—Hélène Barthélemy focuses on the criminal justice system, activism and culture.
“The Pitchforks Are Coming… For Us Plutocrats,” by Nick Hanauer. Politico Magazine, July/August 2014.
This has been a highly read story by zillionaire Nick Hanauer, which is interesting in both the many preconceptions it slashes and those it embraces. As Hanauer points out, the failure of considering workers as consumers is creating a society where most cannot afford the production of industry. There is actually a profit motive to advocating the minimum wage, as better paid workers would make more avid consumers. Zillionaires should therefore jump on the 15-NOW bandwagon! How lovely. Yet, Hanauer embraces a few highly problematic myths: firstly, that of capitalism as a vehicle for progress, which promotes some form of mild, necessary inequality, which simply has to be reduced and kept in check for capitalism to better strive. You can be poor insofar as we still profit. Then, he fearmongers on how the blood-lust of the unsophisticated masses will take over if we don't do anything. Reform, zillionaires, or you shall be killed. This is an abject vision of the disenfranchised as prone to passions and violence, not simply asking for basic rights and justice. If this sparks reform, it would be for the wrong reason—yet, in an odd and cynical way, it could lead to more worker rights, which we're hardly in a position to reject, unfortunately.
—Summer Concepcion focuses on race, gender and criminal justice.
“Fifth-graders defend their South Shore neighborhood.” Chicago Tribune, July 27, 2014.
The narrative of the South Side of Chicago being a war zone, aptly nicknamed "Chiraq," is an issue even the youngest of its residents take to heart. In an op-ed for the Chicago Tribune, fifth-graders at the Bradwell School of Excellence in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood call out the media on how it fails to put a human face behind its news coverage in the area. Even in elementary school, these fifth-graders know that they and their neighbors are more than just "another statistic."