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Domestic violence survivors say police have allowed brutality and racism to flourish

The first time Cat Brooks sought help from the police to deal with her violent husband was also the last. She was a 19-year-old college student, married to a man 10 years her senior. One night, after beating her severely, her husband called the police to their Las Vegas home. Brooks was bruised, scratched, and bleeding, and assumed they would take her side. But her unscathed husband insisted Brooks had attacked him, a victim-blaming tactic not uncommon among domestic abusers. The officers, all White like her husband, whisked Brooks, who is Black, to jail. They released her back to...

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Victimization of the vulnerable: An American love of patriarchal violence at every level of society

Content Warning: This story includes brief descriptions of sexual abuse. On the night of November 8, 2016, I sat on my sofa, excited to watch the first woman, Hillary Clinton, be elected president of the United States. But instead, I cringed as more states turned red than blue. Donald Trump won the presidency. My nervous system slowly began to contract, its silent way of saying, “We’re not safe.” I found myself catatonic in bed for the next four days. “My father is in the White House,” my mind kept repeating, over and over again. Seven years before, I had...

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Shining a light on an unseen AAPI Heritage: How Asian Americans use civic participation to increase visibility

In elementary school, I always knew I was the next on the classroom roster when the teacher paused, chuckled, and said, “I’m not even going to try to pronounce this name.” I would raise my hand and say, “that’s me,” as if I were claiming to be the silence itself. I had a typical South Indian name—lots of letters, easy to mispronounce. But when it wasn’t pronounced at all, that’s when I was rendered invisible. So when Vice President-elect Kamala Harris spoke her South Indian immigrant mother’s name, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, in her speech as she accepted her new...

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A More Perfect Union: How “We the People” can take back our country

The 2020 election has been the most important of our lifetime, perhaps in the history of our country, and voter turnout reflected that sentiment. Despite the pandemic, hurricanes, wildfires, and voter suppression, people engaged in this sacred rite in record numbers. But beyond these forces, the biggest factor in determining the outcome of the presidential election is the Electoral College. This system has relegated recent elections into an exercise of mathematical gymnastics between two candidates to win a few battleground states. Is that what our Founding Fathers had in mind when they envisioned our democracy? Why did the delegates...

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Staying Together: The next challenge for America is to remain United

So here we are after Election Day and the presidential race again remains undecided. For the left, this feels all too familiar, the ghost pains of 2016 throbbing in the hole where our souls used to be. Outcome aside, the fact that this race is even close is a shocking wake-up call for those of us who believed that, with the scales off their eyes, Americans would choose decency over crude savagery, compassion over cruelty, professionalism over abject incompetence, honesty over absolute corruption. At least this time – and as of this writing, the odds still favor Biden. Trump...

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The gruesome truth of who we are: Half of America willingly voted to keep a monster in power

“I am just grief stricken by how many Americans are OK with racist dog whistling and white supremacy and cutesy nods to white nationalism. Even if 45 is gone, that all stays. This is who we are.” A friend, the White mother of a Black child, posted this on Facebook on election night. That last line floored me: This is who we are. I wanted to write back and disagree with her, to argue that this is not who we are, that I chose this country as my second home not just for the opportunities I saw were possible...

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