The “Gentrifier” Myth

by Drew Franklin on November 18, 2015

Some notes on the forces behind DC’s changing social landscape

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Grading TFA

by Drew Franklin on October 17, 2015

Teach For America gave us an unexpected gift in the form of a press release. We decided to evaluate their work for them.

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The Movement Lives in Ferguson

by Drew Franklin on October 9, 2015

Teach For America, Black Leadership, and Disaster Capitalism

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Deray is no Malcolm X

by R.L. Stephens II on September 17, 2015

Deray McKesson will be giving a lecture at Yale this October, entitled Transformational Leadership in the #BlackLivesMatter Movement. Naturally, the fallout from the announcement has been both petty and uninspired. Conservatives are having a field day, while liberal media outlets like Buzzfeed are feasting on the growing feud between Deray’s camp and members of the Black Lives…

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Were US Slave Owners Really Paid $300 Per Slave?

by Jon Booth & RL Stephens II on September 3, 2015

In the latest reminder of why you shouldn’t get your history from twitter, a series of tweets claiming that slave owners were compensated $300 per slave began making the rounds on social media last month. $300 in 1865 was about $4,576 in 2014. slave owners were given that when slavery was abolished, per slave #BlackHistoryYouDidntLearnInSchool…

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The Open Veins of West Baltimore

by R.L. Stephens II on August 14, 2015

I mentioned my time in West Baltimore the day after the Freddie Gray riots on Doug Henwood’s show yesterday, and I thought now would be as good a time as ever to publish my more complete thoughts. This article was written in late May 2015 and has not been updated. Special thanks to Siobhan McGuirk for…

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Did You Know Bill Clinton Was Accused of Rape?

by R.L. Stephens II on August 11, 2015

Bill Clinton was accused, on camera, of rape by Juanita Broaddrick. The story came to light as part of the fallout from Paula Jones’ 1994 sexual harassment case, which Clinton settled out of court for nearly 1 million dollars. As Jones attempted to make her case, her attorneys began deposing women from Clinton’s past who could…

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Dear #BlackLivesMatter: We Don’t Need Black Leadership

by R.L. Stephens II on August 10, 2015

Black Lives Matter, a loose network of activists around the country, is currently facing backlash for storming the stage at Bernie Sanders’ events. Black people have a long and powerful history of taking over white political spaces in an effort to advance our interests. But how do these contemporary activists compare to Black insurgency of…

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A Note on Public Events and Propaganda

by Drew Franklin on August 10, 2015

The public relations industry took off after 1929, when Edward Bernays demonstrated his technique for manipulating public opinion by paying women to openly smoke cigarettes during the Easter Day Parade in New York City. This, at a time when the idea of women smoking in public was positively taboo in the United States. Bernays secured…

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The Logic of Racial Justice Rhetoric (pt. I)

by Drew Franklin on July 29, 2015

When Black Lives Matter to White Nationalists A few years ago, when I still considered myself a social justice activist, it was already conventional wisdom for people organizing around anti-racist politics to break out into two groups: one open only to people of color, and another for their white allies. The rationale was to create…

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