Progressive Voices

Progressive Voices

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Some simple truths about critical race theory and the cynical campaign to distort it

The late historian John Henrik Clarke explained the dominant subculture’s preoccupation with manipulating history. Europeans “began manipulating history in the 15th century to justify the slave trade,” said Clarke, a pioneer in Pan-African studies, during an interview with Tony Brown on Brown’s eponymous show in the 1970s. Modern racism incubated during this period, Clarke said.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

The path back to sanity is not so clear: Hate, venom and a former president who seems to think he’s still president

There is way too much hate and way too much misinformation spreading across our political landscape these days. I’ve watched and written about politics for more than 55 years and never seen anything that approaches this mess. At the top of the dreadful heap is a former president who seems to think he is still president and spends most of every day trashing everyone who disagrees.

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Original Commentary Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Memorial Day memories: The courage of war correspondents

I never fought in the Vietnam War. I joined United Press International, a worldwide wire service, in 1975 at the end of that conflict. My heroes were UPI war correspondents — Leon Daniel, Kate Webb and Joseph L. Galloway. Daniel was a friend. He died in 2006. Webb was a role model and later, mentor. She died in 2007. I knew Galloway, interviewed for this piece, from his legendary combat accounts.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

I represented an innocent man on death row: Here’s why NC must end the death penalty

In September 2014, I was sitting with Henry McCollum at the moment a judge ordered his release from death row for a crime he did not commit. Many folks in the courtroom clapped in celebration. Others embraced out of relief. It had been 30 years since Henry and his brother Leon Brown--two innocent and intellectually disabled children--had been convicted and sentenced to death in Robeson County, North Carolina.

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New federal effort to aid homeless students must include college and university populations

CULLOWHEE – I was elated recently when I read an article by NC Policy Watch education reporter Greg Childress (“$23 million coming to NC to help public school students experiencing homelessness”) detailing U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona’s efforts to support homeless students. The American Rescue Plan’s Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Homeless Children and Youth Fund will assist K-12 students who experience homelessness.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Special to PW: ALEC-inspired bill promoting more campaign finance secrecy should be rejected

Four out of five Americans, across the political spectrum, consistently support transparency when it comes to contributions to organizations that spend money on campaigns. Unfortunately, a growing number of states, now including North Carolina, are advancing so-called "donor privacy" bills to block public access to information about who is spending big money to secretly influence our vote and our government.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Nothing but racism explains Black women’s higher rate of horrible birth stories

Tatyana Ali, who starred as Ashley Banks on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” from 1990 to 1996, entered Harvard the next year where she double majored in government and African-American studies. In 2016, Ali and her husband, an English professor at Stanford, welcomed their first child, but only after mother and baby were roughly treated by a hospital’s obstetrics team, she testified Thursday to the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Health care professionals condemn proposed abortion ban in open letter to legislative leaders

Scores of NC physicians, nurses, clinicians, and counselors say bill racing through state House would foster "environment of fear, stigma, and interrogation" Editor's note: Republicans in the North Carolina House and Senate are once again advancing legislation to restrict abortion access. As Policy Watch has reported here and here, two committees in the House of Representatives have already given approval to a proposal...

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Defending Democracy Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Inside the GOP gerrymander for 2022

WASHINGTON – Republicans are rejoicing and Democrats are dismayed that population losses in the Rust Belt and gains in the Sun Belt, recorded by the 2020 census, will add Congressional seats in key Republican states and may tilt the 2022 elections. But don’t bet just yet on a GOP slam dunk. There’s more to this game than immediately meets the eye.

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Defending Democracy Original Commentary Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

Lawmakers have the tools to safeguard voting rights and fair elections; all they need is the will

Congress and the G.A. can build on the the success of the 2020 election by passing three important bills Voting is the right by which all our other rights are protected, to paraphrase Thomas Paine. Equal access to the ballot box is the bedrock foundation of our democracy and vital to the health of our nation.

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Chauvin trial shows that justice requires diverse, inclusive juries

No one should have been on the edge of their seat about the verdict in Derek Chauvin’s trial. He was caught on video kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as Floyd begged for his life. But this is America, where police are almost never held accountable, so we held our breath and prepared for Chauvin to be acquitted. 

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NC pastor: The legislature’s plan to expand school vouchers must be rejected

While the attention of most North Carolina parents and educators remains focused on getting children back inside classrooms as safely and quickly as possible, the General Assembly is, unfortunately, trying to push through yet another expansion of the Opportunity Scholarship school voucher program.

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If you like being vaccinated, thank the U.S. government

In his response to Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s recent State of the State address, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said we have former President Donald Trump to thank for the rapid deployment and distribution of vaccines that are saving us from the pandemic.  Although it seems appalling to give credit to the 45th president, whose reckless disregard for human life was evident throughout his presidency, Gazelka isn’t wrong exactly. 

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Virginia just abolished its deeply racist death penalty; North Carolina must follow suit

Last week, Virginia became the first southern state to abolish the death penalty. At the signing ceremony, Gov. Ralph Northam and other speakers repeatedly referenced the racist history of the Virginia death penalty as a prime reason for its abolition. It is not a coincidence that Virginia, the birthplace of American slavery and the capital of the Confederacy, has been at the forefront of the American death penalty.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Trans Day of Visibility offers chance for community to stand in solidarity and support

Visibility within the transgender community is often a Catch-22, especially for trans people of color, or those living in rural, conservative areas. Hiding one’s identity can be a damaging experience and increase feelings of isolation, stigma and shame. But standing out as a trans person can make someone a target for discrimination or violence.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

GOP senators push absentee ballot bill to address their top fear: Too many votes

With Republican lawmakers throughout the land making “election integrity” a favorite cause and rallying cry, it likely was just a matter of time before some of their North Carolina counterparts got on board. Lo and behold, along came the sterling piece of legislative statesmanship known as Senate Bill 326, filed on March 18 and entitled the "Election Integrity Act."

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