When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, progressives were overcome with optimism. Finally it seemed as if America was entering a post-racial era. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of an America where people are not judged by the color of their skin felt within reach.
But progressives failed to factor in how deep and visceral the roots of racism are in America. Progressives don’t tune in to the right-wing echo chamber or attend tea party rallies. So we were naïvely unprepared for the “take back our country” rhetoric that came to dominate right-wing politics. And we were aghast at the escalating vehemence of the war against what remains of the nation’s social safety net — a war that’s supported by poor whites even though they comprise 42 percent of the people who utilize public-assistance programs.
Last Shabbat, as my husband and I were walking home from a long, lovely lunch with friends, I noticed scribbling on the sidewalk. Since the letters were written in white chalk and were upside-down from where I stood, it took a moment to decipher their meaning, and another moment to get over the shock.
This was on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the epicenter of the liberal American shtetl, a place so ubiquitously Jewish that even the smallest grocery store posts Friday night candle-lighting times each week. So to see even this mildly anti-Israel graffiti was a surprise. For the first time since we moved to the neighborhood a couple of years ago, we felt uncomfortable, targeted, as people who care about Israel and as Jews.
In late July, a coalition of farm, consumer, rural and faith-based groups wrote the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the proposed merger of Tyson Foods, Inc., and The Hillshire Brands Co., which originated in Wisconsin. The coalition wants the department to oppose the early termination of the antitrust examination and take a second review of the merger, which the groups argue creates a monopoly, threatening small farms, reducing consumer choice, allowing for higher prices and possibly degrading the food quality.
I ran across the acronyms “LGBTQIAP+” and “GLBTQIZX” recently and had to look up what the heck they mean. This crazy alphabet soup of sexual minorities is getting out of hand.
Determined to protect their fossil-fuel backers from the financial consequences of the environmental policies put forward under President Barack Obama’s green energy agenda, House Republicans on July 11 attached a bevy of amendments to the fiscal 2015 energy and water spending bill.
“Last week, this week, maybe next week, (Mo’ne Davis) owned the sports conversation. How often do you get to say this about a 13-year-old girl? It’s the easiest type of story to identify as a cover story.”