Abandoning voters of color would be immoral and shortsighted

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As we survey the wreckage from the 2016 election, the lessons we draw will have implications for years to come. Everyone has a pet theory about why things went so terribly wrong for Democrats in a year when most thought victory was assured. The decisions made in the wake of this election will determine whether the left can stem the tide as Republicans now control the vast majority of state legislatures as well as the federal government. They will determine whether the Democratic Party will be a vibrant, relevant vehicle for implementing progressive policy in the future. They will determine how effectively we can fight in the meantime and protect the people who have the most to lose under a Trump presidency.  Continue reading “Abandoning voters of color would be immoral and shortsighted”

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What it’s like canvassing in a swing state for Hillary Clinton

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This endless slog of an election can wear you down, especially with the avalanche of hatred Donald Trump has unleashed. It’s easy to feel powerless and discouraged.

I find one of the best ways to get some perspective is to get out and talk to voters directly rather than wallowing in press coverage. It gives you a mission and some agency and is a tremendously important part of winning an election. I spent last weekend in Reno going door to door for Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates, and I wrote a piece about what that experience was like for Broke-Ass Stuart. 

“EXCUSE ME!”

I tense up as the tall gray-haired man wearing grandpa glasses yells to grab our attention and then stands a little too close for comfort. I was with 3 other women outside a Starbucks in Reno wearing Hillary Clinton t-shirts as we got ready to knock on doors and talk to voters. Outside of my Bay Area bubble, I realize I’m assuming random people (well, white men at least) are Trump supporters until they prove otherwise. I prepare myself for a possible lecture about how we shouldn’t whine about Donald Trump’s tape since we ladies all love reading 50 Shades of Grey so much.

Read the rest here.

Weekend reading

1971 - Oakland, California, USA: Black Panther children in a classroom at the Intercommunal Youth Institute, the Black Panther school. (Stephen Shames/Polaris) The Children's House, The Intercommunal Youth Institute and the Oakland Community School. In 1970, in Oakland, David Hilliard created the idea for the first full time liberation day school. This school, and its attendant dormitories in Oakland and Berkeley, was simply called the Children’s House. This school concept, directed by Majeda Smith and a team of BPP members became the way in which sons and daughters of BPP members were educated. Staff and instructors were Black Panther Party members. In 1971 this school moved into a large building in Berkeley and then to the Fruitvale area of Oakland. The Children’s House was eventually renamed the Intercommunal Youth Institute (IYI). Under the leadership of Brenda Bay, the IYI served BPP families and a few nearby families in the Fruitvale area, maintaining a day school program and dormitory with 50 children, for two years. The Black Panther Party was one of the most influential responses to racism and inequality in American history. The Panthers advocated armed self-defense to counter police brutality, and initiated a program of patrolling the police with guns and law books. Their enduring legacy is their programs, like Free Breakfast for Children, which helped to inspire a national movement of community organizing for economic independence, education, nutrition, and health care. Seale believed that “no kid should be running around hungry in school,” a simple credo that lead FBI director J. Edgar Hoover to call the breakfast program, “the greatest threat to efforts by authorities to neutralize the BPP and destroy what it stands for.”

Two new photo books bring us unforgettable images of the Black Panthers 

Women’s healthcare clinic established at #NoDAPL camp

Why Donald Trump says “the” before “African Americans” and “Latinos”

Supporting Hillary while reckoning with Bill’s sexual past 

There is a conspiracy to rig the election, and Donald Trump is part of it

Women who hate Trump, but aren’t with her

Black doctor trying to help sick passenger told by flight attendant they were “looking for actual physicians”

Weekend reading

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Why prisoners across the country have gone on strike

Kiese Laymon on his relationship to the American flag in “What I Pledge Allegiance To”

A federal court ruled that employers can fire people just for having dreadlocks 

Massachusetts’s highest court: black people may flee from police due to fear of profiling

Aisha Harris and Jen Richards talk about problems with casting cisgender men as transgender women

Immigrants aren’t taking Americans’ jobs, new study finds

Elizabeth Warren just gave Hillary Clinton a big warning

Fighting for the soul of a political party

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The seemingly never-ending slog of choosing candidates for president has more to offer than dick measuring contests and misogynist attacks on people’s wives. It’s an opportunity to define the vision of the two major political parties and send a message to politicians about the future we want for our country.  Continue reading “Fighting for the soul of a political party”

Why are some women leaders so out of touch with young feminists?

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Despite the many challenges we still face, it’s clear to anyone who’s paying attention that there’s a vibrant, powerful feminist movement in this country, with enormous contributions from young activists. Yet some prominent women seem almost willfully ignorant of this, and keep alienating people they should be trying to ally with.  Continue reading “Why are some women leaders so out of touch with young feminists?”

Bill Clinton isn’t running, so let’s stop talking about him

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Just when you’d thought we’d heard every hacky Monica Lewinsky joke there was to be made, Bill Clinton and his indiscretions (and more serious charges of sexual assault) are in the spotlight. In three of the last four Democratic debates, the former president has been the subject of questions, from goofy questions about floral arrangements to accusatory ones about his sexual transgressions. Of course, Bill Clinton is not a candidate in this race, so it’s all about using his personal failings to cast aspersions on his wife and her candidacy.  Continue reading “Bill Clinton isn’t running, so let’s stop talking about him”