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Author: Heather Cox Richardson

Republicans blast the same “Woke Corporate America” that has provided them financing to stay in office

On April 19, Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), who is the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, in charge of fundraising to elect Republicans to the Senate, wrote an astonishing op-ed for Fox Business. It lashed out at “Woke Corporate America,” the corporations Scott blames for shunning states that are undermining voting rights in order to try to keep Republicans in power, particularly Major League Baseball. Using language that echoes that of former president Donald Trump, the scathing op-ed accuses business leaders of catering to “the rabble leftist mob” because they are “hoping to buy time to rake in...

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Our acceptance of gun violence: Americans used to own firearm without engaging in daily massacres

America today is caught in a plague of gun violence. It wasn’t always this way. Americans used to own guns without engaging in daily massacres. Indeed, it always jumps out at me that the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929, when members of one Chicago gang set up and killed seven members of a rival gang, was so shocking it led to legislation that prohibits automatic weapons in the U.S. Eighty-nine years later, though, in 2018, another Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killed 17 children and wounded 17 others. In response,...

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A small measure of Justice: The Derek Chauvin verdict brings a moment of relief to people of color

A jury in Minneapolis, Minnesota, convicted former police officer Derek Chauvin on April 20 of all criminal counts in the death of George Floyd. On May 25, 2020, Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds after arresting him for allegedly trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. The jury found Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. He faces up to 75 years in prison, and will be sentenced in two months. As we heard this verdict today, it was striking how many Americans breathed a sigh of relief. It stands out...

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Elite Rule: The idea of allowing only “better” people to vote was first proposed by wealthy slaveholders

Commentator Kevin Williamson published a piece in National Review on April 7 justifying voter suppression by suggesting that “the republic would be better served by having fewer, but better, voters.” Representatives, he says, “are people who act in other people’s interests,” which is different from doing what voters want. This is the same argument elite slaveholder James Henry Hammond made before the Senate in 1858, when he defended the idea that Congress should recognize the spread of human enslavement into Kansas despite the fact that the people living in that territory wanted to abolish slavery. Our Constitution, Hammond said,...

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A “White America” First Caucus: When the party of Abraham Lincoln becomes the party of Jefferson Davis

News broke on April 16 that a number of pro-Trump House Republicans, including Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and Paul Gosar (R-AZ), are organizing the “America First Caucus,” which calls for “a degree of ideological flexibility, a certain intellectual boldness… to follow in President Trump’s footsteps, and potentially step on some toes and sacrifice sacred cows for the good of the American nation.” The seven-page document outlining their ideas, obtained by Punchbowl News, is a list of the grievances popular in right-wing media. It calls for regulation of “Big Tech,” which right-wing commentators claim is biased...

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Seeking racial justice in court: On trial is also our fundamental principle of equality before the law

At about 2:00 in the afternoon on April 11, a white police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright, a Black man, after what seems to have been a routine traffic stop turned up an arrest warrant. The following day, on April 12, the Brooklyn Center police chief told reporters that the arresting officer intended to fire her Taser at Wright, but instead fired her gun. Wright’s death took place about ten miles from where Derek Chauvin is on trial for killing George Floyd in Minneapolis last May. Then a police officer, Chauvin knelt on...

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