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Author: YES!

A “Black” New Deal: Racial equality is the great unfinished task of America

It’s been two weeks since George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes until he died. It’s been almost as long since protests erupted in all 50 states and numerous countries across the continents of Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America – amid a global pandemic – calling for an end to police violence against Black people in the United States. But surrounding the central demands of the moment — of stopping police killings, and holding officers accountable when they do kill — there are systemic issues...

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The Other Independence Day: Why Juneteenth should finally be celebrated as a National Holiday

The 155-year-old tradition launched by formerly enslaved people has emerged as a celebration of freedom. On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with a Union regiment. It was over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, and the enslaved people there and in other areas throughout Texas had not been officially informed that President Abraham Lincoln had decreed they were no longer someone’s property. Granger and his soldiers publicly issued General Order Number 3, telling the people of Texas that “all slaves are free.” The newly freed people of Texas chose that date to commemorate their...

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Entering a new Era: How the social impact from COVID-19 will shape the next generation

As the United States loosens coronavirus-related restrictions, some of us are beginning to look up from where we are, to look ahead. We have undoubtedly entered a new era of looming unknowns and new normals, from record unemployment to face masks—an era to be further shaped by our youngest generation. As such, we’d be wise to consider what today’s children can tell us about the future. I’m a Gen Xer with a 7-year-old. Since March, I’ve been a stay-at-home-working-mum-home-schooler and have spent unprecedented time with my (occasional) bundle of joy. Accordingly, I’ve learned that I’m a terrible math teacher,...

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A Class War: Why federal bailouts for fossil fuel industry is a priority over assisting regular people

Global oil markets are in turmoil, with crude prices at their lowest level in years, even going negative at one point in April. When the U.S. economy is in trouble, the default option for political leadership is to rescue big business. The current coronavirus-induced crisis is no exception. Even as health care workers and other front-line workers get sick and die amid a shortage of basic protective equipment, and the unemployment rate rises above 12%, the government appears to be more keen to bail out the oil and gas industry than to assist regular people. People’s movements are not...

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An Incentive for Fear: The truth is losing out as lies proliferate under corporate media system

The World Health Organization recently declared that the world isn’t just fighting a pandemic, but also an “infodemic” as people search for trustworthy information to help protect themselves and their loved ones against the coronavirus. But the truth is losing out, as lies proliferate about alleged cures and preventive measures. Much of the U.S. media system thrives on divisiveness, with TV and radio stations exploiting controversies for profit and failing to perform the essential media function of holding the powerful accountable. Not least among this dereliction of duty is the uncritical broadcast of President Trump’s racist rhetoric and false...

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A wake-up call for humanity: The coronavirus pandemic exposes long ignored failures of our society

The rapid spread of novel coronavirus has prompted government, business, and civil society to take dramatic action-canceling events large and small, restricting travel, and shutting down major segments of the economy on which nearly all of us depend. It is a demonstration of our ability, when the imperative is clear, for deep and rapid global cooperation and change at a previously unimaginable speed and scale. There is an obvious desire to protect ourselves and our loved ones. But we are also seeing something more as communities mobilize to address the crisis—a sense of mutual responsibility, born of a recognition...

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