How Broken Windows Leaves Large Numbers Unemployable


By Mark Naison (August 26, 2015)

The other day, one of my friends and tennis partners, a criminal lawyer, gave a chilling account of what a good part of his law practice involves. Continue reading “How Broken Windows Leaves Large Numbers Unemployable”

#Allvotesmatter, Except Yours


By Teka Lark (August 24, 2015)

“We’re reaching out to everybody,” said Bernie Sanders on NBC’s Meet the Press in response to the disruption of his August 8 downtown Seattle campaign rally by Black Lives Matters Seattle chapter co-founders Marissa Johnson and Mara Jacqueline Willaford.

Black people aren’t included in “everybody” and “all.” This “we” and “us” and “everybody” concept would be great if it were real, but it is not real. Continue reading “#Allvotesmatter, Except Yours”

The New Normal


By Paul Messersmith-Glavin (August 23, 2015)

Waking up this morning, I read in the paper about hundreds of thousands more dead fish in Oregon rivers cause the water’s too damn warm and of widespread bug infestations in California due to drought and high temperatures, only to look out the front window at the leaves falling from the trees like it’s late September against a backdrop of smokey, hazy, red tinted skies from all the forest fires. Continue reading “The New Normal”

We Can All Wear the Shoes We Love


By Chris Crass (August 20, 2015)

“What shoes do you want to wear to school?”

River responded, “The kids at school said I can’t wear my Elsa (Frozen) shoes, because I’m a boy and they said they are girl shoes.” Continue reading “We Can All Wear the Shoes We Love”

OSU’s Confederate Legacy: Should Arnold Dining Hall Be Renamed?


By Joseph Orosco (August 19, 2015)

Late last week, based on recommendations from a university-wide committee, President Gregory Fenves of the University of Texas at Austin ordered the removal of a prominent statue of Confederate president Jefferson Davis from the Main Mall. He explained that taking the statue away was in the interest of “fostering an inclusive environment” and promoting both “excellence and diversity” at UT. Continue reading “OSU’s Confederate Legacy: Should Arnold Dining Hall Be Renamed?”

Interview: Heather Wolford


Heather Wolford has been involved in Latin American solidarity, human rights accompaniment, and immigrants’ rights work for several years. She holds masters degrees in International Studies and Public Administration from the University of Oregon, where her academic work focused on political economy, public policy, and social movements in Latin America. Continue reading “Interview: Heather Wolford”

The Terrible Price of Fearing for Your Child’s Safety: A Very Personal Response to Ta-Nehisi Coates


By Mark Naison (August 13, 2015)

Let me say at the outset that I cannot be objective in reviewing Ta-Nehisi Coates new book, “Between the World and Me,” which is addressed to his 15 year old son, who burst into tears when learning that the Ferguson  Grand Jury refused to indict the police officer who killed Michael Brown. Continue reading “The Terrible Price of Fearing for Your Child’s Safety: A Very Personal Response to Ta-Nehisi Coates”

Bernie Sanders and the Wider Failures of “Progressivism”


By Chris Lowe  (August 12, 2015)

Bernie Sanders as Myth and Symbol. The etiquette of demonstrations at other people’s events. Meh.  Continue reading “Bernie Sanders and the Wider Failures of “Progressivism””

Progressives Must Disrupt and Challenge

By Harsha Walia (August 11, 2015)

Everyone everywhere complaining about grassroots activists not being ‘strategic’ or ‘effective’ by targeting so-called Left politicians – you’re wrong. Continue reading “Progressives Must Disrupt and Challenge”

The Bernie Sanders Disruption Test



By Teka Lark  (August 10, 2015)

In Seattle, Washington on Saturday, August 8 #BlackLiveMatters activists (or someone who said they were #BlackLivesMatters activists) disrupted a Bernie Sanders speaking engagement.

I can’t be upset about disruption. My objective is disruption. I am “building” is a scaffold to tear down this system. Continue reading “The Bernie Sanders Disruption Test”

What is Bernie Sanders Doing Right Now for Racial Justice?


By Angus Maguire  (August 9, 2015)

I have a good number of friends going to see Bernie Sanders today in Portland. To those folks, especially ‪#‎mywhitepeople‬, you might give some thought ahead of time about how you will act if ‪#‎blacklivesmatter‬ activists interrupt the event. I have no knowledge of plans to do so, but it seems like a pretty good bet.

I understand the impulse to frustration at the interruptions. When you have hope for justice, and basic change in this country, and you see a presidential candidate breaking out of the two-party narrative, talking about inequality and justice, it feels like a precious thing. It feels like something that should be upheld, and protected, and that everyone who has your kind of hope should learn to put aside differences, and work together for a better tomorrow. I feel that.

But I think we have to ask ourselves what we are afraid of. What are we afraid of losing in these interruptions? If you want Bernie to run, to make a difference, even to win, how do these interruptions take away from that? Who do you imagine will suddenly NOT vote for Bernie, because he’s been publicly called out on taking action on racism? Is there some demographic that is going to say “hey, Bernie’s not talking about race, let’s vote for Hillary” or “let’s vote for Jeb”? No. What this comes down to is this question: are black communities, and all those who have been shouting Black Lives Matter for the last year, going to get behind Bernie? The main response I see from white liberals to these interventions boils down to “Bernie is all you’ve got, he’s on the right side, so get in line.”

If you want unity, if you want a united left speaking out for justice and equality, then those who fashion themselves leaders are REQUIRED to be the bridge builders, are REQUIRED to do the work to show all the constituencies who are daily crushed under the heel of capitalism and racism that they are committed to each of these fights. #blacklivesmatter activists are not the problem here. Would-be leaders who assume the support of communities without addressing their issues are the problem. I don’t want to hear “Bernie marched for Civil Rights”. That literally doesn’t matter. The question is, “what is Bernie doing RIGHT NOW for racial justice?”. If he’s so great on racial justice, the answer shouldn’t be hard. And if the answer is hard, then why should I support him? This process, of calling Bernie out, of intervening in his appearances, is a process of accountability. If, as so many are quick to argue, Bernie is the voice of those fighting racism, then #blacklivesmatter activists are a constituency he has a duty to heed.

You might get the chance to make a choice today, to decide which side you are on. And the choice is not between Bernie and Black activists. The choice, today, is between two Bernies: the one that systemic racism and white supremacy wants in the conversation because he erases black lives and ignores structural racism, and the one that makes racial justice a priority, for ALL our sakes, because he’s been moved by the constituencies he claims to represent.

If you favor the latter, I hope you’ll act accordingly.

Continue reading “What is Bernie Sanders Doing Right Now for Racial Justice?”