Original Commentary

Original Commentary

COVID-19 Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

The reopening picture at this UNC campus is not a pretty one

As with the other UNC System campuses, students began to return to Appalachian State this week, and the circumstances surrounding their arrival ought to give all North Carolinians cause for concern. Despite an outbreak of COVID-19 cases on the Boone campus just last week, thousands of students from across the country moved in to either off-campus apartments or small, shared dorm rooms on campus.

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COVID-19 Top Story Weekly Briefing

Trump’s latest last-ditch con

History reminds us that it is a familiar pattern with autocrats and delusional politicians who perceive they could be facing the latter days of their time in power: as their influence ebbs, the grandiosity of their “orders” and “commands” tends to grow. And so it appears to be with Donald Trump as he confronts the growing possibility that he is entering the final few months of his presidency.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

NC must diversify its teaching corps. Here’s one obvious and proven tool to use.

I am a white woman, educated in Durham, by mostly white teachers. From preschool to high school, my classrooms were led by people who looked like me, talked like me, disciplined me like my parents did, and held me to high expectations. I skated through school with ease and “success.” After becoming a teacher myself and studying education policy at the graduate level, I now realize that my peers of color did not receive the same benefits of having a teacher that looked like them, and I didn’t have the opportunity to learn from adults with lived experiences different from my own.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Still white after all these years: One woman’s battle with racism and white supremacy culture

In 1986, I was a recent seminary graduate and working with Oakland’s interfaith community. I was earnest, liberal and definitely not “woke.” One evening, I met with Black church leaders to organize a city-wide event. Where would publicity go? We listed a few: the Oakland Tribune and church bulletins. Someone piped up “the Black Chamber of Commerce.” I knew it was somehow wrong to say, “the White Chamber of Commerce” so I blurted out, “And the normal Chamber of Commerce.”

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

As schools reopen, we’re rolling the dice with people’s lives

North Carolina is now almost five months into the massive societal disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s more than understandable that just about everyone – especially parents of young children – is going a little stir crazy. The weather has been stifling, the news has been mostly sobering, a vaccine remains several months away at best, and the utter incompetence and moral bankruptcy in the White House’s handing of the crisis remains absolute.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

The virus and the vulnerable

The image of a perfect storm conveys a rueful irony – the storm whose components are so intertwined, so synchronized, so mutually reinforcing as to make it “perfect” in its destructiveness. Perfect storm, meet COVID-19. The overall dynamic is as simple as it is terrible: The coronavirus endangers people who come into contact with others who may be infected. People retreat into their homebound bubbles.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

#MeToo movement exposes failure of U.S. military to take seriously sexual assault

Editor’s note: The issue of violence committed against women in the U.S. military, including sexual abuse, and the military’s frequently inadequate response, has been much in the news of late. Click here to read a good and recent summary by reporters David C. Adams and Estephani Cano for Univision News. This past weekend, protesters gathered at the State Capitol Building in Raleigh and in at least two other locations to shine a light on the murder of Vanessa Guillen – a 20-year-old Army private stationed at Fort Hood in Texas who was murdered after telling friends about sexual harassment she had experienced.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

New U.S. Senate relief proposal comes up woefully short

The GOP HEALS Act fails to heal people harmed by the coronavirus, will cost millions of jobs, and protects bad employers Yesterday, Senate Republicans unveiled their coronavirus relief plan—almost two and a half months after the House of ...
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COVID-19 Top Story Weekly Briefing

Unprecedented crisis demands strong medicine from the federal government

It’s been more than six months now since the novel coronavirus produced its first diagnosed infection in the United States and to say that the nation has botched its response to the crisis would be a massive understatement. Rather than tackling the crisis head-on by implementing a comprehensive national shutdown and marshaling a massive and immediate federal economic intervention capable of sustaining the nation while a huge share of the workforce stayed home, the U.S. dilly-dallied.

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COVID-19 Progressive Voices Top Story

COVID-19 should spell the end of a controversial teacher licensure requirement in NC

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted U.S. public education to a greater extent than any other event in recent memory. And while, teacher licensure requirements are probably far down the list of concerns for policymakers as the state prepares for the new academic year, it will be important to account for the fact that changes to K-12 schools occurring as a result of COVID-19 are affecting many aspects of teacher education.

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COVID-19 Progressive Voices Top Story

COVID-19 proves that Senator Thom Tillis was wrong about rules for public health

In 2015, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina argued that we don’t need government rules for public health in the food service industry, because the free market would protect public health and safety. As an example, he said that the government should not require Starbucks to make their employees wash their hands after they use the restroom and before they handle our food and drinks.

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COVID-19 Other Voices Progressive Voices

I’m a UNC student, and I’m angry and scared

It’s difficult to put into words the rage I felt upon learning that UNC will not inform students if one of our classmates tests positive for COVID-19 this fall. Flouting federal guidelines about social distancing and who counts as a close contact, UNC-Chapel Hill announced at the end of last month that three feet between students is enough distance — despite the CDC clearly denoting the minimum safe distance as six feet.

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Defending Democracy Top Story Weekly Briefing

The pandemic election: NC makes voting slightly easier, but more action is needed

For a nation that has long billed itself as the “world’s greatest democracy,” the U.S. carries a lot of problematic baggage when it comes to elections. Topping the list is how the nation has sought so effectively, right up until the present, to prevent people of color from voting. These efforts to restrict the franchise have taken many forms through the decades...

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