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Political cartoon lampooning Andrew Johnson’s Reconstruction | Thomas Nast, HarpWeek

In his groundbreaking 1935 study Black Reconstruction in America 1860–1880 historian W.E.B. Du Bois coins the phrase “American Assumption” to describe the belief that “wealth is mainly the result of its owner’s efforts and that any average worker can by thrift become a capitalist.” (“Capitalist” here means entrepreneur or business owner or anything above a wage laborer.)

Du Bois suggests that throughout the Reconstruction era, when Americans built a new social and economic system after the Civil War destroyed the first, fidelity to the American Assumption thwarted efforts to protect and provide for the four million Black Americans recently freed…


The fox is in the henhouse.

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Olivier Douliery, Associated Press

After insurrectionists and white supremacists pledging allegiance to President Donald Trump were able to penetrate and defile the US Capitol on Wednesday, January 6th in an attempt to overturn his election loss, dazed pundits and citizens have been asking, “what went wrong?”

They should instead be asking “what went right, and for whom?”

The United States Capitol is one of the most secure buildings in the country. 2,300 US Capitol Police officers patrol the 16-acre complex and can call upon the National Guard, the FBI, and the Washington D.C. metro police — all arms…


The pandemic is revealing how unwell we already were.

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wal_172619 for Pixabay

During the last week of June, one in 10 American adults seriously considered committing suicide according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The CDC’s research suggests the roughly 225% increase in suicidal ideation (SI) is a result of the social isolation and economic devastation brought on by the coronavirus pandemic and measures taken to address it.

It’s no wonder the pandemic elevated SI rates. Risk factors for suicide like depression, substance abuse, and family violence all increased this spring as Americans were driven out of work and away from friends and loved ones. Yet the shocking scale of the…


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This time last year I was staring across Lake Champlain through the window of a cafe car on an Amtrak train northbound from New York City to Montreal. In between jobs, I decided to take a jaunt somewhere new, and Montreal struck the right balance between exciting and inexpensive to reach. Plus, the city had a thriving electronic music scene that I wanted a taste of. So new sounds, as well as new sites, were on my agenda as I gazed at Vermont for the first time across the lake, sandwiched between grey sky and grey-blue water.

For five years…


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President Trump expressed outrage about having to “close the country” to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and said he’ll consider scaling back steps to contain the virus during a town hall conversation from the White House on Monday broadcast by Fox News.

“I gave it two weeks,” he said. “We can socially distance ourselves and go to work.” But medical experts including those within the Administration are unanimous: more restrictions on movement are needed to stop the spread, not less.

Don’t trust the experts? Then take it from some of the toughest people in the country, New York City…


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Ketamine is a dangerous, illicit narcotic in clubs, and a life-giving, antidepressant treatment in clinics (Photo: NsightRecovery.com)

On a Tuesday afternoon in the Bronx, Eric, a 22-year-old college senior, is alone in his shuttered apartment sinking into a worn and sagging section of his black leather couch. There’s an empty bottle of pharmaceutical nasal spray on the coffee table in front of him next to an overflowing ashtray, an enormous green glass bong, three half-finished Blue Moons, and an iPad covered in crushed-up Percocet. The nasal spray used to be full of liquid Ketamine, and its label reads take 14 sprays bi-daily for Major Depressive Disorder. “It actually helped the depression, and not many things did,” Eric…

Mark H. McNulty

Shifting the paradigm

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