“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'” — Isaac Asimov
The Old North State’s liberals have wanted for a year to repeal the “bathroom bill,” but the law Governor Roy Cooper signed Thursday has many of his allies disgusted and angry.
DURHAM, N.C.— Depending on your point of view, Thursday was either a red-letter day for North Carolina or a day that should leave the state’s leaders red-faced with shame.
Thursday afternoon, Governor Roy Cooper signed into law a bipartisan bill repealing H.B. 2, the “bathroom bill” that Republican lawmakers enacted one year ago. That law required that transgender people in public facilities use the bathroom corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate, forcing them to use facilities set aside for the opposite gender.
Cooper’s signature was the culmination of a year of campaigning, and the governor, a Democrat, owes his office in part to the law’s unpopularity. But in what he declared was a moment of victory, Cooper found himself defending the deal against furious attacks from progressive grassroots groups.
“I wish this were complete, total repeal and whenever I get a chance to do that, I’m going to do it,” Cooper said during a press conference at the governor’s mansion in Raleigh, where he announced his signature and tried to sell the bill. He blamed the Republican supermajority in both chambers of the legislature for blocking a better law. “Doesn’t do everything we want it to do. More to do. I’m going to keep fighting every single day for LGBT protections.”
The most striking thing about the racist incidents that forced the University of Missouri’s president and chancellor from office isn’t how unbelievable they are, but how banal. They could happen on any campus anywhere. They probably are. And now colleges are on notice: A timid response is unacceptable.
Now that scrutiny has come around to universities. And while college leaders like to think of their institutions as progressive places, colleges, like other venerable American institutions, have both a past and a present laced with racism. For the first time since the late 1960s, students are forcing them to grapple seriously with it.
Historical racism at universities is getting more scrutiny
When black students took over administration buildings and held sit-ins at colleges in the late 1960s, they left change behind them: black studies majors, promises of increased student and faculty diversity, new financial aid programs.
Today’s protestors are picking up those half-finished fights and demanding universities return to that era’s unfulfilled promises. Administrators, the students argue, don’t understand and aren’t helping with the challenges and everyday slights that students of color face on campuses that were often originally built to keep them out.
Some of the wounds the students want addressed are old ones. After the Charleston shootings, the persistence of monuments and memorials to the Confederacy and defenders of slavery on college campuses drew public attention. The nation’s most prestigious universities were built with slave trade money and in some cases slave labor — a history that many universities, including those in the Ivy League, weren’t willing to explore until the 21st century.
The University of Texas moved its statue of Jefferson Davis. Bowdoin College, in Maine, got rid of its Jefferson Davis Award. Yale University is still trying to decide whether it should rename Calhoun College, named after the virulent defender of slavery and Southern secession.
Climate change is unfair. While rich countries can fight against rising oceans and dying farm fields, poor people around the world are already having their lives upended — and their human rights threatened — by killer storms, starvation and the loss of their own lands. Mary Robinson asks us to join the movement for worldwide climate justice.
Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King is currently at the center of a controversy that has nothing to do with a police shooting or brutality — it’s, instead, about his personal life and racial identity.
Over the past several weeks, conservative media outlets have published multiple pieces disputing different claims King has made about his life over the years. And the latest accusations — which caused the story to trend on Twitter — have called into question whether King is biracial, forcing the activist to disclose personal details about his life in hopes of disproving the accusations.
There’s a bit of history to this conflict. But the fact that a self-identified biracial man is being chastised by conservative media outlets as part of an attempt to discredit him shows just how fluid the entire concept of race can be, and that makes it difficult to know who’s right and wrong when questions about race come up.
Conservative media outlets have questioned Shaun King’s background
Julian Bond, a charismatic figure of the 1960s civil rights movement, a lightning rod of the anti-Vietnam War campaign and a lifelong champion of equal rights, notably as chairman of the N.A.A.C.P., died on Saturday night in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. He was 75.
The Southern Poverty Law Center announced Mr. Bond’s death on Sunday. His wife, Pamela Sue Horowitz, said the cause was complications of vascular disease.
Mr. Bond was one of the original leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee while he was a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta. He was the committee’s communications director for five years and deftly guided the national news media toward stories of violence and discrimination as the committee challenged legal segregation in the South’s public facilities.
He gradually moved from the militancy of the student group to the leadership of the establishmentarian N.A.A.C.P. Along the way, Mr. Bond was a writer, poet, television commentator, lecturer and college teacher, and persistent opponent of the stubborn remnants of white supremacy.
He also served for 20 years in the Georgia General Assembly, mostly in conspicuous isolation from white colleagues who saw him as an interloper and a rabble-rouser.
Mr. Bond’s wit, cool personality and youthful face — he was often called dashing, handsome and urbane — became familiar to millions of television viewers in the 1960s and 1970s. On the strength of his personality and quick intellect, he moved to the center of the civil rights action in Atlanta, the unofficial capital of the movement, at the height of the struggle for racial equality in the early 1960s.