Guest Voices

Starbucks Shows Black People No Longer Have Public Spaces

By Teka Lark (April 17, 2018) Boycott all Starbucks. Not just the one. The good white people need to learn too. Why I do the work that I do. I will not share the video of two Black men being removed by the Philadelphia police from Starbucks, because a white person was “afraid” (they aren’t afraid, they are racist) and...
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Churches Are Not Enough for Social Justice

By Irami Osei-Frimpong (April 13 2018) There is a weird variety of Protestantism that suggests that the only social institution trained on securing justice is the Church. And everything else is mammon. So instead of a church exhorting you to go out and love one’s neighbor through organizing a workers union, etc., the church will try to bring the institutions...
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We've Let Employers Set the Terms of the Labor Debate

By Irami Osei-Frimpong (April 10, 2018) We’ve let employers dictate the terms of the labor debate. Forget the skills mismatch. There is a wage mismatch, and when wages aren’t pegged to cost of living increases, it’s a bit ridiculous. I first noticed it when I heard some older cat harangue a kid for not working their way through college like...
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Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Freedom Struggle of Northern Ireland

Charlotte O’Sullivan (April 4, 2018) Today marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, the leader of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s in America. But here in Ireland, Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy goes far beyond the improvements he brought to the lives of African American people in the US; for example,...
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We Need to Stop Letting White People Off the Hook

By Irami Osei-Frimpong (April 2, 2018) The number of times I hear some version of, “You can’t expect white people to ever be fair” is astounding. I hear this from white and black people across the education divide. Honestly, the people who are the most smug about this as a truism are white women with lots and lots of degrees....
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Children Should Not Have to Lead a Movement About Gun Violence

By Irami Osei-Frimprong (March 26, 2018) I see a lot of adults lauding the children for their leadership. These kids shouldn’t have to parent their adults. I like children participating, but if they have to lead, that means the adults aren’t doing their jobs. You shouldn’t have to use them to say things to their uncles and aunts that you...
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It's Too Early to Say We Won Against the Alt-Right

By Alexander Reid Ross (March 21, 2018) While I’m happy that Richard Spencer is miserable and Heimbach may be going to jail, I think it’s too early to say “we won.” We succeeded—for now—in pushing the Alt Right and its bedfellows off the streets. That may mean our methods have been successful, among other things, but it doesn’t mean that...
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We Need to Teach People How to Share Power

By Irami Osei-Frimpong (March 19, 2018) I think that a whole lot of political problems come from an inability to share power with genuine people you may not necessarily like. This barrier is baked into our political culture, though I will say that there are marked differences between subordinate and dominant groups, for a variety of reasons. Well-ordered democracies concern...
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My Lai is the Essence of US American Foreign Policy

By S. Brian Willson (March 16, 2018) March 16, 1968, My Lai Massacre, Viet Nam Today, March 16, 2018, is the 50th painful anniversary of the US Army massacre that, in effect, represented the essence of US American policy of scorched earth from the air and on the ground in the US war. 504 completely unarmed Vietnamese were murdered in...
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Performing for White People

By Teka Lark (March 13, 2018) “We did not feel that the cops were protecting us, for we knew too much about the reasons for the kinds of crimes committed in the ghetto; but we feared black cops even more than white cops, because the black cop had to work so much harder–on your head–to prove to himself and his...
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The Left Needs to be Critical on Russiagate

joeBy Joe Lowndes (February 26, 2018) I have not posted much on Russiagate out of my own ambivalence. On one hand, I am wary of the liberal investment in both fantasies of deliverance and nightmares of foreign control, as well as the uncritical trust placed in the FBI and CIA. But on the other hand, I DO think that we...
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Good Institutions Are about Helping to Govern, Not Charity

iramiBy Irami Osei-Frimpong (February 23, 2018) I’m serious when I say that institutions should be judged by their capacity to help people govern, both govern themselves and with others. I worry that charity institutions provide services without growing people’s capacity to govern. This breeds accountability problems, and more importantly, since these institutions emerge as a matter of charity, not justice,...
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We Have More Serious Things to Worry About Than Russian Meddling

By Arun Gupta (February 21, 2018) I’m convinced the Russian state did/does have the intention to stir the pot in the U.S., sabotage elections, create chaos. But that is mainly because we destroyed their country during the shock therapy of the 1990s. There was a staggering decline in life expectancy on the scale of a full-blown invasion. Then Clinton lent...
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Wakandans are not Black and Killmonger is Right

By Tommy J. Curry (February 20, 2018) It is so funny to me how all these commentaries on Black Panther are coming out without really any understanding of the MCU. Black people love pretending they are overnight specialists in anything Black. You do understand that if you accept the existence of Wakanda, you also accept the existence of mutants like...
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Black Panther is Popular, but Black People Still Marginalized

By S. (February 15, 2018) I’m looking forward to the new Black Panther movie too, but first, let’s have a little talk about race. Since being kidnapped from Africa, black people have been marginalized. Marginalized means we have been placed at the margins, we are never centered. Our rights, our voices, our experiences, our lives, our needs, our everything, are...
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The Alt Right is Not Just Nazis

By Alexander Reid Ross (February 15, 2018) Here’s why I call them the “Alt Right” instead of just “Nazis.” The Alt Right is a composite of a number of far-right tendencies including anarcho-capitalists, silicon valley neo-reactionaries, MRAs, Klansmen, and other forms of fascists. Broadly, it’s a fascist movement, but it’s a fascist movement of a certain character. Calling them the...
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On the Unfinished Work of Extending Rights to All Americans

By Irami Osei-Frimpong (February 13, 2018) The basic problem is that our rights were conceived with property owning white men in mind. These rights presupposed economic security and independence. Security and independence came in the form of property. And that’s why the Constitution is primarily concerned with securing property rights. Also the exercise of rights relies on the collegiate fraternity...
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OK Maybe The Markets Are in a Downturn

By Arun Gupta (February 10, 2018) If you care about what’s happening in the financial markets, now is the time to panic. But then again, if you care, you are probably in the top 10% in terms of wealth in America as they own 84% of the stock. On Monday, I shrugged at the 4% drop in the markets in...
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Why Do Poor Americans Eat So Unhealthy?

By Teka Lark (February 9, 2018) The LA Times asks:  Why Do Poor Americans Eat So Unhealthy?  I will tell you one of the reasons. Poor people (economically oppressed, they are poor for a specific reason) live near arterial roads. Arterial roads gets you to highways quickly. And if you need a place do put a fast road where people...
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Capitalism Isn't Collapsing...Yet

By Arun Gupta (February 6, 2018) If you are hoping capitalism is going to implode because the markets tanked today, don’t hold your breath. The drop on Monday, February 5, in percentage terms was far from historic. If you look at the first picture, a six-month chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, it looks like it fell off a...
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Without Jobs, Our Freedom is Hollow

By Irami Osei-Frimpong (February 5, 2018) You have to understand that when you have access to property and an independent, above subsistence income, your conception of rights is markedly different from someone without property and depends on a non-contract employer for an income. The Founders conceived of rights for people like themselves. In order to exercise any of the rights...
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When It Comes to Protecting Immigrant Workers, Strategic Organizing is the Answer

By Arun Gupta (February 4, 2018) This is an insightful report on how to organize against Trump’s deportation regime. Here are some important lessons. One:  Immigration is as much about labor as about race. Trump won by racializing working-class conflict, stoking white nativism and resentment against all immigrant workers from farms to high tech. A few years ago I interviewed Ana...
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"We Can't Have Bike Lanes Because of Black People"

By Teka Lark (January 31, 2018) When I first started in alt transit advocacy it was 2006, I saw Inconvenient Truth at the Santa Monica Pier and was convinced I alone was killing the planet. So I sold my Mini Cooper S and quit my job to start my art project: ShameTrame LA. It was a conceptual project that was...
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Black People Need Good Governance Toward Justice

By Irami Osei-Frimpong (January 28, 2018) I’ve been thinking about Ann Richards and Obama. Everyone loves Ann Richards. I think she was great. Or at least I think she was fine. She won Texas without teaching people how to govern, so it snapped right back. Obama is similarly blessed. There are no principled Obama Democrats. The Obama coalition is held...
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Our Movements Work Best When We Listen to the Discomfort

By S. (January 28, 2018) I am not a woman but I am a queer POC of color. We face common enemies but sometimes we become the enemy. I try my best to listen to women so that my behavior is not harmful or at least less harmful to women. My gut instinct in the Grace and Aziz storywas to...
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