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Author: Heather Cox Richardson

Marginalized and Silenced: Why Black Americans push for Democracy as a way to change the status quo

Justin J. Pearson, along with Representatives Justin Jones and Gloria Johnson, the Tennessee Three, joined supporters this morning at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, before a scheduled special meeting of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners to decide whether to reappoint Pearson to the Tennessee legislature after it expelled him last week. Republicans expelled Pearson and Jones from that body after they and Johnson engaged in a protest for gun safety without being recognized by the chair. The Nashville Metropolitan Council reinstated Jones on April 10. Meeting at the Lorraine Motel conjured...

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True Americanism: How pardoning traitors inspired the Jim Crow laws that corrupted a nation

On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to General Ulysses S. Grant of the United States Army at Appomattox Court House in Virginia. Lee’s surrender did not end the war, there were still two major armies in the field, but everyone knew the surrender signaled that the American Civil War was coming to a close. Soldiers and sailors of the United States had defeated the armies and the navy of the Confederate States of America across the country and the seas, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives and almost...

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Republican’s Rigged System: The Pretense of election used as a hostile take over of Wisconsin’s democracy

A key fight over democracy is currently taking place in Wisconsin. On April 4, voters in the state will choose a new judge for Wisconsin’s Supreme Court. That judge will determine the seven-person court’s majority, a majority that will either uphold or possibly strike down the state’s gerrymandered voting maps that are so heavily weighted toward Republicans as to make it virtually impossible for Democrats to win control of the legislature. Political scientists judge Wisconsin to be the most gerrymandered state in the country. The state is divided pretty evenly between Democrats and Republicans, although the Democrats have won...

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GOP lawmakers accused of unlawful political interference in criminal investigation of Trump

“It’s not easy. It’s not — this has never been easy. Democracy is hard work. The work of democracy is never finished. It’s never laid down and that’s it, all you have to do. It must be protected constantly. We have to continually renew our commitment, continually strengthen our institutions, root out corruption where we find it, seek to build consensus, and reject political violence, give hate and extremism no safe harbor … And as you can probably tell, strengthening democracy is a subject about which I am somewhat passionate. I believe this is a defining challenge of our...

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Hush money investigation: A long road to the Manhattan Grand Jury’s indictment of Trump

The New York grand jury investigating Trump’s 2016 hush-money payments to adult film actor Stormy Daniels has voted to indict the former president. While we do not know the full range of charges, Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg’s office confirmed that they were forthcoming tonight when it released a statement saying, “This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal.” This is the first time in history a former United States president has been indicted, although it is worth remembering that...

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Why accepting DeSantis’s version of history would be a perversion of our past and our principles

It is commonly understood that Republican Rutherford B. Hayes won the electoral votes from three contested southern states in 1876 and thus took the presidency by promising to remove from the South the U.S. troops that had been protecting Black Americans there. Then, the story goes, he removed the troops in 1877 and ended Reconstruction. But that is not what happened. On March 2, 1877, at 3:50 in the morning, the House of Representatives finally settled the last question of presidential electors and decided the 1876 election in favor of the Republican, Rutherford B. Hayes, just two days before...

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