“Women work against the dehumanization of prison in many ways, sometimes subtle, sometimes overt, sometimes individual, sometimes collective. From speaking out to change punitive laws to sending letters to their children, and everything in between. We consider all these actions to be forms of feminism—because, in ways big and small, they uphold the basic human dignity and rights of women, and they are part of creating a world where women have agency, and are valued.”—Tamar Kraft-Stolar, from Salamishah Tillet’s piece on the new season of Orange is the New Black
“If Brat does go to Congress as a conservative critic of big business, and of the GOP’s alliance with corporate interests, he could open up a lot of new debates within the party, and beyond its boundaries.”—John Nichols, on the defeat of Eric Cantor by anti-corporate conservative Dave Brat.
“Every time Newark shows up on the national radar—from Cory Booker’s celebrity turn to Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million gift to Ras Baraka’s victory in the mayoral race earlier this month—its schools have been in the spotlight. In Mayor-elect Baraka, the school reform project inaugurated under Booker and Governor Chris Christie has met its most formidable opponent yet. But despite Baraka’s win, not to mention a flurry of sit-ins, walk-outs, protests and pickets, the transformation of the school system into a showcase of neoliberal ideas about education is unlikely to stop anytime soon.”—Owen Davis, The Newark School Reform Wars
Our communities—especially students from kindergarten through university—are bearing the brunt of gun violence while corporate executives reap the financial rewards. Our institutions of higher learning should not profit from the violence that is wracked upon their students, whom schools are pledged to care for.
Toward that end, the University of California should join with major pension funds, unions, religious organizations and individuals by withdrawing its investments from gun manufacturers that profit from the violence wracked on our schoolchildren. We can stop the madness. We can learn from this horror, and even as we grieve, we can move forward.
“Race matters because of the long history of racial minorities being denied access to the political process…because of persistent racial inequality in the society… Race matters to a young man’s view of society when he spends his teenage years watching other tense up as he passes… Race matters to a young woman’s sense of self when she states her hometown and then is pressed, no, where are you really from… Race matters because of the slights, the snickers, the silent judgments that reinforce the most crippling thoughts: ‘I do not belong here.’”—Sonia Sotomayor on affirmative action policies