Mother Jones September/October 2021

Mother Jones is a nonprofit news organization with a bi-monthly magazine that delivers bold and original reporting on the urgent issues of our day, from politics and climate change to education and the food we eat. We investigate stories that are in the public’s interest. From revelatory scoops to deep-dive investigations, Mother Jones journalism is award-winning storytelling that informs and inspires 10 million monthly readers.

United States
Foundation For National Progress
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min

A former educator, ANTHONY CONWRIGHT paid close attention to the conservative freakout over critical race theory (“Forbidden Knowledge”). He was struck by how Republican talking points mirrored Confederate fear that literate slaves might rise up. This campaign is “a ruse to veil their hatred and fear of Black Lives Matter,” writes Conwright, whose work has also appeared in the Nation. A freelance visual journalist from the Detroit area, SYLVIA JARRUS chronicled how, as a community, Flint bridged the Black and white gap in COVID suffering (“Race for a Cure,). She saw the lingering scenes of the water crisis. But also a sense of hope as shots went into arms at places like Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church. “Hopefully I’ll be feeling a lot safer,” Donald Boyce, 60, said as he was vaccinated. In…

4 min
a view from somewhere

This again? That’s the Groundhog Day feeling I had reading “Boring news cycle deals blow to partisan media” on Axios. The article noted that web traffic has declined for news organizations. To us at MoJo, it seems a good sign that people can finally back off the frantic doomscrolling of the Trump era. But Axios treated the story in the way that conventional political journalism treats most issues, by creating a partisan frame. They examined traffic data for 24 news sites, divided into “far right,” “right-leaning,” “mainstream,” “left-leaning,” and “far left.” The article didn’t specify how these were defined or which sites were placed in which group, but a few were called out by name: Mother Jones in the “far left” group, and on the “far right,” the disinformation hub…

8 min
forbidden knowledge

There have been many contributions to help make sense of the Republican obsession with critical race theory, a framework developed some 40 years ago to analyze the ways racism is endemic to our laws and policies. Conservatives have decided it’s a domestic threat, and, as of this writing, 11 states have already banned teaching it in public schools. But perhaps the best explanation for the hysteria is in a journal entry written on April 7, 1829, by a schoolteacher named Susan Nye Hutchison, who lived in Augusta, Georgia, and whose diaries illuminate a quarter century of life before the Civil War. “Great fear begins to be prevalent that the negroes are about to rise,” Hutchison wrote. Georgians had experienced a spate of fires, as rumors of insurrection made the citizens of…

3 min
the precautious caucus

For months, Republican lawmakers have publicly downplayed the threat and the mayhem of the January 6 Capitol assault that left five dead. But their colleagues’ growing fears of extremist violence are clearly, if quietly, reflected in recent campaign finance filings that capture a surge in security spending. In fact, in the days following the rebellion, the party committees that work to elect more GOP lawmakers formally asked the Federal Election Commission to clear the way for elected officials and candidates to spend campaign funds on security details. Even before the FEC gave a green light in March, our analysis shows that House and Senate members spent early 2021 shelling out a record amount for protective measures. From bodyguards to residential security firms that specialize in reinforced doors, bulletproof glass, and safe…

7 min
gain of dysfunction

The Center for Food Safety is the kind of organization that most progressive foodies can get behind: Its website features photos of graceful monarch butterflies and dairy cows with big, doleful eyes. Its recent campaigns have implored supporters to “tell EPA to stop this brain-damaging pesticide!” and “protect dolphins and birds from floating factory farms!” It advocates for farmworkers, humane treatment of animals, and protecting pollinators. Oh, yes, and one more thing: The 24-person nonprofit, whose 2019 revenue was about $5 million, wants the US government to stop supporting certain kinds of high-level virology research. In April, the group sued the National Institutes of Health in an attempt to force the agency to reveal information about its funding of so-called gain-of-function research—a category of lab work aimed at understanding how viruses…

1 min
be your own boss

While worker-owned cooperatives make up only a tiny sliver of US businesses, the chaos and privations of the pandemic have helped make them newly popular. “It’s typical of what people do when their government is unable to meet the moment,” says Mo Manklang, policy director at the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives. Given new extremes of income inequality, corporate consolidation, and union-busting—and with what work is available being increasingly unstable and episodic—it’s no wonder that people are drawn to a model that returns them power. That interest has helped drive a boom; a 2019 survey the USFWC helped produce found 465 such enterprises—a 36 percent jump in five years. Being a worker-owner can be part of what Emily Kawano, a co-director of the Wellspring Cooperative Corporation, describes as making a “livelihood”—not just…