Progressive Voices

Progressive Voices

COVID-19 Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Holden Thorp: Trump COVID-19 advisor spreads misinformation

In its latest attempt to confuse the public about the science of COVID-19, the Trump administration has added Dr. Scott Atlas to the team advising the president. Although Atlas may be capable of neurological imaging, he’s not an expert in infectious diseases or public health —and it shows. He’s spreading scientific misinformation in a clear attempt to placate the president and push his narrative that COVID-19 is not an emergency.

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Supreme Court ruling shows why NC must end its racist death penalty

Last week, the North Carolina Supreme Court broke new ground for a state court in the South. Not only did the justices nullify a death sentence poisoned by racism, they also spoke directly to the death penalty’s “egregious legacy” of racially discriminatory application. “The same racially oppressive beliefs that fueled segregation manifested themselves through public lynchings," the court wrote, "the disproportionate application of the death penalty against African-American defendants, and the exclusion of African-Americans from juries.”

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What would a new Trump health care plan look like?

President Trump is promising again to release a comprehensive health care plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If he actually releases a health plan as promised, what would it be likely to provide? At this point, no one knows all the details of the president’s plan. Nevertheless, there are three things that we already know for sure. First, a Trump health plan would promise to protect people who have preexisting medical conditions, but it would not really protect them.

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Concerns about police misconduct should spur reform, funding for civil commitment process

The plague of police misconduct has rightfully been in the public spotlight in recent months, but there’s an important aspect of this problem and source of frequent conflict that still needs much more attention: the challenge of enforcing civil commitment laws. Involuntary civil commitment is a well-established and necessary system under which judges have the authority to order needed treatment for persons with mental illness who are considered dangerous to themselves or others.

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Defending Democracy Progressive Voices Top Story

Souls to the polls? How churches and other nonprofits can help North Carolinians vote

It’s pretty obvious why the N.C. Council of Churches and its allies on the faith-and-justice spectrum hope to see plenty of like-minded voters turning out for the elections this fall. Much is at stake, from who will serve as the nation’s chief executive during perilous, challenging times to who will decide how public schools are expected to operate while the coronavirus still threatens.

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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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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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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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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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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 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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COVID-19 Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

As homeschooling grows, children need protection

With the pandemic forcing children to remain at least partly out of school during the approaching fall semester, more and more parents are considering the homeschool option. Indeed, the interest in homeschooling surged so much in early July that the state website where parents must register a homeschool crashed.

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COVID-19 Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Colleges and universities should only reopen when it is safe to do so

The current August reopening plans of the University of North Carolina campuses are a serious threat not only to the campus communities but also to the state. As of now, the virus has sickened more than 3.4 million Americans, killed more than 136,000, and is spreading at 60,000 new cases a day, leading the world in pandemic disaster.

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