Original Commentary

Original Commentary

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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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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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Grappling with the back-to-school conundrum

Nation’s failed response to the pandemic leaves state and local officials in an almost impossible situation It’s now been almost six months since the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in the United States and it’s hard to see how the national response to the disease can be described as anything other than an abject failure. At the most recent count, more than 3 million Americans have become infected and more than 130,000 people have died.

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Original Commentary Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Reflections on systemic racism in higher education

CHAPEL HILL – Several of my White friends and colleagues have asked me recently what changes are required to address systemic racism in higher education institutions.  After reflecting on personal experiences as an African-American professor for four decades in two predominantly White institutions, I will highlight activities that have given me race fatigue over the years – things I no longer would have to do or experience if systemic racism did not exist.

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