Laws restricting abortion rights have recently swept the country like a flood—legislatures in Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin have all launched into high-profile debates over abortion-rights rollbacks in the past month.
Barack Obama at this morning's press conference on the death of Trayvon Martin.
President Barack Obama has spoken out relatively rarely in his presidency on the big, controversial issues that dominate our headlines. In an analysis this week, the New York Times described his political strategy as a "hidden hand," saying: "While other presidents have put the bully in the bully pulpit, Mr. Obama uses his megaphone, and the power that comes with it, sparingly, speaking out when he decides his voice can shape the trajectory of an issue and staying silent when he thinks it might be counterproductive."
So it's extraordinary that Obama used his megaphone today to talk about why the Trayvon Martin case and "not guilty" verdict for George Zimmerman has led to such hurt and outrage across the country—and it's powerful the way he connected the politics of the case to his personal experiences with systemic racism.
Full text of the speech and more commentary is below.
On August 18, 1970, Angela Yvonne Davis's name was added to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List for kidnapping, murder, and interstate flight. Being hunted by J. Edgar Hoover for a crime she clearly did not commit made Davis instantly as famous or infamous, depending on your point of view, as revolutionaries such as Che and Mao.
Almost from day one, posters were the way the world connected with Angela Davis.
But some people have managed to sort out their emotions into solid analysis of the verdict and trial. What is emerging is a narrative that this verdict is a high-profile example of flaws in our justice system that perpetuate racial bias.
Orange is the New Black—the new Netflix original series premiering July 11—is a prison drama. But that's definitely not all it is. Following naïve yuppie Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) as she enters a women's prison for a 15-month stay, this rich, tactile show delves into gender and sexuality in a deeper way than first meets the eye.
In this historic week of Supreme Court decisions on marriage equality and the Voting Rights Act, we're thinking a lot about intersections. More than ever, it's clear that making America a more equal union means defending the civil rights of everyone—not benefitting one group of people over another.
This week's Popaganda focuses on those areas of overlapping identity, digging into the framing of race in media with Colorlines.com Senior Editor Jamilah King, talking with transgender ice hockey player Micah Barritt about gender dynamics in athletics, discussing the link between feminsm and biking with author Elly Blue, and exploring the political need for linking immigrant rights and LGBT rights with Basic Rights Oregon racial justice organizer John Joo.
This morning, the Supreme Court decided 5-4 that a central piece of the Voting Rights Act of 1964 (or VRA) is unconstitutional.
Pretty much anyone who cares about equality has called the decision a travesty. But the person who has written the most excoriating take-down of the Justice's faulty reasoning is their colleague and American hero, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
• Meanwhile, the Colorado state civil rights division issued an encouraging ruling against a Colorado school that banned a transgender girl from using the girls' bathroom. In the words of the decision, telling a child she "must disregard her identity while performing one of the most essential human functions constitutes severe and pervasive treatment, and creates an environment that is objectively and subjectively hostile, intimidating or offensive." [New York Times]
• The Food Network fired celebrity chef Paula Deen last week for admitting to using a racial slur in the past and for considering a plantation- themed wedding for her brother. Multiple people ask: Is she just a "product of her time"? [Colorlines, NYTimes]