1,021 posts categorized "American Society" Feed

By Daniel Laurison | A lot of people who think deeply about American democracy, its flaws and its promise both, have ignored campaigns and the people who run them. So I want to explain why what happens inside campaigns, or in the heads and hearts of campaign professionals, is relevant to understanding American politics. Many political scientists assume that everyone in politics is acting in a fairly straightforward manner to maximize some obvious interest or utility for themselves—that is, they believe in the rational choice theory of human behavior. Read more →


By David R. Dow | For the second time in a generation, the Supreme Court has intervened in a political dispute it could have avoided. For the second time in a generation, the justices resolved that political dispute by dividing along ideological lines. For the second time in a generation, the Court squandered the only thing it has as the basis of its authority: the respect of the people, and the public’s perception that it is not merely another political institution. Read more →


By Kyle T. Mays | Since the racial reckoning in the summer of 2020, reparations have become a greater part of the national consciousness and discourse. Municipalities across the US implemented some form of reparations programs; two states, including California and New York, have implemented task forces to study the possibility of it. There is no consensus on reparations and cash payments, though. The recent discussions and debates on reparations for Black Americans remain controversial across racial and party lines. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | This Sunday, it’s dad’s turn to be given his flowers—or tie or power tool or gift card. You get the idea. Our flowers come in the form of books, some of which are written by fathers. Books for the daddies and zaddies on their muscle-bound journey. For the House fathers taking the rejected queer kids under their wing. For the feminist dads who don’t want to go the way of the Kens in “Barbie.” For the fathers living from hustle to hustle to keep a roof over their loved ones’ heads. Read more →


By Jonathan Rosenblum | This spring’s university encampment protests represented a welcome step up in the Palestine solidarity movement. Now, as students leave campus for the summer, their activism is spawning a further escalation—one that holds tremendous promise for the US anti-war movement: worker strikes. Read more →


By Leigh Patel | Mainstream media’s coverage of the campus-based student protests and encampments across the globe primarily addresses the ‘need’ to use law enforcement, including university police and politicians’ calls for National Guard. Armed with riot gear which does not include mace, batons, firearms, or metal or rubber tie handcuffs, this armament has been firmly in place long before this student mobilization. Through phones and social media, the world watches as students’ encampments are forcibly assaulted and police officers, municipal and university, use blunt force to remove students and faculty from these sites of protests. Read more →


Frederick S. Lane | In my previous post, “The Napoleon of the Mailbags,” I talked about the enthusiasm of Christian nationalists for a re-invigoration of the 1873 Comstock Act. In the view of zealots like US District Court Judge Matthew Kaszmyrak (D. 19th Cent.), the law's long-dormant prohibition against the mailing of “(e)very article or thing designed, adapted, or intended for producing abortion” amounts to a national ban of mifepristone and misoprostol, the two medications most commonly used to induce abortion. Read more →


A Q&A with Jonathan Rigsby | By the time I sat down to write “Drive,” I’d had to put a lot of thought into where I wanted to focus my energy. Working, parenting, and driving were taking up the majority of my time, and I had to choose how to spend the very small amount of free time I had. I’m very fortunate to have an incredibly supportive partner. When I decided to get serious about writing a book, she was with me every step of the way. Read more →


A Q&A with Dr. OiYan Poon | I have been trying to write a book on Asian Americans and affirmative action since at least 2012. Each time I started, I couldn’t figure out who my intended audience was. As a result, my writing process kept stalling out. I was accustomed to writing for scholarly and technical audiences but had a hard time explaining things to wider audiences—people who are intelligent, curious, and civically engaged. Like many toddlers, my daughter started to ask a lot of questions when she became verbal. Read more →


By Howard Bryant | Americans have shown they can only discuss race within two frameworks: Things are better than they were or Get over it. So what exactly happened to the Heritage in the 1970s that began a nearly half-century slide into dormancy, when protest was transformed from noble to toxic? O. J. Simpson happened to it. Read more →


By Alana Lopez | One of the first ideas taught in my Literature of the Harlem Renaissance course last semester at Boston University was the concept of Harlem as a haven. In Claude McKay’s “Home to Harlem,” it was, as its name suggests, a motivating factor for its main character, like that of Ithaca for Odysseus. It was a hub of inventive and unorthodox expressions of self as shown by Louis Armstrong’s jazz or Gladys Bentley’s blues. For Rudolph Fisher, Harlem’s culture is familiar and, though often written off as a fad, rich with history and ultimately timeless in “The Caucasian Storms Harlem.” To James Baldwin, it is home and birthplace as well and, much like him, I’ve come to find that “home” and “haven” are vastly different things. Read more →


By Frederick S. Lane | The name “Anthony Comstock” has been in the news a lot over the last few weeks. That’s really something of a surprise, given that Comstock died almost 109 years ago in his Summit, NJ, home. But he left behind a legacy of legislative and cultural activism that increasingly resonates with the country’s growing Christian nationalist movement.  Read more →


By Christian Coleman | Sometimes it happens by trailblazing a path in a testosterone-choked arena. Sometimes it happens through organizing to demand the end of bias and discrimination from our lives and institutions. Sometimes it happens in the quiet of her personal life. And, of course, it happens through her writing. These are some of the ways empowered women empower women through history and today. Read more →


By Jonathan Rosenblum | Three years of rank-and-file Starbucks worker organizing has produced a historic union breakthrough: a commitment by the implacably anti-union company to bargain a national contract for 10,000 workers and negotiate a process for additional workers to organize. Remarkably, though, this victory came about in part because of a serendipitous boost from the Palestine justice movement. It’s proof of the power—and indeed, necessity—of international working-class solidarity in taking on today’s leading fights against the giants of capitalism. Read more →


By Lauren Michele Jackson | The art world, according to itself, does not have a race problem. The art world does not allow itself to have a race problem. Were any one entity within the network of museums, galleries, shows, curators, schools, artists, press, and millions upon hundreds of millions of dollars that make up capital A Art to allow for race as a topic of debate, the whole enterprise might collapse into so much dust. For the art world to admit it has a race problem, it would have to account for its centuries-long history in which peoples of color have been regularly pushed from the frame of what constitutes artistic enterprise; meanwhile, their creations have long inspired European and white American artists who deviate from the norm. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | Remember when Janelle Monáe said Black women aren’t a monolith? Same goes for the Black diaspora, and yet the Grammys love plugging their ears and going La la la la laaaaa. This year, they did Black artists dirty yet again, snubbing them in the award for Album of the Year. Jay-Z is far from the first to call out their snubbery at the ceremony. They’ve also been called out for confining Black artist nominations in the rap/hip hop and R&B categories. Read more →


By Feminista Jones | Over the years, I have been approached by several brands, retailers, and television networks and film companies to support their marketing efforts. I may be asked to curate a live-tweet chat or event to build viewership for a television show or film, or to promote a product or service of some sort. My experience is not unique, by far, but it is interesting in the sense that I did not start out as, nor did I ever aspire to be, an “influencer” in this sense. Read more →


By Jim Morris | Not long after I became a journalist in 1978—as I was working at a newspaper in Galveston, Texas—I felt the rumblings of what would become a career-long obsession: Explaining the ghastly effects of toxic chemicals on humans—in particular, blue-collar workers. These were the people, mostly men, who did the dirty, dangerous work most of us avoid, in places like Texas City, Texas, and Lake Charles, Louisiana. I detected little sympathy for them when they were burned, gassed, maimed, or soaked with chemicals in the course of their work. Read more →


By Jonathan Rosenblum | Imagine it’s the evening of April 30, 2028. The nation is roiling as millions of workers coast to coast prepare to walk off the job in an unprecedented May Day national strike. Workers in manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, grocery, high tech, hospitality, and public services have mobilized and committed to bring the economy to a halt unless their bold demands are met: Medicare for All, a $30/hour minimum wage, and a tax on billionaires to massively increase public education funding. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | Some are new, some are veteran crew. These are a handful of Beacon’s bestsellers of 2023! Let’s raise a glass of bubbly to the authors and to another year of bestsellers! Which ones were your favorites? Read more →