The Standing Rock Syllabus Project

On behalf of the New York City Stands with Standing Rock Collective


How “Blue Lives Matter” Perpetuates Police Violence

Far from a peaceful call to protect police lives, the movement fosters an environment of fear, hatred, and racism.

In the aftermath of the recent killings of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa and Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte at the hands of police, the Blue Lives Matter hashtag rallied around a video of a group of black youth attacking a white man and taking his pants off in a parking garage in Charlotte. The caption that the most popular Blue Lives Matter twitter account provided for …

Arts & DesignEssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in QuestionMedia/Publics

Does this Meme Prove Donald Trump is a White Supremacist?

In a development that is no doubt utterly inexplicable to many, Donald Trump has gotten himself in trouble for associating with an amphibian: an internet meme known as Pepe the Frog. Pepe isn’t the only frog to “blow up” on the internet in 2016. But he’s undoubtedly the most infamous. After Hillary Clinton referred to “half” of Trump supporters as “a basket of deplorables,” Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., retweeted a photoshopped spoof of The Expendables’…

EssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in QuestionSex & Gender

The Woman Who Might Have Been President

As former Goldwater Girl Hillary Rodham Clinton is poised to become the first woman president of the United States, it is worth asking: what prevented Elizabeth Dole — Clinton’s former Senate colleague — from breaking that historic barrier?

Sexism, not just within the Republican Party but also in a larger political world saturated by media coverage, is one obvious answer. The misogynistic rhetoric emanating from the campaign of Donald J. Trump has a long history in both parties. …

EssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in Question

Call For A Yell-Ceasefire Around The Polish Pogroms

A few weeks ago at 7/9 Planty Street in Kielce, Poland, we of the Jan Karski Society launched a permanent exhibition devoted to the Kielce pogrom, a tragedy suffered by a local community of Holocaust survivors for whom that city became a place, not of peace and security, but of death, pain, suffering, and deep wounds. The Polish neighbors of these victims, instead of providing help, had been their tormentors.

The location of the exhibit was an obvious choice: …

EssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in Question

The Myths of the Clash between Clinton and Trump

On 26 September 2016, I watched the first presidential debate of my life. I am not an American citizen. I do not have the right to vote. I moved to New York only a few years ago. I have not had enough time to become accustomed to American political culture, and I do not get the excitement of a political campaign that begins years before the actual election. I do not even believe in elections as the culminating moment of a democratic life, so I am three times removed from the debate that unfolded in front of my eyes that evening. I still enjoy, …


Borders and the Politics of Mourning

In early 2014, the artist Anton Christian placed a shattered wooden boat in front of the impressive baroque Cathedral of St. Jakob in the heart of the Austrian city of Innsbruck. Christian had found the boat on the shores of the Adriatic Sea and brought it to Innsbruck to evoke images of Lampedusa, the Italian island that has become the symbol of the refugee crisis. After the boat was partially destroyed by vandals, the artist decided to keep the damaged object in front of the cathedral, supplemented by a marker that explained the attack. …

EssaysFeatureLiberal Democracy in QuestionRaceRace/isms

Against Exceptionalism, Beyond Triumphalism

A Review of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

On 13 April 1943, on the 200th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s birth, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial to the nation’s third president. Facing a sharp wind blowing in from the Potomac, the president admired the heroic statue and read the famous words that grace the interior walls of the building: “All Men Are Created Equal.” In the midst of a global war against fascism, Roosevelt proclaimed that the Jefferson Memorial would stand as “a shrine to freedom,” dedicated to a man who bent his entire life to the proposition that “men are capable of their own …