I wrote this letter two days after Donald Trump was elected President, attempting to grapple with what I and most friends and family saw as a national crisis. But our anger at the results seemed to be ripping the country even further apart; it felt like an urgent moment to empathize and seek common cause. Since […]Read more "A Letter to Trump Voters"
This article was written for the site Movements.org, a forum for crowdsourcing human rights and opening closed societies. Thanks to Movements’ partnership with The Huffington Post, I have edited foreign writers’ articles and written a couple of my own to call attention to human rights and refugee issues in the Middle East and Africa. This piece is […]Read more "Did the West Crush the Arab Spring in Syria?"
Rapping can get you jailed, tortured, or killed in the southwest African country of Angola; nonetheless, its hip-hop scene is thriving. With plummeting oil prices pushing Angola’s long-standing regime to the brink of collapse, the country’s conscious rappers and other vocal activists might give the regime its final shove and change the lives of 24 […]Read more "36 Years Into Oil-Fueled Dictatorship, Angola’s Hip-Hop Scene is Thriving"
Tanzania’s official election results suggest little room for dispute: John Magufuli—candidate for the conservative ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi, or CCM—won 58% of the popular vote, defeating opposition candidate Edward Lowassa’s 39%. Still, the results were contentious enough to garner a security crackdown, with officers and materiel deployed across Tanzanian city streets. In what was […]Read more "Tanzania’s Contested Election Results May Threaten Years of Unity"
If you’ve been on YouTube lately, presumably to watch replays of Bernie Sanders’s “Enough with the damn emails!” rant or Lil Dicky’s “$ave Dat Money” music video, you may have been forced to watch this ad before proceeding to your movie entertainment: It’s a teaser trailer for The Udder Truth, a dairy industry campaign supported by the USDA-supported organization […]Read more "‘Udder Truth’ Campaign Erases Worker & Animal Abuse, Forecasts Media’s Future"
Recently, in conversations with hard-working members of the American middle class, I’ve been surprised by my own dismay at hearing their arguments against social programs aimed at the “lower class,” particularly a raised minimum wage and government entitlements like unemployment benefits, food stamps, and Medicaid. These arguments are nothing new to me: I grew up […]Read more "Liberals Need To Respect the Hard-Working Middle Class"
I wrote this Letter to the Editor to The New York Times in response to an op-ed by Nick Kristof, a guy whom I agree with on virtually everything, but whose piece titled “Compassion Isn’t Enough For Refugees” I believe missed the point. He makes a strong argument for international response to the Syrian Civil War–which has produced […]Read more "Letter to the Editor: On Compassion For Refugees"