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Author: TheGuardian

Economists unsurprised that Black Americans still experience higher jobless rate despite market recovery

Even as economists celebrated a job market recovery seen from the beginning of the pandemic, when unemployment peaked at 14.8%, to November when unemployment was 4.2%, Black Americans have continued to see a much higher jobless rate. In November 2021, Black Americans had an unemployment rate of 6.7%, while the unemployment rate for white Americans was 3.5%. The gap is even more pronounced between men: Black men had an unemployment rate of 7.3% in November while white men saw an unemployment rate of 3.4%. That this disparity has continued over the course of the pandemic is unsurprising to economists...

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Political Panic: Libraries across America report surge of coordinated attempts to ban books in schools

From calls in Virginia to burn “sexually explicit” books in a school library to a wave of challenges to titles by authors ranging from Toni Morrison to Alison Bechdel, the American Library Association is charting an unprecedented rise in attempts to ban books in libraries, many of which it believes are fueled by organized conservative campaigns. “It’s a volume of challenges I’ve never seen in my time at the ALA – the last 20 years. We’ve never had a time when we’ve gotten four or five reports a day for days on end, sometimes as many as eight in...

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Insurrectionists in suits and ties: How the next coup to overthrow American Democracy has already begun

The next attempted coup will not be a mob attack, but a carefully plotted and even technically legal one. Instead of costumed rioters, the insurrectionists are men in suits and ties. American democracy suffered two brutal blows on January 6. The first has been seared into the national psyche: costumed insurrectionists ransacking the US Capitol, attacking Capitol police, and interrupting the constitutionally mandated electoral college count. They got closer than anyone could imagine to Vice-President Mike Pence and other terrified leaders, some hidden behind makeshift office-furniture barricades. Then, with the marble corridors still stained with blood, 147 elected Republicans...

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America’s most shameful day: How we failed to be good stewards of the freedoms that so many sacrificed for

There is a more accurate term than insurrectionists to describe the people who stormed the U.S. Capitol building on 6 January, forever smearing the seat of the American republic with fear and fascism. Although their activities inspired terror and were planned in part by members of white supremacist groups, they object to being labeled as “terrorists” or “white supremacists.” Calling them “rioters” does not quite capture the political motivations of the pro-authoritarian mob of MAGA fanatics. Perhaps we should view them as historical re-enactors. After all, they were only recreating the effort to undermine democracy, freedom and the U.S....

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Jail time for January 6: Capitol rioters given severe sentences for involvement in Trump’s failed coup

Judges across the United States have been handing down stiff sentences and hard words in recent weeks for extremist supporters of Donald Trump who took part in the 6 January insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Since a federal judge sentenced Jacob Chansley, the U.S. Capitol rioter nicknamed the “QAnon shaman” for his horned headdress, to 41 months in prison last month, more judges have been delivering strict sentences to defendants charged over their roles in the attacks. Since the riots, federal prosecutors have brought cases against 727 individuals over their involvement in the deadly riots. With hundreds facing criminal...

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Opportunism and Cowardice: Why Republican falsehoods were designed to destroy democracy

At hand is a plot to destroy American democracy from within. Its organizers have infiltrated the highest echelons of state and federal government, and have instigated and condoned acts of violence directed against our elected officials. This might sound far-fetched. But the threat is real and the seditious group is none other than the Republican party. Its target is the 2024 presidential election. A year ago, Donald Trump limped from the White House a badly discredited figure, roundly condemned for having instigated a shocking attack against a coordinate branch of government. The January 6th insurrection seemed like a wake-up...

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