriched by these players.


Hopefully we’ll look at the “stick to sports” notion someday like we look at blaxploitation movies of the 1970s, surfer slang from the 1980s, or grunge rock from the 1990s. That is, as something that we once thought was interesting but would be silly to apply to our current era.

I’m writing this on Christmas Day in the aftermath of the racist chants directed at Antonio Rüdiger and Son Heung-Min in the Chelsea-Tottenham game. I’m sure between now and when I finish this article, there will be yet another such incident in the world of global soccer. …


The NCAA’s announcement this past Tuesday that it is clearing the way for college athletes to begin profiting from their name, image and likeness has generated quite a bit of buzz, especially in wake of California’s recently-passed law requiring the state’s schools to allow college athletes to earn endorsement money. The organization’s governing board directed its three divisions to immediately consider changing the rules governing such benefits for athletes.¹

But is this step by the NCAA as groundbreaking as its news coverage seems to imply? Is the organization reading the tea leaves and changing its long-held beliefs on amateurism? As…

Desi Duncker

Born in the Bronx, raised in NJ, living in Harlem. BA from Harvard, MBA from Dartmouth, CFA. Dual citizen: USA & Jamaica, Finance & Soccer.

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