20 YEARS AGO
"Proponents of adding a multiracial designation are... mistaken to think that much--if any-good can come from a more precise accounting by government of 'racial' demographics. Even without reference to Nazi Germany or apartheid South Africa, our own twisted history on the matter makes clear that governments should be discouraged from recording such information at all. Indeed, because racial classifications seek to fix forever one's identity through blood and birth, they are particularly appalling in a country whose ideals include the ability to continually remake, redefine, and reinvent oneself."
"Republicans are increasingly pondering the post-Newt age. As one former leadership aide puts it, Gingrich is dead but he doesn't know it yet. Indeed, disgust with the speaker is so deep among House Republicans that many have nicknamed him 'Toast.'"
"Armey of the Right"
25 YEARS AGO
"More important for the long run, the attention generated by the rioters gave nonviolent people a chance to voice their rage. And if you listen to what those people are actually saying... you will hear this: The criminal justice system does not protect black Americans. It does not make their streets safe from violence. It does not rally to the side of black crime victims. It sees black people only as criminals, never as citizens. It does not give them respect."
VIRGINIA I. POSTREL
"Rage, Riots, & Respect"
"In the face of this chaos, I found it reassuring that some people had the courage and the where-withal to defend their homes and businesses.... One memorable bit of video, shot during the day, showed looters on the rampage in a Koreatown minimall. Every store in the area had been hit except one-the one whose owners stood on the roof with rifles."
"Disorder of the Day"
"Then again, there is the thrill, irrational or not, of participating in the political process."
30 YEARS AGO
"Congress has threatened to pass tough trade legislation almost since President Reagan took office. 'Mr. Free Trade' has responded with an escalating barrage of his own protectionist measures. At each turn, Reagan winks at dismayed free market champions and whispers that he is only throwing a bone to keep a yelping Congress at bay."
"Fair Trade Frenzy"
"Ten years ago there were homeless in America. Twenty years ago there were homeless. How is it that in the 1980s there...