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Author: TheGuardian

New English Words Needed: We can’t fight an injustice if we can’t name it

The ground on which politics happens has changed, yet our political language has not kept up. A Russian-fed misinformation campaign across Facebook and Twitter, plus powerful data-targeting techniques pioneered by the Obama campaign, helped propel Donald Trump into the White House. Big tech’s political fortunes have dimmed accordingly. It is at risk of joining big tobacco, big pharma, and big oil as a bona fide corporate pariah. A growing number of thinktanks, regulators and journalists are grappling with the question of how to best regulate big tech. But we won’t fix it with better public policy alone. We also...

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Bishop Michael Curry: America cannot abuse children and call itself a Christian nation

The screams of children being taken from their mothers and fathers at our border, under our flag, haunts the nation. Across political and religious divides, the nation – and the world – is aghast and Americans are refusing complicity in all the ways they can. Millions of people are crying, protesting and praying in our houses of worship and in the public square. In a moment of national shame, huge swaths of people are acting in love. The families making treacherous and often dangerous journeys to seek refuge in the US are desperate. They face extreme violence, persecution and...

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Poverty in America is a moral outrage and the national soul is at stake

In March of 1968, as part of a tour of US cities to shine a light on poverty and drum up support for the recently-launched Poor People’s Campaign, the Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr. visited the northwest Mississippi town of Marks. He saw a teacher feeding schoolchildren a meager lunch of a slice of apple and crackers, and started crying. Earlier this month, officials from the United Nations embarked on a similar trip across the US, and what they observed was a crisis of systemic poverty that Dr King would have recognized 50 years ago: diseases like hookworm,...

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Why are white people expats but everyone else is an immigrant?

In the lexicon of human migration there are still hierarchical words, created with the purpose of putting white people above everyone else, and one of those remnants is the word “expat.” What is an expat? And who is an expat? According to Wikipedia, “an expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of the person’s upbringing. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (‘out of’) and patria (‘country, fatherland’).” Defined that way, you should expect that any person going to work outside of his or her country for...

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Peter Edelman: How it became a crime to be poor in Trump’s America

In the United States, a system of modern peonage – essentially, a government-run loan shark operation – has been going on for years. Beginning in the 1990s, the country adopted a set of criminal justice strategies that punish poor people for their poverty. Right now in America, 10 million people, representing two-thirds of all current and former offenders in the country, owe governments a total of $50bn in accumulated fines, fees and other impositions. The problem of “high fines and misdemeanors” exists across many parts of the country: throughout much of the south; in states ranging from Washington to...

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80% of global internet knowledge skewed by the White 20%

We recently passed a milestone in the history of human connectivity – people online now ​make up the majority​ of the world’s population. This has largely gone unnoticed, but it is an important moment and not just for statistical reasons. North American and European internet users now make up only about a quarter of the world’s users. Furthermore, while countries like the US and the UK have almost reached internet saturation, Africa, Asia and Latin America are home to billions more people who will come online in the next few years. The networking of humanity is no longer confined...

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