American History · Racism · Social Policy

Racism and Welfare in America

Today I ran across a great article from The Atlantic about racism and the American welfare system. The author’s point is that the individual states are in control of which of their residents receive welfare benefits (called TANF—Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), and those with substantial non-white populations tend to be more stingy with them.… Continue reading Racism and Welfare in America

American History · News Media · Politics · Racism

Where Have the Historians Gone?

One of the long-term consequences of Dylann Roof’s brutal attack in Charleston, SC back 2015 has been a reevaluation of the place of Confederate monuments and memorials in the Southern states. In the weeks following Roof’s attack, attention focused on Confederate flags still flying at Southern state capitols. The Southern Poverty Law Center began taking… Continue reading Where Have the Historians Gone?

American History · Politics · Racism

Why the Populists Still Matter Today

On Morning Joe today, Joe Scarborough and Ana Marie Cox of MTV News had a back-and-forth about whether a recent Trump campaign video is anti-Semitic. (See the exchange here, “New Trump ad criticized as anti-Semitic by some”). Anti-Semitic or not, Trump’s message is definitely a populist one—language of exclusion, reform-oriented, focused on economic conditions undermining… Continue reading Why the Populists Still Matter Today

American History · News Media · Politics

Rachel Maddow on Reconstruction

I don’t usually watch The Rachel Maddow Show but I happened to catch part of it last night. Maddow spent about 15 minutes reviewing some basic history of Reconstruction culminating in a discussion of the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act, which criminalized conspiracies to intimidate voters in federal elections. The Klan Act is currently the… Continue reading Rachel Maddow on Reconstruction