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Showing posts from September, 2020

How Mass Incarceration Has Shaped History

Historian Heather Ann Thompson describes mass incarceration in the United States in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries as being “without international parallel or historical precedent.” In 2006, for instance, “one in every thirty-one U.S. residents was under some form of correction supervision, such as in prison or jail, or on probation or parole.” Despite this, Thompson asserts... read more .

Steve Bannon says war begins on November 3rd


Noam Chomsky: There’s Reason for Hope

 As the world faces an existential crisis–climate change, not the global coronavirus pandemic–it is fitting that Noam Chomsky, arguably the most influential public intellectual of the last half-century, is fixing his attention on a solution. Chomsky, perhaps best known as the father of modern linguistics, has spent decades speaking truth to power as a vocal... read more .

Microaggressions aren’t just innocent blunders - they link with racial bias

A white man shares publicly that a group of Black Harvard graduates “look like gang members to me” and claims he would have said the same of white people dressed similarly. A white physician mistakes a Black physician for a janitor and says it was an honest mistake. A white woman asks to touch a Black classmate’s hair, is scolded for doing so and sulks, “I was just curious.”  Read more .

Senator Elizabeth Warren honors Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg


The Death of Steve Biko, Revisited

Steve Biko, one of the most prominent leaders in the anti-apartheid struggle, died in police detention on September 12, 1977. He was imprisoned on charges of terrorism. The South African Minister of Police announced that he died after a seven-day hunger strike. Riots ensued in the aftermath of this statement, and a few students were killed in the protests. Fifteen thousand people showed up to Biko’s funeral, including foreign dignitaries, African diplomats, and about... read more .

Chuck Feeney: The Billionaire Who Gave It All Away

Charles “Chuck” Feeney, 89, who cofounded airport retailer Duty Free Shoppers with Robert Miller in 1960, amassed billions while living a life of monklike frugality. As a philanthropist, he pioneered the idea of Giving While Living—spending most of your fortune on big, hands-on charity bets instead of funding a foundation upon death. Since you can't take it with you... read more.

Passing for White to Escape Slavery

Racial passing is in the news with the case of Jessica Krug, a white academic who claimed several Black identities throughout her professional career. The phenomenon of white people putting on different backgrounds is widespread—for example, as shown in well-documented... read more .

Havard researchers say prison population a result of "systemic racism"

It wasn’t Black-on-Black crime. Violent video games and rap songs had nothing to do with it; nor did poverty, education, two-parent homes or the international “bootstraps” shortage. When a judge tasked researchers with explaining why Massachusetts’ Black and Latinx incarceration was so high, a four-year study came up with one conclusion.  Read more .

Wildfires and Climate Change

Wildfires are getting worse, the New York Times reports in the middle of a week where we watch California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado burn, eerie photos of orange skies that look like Magritte paintings dominating our social media feeds.  Read more.

America’s settler colonialist roots explain how we see property rights

Women 'abused' by police enforcing COVID-19

On July 28, Pamela was travelling on a public bus on her way to Port Harcourt, the capital of south-central Rivers State, about 45km west of Bori. Upon reaching a checkpoint in the town of Sakpenwa, 25km outside Bori, at 6:30pm, Pamela says four police officers arrested her for not wearing a face mask. Then, she says, they drove her to a guest house where one of the officers raped her "till dawn" after "threatening to kill" her if she did not cooperate.  Read more.  

Record-Shattering Heatwave as Climate Emergency Grips California

Smoke plumes rising tens of thousands of feet into the air over California could be seen from outer-space overnight and into Sunday as massive wildfires that touched off this weekend amid a statewide heatwave triggered dramatic rescue efforts for hundreds of people trapped in a U.S. national forest and fresh warnings of a "climate emergency" unfolding in real time.  Read more.

Iranian women go online to break silence over sexual abuse

For 14 years, Sara Omatali kept her personal trauma under wraps, unable to speak out about the ordeal she suffered in Tehran in the summer of 2006. The former journalist, who now lives in the United States, was sexually assaulted while interviewing a prominent artist in the Iranian capital. A week ago, she finally decided to break her silence on Twitter.  Read more.

'I’m the only cast member whose experience of Star Wars was based on their race'

If you really want to know what shaped John Boyega’s attitude to high-pressure situations – if you want the creation myth that perhaps explains why he reacts the way he does when he is cornered or challenged or merely required to stand up and be counted – then you probably need to know about the time he was... read more.

Is It Time to Reexamine Grading?

Students across the country have begun to return to school for distance learning. Among concerns about equity and access to technology, flexibility to move to in-person instruction, and the toll on working parents, schools also face decisions about how, if at all, to diverge from standard grading practices. In the spring, many districts have opted to eliminate grades for the portion of the year students completed remotely.  Read more.

Green New Deal Co-Author Sen. Ed Markey Defeats Joe Kennedy in Mass. Primary

In a major win for progressives, Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey has defeated Congressmember Joe Kennedy III in the Democratic Senate primary. Markey is the co-author of the Green New Deal and a leading advocate in Washington for combating climate change. Joe Kennedy, who was endorsed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, becomes the first member of the Kennedy dynasty to lose an election in Massachusetts. Read more.  

Rural Rent Wars of the 1840s

In the nineteenth century, a long-simmering New York State political struggle over rent came to have national implications. Rebellious farmers of the Hudson Valley helped to bust open the two-party system of the time: Democrats vs. Whigs.  Read more.

Larry Flynt: My Final Farewell to the Falwells

 When I heard that Jerry Falwell Jr. had resigned the presidency of Liberty University in disgrace, it struck me as the belated ending to a long personal saga with the Falwell clan—and an essential footnote to the role of religion and free speech in America. For those unfamiliar with ancient history, it began in the 1970s... read more .

L.A. Reels After Deputy Kills Black Man During Bike Violation Stop

The family of a 29-year-old Black man fatally shot by deputies during a traffic stop over a bicycle code violation on Monday has demanded accountability and justice amid a fresh wave of protests. Family members say Dijon Kizzee was fatally shot by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department deputies after they attempted to stop him while he was riding a bicycle... read more .