Stop trying to change the name of Black Lives Matter

Protesters carry signs insisting all lives matter.

Protesters carry signs insisting all lives matter.

Since it became a national movement, Black Lives Matter has been met with antagonism for its name alone. The phrase “black lives matter” is seen by some as divisive, confrontational and perhaps even racist. It reveals a great deal about the struggle black Americans face that controversy arises when they assert the value of their lives.

But there’s an important reason why the name shouldn’t be changed: In our criminal justice system, black lives are not treated like they matter. The name is therefore both an expression of what we wish reality to be and an exposé of what reality isn’t. Continue reading

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Right-wing causes célèbres expose endorsement of extremism

Kim Davis, an unrepentant hypocrite and bigot, was greeted with an adoring crowd and a smile from presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on her release from jail.

Kim Davis, an unrepentant hypocrite and bigot, was greeted with an adoring crowd and a smile from presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on her release from jail.

Every now and then – and especially around election time – someone from the general public becomes a household name thanks to a politically exploitable controversy. Politicians are eager to highlight how their philosophy and policies interact with real people, so they seek these representative examples. But the recent causes célèbres that have been exploited by the right are much worse than your average Joe the Plumber. They are of a distinctly nasty character and help expose conservatives’ mainstreaming of bigotry, lawlessness and violence. Continue reading