Questions of Civic Proportions
What are we not talking about when we race from one headline to the next?
Join the Conversation
(share your answers in our learning community)
The limits of Executive Power and why it matters.
There is no quicker path to burn out than trying to follow the shutdown, the wall and the crisis / not-a-crisis at our southern border. If you slow it down for a moment, we have an opportunity to talk seriously about the nature and limits of executive power as well as the responsibilities of co-equal branches of government.
The facts of the shutdown
too easily give way to the political posturing replayed on cable news while there’s a real debate
about the nature of a President’s emergency powers
that could occupy the public mind instead.
This is the moment when those terms of limited power and co-equal branches are relevant with real consequences that are sure to make the news tomorrow.
The hard truth about how we talk about women running for office.
Elizabeth Warren recently announced her run for the presidency. Everything that comes next sounds painfully familiar.
Much of the criticism of her as a candidate will sound like the criticism of Hillary Clinton. Peter Beinart makes a plea for the media
to recognize, understand and incorporate what we know from academic research:
"What all this ignores is the harsh truth that when women politicians—especially women politicians who embrace a feminist agenda—overtly seek power, many American men, and some American women, react with “moral outrage.” They may not express that outrage in explicitly gendered terms, just as they may not express their anxiety about a black candidate in explicitly racial terms. They may instead cite DNA testing or hidden emails or San Francisco’s cultural liberalism. Or they may simply say they find the candidate’s mannerisms off-putting."
This might be the issue that's worth paying attention to so you can help us all do better.
The radicalness and risk that accompany moments of change.
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute cancelled a gala and rescinded the award
they intended to give to Angela Davis that night. Davis would have received the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award except that her advocacy is not comfortably bound up in the pages of our past. This move unveiled a dangerous question that the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute was hardly prepared to answer.
When is it okay to get extreme to call out human rights violations in your community or across the globe, who gets to decides and who is required to simply comply?
If radicalness is a part of who we are and how we work, we risk a devastating loss by denying the worthiness of stories from people like Angela Davis. A piece in Newsweek last April, Martin Luther King Jr.'s Prophetic Last 31 Hours
, sought to remind us all just how radical those final days were. One of the last marches King led had given way to violence and the man celebrated today for non-violent protest considered that time had run out on that proposition.