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Alexander Hamilton would be worried, too

John Yoo, law professor | February 7, 2017

Faced with President Trump’s executive orders suspending immigration from several Muslim nations and ordering the building of a border wall, and his threats to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement, even Alexander Hamilton, our nation’s most ardent proponent of executive power, would be worried by now. Article II of the Constitution vests the president … Continue reading »

A Breitbart-Bannon drive to defund universities?

Robert Reich, professor of public policy | February 6, 2017

The events at Berkeley Wednesday night have been a boon to Milo Yiannopoulos, of Breitbart News, and to Steve Bannon, formerly head of Breitbart News and now Trump’s consigliere. As you may know, on February 1, Berkeley gave Yiannopoulos a major forum to spout his racist and misogynistic vitriol. But police had to cancel the … Continue reading »

More speech

Robin Lakoff, professor emerita of linguistics | February 3, 2017

I have not encountered very much of the discourse of the alt-right (e.g. Steve Bannon and Milo Yiannopoulos). But their utterances strike me as both infantile and anti-social: infantile, because their rallying cries are variants of the three year old’s “I, me, mine”; anti-social because their notion of humanity excludes pretty much everyone who is … Continue reading »

No to Jeff Sessions, a southwest Alabama good ole boy

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, anthropology professor | January 31, 2017

This week Congress will  be vetting Jeff Sessions appointment as U.S. attorney general. It is unimaginable that Sessions could be empowered to represent “law, justice and the American way.” For most of his public career Sessions has represented white interests. Yesterday, representatives of the NAACP were arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, during a protest in which they … Continue reading »

Refugees are heroes: The ban hurts us all

Beverly Crawford, Professor emerita, Political Science and International and Area Studies | January 30, 2017

I. What We Lose On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Trump attempted to ban refugees from Syria and six other countries from entering the U.S.  As Rudi Giuliani brazenly admited, in order to avoid the illegality of a ban based on religious and ethnic discrimination,  refugees must be portrayed as a “security threat.” Like America’s refusal to … Continue reading »

Conservatives should oppose a wall, too

Irene Bloemraad, professor of sociology | January 26, 2017

Regardless of whether you want fewer immigrants in the United States, more newcomers, or prefer immigrant numbers to remain the same, there is no good argument for a wall on the border with Mexico. It will be a gravy train for Trump’s construction cronies, but a huge expense for taxpayers. Worse, it addresses a supposed … Continue reading »

Noncitizenship and the case for illegalized persons

Joel Sati, PhD Student, Jurisprudence and Social Policy | January 24, 2017

-ize (verb suffix): cause to be or conform to or resemble…cause to be formed into… (2): subject to a (specified) action…treat according to the method of…  — Merriam Webster Part I: Introduction As a person, a precariously situated immigrant and an activist, I have been obsessed with the words immigrants use as well as the … Continue reading »

The consequences of presidential ‘illegitimacy’

Charles Henry, professor emeritus, African American studies | January 21, 2017

When civil rights icon Representative John Lewis said he would not attend the inaugural because he did not consider Donald Trump a “legitimate” president, it ignited a firestorm of controversy. Trump predictably responded with a tweet attacking Lewis’s character rather than Russian hacking and some 60 of the congressman’s colleagues joined him in the boycott. … Continue reading »

The epistemic Wild West

Joel Sati, PhD Student, Jurisprudence and Social Policy | December 28, 2016

“Post-truth (/ˌpəʊs(t)ˈtruːθ/) adj.: Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.  2016 Word of the Year, Oxford Dictionaries “Are you real?” “Well, if you can’t tell, does it matter?” Westworld, Season 1 Episode 2: “Chestnut” I do not remember a year … Continue reading »

Radical for each other right now

Savala N. Trepczynski, director, Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice | December 16, 2016

If certain things about President-elect Trump remain unclear — policy positions, his taxes, his ultimate vision — one thing is certain: he has peeled back the worn-out bandage on America’s most infected wounds and summoned some of humanity’s darkest impulses. How we respond to his presence may, indeed, determine not just who we include when … Continue reading »

California: America’s egalitarian and inclusive refuge? Not so fast

Stephen Menendian, assistant director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | December 14, 2016

The great state of California is known for many things: its sublime national parks, stunning beaches, Hollywood and Silicon Valley, world-class public universities and dominant professional sports teams. And as the greater portion of the “left coast,” California enjoys a reputation for inclusive politics and liberal attitudes. It was the home of the anti-war movement … Continue reading »

Democrats, stop kicking yourselves

Robin Lakoff, professor emerita of linguistics | December 12, 2016

Since November 9, it has become a platitude, especially among Democrats, that their party suffered a “stunning defeat.” They did no such thing. The fact that Trump won an electoral college plurality, while Clinton is ahead by nearly 3 million in the popular vote, merely suggests that the Electoral College isn’t working any more, if … Continue reading »

Radical hope in difficult times

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, anthropology professor |

Difficult times Whether we like it or not, we are the new minority, knocked off our blocks, trounced, but not — at least not yet — silenced. Nicolas Kristof (New York Times, December 11 2016) described universities echoing with “primal howls of discontent.” and classes cancelled so that students could weep about their fears of  … Continue reading »

Stop blaming ‘populism’ for everything

Bruce Newsome, Lecturer in International Relations | December 11, 2016

The word “populism” is being used to explain almost every trend or event of 2016, including Brexit, the election of Donald Trump as America’s next President, and shifts in French, German, Italian, Dutch and Austrian politics. The term “populism” has been used interchangeably with “right-wing politics” and “nationalism.” Now the magazine Foreign Affairs is blaming autocratization on … Continue reading »

Resistance and the rebirth of inclusion

john a. powell, director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society | November 28, 2016

  My, our, disagreement with Trump is in fact rooted in his support for oppression against people that he and his supporters see as other, and against their denial for their humanity and their right to exist. According to systems scholar and political scientist Scott E. Page, diversity of experience and views can be a … Continue reading »

No church in the wild: the politics of the sanctuary campus

Joel Sati, PhD Student, Jurisprudence and Social Policy | November 23, 2016

“Lies on the lips of a priest/Thanksgiving disguised as a feast”   — Jay-Z and Kanye West, No Church in The Wild (from Watch the Throne) It has been two weeks since the election that saw Donald Trump elected president of the United States. And here at Berkeley, I and many undocumented scholars and activists … Continue reading »

Building a Western Union

Chris Kutz, professor of law | November 18, 2016

The voters of the West Coast spoke unequivocally on November 8th, giving Hillary Clinton 60% of the vote, with 7.5 million votes, to Donald Trump’s 4.5 million, or 35%. These voters had good reasons. A Trump presidency endangers a range of policies common to California, Oregon, and Washington. These three states are committed to ensuring … Continue reading »

Is empathy a luxury in the age of Trump?

Jeremy Adam Smith, Editor, Greater Good Magazine | November 15, 2016

The election of Barack Obama marked the emergence of the Tea Party, a radical right-wing movement that challenged the Republican establishment and ultimately fueled the rise of Donald Trump. Where did the Tea Party come from? That’s the question renowned sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild set out to explore in her new book, Strangers in Their Own … Continue reading »

Undocumented and Unafraid: Accomplices Needed

Joel Sati, PhD Student, Jurisprudence and Social Policy | November 14, 2016

“And it is so easy to look away, to live with the fruits of our history and to ignore the great evil done in all of our names. But you and I have never truly had that luxury. I think you know.”— Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me. The aftermath of the election has … Continue reading »