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What matters now. A publication from Medium about politics, power, and culture.

White men are empowered to play law enforcer — Rittenhouse and those celebrating him got the same systemic memo

In the wake of the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict, there’s plenty enough frustration and anger to spread around.

First, at Rittenhouse, for traveling across state lines and patrolling the streets of Kenosha with an assault rifle to “defend property,” not his own, against potential looters following the police shooting of Jacob…

How modern-day service work and 19th-century farm labor may be more similar than you realize

In the 19th century, more than 70% of the American labor force worked in agriculture. Today, when we think about that work — the cyclicality of harvest times, how external factors like the weather can create constant uncertainty about one’s income, the physical toll of the labor — we might…

Leave your bubble, get out in the U.S.A. — it’s too easy to fear and loathe people you encounter only second-hand, on screens

How very American of America to swipe an ancient phrase referring to the outcome of war — from the Latin status quo ante bellum, things as they were before a war — and then shrink and redefine it to make it American, referring exclusively to life in our South before…

A tiny provision of the act recently passed by the House gives local newsrooms a major tax break

The official summary of the Build Back Better Act, which just passed the House of Representatives, is startling in its understatement. It begins: “This bill provides funding, establishes programs, and otherwise modifies provisions relating to a broad array of areas, including education, labor, child care, health care, taxes, immigration, and…

How did Kyle know that his life was in danger? Easy. He carried the danger he needed to be protected from in his own two hands.

An astounding thing took place in the very public trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. The antics of a judge who made absolutely no effort to appear impartial, refused to allow people gunned down in the street to be referred to as victims, and otherwise seemed to forget that he wasn’t the…

Allowing elected officials and government workers to be intimidated into resigning is how fascism slowly wins

A little more than six months ago, the town of Bennington, Vermont, paid $137,500 to Kiah Morris and apologized publicly for failing to protect her and her family from racist threats and harassment. It took these steps following a report by the town’s human rights commission finding that the Bennington…

In the terribly gerrymandered state, extreme firearm policies likely to become law

I was a young mom with a toddler in preschool when I attended a committee hearing at the Ohio Statehouse for a bill, that among other shocking moves, aimed to expand concealed carry to daycares (unless the daycare explicitly banned firearms). A few moments from that hearing still stick vividly…

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