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Politics

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If the White House wants to continue the nation’s pandemic recovery efforts, it has to fight the news channel that has prioritized profits over people’s lives

Photo: Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images

For better or worse, Twitter is a useful way to clue some of us into the mindsets of those in government and media who help shape our news coverage. For this reason, it was frustrating to see anyone — much less people who ought to know better — champion Fox News host Sean Hannity for instructing his viewers to recognize their own mortality more than a year into a plague that has already taken the lives of more than 600,000 Americans.

“Please take Covid seriously,” Fox News’s Sean Hannity said on Monday night. “I can’t say it enough. Enough people…


The vice president is not above criticism, but after just a few months on the job, media narratives feel especially spiteful

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Getty Images

Although Kamala Harris becoming America’s first female vice president is an historical feat worthy of continued celebration, that has not made the position itself any less of a pain to hold.

Former Vice President John Adams once said of the vice presidency: “My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.”

Another former vice president, John Nance Garner, was less interested in prose when conveying his resentment for the job. “The vice presidency is not worth a bucket of warm piss,” Garner once declared; he…


Forget bipartisan politics, it’s time for Biden to get real about preventing the return of Jim Crow

Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Images

When a political party has made a coup d’état its sole policy objective, the opposing party should respond in kind. This concept has seemingly been a notion difficult for Democrats, known on a national level, to retain. Thankfully, there are the braver, bolder, more creative local state officials in places like Texas providing a blueprint on how to not merely pontificate about the importance of democracy on cable television, but actually fight in support of it.

On Monday, Democratic lawmakers in the Texas legislature left the state in what is undoubtedly their final attempt to prevent Republicans from passing new…


[This Week in Racism]

It’s an embarrassment of riches in our weekly roundup of the world’s most preventable disease!

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Getty Images

Death and taxes used to be the only two certainties in life. But no matter how much progress it feels like we’re making sometimes, the sad fact is you can probably slide racism into that list. Are we in a moment of uprising that feels like it has the potential to create real, systemic change? Yes. Do people and organizations still show their ass on a daily basis? Oh, most definitely. And to keep tabs on all that ass-showing, we created a weekly racism surveillance machine.

In Sunday’s European Championship soccer final, Italy rallied to beat host country England in…


I don’t want to disrespect my elders, but ‘Do you want to die in your seat?’ is a valid question

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Earlier this month, James Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives presently serving as the majority whip, responded to a question about keeping his job the way you would expect many active 80-year-old Black men to.

“Not just yes,” he told the Post and Courier as to whether he’ll be seeking reelection. “But hell yes.”

The author of books such as Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black — also known for playing a very active role in the civil rights movement — knows how to make his position clear.

Considering Clyburn’s role in helping to salvage Joe Biden’s…


Linda Franks blows into a plastic noisemaker at the perimeter of Louisiana’s East Baton Rouge Parish Prison during a protest with other members of the reform coalition. Her son, Lamar Johnson, died while in custody at the prison in 2015. Photos: William Widmer for LEVEL

In one decade, 45 people died in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. Most were charged with nonviolent misdemeanors. Most didn’t have their day in court. Most were Black. How did the system fail them?

Lamar Johnson was driving to pick up his grandmother from dialysis in May of 2015 when a Baker, Louisiana, police officer pulled him over because his car windows were tinted. Four days later, a guard found the 27-year-old hanging in his cell at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

Years before Covid-19 ravaged correctional facilities across the United States, the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison (EBRPP) experienced its own prolonged wave of death. From 2009 to 2019, 45 prisoners died in the jail’s custody, which is nearly double the national average. …


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appears to be a GOP favorite to attempt to continue the former president’s brand of tyranny in 2024

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

We might not have to wait for a few federal indictments for the political dethronement of Donald Trump.

In a new straw poll conducted last weekend, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis bested ​former President Donald Trump as conservatives’ choice for president in 2024. The poll, conducted at the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, resulted in DeSantis pulling a 74% approval rate compared to Trump’s 71%. As for the other wannabe GOP presidential nominees, the rest of the top five included Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who came in third with 43%, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with 39%, and Sen…


Toppling White supremacy has never been more within reach, but its defenders are too sensitive and ungrateful to allow for meaningful progress

Photo by Duncan Shaffer on Unsplash

It has never been easier for White America to stop racism in its tracks, and yet here we are in the summer of 2021, debating over things like Juneteenth and Black history in classrooms and, still, the matter of Black lives. Apparently the melting pot of America is more like a tepid hot plate when it comes to fulfilling and honoring old values, never mind incorporating new ones. We refuse to acknowledge or contend with the past, opting instead to gentrify it to make way for people with no past, and thus no context for caring or empathetic citizenship.

All…


This Week in Racism

It’s an embarrassment of riches in our weekly roundup of the world’s most preventable disease!

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Getty Images

Death and taxes used to be the only two certainties in life. But no matter how much progress it feels like we’re making sometimes, the sad fact is you can probably slide racism into that list. Are we in a moment of uprising that feels like it has the potential to create real, systemic change? Yes. Do people and organizations still show their ass on a daily basis? Oh, most definitely. And to keep tabs on all that ass-showing, we created a weekly racism surveillance machine.

Located just west of Boston, the Massachusetts town of Newton has long been a…


Just Rankin’ Sh!t

No shots at the field, but let’s get some real New York legends in the mix

5. Times Square Elmo

If there’s one thing people dressed up as lovable characters and harassing tourists have in common, it’s that they know what a dollar’s worth — something that any NYC mayor needs to be in touch with. And be clear here: We’re not talking about the one that touched a kid. More like the one willing to throw hands for a bigger tip. Now that’s a work ethic!

The homebrewed fashion legend launched hip-hop style into the stratosphere with his bespoke ensembles — now he’s got brands like Gucci begging for that Uptown flavor. …

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