Despite a surge in support that culminated in a New Hampshire poll lead over Hillary Clinton—his first lead in any state poll—and a well-received and thorough racial justice platform, Bernie Sanders is faced with a malignance eating away at the core of his support base. No, it isn’t Black Lives Matter protesters, who jostled him off two podiums in past weeks. Rather, it’s the mostly white liberal voters who make up his dedicated base. Their replies—a mix of disgust and shock—to the actions of black protesters have exposed an old hole in the heart of Progressive politics.
Without dwelling on the progressive policies of decades past, and how they sometimes failed the communities they were designed to safeguard, I’d like to discuss an editorial written by my colleague, Hamilton Nolan (“Don’t Piss on Your Best Friend”), which argues against the recent protest of Bernie Sanders by individuals associated with the Black Lives Matter movement and suggests black protestors don’t know what’s really in their best interest.
When a friend introduced me to the work of a theoretical physicist named Dr. Chanda Hsu Prescod-Weinstein, I had no idea what a "theoretical physicist" was. Whatever the work of theoretical physicists, I didn't imagine that there was one in our country who would say to a group of grad students at MIT, "Do not be afraid to be black, whatever that means to you. Do not be afraid to be black scientists. Do not be afraid to be black and simultaneously successful, whatever field you choose. For each individual, that may require creating something new and spectacular. Do not capitulate to the fear that you are not up to this glorious task."
How do you properly measure the substance of a year? Time spent with family? The amount of retweets you've garnered on Twitter? Or perhaps the hours you've wasted watching trash TV? Comebacks, for me, are the true measure of a year—stories about resilience and drive and hard work. Here, before we say goodbye to 2014, the year's best comebacks.
There isn't enough ink to express our pain. Day after day, month after month, year after year, the pain of being black in America, and across the globe, is apparent. Yesterday I read the headlines and tweets that told me NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the cop that killed Eric Garner, would not be indicted. Daniel Pantaleo—say his name until it cannot be forgotten, until he's held responsible. A week and three days before that I heard news out of Ferguson, Missouri that Darren Wilson would not be indicted. That same day, hours before, I watched my beautiful daughter be born into this world. Being black is like that: valley, peak, valley.
While Pete Seeger may not have made it to the Top 40 in recent years, the legendary folk singer-songwriter continued to be influential until he died on Tuesday at 94. An influence on everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Bob Dylan, he helped bring political folk music to the mainstream and was an activist for more causes than we can count.
When former mayor Ed Koch died early yesterday morning, the accolades were quick to descend: he was a "a great man," who "did good," ebulliently pulling his city out of the worst financial disaster it had ever faced. Still, his incredibly long tenure also coincided with both the crack and AIDS epidemic, the latter of which, activist and documentarian David France writes in a piece for New York, he turned a blind eye to:
Today, a Moscow appeals court released Yekaterina "Katya" Samutsevich, the eldest of the three imprisoned collaborators from the Russian feminist art-punk collective Pussy Riot, while upholding the two-year prison-colony sentence for her counterparts, Maria "Masha" Alyokhina and Nadezhda "Nadya" Tolokonnikova.
Now that Joseph Kony is in jail thanks to everyone tweeting that Kony 2012 video (he is, right?) all future activism will consist of slick viral videos which online mobs will tweet incessantly at everyone in the hopes of annoying them into action. But this sort of online mobtivism can easily backfire, as the case of Sharecraft shows.