The Wide, Wide World Category

Perspectives on the political scene, public discourse, and matters of policy that are making the world around us.

thomas
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Of Hashtags and Home

The Department of Justice released its “Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department” this week. Its findings, once again, raise the call of #blacklivesmatter, Twitter’s form of public protest against public violations—in particular, racist laws and law enforcement.[1] Yet at the heart of #blacklivesmatter is something a bit less public and more private; #blacklivesmatter calls us…

julia
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Destiny’s Julia Child

Editor’s Note: this essay was scheduled prior to the announcement of the Ferguson Grand Jury’s decision. We have decided to publish it as scheduled, following the belief, expressed here, that love and pleasure are not the opposite of politics, rage, or grief, but rather are politically essential expressions of our humanness.   This is a difficult…

whiteness-project-2-e1413257238773
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Making Sense of the Whiteness Project

The most noticeable thing about the recently launched Whiteness Project is that public responses to it have been so varied. The website gives an initial description of “a multiplatform investigation into how Americans who identify as “white” experience their ethnicity.” The project’s director and producer, Whitney Dow, orients the project around ideas that fall within…

ebola.virus
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Ebola, Zombies, and Our Viral Past

The horror stories about Ebola seem to be proliferating as quickly as the disease itself. International newspapers and even governmental edicts speak of zombies. Here in the US, Twitter is ablaze with conspiracies tying Ebola to infiltrating immigrants. On the airwaves, Laura Ingram and Rush Limbaugh accuse President Obama of deliberately sacrificing US interests to…