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Member since: Thu Feb 9, 2017, 12:31 PM
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Bell Hooks

( Peace out to all. )

A Key Founder of Critical Race Theory Discusses the Right-Wing Panic Over It

Proponents and opponents of critical race theory demonstrate as the Placentia Yorba Linda School Board in Yorba Linda, California, discusses a proposed resolution to ban it from being taught in schools, on November 16, 2021.

C.J. Polychroniou,

December 11, 2021

Critical race theory (CRT) has become a new bogeyman in conservative circles in the United States. Right-wing groups are applying the term indiscriminately, using it inaccurately as a catch-all buzzword to stand in for everything they oppose, including any discussion of systemic racism in the classroom.

For a better understanding of what CRT is and what it is not, Truthout reached out to one of the key founders of CRT, Richard Delgado, the John J. Sparkman Chair of Law at the University of Alabama. Professor Delgado — the author of 30 books and one of the most-cited legal scholars on race and the law in the country — has become a target of numerous threats by racist and neo-fascist elements since the recent right-wing campaign against CRT began.

C.J. Polychroniou: Professor Delgado, I would like to ask you to describe to us where CRT comes from, and then to discuss in some detail what CRT is and what it is not.


Barbara Arnwine, Esq.: ⁩ are at US Capitol w ⁦@UniteThePoor ⁩demanding US Senate #ProtectOurVote


Trump's Next Coup Has Already Begun

January 6 was practice. Donald Trump’s GOP is much better positioned to subvert the next election.

By Barton Gellman

Excerpt: “The democratic emergency is already here,” Richard L. Hasen, a professor of law and political science at UC Irvine, told me in late October. Hasen prides himself on a judicious temperament. Only a year ago he was cautioning me against hyperbole. Now he speaks matter-of-factly about the death of our body politic. “We face a serious risk that American democracy as we know it will come to an end in 2024,” he said, “but urgent action is not happening.”

For more than a year now, with tacit and explicit support from their party’s national leaders, state Republican operatives have been building an apparatus of election theft. Elected officials in Arizona, Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and other states have studied Donald Trump’s crusade to overturn the 2020 election. They have noted the points of failure and have taken concrete steps to avoid failure next time. Some of them have rewritten statutes to seize partisan control of decisions about which ballots to count and which to discard, which results to certify and which to reject. They are driving out or stripping power from election officials who refused to go along with the plot last November, aiming to replace them with exponents of the Big Lie. They are fine-tuning a legal argument that purports to allow state legislators to override the choice of the voters.

Excerpt: Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, excommunicated and primaried at Trump’s behest for certifying Biden’s victory, nonetheless signed a new law in March that undercuts the power of the county authorities who normally manage elections. Now a GOP-dominated state board, beholden to the legislature, may overrule and take control of voting tallies in any jurisdiction—for example, a heavily Black and Democratic one like Fulton County. The State Election Board can suspend a county board if it deems the board to be “underperforming” and replace it with a handpicked administrator. The administrator, in turn, will have final say on disqualifying voters and declaring ballots null and void. Instead of complaining about balls and strikes, Team Trump will now own the referee.

“The best-case scenario is [that in] the next session this law is overturned,” Nuriddin said. “The worst case is they start just pulling election directors across the state.”

( Excellent journalism, long, detailed and comes with a critical warning. )

This Violent Piece of Insurrection Was Planned Openly on Unencrypted Channels'

CounterSpin interview with Dorothee Benz on January 6 insurrection
Janine Jackson

Excerpt: Joining us now is political scientist Dorothee Benz. A writer, organizer and strategist, she has many years of work in frontline struggles here in the US. She joins us by phone from Brooklyn. Welcome back to CounterSpin, Dorothee Benz.

Dorothee Benz: It’s great to be here.

JJ: My brain at first went to language, you know: Is “protester” the best label when the target is the democratic process? Is “chaos” the most evocative description for a planned and predicted action with some measure of evident official sanction? Now I’m reading “unprepared”; everyone was “unprepared.”

But there are deeper questions about corporate media’s role here. Just to throw a dart: While they’ve recently begun to qualify it, elite media spent years referring matter of factly to “voter fraud,” despite its virtual nonexistence, because they simply had to suggest a Democratic equivalent to evidence of Republican voter suppression, lest they be accused of bias. So the idea that you can just declare fraud without evidence has been well-established by the press itself.


( Excellent analysis )

Opinion: The Supreme Court isn't well. The only hope for a cure is more justices.

The Supreme Court building in Washington. (Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg)

By Nancy Gertner
Laurence H. Tribe

Today at 5:01 p.m. EST

Nancy Gertner is a retired U.S. District Court judge. Laurence H. Tribe is Carl M. Loeb University Professor emeritus and professor of constitutional law emeritus at Harvard Law School. Both served on the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court.

We now believe that Congress must expand the size of the Supreme Court and do so as soon as possible. We did not come to this conclusion lightly.

One of us is a constitutional law scholar and frequent advocate before the Supreme Court, the other a federal judge for 17 years. After serving on the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court over eight months, hearing multiple witnesses, reading draft upon draft of the final report issued this week, our views have evolved. We started out leaning toward term limits for Supreme Court justices but against court expansion and ended up doubtful about term limits but in favor of expanding the size of the court.


( It's time. )

Union calls Kellogg's latest offer 'a trojan horse.' The cereal company will replace strikers.

Updated: Dec. 08, 2021, 11:57 a.m. | Published: Dec. 08, 2021, 11:57 a.m.

Kellogg announced it plans to hire permanent replacements after union members voted against the cereal company’s latest offer this week.

For the past nine weeks, 1,400 Kellogg workers have been on the picket line in Michigan, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Nebraska. In Battle Creek, where the company is headquartered, 325 hourly workers are standing with the union’s decision to not return until their demands are met.

Excerpt: “It’s kind of like a Trojan horse,” he said. “The long term effects of this would actually be negative upon where we’re sitting right now.”

The two-tier system remains the tension point as the company will not agree to a definitive cap on how many years before will move transitional workers into “legacy” status. Without a defined cap the union fears transitional workers will outnumber the legacy thus undermining future negotiations. Bidelman estimates 700 of the 1,400 workers are on track to retire within the next ten years.

( The fight for equity continues. )

White Americans Fail to Address Their Family Histories

There is a conversation about race that white families are just not having. This is mine.

I am a historian of race and labor in the American South. I study slavery and its aftermaths for working people—particularly African Americans—and the ways in which those in power—usually wealthy whites—exploited and abused them.

As part of a personal project, I recently began going through my family’s historical papers. I had initially asked for the papers when, at a recent holiday party, one of my friends told me that his great-great-grandfather had been on Sherman’s march. Mine, I replied, had died in 1865 fighting Sherman. In the awkward silence that followed, I conceded, “they had it coming.” I meant it. You cannot exploit and abuse millions of people for profit without consequences.

That conversation reminded me of the ominous-looking box that held miscellaneous documents from my family’s past. Having advised other families to donate their historical collections to archives, it seemed only right that I should find an appropriate home for my own. With permission from my father, I started cataloging our papers with the goal of eventually donating it to an archive in Georgia.


( Democrats should run away from CRT? Why? Who would benefit? )

A Lesson on Critical Race Theory
by Janel George

In September 2020, President Trump issued an executive order excluding from federal contracts any diversity and inclusion training interpreted as containing “Divisive Concepts,” “Race or Sex Stereotyping,” and “Race or Sex Scapegoating.” Among the content considered “divisive” is Critical Race Theory (CRT). In response, the African American Policy Forum, led by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, launched the #TruthBeTold campaign to expose the harm that the order poses. Reports indicate that over 300 diversity and inclusion trainings have been canceled as a result of the order. And over 120 civil rights organizations and allies signed a letter condemning the executive order. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), the National Urban League (NUL), and the National Fair Housing Alliance filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the executive order violates the guarantees of free speech, equal protection, and due process. So, exactly what is CRT, why is it under attack, and what does it mean for the civil rights lawyer?

CRT is not a diversity and inclusion “training” but a practice of interrogating the role of race and racism in society that emerged in the legal academy and spread to other fields of scholarship. Crenshaw—who coined the term “CRT”—notes that CRT is not a noun, but a verb. It cannot be confined to a static and narrow definition but is considered to be an evolving and malleable practice. It critiques how the social construction of race and institutionalized racism perpetuate a racial caste system that relegates people of color to the bottom tiers. CRT also recognizes that race intersects with other identities, including sexuality, gender identity, and others. CRT recognizes that racism is not a bygone relic of the past. Instead, it acknowledges that the legacy of slavery, segregation, and the imposition of second-class citizenship on Black Americans and other people of color continue to permeate the social fabric of this nation.

PR Industry Has Been a 'Major' But 'Overlooked' Influence in Climate Politics for Decades,Says Study

By Nick Cunningham
Nov 30, 2021 @ 03:00 PST

America’s Power – Formerly American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) - spread misinformation about "clean coal" with its "mobile classrooms." Credit: America's Power (CC BY 2.0)

From coining “clean coal” to “carbon footprint,” public relations firms have been instrumental in shaping the public discourse around climate and energy policy, and as a new study underlines, their powerful efforts have flown under the radar for too long.

PR firms have played a key role in obstructing action on climate change over the past 30 years, engaging in PR campaigns on behalf of the fossil fuel industry to not only downplay the seriousness of climate change, but also to position industry-favored solutions as the preferred course of action.

A new peer-reviewed study, published in Climatic Change on November 30 by Robert J. Brulle and Carter Werthman of Brown University, analyzes the role that PR firms have played in the climate misinformation ecosystem between 1988 and 2020. The study looked at 214 organizations across five major sectors — coal/steel/rail, oil & gas, utilities, renewable energy, and the environmental movement — and found that electric utilities hired and used PR firms the most out of any other sector analyzed, followed by oil and gas.

Does Brazil Proposal Hold Key to Ending Big Pharma's Stranglehold on Covid-19 Vaccines? ( Stiglitz,)

A proposal for the World Trade Organization to waive intellectual-property rights on pandemic-related pharmaceuticals is still languishing, owing to opposition from rich countries whose companies are reaping monopoly profits. Fortunately, a public-health bill in Brazil points the way to a promising bottom-up solution.

Joseph Stiglitz, Achal Prabhala, Felipe Carvalho
December 3, 2021 by Project Syndicate

The World Trade Organization was supposed to meet this week to consider a proposal that has been languishing for the past year: a temporary waiver of pharmaceutical intellectual property during the pandemic to allow poor countries to make many of the same tests, treatments, and vaccines that rich countries have had throughout the pandemic. Yet, in a cruel reminder of the urgency of the problem, the WTO meeting was postponed, owing to the emergence of the Omicron variant, detected by scientists in South Africa (though precisely where it originated remains unclear ).

There is near-unanimous agreement that vaccinating the entire world is the only way to end the pandemic. The higher the vaccination rate, the fewer chances the virus will have to acquire dangerous mutations. Before quickly becoming the leading global variant, Delta was first detected in India, where under 3% of the population had been vaccinated. Today, Africa has the world's lowest vaccination rates, with only 7% of Africans having been fully vaccinated.


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