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Dispatches From the Culture Wars – April 11, 2023

What a difference a day makes! Chicago and Wisconsin voters turn the tables

Judy Heumann, 1947-2023
  1. The Left Lashes Back
  2. Chicago’s New Mayor is a Public Education Champ
  3. Tennessee GOP Fundraising for Future Attacks on Democracy
  4. Black Women Renew the Fight for the ERA
  5. Judy Heumann, Hero
  6. How Christian is Christian Nationalism?
  7. How Men Feel About Women’s Rights
  8. CRT Hysteria is Too Much, Even for the Unwoke
  9. Angel Reese Bum Rushes the NCAA
  10. Brecht is Always the Best Medicine


The Left Lashes Back

By Heather Digby Parton

Nobody ever seemed to consider that enabling the right wing to become more and more extreme over the course of many years might engender a backlash of its own. It appears as if that time may have finally come — and it’s clear the Republican establishment doesn’t know what to do about it. The question is whether the Democratic establishment does either.

Chicago’s New Mayor is a Public Education Champ

By Libby Stanford
Education Week

Brandon Johnson’s victory in many ways represents a rejection of the common reforms that have characterized public education in Chicago and much of the rest of the nation over the past two decades-plus. He firmly opposed the pro-charter school and school choice policies that his opponent pushed as the first CEO of Chicago schools under mayoral control and the head of three other urban school districts.

Tennessee GOP Fundraising for Future Attacks on Democracy

By Kenny Stencil
Common Dreams

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The Tennessee Republican Party waited less than 24 hours to start fundraising off the expulsion of two progressive lawmakers from the state House—openly bragging Friday about what critics have called a blatantly anti-democratic move that shows the party's growing authoritarianism.

Black Women Renew the Fight for the ERA

By Cheyanne M. Daniels
The Hill

Black women in Congress — specifically Reps. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) — are taking the lead in trying to revive the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to guarantee equal rights for all Americans regardless of gender.

Judy Heumann, Hero

By Sarah Kuta
Smithsonian Magazine

Judith Heumann (1947-2023) was a lifelong advocate for the rights of disabled people. She led the historical 1977 Section 504 Sit-In and instrumental in the development and implementation of other legislation, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

How Christian is Christian Nationalism?

By Kelefa Sanneh
The New Yorker

Christian nationalism is a minority movement, espousing a claim that might not have seemed terribly controversial a few decades ago: that America is, and should remain, a Christian nation. Its adherents were more likely than other groups to believe “that Muslims and Atheists hold morally inferior values.”

How Men Feel About Women’s Rights

By Melissa Dunne

Men agree there’s a problem as almost two in three (63% of men on average across 32 countries) somewhat/strongly agreed “there is currently an inequality between women and men in terms of social, political and/or economic rights in my country.” The bad news? While most men acknowledge women face inequality most men (58%) think “things have gone far enough.”

CRT Hysteria is Too Much, Even for the Unwoke

By Walter Einenkel
Daily Kos

Three school board members in a rural Colorado district—all Republicans—resigned their positions. All three are on the record as being staunchly against the mythical beasts of the “woke agenda.” They resigned because the conservative-led hysteria over race and education in schools seems to have consumed the community.

Angel Reese Bum Rushes the NCAA

By Alex Abad-Santos

Within moments of LSU’s victory, Reese’s taunts went viral — not unlike Caitlin Clark’s. They got a very different reception, however. Instead of being seen as cocky or confident or fun, Reese’s actions were seen by a vocal few as poor sportsmanship.

Brecht is Always the Best Medicine

By Doreen Nicoll

Brecht was a prolific German playwright, poet, theatre practitioner, and self-proclaimed communist with an intense interest in the structures and processes of capitalism and its effects on politics, public policies, and workers’ lived experience. Brecht believed, and wrote extensively, that the arts can play a significant role in transforming society.