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Dispatches From the Culture Wars – February 27, 2024

Beyoncé vs Nashville

Anna Kim/Slate
  1. Understanding Good Ol’ Nazis
  2. The Color Line in Country
  3. Who Are Moms for Liberty?
  4. America Loves to Lose
  5. The Banked and the Unbanked
  6. Squad’s Ceasefire Call Wins $upport
  7. The Tides of Antisemitism
  8. Fight for Clean Water and Justice on O’ahu
  9. South Chicago: Black Steelworkers Surviving
  10. The Lonesome Death of Nex Benedict


Understanding Good Ol’ Nazis

By Brynn Tannehill
The New Republic

Many of the people in the front row of Trump rallies aren’t fired-up true believers. They are there for the ideology and the outcome, not for the man. They’re OK with the fascism, even if the schtick got old. In the end, the worst movements are always quietly enabled by otherwise ordinary men.

The Color Line in Country

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By Amanda Marie Martínez

Country radio stations act as gatekeepers of a stereotype that the genre is limited to white artists. That complaint has proven valid and meaningful. And the efforts of Beyoncé's fans to challenge that perception offers the chance to demystify the crucial role that format plays in the careers of musicians chasing commercial success. 

Who Are Moms for Liberty?

By Maurice Cunningham

While the group claims to “stoke the fires of liberty,” its founders, and now its members, have instead blazed a years-long trail of harassment, intimidation, and scandal that has led to its designation as an anti-government extremist group by the nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center. 

America Loves to Lose

By Joel Anderson

Even as there are all of the logical, easy-to-prove reasons why gambling has taken off lately—a Supreme Court ruling, the rise of the apps, the embrace of the endeavor by the major sports leagues—there’s one more factor that’s turned the volume on gambling up in the U.S. It makes more sense if you think about the emergence of Donald Trump as a powerful political figure.

The Banked and the Unbanked

By Jay L. Zagorsky
The Conversation

The next time you see a sign in a shop or restaurant window stating “No cash accepted,” you’re really looking at a business excluding many unbanked and underbanked people. Insisting that all businesses accept cash is a simple way to ensure everyone is financially included in the modern economy.

Squad’s Ceasefire Call Wins $upport

By Amanda Becker
The 19th

Members of the progressive “Squad” in the House of Representatives posted strong fundraising numbers in the fourth quarter as some face potentially well-financed primary challenges in the wake of their calls for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

The Tides of Antisemitism

By Jenny Jarvie
Los Angeles Times

An old cartoon from the archives of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee roiled the civil rights movement when it first appeared in 1967, and has lost none of its ability to outrage. The drawing shows a white hand, marked with a dollar sign inside a Star of David, tightening nooses around the necks of a Black man and an Arab man.

Fight for Clean Water and Justice on O’ahu

By Libby Leonard

After a 2021 leak at the U.S. military’s Red Hill fuel storage facility poisoned thousands, activists, Native Hawaiians, and affected military families have become unlikely allies in the fight for accountability.

South Chicago: Black Steelworkers Surviving

By Maxwell Evans
Block Club Chicago

South Side steelworkers were promised economic stability as a reward for grueling and dangerous work. But many who survived were forced to start over when the industry collapsed.

The Lonesome Death of Nex Benedict

By Carla Hinton
USA Today

Hundreds of people gathered in Oklahoma City on Saturday to pay tribute to Nex Benedict, a teenager whose death following a fight inside a high school bathroom sparked widespread heartbreak and outrage across the nation. Interest has swelled over the past week, particularly because of Nex's gender-expansive identity and claims of what led up to the fight at Owasso High School on Feb 7.