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Author: YES!

November is Coming: How people who choose to embrace democracy can stop Trump’s election coup

We have a president who has openly said he might not respect the outcome of our election. We have to be ready if he claims victory before votes are counted, tries to stop counting, or refuses to accept a loss. Some days I feel confident it will happen. A poll showed over 75% of Democrats think this is possible— and a shocking 30% of Republicans do too. Other days I feel confident this is tough talk from a president not good at planning ahead. Still, he is good at the kind of misdirection that can keep us complacent and...

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Sustaining the struggle for Freedom: History has proven that disruptive demonstrations work

All disruptive social movements are met with stern warnings from people who think they know better. The current movement to “Defund the Police” is no exception. Thus an editor of the Detroit Free Press professes sympathy for the protesters’ aims but says their “awful slogan” is “alienating” to the public, including to “White people who feel more reassured than threatened” by the police. Other pundits insist that “activists who are demanding radical change” are paving the way for Trump’s reelection: “Defund the Police” is “music to Trump’s ears” because it baits the Democrats into endorsing this presumably unpopular demand....

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Database of advertisements for fugitive slaves reveals the roots of Black Resistance in America

A fugitive slave ad from just over 200 years ago reads: “Run away from the subscriber in Albemarle, a Mulatto slave called Sandy. His stature is rather low, inclining to corpulence, and his complexion light; he is a shoemaker by trade, in which he uses his left hand principally, can do coarse carpenters work, and is something of a horse jockey… Whoever conveys the said slave to me, in Albemarle, shall have 40 s. Reward.” Placed by future president Thomas Jefferson, the ad in search of the runaway Sandy is one of more than 27,000 collected so far by...

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Life of a Slave Girl: The tarnished Southern pride of a history based on sexual violence

Trigger Warning: this essay contains the mention of Rape and Sexual Abuse As a Black woman born in Louisiana, I was elated by NASCAR’s and the U.S. Navy and Marine’s decision to ban the Confederate flag because those are three fewer places where a flag that represents systematic torture is flown. Supporters of the stars and bars love to argue that the flag stands for rebellion, and that flying the flag is not “about slavery,” but about the pride of being from the South. However, the flag makes me think of something else: violence—sexual violence, in particular. It reminds...

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Truth and Reparations: A cultural shift is needed to eradicate manifestations of violence against Blacks

“This is a cycle, and I feel that in some ways, the issue is that we’re addressing the wrong problem. We continue to make this about the police — the how of it. How can they police? Is it about sensitivity and de-escalation training and community policing? All that can make for a less-egregious relationship between the police and people of color. But the how isn’t as important as the why, which we never address. The police are a reflection of a society. They’re not a rogue alien organization that came down to torment the black community. They’re enforcing segregation. Segregation...

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The New Normal: Prolonged uprisings against injustice will continue

From March to May, as many of us were adjusting and settling into quarantine life, we began thinking and talking about a “new normal.” In an article by People magazine, Nick Tilsen, of NDN Collective said, “Everyone says, ‘I can’t wait until things get back to normal.’ There’s a part of me that’s like, ‘Normal never did us justice.’ The normal meant injustices for Indigenous people. The normal meant underinvestment of our people. The normal meant fossil fuel industry exploiting our lands and our communities. This is a point in time for me where (I) don’t want to go...

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