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The Nation May 17/24, 2021

The Nation is America's oldest weekly magazine and is independently published. The Nation speaks to an engaged audience as a champion of civil liberties, human rights, and economic justice. The Nation breaks down critical issues with lively editorials, in-depth investigative reporting and analysis, as well as award-winning arts coverage. Publisher and Editor: Katrina vanden Heuvel.

United States
The Nation, LP
36 Issues

in this issue

3 min
racism never sleeps

WHITE SUPREMACY NEVER STOPS. IT NEVER TAKES A DAY OFF. ITS FORCES NEVER quit the field of battle, even after a defeat. White supremacy doesn’t retreat; it retrenches. On April 20, a Minneapolis jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd. The verdict came after months of nationwide protests and a three-week trial that was carried live on cable news. Chauvin’s conviction was the absolute minimum form of justice for Floyd’s family, but even that conviction was too much for some white nationalists. Hours after the verdict, white supremacist spokesperson Tucker Carlson went on television and suggested that the jury convicted Chauvin only because they were intimidated by the threat of “rioting” and property damage. Then he had a meltdown, which devolved into maniacal laughter, when a…

4 min
stop andrew yang

AS A LONG-SHOT 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATEA, Andrew Yang offered an entertaining diversion from the grimly serious business of defeating Donald Trump. Yang’s “MATH” hats, unabashedly nerdy followers, and uncanny ability to bring any social problem—from systemic racism to the crisis in health care—back to his panacea of a universal basic income mattered less than his entrepreneurial enthusiasm, PowerPoint persona, and air of business acumen. But if his current poll numbers hold, Yang might actually become the next mayor of New York City—and that would be a catastrophe. New York has already had a rich dilettante as mayor. And Mike Bloomberg, for all his abundant faults, was an actual businessman who built and ran an actual corporation. The biggest organization Yang has ever run is his presidential campaign—which won him zero pledged…

4 min
ramsey clark (1927–2021)

I FIRST MET RAMSEY CLARK, WHO DIED ON APRIL 9, when I interviewed him for Kennedy Justice—the book I was writing about Robert F. Kennedy’s attorney generalship. Ramsey had been the assistant attorney general in charge of the Public Lands Division (now the Lands and Natural Resources Division) at the Department of Justice. In a department that included, among others, Burke Marshall as head of the Civil Rights Division, Nicholas Katzenbach as Kennedy’s number two, and Archibald Cox as solicitor general, Ramsey was thought by many—including yours truly—to be a nonentity who was given his job as a favor to Lyndon Johnson, then John F. Kennedy’s vice president. But I quickly learned how wrong I was. The early 1960s were a period when many observers used to refer to “extremists of…

5 min
nothing to fear but…

I AM NOT WORRIED ABOUT WHAT MITCH MCCONNELL will do should Republicans take back the Senate in 2022. I am not worried about what Republicans will do should they retake all of government in 2024. I am not worried, because I already know the answer: When Republicans have power again, they will do “the worst.” I don’t waste a lot of time or mental energy contemplating the worst, because history has shown that I am simply not creative enough to imagine what evil Republicans will come up with next. No matter where I think the bottom is, Republicans will always find a new one. Unfortunately, many centrist and moderate Democrats seem paralyzed by the fear of what Republicans will do if they take back the Senate or the White House. They’re…

5 min
burden of proof

IN ASSUME NOTHING, TANYA SELVARATNAM’S MEMOIR OF intimate partner violence during her relationship with former New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman—published just one day before the first public report of sexual misconduct by Governor Andrew Cuomo—she agonizes over the fact that there’s no “proof” of her abuse. Weighing whether to go public, Selvaratnam grapples with the daunting reality that it will be just her word against his, noting Catharine MacKinnon’s observation that in rape trials, it typically takes three to four women to counter one man’s testimony, rendering each, “for credibility purposes, one-fourth of a person.” Indeed, when she ultimately decides to tell her story to The New Yorker, she’s buttressed by three other women with nearly identical experiences. On May 7, 2018, the story went live online just before…

3 min
frances fox piven

It is a common lament that American society has become polarized. Most commentators consider this to be a harmful development. But for Frances Fox Piven, a distinguished professor emerita of political science and sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and a longtime Nation contributor, polarization is not always negative. She makes the case for what she calls “dissensus politics,” arguing that movements win reforms by exacerbating fault lines in the electorate and compelling politicians to offer concessions in order to keep their coalitions together. ME: Many people have noted how polarized American politics is today. Political commentators suggest that protesters being divisive is counterproductive. You see polarization differently. Can you explain why? FFP: We have to start by realizing that the dynamics of electoral politics and movement politics are very different. If…