In 1964, my father went to Mississippi to register voters as part of Freedom Summer. Though he made it home, others like Goodman, Cheney and Schwerner were murdered. Today, @NPR interviewed my father & me about how the fight for voting rights continues. npr.org/2021/07/14/101…
To this day, I can’t look at the photos of Andrew Goodman, James Cheney and Michael Schwerner without getting choked up. The national Republican assault on voting rights is not just about policy or politics, for me it’s deeply personal.
My whole life I’ve had a profound sense of gratitude to the civil rights activists of my parents era for their persevering fight to ensure a kind of intergenerational inheritance: an America that might finally live up to its promise of being a true multiracial democracy.
What hurts is that my generation is witnessing voting rights get dismantled from the Supreme Court on down. As in the past, a powerful faction of Americans reject the ideal of equal access to the ballot and are hostile to the idea of multiracial democracy.
It’s hard to have hope for the near future. In my adult life, the pro-voting rights coalition has won the popular vote in 7 of the last 8 presidential elections. Despite that, anti-democratic features of US government allow a supermajority of Supreme Court to gut voting rights.
At root, voting rights are visceral because they’re about more than voting. We’re debating two competing visions of America. The battle for multiracial democracy was won and lost during Reconstruction. It was won again in 1965 and is losing again, now. The lesson? On we fight.
For anyone interested, this thread walks through some of my research on how 1960s civil rights protests were able to influence media, elected officials and voters:

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More from @owasow

12 Jul
Political violence typically describes events like assassinations. Across US, though, we’re seeing tactics like violent threats, constant harassment and dangerous disinformation used to chase election officials and educators out of office. What to call this kind of intimidation?
Study finds ”17% of local election officials in US have faced threats because of their job and 32% have ‘felt unsafe because of their job as a local election official.’” The efforts apparently aim to ”get officials to resign or even flip an election.” vox.com/22533994/trump…
”Ms. Moritz is one casualty of a year in which election officials were repeatedly threatened, scapegoated and left exhausted — all while managing a historically bitter presidential vote during a pandemic.” nytimes.com/2021/07/02/us/…
Read 14 tweets
10 Jul
After 20 years, Biden said of Afghanistan “it’s time to end the forever war.”

After 50 years of ”war on drugs” though, Biden is still keen to fight.

The irony?

The US drug war fuels the illicit market that has put billions into the Taliban insurgency. newyorker.com/magazine/2007/…
In 2007, ”Afghanistan now supplies more than 92% of world’s opium. More than half the country’s annual GDP, some $3.1 billion, is believed to come from drug trade, and narcotics officials believe that part of the money is funding the Taliban insurgency.” newyorker.com/magazine/2007/…
In 2014, ”Afghan opium cultivation hits record high, fueling Taliban insurgency. A $7.6 billion US counternarcotics effort has failed, and hopes of reversing poppy growth have dimmed.” america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/…
Read 7 tweets
10 Jul
Study of Black and Latino adults with asthma found that during the pandemic, ”The number of attacks the participants suffered at home really was dropping. It fell by 40 percent after the onset of the pandemic.” Why? theatlantic.com/health/archive…
Study didn’t find a link with air pollution. ”People who normally worked outside home, however, had bigger decreases in asthma attacks than those who worked at home (65% vs 23%), perhaps because they weren’t being exposed to viruses and irritants at work.” theatlantic.com/health/archive…
”It’s long been routine for doctors to question parents of kids with asthma about dust mites or cockroaches or smoking in the home…the unstated implication when you’re asking about triggers like that is that those are causes of your child’s asthma.” theatlantic.com/health/archive…
Read 4 tweets
4 Jul
In July of 1852, Frederick Douglass delivered one of the greatest speeches in US history. Today it’s often presented in abridged form, though, and skips what seems like a long-winded introduction. If you read the intro closely, however, there’s an ingenious structure. THREAD👇🏽
Douglass begins the speech quite conventionally with self-deprecating remarks and then shifts to honoring his audience & the exceptional accomplishment of the American people. July 4th, he says “is what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God.” 2/
In Douglass’ opening narrative, the colonists are courageous and England is despotic. “Feeling themselves harshly and unjustly treated by the home government, your fathers, like men of honesty, and men of spirit, earnestly sought redress.” 3/
Read 21 tweets
29 Jun
The rise of ‘the squad’ “has fed a perception among some Democrats that the party’s left flank is disproportionately Black, Hispanic and Asian American.

But the opposite is true, as the Pew data makes clear.”
nytimes.com/2021/06/29/bri…
“Black people talk about politics in more practical and everyday terms,” said @hakeemjefferson , an assistant professor at Stanford who studies the political views of Black people. “The median Black voter is not AOC and is actually closer to Eric Adams.” nytimes.com/2021/06/26/us/…
For statistical minorities with a long history of maltreatment by the majority, voting is first and foremost an act of self-preservation but it is also an act that demands acute awareness of the limits of what the majority will support.
Read 5 tweets
26 Jun
“Early 20th-century engineers thought reinforced concrete structures would last a very long time – perhaps 1,000 years. In reality, their life span is more like 50-100 years, and sometimes less. Deterioration can begin in as little as 10 years.” theconversation.com/the-problem-wi…
“Coastal Florida’s hurricanes, storm surges and the corrosive salty air can penetrate concrete and rust the rebar and steel beams inside.” nytimes.com/2021/06/26/us/…
“When embedded in concrete, steel is hidden but secretly active. Moisture entering through tiny cracks creates an electrochemical reaction. The rebar forms a ‘battery’ that powers the transformation of iron into rust.” theconversation.com/the-problem-wi…
Read 10 tweets

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