Make ‘feminism’ the word of the year until females feel safeOne week ago
As the jaunt of abusive humen continues and the world assures the power of women behind this cultural moment, we have to continue the hard work
This week a man attempted a terrorist attack in New York’s Port Authority subway station, but his bomb explosion early and the attacker was the only one seriously injured. Despite what Twitter would have you believe, New York- as it does- went on very much the same. People groused about metro delays and went on with their day .~ ATAGEND It was just one of many days that induced me proud to be a native New Yorker. We could all take a lesson from that sort of resilience and posture, to be honest: we won’t let terrible people attain us feel terrible. We will live our lives, and refuse to be terrorized.
On a happier note, though the outing of abusive humen continues, the world is starting to recognize the power of women behind this incredible culture moment: Merriam-Webster named “feminism” the word of 2017. Now we just have to continue to make it the movement of the year( and next year, and the next) until girls can start to feel safe in their own country.
Glass half full
The unthinkable happened and Doug Jones won the Alabama special election. It’s a low bar- getting excited over an accused child-molester and explicit racist losing- but in a time when wins are few and far between, I’ll take it.
What I’m RTing
‘You don’t tell yourself no’: Stacey Abrams’ bid to be America’s first black female governor22 days ago
After winning Georgias Democratic primary, Abrams tells Lucia Graves about her uphill battle to win in a state with a history of segregationist governors
For Stacey Abrams to became the first black female governor- and in Georgia , no less- would take a miracle. Then again, according to the politics of convention, it already took one for her to get this far.
” We have to be hopeful enough and courageous enough to believe in the unexpected ,” said LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, at Abrams’ primary victory party on Tuesday night at a hotel ballroom in downtown Atlanta. Abrams easily defeated her fellow former Georgia state legislator, Stacey Evans.
Already Abrams has stimulated history, becoming the state’s first black nominee for governor and the first black female major party nominee for the job in America.
She will go on to face the victor of the state’s Republican runoff election in July. In a state that hasn’t seen a Democratic governor elected since 1998, she’ll be fighting an uphill battle.
But when Abrams took the stage on Tuesday, before concourses of volunteers and a large group of schoolchildren who had met, as one chaperone put it,” to come ensure history being built”, her emphasis was less on her own barrier-breaking than on how far the state had come.
” We are writing the next chapter of Georgia’s future where no one is unseen , no one is unheard and no one is uninspired ,” she said in her opening remarks.
That’s an important page-flip in a state with a history of segregationist governors whose country flag featured the Confederate emblem until 2001. Even now, just 8 %~ ATAGEND of the state’s officeholders are women of color, even though they constitute 23% of the population. On stage on Tuesday, Abrams was equally at ease quoting the book of Esther and policy particulars, describing what she’s called the ” Georgia of tomorrow “~ ATAGEND. It was clear, even in the first moment of the new stage of the election, that there would be no fulcrum to the political center.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
Lena Dunham talks policies and pantsuits in push for Hillary Clinton24 days ago
The Girls creator and star repudiates condescending and misogynistic assumption that she is backing the Democratic frontrunner only because she is a woman
Lena Dunham isnt supporting Hillary Clinton for president since they are share the same anatomy. She is, however, a big fan of the Democratic frontrunners pantsuits.
The Girls creator and star to be laid down her support for Clinton at an Iowa City coffee shop on Saturday, while recommending a mob of mostly women to get involved in the sates Iowa caucus on 1 February. Dunham was attending her first event of the day, on a swinging through early voting nations on the candidates behalf.
Nothing gets me angrier than when someone connotes Im voting for Hillary Clinton simply because shes female, Dunham said, to laughter.[ Its] as if I have some feminist version of beer-goggles, lets call it estrogen blindness, and I just kind of walking like a zombie towards the nearest vagina.
This assumption is condescending at best and it is sharply mysogynistic at worst.
Dunham said she was supporting Clinton because of her policies, because of her track record, because of her notions and a little bit because of her pantsuits. But thats my prerogative as a citizen.
Dunham recently interviewed Clinton for the first issue of her email newsletter, Lenny. Seated across from Clinton on a folding chair, she asked the Democratic nominee: Do you consider yourself a feminist?
Yes, Clinton responded. Absolutely.
With a mix of raw integrity and playful self-deprecation, on Saturday Dunham told the crowd how she had not voted until four years after she came of voting age. She encouraged women, especially young women, to make their voices heard in 2016.
Im embarrassed to say this but it took me far too long to start voting, Dunham said. I had been of legal age for more than four years before I cast my first vote in the 2008 general elections.
Its not that I didnt care, but I didnt believe that me caring mattered. It was impossible for me to comprehend that one young woman checking a box after waiting in a long line could matter on a national level.
Dunham said she virtually turned away the opportunity to create a video for President Barack Obamas re-election campaign in 2012. She said deciding to make the innuendo-laced cinema, Your First Time, energized her to engage with politics.
My father has never been prouder of me than when I was called a dirty word on Fox News, Dunham joked about reaction to the video, which she told ran a little bit viral.
On Friday, Dunham traveled around New Hampshire with the World Cup-winning soccer superstar Abby Wambach, pitching Clinton as the best proponent for women. Notably, Dunham has been having fun with her bespoke Hillary Clinton line of gowns and sweaters. In Iowa on Saturday, she wore a white jumper featuring Hillary printed in red.
The audience, equal proportions Dunham fans and Clinton advocates, were very receptive.
Abbie Gould, 24, said she was still choosing between Clinton and her chief contender, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, but was impressed by what Dunham had to say about the former secretary of state.
Listening to Lena, hearing the seriousnes in her voice and listening to how she got involved in the campaign, and that she actually hadnt gotten involved into politics until subsequently in her career, I think thats inspiring for people my age, Gould said.
Allison Poss, who runs a small business, Girls with Ideas, in Iowa City, called Dunham and Clinton the dreaming team. Poss said she was an unabashed Dunham fan she collects clippings of every publication interview she devotes and a longtime Clinton supporter.
Ive always followed[ Clintons] policies, that is what is driving my vote for her, Poss said. However, its like a double-whammy of happiness to me that she just so happens to be a woman as well.
After the Iowa City coffee shop event, Dunham and her team departed without taking any questions, in order to make it to a second event of the day in Des Moines.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
‘I’ve been silent’: Harvard’s Clinton backers face life on a pro-Bernie campus1 month, 1 day ago
As students across the country voice support for Sanders, Hillary Clinton backers “says hes” contend with rage and accusations: Youre evil
Walk around any college campus and Bernie Sanders popularity is immediately apparent. Depending on the climate, youre likely to see Bernie T-shirts or Bernie sweaters or Bernie hats or Bernie scarves.
Youre less likely to encounter Hillary Clinton memorabilia. In a put where students are meant to be rebelling against the status quo, to be wearing berets and hanging Che Guevara posters on their walls, supporting Clinton only isnt cool.
It turns out this is even true at Harvard University barely known for revolutionary politics.
In April, Sam Koppelman, a 20 -year-old government student at Harvard, wrote a letter to the New York Times lamenting that his support for Clinton meant that on campus he might as well be Pat Buchanan.
At Harvard, admitting that #ImWithHer is nearly tantamount to boasting Make America Great Again, Koppelman wrote.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
Hitler salutes and white supremacism: a weekend with the ‘alt-right’1 month, 10 days ago
The alt-right seminar in Washington wasnt a assemble of a forgotten white working class. It was a white nationalist motion buoyed by millennials
Some of the most prominent members of the so-called alt-right, the white nationalist motion that helped propel Donald Trump to the presidency, gathered in Washington DC on Saturday to plot how the movement can start influencing policy and culture under the Trump administration.
There was a celebratory mood as Richard Spencer, the president of the National Policy Institute, a nationalist thinktank which hosted the day-long seminar, “was talkin about a” how the alt-right would be an intellectual vanguard for Trump and the rightwing at large.
But to an foreigner, the conference simply served as a shocking insight into the racism, sexism and disturbing faiths of the alt-right.
The event concluded with a 40 -minute pseudo-academic lecturing called America and Jewish Consciousness, by Kevin MacDonald, a former psychology professor described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as the neo-Nazi motions favorite academic, and a series of Nazi salutes by members of the audience.
Trumps win in the presidential election, and the subsequent selection of Stephen Bannon the executive chairman of Breitbart News as Trumps chief strategist, constructed for plenty of optimism.
Spencer, one of the most prominent faces of the movement, was among the most optimistic about Trumps presidency.
With Donald Trump, we feel like we have a dog in the fight for the first time, Spencer told the Guardian. And with him theres a real chance we could start influencing policy and culture.
Spencer said the alt-right was aiming to exert that influence by publishing regular policy papers advancing white nationalist notions. The hope is that alt-right ideas can enter the mainstream and through Trump and Bannon have an impact on the government.
A policy he mentioned several times on Saturday is a breach on all immigration for a 50 -year period something he believes would help maintain a white-dominant society in the US.
We want to influence people. We want to be an intellectual vanguard that starts to inflect policy, inflect culture, inflect politics, he said.
Thats what we can do.
The alt-right visit to Washington DC had get off to an inauspicious start.
Conference attendees had gathered at a restaurant for a private dinner on Friday night, but anti-fascism protesters were tip-off off to their place and stormed into the restaurant, disrupting the meal.
The protesters were swiftly ushered outside, but not before one of them had sprayed Spencer with what the thinktank chairman described as a shit-smelling substance.
On Saturday morning, about 200 activists demonstrated outside the conference at the Ronald Reagan building, a couple of blocks south-east of the White House.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
Don’t boo Mike Pence- at the least he went to Hamilton | Emma Brockes1 month, 11 days ago
The vice-president-elect deserved the displeasure of the audience, but watching it happen virtually constructed me sorry for him
The booing of Mike Pence, vice-president-elect, at a performance of Hamilton last week elicited a answer I had expected in myself, but hoped might take a little longer to surface, which is pity for the overdog.
Its a bourgeois tic, I know the aversion of public rudeness over what is, clearly, the greater offence of Pennies voting record. But I discovered it impossible not to wince at what happened at the theater, in the same way that, years ago, I winced when someone in the audience on BBCs Question Time was monstrously rude to Tony Blair.( I dont mean vigorously cross-questioned him or spoke truth to power; I mean they were petulantly rude, in the manner of a sixth-former freshly aware of his powers .)
Pence, unlike his philistine boss, was at least going to see Hamilton. Maybe something of it would rub off on him, I said to a friend, who scoffed. The vice-president-elect, who in his home state of Indiana has tried to restrict abortion, enable discrimination against LGBT people and devote gun proprietors the right to keep handguns in their vehicles travelling along school property, is not an obvious candidate for a liberal epiphany. Do you think, said my friend, hes going to see Hamilton and abruptly tell, hey, gay people are terrific, someone tell Satan he cant have them after all!
And yet there was something about the booing I didnt like. Its not a question of respect for high office, that very American reflex that always builds Brits sneer at joint press conferences, when the US press corps stands up for its leader and the Brits stay obstinately seated. And its not that I object to jeering per se. During the campaign, I guessed if I saw Donald Trump in the street it would give me tremendous satisfaction to yell something rude at him.
A columnist in the Washington Post exclaimed hypocrisy. There was, he wrote , nothing more delusional than a mob of wealthy, out-of-touch Manhattan liberals( who can afford $849 tickets to Hamilton) booing Pence and lecturing him on diversity. But this wasnt right either; the constituency of the crowd was neither here nor there and one got the feeling that this particular columnist, a former speechwriter for George W Bush, had uttered the phrase out-of-touch Manhattan liberals before.
I suppose it seemed to me like a tactical fault one that, while cathartic for the booers, was likely to entrench Pence further in his reactionary positions. As we all strain to look outside our bubbles, isnt it better for Mike Pence to see Hamilton than Cats?
Father knows best
Read more: www.theguardian.com
Trump is just the latest obstacle on the zigzagging course of racial advance | Margaret Burnham1 month, 21 days ago
Studying the American civil war and civil rights movement, its clear theres no racial nirvana ahead. Instead there may be an era of sustained political violence
At the end of the American civil war, before Reconstruction could plant its feet solidly in the south, white people in the region fought to redeem their countries from freedmen, whom they assured as corrupted and ignorant, and northern rulers, whom they deemed to be corrupt opportunists. So bloody was the campaign that ultimately returned black people to near-slavery that one writer, Nicholas Lemann, described the redemption period, from 1876 to the mid-1 890 s, as the last combat of the civil war. I remind you of this because the president-elects selection of Jeff Sessions as attorney general suggests, perhaps more than any other appointment, that the redeemers have once again triumphed.
In the 20 th century, after the successes of the civil rights movement, eventually a reincarnated redemption motion lessened the force of the 1960 s civil rights laws and led to racialised mass incarceration. The prospect that the combined voice of a Sessions justice department and an altered supreme court may cut deep into legal protections upon which minorities have relied since the civil rights motion deserves close analysis. Far more frightening, however, is the real possibility that the current regime will usher in an age of sustained political violence, reminiscent, in purpose if not precisely in kind, of what was experienced in the original redemption.
This sounds far-fetched, to be sure, but as we prognosticate over what the Trump presidency will entail, it would be a mistake to ignore how the US once legitimated and then paved over this long epoch of state-organised racial violence. Here is where traditional law-making, partisan politics and racial violence have historically intersected. If political violence was the gasoline of the redemption machine, new disenfranchising statutes comprised its chassis and the Democratic party was its engineer. What, then, can be learned from history that might help us stave off the most ruthless reactions to the two previous reconstructions?
The presidential election of 1876, which brought to power Rutherford Hayes and led to the ejection of the Republican party in the south, marked the entrenchment of political terror against the newly liberated citizens. In the aftermath, the freedom of the media dreamings of African Americans and their friends were replaced with an apartheid from which the nation has really never recovered.
After a political flowering in the wake of the civil war, the likes of which the country would not witness again for more than a century about 2,000 black elected officials in the former Confederate countries( including two US senators and a governor ), a commitment to public education, agrarian reform and economic development in the south, a federalised civil rights regime black people were stripped of legal protections and whipped, raped, lynched and defrauded back into submission.
Researchers have estimated that in the presidential election of 1880 black voter turnout in North Carolina was 81%, a figure that dropped to 1% by the 1912 election. And while a black North Carolinian was elected to Congress in 1897, a second would not serve in that body until 1992. Literal, collectively enacted and virulent, the violence of the redemption was not distinct from its politics but instead the product of complex relations among performers aiming to redefine the political community.
Since the 1960 s historians have termed the civil rights motion a second reconstruction. The second redemption, just as with the first, rested on the myth that white racial stances had so moderated that minority groups no longer required protection; on this reading affirmative action policies and protections against disfranchisement were not only unnecessary but also unAmerican.
A casual examine of the American past stimulates two things clear: first, racial advance proceeds in zigzag fashion whether because, as the legal theoretician Derrick Bell argued, the white majority supports minority rights only if they converge with white interests, or because a full mapping of the USs racial history has never been undertaken; and second, partisan politics both constructs and reflects distinct racial categories. In other words there is no racial nirvana ahead of us; instead, what we will have, given the USs troubled history and disinclination to tackle it, is permanent contestation and contingency. Indeed, its political salience is precisely what renders race so reliably non-perishable.
Barack Obama championed incremental change, perhaps because he believed that nothing else was possible in American politics. They may not have been earth-shattering but Obamas successes including the fact of his election reflected a sort of third reconstruction, the antithesis of which is breathing heavily on the backs of peoples necks. That the Trump regime will aim to augment the voting power of its core rural constituency by expanding voter suppression laws and launching a full-throttled great efforts to repeal “whats left of” the Voting Rights Act is a dedicated. Trump promised as much when he recently complained that millions of votes were fraudulently cast, and Sessions has denied that restrictive statutes have hurt black citizens in his home state of Alabama.
Also vulnerable are civil right measures that were passed on commerce clause grounds, such as the equal employment opportunity provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, known as Title VII. Tea party constitutionalists, echoing debates by libertarian legal scholars such as the Hoover Institutes Richard Epstein, claim that the supreme court has, since the 1930 s, improperly enlarged the scope of that clause to the harm of individual liberties. While libertarian jurists may have aligned with traditional liberals on same-sex marriage, some of them also think that the commerce clause does not confer on Congress the power to forbid racial or gender discrimination by private companies. This seemed a preposterous posture, but if it gains momentum in academic circles and adherents on the court, Title VII is one of ratings of measures that could end up on the chopping block.
Redemption number three may bring us more than only the formal rollback of 1960 s-era civil rights laws. One thing is pretty certain: the resistance to this president is likely to be fierce and activist. And with a view to responding, the federal government, led by the Sessions justice department, may well launch a low-intensity war against the insurgents. Also to be expected is that poor and marginalised communities will be subjected to increased country violence in the form of police barbarism, mass criminalisation and incarceration, and other forms of violence, both attritional and lethal.
The line between legal and extra-legal violence could fade as it typically does in times of heightened political or racial situations of conflict and as it did in the first redemption, when even moderate white people maintained silent in the face of the Ku Klux Klans butchery because they tried a speedy return to white rule in the south.
Trumps demonising of the Movement for Black Lives( a alliance of US groups representing black communities, including Black Lives Matter) has reinforced the perceptions of many white people that they are a distinctive community threatened with extinction by black crime. One can expect that white racial solidarity, mobilised by economic anxiety, prejudice and Trumps Make America Great Again nation-building project, will incline white people to justify extra-legal violence and incorporate it into beliefs about what the law actually permits. The president-elects campaign, which mixed dread and stereotypes to generate violence, generated the kind of climate in which vigilantism thrives, and nothing in the post-election weeks has changed this picture.
Clearly this will not be redemption redux, and one would hope that the rule of statute would hold, but it is also true that , notwithstanding the horrors of the 20 th century, we dont truly understand what persuades ordinary people to butcher their neighbours and co-citizens. Americans are just as human as Rwandans, Germans and Serbians; no more , no less.
The first reconstruction opened, for an exhilarating moment, a window through which former slave communities could envisage a new political life. The post-reconstruction counter-revolutions suggest that such instants of transformation can be quickly subverted, and that the challenge of recapturing what was lost is arduous and protracted.
The myth that racism is dead has been variously styled separate but equal, colourblindness and post-racialism. Whatever the word, it is the duty of all of us who fear for the US to remember that though racial postures are not unalterable or homogeneous, race will always register and resistance will always resurface. Revolutionaries holding alternative understands of what ails America as a nation its the class struggle, stupid who want to win elections, or transform power relations more fundamentally, would do well to examine the politics of the redemption and that 95 -year gap in North Carolina.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
He who must not be named: how Harry Potter helps make sense of Trump’s world1 month, 27 days ago
For fans of the wizard series, the new political order is Dumbledores army v President Voldemort. Is it merely a juvenile comparing or have JK Rowlings books shaped a generations thinking?
Every generation has its go-to pop-culture political analogy. For decades, it was Star Wars. Its easy to see how Reagans 80 s space-based weapons shield initiative earned its nickname, for example, but the reference has endured, to the extent that White House chief strategist Steve Bannon expressed his admiration for the dark side in a recent interview: Darkness is good. Dick Cheney, Darth Vader, Satan. Thats power. But one name was missing from that listing: Voldemort.
The Harry Potter villain has risen again over the past couple of years, as fans have described comparisons, often humorously, between a world under threat from a narcissistic tyrant and that of the Harry Potter volumes. In February, Bannon was the subject of a Buzzfeed quiz that asked, Who Told It: Steve Bannon or Lord Voldermort ?; it was harder than you might have thought. JK Rowlings readers have grown up at approximately the same pace as Harry, Ron and Hermione, and with its hundreds of millions of book marketings and the massive success of the movie adaptations, the series reach has been enormous.
What Harry Potter has given a generation is a simple narrative of good triumphing over evil, and, as a result, it has been a frequent and controversial point of reference in this time of political divisiveness. At the worldwide Womens Marches in January, there were plenty of homemade signs that indicated Princess Leia as the face of a new resistance, but there were as many Potter ones, such as Dumbledores army, inspirational quotes from the series and references to Hermiones role in Harrys survival. Perhaps these placards had been inspired by an outpouring of affection for the books following the US election in November, as people began to post quotes on Twitter. Order of the Phoenix, mount up, wrote Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. There is even a Chrome extension that changes any mention of Donald Trump or his cabinet to the name of a notable Death Eater. Install it, and your browser will instantly refer to Betsy DeVos as Dolores Umbridge, Jeff Sessions as Antonin Dolohov or Rex Tillerson as Draco Malfoy.
Why do people dislike Hillary Clinton? The tale runs far back2 months, 5 days ago
A sense of untrustworthiness has haunted the Democrat this election, but the roots of hostility against her are much deeper
There is and perhaps there always will be a dedicated group of people who dont know Hillary Clinton personally, but nonetheless hate her.
Whether they are truly a vast rightwing conspiracy( as Clinton called them in 1998) or just many in number and conservative in outlook, theres no arguing that they exist or that they continue to try to influence public opinion on the Democratic nominee.
But even if people consider themselves savvy enough to repudiate the strangest conspiracy theories( sample asserts include that she is a mass-murderer, a closeted lesbian faking her 40 -year marriage, a member of the Illuminati and/ or an agent of the devil himself ), there seems little doubt that an undercurrent of hatred spanning decades has had an impact upon how she is viewed.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
What Trump did this week: Jerusalem triggers ire as Mueller follows the money2 months, 12 days ago
Trump announced US recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital, as it emerged Deutsche Bank has provided Mueller with bank the recording of Trump affiliates
As the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration approaches, the president seems keen to get points on the members of the security council in ways that don’t involve the interminable compromises and reversals of Congress- last week’s tax vote in the Senate notwithstanding. This week, he outraged liberals on a number of fronts where he has unilateral power, with moves on national monuments and the status of Jerusalem and full-throated backing for controversial Senate candidate Roy Moore.
But it was his tweets about Flynn that landed him in difficulty. A claim that” I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI” opened the president to accusations that Trump knew Flynn lied to the FBI( international crimes) where reference is asked former FBI director James Comey to go easy on him, something that would strengthen any case of blockage of justice. The next day, Trump renewed his denial that he ever stimulated that request of Comey and his lawyer John Dowd claimed– to some scepticism– that he had been the one who wrote the offending tweet.
Whether or not that was true, on Sunday Trump suffered a blow in his recent reported tries to cast doubt on the authenticity of the notorious 2005 Access Hollywood” grab them by the pussy” tape that nearly derailed his campaign. Writing in the New York Times, Billy Bush, the other voice on the tape, stated bluntly:” Of course he said it .”