Once again it becomes clear that Trump is a symptom, not a cause, of our fundamentally broken political economic system.

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By NeONBRAND on Unsplash

The New York Times published an article yesterday analyzing in excruciating detail nearly twenty years of previously undisclosed information on President Trump’s tax filings. From 2000 to 2017, The Times reported that the majority of Trump’s federal tax write-offs had been derived from dubiously labeled “business expenses” (noncommercial property taxes, consultant fees owed to his daughter Ivanka, etc.) and massive net corporate losses from his numerous real estate involvements. …


On social media platforms, why does taking care of oneself seem harder than ever?

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By William Hook on Unsplash

Taking care of oneself is quite difficult these days. If nothing else, the abundance of concern for “self-care” across so much of the internet is a testament to this truth.

But the working understanding of “care” in the concept of self-care is quite limited. For one, there is no self without others and therefore no care-for-the-self without care-for-others. To have the former without the latter is not to be really caring at all — it is to be narcissistically inundated or absorbed with oneself. In this way, “self-care” implicitly becomes a disavowal of care for others.

Secondly, the messaging of self-care too often becomes something exceedingly temporary: a short-lived removal from the burdens of others (at one’s job, etc.), a moment’s suspension of daily sufferings, or a treating-of-oneself to the fleeting luxuries of life. Whether it is a few minutes, an hour, or even several days, “self-care” is usually posited as nothing more than a perfunctory escape from one’s toils and tribulations. …


On the false equivalency of justice and punishment

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By Frankie Cordoba on Unsplash

There is a common refrain uttered wide and far in the aftermath of every tragic death at the hands of police: Justice. Justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, William Green.

When news broke a few days ago that the Kentucky court would not indict Breonna Taylor’s murderers for her death, no doubt there was a lack of justice. But what kind of justice were we really searching for in a grand jury indictment, anyway?

What does justice for police murders look like?

Presumably, as Jalen Rose had demanded yesterday on ESPN, it is to see the four cops arrested and charged with murder of the first degree. As a measure of “justice,” the same had been argued for the cop who killed Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, and William Green. In all of these cases, then, what justice ultimately means is punishment — lock the killer cops up, make them suffer for what they did. …


On the politics of the crowd.

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By Hasan Almasi on Unsplash

In light of the news yesterday of the exoneration of the four Louisville police officers who murdered Breonna Taylor, city officials across the country are bracing for a not-entirely-peaceful response from protestors in the coming days. Attempting to pre-emptively respond to what will inevitably be another deluge of confused commentary from the media criticizing riots and rioters, I thought it helpful to write a brief explanation of the function of and reasons for rioting.

My point in writing this is neither to defend nor attack riots but merely to try to understand what they are, where they come from, and what purpose they serve. What I want to insist, then, is that it is not particularly enlightening to be obstinately dismissive of riots, to immediately delegitimize them because of their glaring internal contradictions, or to condemn certain participants in riots for their opportunism (stealing TVs and sneakers, etc.). In contrast to these rash (and most often self-interested) censures, my point is to simply and plainly say that riots are something that is happening, that they are likely to continue to happen, and it behooves us to actually try to understand why. …


Given the ceaseless compulsion to ‘act now’ in order to resolve our numerous crises, what role does contemplation serve today?

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By Markus Spiske on Unsplash

These days, we see crises seemingly everywhere we look. On all of our horizons, there is the ecological crisis, an instability provoked by anthropogenic climate change; the economic crisis, an ever-expanding dissonance between the imperative for compound growth and a world with finite resources; and the technological crisis, a dramatic reformation of society through the ever-expanding network of sensory devices informing how we relate to each other, to ourselves, and to the world. And, to be sure, the list of crises drags on much further than this — one can also speak of geopolitical crises (e.g. US-China trade wars), religious crises (e.g. the introduction of new sects and schisms vis-a-vis the re-emergence of fundamentalisms), even ‘postmodern’ crises (e.g. …


Why must the death of one 87-year-old woman throw the entire US political system into irreconcilable crisis?

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Because of the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last Friday, one of the nine seats on the United States Supreme Court is now vacant. To fill this vacancy, the President of the United States must first nominate a candidate who then must be confirmed by the Senate. This period of selection and nomination is typically a months-long process involving several rounds of hearings for different candidates, leading up to a final confirmation vote. Nevertheless, it now appears the GOP intends to rush to fill the vacancy prior to the 2020 presidential election which is only 44 days away. …


For a politics beyond elections and Supreme Court Justices

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By Louis Velazquez on Unsplash

Leading up to the presidential election in November, and particularly after last night’s news of the death of Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, many leftists have expressed wholesale resignation to the US political system. Indeed, hand-wringing and trepidation seem to characterize much of the left today, up against forces which are as corrupt and cynical as they are overwhelming. …


And it obstructs any possibility of a productive dialogue on race by recentering whiteness.

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By Cristian Newman on Unsplash

To preface what might be a hard pill to swallow: Look, my fellow white people, I get it. Talking about race and racism is hard. You don’t want to accidentally offend people of color with your ignorance. You want to be a good ally. And you have been told, in more or less good faith, that you should only be addressing racism from your own lived experiences, that you should never try to speak over or for Black folk.

So, keeping to yourself, while still needing your voice to be heard, you log on Medium and unload a personal confession about your own lifelong battle against internalized racism. You think that by doing this you are showing contrition and humility. You think you are doing something important here, that this is the kind of blunt honesty that is missing from the sanitized media discourse on race. Proudly, you convince yourself that these diatribes you write against yourself are a testament to how perceptive you are to the quiet insidiousness of racism and, perhaps even more, how unafraid you are of becoming vulnerable. …


On the need to move past this obsolete model of political action

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Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Barbers’ strike (Wikimedia Commons)

The labor union is perhaps the most sacred and revered icon among American leftists in our nation’s long history of class struggle. The labor union movement, to be sure, stands drenched in the blood, sweat, and tears of workers of all stripes who made tremendous sacrifices to establish the living conditions we enjoy today. …


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By Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

Jessica Krug, an associate professor of History at George Washington University, published a Medium article last week in which she, a “white Jewish child from Kansas City, admitted to lying about her Black identity for much of her adult life.

Unsurprisingly, the response from the public and media pundits has been scathing.

For many, it reawakens anxieties which had emerged 5 years ago under similar circumstances — when Rachel Dolezal, a white woman and former NAACP president of the Spokane chapter, was ousted by local media as falsely claiming to be Black. …

About

Aidan Hess

seeking the limit point for how edgy you can be on Medium while still getting distributed. for inquiries/hate mail: aidanmirono@protonmail.com

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