Tag Archives: Politics

Political Puppeteers: Policing Pregnancy for Profit, Promoting Personhood for Power

Poor and working-class women often find pregnancy a difficult time, especially if they have jobs that don’t offer health care benefits, sick time or maternity leave. Those challenges can make pregnancy difficult enough without the extra worry of health care providers and/or zealous prosecutors looking over your shoulders and sometimes even examining your urine to make sure you aren’t engaging in activities they consider ‘harmful’ to your fetus. Continue reading

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On Privilege, Projection and Pathology: A recent debate between Jonathan Chait and Ta-Nehisi Coates reveals the misconceptions that rule America’s understanding of race and poverty

I agree with Ta-Nehisi Coates. Conservatives and liberals alike prefer to focus on perceived deficits in black and brown people than on structural racism and the concepts of white supremacy that undergird it as the principal reasons for disparate conditions and outcomes for many blacks and Hispanics. White privilege means not having to think about the many ways the lives of those who are classified as white are enhanced and protected by the subjugation and exclusion of racial minorities. White privilege provides white ethnics escape from the stigma of poverty – as historian Nell Irvin Painter aptly distinguishes, “Not all black people are poor, but among the people in America defined by race, black people tend to be the poorest.” Continue reading

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Cognitive Dissonance

There is a basic disconnect in the attitude of Americans between what they believe to be true and what they are willing to tolerate in the name of ‘public safety’. Some examples:

1. The majority of Americans believe the “harsh interrogation techniques” used on prisoners at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib constituted torture under both the Geneva Conventions and U.S. law, yet they are willing to allow people to be subjected to such treatment, if they believe it is necessary to protect ‘national security’ – e.g. avoid an imminent terrorist attack.
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