My mixed reaction to the heckling of First Lady Michelle Obama. I believe in the right of all Americans, left right and center, to protest. But I also believe in civility, especially in the case of a First Family that has been treated with record incivility. Watch the segment, courtesy of Fox News:
What do you think?
In my latest piece for the American Prospect, I write about the coming “American Spring” — the next phase of the Occupy Wall Street movement. In a nutshell, I make three predictions:
1. The main focus will be Occupy Our Homes, helping families avoid foreclosure or reclaim homes from bank takeovers.
2. The anarchist wing of the movement will largely fracture off and stay focused on encampments in public space and edgy, mass demonstrations.
3. Grassroots organizations will become more central to Occupy by launching actions that reinforce Occupy Our Homes, including a major focus on protesting at corporate shareholder meetings.
At the end of the piece, I write:
I was recently trying to explain hibernation to my three-year-old. I told her that animals like bears store food in the fall, dig in and gather strength in the winter and then come out ready for spring. The 99 percent movement gathered tremendous public will and political momentum in the fall of 2011. Now, the movement is quietly planning and gathering strategic strength. In the spring, populist activism will bloom across America with a density and diversity unheard of for decades. It’s going to be a very hot spring indeed.
You can read the full piece here.
Riding the New York City subway at 5:30 am on a weekday is a radicalizing experience. Unlike 9:00 am when the trains are filled with middle class and upper middle class mostly white folks, headed to their good jobs with good or even great pay and reasonable work hours, the subway at 5:30 in the morning is filled with mostly black folks, most of them older — going to work at this ungodly hour not because they’re lazy but because this is all the work they can get.
The fact that black folks like those on this train get up earlier than white folks, on average nationwide commute longer and work later in life but are still disproportionately in dead end, low paying jobs is clearly not a function of laziness. No one on a subway train at 5:30 in the morning is lazy. They get up extra early find their seats in our broken system.
All the more reason to head to Zuccatti Park and defend the Occupy Wall Street eviction — for those who need justice but can’t get out of work.
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