“Right now in order to finance United States government, we take in billions of dollars in profits off student loans, but permit billionaires to have enough loopholes that they pay at tax rates that can be lower than those of their secretaries. It’s about values. Where, as a country, do we believe we should make our investments? Follow the money on this. Invest in billionaires or invest in students. Well I want to put my money on students.”—Elizabeth Warren
The same prosecutor who failed to secure murder convictions for George Zimmerman or Michael Dunn now says she’ll seek to put Marissa Alexander in prison until she is 93 for firing a warning shot that hurt no one.
“It is stunning that an NFL, which wants to police how players talk to each other on the field and has announced plans to institute an entire new set of guidelines around “locker room conduct,” does not address this publicly. It is stunning that an NFL, which tries to cultivate and grow its female fan base by trussing players in pink for a full month out of the season to display their seriousness in the fight against breast cancer, is silent on the question of violence against women”—Dave Zirin, “The NFL Must Address its Violence Against Women Problem”
“Chokwe Lumumba’s dilemma was simple: how to be a revolutionary in a decidedly non-revolutionary Mississippi. It was a mission that seemed bound to alienate and polarize, even long before he became mayor of Jackson, home to a state capitol building flying a defiant Confederate battle flag and a city hall built by slave labor.”—Bhaskar Sunkara, “Chokwe Lumumba: A Revolutionary to the End”
“In Barboursville, West Virginia, in January, Rodney Black shot Garrick Hopkins and his brother Carl (both of whom were African-American) dead after he saw them inspecting a shed on land they’d just bought next door. Black thought they were trespassing on his property, so he shot first and then called 911. In Philadelphia a few weeks earlier, Darrin Manning, 16, had to have surgery on his testicle after being stopped and searched by police on his way to a basketball game. In Dearborn Heights, Michigan, on November 2, Renisha McBride, 19, was shot dead after knocking on a door seeking help after a car accident. Near Charlotte, North Carolina, in September, Jonathan Ferrell knocked on a stranger’s door, also seeking help following a car crash. The homeowner reported an attempted burglary to the police, who came and promptly shot Ferrell dead. The fate of the assailants in these cases currently lies with the courts—but few African-Americans have any illusion that this is where justice resides. George Zimmerman felt threatened by a boy almost half his age. When Trayvon Martin couldn’t produce papers proving that he wasn’t a “punk,” Zimmerman felt justified in killing him. The judicial system backed him up.”—Gary Younge, Freelance Stop-and-Shoot
“There’s nothing new under America’s racist sun. It’s where the fatigue comes from, knowing that Michael Griffith wasn’t the first, Jordan Davis wasn’t the last, and the system that produced their murders will outlast our anger. In response to their deaths, we survivors of racism and white supremacy produce elegant eulogies and fiery protests. We scream “Murder! Lynching!” We desperately reaffirm for ourselves and our children the value of black life in a country that declares us worthless. We cry and renew our hope. And then we move on to the next one.”—Mychal Denzel Smith, Jordan Davis and the Refrain of Black Death
“I have taken off my hoodie. I usually wear it in the stores, but I’ve taken it off. And I don’t really listen to music, as in that situation. I don’t really listen to music loud, but I look around. I watch my back while I’m walking down the streets.”—13-year-old David Daniels of Florida tells First Coast News about the impact thetrial of Michael Dunn in the killing of Jordan Davis has had on him.
“It’s not enough that Zimmerman killed Trayvon in cold blood, not enough that he walked away from it without being arrested immediately, not enough that it took thousands of people across the country marching and protesting to bring charges against him, not enough that he was acquitted and not enough that he remains free to accumulate more domestic violence charges. No, he has to also become a celebrity, built on his ‘career’ of killing black children and abusing women.”—Mychal Denzel Smith, "Fuck George Zimmerman and the Culture He Rode In On"
Yesterday on Meet the Press host David Gregory asked Rand Paul about fellow Republican Mike Huckabee’s recent comments about the “war on women.” Here’s the first part of their exchange: DAVID GREGORY: Let me ask you more about some of the debates within the Republican Party.
“What’s happening in West Virginia is the end game of capitalism. The people who benefit at these corporations don’t live in state, so they’re like carpetbaggers coming in from the outside and they’re reaping all the profits. West Virginians are the ones whose water is getting poisoned. That’s capitalism. It locks people to this system that exploits them.”—
Reproductive health and rights were once again the subject of extensive debate in state capitols in 2013. Over the course of the year, 39 states enacted 141 provisions related to reproductive health and rights. Half of these new provisions, 70 in 22 states, sought to restrict access to abortion services.
“To all those prepared to resist the agenda of big business—in Seattle and nationwide—I appeal to you: get organized. Join with us in building a mass movement for economic and social justice, for democratic socialist change, whereby the resources of society can be harnessed, not for the greed of a small minority, but for the benefit of all people. Solidarity.”—Kshama Sawant, Seattle’s new Socialist city council member
Fifty years since President Lyndon Johnson announced a “War on Poverty,” a majority of Americans believe that persistent economic hardship is the result of a broken economy, not of personal or government failures.