Queen Arsem-O’Malley focuses on grassroots labor organizing, youth-led social movements, anti-carceral feminism, and critiques of mainstream media.
“I’m tired of suppressing myself to get along with white people,” by Priscilla Ward. Salon, January 19, 2015.
In Priscilla Ward’s deeply personal essay for Salon, she delves into her anger sparked by keeping aspects of herself suppressed in order to have comfortable personal relationships with non-black peers—“I don’t talk about what happens every 28 hours—a black person is killed. My white male roommate and I, we just don’t go there. It makes things easier”—and her renewed commitment to stop tiptoeing around race.
Avi Asher-Schapiro focuses on US foreign policy, politics in the Middle East and South America, and technology issues.
“Shas’ Stunning Election Ad is a Challenge to Both Left and Right,” by Dimi Reider. +972 Magazine, January 18, 2015.
In Israel, as in the United States, politicians tend to court the middle class and ignore the poor during election season. But poverty is spiking in Israel with one-third of Israeli children now living below the poverty line. This piece by the Israeli journalist Dimi Reider explains how the conservative ultra-Orthodox Shas Party—which draws support from the Sephardic and Mizrahi communities—is working to make class and poverty major issues in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Cole Delbyck focuses on LGBT politics, East Asia, and representational issues in film and television.
We have all met this guy. Keating’s piece deftly excoriates that self-satisfied brogressive who wanders out of his depth while trying to prove how “cool” he is with all things LGBT. Instead of blindly celebrating allyship, she raises important questions about what it means to be a good ally and examines how quickly this supposed solidarity can be washed away by a couple of stiff drinks and an unapologetic lesbian.
Khadija Elgarguri focuses on MENA issues including women’s rights, the relationship between foreign policy and cultural change, and women’s roles in protest movements in the region.
“The effects of Israel’s occupation on Palestinian women,” translated from Arabs48. Middle East Monitor, January 21, 2015.
In this article summarizing the findings of a three-year study titled the “Protection of women in armed conflicts in the Arab region,” the correlation between conflict zones and women’s access to education jumped out at me. The report found that “Many young women are forced to leave school at 16 because of the daily harassment to which they are subjected at Israeli checkpoints,” a crucial reminder of the complexity of factors that slow the progress of an entire generation of young women in the region.
Nadia Kanji focuses on foreign policy, political art & alternative economic structures.
“On Satire—a response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks,” by Joe Sacco. The Guardian, January 9, 2015.
In this controversial graphic art piece, Sacco attempts to reframe the dominant discourse on the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris by contextualizing the plight of marginalized communities. He draws on history to try to understand how words and images can “otherize” and further divide people. These images challenge the “us versus them” duality, and are a call to understand, rather than denigrate, the stories of the oppressed.
James F. Kelly focuses on labor, economic inequality, world politics and intellectual history.
“The Supreme Court’s Billion-Dollar Mistake,” by David Cole. The New York Review of Books, January 19, 2015.
This article navigates through some new reports issued by eight public policy organizations to correspond with the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s watershed decision Citizens United vs. FEC. Grounded in a radical interpretation of the First Amendment, the controversial decision allows unlimited corporate spending on political campaigns, further consolidating the mechanisms of power in society into the hands of the wealthy elite. Cole argues that “if we are to preserve more than a semblance of democracy,” a movement must emerge to educate the public and develop the political capital required to provoke significant reform.
Ava Kofman focuses on technology, popular science and media culture.
“We Know How You Feel,” by Raffi Khatchadourian. The New Yorker, January 19, 2015.
Khatchadourian’s story opens with the classic robot of our pop culture imaginary: a blithering, stuttering, hopelessly unintuitive muppet, whose mathematical prowess bears an inverse relation to its emotional intelligence. But all that, according to Rana el Kaliouby, an Egyptian computer scientist, is soon going to change. Her pioneering work in “affective computing” has proved computers to be better, stronger and faster at sensing emotions than their human counterparts.
Abigail Savitch-Lew focuses on urban policy, labor, and race.
“Right To the City,” by David Harvey. New Left Review, October 2008.
I’m grateful to now have a Marxist explanation for the rapid gentrification of my native Brooklyn. According to Harvey, one way capitalism survives is through repeated cycles of investing—and then divesting—in spatial environments, what he calls “accumulation by dispossession.” Today’s urbanization, driven by the profit imperative, is causing displacement, inequality and the development of a consumeristic individualism—and can only be countered with a people’s movement of global size for the “right to the city.”
Hilary Weaver focuses on reproductive rights, feminism and related political, health and education issues.
“What the President Should Say at the State of the Union—But Probably Won’t,” by Elizabeth Plank. Mic, January 20, 2015.
Before the State of the Union addresss on Tuesday, Plank, senior editor at Mic, pointed to some common trends in past addresses, such as politicians’ referring to women in the context of being “wives, mothers and daughters.” This article helped me put important national women’s issues in perspective as I watched the speech.