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Stories from the intersection of politics, the economy, and racial inequality.


Photo: Neera Tanden/

The Senate recently confirmed Shalanda Young as the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Young will serve as acting chief of the OMB while President Joe Biden seeks a replacement for his original nominee, Neera Tanden, who withdrew from consideration last month.

Tanden’s nomination failed after Republicans and Joe Manchin, a purported Democrat, voted not to confirm Tanden, ostensibly due to her previous social media comments. If not for Manchin’s no vote, Tanden likely would have managed to squeak through the confirmation process.

Republican Senators pitching a fit over Tanden’s mean tweets is unsurprising, given their…


Buster Poindexter, Richard Dreyfus, and Jennifer Tilly in “Let it Ride” | Paramount Pictures

About a year after 9/11, I had a job interview for a sales-trading position at Burlington Capital, a trading firm in one of the Trump buildings on Wall Street. I’d never heard of them, but since I was relatively new to the City, that didn’t mean much.

I’d moved to New York in late 2000 to reinvent myself after closing the investment firm I’d started five years earlier in Little Rock, Arkansas. …


1/6 US Capitol insurrectionists (l), Black Lives Matter protestors (r). Photos: AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

On May 15, 2010, 16-year-old Kalief Browder, a Black teenager from the Bronx section of New York, was arrested on suspicion of stealing a backpack containing $700 in cash, a digital camera, a credit card, a debit card, and an iPod Touch. New York City police did not find the allegedly stolen backpack or the other items in question on Browder during their search.

The alleged victim of the crime subsequently altered their story multiple times, changing the date the crime occurred and even suggesting that the robbery never actually took place. …


Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On January 13th of this year, President Donald Trump was impeached for the second time, becoming the first twice-impeached president. The House impeached Trump with a single article: “Incitement of Insurrection.”

House Democrats pushed forward with their plan to remove Trump with only days left in his presidency, approving a resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove Trump with a Cabinet vote. The resolution passed by a 223–205 vote.

Democrats proceeded with their resolution even though Pence, who, after meeting with the President for the first time since the mob attack…


Photo by Carol Lee on Unsplash

As it relates to politics, the term ‘October surprise’ was coined in the 1980s by William Casey, campaign manager for Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign (Casey would later become director of the CIA). In years past, the term signified a single event the flips the momentum, particularly during the month before a presidential election.

But if we’ve learned anything from the Trump era (and 2020), it is that the old rules no longer apply. The month’s barely started, and it already feels as though we’ve had a month’s worth of surprises in October’s first few days.

The White House is a COVID-19 hotspot

Late Friday, we learned…


Photo by Claire Anderson on Unsplash

When I was in the 7th grade, my family moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas. The first person that befriended me was Jimmy, an older kid that lived across the street from my house. We hit it off immediately. Jimmy introduced me to the other kids in the neighborhood. He picked me to be on his team for sandlot baseball games. His charm won my parents over.

But it only took me a few weeks to realize something about Jimmy: he was an enormous bully. If his team lost a baseball game, he started a fight. When we played pickup basketball…


Linda Brown (front row, right) and her sister Terry Lynn (far left row, third from front) who, with their parents, initiated the landmark Civil Rights lawsuit ‘Brown V. Board of Education,’ in their classroom in Topeka, Kansas. Credit: Carl Iwasaki/The LIFE Images Collection, via Getty Images

When I was about six years old, Theresa Roundtree, my first-grade teacher at Rightsell Elementary, asked the students in my class to answer the following question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

The year was 1964. Despite the effort to integrate Central High a few years earlier, nearly all Black children in Little Rock, Arkansas, attended segregated public schools.

I can still remember writing “COMMISSIONER” as my answer to Mrs. Roundtree’s question in my Big Chief tablet. Since Batman was my favorite television show, I knew Gotham’s Commissioner Gordon had an important, albeit fictional job.




Binge-watching is one of my family’s guilty pleasures. A few weeks ago, we powered through Your Honor, a limited series on Showtime starring Bryan Cranston. Without spoiling the plot, Cranston plays a judge whose son is involved in a hit-and-run accident resulting in a fatality. Set in New Orleans, the series explores just how far outside the law he will go to keep his kid out of jail. Cranston uses his power and authority as a judge to illegally manipulate the wheels of justice— including the police and even the jury in a different criminal case.

After watching the show

Graphic Credit @Allison Gaines | Photo Credit| Brian Stauffer via Oprah Mag

Black women’s loyalty to the Democratic party helped secure their victory during the last election cycle. Afterward, many expressed their gratitude, with some declaring, “Black women saved America.” The best way to pay it forward would be to prioritize the unique challenges Black women face. However, the jury is still out on whether their gratitude will manifest into something tangible.

Long before Coronavirus pulled up to the scene, Black women were disproportionately high risk for maternal mortality. Regardless of education or socioeconomic status, Black women continue to suffer the consequences of a racially biased health care system. Doctors often ignore…


Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

I’m always surprised by the number of people that don’t realize how much of America’s origin story is a set of mythological tales.

It may surprise you to learn just how many people believe the Founding Fathers sincerely believed all men were created equal (they did not), or that George Washington chopped down a cherry tree (he didn’t), or that Abe Lincoln was a benevolent emancipator (he was not) rather than a believer in white male supremacy less concerned with freeing enslaved Africans than maintaining the nascent Union.

When I worked on Wall Street, I told a white colleague that…

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Stories from the intersection of politics, the economy, and racial inequality.

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