Stacey Abrams made history this week when she won the Democratic primary for governor of Georgia. She now has the chance to become the first Black woman governor in America. Abrams secured the nomination decisively, defeating her primary opponent — “the other Stacey” — by a 3-to-1 margin and racking up more than 400,000 votes. Meanwhile, it is still unclear preciesly whom Abrams will face in the general election. The Republican candidates, Casey Cagle and Brian Kemp, are now in a runoff after a crowded primary race. But Abrams, it’s important to note, got more votes than both Cagle and Kemp combined. This was not a small win — it was huge. Cont…
The Women’s Wave is coming. On Saturday, January 19, the Women’s March will convene its main event in Washington, DC while sister marches are once again held across the country. The inaugural Women’s March, which followed President Trump’s inauguration in 2017, is widely reported as the largest single day demonstration in American history. In 2018, the second Women’s March initiated Power to the Polls—an aggressive effort to transform the newly activated resistance into meaningful electoral victories for progressive candidates. With a record number of women sworn into Congress earlier this month, the third Women’s March is now turning to an ambitious policy agenda aimed at both the state and federal level. This Women’s Wave retains a commitment to training, organizing and executing acts of civil disobedience, as well as recruiting and supporting progressive candidates. This year it adds efforts to partner with local organizers to ensure progressive policy agendas are clearly articulated and elected leaders are held clearly accountable.
The Trump-created government shutdown has now lasted 24 days, making it the longest in American history. Invoking doomsday scenarios of a border overrun by criminals, President Trump argues he must hold hostage the pay of nearly a million federal workers in order to ensure national security.
None should scoff at the issue of national security. Presidents and their advisors have access to information about threats to the country frequently unavailable to ordinary citizens.
It has been a week since voters cast ballots and made history across the country, and we still do not know the outcome of several key races. The messiness and madness of the Florida recount recalls Gore v. Bush. Georgia is Exhibit A for the politically obvious point that a gubernatorial candidate should not also hold the secretary of state position, which puts him in charge of his own election outcomes. And the Senate runoff in Mississippi became much more controversial and contested when Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith offered ill-advised enthusiasm about attending a theoretical lynching as the guest of her black opponent, Democrat Mike Espy. All this in a week punctuated with the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the hospitalization of Justice Ginsburg, a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, and fatal wildfires ravaging California.
By Melissa Harris-Perry
One of the most enduring images of the Civil Rights Movement is of Elizabeth Eckford. She is being harassed and taunted by a group of white students, parents, and police on her way to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. On that morning Eckford missed connecting with the eight other African American students of the Little Rock Nine and their NAACP leader, Daisy Bates. Eckford was alone when the angry crowd surrounded and confronted her.
The photo is now iconic. Eckford’s dignity, strength, and self-possession are stunning counterpoint to the contorted, hate-filled faces of those following her.Read More
It was an extraordinary opportunity to interview Professor Anita Hill. I asked her what she thought about Kerry Washington’s portrayal of her. And she said that she thought that Miss Washington was actually more dignified in her portrayal than she actually felt herself during the senate confirmation hearings. Now, I remember those hearings, and I remember thinking that Professor Hill, at just 35, talking there to the senate judiciary committee was the actual paragon of dignity. Exactly what we would think of as Self contained and composed, but she remembers being quite nervous. And so in watching Miss Washington playing that role, she actually sees even more dignity and composure in the character, and that was quite something for me to learn. I also learned from Professor Helb. She said, my mother did not raise her children for the time we were living in. She raised us for the time that was coming. She raised us for a world that had not yet even come to pass…Watch Video
Since film magnate Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment and assault in October, scores of women have come forward as part of the #MeToo movement to say that they, too, have been victims of sexual misconduct. As more and more people come forward with allegations against powerful people and some of those powerful people lose their jobs, some have called the moment in history a tipping point; others have called it a reckoning. And while many are being taken to task for their alleged misconduct and there is potential for a cultural shift in the way we view sexual harassment and assault, this isn’t the first time women have publicly spoken out against alleged harassers. In 1991, law professor Anita Hill sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Senator Joe Biden, and detailed the alleged harassment she experienced from her boss, Clarence Thomas, who was just about to be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. Throughout Hill’s testimony, she weathered attacks on her character and her trustworthiness from those on the Senate panel, and many have blamed Biden for allowing those attacks and failing to do more. Nearly three decades after her testimony, and after Thomas was seated on the court, Biden wants Anita Hill to know that he’s sorry.Read more
By Dorian Warren
American progressives are passionate people. We dream big, we protest powerfully, and we take our victories and defeats personally. We also believe that the progressive vision for America is obviously superior and therefore, inevitable.
But the pain and ugliness of our present politics serves as a stark reminder that America is a journey with many possible destinations. A progressive outcome is not a given. We may have come to that realization slowly, but it has sunk in deeply. To succeed, we are expanding our movement to also become a savvy electoral force whose strategies will reshape American politics.
On the left, we’ve always shown America how to dream. Now, we’re going to show her how to do.Read more
By Kimberlé Crenshaw
Ms. Crenshaw is an expert on civil rights and black feminist legal theory. She assisted Anita Hill’s legal team.
Twenty-seven years after Anita Hill testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee that Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her, and as Christine Blasey Ford prepares to testify that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers, we still have not learned our mistakes from that mess in 1991.
Most people recognized that it looked bad, a black woman fending for herself in front of a group of white men. Yet we can’t acknowledge the central tragedy of 1991 — the false tension between feminist and antiracist movements.
We are still ignoring the unique vulnerability of black women.
I watched Anita Hill testify as a member of her support team. I worried that she would be trapped between an antiracist movement that foregrounded black men, and a feminism that could not fully address how race shaped society’s perception of black victims….
By Melissa Harris-Perry
In the final scene of HBO’s Confirmation, Professor Anita Hill returns from Washington, D.C. to her University of Oklahoma law school office. Despite having testified about years of unwanted sexual harassment from Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, Judge Thomas has successfully ascended to the Court. The hearings where Hill testified were not a trial, but somehow, she has lost. Or so it seems until she opens her office door to discover boxes upon boxes of letters sent by women moved by her testimony.
It is the only scene in the film, which aired this past weekend, that made me cry. One of those letters was from me. I was a college student just finding my feminist identity when Hill testified and was vilified. Her testimony helped me contextualize my own sexual assault and helped ignite my political engagement. The letter said little more than I believe you; thank you. Twenty-five years ago, Anita Hill touched me. I wrote to her. I had forgotten. Confirmation reminded me.Read more
Tuesday’s hearings for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh began with the kind of dysfunctional theatrics and grand standing that we have come to expect from this Congress.
I still have not figured out how Republicans manage to give such long speeches about the Constitutional rights of a Presidential nominee for the Court to have a hearing while only using one side of their mouths! None can use the alternate side, which is still sealed shut with glue of hypocrisy after the refusal to grant Garland Merrick the dignity of even recording his name in the Congressional Register back in 2016.
Water under bridges. Who remembers old stuff? NEXT OUTRAGE PLEASE!…. Read more here.