I Need Your Help! Can You Spare a Little Social Change?
“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” — Arundhati Roy
This Chihuahua bites fascists, just like this newsletter. “Boni,” short for Bonita, is my research assistant.
First, and most importantly, thank you all for reading this newsletter and my columns!
I also want to give a special thanks to my 28 Paid Subscribers (as little as $5/month) and 5 Founding Members ($200/year). I’d like to ask the rest of you, if you can afford to do so, please become a paid subscriber so that I can dedicate more time researching, writing, and reporting.
Some features I plan to offer in the future are:
In depth interviews with experts (impacted community members, activists, academics, policy wonks, other journalists, etc.) who can not only unpack the issues and events we face, but also offer progressive solutions.
More news roundups (and analysis) of the stories that matter most, like how Social and Emotional Learning is the new CRT for the far-right to use as a political cudgel to attack public education.
Columns here on my off weeks from The Courier and The Intell.
In the meantime, I will continue the Meet a Progressive feature, which has highlighted progressive changemakers and activists from Bucks County and beyond. Here are some examples: Professional Good Troublemaker Kadida Kenner; Barbara Simmons and Her Commitment to Peace; Bucks County Activist Kierstyn Zolfo Is Relentless; Activism You Can Dance to with Bonnie Chang; and From Punk Rock to Podcasting with Kevin Mahoney.
Back in March, I wrote in my first column “Bucks County has a progressive future”:
“My column [and newsletter] will serve as a megaphone for local progressive voices, progressive concerns, and progressive solutions. It will be an antidote to the right-wing extremism and policies that have sickened our nation.”
I hope I have successfully kept my promise thus far, while subsequently building and strengthening solidarity among progressives in Bucks County and beyond. I know I couldn’t have accomplished what I have without the help and support from Bucks County’s progressive community. Thank you!
Bucks County youth must rise up to defend education
Education should empower students to explore, interrogate and debate the past, with teachers serving as facilitators. You can not accomplish this without surveying the darker chapters of U.S. history. But with each dark page there is always light shining through, lit by the work of abolitionists, women suffragists, freedom riders, Native American activists, farmworker organizers, etc. READ MORE
Join the Civil Rights movement of 2021 and beyond
“Everything spurs from voting rights,” said Kadida Kenner, executive director of the New Pennsylvania Project. “Civil rights, voting rights. Economic justice, voting rights. Educational justice, voting rights.” READ MORE
Anti-Critical Race Theory hysteria revives McCarthyism, Klan politics
“It’s a very similar structure to the McCarthyite Red Scare of the 1950s,” Jason Stanley, author of “How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them,” told me. “It intermingles with Ku Klux Klan ideology to be frank. I hate to say it but it does.” The idea then, as similarly now but though CRT, is that communists or Marxists are trying to incite racial strife, undermine Christian values, and diminish nationalism in order to destroy the United States from within. READ MORE
PA can support workers, protect the environment by funding public transit
This is not only an economic and racial justice issue — it’s an environmental one. READ MORE
Conversion therapy is a barbaric abuse of LGBTQ youth and it's legal in PA
"Imagine if the norm was dating the same sex and you were the one that was considered the 'other,'” Leon Mopecha, an African non-binary 2017 Pennridge High School graduate, said to me. “Try to think of being sent away to [conversion therapy]. How would it make you feel? You would probably think, ‘There is nothing wrong with me. Why am I being sent away?’." Now ask yourselves, would you like to be subjected to conversion therapy, which has included the use of shock therapy, nausea-inducing chemicals, so-called orgasmic reconditioning, as well as different methods of physical and mental coercion to change your identity and/or sexual orientation. READ MORE
Why is your neighbor flying that all-black American flag?
The all-black American flags being flown by so-called local patriots apparently means “no quarter given” and may even imply a willingness to use (lethal) violence against perceived enemies, essentially any non-Trumper … Bucks County’s own local militia leader T.J. Kosin posted a video on TikTok of who appears to be his fellow militia member and wife taking down a red, white, and blue American flag and replacing it with a desecrated, all-black one. Keep in mind Kosin told the Courier Times in August that “masks rules represented the ‘tyranny’ he fought against [in Afghanistan] and [he] ‘would not tolerate it in America.’” READ MORE
Is Turning Point USA a Trojan horse of right-wing extremism for Pennridge students?
Former TPUSA Florida field director and America First Policy Advisor Juan-Pablo Andrade posted a video of himself while attending the group's 2017 Student Action Summit, saying, “The only thing the Nazis didn’t get right is they didn’t keep...going!”A 2017 New Yorker article reported that TPUSA’s former national field director sent a text to a colleague saying, “i [sic] hate black people. … I hate blacks.” Then in 2018 WhatsApp messages were leaked from TPUSA Florida International University students, giving a preview of what awaits Pennridge High School students at college chapters, which showed "a racist Pepe the Frog meme about Syrian refugees raping white women, as well as a joke about dressing up as ICE agents to 'grapple Latinas and deport them.'” READ MORE
To ‘Restore our Earth,’ we need the THRIVE Agenda
“We are setting forth a number of goals that we want incorporated in all future funding bills,” said Bucks County activist Kierstyn Zolfo, a steering committee member of Pennsylvania Indivisible, a statewide coalition of grassroots groups. “Every infrastructure bill should be considering climate implications. Every infrastructure bill should be considering environmental justice.”