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It’s time to stop pretending that the West Virginia senator will stand up for voting rights

Photo: Getty Images

I’m not convinced that Joe Manchin is actually concerned about the fate of American democracy. But I genuinely admire the level of faith exhibited by folks like Raphael Warnock when broaching the subject.

Speaking with Politico, the Georgia senator and senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta said that after talking with Manchin on Sunday, he was “hopeful” he would eventually win him over in supporting voting rights legislation to help thwart the state-by-state assault currently being led by GOP elected officials. “We’ve got to find a way to pass voting rights,” Warnock said of the Democrat senator. “I…

Black voters took control of the state in the recent Senate elections. Now the backlash has arrived.

The Georgia State Capitol building. Photo: Megan Varner/Getty Images

A couple of months ago, I wrote an article called “Trump’s War on Black Voters Is Far From Over.” Donald Trump had just lost the presidential election largely due to Black folks organizing in Georgia, and we were weeks away from Democrats regaining Senate control, thanks again to those same Black voters organizing to get Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff elected. In that article, I said that “anytime Black people utilize their voices to make seismic electoral shifts, a backlash ensues, whether that’s through changing laws or extrajudicial violence.” …

Direct your ire at a lackluster two-party political system, not voters with poor choices

Voters wearing face masks in line at the polls.
Voters wearing face masks in line at the polls.
Voters line up to cast their ballots at a polling station in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the United States, on November 3, 2020. Photo: Joel Lerner/Xinhua/Getty Images

On Tuesday night, just like any other Election Day since the advent of the touchscreen, news outlets were inundated with interactive U.S. maps. Shades of static blues and harsh reds illuminating every state provided a stark image of a perceived two-sided ideological clash, the winner of which to determine the nation’s future. But this year, political discourse around the election is in a much more delicate state thanks in part to the coronavirus pandemic, public distrust of government, a nationwide movement against policing and systemic racism, and our data-driven anxieties.

Since Tuesday night, numbers and data visualizations representing the voting…


Is there some funny business going on?

Photo illustration; source: Noam Galai/Getty Images

7. Foxy Brown

Counting ballots is easy. All you need to do is figure 32 grams raw, chop it in half, get 16, double it times three, we got 48, which mean a whole lot of cream. Divide the profit by four, subtract it by eight, we back to 16.

6. This security guard

We could imagine at a certain point folks are just mindlessly sifting through ballots without thinking about it too much. We feel him. It’s only American democracy in the balance.

5. The sloths from ‘Zootopia’

Oh, you thought these sluggish animated characters were just figments of Disney’s imagination? Nope. …

Removing myself from the process wasn’t an act of defiance. It was just the absence of conviction.

Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP/Getty Images

The prewar buildings of Pelham Parkway in the Bronx are packed closely together, and the recesses between them are always filled with the sounds of the quotidian — pots and pans banging in a mealtime symphony, couples arguing, the drone of a too-loud TV.

But on this day 12 years ago, the noise was different. As I watched the electoral numbers updating in real time on my screen, I heard a joyous scream rise from the alley outside my apartment. The jubilant staccato celebrations ringing from my normally sleepy street confirmed it before the newscast I was watching did. Barack…

Revolution as Policy
Revolution as Policy

Abolition for the People

Voting out those who perpetuate harm is a key part of abolition

This article is part of Abolition for the People, a series brought to you by a partnership between Kaepernick Publishing and LEVEL, a Medium publication for and about the lives of Black and Brown men. The series, which comprises 30 essays and conversations over four weeks, points to the crucial conclusion that policing and prisons are not solutions for the issues and people the state deems social problems — and calls for a future that puts justice and the needs of the community first.

Imagine a society in which prisons, police, and all other institutions that inflict violence on Black…

How much longer can a person act as if being pro-life and anti-marriage equality supersedes all other Christian values?

Liberty University students at a Trump rally in 2016. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Last Tuesday, during a 50-minute interview on Fox & Friends, President Trump claimed that Joe Biden wants to take away God from Texans.

“They want to take away your guns, your oil, and your God. That’s what they want,” Trump claimed over the phone. “That’s not for Texas. Texas is not going to be losing their guns and they’re not going to be losing their oil and they’re not going to be losing their religion or their God.”

This spectacularly inane claim recalls a similarly stupid accusation made by the reality game show host and longtime scammer turned president in…

For the state to turn blue could signal a tidal change, but first, it has to stave off coordinated attack

Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

October 12 was the first day of early voting in Georgia, and it was an unmitigated disaster. In the Atlanta area alone, voters in majority-Black suburbs like South Cobb waited upward of five hours to vote, while the upper-class Buckhead district saw waits of around 15 minutes. Elsewhere in the state, voters had to wait as much as 11 hours. …

A century and a half after the 15th Amendment was ratified, voters have never had less faith that their vote would be counted

Signage for ballots with errors is seen in a warehouse at the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections headquarters on October 7, 2020 in Glen Burnie, Maryland. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Earlier this week, I was going through my normal morning routine — drinking iced coffee, looking out the window, settling my mind for the day ahead — when my phone rang with the first work call of the morning. After exchanging pleasantries, the man on the other end dropped a bomb of a question on me: “What’s your escape plan to get out of New York City on election night?”

I knew people had been mentioning this in jest, but nothing in his voice spoke to his question being anything but serious. I didn’t have an answer, but he did…

‘Get Your Booty to the Poll’ is anything but politics as usual

Photo: Get Your Booty to the Poll

Last month, the bare backside of a voluptuous Black woman popped up in my Facebook feed. Wearing a white G-string and stilettos, she sauntered up a small staircase toward a stripper pole. My eyes couldn’t turn away, as cutaway shots of other lithe women began to play in rapid succession — all of them performing exotic dance tricks, pole swinging, and booty popping. When I finally turned the volume up, I realized that this wasn’t a music video.

“Did we get your attention?” an exotic dancer asked.

Hell yeah.

Over the next minute, seven professional dancers from Atlanta explained the…


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